" The Ten Commandments launched into human history the hypothesis that a
society could be peacefully ordered under a rule of generally applicable laws
rather than the forceful whim of autocrats."Seriously your
position is that the ten commandments are the very first set of laws to govern
any society in a peaceful way. The ten commandments are what 3000 years old,
and humans have existed in a modern fashion for 50,000 years and began to farm
and live in communities at least 12,000 years ago.Well I guess the
bubble is bigger than I ever imagined.
The struggle of labor against capital will find no place in your series I'm
sure. It will have very limited value.
When you review the "Shall not kill" Commandment, I hope you'll
have a thorough discussion of the death penalty, as well as the Second
Amendment, along with the "stand your ground" laws.As a
society, we kill collectively. Our laws provide for the death penalty. Our
government, which represents all of us, kills in our name, not only out of
necessity when defending ourselves in war, but voluntarily, when we execute
prisoners.As a society, we facilitate killing by individuals. Our
extremely liberal gun laws, and the mad proliferation of handguns, means that
nary a day goes by that some child doesn't kill themselves or another with
an unsecured weapon (accidentally or otherwise). With tens of thousands of
shooting deaths of adults and children every year, many on purpose, why do we
find the Second Amendment so much more important than the Sixth Commandment?"Stand your ground" laws are the very opposite of Christian
principle. There is nothing wrong with being meek, backing down, defusing a
violent situation. Stand your ground laws justify vengeful, reflexive
violence.Or, are we just going to talk about abortion?
As creatures capable of killing one another I have to figure we had figured out
and evolved the basis of our morality long before the top ten. Otherwise,
we'd have never made it that far.
This says it all:Matthew 22:36-40 (King James Version)36
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?37 Jesus said unto
him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind.38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself.40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the
prophets.If people can live up to that standard, nothing more needs
to be said.
Surely, laws existed long before the days of Moses, but what the Ten
Commandments enshrine is the idea that "right and wrong" exists
independent of the whims a few powerful leaders or of popular opinion. They were
carved in stone and represent a firm foundation for the belief that this world
was created by God and that He expects certain things from us.The
atheists and secularist of the day want everyone to believe that God does not
exist and we can change anything and everything to suit our own purposes without
consequences. Life is just a "social experiment" to them instead of a
crucial step in a well laid-out plan. Believers look to the Ten Commandments as
a sign that God cares about them and that He is in charge.That is
why they are so controversial and at the center of the religious-secularist
The editorial and the story associated with it give great hope that not everyone
is in the process of rejecting God and the doctrine that he gave us, first to
Adam and Eve and then to each dispensation. Even today, revelation on those
former commandments are often given in order to make our passage through life
less perilous.Many will tell us why God is wrong or why religion is
wrong, but what have they to offer? In a society that is being taught to covet
the wealth of others, those who believe in that concept cannot reconcile
themselves with a God-given commandment to not covet. Those who reject
God's definition of marriage cannot reconcile themselves to the commandment
to not commit adultery (or anything like it).The coming series will
enlighten those who read it with open hearts and open minds, just like the first
instalment on "Soul Searchers" today.Congratulations to the
Deseret News for focusing on the things in life that matter.
@Marxist:I just finished reading the Old Testament. I see a lot of
things in it to support your view. Go read Isaiah 1 for starters. I think that
the Ten Commandments is misleading. Maybe we got this from Cecil B. DeMille?
The Old Testament says a lot about social justice. Job's friends said that
he was afflicted because he had sinned. The sins they talk about are not caring
for the widow, the orphan and not being kind to strangers. (Job argues
otherwise).Jer. 22:3-4 does a pretty good job of describing what God wants
them to do. Isaiah 1 is good too.@Pragmatist for Life: The issue
in the Old Testament was morality, things like honoring God by being kind to
strangers, taking care of the poor. Up to then the issue had been honoring Gods
by pointless things like praying to an idol or sacrificing and burning incense
without any morality being connected to it.So, these bronze age
shepherds were really a bunch of bronze age radicals. (Funny, our
technology is way better than the bronze age, but our civic society is still
getting stuck in the same issues.)
