General Question

JackAdams's avatar

If you had permission to create, delete or modify The 10 Commandments, what would you do, and why?

Asked by JackAdams (6574points) August 27th, 2008

First, here they are, in brief

01. Worship no other Gods
02. Don’t worship graven inmages
03. Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain
04. Keep the Sabbath Day holy
05. Honor the folks
06. No killing
07. No cheating on your spouse
08. No stealing
09. No lying
10. No coveting

I’d delete #s 01, 02, 03, 04, 07 & 10.

01, Because there is only one God (personal opinion)
02, Because a Crucifix is a “graven image”
03, Because no one KNOWS God’s name, The word God says WHAT He is, not WHO He is.
04, No one can agree on which of the 7 days is the Sabbath.
07, Because it applies ONLY to married folks, and a commandment should apply to everyone, equally.
10, Because it’s “OK” to desire things that others have, such as wealth, good health, nice homes. Everyone does that, at one time or another, and there is no harm in it.

I would modify #05 to read, “Do no physical nor emotional harm to your parents, or your children. Honor them, only if they have earned it.”

And I would add one that says, “If you do whatever you wish, to bring yourself happiness, make sure that no one is harmed, in the process.”

OK, your turn, and please, when you rake me over the coals, do so, NICELY, OK?


August 27, 2008, 8:41 PM EDT

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29 Answers

delirium's avatar

I’ll say it here, as I usually do… I would change them in to the affirmations of humanism:

The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles and Values

We are committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems.

We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside nature for salvation.

We believe that scientific discovery and technology can contribute to the betterment of human life.

We believe in an open and pluralistic society and that democracy is the best guarantee of protecting human rights from authoritarian elites and repressive majorities.

We are committed to the principle of the separation of church and state.

We cultivate the arts of negotiation and compromise as a means of resolving differences and achieving mutual understanding.

We are concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.

We believe in supporting the disadvantaged and the handicapped, so that they will be able to help themselves.

We attempt to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and strive to work together for the common good of humanity.

We want to protect and enhance the earth, to preserve it for future generations, and to avoid inflicting needless suffering on other species.

We believe in enjoying life here and now and in developing our creative talents to their fullest.

We believe in the cultivation of moral excellence.

We respect the right to privacy. Mature adults should be allowed to fulfill their aspirations, to express their sexual preferences, to exercise reproductive freedom, to have access to comprehensive and informed health-care, and to die with dignity.

We believe in the common moral decencies: altruism, integrity, honesty, truthfulness, and responsibility. Humanist ethics is amenable to critical, rational guidance. There are normative standards that we discover together. Moral principles are tested by their consequences.

We are deeply concerned with the moral education of our children. We want to nourish reason and compassion.

We are engaged by the arts no less than by the sciences.

We are citizens of the universe and are excited by discoveries still to be made in the cosmos.

We are skeptical of untested claims to knowledge, and we are open to novel ideas and seek new departures in our thinking.

We affirm humanism as a realistic alternative to theologies of despair and ideologies of violence and as a source of rich personal significance and genuine satisfaction in the service of others.

We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.

We believe in the fullest realization of the best and noblest that we are capable of as human beings.

gooch's avatar

I like them the way they are.

willbrawn's avatar

I would not change them. If everyone followed those commandments we would not need all the other laws. I mean 10 are hard enough. We should all follow those for our law.

JackAdams's avatar

@delirium: I like those! Good response!

August 27, 2008, 8:59 PM EDT

Randy's avatar

I think they say what they say for a reason. I don’t think i’ll be changeing them.

delirium's avatar

Thanks jack. I agree. I think the affirmations are complete in ways that the commandments lack. The affirmations are more rules of how to be a good humanist, not rules of how not to get punished.

It was an incredible experience when I first found that list. Until then I had never seen my personal beliefs put on paper.

tinyfaery's avatar

Changing them is blasphemous. Those are supposed to be god’s commandments. If you don’t like them, or need to rationalize them some how, then maybe you are not what you say/think you are.

JackAdams's avatar

I have heard some folks say that, as written, the 10 Commandments are “too negative.”

Maybe they need to be “updated,” to reflect the changing times, as Federal, State and Municipal laws, sometimes are?

August 27, 2008, 9:05 PM EDT

delirium's avatar

I don’t know. I guess i’m more of a ‘preach love’ kind of girl at the end of the day.

JackAdams's avatar

@tinyfaery: It is (supposedly) “blasphemous” to NOT capitalize the word “God,” when speaking of the Creator.

August 27, 2008, 9:07 PM EDT

gailcalled's avatar

I like the majesty of the original Ten Commandments. However, here is my secular view, in addition:

Gail’s List.

1) Thou shalt help build a Habit-for-Humanity house.

2) Thou shalt adopt a less-than-perfect-baby if thou espouses the Right-

3) Thou should give thy guest room to a homeless person.

4) Thou shalt be a big brother to an inner-city kid.

5) Thou shalt teach English as a Second Language to those in need.

6 )Thou shalt help the illiterate to read.

7) Thou shalt give the Enron and Worldcom stockholders and former employees
a tithe.

