For "God" he sure came up with crappy Commandments

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For "God" he sure came up with crappy Commandments

Postby dromedaryhump1 » Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:23 am

It occurs to me (as it likely has all of us) that if the Ten Commandments were suppose to be a god's directive of how to live our lives, be good and moral people, or to ensure the continuity of a civilized world, he sure blew a golden opportunity.

I mean "coveting", and "graven images" and "no other gods" seems to be rather petty given the potential there was to avert a lot of bad human activity that this god would have surely known we'd lapse into.

So i came up with my new and improved Commandments for thinking people. If these were the basis for religious observance maybe things wouldn't have gone awry so often.

1. Don't murder folks.
2. Slavery is wrong... dont do it.
3. Dont take stuff that's not yours
4. Treat women with the same respect and honor that you afford men
5. Don't lie ... unless by not lying it does more evil than good.
6. Don't war over imaginary supernatural things or biblical nonsense; save war for when it means keeping your freedoms or maintianig the freedoms of allies, or preventing genocide.
7. Protect the defenseless from those who have no civility.
8. Be good to animals ...even if you are going to eventually eat them.
9. Genetics causes racial and sexual preference differences. Accept them.
10. Eat a low fat high fibre diet.


Questions?
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Re: For "God" he sure came up with crappy Commandm

Postby bugsoup » Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:43 am

I have some suggestions as well as questions. Most suggestions are of the "make this simple and unambiguous" variety. Let me know what you think. These assume a man made list, not a divine one.

dromedaryhump1 wrote:1. Don't murder folks.

Does this cover capital punishment? If so, "Do not kill" might be more specific"

dromedaryhump1 wrote:2. Slavery is wrong... dont do it.

How about "Don't own people"?

dromedaryhump1 wrote:3. Dont take stuff that's not yours

Don't steal?

dromedaryhump1 wrote:4. Treat women with the same respect and honor that you afford men

Treat all humans as equals. Singling out women suggests that we know that they may be perceived as different. Almost like affirmative action laws. The Golden Rule could also fit here.

dromedaryhump1 wrote:5. Don't lie ... unless by not lying it does more evil than good.

I'm not how I fell about this one. It is vague and open for much interpretation.

dromedaryhump1 wrote:6. Don't war over imaginary supernatural things or biblical nonsense; save war for when it means keeping your freedoms or maintianig the freedoms of allies, or preventing genocide.

Do not kill? Creating exceptions, again, leads to interpretation.

dromedaryhump1 wrote:7. Protect the defenseless from those who have no civility.

Again, treat all humans as equals.

dromedaryhump1 wrote:8. Be good to animals ...even if you are going to eventually eat them.

I'm not a vegan/vegatarian/Jain/etc, but what would be so bad about "Do not kill anything with a heartbeat"? On second thought, animals are delicious. Nevermind.

dromedaryhump1 wrote:9. Genetics causes racial and sexual preference differences. Accept them.

Treat all humans as equals.

dromedaryhump1 wrote:10. Eat a low fat high fibre diet.

So far, this is the only one I completely disagree with. I feel commandments should only impeed on free-will when the issue deals with the interaction between one or more people. To me this is too invasive into my personal choice. What I eat has no bearing on anyone else. Purhaps an additional list called "the 10 suggestions" could be advice instead of requirements.

I suppose if I were to improve upon your list (which is a great idea in the first place) my lists would be:

Bugsoup's Five Commandments
1. Do not kill.
2. Do not steal.
3. Do not own other people.
4. Do not marry.
5. Do unto other as you would have them do unto you.

Bugsoup's Five Suggestions (organized by topic)
1. Volunteer in your community, Give blood, Serve your fellow man as well as you can.
2. Do not expect a god to help you. Do not worshiip anything.
3. Learn from your elders, teach your younglings.
4. Be skeptical, Ask questions
5. Exercise, Eat a well balanced diet, Enjoy life

My lists would be slightly different if writing from the point of view of a god. I've heard people say that the Ten Commandments are too passive (do not do's) as opposed to active (do do's). I really have not problem with that. If you are serving punishments for not following, then "Do not kill" is not up for debate. Even for the purposed of war. If there were instant punishments for killing, viewable by the public (such as instant annihilation), then war wouldn't exist. In the secular world, this would be much more difficult to enforce, but we are doing our best without instant punishment from above.

I do not support marriage as a governmental institution. There should not exist tax breaks for marriage or for children. If two or more peole wish to save money by living under the same roof, go for it. Someone who chooses not to do this accepts the expense that their lifestyle creates.
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Postby Dust » Sat Aug 25, 2007 3:14 pm

"Be excellent to one another"
-Rufus
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Postby bob » Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:17 pm

I think the Bill of Rights is far more enlightened than the 10 commandants, and written by individuals not afraid to sign their own name to their work.

Think about it, the 10 commandments remove freedoms, the core of most modern political documents ensure them. An insightful deity would have used his power to secure the rights of the individual, not foster control and slavery by handing down rules.

'Though shalt not kill' may be a good idea, but 'freedom of speech' is genius.
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Postby dromedaryhump1 » Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:18 pm

Bugsoup,

Thanks for your input. I see we have a vairance of opinion..ok.

re: "Murder..." Does this cover capital punishment? If so, "Do not kill" might be more specific"


Actually Murder is much more specific than kill. Killing can be done in self defense, or as a moral imperitive. Murder aka "unjustifiable homicide' can be mistaken for nothing else,unless one wishes to impose the word "murder" where it does not rightly belong (I.e. "abortion is murder").
No, my Commandment does not prohibit capital punishment, aka justifiable killing by the state those who have committed egregious capital crimes.

re: Slavery..." How about "Don't own people"?