1“I am the Lord your God, …no other gods before Me.2“No
carved image, nor any likeness.. 3“Thous shalt not take the name of
the Lord your God in vain, 4“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it
holy. 5“Honor your father and your mother, 6“Thou shalt
not murder.7“Thou shalt not commit adultery.8“Thou shalt
not steal.9“Thou shalt not bear false witness.10“Thou
shalt not covet...”======== Apply this to Wall
Street, Corporate Bailouts, Middle Eastern Wars and Capitalism, "Free
Speech" [legalized bribery] to Corporations, versusAffordable Healthcare, paying down the debt [including raising taxes on the
wealthiest], tending to the poor, sick, needy... And get back to
me about how we are doing, and where we are going wrong?
I wonder if you can deal with the concentrations of economic power today. In
your general discourse you don't seem to be able. So to cut to the chase,
being concerned about the top heavy distribution of wealth does not constitute
coveting. Speaking for myself I have never wanted a lot of anyone else's
stuff. I am afraid however of concentrated power. For example the drive of
many super wealthy to end social security and medicare is a direct threat to
myself and my wife. That's the point - concentrations of wealth creating
the locus of power. Can you deal with this in your discussions? I shall
@ Marxist. "The struggle of labor against capital will find no place in your
series". What you are missing is that in any society, it takes capital to
produce jobs where people can work, not the other way around! No wonder every
Marxist society in history has always lived in poverty, they have it backwards.
When was the last time a poor person offered you a job? Your beloved Cuba the
former E. Germany compared to W. Germany, N. Korea compared to S. Korea, the
former USSR and Hong Kong, China are excellent examples.
The Ten Commandments as a concept of written code and rule of law are great.
But, as Robert Heinlein famously observed, "The first five are solely for
the benefit of the priests and the powers that be; the second five are half
truths, neither complete nor adequate."The first five give power
to those who claim they speak for the local god so they are not easily
questioned or challenged. Galileo being charged with blasphemy for saying the
earth orbits the sun, Christians in an uproar about the blasphemy of
"Cosmos," and Muslims claiming any free thought is blasphemy can all be
traced back to the first five commandments and the priesthood protecting itself.
The quest for power backed by religion is universal. Again,
Heinlein: "It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will
legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and
will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize
early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground
I hope you exam the idea of mans laws in general, i.e., laws are rules of
action, designed by the creator to not only govern the behavior of physical
elements, such as gravity, but also the behavior of humans.
@AQuaker the command not to kill is not to murder that is the intentional and
unjustifiable taking of a human life. There are places throughout the
scriptures were Capital Punishment is the prescribed punishment for murder.
That is justice for victim since mercy cannot rob justice. There were times
when Jehovah told Moses and the armies to go to war against ruthless enemies.Moses himself slayed an Egyptian in defense of a Hebrew slave. Firearms
are here to protect us. Should we role over and play dead when attacked.
Abortion is murder it is the unjustifiable taking of a human life. A prisoner
found guilty of taking a life himself forfeited his own right to live and that
is not murder.
Anyone who has studied history and anyone who has studied the world's
religions knows that the only thing in the 10 Commandments that was new was the
1st Commandment - no other Gods before me and no worshipping idols. And that
wasn't even that new - Greek and Roman mythology has very jealous gods. The rest of the 10 Commandments pre-existed Moses (Moses fled to the
desert because he had violated the law and killed someone).How do
you justify starting a series on the 10 Commandments with an inaccuracy that
comes very close to violating one of those Commandments?
Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told. Religion is
doing what you are told regardless of what is right. -- Anonymous...
"the role of religious moral imperatives are a *Johnny-come-lately* that
emerged only as an addition to our natural instincts for cooperation and
empathy." The Bonobo and the Atheist - Frans De Waal
to Mike R"Many will tell us why God is wrong or why religion is
wrong, but what have they to offer?" Why religion is wrong. Its
1 persons interpretation of what he thinks God wants & people that blindly
Commandments 5-10 simply codify for one middle-east tribe moral intuitions that
have been adhered to by successful ancient societies all over the world, and
these intuitions are no more arbitrary than the impulses to eat, drink and care
for your children.Of course that doesn’t square with the Noah,
Moses, modern Christian narrative that this small enclave of tribal wisdom
enlightened the rest of the wicked world, because without that narrative the
entire OT informed fundamentalist worldview appears to unravel. Commandments 1-4 sound like little more than the vain utterances of an
incredibly insecure (for a supreme being) tribal god… one among many in
the ancient world. If the anthropomorphic god of Abraham (displaying
many of the negative character traits we would expect of a god created in the
image of a bronze age, warlike desert people) does exist and the rest of the
ancient gods do not, these commandments are entirely superfluous.
