PDA

View Full Version : A superior set of commandments



Zhavric
Mar 1st 2009, 06:07 PM
From a noted atheist...

(1) Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.

(2) In all things, strive to cause no harm.

(3) Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect.

(4) Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.

(5) Live life with a sense of joy and wonder.

(6) Always seek to be learning something new.

(7) Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.

(8) Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you.

(9) Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others.

(10) Question everything.
Obviously, these are far superior to the bronze age sillyness found in the bible. Graven images? Please.

These commandments include the golden rule which the earlier commandments didn't.

"Causing no harm" doesn't leave clever loopholes allowing people to "kill" so long as it's not "murder".

Treating others with respect is a vast improvement over don't bear false witness and limiting honor to one's parents.

Joy, wonder and learning are notably absent from the first set of commandments. Is anyone really surprised?

The last four are anathema to anything even resembling Christianity which can only "stand up" to facts thanks to early childhood indoctrination of billions.

Topic for discussion: these are superior to the ten commandments of the bible. Agree or disagree? Why?

daughter
Mar 1st 2009, 06:31 PM
Disagree that these are "superior."

Here is why.

(1) Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.
This is setting yourself, the "law giver", up as the standard bearer of right and wrong. What you want may not be what is best for the other. In other words, this makes perfect sense to an autist, who is wholly centred on his or her moral compass... but there are billions of other people out there, who may disagree with your standards, and want to be treated as people, not echoes of the "law giver."

Also, should point out that this is a negative version of Jesus' positive "do unto others". Jesus suggests we go out of our way to actively help others. This suggests that we simply avoid certain (ill defined) actions.


(2)In all things, strive to cause no harm. Good advice, but first you need to define what is the base line of "normal", or non harmed... again, this must be decided by each individual.


(3) Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect. Yes, that's good. How is it proposed that we do that? Some practical pointers would be appreciated.

(4) Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted. What is evil, according to this list, and how is justice to be administered? By whom?

(5) Live life with a sense of joy and wonder. This seems a little unfair on people suffering from clinical depression.

(6) Always seek to be learning something new. How is this a moral imperative, and not simply good advice?

(7) Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them. As above.

(8) Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you. As above.

(9) Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others. Good advice, but needs to be balanced by a corresponding impetus to not simply ignore the wisdom and experience of others.

(10) Question everything. Obviously there are limits to how far the author takes this one. Did the "law giver" question the existence of language when he wrote this down? There are moral absolutes, and plain facts. It might be fashionable to affect wisdom by disagreeing with everything... but it's not helpful.
Obviously, these are far superior to the bronze age sillyness found in the bible. Graven images? Please. Not so obvious to me. As for graven images... surely you don't think it's a good idea to worship graven images? I would have thought that was the epitome of foolishness, and one of the few things a Christian and true atheist would agree on.

These commandments include the golden rule which the earlier commandments didn't.

"Causing no harm" doesn't leave clever loopholes allowing people to "kill" so long as it's not "murder". You would never kill, under any circumstance? Not to protect your daughter from a rapist? There are times when life is messier than these "commandments" suggest. They seem a bit adolescent, and somewhat naive.
Treating others with respect is a vast improvement over don't bear false witness and limiting honor to one's parents. You haven't defined respect... the ten commandments have the virtue of giving practical guidance on how to respect your neighbour and your family.

Joy, wonder and learning are notably absent from the first set of commandments. Is anyone really surprised? Joy wonder and learning are gifts... You cannot command anyone to be joyful, it's oxymoronic. And if you ever do get around to reading the Bible, you will see that it counsels studying, teaching, seeking wisdom, etc.

The last four are anathema to anything even resembling Christianity which can only "stand up" to facts thanks to early childhood indoctrination of billions. They are not commandments. They are merely good ideas, of the sort that you would find in self help books. As stated above, nobody can be cheerful on command, and nobody has the right to command anyone else's emotional state.

Topic for discussion: these are superior to the ten commandments of the bible. Agree or disagree? Why?

My main disagreement with them... they completely miss the point, in missing God. The lawgiver here has only himself as the apex of morality, and can only imagine the good of the other through the prism of self. This is unhealthy.

For morality to work, it has to be based on something more than the self reflections of a bald monkey in a suit who refuses to admit that he's more than just an ape.

apothanein kerdos
Mar 1st 2009, 06:42 PM
Wouldn't #10 show that I can negate 1-9?

What is your justification for 1-10? Why should I follow it or believe it?

Gulah Papyrus
Mar 1st 2009, 06:52 PM
#1 is not proactive...would leave the world empty and cold.

The other 9 are good suggestions, but as commandments they are not practical.