Well sure. But since the word "slavery"or "bondage" are so blatantly missing from the god things commandments, I felt it important to emphasize the word and ensure it cannot be mistaken for anything but what it is.

Treat all humans as equals. Singling out women suggests that we know that they may be perceived as different. Almost like affirmative action laws. The Golden Rule could also fit here


Since women are specifically relegated to second class status by the bibble, I just felt stating women specifically would help highlight the inequities of the bibble (and koran). Remember,I'm writing these commandments in the 21st century. If I were writing them 3,000 yrs ago, I'd agree that any differentiation between sexes would be more harmful than beneficial.

re: " Don't lie unless... " I'm not how I fell about this one. It is vague and open for much interpretation.


Yes. I agree, it's tricky. There is always that exposure. But I was thinking that if you were hiding Jews from the nazis and they knocked at your door, not lying to them would be a great injustice /evil.

re: "War..." Do not kill? Creating exceptions, again, leads to interpretation.


Precisely why the word murder is used in #1 instead of kill. There are times when killing is both justified and desirable. Killing an enemy who seeks to enslave you is one of those times. There are righteous wars. One has to be realistic and believe that just because commandments are written not all peoples will observe them. To not accept and face that reality and be prepared for it's eventuality, would be suicide.

Better to at least define where War is justified, than leave it to those who believe war for territorial gain, economic advantage, biblical prophesy fulfillment, etc. is as good a reason to war as any.

re: protect the defenseless ... Again, treat all humans as equals.


Well, I was going beyond that. Assuming that there will always be a predatory element who disregard these commandments, this one is an admonishment to the rest of us to actively help those less able to protect themselves. In a world where a victim's screams in the night are sometimes met with shut windows, and drawn shades, this rule drives home that we have an obligation to be 'our brothers keeper', in a manner of speaking.

10. Eat a low fat high fibre diet.


This was a joke. Although I lost 55 lbs by doing that, and am a virtual Adonis as a result. :D
Last edited by dromedaryhump1 on Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby dromedaryhump1 » Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:23 pm

Bob said:
I think the Bill of Rights is far more enlightened than the 10 commandants, and written by individuals not afraid to sign their own name to their work.


Our Founding Fathers did not prohibit slavery in the Bill of Rights.
Nor did they give women the vote. Only subsequent amendments to the Constitution did that.
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Postby donnyton » Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:53 pm

Commandment 1: Do only what is rationally justifiable.
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Postby bob » Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:12 pm

Our Founding Fathers did not prohibit slavery in the Bill of Rights.
Nor did they give women the vote. Only subsequent amendments to the Constitution did that.


Thanks for pointing that out, but I didn't at all mean to imply any perfection or completeness in the Bill of Rights. Don't even get me started on that... I was only pointing out the contrast between simplistic rules like 'Thou shalt not kill', and more positive philosophy like 'Every person shall have the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness', even if some were still to obtuse to recognize non-white-males as persons.
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Postby dromedaryhump1 » Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:26 pm

donnyton said:

Commandment 1: Do only what is rationally justifiable.


I have to totally disagree / reject that as a basis for civilized existence.

First, because something can be rationally justified as being in ones best self interest, but being detrimental to society as a whole / counter to the common good.

Secondly, what is rational to you may not be rational to another.

Thus, it's too ambiguous an abstract upon which to build a moral society, and sustain it.
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Postby Elman » Mon Aug 27, 2007 2:54 pm

Dust wrote:"Be excellent to one another"
-Rufus


I agree. Love one another.
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Postby donnyton » Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:18 pm

dromedaryhump1 wrote:donnyton said:

Commandment 1: Do only what is rationally justifiable.


I have to totally disagree / reject that as a basis for civilized existence.

First, because something can be rationally justified as being in ones best self interest, but being detrimental to society as a whole / counter to the common good.

Secondly, what is rational to you may not be rational to another.

Thus, it's too ambiguous an abstract upon which to build a moral society, and sustain it.


I think I probably oversimplified, because I know your objection is very true. But consider the Golden Rule:

"Do unto others as you would have then do unto yourself."

The biggest objection is that what you want them to do may not be right to them, and vice versa. Bu the Golden Rule transcends this as well, as many fail to realize.

Consider two people, one who cares very much about others' opinion and is sensitive, and another who doesn't care if he is made fun of. Obviously on a shallow level they can't be treated the same.

But the less sensitive one should instead think "Because I have wishes that I would want to have met, I should also respect the other person's wishes, and if they don't want to be made fun of, that's equivalent to me not wanting people to steal from me."

So in the same sense, "rational" doesn't just mean justifiable to yourself. It means that the train of thought should be "If somebody does something to me, it should be rational to ME, the victim. Therefore when I do something to someone else, rationally I should be able to consider their rationality as well."

It's basically being rational about the different rationality. I may think it is rational to commit victimless crimes, but it is irrational to think that other people think the same way, and therefore I should not do it if others have objections.

While this is far from a bedrock of morality or a solution to all crime, it does have a good backing for law. Basically, we should act according to other people's rationality UNLESS they are already jeopardizing our own rationality. Society then has the right to act based on the rationality of the general public and against the impaired rationality of the individual. For example, if a lunatic steals from me, it is improper to say "Well, to him it's rational so whatever." Instead, it is "He is not taking my rationality into account, so I can complain to societal authority and have him prosecuted."

Does that clear things a bit?
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Postby dromedaryhump1 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:42 pm

donnyton asks:

Does that clear things a bit?


Indeed...thank you.
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Postby dromedaryhump1 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:48 pm

"be excellent to one another."

elman said:
I agree.



the phrase comes from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

Great! Now Elman has a new man-god to worship...
George Carlin, aka "Rufus"
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