I read the 10 commandments.Some see it as immorality and sexuality
-- 10%.However, 90% is about how we deal with our fellow men -- They warns of worshipping False Gods, Idols, lying, cheating, stealing...Because of that -- Most it applies to our economic problems today.
Its year 2014 they are today completely worthless.
"Should we role over and play dead when attacked." Well, uh,
yes. That is if you are a Christian and believe in Christ. "But
I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy
right cheek, turn to him the other also."
@ LDS Liberal and @ JoeCapitalist I do not know what the first 4 have
to do with being a humane. They are all about adulation of Yahweh. Only three
(bearing false witness, stealing and murder) are codified into our laws.
Adultery has either been removed from state statues or unenforced. I object to
the characterization that with atheists and secular humanists laws are changed
to suit their own purposes without consequences. I am agnostic and consequence
is how I judge all behaviors. So do most of my atheist or secular friends.
Absolute dictates like zero tolerance policies and mandatory sentences are
idiotic and do not account for special situations and circumstances. Humanist
morality determines what is good or evil entirely on whether the consequences
are positive or harmful.
I'm not surprised at the cynical responses in these comments, but
disappointed, never-the-less. I can't understand why some people would
actually criticize the Deseret News for trying to help people find ways to be
better people.The fact is if more people tried to live according to the Ten
Commandments, we would have a much better society. If people would really
worship God, they would try to bless the lives of others. If people followed
the spirit of the Ten Commandments there would be more harmony in our families;
respect for human life; no sexual promiscuity or stealing or lying or coveting.
Sounds like a great society to me. Of course, it's easier to escape into
cynicism than to actually strive to live a moral life. But, in spite of the
efforts of some people to belittle these articles before they have even read
them, I'm looking forward to these articles. I hope I will find in them new
ways I can live a better life and ways to bless others' lives.
Tekakaromatagi "up to then the point had been honoring Gods by pointless
things like praying to an idol or sacrificing and burning incense without any
morality being connected to it.". Maybe for the Israelites but other
societies including civilizations that our founding fathers relied on for
organizing principles, had moral laws without any association with the God of
the old testament.Mike Richards; "In a society that is being
taught to covet the wealth of others, those who believe in that concept cannot
reconcile themselves with a God-given commandment to not covet.believing in a society of fair a just principles including caring for the less
fortunate and demanding a just distribution of created wealth is not coveting.
It's compassion and empathy.
The 10 Commandments is the basis for most of modern laws and concepts for a
lifestyle that can bring joy to us. Don't confuse the selfishness of man
as it pertains to Wall Street, Bail outs or universal healthcare. Charity is
something that is given without being told you have to as universal healthcare
is a government entity, not a charitable means.To love someone
completely unconditionally sometimes requires not giving into principles but
doing what is right. Our Heavenly Father has destroyed many of the wicked by
means that some would find quite unfair yet his judgment is true. Upon the
return of the Savior again the wicked will be destroy unless they repent and are
as righteous as they can be. Murder is the killing of innocent blood. The Book
of Mormon spells this out quite well. It is sometimes better that one should
die to allow the survival of a nation or a people. As Christ stated, "If you
love me keep my commandments". Living by the Lord's principles against
the world's shall always bring eternal joy and happiness. Wickedness never
The threefold use of the law: One is to be a mirror reflecting to us
both the perfect righteousness of God and our own sinfulness. The law is meant
to give knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20; 4:15; 5:13), and by showing us our need of
pardon and our danger of damnation to lead us in faith to Christ (Gal.
