A Re-evaluation of The Ten Commandments

Do the Ten Commandments benefit or inhibit Christians?

  • Benefit
  • Inhibit
0 voters

‘The Paineful Truth’ has an equally interesting thread on the Ten Commandments, but I decided to start another one as not to Hijack the thread of his/her interesting points just with a video. So go join in there too.

Here we have an experimental attempt by Hitchens to examine the Ten Commandments and try to re-develop them in correspondence with todays broad moral consensus.

Would it be a benefit to the world if the pope would update the Ten Commandments to fit today’s conventionalities?

Are Hitchen’s criticisms of the Ten Commandments reasonable? And is his own attempt at drawing up commandments reasonable?


And fundamentally, can the Ten Commandments be considered as beneficiary to Christians, or are they simply an inhibition (or prohibition) to their moral decision making?

the need to update the ten commandments is evidence that they aren’t objectively good commandments in the first place, and thus instead of trying to hold on to them like you’re doing, just disregard them.

לֹא-יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים, עַל-פָּנָי
not-to-have to-you gods over-(me)

לֹא-תַעֲשֶׂה לְךָ פֶסֶל, וְכָל-תְּמוּנָה, אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִמַּעַל, וַאֲשֶׁר בָּאָרֶץ מִתָּחַת–וַאֲשֶׁר בַּמַּיִם, מִתַּחַת לָאָרֶץ.
not-to-make to-you carving all-images which (is) in/of-the-sky above, with-regard-to ground below, with-regard-to water below ground.

לֹא תִשָּׂא אֶת-שֵׁם-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לַשָּׁוְא
not bear/carry the name (meaning a name by which is known, reputation) yhvh your-god for-nothing(vain)

זָכוֹר אֶת-יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת, לְקַדְּשׁוֹ
remember the-day sabbath (return/disable) sanctified.

כַּבֵּד אֶת-אָבִיךָ, וְאֶת-אִמֶּךָ–לְמַעַן
respect (word root relates to heavy, or well kept) your-father; your-mother.

לֹא תִרְצָח
not murder

לֹא תִנְאָף
not sex-betraying-ownership (adultery/infidelity, etc…)

לֹא תִגְנֹב
not stealing/smuggle (the like; taking in shadow)

לֹא-תַעֲנֶה בְרֵעֲךָ עֵד שָׁקֶר.
not-answer fellow-man (in)-witness falsely.

{לֹא תַחְמֹד, בֵּית רֵעֶךָ; {ס} לֹא-תַחְמֹד אֵשֶׁת רֵעֶךָ, וְעַבְדּוֹ וַאֲמָתוֹ וְשׁוֹרוֹ וַחֲמֹרוֹ, וְכֹל, אֲשֶׁר לְרֵעֶךָ. {פ
not envy house (of)-fellow-man…etc…(or) all which (is)-a-fellow-man’s.

Really…there’s not a whole lot to work with really.

1 isn’t really a societal law we can enforce; it’s more a personal belief.
2 relates to 1 and is therefore again personal belief.
3 is personal belief.
4 is personal belief.
5 is code of conduct.
6 is a societal law already.
7 is a code of conduct, though does have some legality in society.
8 is a societal law already.
9 is already a law (at least in court).
10 is code of conduct.

So that leaves us with…6, 7, 8, and 9.
Of those, only 6, 8, and 9 are really laws.
9 only applies in court, not in common.
Thereby leaving us with just 6 and 7 pertaining to our present societal law system.

So our usable commandments would be:

  1. Don’t murder.
  2. Don’t steal.


You have to look at who’s writing these laws.
Even if this somehow disagrees with you as an axiom, at the least you have to look at who first adhered to these laws and what they meant to them.

We immediately think of world-wide propagation of a principle today because we are aware of such as part of our community.
They did not.

The Hebrews were unmistakably clear about being exclusive.
“Fellow-man” might as well read, “Hebrew”.
It is just that they didn’t think this way; the two concepts were the same phrase.

Murder is partly defined in the old laws implicitly by not being among the number that is not of your fellow-man; Hebrew.
What I mean by implicitly is that the commandments regarding killing outline those that are alright to kill, and those that are not alright to kill.
In every case, those that are alright to kill are those that are either not of the group, and are a threat to the integrity of their culture, or are poison within the group to the group integrity.

In a sense…quite primal and unapologetically blunt.

Take for instance, Numbers (the book of the priests) 35:33:
“And you profane not the land which you are in, for blood profanes the land; as to the land, it is not pardoned for blood which is shed in it except by the blood of him who had shed it;”
If one of our number sheds blood of another of our own, then we will be blasphemed until he is killed.
If one from not of our number sheds blood of another of our own, then we will be blasphemed until he is killed.

Either way, the individual that is now up for auction at the ruling on whether it’s lawful to kill…is green to go for being killed because in both cases, they have been isolated as not part of the group.

Every case of justified killing in the texts are isolations from the group.
Every case of murder killing in the texts are inclusions within the group.

Of course, it would be agreed by most of us that they aren’t good, or simply out of date. But Christians are unlikely to discard them just by agreeing between them, so the question was would it be beneficial to Christians to be able to re-write the ten commandments (hypothetically), because as it was said in the video, they have been frequently revised before.

Hitchens himself is not trying to hold on to the commandments either, he is just playing with the idea of what would be reasonable commandments today if they were imposed, as a means of revealing how far off these biblacal ones are from today’s moral consensus. I guess.

A good post Stumpsyman, I enjoy your biblical observations.

