My first blog post here...

I suspect most everyone who'll read this is familiar with the Ten Commandments in the Bible. We all know they're flawed. Where are the proscriptions against rape? Against kidnapping? Are wives really the property of their husbands?

Bertrand Russell came up with Ten Commitments that were labeled "an ethical and modern replacement for the Ten Commandments":
1. Do not lie to yourself.
2. Do not lie to other people, unless they are exercising tyranny.
3. When you think it is your duty to inflict pain, scrutinize your reasons closely.
4. When you desire power, examine yourself carefully as to why you desire it.
5. When you have power, use it to build up people, not to constrict them.
6. Do not attempt to live without vanity, since this is impossible, but choose the right audience from which to seek admiration.
7. Do not think of yourself as separate wholly self-contained unit.
8. Be reliable.
9. Be just.
10. Be good-natured.

While I agree that these are a definite improvement over the Biblical variety, I saw what I believed were some flaws. I gave the matter some not inconsiderable thought and came up with these:

Rocky's Ten Commitments:
1. Try to cause no unnecessary harm to yourself, to others, to animals, or to your environment.
2. Tell the truth unless doing so will harm others.
3. Be reliable and loyal.
4. Be fair and just.
5. Be generous and kind.
6. Be good-natured, gentle, and humble.
7. Be courageous.
8. Be patient, tolerant, and forgiving.
9. Act responsibly and accept responsibility for your actions.
10. Be curious and open-minded while thinking critically and skeptically.

Thanks to Dan Barker for the gist of the first two. And to Mr. Russell for some of the others.

These certainly aren't perfect. What should be added? Deleted? Altered?

Views: 7

Comment by Apple on December 14, 2009 at 10:28am
The thought of "Ten" commandments is a flawed idea to begin with. There is nothing special about the number 10. But as far as making general guidelines to live by, you are on the right track. For one thing, your statements are positive. Instead of telling us what NOT to do, we are told what we should do. Other than going to church and donating your money, Christianity is much more concerned with what you should NOT do. Wrong actions are SIN. The whole concept is so rediculous.
Comment by iamtheblog on December 14, 2009 at 9:13pm
I agree the Ten Commandments are ridiculous, but I think it's good to try to think of other standards by which to live. I also like Dan Barker's emphasis on avoiding doing harm. One of the things that turned me away from Christianity was the focus on harm (hell, Jesus' vicious preordained death, a number of Bible stories, etc.)

Your third commitment, and Apple's comment, made me think of George Carlin's take on the 10 commandments. He was able to get them down to 2 (or 3, if you count his last commandment, which is arguably just as important as the others...)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkRYaMiP4K8
Comment by RockyTIJ on December 15, 2009 at 1:11am
Jalby, I was under the impression that the Ten Commandments were the LAW rather than "guidelines". Doesn't Jewish law also require stoning your mouthy teen to death? Prohibit you from wearing cotton-polyester blends? Or eating oysters?

American law is based primarily on English common law--not the Constitution. And "rape laws are derived from adultery"? Really? Rape is a violent sex crime. The marital status of neither the offender nor the victim makes any difference whatsoever in our statutes.

"Dishonorable mention" as a reasonable punishment for rape? Sorry, but I have to list a source on the rape issue: Deuteronomy 22:13-21 I'm engaged. My wife-to-be, who is a virgin, is raped within the city limits. She fails to scream loudly enough in her pain and anguish. Or maybe the rapist used duct tape over her mouth. Regardless, my neighbors must then stone her to death.
Deuteronomy 22:11-14 We've been out doing some conquering. I spy with my little eye a hottie among the captives. She's mine for the taking--no harm, no foul. Later, if I decide she's not good enough, I can cut 'er loose. No harm, no foul. Please tell me how that's not condoned rape.
Deuteronomy 22:28 I decide I just can't help myself and rape an unbetrothed virgin. My penance? I have to pay her father 50 shekels of silver and have to marry the girl. Tough cookies for the girl if I'm not exactly the "man of her dreams."

A husband in the Bible is not in any way the property of his wife. On the contrary, throughout the book the authors seem to me to clearly indicate that women are inferior to men. From the Ten Commandments in the NIV Bible: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." Note how your neighbor's house is deserving of a sentence by itself, but his wife is listed along with his other, lesser properties. Even in the third Commandment, "...I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me..." there's no mention of the sins of the mothers. They don't count.
Comment by RockyTIJ on December 15, 2009 at 1:23am
Apple, I didn't start off shooting for a total of 10. I originally had 13 or 14 and whittled 'em down. Ending with 10 was coincidental.

Iamtheblog, if Carlin's third commandment (at the end) were followed, we'd most likely be doing something productive rather than this.
Comment by RockyTIJ on December 16, 2009 at 12:16pm
Hmm. That's odd. Did Jalby pull his comments?
Comment by Dave G on December 16, 2009 at 12:33pm
Jalby deleted his account. I guess he didn't like the responses he was getting.
Comment by RockyTIJ on December 16, 2009 at 4:54pm
Ahhh. Thanks for the info, Dave.

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