3:19-24)Two the “civil use,” is to restrain evil. It can
to some extent inhibit lawlessness by its threats of judgement, when backed by a
civil code that administers punishment for proven offenses (Deut. 13:6-11;
19:16-21; Rom. 13:3,4). Three is to guide the regenerate into the
good works that God has planned for them (Eph. 2:10). Christ was speaking of
this third use of the law when He said that those to His disciples must be
taught to do all that He had commanded (Matt. 28:20).. The Christian is free
from the law as a system of salvation (Rom. 6:14; Gal. 2:15-19, ), but is
“under the law of Christ” as a rule of life (1 Cor. 9:21; Gal.
The Hebrew word translated 'kill' actually signifies "murder"
or the shedding of innocent blood. Other commandments and penalties in the
Mosaic code show that guilty people can be judicially killed, and that innocent
animals can be slain for food. There is a prohibition on being a "liar"
in scripture but the commandment (in the Ten) is a prohibition on bearing false
witness AGAINST your neighbor not lying in general; it is very specific. In
Utah as elsewhere there is no longer any legal prohibition enforced against
adultery. In Utah as elsewhere there is no enforcement of any law against false
witness in divorce courts etc.
Brian Barnard made them irrelevant, at least in Utah. Sad. We need them more
Actually the ten commandments were a mix of moral law and governmental law. That
was how God introduced mankind to written laws approved my him.Thou shall
not is unclear about whether a moral choice or a lawful punishable choice. So
Moses made them all governmental laws.If thou shall not covet was a
punishable crime, we would all be in jail. I look to the Book of Mormon
for our governmental rule of law.It is simple and exactly what a
constitutional democracy is built upon.Equality under all laws for all
citizens.Alma 30:7 7 Now there was no law against a man’s belief;
for it was strictly contrary to the commands of God that there should be a law
which should bring men on to unequal grounds.----that is more clear than
most LDS care to think about.Drug laws and corporate bribery violate that
principle so clearly. But only if one can use all of the available facts on
hand. Which we can't because of instinct's power over our minds. It's clear that Satan (with power over all flesh) is instinct program,
but that knowledge is hidden.
Keep trying to re-write history, Deseret News. No seriouesly, it's working
really well for you. "The Ten Commandments are the basis of society!1!"
Yeah... sure. No seriously, we totally believe you.
The Ten Commandments are a set of laws regarded by Christians.An Jews.And Muslims.Most other religions and philosophies have many similar laws
and concepts.And even most secular people think at least half of them are
a good idea.They have been the foundation of the laws of most
nations of the Earth through history since their conception, including all of
western Europe and the Americas. To dismiss the ten commandments as some
"antiquated religious imposition" is to display an ignorance of history
and a wild intolerance of religion.It's also worth noting that
respect of life, freedom, and property are the core of the God-fearing people
who established the United States, while the communist manifesto denounces all
religion, simultaneously lacking all regard for life, freedom, and property.
brother Johnson; "That was how God introduced mankind to written laws
approved my him." And the 50,000 years of mankind previous to
the ten commandments were what left to themselves or is this just another
Christian myth to justify your beliefs today?
@JSB – “Of course, it's easier to escape into cynicism than to
actually strive to live a moral life.”Your comments betray a
false dichotomy and logical fallacy common among believers in mythic religion.
You falsely conclude that in order to be moral one must believe in myths and
stories.History, anthropology and many modern societies today
demonstrate quite convincingly that this is not so.However, if
believing the stories makes you (or anyone) a better person, more power to you.
@higv, @sharrona, @gildas: Even assuming one believes in a death penalty, to
apply it justly it must be applied perfectly. Any case of executing an innocent
person is murder. To apply the death penalty perfectly depends on having a
perfect legal system run by perfect people with the necessity of holding perfect
trials with perfect testimony by perfect witnesses with perfect prosecutors and
perfect defense attorneys.Yet, perfection is not ours on Earth.Our legal system screws up on a regular basis. We find people
wrongfully convicted, cleared by new evidence ten, twenty or thirty years later.
We've seen juries swayed by false testimony by expert witnesses, or
mistaken identity by a persuasive eyewitness, evidence falsified by a bad actor
in a state laboratory, and incompetent defense attorneys.When
society puts people innocent of capitol crimes to death, its citizens are
committing murder. The legal system cannot be absolutely perfect.
Sloth, subterfuge and error are inevitable. The death penalty will never be
perfect and there's no fixing it when we murder an innocent person.