I think 1-4 demonstrates well how much of religion seemingly has no genuine moral rudiments when it imposes these as doctrine. If an individual is told not to even consider ideas other than those relating to this God then they will have fear of doing so. The actual moral judgements further down the list are obvious.

Another interesting post, and I would have to agree with you generally with the iidea that murder is culturally relative, but is life really that sacred as you said? What about euthanasia? Or suicide, what are our views on them?

Also, tell me more about how the two Queensland men were aquitted?

I apologize in advance; there are a great number of spelling and grammatical typos in this post. I’m not going to correct them because doing so really is tremendously time taxing, and the post itself was already a count in hours to write. I have been sick for the past couple days, so though my wit may be still intact, my focus is lagging.

Here’s the thing, though…as I don’t want to throw one painting on the wall and say that is all there is to the story of Italy.

In the last approach, I pretty much showed how our society more or less legally does not fit along with more than roughly 2 of the 10 commandments.
However, let’s flip this around and take a better look at what each one of these things represents, as the question of the thread is really…can these things benefit society if revamped to our time and culture?

In this post, I will approach the issue with the axiom that their god is not real.
Or, if that is too difficult to stomach for some, at the least from the axiom of why a god would decree such seemingly arbitrary laws to a people such as the Hebrews of this time.

I’m not going to answer the question of whether the 10 commandments are beneficial to society if revamped, in this post.
Instead, I’m going to present information for consideration for everyone while pondering that question.


1st Law: not-to-have to-you gods over-(me)
Seems trite now, but this was valuable.
Think about it; this rule basically (at the very least) was interpreted to outline an order where order was completely lacking previously.
There wasn’t really a described order to the pantheon that any Hebrew shifted through; and they did…that we have multiple accounts of in and out of the biblical texts.
In the texts, they are reprimanded.
In reality, well…we find lots of artifacts regarding their varying beliefs over time.

Either way, it was a very large step; a clearly outlined declaration of monotheism (here, having one god that is master over any other gods possible is also considered monotheism - though technically is not; but that was largely the point - honor of mastery).

So what?
Well, it gave a unifying directive.
Everyone now has the same top divinity, regardless which side of the “tracks” they…nomadically raise their tent on…and eventually build a town. (sorry dork anthropology joke)

As we saw in Germany during the reformation of the German economy and morale post world war one, unification to a single focus with strong allegiance has incredible force for growth and power.

They Hebrews were not as twisted as the ideals of the Nazi German control, but they were also not terribly different either.

They had a singular divinity that was instantly linked as the provider of their power; from which was granted upon them their land (which others did hold before them); also to which was bestowed the right to be the ambassadors of their god - supreme above all gods -; and to which was unto their people (essentially their race) the common thread of brotherhood, unification, law, strength, honor, community, and superiority.

This is clearly outlined even in biblical texts.

In short, it allowed for an accomplishment that is nothing short of historically monumental…and is often overlooked because people don’t like to talk about the bad shtuff all that much.
Face it; the Hebrews killed a MASS amount of people…children as well.
They raised entire bronze age cities.

Let’s back that up a second…they…Hebrew nomads.
Their aim?
Taking over…not one…MULTIPLE bronze age fully developed cities.
These are cities that have mining, metal smithing, market, and the works.

Here comes the straggling Hebrew nomads…who kick their ass!
So much so of a force were they, that even in the later years of this era, they stood off an entire Roman force in one city for 15 years with nothing more than one post and far less men than the Romans.

They purely had force of unification and justice on their side; that is how.
Rome figured this out too; the religion of the Emperor.
Their problem was that this was too late in the game to start.

The Hebrews got it right, right out of the gate; unification and authority granted from and by that unification.

So what does 1 convert to being useful in today’s world?

Everything it stands for in today’s modern era is everything we see as the path to evil.
Forced unification of respecting one single authority of power that all receive their grant of authority from is what our culture’s paranoid sub-culture calls the, “New World Order”, and the “Anti-Christ” (ironically).

But if it could be used?
Oh hell yes; it could be…it would just look like something we wouldn’t really want to see because we like diversity.
It would look like Nazi Germany; with or without the mass killing of one people…meaning…it would not inherently include such a thing, but could oh so easily lead to it by default of “us”, “them” construct.
Just like the Hebrew law regarding who’s alright to kill (outlined above).

But we do notice just how powerful a unifying ideal that grants authority is.
That we can learn from this.
Take a look at the foundation of America.
It too granted authority by a unification.
It, however, made nothing holy or sacred about doing so and thus has been lost in weight.

2nd Law: not-to-make to-you carving all-images which (is) in/of-the-sky above, with-regard-to ground below, with-regard-to water below ground.
Seems kind of pointless.

Well, not really.
Again; what age are they living in?

They basically just said to not make any formation of anything regarding…well…anything (of the sky, of the ground, of the water) as an image of adoration.
Now, it ties into 1, yes…but also; it’s important for what the hell they are after here.
Think about it.

There’s two sides to this:
A) If their god has a face, then his face can be destroyed by their enemies.
B) they are attempting to develop into a civilization…they really do not need to be spending time making brass or copper images (do you know how long that shit takes when you live in the bronze age and are nomadic?? I’m not shitting you…it’s like 4 hours for a fricken small coin amount of copper with 6 people blowing on the coals non-stop in turn!).

They had an awareness that making something to represent your source of authority and power was actually creating a weakness that your enemy can use.
Think about the American Flag.
Take that into battle and as long as it is seen, all is good in the morale.
As long as the Statue of Liberty stands, all is good in the morale.

