The Ten Commandments - Mostly Useless

The Ten Commandments - Mostly Useless

Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

December 17th, 2010, 3:01 pm #1

Uh, no, our legal system is not based on the Ten Commandments. Some of these guidelines are pretty good, but consider that adultery is not illegal, yet it is part of the 10 commandments. Hmmmm.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The Ten Commandments - Mostly Useless

God botherers like Roy Moore and Representative Lynn Westmoreland R-GA love the Ten Commandments. Westmoreland and Moore love them so much that they demand they be displayed in every public building because they "provide the moral and legal foundation for our civilization" and "without them we would lose our sense of direction." Of these ten foundational, imperative, paramount moral and legal principles, Westmoreland was able to name three.

The truth is that the Ten Commandments are mostly useless and serve no moral or legal purpose whatsoever.

1. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. This commandment is completely worthless. It provides no moral or legal guidance whatsoever - akin to a Commandment that Thou shalt not recognize Unicorns or Pixies or Faeries. Commandments that do nothing more than stroke Yahweh's massive and completely unwarranted ego are completely useless.

2. Thou shalt not make or worship graven images. Yet another worthless commandment. Honestly, the Creator of the entire Universe comes down to our planet, takes the time to actually give us specific commands and THIS is what he gives us? Don't make statues? Really? Another useless commandment that does nothing more than stroke Yahweh's massive ego.

3. Thou shalt not take the lord's name in vain. Really? No swearing? God dammit! Another meaningless Yahweh ego stroking commandment. Don't make fun of Leprechauns! Don't insult Cthulu.

4. Honor the Sabbath by keeping it holy. Honestly, we're nearly half way through the entire list of THE MOST IMPORTANT MORAL AND LEGAL DOCUMENT EVER and the ONLY thing the document has done is stroke Yahweh's massive ego. Honoring the sabbath does not make one moral. It does not lead to a better life. It does not advance human kindness or fairness or equality. Four out of ten and not one sound legal or moral principle. No wonder Representative Westmoreland can't remember them.

5. Honor thy Father and Mother. Finally. This is the first Commandment that actually posits an actual moral position and is actually somewhat useful. To be sure, this is not a legal commandment. And to be sure, many fathers and mothers are not actually worthy of honor, so the commandment is not universally applicable, but as a general proposition, this is actually somewhat worthwhile. Congratulations Yahweh, you finally got one.

6. Thou shalt not murder. And so we come to one of the Commandments that people actually remember. This is the first actual legal principle articulated in the Ten Commandments and it is actually an indispensable legal principle that, unsurprisingly, exists in every single culture.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Another fine moral principle. Not one that is or ever has been particularly well followed, or one that is a recognized legal principle in any Christian or Jewish state, but nevertheless it is a sound moral principle that people should try to follow. Ironically, the only states where this commandment actually carries legal weight are in Islamic countries.

8. Thou shalt not steal. This is one of the other Commandments that people actually remember - mostly because it is an indispensable legal principle in every single culture in human history.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness. This is the final Commandment that people usually remember - mostly because generally speaking, people know that it is bad to lie, cheat, steal and kill.

10. Thou shalt not covet. Really? Why not? Even if we don't act on it? We shouldn't think about and dream about bettering ourselves? We shouldn't look at what other people have and desire that for ourselves? To be sure, it is wrong to TAKE what other people have, but that is already covered by the no stealing, no adultery, no killing Commandments. Coveting is merely a thought - a desire - to prohibit that merely constitutes a meaningless and completely useless thought crime.

So for those of you keeping score: Five are completely worthless. Two represent good moral aspirations. Three represent indispensable legal principles. In other words, SEVEN of the Ten Commandments are so disposable that they do not even make it into modern legal systems.

God could have done so much better. Instead of engaging in Yahweh's useless ego stroking and punishing thought crimes, God could have said:

Thou shalt not discriminate against one another on the basis of sex, nationality, religion.
Thou shalt not enslave one another.
Thou shalt not torture.
Thou shalt provide equal protection for all citizens under the law.
Thou shalt not arbitrarily deprive citizens of property.
Thou shalt not arbitrarily arrest, detain or exile.
Thou shalt presume the innocence of the accused until they are proven guilty.
Thou shalt not interfere with the privacy of others.
Thou shalt ensure the freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.
Thou shalt provide for the safety, welfare and security of all your people.
Thou shalt educate your people.