Knowing that we're not perfect, how can we risk our mortal souls?
There are populations of people through out the world who have never heard of
the Ten Commandmants who live a more ethical and moral social life than
Christian communities do. It is all just words if not converted to deeds and
The Ten Commandments: how are we doing? The first four are about
a relationship with a living celestial Father: Worship him and not lifeless
material objects. He declares he is "jealous" or in other words
zealously protective of His own, and also merciful to "them that love me and
keep my commandments", He expects us to observe one day a week of rest in
honor of Him and not take His name in vain. How are we doing?The
remaining six, dealing with a relationship with our fellow men are, like the
first four, headed by honor for a father, only add mother too. We are not to
kill innocent people, or either covet or take that which belongs to others
(including wives and husbands, or slanderously traduce the reputation of
another. In other words hold sacred the rights of life, reputation, and
property. How are we doing?They may have once been the basis for
our laws but now, sadly, it would be hard to prove we are successfully enforcing
them. The rights of property are often protected but man "legally"
gains the property of others by digging a pit for his neighbor and taking
advantage of his words.
The so-called author of the Ten Commandments totally disqualified himself and
destroyed his credibility and moral authority with the first few
"commandments" - specifically, verse 5 of Exodus 20:"for
I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of
parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me."No moral creature would be so violently unjust, immoral, and
@MountanmanA richer person offers a job only because there's demand
for it. If there's not enough wealth in the lower/middle classes to sustain
demand, there won't be new jobs. So in the end it's consumers that
create jobs, not the rich.
The laws of the United States are based on English Common Law which was based on
Roman Civil Law which evolved quite independently from the Middle East.To say our law is based on the Ten Commandments, or any part of the Bible, is
to rewrite history to your liking. And like most religion, has no basis in
RE: Quaker, “As translated correctly”; "You shall not
murder”(Ex 20:13 NIV) The verb (ratsakh) refers to the premeditated or
accidental taking of the life of another human being; it includes any
unauthorized killing (it is used for the punishment of a murderer, but that
would not be included in the prohibition). This commandment teaches the sanctity
of all human life(abortion).Love Fulfills God’s Requirements:
If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.
the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder.
You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such
commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your
neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the
requirements of God’s law. (Romans 13:8-10).@Gildas The Ten
Commandments: how are we doing??Eph 6:2,3. Honor your Father and
Mother”[not mothers/polygamy],which is the first commandment with a
promise. God distinguishes father and mother from all other persons on earth,
chooses them and sets them next to Himself, occupying the highest place in our
lives next to God..
@Gildas;Since you're interested in the Hebrew meanings, perhaps
you would like to check out the 15 Hebrew word that variously were all
translated into the one English word "Abomination". More often than
not, they translate to a mere "taboo" instead of how we view the
word.The first commandments are useless. The others tell us how to
@Mountanman, @Schnee: Our economic system only works fairly when there is a
fair balance of inputs. It takes capital to build production capacity, return
on investment to attract investors, people willing to sell their labor in return
for doing the work of the enterprise, and customers willing to pay the price for
the products and services.Things get seriously out of kilter when
employees don't get paid a living wage, when employers "raise
productivity" by effectively lowering the cost of employment (such as
through forced, unpaid overtime), when production capacity exceeds demand.One role of government is to play economic traffic cop, to ensure
everyone gets a reasonable cut of the pie, to bolster and enlarge the middle
class, and stimulate the overall economy. Ayn Randian policies do the exact
opposite, shrinking the economy and siphoning available capital into a handful
of fat and contented pockets.The fastest growing period in our
economy, and the biggest burgeoning of the middle class and new housing came in
the 1950s and early '60s. Look up the tax rates and financial regulations
back then. It was the opposite of today.
As it turns out, it is not entirely accurate to state that the 10 commandments
changed the world, as if they were some sort of novelty or innovation at the
time. It seems that Maat already covered most of these rules in his 42 apophatic
confessions, thousands of years before the Hebrews wrote down their own
version.Here is a sample:I have never cursed GodI
have not robbed GodI have done no murder nor bid anyone to slay on my
behalfI have not stolenI have not lusted nor defiled the wife of any
manI have not spoken lies...