Zhavric
Mar 1st 2009, 07:08 PM
Daughter: Here are the problems with your rebuttal:

* You seem to think that morals come from individuals. That's incomplete. Morals come from a society. Not an idividual. You see, morality is a lot like artwork. In the art world, we attach prices to works of art. Let's say, you go to a gallery and find an oil painting on canvas that's priced at $6000.00.

What makes it worth $6K?

It's not a drug that cures you of a disease. It's not a security system that protects your home. It doesn't transport you like a car. It's not made of a precious metal that won't corrode away. The components of it are available at any art supply store for less than 20 bucks. So, why is worth $6K?

The answer is that we as a society (or an art society) have decided that it's worth that much.

As a society, we do the same thing with morals. We place a value on every action. Things are wrong or right because we've collectively agreed that they're wrong or right. Just like we all agree on a price.

Now, a lot of times, when Christians talk about morals in this way, they're apt to make arguments like, "If there is no god than I can do anything and so long as I think it's moral, then it's moral". This is a silly argument. It would be like me saying, "I can walk into any art gallery, offer 1 dollar for $6000.00 work of art and buy it for that dollar." That doesn't happen. People who try such things are in the wrong. Just like people who think that it's okay to murder people are, in America, in the wrong. It's important to remember that for the rest of this discussion.

* It's a bit disingenuous to ask us to define harm, evil, justice and the like. These words are not alien to us. We all have definitions for them and we, as a society, determine how to deal with them. God isn't part of the equation.

*You asked for pointers which I'm happy to supply, but the original commandments offered no pointers. I'd hate to think you're using a different set of rules to evaluate these commandments.

*Those who are clinically depressed... yeah. Remember that morals are what shouldbe. Not necessarily what is.

* I find your confusion over commandments 7, 8, and 9 quite troubling. Learning, finding evidence, and paying respect to those who disagree should absolutely be a fundament of our society. These are important commandments because they encourage us to grow and ensure that what we know becomes self-correcting. Especially if we toss in the 10th commandment. It makes it so that we do not simply assume things are as we think they are. It ensures that we keep making sure we're right and tossing out that which is wrong.

* "Question everything" doesn't need rewritten. We only need to approach it in a mature way and make sure we have evidence for the claims we hold as true. It's not meant for us to behave as elementary school children who parrot out "WHY!?" after every statement made by an adult.

Furthermore, morality absolutely does change over time as history evidences. Are you an American? Do you think it's moral to drop deadly bombs on civilian targets? No? Neither do I, but our ancestors during the second world war completely disagreed with us and were okay with bombing civilian targets. Also, do you think that children who are 12 should be able to marry and have intercourse with men in their late 30's? No? Neither do I. Again, our ancestors from as recently as 100 years ago felt differently and such marriages weren't uncommon. So, right there, we have two examples of how our attitude towards killing and rape (two things that most Christians think are absolute) have changed over time. And morals cannot be absolute if they change.

*As for graven images, the point is that graven images aren't an issue to us. It's not something we care about today and if I wanted to worship an idol, who cares? It neither breaks your arm nor picks your pocket and if it makes me a better person then who are you to argue about it? It made it into the commandments because it was relevant during the bronze age when the commandments were written. It's not anymore.

*Joy and wonder are part of the human condition in spite of how much Christianity has tried, over the years, to alternately stamp them out and take credit for them.

Overall, you haven't offered any reason to believe that the OT commandments are better than the ones I offered here. Mine lead to self-correcting respectful harm-avoiding behavior and relevant to us today.

Yours don't.

Zhavric
Mar 1st 2009, 07:11 PM
Wouldn't #10 show that I can negate 1-9?

Nope. As I stated, questioning things isn't meant to be taken, as all things, maturely and isn't an excuse to parrot out "WHY!?" at every statement made by a grown-up.


What is your justification for 1-10?

They lead to joyful, respectful, self-correcting behavior that seeks to avoid harm.

Zhavric
Mar 1st 2009, 07:12 PM
#1 is not proactive...would leave the world empty and cold.

So would all of them if we take them alone and treat them immaturely. If you take them seriously it's an excellent way to live one's life.

apothanein kerdos
Mar 1st 2009, 07:13 PM
Nope. As I stated, questioning things isn't meant to be taken, as all things, maturely and isn't an excuse to parrot out "WHY!?" at every statement made by a grown-up.



They lead to joyful, respectful, self-correcting behavior that seeks to avoid harm.

Why are those good things? Why should we desire them? Why is harm necessarily a bad thing?

Or are you saying we should ignorantly and blindly accept those things as good? I know atheists don't like questions...

Zhavric
Mar 1st 2009, 07:19 PM
Why are those good things? Why should we desire them? Why is harm necessarily a bad thing?

What did I just say about taking this seriously and maturely and not parrotting out "WHY!?" after every statement? If you really need to abuse the definitions of words like "harm" to make them seem like unknowns, what does that say about your argument?

Your Advert here


Hosted by Webnet77