The ten commandments as basis of morality

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The ten commandments as basis of morality

Postby DjVortex » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:03 pm

This is certainly nothing new, but nevertheless, I think it's an interesting topic.

Many (if not the vast majority) of Christians consider the so-called ten commandments as the basis and pillars of morality, the most important tenets of Christianity and morality in general. However, how many of these commandments actually deal with morality?

Let us forget for a moment that the Bible is actually contradictory on what the ten commandments are (after Moses broke the original tablets, which had the currently accepted ten commandments, plus more, God gave Moses new tablets with a completely different list of commandments with only a few of them having a slight resemblance to the originals), and also that even from the established commandments there are at least three different versions (the version based on catholicism, the version based on more charismatic denominations and the jewish version), and just look at the basic commandments without paying much attention to the numbering:

- You shall have no other gods: Nothing to do with morality.
- You shall not make for yourself a carved image: Nothing to do with morality.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain: Nothing to do with morality.
- Remember the Sabbath day: Nothing to do with morality.
- Honor your parents: Agreed, although with some reservations. (There may be situations where parents do not deserve to be respected.)
- You shall not murder: Agreed.
- You shall not commit adultery: Agreed, if it means meaning faithful to your spouse.
- You shall not steal: Agreed.
- You shall not bear false witness: Agreed.
- You shall not covet: A redundant thought crime. As long as don't act on it (iow. break the commandment about stealing or adultery) this has nothing to do with morality.

Of the ten commandments only five are something that could actually be considered a question of morality, and even from those only two are something that ought to be officially criminalized (three if you count lying in certain situations, eg. lying to a court of law). Five of them have nothing to do with morality.

These are the pillars of morality?
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Re: The ten commandments as basis of morality

Postby Fyrebrand » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:49 am

I like how those first two are merely concerned with preventing people from worshiping other gods, yet it's not explicitly stated that there aren't other gods. I wonder if there are many situations in the Bible where God confronts or encounters other deities, in some way. Doesn't something akin to that happen in Exodus? I think Aaron and Moses go to confront the Pharoh, and Aaron throws down his staff in front of him, which transforms into a snake. The Pharoh's wizards also throw down their staffs, which turn into snakes, but Aaron's devours them. So... isn't this an admission that whatever gods the Egyptians worshiped were real, and had real power, much like God's?
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Re: The ten commandments as basis of morality

Postby DjVortex » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:04 pm

Fyrebrand wrote:I like how those first two are merely concerned with preventing people from worshiping other gods, yet it's not explicitly stated that there aren't other gods.

The so-called documentary hypothesis postulates that the five books of Moses have been authored by (at least) four different authors, each adding to and possibly modifying the previous author's work. (This is based on the different style of writing of each author, and how when parts with differing styles are removed and only a single style is left, it forms a coherent narrative on its own).

At least one of those authors, deducing from his style of writing and his usage of words, was most probably a polytheist, who believed in the existence of many gods, but who taught that only his god should be worshipped.

Later authors added the monotheistic view (and possibly changed the previous author's text here and there accordingly).

Of course Christianity (and judaism) reinterprets those references to polytheism. In other words, whenever the old testament refers to "other gods" it is interpreted as "something that people worship, other than the God of the Bible" (or more briefly "false gods", ie. targets of worship that aren't gods at all) rather than them being literally other gods.
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Re: The ten commandments as basis of morality

Postby Xelnaga » Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:30 am

I actualy made my own kind commandments-ish , taken from various source and myself. Feel free to share any though about them! or add some more xD
Its a bit long, and is more like a guideline i like to source back to.

I respect all life, their choice and path, while making sure i am also respected.
I become the one i truely am, evolving toward the best of myself.
I use faith ans belief as a way to empower my motivation.
I am the concious witness of my thought; i give them power by giving them attention.
I am a wizzard who easily dethrone the dictator of my false self, bypassing early conditioning that other implented in me.
I admit and remove bad habbit, pattern, mimes, and viruses inside me.
I detect emotion's signal and control their growth.
I overcome fears, human's worst enemy.
I stretch my limit toward a safe and respectfull horizon.
I live in a healthy and energized vehicule, consuming benefical nutriment.
I avoid useless pain.
I am gratefull to those that helped me grow, gratefull to the experiences i lived.
I help those that help themselves, those that deserve it.
I keep curious and love to learn, everyday adding to my limitless memory.
I want to know everything.
I use doubt to criticaly investigate informations.
I learn from my error, keeping the valuable lessons and leaving the regrets.
I know when to hurry and when to be patient.
I set a better sail, not wishing a better wind.
I follow the path of hearth.
I see everything as a challenge to get throught.
I am focused on my goals, keeping the goal list active. (Momentum)
I surround myself with peoples and environements that suits my way.
I skim the surface removing the useless.
The power of thought is aligned with the universal mind, comploting toward realizing my goals. ( yea i know xD )
I think like a man of action, and act like a man of thought.
I am aware if i experience dream or reality.
I accept the guidance, support and protection of benevolant creatures.
I want to survive death, if it worth, and possible.
I am free forever.
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Re: The ten commandments as basis of morality

Postby lucas11 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:30 pm

I like how those first two are merely concerned with preventing people from worshiping other gods, yet it's not explicitly stated that there aren't other gods

Actually Numbers 34:14 talks about executing judgements on the Egyptian gods, and there are references to the gods of other lands in several places. This would imply to me that the writers thought these other gods were real.

Also, "you shall have no other gods before me" also implies that other gods exist. Technically it also implies that you can worship them as lesser gods without breaking the commandment. It certainly doesn't say "I am the only god, all other gods are fakes".

The bible also talks about making your own gods i.e. idols. Admittedly, I'm not really sure what this means (does creating an idol create a new god, or is it referring to crafting the image of an existing god, who knows).

The 10 commandments also ignore the fact that much of our morality is circumstantial:
Do not commit adultery (unless you've run away from your abusive spouse and they won't divorce you and leave you free to pursue your new relationship)
Honour your parents (unless they are criminals and teaching you to be the same)
Do not murder (unless you are defending your home from a burglar)
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