However, when the flag falls in battle, when the Statue of Liberty is destroyed…what happens?
Morale falls.

Now transfer this to something that is identified as the single source of power and authority by which all are united and empowered; something that is supposed to be stronger than anything else.
Think of a super weapon that everyone is confident about winning because of.
Then think of that super weapon being destroyed…all hope is instantly lost.

So if you remove a singularity of that weapon; if you make it a thing of mythical legend and never seen, but always present, then it can never be taken from the people.
So their power and authority from their god which was stronger and more powerful than any other was never in threat of defeat as long as they, the people, stood alive and surviving.
The people themselves became the literal force and power of their god by the authority passed unto them by their god, and only was them because no images of their god was raised in place of their god, his power, or his authority.

In every case where they raised something in an image, they were warned to not make it their focus.
When they did, that emblem was later destroyed and they were made to suffer through that loss.

Their resources, at the start, were very little…making images of gods or anything representing any attribute of their god was a disastrous waist of resources considering A.

So what’s the lesson?
Don’t waist resources on creating icons that represent your power and authority when the enemy can simply use those to destroy you by proxy.
Instead, use resources to make that which is needed to empower you; the tools and constructs needed to grow as a people (weapons and walls).

3rd Law: not bear/carry the name (meaning a name by which is known, reputation) yhvh your-god for-nothing(vain)
We’re used to this law now as something like, “Don’t say, ‘Oh God!’, or ‘God Dammit!’”
But this is clearly not the scope of this law.
As a law of building a society with respect to the first two laws, this law cannot be so trite.
No, the Hebrews clearly had much higher ambitions than to just make up arbitrary laws of religious conduct and linguistic use for etiquette and accidentally stumble into becoming an imperial power.

The first two laws create a unified power and then unify all Hebrews by the grant of the authority of that power unto all men equally by de facto of being Hebrew.
This law is regarding the first two laws in regard to futility.
It might as well read, “Do not hold to the first two laws and then do nothing with them”.

The reason is quite simple.
Growth, stability, and security will fall.
If your very source of power is held with disregard, or is held in reverence without action, then your authority to that power is moot.

America wrestles with this issue presently.
It is a current debate regarding the American’s right to vote; to hold such authority to such power yet carry out a lack of action with it, or disregard it’s worth.
The power of the vote is therefore, moot.
The debate over American’s laissez-faire relationship with their power of their vote by simply being American is, on one side, charged with carrying the name of that power in vain.
(hold political opinions please; this was just for example of perspective)

4th Law: remember the-day sabbath (return/disable) sanctified.
Remember the Sabbath.
This one seems like it really could have nothing useful in it, but instead has to do with the first law of their society.
The first three laws are more base than their society; they are laws for unification as a society and the protection of that therein.
This law is the first law of government.

It states that all Hebrews shall work every day, but shall not do so on only one day.
All Hebrews.
That means your entire society is once again brought into equality by the very first law of government.

Similarly, “All men are created equal…etc…”
Here, we find all Hebrews are equal in this law; all will work, but for one day they will not - not one.
It is more a law about the inverse than it is a law of the day of rest.

It implicates that on every other day, every man shall work; no man shall rest.
Production of industry?
Yep, that’s going to boom.

Keep in mind…it’s a common concept to us now, the “weekend”.
But back then?
Not at all.
What I mean by this is that the concept that you work in regulation.
During this age, there really wasn’t any concept of regulation work.
You worked when you did, and didn’t when you didn’t.
If you were the owner of your own work, then you worked when you felt like it, and didn’t when you didn’t feel like it.
When you worked for someone else, you worked whenever they wanted you to whether they were working or not.

There wasn’t a unified format for the working force of any society really.
Then comes these Hebrews…unified, yet again, in their method of civilization.
Every man works, every day, save for one day.
And on that day, no man can make any man work, nor can any man work.

That’s actually empowering to the individual classes, and to the entirety of the strength of common brotherhood of the society.
No class has rule over another on this account.
All classes are equal; no man can make another work on this day.

And it is unified because all are forced to work equally every day.
No man is allowed to make another work and then in turn not work himself.
Each must work, even if making others work.

The lesson is clear…such a governmental construct truly develops industry and market in rapid rate.
The rise of the Hebrew empire is incredibly swift in scope.
Largely because of this first law of government.

5th Law: respect (word root relates to heavy, or well kept) your-father; your-mother.
This law appears, as I said before, to be a code of conduct and not really anything to do with legality, so it is often truncated into the American conception of “conservative” morals.
However, that is only in (once again) thinking of these laws as they apply to any people that are in position related to our current cultural situation.

The Hebrews were in no such situation at the time of these laws coming to.
Instead, they were primarily nomadic and looking to establish and build an empire of their own.
An empire from the authority of their power; their god; an empire of their god, therefore.

Integrity of the community is first and foremost the concern of turning the nomadic small-group self-centered survivalist mindset into a larger community-based society.
The first 4 laws unify all Hebrews and place them as equal.
Here, we have our first division of class and the first law of legislation.

On the grounds of what is the ruling, who is turned upon first for the common issues?
Who is the common court legislation?

In America, we did the very same thing; we immediately outlined our legislative branches.
It is item number 1 in the Constitution of the United States.

Here, it is item number 5.
Well, firstly, there had to be the power, the authority, the unification of the access to that power and right, and the unification of the community in it’s endeavor to build upon itself.