8) As thou art running thy AC at full blast, thou shalt consider global

9) If thee has more than two house, thou shalt give one away.

10) Thou shalt be an advocate for more bike paths in urban areas and get on
one, occasionally, thyself.

tinyfaery's avatar

Good thing I don’t believe in god then.

JackAdams's avatar

If you don’t believe in God, then altering them can’t be “blasphemous.”

August 27, 2008, 9:18 PM EDT

ladytmerie's avatar

@gailcalled—I love #10, #1 is something I really want to do and, #8 is something I am guilty of. Cool list.

gailcalled's avatar

I have #11 but it breaks the parallel writing.

#11: Thou shalt spend some time at an assisted living facilityin order to learn empathy for the very old.

(@lady: thanks.)

tinyfaery's avatar

Not for me. But, for those who are believers, to even imply the commandments are somehow wrong, is blasphemous. Excuse me for being easily irritated by the hypocrisy of those who claim to be one thing, but then must find a way to justify their actions and opinions vis-a-vis their “faith”.

JackAdams's avatar

So there is no doubt in anyone’s mind about my views, I believe that the 10 Commandments were not authored by God, but by Moses.

It took Moses 40 days on Mt. Sinai to get them, because he had to hand-sculpt them, himself. He then lied to his people, and claimed that God had “written” them.

God could have created them in less than a microsecond, not 40 days.

August 27, 2008, 9:30 PM EDT

JackAdams's avatar

@gailcalled: I like your #11. The elderly are so neglected by the rest of us, and yet we will all end up like them, eventually, if we are “lucky.”

August 27, 2008, 9:32 PM EDT

sarapnsc's avatar

I wouldn’t change a thing. I would add to it though.

I would add…
Thy mouth shall be silenced for one day, whenever you utter a false, hurtful word against another.

Basically, what this means, if you can’t say something nice, then God will close your big spiteful, lying, hurtful mouth for one day to where you could not speak.
For everytime you uttered hurtful, hostile, spiteful, lying words against another, you will be silenced, you will be left speechless, you will not be able to talk for 24 hours!

AstroChuck's avatar

The late, great George Carlin whittled them down to three.
1) Thou shalt always be honest and faithful, especially to the provider of thy nookie.
2) Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless, of course, they pray to a different invisible avenger than the one you pray to.
3) Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself!!!

JackAdams's avatar

Here’s the late George Carlin (1937–2008), speaking of them, courtesy of YouTube:

August 28, 2008, 4:45 AM EDT

chutterhanban's avatar

@ jack: How much have you studied the Bible? By the way, I’m not assuming or accusing, I’m just curious because we’ve met in a few discussions lately.

JackAdams's avatar

“Studied?” Very little. My knowledge of the Bible was achieved through years of parental brainwashing, which they erroneously referred to as, “indoctrination.”

I now know better.

August 29, 2008, 11:04 AM EDT

chutterhanban's avatar

Even for someone who’s not a Christian, it still could be a good read and has a lot of valuable content (notice—I don’t assume you believe it’s truth). Plus, it is the best selling book of all time. Try it out. Prove us wrong with concrete knowledge of your own.

JackAdams's avatar

You assume that I actually CARE what others may think about my beliefs.

No one is interested in my opinions, or yours.

Folks on these websites only care about themselves, and what THEY think or believe.

August 29, 2008, 2:31 PM EDT

AstroChuck's avatar

I thought Madonna’s Sex was the best selling book of all time.

chutterhanban's avatar

I care what other people think.

gailcalled's avatar

Lots of us care about lots of us. JA, you have no idea of the private advice, kindnesses, tips, hints, and general assistance that has been both given and gratefully received.

When I was at college, we had two mandated courses…Freshman English Composition and Sophomore Bible. The latter was a really interesting course; the Bible was studied as you would any great book of unclear authorship and attribution…Like the Aeneid and Odyssey, for example.

livingchoice's avatar

There are a lot of people out there with the same question as yours. Why keep the 10 commandments. I would add this or change that. God want’s us to question him so he can answer us like he did Job.

Remember that the law is also spiritual. Don’t just take it at face value. The law is exceedingly broad and to date no human being can improve upon them. I challenge anyone to make them better. Or to add something that God left out. They won’t be able to because they are perfect and come from the one being who is perfect and that is God. The 10 commandments are his character. Remember God wants to have an individual relation with each of us. Look at the 10 commandments as rules of a relationship.

01. Worship no other Gods (I want you to love me only)
02. Don’t worship graven images (inanimate objects can’t help you)
03. Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain (respect me)
04. Keep the Sabbath Day holy (spend time with only me for one day)
05. Honor the folks (how you treat your parents and others you will treat me)
06. No killing (be loving don’t hurt your fellow man)
07. No cheating on your spouse (be loving, don’t hurt your fellow man)
08. No stealing (be loving, don’t hurt your fellow man)
09. No lying (be loving, don’t hurt your fellow man)
10. No coveting (be loving, don’t hurt your fellow man and be satisfied with what I give you) Actually we are allowed to covet good things :O)

The commandments are there to help us build good characters fit for heaven. Always remember that.

We don’t need to fuss and fight to defend God. He does a perfect job all by him self.

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