Those are all actually provisions of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. All of which would be a dramatic improvement over Yahweh's ego stroking commands. They actually provide a basis for a more just, equitable honest, fair, egalitarian and peaceful society. Surely an omniscient being could have come up with such commands. Surely an omniscient being could have designed a society in such a way.

Instead Yahweh wastes the bulk of his divinely authored tablets stroking his own ego. Further, Yahweh wastes chapter after chapter after chapter of the Biblical legal code discussing how exactly all of his blood sacrifices must be prepared and then going on to describe in even greater detail the exact measurements and construction methods for the Ark, the exact style of dress for priests, the dimensions of the tabernacle, the width of doors and windows, etc. In other words, VAST amounts of legal doctrine that could have been used as the foundation of a more just, more fair, more peaceful, more virtuous society are instead squandered on useless and pointless laws that do NOTHING but give Yahweh a chance to design buildings, braziers, arks, candles, tents and priestly vestments.

One has to wonder why the Creator of the Entire Universe would have the slightest inclination to waste his time on such pointless and trivial matters when he could have simply outlawed slavery or torture or warfare. The Ten Commandments are worse than mostly useless - They are a colossal waste of opportunity.

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yvonne
yvonne

December 17th, 2010, 3:15 pm #2

these are still the law for Israel who actually had an experience with YHVH at the time of receiving these and understood the first four and what they meant. Today it is still only Israel that is able to keep them since the true Israel is revealed at the "second coming of Jesus Christ" who fulfills this law within their heart and mind.

The nations will never keep this law because they don't know the true God until he reveals himself and he reveals himself first to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, no matter what gentile nature they are scattered or exiled within:


Romans 11 makes it clear that Israel is the heart of the the nations that God is going to save when he sends the deliverer to that heart, to Jacob and turns all ungodliness from him. Till the "visitation" that happens to INDIVIDUAL souls, nobody knows what a true Jew is or who Israel is since it is a spiritual "MAN", a NEW MAN, a NEW CREATION:

ethnic Israel or ethnic Jews are not the ones written about in the Bible; EVEN THE BIBLE tells us that.

so, all the nations and gentile and atheists that come against the God of Israel don't know him any more than God knows them (has union with them).

I never knew you means "I never had union with you".

God may have created everything, but he "MAKES" MAN out of the creation and HIMSELF when he joins himself to that creation:

till then, the creation doesn't know the true God so they can't really keep his law

thats why the "man of lawlessness" has to be revealed before the TRUE GOD will do away with him and join to that soul to make it brand NEW, and then that soul will know what it means to be part of the common-whealth of Israel, be a true Jew and actually be a gentile saved by grace since all three will be part of their VERY OWN NATURE and EXPERIENCE.

Merry Christmas to those who KNOW THE KING of ISRAEL
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Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

December 17th, 2010, 3:22 pm #3

You're back on line.

How are things with you?

We've had some cold and wintry weather, but as I look at the weather in other place, it ain't so bad. Always somewhere worse.

Namaste
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yvonne
yvonne

December 17th, 2010, 3:28 pm #4

its not too bad here but I know there are a lot of cold people out there: Its been crazy in my family; lots of tragedies in the past few months and I have been all over the USA visiting people, going to funerals:( Two of my sisters husbands died within two months apart: Both sisters were 8 and 9 years younger than me and so were their husbands. Now my three youngest siblings all lost their mates so far and its difficult to even speak of the sadness for my family this time of the year:(
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Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

December 17th, 2010, 4:03 pm #5

These are things that put our "problems" in perspective.

Take care Yvonne.

If you feel like it, pop by our oasis:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/671360/

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QUITTNER
QUITTNER

December 17th, 2010, 7:14 pm #6

Uh, no, our legal system is not based on the Ten Commandments. Some of these guidelines are pretty good, but consider that adultery is not illegal, yet it is part of the 10 commandments. Hmmmm.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The Ten Commandments - Mostly Useless

God botherers like Roy Moore and Representative Lynn Westmoreland R-GA love the Ten Commandments. Westmoreland and Moore love them so much that they demand they be displayed in every public building because they "provide the moral and legal foundation for our civilization" and "without them we would lose our sense of direction." Of these ten foundational, imperative, paramount moral and legal principles, Westmoreland was able to name three.