So since “herding” the nomadic groups of Hebrews together was the first order of business, something that (for America) seems like it should be the first order of business becomes the 5th.
In a way, it makes more sense than America’s methodology.
The first 4 laws outline the ethos and focus of the people.
The 5th is where we start outlining the legalities properly of the people.

And in that new stage, the first order of business is therefore, identifying your primary level of legislation.
In our current era, we are used to seeing order written from top to bottom, so we expect to read the American Constitution starting all the way at the top in outlining it’s Legislative branches and then work it’s way down from there.

However, again, we are looking at a completely different people and time.
They needed to see where their common right to legislation rested, and in what order.
So you start by identifying the local level of government first.

Somewhat similar is the Declaration of Independence of America, where in it, it outlines the independence of each state unto itself (a condition not quite as dramatically present today as it was at the time of the declaration).

What I mean by this is that each group of Hebrews was immediately governed by the father and the mother.
Since generations stayed extremely close (by comparison to most of society today), this then meant that an immediate legislative order and tier was established by one single law.
The youngest father and mother had governing authority over their children and the children of their siblings when their siblings were not present.

The oldest father and mother (family A) had governing authority over all families below them in generation, and their siblings (family B, say) were of their own families authority only by report and through them (family A); that is, if the families were large enough to merit such division of authority.

And in such where the oldest of each family was addressing rulings on a matter within one of their family clans, then the eldest of the siblings was the respected weight in the matter of rule.
This did not inherently mean the eldest overrode the younger of the two (or more if the clan ran in council), but it meant at the least that his favor was worth more in weight to the outcome of the ruling.

So respecting the father and mother was more than just simply “respect”.
The word means to be weighed down upon by, and also means to keep well of.

It is a two-fold law.
First, to be weighted in deep respect of the rule of the ‘order of the father and the mother’.
Second, to keep the ‘order of the father and the mother’ well and in good reverence of preservation.

That last part means that they could not just toss away the parental order when they were too old to be functional; even mentally.
Instead, as the parental figures became decrepit, not just the children of them, but the entire community of that entire family they had birthed was to keep of them.

We find similarities here with Chinese law in remote areas barren of direct national government.

So the 5th law is the first order of outlining the order of legislation and the power therein.

What lesson can be drawn from this?
That a civilization is well suited by an intertwined and personally invested, by the people it governs, legislation wherein those from which are governed are in turn granted power to rule over their inheritances below their legislative authority.

America, for instance, doesn’t really have such a thing.
And eventually, the Hebrew culture became too large for this source of government to sustain all conditions and the law of the judges had to be created.
Similarly, the United States started out independent of each other in like fashion to the Hebraic early legislative method, but eventually grew too large to the point where a Federal unifying legislation was needed to govern cohesively.
This was the case with the Hebrews; ergo, the Tribe of Levi is granted no land, but instead is granted authority in judgement ruling over all independent governments (the tribes).

6th Law: not murder
The first 5 laws are outlining the larger picture.
They are putting into place the source of power (1), authority to it (2), the holding of it (3), equality through it (4), and the order of it’s rule (5).

Here we begin the common law of the people.
Inversely, we would call these “rights”.
What I mean by that is that if you flip each of these laws on their head, then you have instead a right to something being defined.

For instance, essentially speaking, “Do not murder”.
This is an outline that inversely states: “Each of us has the right to live without fear of death wrongfully.”

Now, this murder bit.
I went on about it above, and that is important to keep in mind.
There is the bloodguilt issue with the Hebrews.
So much so that even an accidental killing could be classed as murder and result in the offender’s death.

Balance was always sought, and it was sought in the sense of the hearts of men.
Meaning, as odd as killing the accidental “murderer” of someone may seem grossly over reacting to many western cultures today, in the Hebrew endeavor to unify and grow into a civilation, the last thing they wanted was factional battle and blood loss at the expense of such.
Therefore, if one family has a loss felt at the hands of another family, then that family will then be made to suffer the equal loss.
Thereby, they are once again equal and neither can be faulted from that point forward.
Each family can, instead, bond in their losses because they can sympathize among each other in the loss.

It’s a strange way of thinking to our minds in our society today, but in such tight unification as was endeavored for the very survival of their people in becoming an established empire from absolutely nothing…such unification of bonding was crucial.

Blood spilling was also serious business.
Even soldiers were not allowed to come back into the common grounds of the people for 7 days after returning from battle.
They had to camp out and away, on the border - so-to-speak, of the common grounds (later cities) of the people.
It was openly recognized that they were tainted by the spilling of so much blood.
They had to atone their hearts of doing so.
Yes, their killings in war were ruled as justified (obviously, otherwise laws 1 through 3 would be pointless) but they also had to remove their bloodguit in their hearts; or purify themselves; before re-entering their society.

In a sense, they recognized PTSD.

Now come on…how about that eh?
A bronze age nomadic people that became a civilized empire recognized something that we, in our common era, utterly failed to recognize for ages.
All simply because of this simple law.

What I mean is, the understanding of the damage (in full spread of affect) that a killing or murder ripples throughout a society in full was inherently understood.
It is, in fact, among the first accounts of dramatics in their account of man beginning: Cain kills Able, and the consequences of that are far reaching.
In our culture, we often only see Cain as this evil bastard that killed Able in jealousy, but we ultimately fail to notice the old Hebrew’s value on family and the affect of Cain’s banishment and punishment upon them.
They did not lose one son…they lost two.