So, from what I read Christians are telling us about the 10 commandments, Whatever Jesus taught was moot?Matt 5: 21 Ye have heard that
it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill
shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That
whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the
judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of
the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell
Hey koseighty - “The laws of the United States are based on
English Common Law which was based on Roman Civil Law which evolved quite
independently from the Middle East.”Not really. Christianity
was the official state religion of the Roman Empire from 380 onward.And
the importance of Christianity in Europe during the Middle Ages cannot be
overstated.“To say our law is based on the Ten Commandments,
or any part of the Bible” . . . is pretty accurate.
@ GaryORoman Civil Law was developed between 750 and 450 BCE -- long
before Christianity. In fact, before most of what would became the Old
Testament was written.Roman rule in Britannia lasted from 43 to 409
CE and was waining before Rome adapted Christianity. In any case, Roman Law was
well established in Britain before the Christian era.We all like to
think our personal religion is the center of the universe. That just isn't
the case. But rewriting history seems to be a favorite pastime of many. To
me, that seems less than honest -- thou shalt not bear false witness, anyone?
@GaryO – “Christianity was the official state religion of the Roman
Empire from 380 onward.And the importance of Christianity in Europe during
the Middle Ages cannot be overstated.”Not really…The Roman Republic was founded almost 900 years before this. By the time
Christianity came on the scene, the Republic had long since vanished and the
Rome that took its place was an empire of ruling elites, professional soldiers,
massive inequality, and a hallow shell of the great republic that codified civil
law, was inspired by Greece, and inspired far more than Christianity our own
founding. As for Europe, Christianity plunged it into a 1000 year
Dark Age steeped in ecclesiastical rule. It was only a rediscovery of Greek
thought (which admittedly the Church disseminated, mainly because priests/monks
were the only educated class) combined with a slow rejection of superstition in
favor of reason and science that we began to climb out.If
that’s what you mean, then yes, Christianity’s influence cannot be
Regarding the sub-discussion about the basis of American legal traditions I
offer a few points:1. The Romans never conquered the whole island
of Great Britain.2. After Roman rule the Anglo-Saxons came and
dominated most of the lowlands of today's England and lowland Scotland.3. Anglo-Saxon law is different from Roman law and seems to be a
complete break with the Roman invaders and their legal traditions.
Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions based on "tithings", "hundreds" , and
larger sub-divisions were seen by the American founding fathers as connected to
Bible jurisdictions based on numbers of families and their elders. Common law
is set at odds with Roman law the former being more locally based and less
authoritarian. There are other fundamental differences.4.
Christianity (spoken of by one poster here) was said by the "Roman"
Church to begin with St Augustine's mission commissioned by papal
authority. That was true, I believe, for Anglo-Saxon Britain, but the Gaelic
part of England speaks of much earlier Christianisation in which St Paul (the
Apostle) and Joseph of Arimethea were personally involved. These are ancient
traditions which have persisted through many centuries.
@A Quaker"The fastest growing period in our economy, and the biggest
burgeoning of the middle class and new housing came in the 1950s and early
'60s. Look up the tax rates and financial regulations back then."In fairness, nobody was really paying those uber-high tax rates in the
1950s, what with all the deductions and all. Personally, I prefer a different
line of argument focused on wealth distribution/inequality that was remarkably
steady from the 50s-70s, a period where we also weren't nearly as
vulnerable to a boom-bust economy as we were before and recently. I think
it's no coincidence that 1928 and 2007 were our worst years of income
inequality the past century, both followed by massive economic collapse. Sadly
we're right back where we were in 2007 again.
Tyler D – “By the time Christianity came on the scene,
the Republic had long since vanished . . .”Well yeah. No kidding.
The Roman Republic had vanished in spirit and substance by the time of the First
Triumvirate, and it certainly was not in existence at all from Octavian
onward.Caesar Augustus was politically astute enough to PRETEND a
Republic existed, and he commanded that everyone refer to him as “First
Citizen,” even though he was actually the first Emperor in a long line of
de facto emperors and nominal First Citizens. Sure there was a Senate, but it
had little real power. The point is, your much vaunted Roman Republic was a sham
during Rome’s greatest days of conquest and growth.On the
other hand, the power of Christianity was very real from Constantine onward. To
suggest that Christianity had little influence in the politics and principles
passed down throughout the Western World is to deny reality.
