Friday, May 9, 2008

Ten Commandments: New and Improved

Well, the Senate resolution (S.Res.483) proposed by the religious whack job Brownback, to make the first weekend in May “Ten Commandments Weekend”, hasn’t budged since it was proposed in March. Maybe our Senators aren’t total asshats after all. We’ll see.

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

I mean “no other gods”, " no graven images", "no God Damn!!” , “observing the Sabbath” seem to be rather petty and self serving throwaways given the potential there was to avert a lot of bad human activity that this god should 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 morality and ethical behavior then religion would have been superfluous, its renowned excesses avoided, and maybe things wouldn't have gone awry so often. Here they are:

1. Don't murder folks.

2. Slavery is wrong, don’t do it.

3. Don’t take stuff that's not yours

4. Pedophilia is wrong, don’t do that.

5. Women and Men are equals; afford them equal respect.

6. Don't lie, unless by not lying it causes a greater injustice.

7. Don't war over imaginary supernatural things, or to spread your version of Utopia to every culture. Save war as the last resort for retaining your freedoms, maintaining the freedoms of allies, or preventing genocide.

8. Protect the defenseless from those who have no civility.

9. Be kind to animals, even if you are going to eventually eat them.

10. Genetic variances cause racial and sexual preference differences. Accept it. Treat everyone as you would be treated.

No need to live on a mountain for forty days, nor worship any dead minority, or stick your face in the dirt five times a day and mumble your devotion. It’s common sense for the ages, it’s ethics & morality evolved, it’s simple humanity.

Of course, I have an advantage over the original Ten Commandments authors; I’m not a Bronze Age politically motivated, controlling, genocidal, slavery suborning, male chauvinist cultist. I’m just a humble Free Thinking camel


Brandon said...

Good, good.

The only problem is you're missing the moral authority to dictate your commandments.

Not that I think we need one, personally. I think this stuff should come naturally to us. But people like their Gawd telling them what's right and wrong. We unfortunately don't have that.

DromedaryHump said...

You are indeed correct, Brandon. You can lead theists to water, but you can't make em take a bath. Only their Boogyman can do that.

I guess the best we can hope for is in a few hundred years the "ten suggestions of ethical conduct" will supplant their fabled nonsense. Maybe through "ethical evolution" and the eventual demise of theism.

we can only hope.

John Ostrowick said...

It's completely inane to say that we need "god" to provide moral authority for our "commandments". There are two reasons for this.

1. If God is required to provide authority for moral commandments, it begs the question of whether those things are right to do because God said so, or right to do because they just are right. If they are right to do because God said so, then it is irrelevant what the commandments are, as long as God says they're the right things to do. Hence, the violent stuff in Exodus and Genesis is "right" because God said so. This means that whatever is "right" is actually completely arbitrary and up to god. If, however, it is obvious that some things just are right, then we don't need god to verify or underpin them. So, either killing is just wrong, regardless of your moral code, or, it is arbitrarily wrong, and up to god.

2. It is obvious, if you observe chimps, that moral codes are codes of social cohesion evolved to ensure the survival of primate troops. All herd animals display social cohesion aka altruism. So we have a perfectly adequate pragmatic explanation for morality, why it exists, and why it is necessary.