And in the second son being allowed to live, he is riddled with a life of drastic suffering and shame for if he shows himself he is, even in his own mind, condemned to be slain by any man that sees his mark.
Essentially, he must live in denial of his own self to even live among any other.
He is therefore, condemned as poison to the group.

This is the mentality that is seen.
This is why murderer’s are outright killed so frequently by this law.
Because leaving them alive is only possible as banishment, and even in so doing; they would have to deny who they are even to themselves to accomplish such.

So what is learned here?
Well…it’s an ideal.
Firstly, that all have the right to live freely without fear of being murdered without justice.
Secondly, it’s that killing is lethal to the psyche; not just the slain physically, and in itself alone can jeopardize the growth of a civilization at every level.

7th Law: not sex-betraying-ownership (adultery/infidelity, etc…)
The first law of personal rights, was the right to life.
This, when inversed, is the right to ownership.

Take off the burning bra campaign for a moment and remember that we’re in the bronze age folks.
Grow some balls or larger ovaries as needed, but the world was fucking harsh.

Alright, now once you get past any “battle of chauvinism” mindset crap that blankets your mind from our current era, you’ll be quick to notice that this law doesn’t bias towards gender.
It simply states that sex that betrays ownership is against the law.

Regardless how many wives a man had…they were his wives.
They all had ownership of sex with him.
It was not a free-bee deal for him to run off with someone else’s wife.
That’s against the law in both directions.
It violates the other man’s ownership of sex with his own wife, and it violates the ownership of sex of the wives of the offender.

Now who gives a shit really?
In our society, such a thing as sex is simply fun; fuck it.
Who cares who the hell you sleep with really, just as long as it is consensual; that’s our concern.

The Hebrews, once again, are not us.
Sex was access to procreation.
Procreation was grant of authority of the line.
Authority of the line was granting domain of Law 5 where it did not belong, and un-securing the stability of the authority of the domain of Law 5 within the offenders family.

Even if a woman took off and slept with another man; it was the same threat.

It wasn’t about some chauvinistic venture of pissing territory or belt notching, or anything of the like.
It was about maintaining the integrity of the legislation.

For instance, a comparative by today’s standards would be the law that no court may decree rule that stipulates order unto another court outside of the decreeing court’s jurisdiction.

It really is just that simple.

So what is the lesson?
That a society that wishes to grow must have within it, the right of it’s citizens to the power to rule without threat of their rule being falsely removed.
In America, for instance, this right is the right of being the Jury of Peers, and the right to vote.

8th Law: not stealing/smuggle (the like; taking in shadow)
This is a law that appears to be a double-up of law 9, and 10, but it stands on it’s own because it affects all of these such laws.
It is the right to freely have without unjust loss.
It is left open as it relates to all concepts of the idea.
Where laws 9 and 10 outline specific areas of integral importance, the 8th law covers the general law that is further outlined by laws 9 and 10.

Now, we can look up and see law 7 and wonder why law 8 doesn’t relate to law 7.
Why did law 8 not come before law 7; it would seem to cover it as well.

The reason is because law 7 is more about the integrity of the authority to rule, and not really the right to possession of physical property, or the acquisition of such.
Where the laws of rights (6 through 10) begin with the law against theft of life, the laws of the rights of property start similarly with the law forbidding theft of property.
6 and 7 are in tandem by the right to life.

Meaning, by consequence of the right to life, one has the right to the integrity of the authority of rule of their life according to the law.

So the laws of rights can be seen as sub-divided into two categories: the rights to life and the rights to property.
The 8th law then starts out the rights to property within one’s life and rule.

Firstly declaring broadly that all have the right to fair ownership of property.

What is the lesson?
Simple, really, a growing civilization must inherent secured rights to property for it’s citizens without threat of unjust loss.

9th Law: not-answer fellow-man (in)-witness falsely.
This is absolutely not “do not lie”.
Such trite interpretation, once again, completely misses the aim of what these laws are for.

This law is the law of accountability in justice.
Inversely, the right here is the, “right to truth”.

This floods into all avenues of the society on every level.
Market, court, contract, labor, union, military, clergy, etc…

Now here, the concept of “truth” simply means “that which is not that which another offers so to conceal.”
It doesn’t mean the philosophical “truth” or “absolute truth” or any such modern topics.

Again…we’re working with simpler philosophies (though truly remarkably complex in their own right).
Or more appropriately, more base level and pragmatic philosophies.

The idea covers a wide range of rights.
The right to fair trade, the right to fair trial, the right to fair labor, the right to fair decree, the right to fair debt, and the like.

It is nothing short of the right to fair judgement; in both directions of receiving and making.

So how does this tie into property rights?
Property rights are divided into two categories: intellectual property rights, and physical property rights.
The 9th law covers intellectual property rights.

And the lesson?
That a civilization must have within it, the capacity to allow for fair access to information for it’s citizens on all levels of the civilization in order for the authority of the citizen to maintain their right to authority of rule.

10th Law: not envy house (of)-fellow-man…etc…(or) all which (is)-a-fellow-man’s.
The first four laws of rights cover the right to life, rule, fair ownership, and fair judgement.
This law then offers the right to domain.

Now domain is wide reaching, as the 10th law clearly shows by expressly outlining a ranging number of examples before attaching the “etc…” clause of “all which is a fellow man’s.”
This is an important law because without domain the first and second law of rights (the 6th and 7th law) are aimless.
There is no reason to have the right to life and the authority to rule over that life without property to oneself to live off of productively for one’s pursuits.