@GaryO – “Well yeah. No kidding. The Roman Republic had vanished in
spirit and substance by the time of the First Triumvirate, and it certainly was
not in existence at all from Octavian onward.”What’s
your point?Mine was simply that the Roman civil law that informed
English common law and our founding was a product of the Roman Republic (the
early days long before Caesar), not the Roman Empire (i.e., Christianity
influenced the empire, not the republic). And I never said
Christianity did not influence European civilization (even greatly). My point
was that its influence was largely negative as evidenced by the 1000 years of
stagnation & superstition that followed the fall of Rome.Were it
not for the rediscovery of Greek philosophy, Roman law and the first forays into
science (which almost always placed a budding scientist in grave danger from the
Church), we would still be in the dark ages.Reached comment
Tyler D – “What’s your point?”My
point is that Christian principles imbue western law, especially in Great
Britain and its former colonies, including America.Look at
Gildas’ comment. He explained that English Common law is derived mostly
from Anglo Saxon law NOT Roman law. And the United States has based
its law on English Common Law. Given the fact that England has been
part of Christendom at least since roughly 600 AD, it’s naïve to
believe that the Ten Commandments did not influence English Common in the
intervening FOURTEEN centuries.Think about it Tyler D. You seem to
acknowledge that the Christian Church was a powerful social force, and yet you
somehow believe it could not have insinuated its values into the law. That makes
no sense. I think you’re trying hard to support your prejudices, but the
facts keep getting in the way.
@willemThe fact that you find the ten commandments (& no doubt
other religious norms)to be worthless, says a lot more about the person
that you are than it does aboutthe religious values you take the liberty
to assess as being without value in our modern times. No wonder the world
is in the condition it is in - attributing that reality to people who
think like you, but not attributing the whole problem you personally - I
rather doubt that your personal impact is sufficiently great for that. In
fact, to be fair, I must also include in the same category those who pro-fess to believe in God, but who say one thing and do the opposite of what they
havebeen taught to believe - they are probably responsible for the
feelings of a largeportion of the people who think like you.
I guess my comment hit way too close to the truth. In the Bible it says that by
their fruits shall you know them. When you lie, it negates everything else you
try to espouse. It just adds to the talking points against the LDS church when
they condone lying. When you jerk people around saying you will get back to
them, fully knowing you have no intention to, that is a lie and I have had that
happen three times. I would rather have you just say...we don't like what
you have to say, we are not going to publish it...rather than lie.
I think that the commandment that says "Thou shalt not covet" is
important. If a man covets women then he views (hey I almost said
'read') pornography and mentally undresses women with his eyes. That
is sexist.But we covet stuff, new cars, fancy gadgets, big houses.
Our economic system is built on debt so we can buy more 'stuff'. We
consume resources, we emit greenhouse gases, (even if you do not believe in man
caused global warming, still, is it not a sin to waste?)One of my
friends has a friend. The friend spent $11,000 for three purses. One is a
Hermes purse. You could put someone who is permanently unemployed through a
trade school with that money.The commandments aren't some toucy
feely thing that is about getting good stuff in the next life. It should be the
basis of our civilization and if it isn't bad things are going to happen,
not because God intentionally punishing us, but because we've brought it
upon ourselves by our own foolishness.
Maudine, Are you trying to tell me that the Greek and Roman cultures pre-dated
the Hebrew culture that produced the ten commandments?
There was a very interesting piece on the History Channel about the 10
commandments. The one commandment that I found revealing was: "Thou shalt
not commit adultery". Turns out in ancient times it was not considered
adultery if a married man with/without concubines had relations with a non
married woman. He was not committing adultery.However, if a married
woman and a married man had relations in the city, it was assumed that both were
committing adultery. If however the act took place outside the city walls, it
was assumed that the man had forced the woman He was charged with committing
adultery, but she wasn't. It was assumed that she had been forced.Just interesting how it was set up then and now. Rather
different view than I had on this commandment.
I have found the series insightful but hard to access online. Even when I put in
the title, I can't always get the article to come up. This is such an
outstanding series it should be much easier to find a complete list on your site
of these ten articles so people could click and read.