The truth is that the Ten Commandments are mostly useless and serve no moral or legal purpose whatsoever.

1. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. This commandment is completely worthless. It provides no moral or legal guidance whatsoever - akin to a Commandment that Thou shalt not recognize Unicorns or Pixies or Faeries. Commandments that do nothing more than stroke Yahweh's massive and completely unwarranted ego are completely useless.

2. Thou shalt not make or worship graven images. Yet another worthless commandment. Honestly, the Creator of the entire Universe comes down to our planet, takes the time to actually give us specific commands and THIS is what he gives us? Don't make statues? Really? Another useless commandment that does nothing more than stroke Yahweh's massive ego.

3. Thou shalt not take the lord's name in vain. Really? No swearing? God dammit! Another meaningless Yahweh ego stroking commandment. Don't make fun of Leprechauns! Don't insult Cthulu.

4. Honor the Sabbath by keeping it holy. Honestly, we're nearly half way through the entire list of THE MOST IMPORTANT MORAL AND LEGAL DOCUMENT EVER and the ONLY thing the document has done is stroke Yahweh's massive ego. Honoring the sabbath does not make one moral. It does not lead to a better life. It does not advance human kindness or fairness or equality. Four out of ten and not one sound legal or moral principle. No wonder Representative Westmoreland can't remember them.

5. Honor thy Father and Mother. Finally. This is the first Commandment that actually posits an actual moral position and is actually somewhat useful. To be sure, this is not a legal commandment. And to be sure, many fathers and mothers are not actually worthy of honor, so the commandment is not universally applicable, but as a general proposition, this is actually somewhat worthwhile. Congratulations Yahweh, you finally got one.

6. Thou shalt not murder. And so we come to one of the Commandments that people actually remember. This is the first actual legal principle articulated in the Ten Commandments and it is actually an indispensable legal principle that, unsurprisingly, exists in every single culture.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Another fine moral principle. Not one that is or ever has been particularly well followed, or one that is a recognized legal principle in any Christian or Jewish state, but nevertheless it is a sound moral principle that people should try to follow. Ironically, the only states where this commandment actually carries legal weight are in Islamic countries.

8. Thou shalt not steal. This is one of the other Commandments that people actually remember - mostly because it is an indispensable legal principle in every single culture in human history.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness. This is the final Commandment that people usually remember - mostly because generally speaking, people know that it is bad to lie, cheat, steal and kill.

10. Thou shalt not covet. Really? Why not? Even if we don't act on it? We shouldn't think about and dream about bettering ourselves? We shouldn't look at what other people have and desire that for ourselves? To be sure, it is wrong to TAKE what other people have, but that is already covered by the no stealing, no adultery, no killing Commandments. Coveting is merely a thought - a desire - to prohibit that merely constitutes a meaningless and completely useless thought crime.

So for those of you keeping score: Five are completely worthless. Two represent good moral aspirations. Three represent indispensable legal principles. In other words, SEVEN of the Ten Commandments are so disposable that they do not even make it into modern legal systems.

God could have done so much better. Instead of engaging in Yahweh's useless ego stroking and punishing thought crimes, God could have said:

Thou shalt not discriminate against one another on the basis of sex, nationality, religion.
Thou shalt not enslave one another.
Thou shalt not torture.
Thou shalt provide equal protection for all citizens under the law.
Thou shalt not arbitrarily deprive citizens of property.
Thou shalt not arbitrarily arrest, detain or exile.
Thou shalt presume the innocence of the accused until they are proven guilty.
Thou shalt not interfere with the privacy of others.
Thou shalt ensure the freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.
Thou shalt provide for the safety, welfare and security of all your people.
Thou shalt educate your people.

Those are all actually provisions of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. All of which would be a dramatic improvement over Yahweh's ego stroking commands. They actually provide a basis for a more just, equitable honest, fair, egalitarian and peaceful society. Surely an omniscient being could have come up with such commands. Surely an omniscient being could have designed a society in such a way.

Instead Yahweh wastes the bulk of his divinely authored tablets stroking his own ego. Further, Yahweh wastes chapter after chapter after chapter of the Biblical legal code discussing how exactly all of his blood sacrifices must be prepared and then going on to describe in even greater detail the exact measurements and construction methods for the Ark, the exact style of dress for priests, the dimensions of the tabernacle, the width of doors and windows, etc. In other words, VAST amounts of legal doctrine that could have been used as the foundation of a more just, more fair, more peaceful, more virtuous society are instead squandered on useless and pointless laws that do NOTHING but give Yahweh a chance to design buildings, braziers, arks, candles, tents and priestly vestments.