Essentially, in American terms, the right to the pursuit of happiness is worthless without the right to one’s physical property in which one has the authority to rule.
And that in itself is the lesson of the 10th law.

In summary:
The 10 commandments are divided 2 primary categories:
The Constitution (Laws 1 through 5), and the The Rights (Laws 6 through 10).

The Constitutional Laws are:
The source of power (1)
–The authority to the power (2)
–The holding of the power (3)
The equality of the citizen through the power (4)
The order of the power and authorities rule (5)

The Constitutional Laws are divided into two categories:
The Ethos of the Nation and the Legislation of the Nation.

The Ethos of the Nation are:
The source of power (1)
The authority to the power (2)
The holding of the power (3)

The Legislation of the Nation are:
The equality of the citizen through the power (4)
The order of the power and authorities rule (5)

The Laws of Rights are:
The right to life. (6)
The right to authority to rule, and maintain the integrity therein. (7)
The right to property. (8)
– The right to intellectual property. (9)
– The right to physical property. (10)

The Laws of Rights are divided into two categories:
The Rights to the Self and the Rights to Property.

The Rights to the Self are:
The right to life. (6)
The right to authority to rule, and maintain the integrity therein. (7)

The Rights to Property are:
The right to property. (8)
– The right to intellectual property. (9)
– The right to physical property. (10)

There is my exhaustive outline of how I think the 10 commandments should be approached in reflective consideration.


I don’t understand peoples’ insistence that they must be “objectively important.” I’m not really quite sure that concept even make sense. Value, as far as I’m aware, can only be subjective. Why is it not enough to live for what you want and what you value? Why do you have to make up some superstition in which you’re a pawn in somebody else’s game? And why in the world does that make you feel better about life? I think the knowledge that I’m the master of my own life is very much preferable to the idea that I exist in order to achieve the goals of some other being, even if that being is called God.

Promise I’ll reply to you guys soon, a bit busy atm though…

I’ll give you an evaluation. The ten commandments were written by some old guys a long time ago. The last five are common sense but I am afraid that is impossible not to think about your neighbor’s ass. The first five are ridiculous. DUH.

Just for the record, in the pre Civil Rights South, white men who killed anyone of color would never even go through the criminal justice system. This was accepted practice. My mom’s sister married a guy from Wills Point, Texas who told me a really blood-chilling story about a time when he and some of his friends were in town and saw a Black man and just decided on a whim, for fun, to chase him around the traffic circle for a while and kill him. That would probably have been some time in the forties before the war. Even nowadays it is well known that some towns and places in Texas have to be avoided by dark-skinned people because they’ll be targeted by traffic cops and law enforcement; and just twelve years ago, James Byrd was murdered by three white men in Jasper, TX, being dragged behind their pickup truck. And don’t even get me started on existing klan havens here in Texas. I remember going down south to a city in klan territory in 1992 to protest the appearance of David Duke who was running for President. I carried a sign that said: Hitler 1932 - Duke 1992. Also, now that the Reeps have a wider majority in the Texas house and senate, they are planning to make it harder for minorities and the poor to vote, by restricting the kind of voter ID they can use, notwithstanding all the redistricting to dilute that vote. And then there’s the prison industry and criminal justice system, which is doing VERY well off incarcerating Black men and using them as, yes, slave labor. So, yes, life is sacred if you’re rich, white, or a rich-white wannabe and do and think like rich white men; but not if you don’t. And that is how the law works here too: one law for minorities and the poor, and no law for the rich. The same could be said about the Ten Commandments as well; it’s selectively embraced and enforced on others when convenient.

Phew, what a post. The way I will conduct this post is to at least offer my comments on your examination of each command, but not necessarily a real critique of each section as it would be my folly to attempt to offer a real critique when from what I have gathered from you so far Stumps, your expertise on biblicl knowledge is vastly greater than mine. The reasoning for tis being that although I am very interested in the bible I can’t say I’ve fully examined it as a text, as I didn’t grow up in a religious family and never went to church properly (if I did I didn’t listen) and therefore any biblical reference of mine manifested predominantly as a result of the culture I was in. So I don’t have the backcatalogue of knowledge but I have studied it more closely in the last 2 or 3 years. On with the post…

It was certainly agreeable that it would have been a very large step for society at the time; the unification of people’s beliefs would have been a good way of settling anny division of belief about the characteristics of their god. Though your conclusion about number one having no use in today’s world could be erroneous - I feel that as long as there remains a pious influence on powerful people and those people abide by this principle, would the growth of globalisation not induce intolerance of other religions?

I think your observations on the bronze age seem pretty spot on though.

Although I was very interested to read your thesis on this, are yu really convinced that the second most important command is not to create images of their divinity? What you suggested could be a very good reason, but it implies the command is purely pragmatic for the case of authority. Did the nomads not question this when it was introduced?

Your point still stands as you wrote the post with the axiom that their god is not real, but don’t forget that people would actually have to believe in this, it would have to be sold to them as appealing to their reason and what comes naturally to them.

This is not to mention that I have always felt that when christianity originated, many of those trying to spread the message must have believed in it to so ardently set about spreading the message. That is not to say that many others weren’t just interested in power. This point of course is debatable but it is something that I have always believed is necesssary for individuals to feel so passionately about spreading the message.

I don’t have much of a problem with this section, it seems quite palatable. Apart from, perhaps the strong emphasis again on the pragmatic side of the commandment.

I can’t comment on the example of the American constitution because I don’t really know anything about it (I’m from England and haven’t put the research into it).

