How Important Are the Ten Commandments?

NonStampCollector explains how most of the Commandments are pretty forgettable:



About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.theaunicornist.com Mike D

    He just knocks these out of park.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

    George Carlin summed it up pretty well.

    Thou shalt always be honest and faithful to the provider of thy nookie.

    &

    Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless of course they pray to a different invisible man than you.

    Two is all you need; Moses could have carried them down the hill in his fuckin’ pocket. I wouldn’t mind those folks in Alabama posting them on the courthouse wall, as long as they provided one additional commandment:

    Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    I like the Apple logo on the back of the tablet.

  • http://www.martinprest.com/ Martin Prest

    Can we be moral without the 10 Commandments?  Yes, of course.  We are born with an in-build conscience.  If we weren’t we wouldn’t have lasted this long. 

    http://www.openalc.com/2012/01/10/answers-from-atheism-q-why-should-you-be-moral-if-there-is-no-god/

  • Big Al

    The 10 Commandments are nothing more than a historical document of significant importance as it marks the way along the path to a society of common laws recognized and accepted by individuals to live cooperatively within a society. People hadn’t yet developed the ability to agree on a set of principles of self governance, or government that didn’t come from inheritance or a god, therefore the basic principles expounded in the document are backed up not by civil penalty, but by the big whammy-jammy in the sky. The historical significance of this document is why no one should object to having them displayed in our courts today. Understand them for what they are, for the progressive march toward a secular, self governing society it represents, and move on.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t be ridiculous. You know very well that is not why people want to post them! If that were the goal, there are plenty of other historical attempts at coming up with a system of laws that could be used – attempts that focus on behavior toward other people, rather than behavior toward God.

    • Paixetamour88

      Ummm, of course they SHOULDN’T be displayed in court houses, because that would be a direct case of government endorsing one religion over all others, which is expressly forbidden in the first amendment! Yeah, maybe they did set down, as this Moses here stated, like 3 common sense type rules that still remain today…but because it is a historical document, it should be posted in a museum about the different world religions, not in a building reserved for government business…

    • Anonymous

      The Magna Carta is a historical document. The Declaration of Independence is a historical document. The Code of Hammurabi is a historical document. 

      The Decalogue is not a historical document.

    • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

      British Common Law has far more historical significance to our current legal system than the Decalogue could ever dream of having.  Our legal system was never based on the 10 Commandments.  If it was, the 1st Amendment would not exist.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rlyndallwemm Rosemary Lyndall-Wemm

      It is discriminatory and dishonest to post the rules from just ONE variety of a particular religion without acknowledging that there are many other codes subscribed to in the national community and in the cultures of other regions in the world  It is not even acknowledged that the versions posted in the heart of the American Bible Belt are unique to Protestant Christians and thereby exclude Catholic and Orthodox Christians.

      Posting these Top Ten rules in or near a court building without the addition of the penalties prescribed by the same document is an amazing lapse of prescribed legal practice.  With one exception, the biblically prescribed penalties for breaking any of these rules is excruciating forms of torture until the “sinner” dies at the hands of the Faithful.  The New Testament adds the further penalty of eternal torture in the specially prepared horror chambers of the Christian version of this “loving” god.

      Neither these penalties, nor the focal Christian concept of justice by punishing someone other than the perpetrator for a crime, is compatible with any code of law formulated, administered and judicially practiced in any civilized country in today’s world.  

      It should be mandatory for any person, religious or otherwise, who wishes to post such rules to post these penalties immediately below the rule to which they apply.   The rules regarding punishment by proxy (substitution of people or livestock owned by the perpetrator, including but not confined to wives, children and servants)  should be added at the bottom of the list.  Something tells me that religious bigots would not be happy to post their version of their god’s laws if this reasonable judicial practice were enforced.

  • Guest

    Brilliant

  • Bill

    Looking forward to the relevance of the Quran and Sharia.  Also the Dalai Lama and Buddhism.  Lets get all religions.  Christianity has been pretty well degraded, sure there is more to be done.  But I submit it is time to branch out!


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