It is also worth mentioning that in the video I presented at the top, it is demonstrated that it’s not really clear what ‘taking the lord’s name in vain’ really means, and is (I think facetiously) suggested that there should hhave been clarification on the matter.

I’d really like to know when the idea of the ‘weekend’ was properly implemented. I’d be willing to agree with you that the concept was not the same all that time ago, but would like to know when it properly came about. Perhaps it actually has a religious background, perhaps even this particular example?

I also say (similar to what you said) that the idea of not working on Sunday as being a first rule of government is beneficial to all classes of people, and in general practises good conduct. Though it is not morally related, the point still stands.

Here we have what seems to be the first moral based command (or second, if you wanted to include number 4 after the points just made). It does indeed make sense by means of how you are speaking of the development of the Commandments that that first four are first in the hierachy so that there is a unification.

In fact, this is your most convincing argument so far for me. I think it is palatable that instead of a mere means of respect for your parents (which is perfectly reasonable nowadays, a point which Hitchens noted) that it is in fact the best way to do it, keeping the younger generations in order.

You are suggesting that this commandment is not particularlly respectfully based on morality, which may well be true. On the other hand, in terms of the OP, it is still a reasonable request I feel of Christians, but all that remains of it is because it feels right to honour your parents when they nurture you so.

I think your points here also demonstrate that people felt it was wrong to murder anyway before the Commandments. This I think me and you Stumps believe anyway, as do most atheists, but your points illustrate this as it demostrates the natural reaction to murder and death as wanting revenge, and it damages society significantly.

This is another Commandment that would now be still very reasonable but may have had differently based origins. The concept of ownership is still prominent I feel, but not in terms of actual physical ownership - but more mentally. In a way when we regard ourselves as in a relationship with somebody we like to think of them as ‘ours’ to a certain degree. Which is why one half gets so pissed off when the other cheats. It’s a breaking of the ownership. You say in this section that sex is just fun and nobdy gives a shit, but I think the idea of ownership is still there, in spirit.

I have little to say on this section unfortunately, except that it has always made sense to suggest that people should have rights to things as a means of maintaining status quo.

This section you mainly state some clarifications, none of which I would disagree with. Not only would it have a pragmatic use for the empire, but again it is still useful as a general moral code to uphold today.

Does this not have close links with Commandment 8, in your eyes? From how you have examined the rest of the points I would have though that woould be where you were heading. If somebody forced themselves not to desire other people’s things, there would be less chance of upsetting the state of society (in terms of number 6 and :sunglasses:.

Again, Stumpystump, I commend your post, particularly if much of it was not sourced butin fact your own thoughts.

Hmm, when people speak of us in terms of things like ‘vessels for DNA’, which by the way I generally agree with, it seems to usually tear the moral aspect away from it. I would have to agree in saying that there is more than that, but in my eyes not in every case. I am pretty much pro-euthanasia to be honest, in most cases. Involuntary euthanasia being the one exception of course haha. In regards to your example, I think that although there are naturally a few exceptions, I think it makes sense to listen to what doctors say - many people keep their loved ones in vegetative states and nothing happens. Would they really have wanted to have been alive and not experience anything for the rest of their life like that?

I was probably looking for a more elaborate exploration to be honest turtle, haha. :smiley:

cheegster---------I can give you a very elaborate exploration but it would say the same thing.

I completely disagree with your ideal personally.
I believe that the motive of man to be political for the benefit of good will always produce evils upon others.
Sacrifice is inevitable when we examine the large scale of humanity; observe that man is apparently preservationist in his engineering with cognitive assessment of the circumstances for survival; observe that man can categorize and prioritize threat levels and benefit levels for the preservation of “his”; that the identity of “his” includes those that are considered to be of “his kind”, in whatever fashion that ideal arrives for him; and that those that are within “his” are so related to as “us”, while those that are not within “his” are considered the groups of “them”; then we can easily see no surprise, nor fault, in man being both good and evil at exactly the same moment.
The greater the responsibility of the individual; the greater the potential impact upon their fellow man is of their explosion from their devotion to acting unto that which they revere.

But I cannot say that you are wrong.
Because each of us has just described our interpretations of our readings of man in our experiences and understandings.
And as we surely must agree from our experiences alone; a man is truly diverse in appearance.

Yes, it must exactly be the second most important.

The first Law did the first most important change in the common culture of the time: it created the unforgiving enforcement of a singular identity among the entire civilization; an existence of a single God more powerful than any other.
The second Law did the second most important change: it removed the confined limits of their god, by comparison to their counterpart’s gods.

During this era, it was common perspective to consider the images and temples of gods as literal residences or existences of the gods.
In fact, many religions also held that gods would inhabit structures for various reasons related to the stability or progression of their gods existences.
Images, being considered as parts of the gods, were thought to harness possessional power from the gods; like holding god in your pocket as if it were a magical nuclear bomb.
Destroying these things so the foe could no longer have that edge was primary.
The Hebrews, according to their second Law, are magical nuclear bomb powered inherently by their blood alone.
There is no image they require to have their god, the mightiest god, the god that is so strong that he only needs himself and no other gods (save for his wife in some variations of early Hebraic faiths).

To destroy their god, need you to defeat them, you would need to destroy their blood.
That is the power of their god.
God is their blood; that is where God lives; that is their God’s authority.

You have a necklace mother fucker.
Let’s dance.

There was clarification on the matter.
The Hebrew texts are littered with scorn for being idle, or trite, with God.

The word isn’t, “vanity”, in the sense of disrespect.
It is a word that means that you are bore down upon with weight, or answer to the name of.
Whatever you put, that is the action that is being described as then being done for waisted efforts.
“Spinning the wheel”, so to say.

The Hebrews were consistently badgering their counterparts, or opponents, about frivolous devotion.
Again, it’s like the 2nd one.

My God is alive in my blood; in all of our blood.
You have cute necklaces.
We are deeply devoted; so our God responds.
You are goofing off; so your gods may as well be goofing off.

Their god’s name became so revered by their own priests that they eventually removed it outright and made the name referred to by proxy of another name.
That…that’s pretty bad ass.

They didn’t want you to have the free will to slander their god’s name; their god was so strong that you could not even slander him.

My god is stronger than any other god.
My god exists in his peoples blood; our blood.
My god cannot be slandered; he controls even your speech.

You are my bitch.

That’s what don’t take in vain is about; it’s about intense devotion.
It’s basically every modern pulpit-friendly, non-plussed, habitual Christian today.

These laws are the laws of an intense time period with insanely intense emotional devotion driving them.
We don’t even know what the fuck that looks like in our culture.

Some people’s cultures today have similarities to that.
But so far, they are all crazy and evil terrorists, or tyrants, by their names in the western societies.

But again, our societal minds are still rather fucked up from the two world wars.
It really may not be possible to live otherwise for quite a length of time.

I mean…these were men of cultures at which time was commonplace to understand the idea of devotion as one that included physical retaliation for desecration of something sacred.
There were others as well, aside from the Herbews, but I don’t think you’ll find another that was so seclusive and yet to large.
It’s as if someone just planted a Japan smack in the middle of the Middle East.

Don’t ever take your oath, your authority that’s in your blood in futility.
Don’t carry your god’s name in vain.

If you really want to know how a people thought of something, look at how they took it to mean by their actions.

The weekend really got it’s going in the Abrahamic religion regions and surrounding areas.
Asia…that depends what region, and it wasn’t often so wide-pressed in the fervor.
Japan had the fervor, for sure, but didn’t really seem to identify such restrictions as utter pure rest for one single day.

But, yes, it’s religious in origin.
Then it’s spawned into all sorts of things in reaction to that as cultures of grown over time.

It’s actually fun to watch the history of the weekend, because it’s like watching a small rock explode into a super nova across time when approached from a social evolutionist perspective.

Sure, but it’s what is also the destruction of society from the old Hebrew’s perspective.
When the order of the Elders (so to name it) gave way to the order of the judges, along came Jesus.
Regardless of what we think Jesus meant by what is granted to his message, the time he came from was in upheaval and in the mist of cultural revolution.
The order of the Elders was long destroyed to the loss of the Hebrew’s first empire, and then saving it - and too replacing it - came the Maccabees who (being of the age of revolt and reconquest) spawned the two factions of Sadducees and Pharisees, respectively militant and non-militant (in alliance at the least).
From these, and the re-established Levite Priests to govern above both (or any other, but these two were like Republicans and Democrats [or in your case, the Conservative Party and Labor Party I suppose]), follows a later age where stress and depreciation - mixed with the separation of the southern allied north from the south by the exiled middle Samaria - gave way to the introduction of the northern parties moving to the south with deliverance messages from the leaders of the time, that seemed to be providing no means of deliverance from the stress and depreciation, by restoration of the original focus of the Law.

Enter stage left: Jesus.

So the order of the Elders never did when back, btw.
Instead it became an order of the spirit of that concept that survived: the moral concept.

Oh, they did absolutely.
The only difference was in the description of who wasn’t a murderer.

The radical concept that the Hebrews brought in was the concept of equality among classes in this regard.
All man was equal that was Hebrew.
It didn’t matter which class you came from, if you were hungry and needed food, and stole; it was not alright for the man you took from to strike you down to your death.
The merchant was not allowed to kill the thief of his merchandise.

Instead, he was only allowed to equal his (potential) losses as the measure for the punishment.
It did not matter that the thief was of a lower class than the merchant.

That was what was radical here; not that there was an issue with murder.
It’s not like man never before thought, “Hey…you know what? Killing anyone at random just because I want what they have is probably a bad way to survive.” :unamused:

If it were really up to a god to instill that; if man were truly blind to this rule without a god…um…wouldn’t the god (or gods) instill this law at the origin of their creation rather than hundreds or thousands of years later?

“Woops, forgot to put the piston seal on…meh, it’s only been a few thousand miles since I made the car, I’ll just throw it on now.”

Yep, I don’t think there’s much that has changed in regard to the base root of owning the relationship as yours.
Their genius was in adhering to that, the idea of legal authority from that same strong ownership.

Strangely a lesson that is oft not realized even today.

Yep, most societies seem to have this figured out in our current age.
YAY TEAM! :happy-cheerleadersmileyguy:

At this point, it’s mostly in my head.
I’ve been pouring through this type of crap since I was about 14 years old actively, and was learning basic lessons on the subject since I was 8.
I’m 31 now, and I never stop reading on the subject of the Hebrews in Ancient times; they fascinate me.

Or rather replace them with the One Golden Rule of moral behavior, which I have so beneficently refined as: Honoring the equal rights of all to their life, liberty and property. This is reasonably derived from the assumption that life is of value, and human/sentient life is of ultimate value.

Thus I agree with this:

I’d quibble with the last part. If we are moral (G.R.), our goals are moral, whether God exists or not. And if He does exist, we’d automatically be simpatico with God.