One has to wonder why the Creator of the Entire Universe would have the slightest inclination to waste his time on such pointless and trivial matters when he could have simply outlawed slavery or torture or warfare. The Ten Commandments are worse than mostly useless - They are a colossal waste of opportunity.
My guess is that those who wrote the Ten Commandments and then attributed them to God wrote what at that time seemed to be very much needed, given the then local circumstances. But writing something is one thing, and getting people to obey what is written is a much more difficult task, even given the carrot/stick approach.
..... Here are two copies of what I wrote recently, mentioning the Ten Commandments, in other forums (fora):
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November 5 2010 at 2:07 PM QUITTNER (no login)
Response to The corruption of Jesus of Nazareth
As I keep repeating, the churches that Jesus initiated were special "families" whose members were specially selected only GOOD persons (now called "Saints") who had shared all of their possessions per ACTS 2:44-47 and ACTS 4:32-37 which usually are being ignored. These families were all part of the umbrella group called "The Kingdom of God" because all members regarded God as their father, their boss, and their king. They as individuals had no money and therefore were called "The Poor" by outsiders. (See Ebionites, religious voluntary poverty). Just as we, while we were young, didn't have any money and didn't need any, so the members of the Kingdom of God families also didn't need any. These families were not democratic, nor were they capitalistic, and the hope was that this kind of system would eventually win over the "normal" system, called "The World" as in worldly. Add to this that the behavior of ALL members would be guided by "The Sermon on the Mount" and all of the Ten Commandments, and Lev. 19:18, known as "The Golden Rule". No more killings of people, being nice to their neighbors, etc. etc.
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December 15 2010 at 11:06 AM QUITTNER (no login)
Response to I hope you aren't saying...
One of the BIG advantages of following Jesus and his lifestyle (being a Christian as Jesus defined it) was to be a member of a moneyless and sinless community, called "The Kingdom of God", ALL of whose members obeyed God, and were only GOOD people (now called "Saints"). They always did whatever God wanted them to do and never did what God did NOT want them to do. In addition to the Ten Commandments they also obeyed "The Golden Rule" (Leviticus 19:18) which was also required by Jesus and which is a part of several belief systems. Those who didn't couldn't get to be members, and presumably couldn't remain members. Compare with the two rules of discipline of the group that lived near Qumran and left us their "Dead Sea Scrolls". Probably some of those who were rejected/expelled turned into bitter enemies and eventually helped to kill Jesus. Also compare with modern groups that do not advertise themselves, have similar lifestyles, but may believe a teaching system that was invented after Jesus was crucified, and that Jesus would have rejected.
..... There are GOOD people all over this planet who do not belong to any specific belief system, and they also would make good neighbors, but they probably have a lot more difficulties with their lifestyle by remaining in the normal community (called "The World") than they would have (had) living in "The Kingdom of God" of Jesus. That kingdom probably would have financial difficulties under current conditions, and possibly would have to rely on charitable or a government's donations to survive. Modern churches were supposed to be, but are NOT members of "The Kingdom of God" because their members do not follow Jesus nor his lifestyle, but instead follow one of the many belief systems that were invented after Jesus was crucified, and that would have, as I keep repeating, been rejected by Jesus.


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Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

December 17th, 2010, 7:19 pm #7

I can see how a priest caste wanting to keep their people under control would find the Ten Commandments very important, especially those first 4. The rest are okay, some nice guidelines.

But if we look at history, we can see that such guidelines were quite common in many religions and philosophies. The Golden Rule seems quite universal.



What is the path? the Zen Master Nan-sen was asked. Everyday life is the path, he answered.

The House
Bible Discussion



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Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

December 18th, 2010, 12:14 am #8

Uh, no, our legal system is not based on the Ten Commandments. Some of these guidelines are pretty good, but consider that adultery is not illegal, yet it is part of the 10 commandments. Hmmmm.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The Ten Commandments - Mostly Useless

God botherers like Roy Moore and Representative Lynn Westmoreland R-GA love the Ten Commandments. Westmoreland and Moore love them so much that they demand they be displayed in every public building because they "provide the moral and legal foundation for our civilization" and "without them we would lose our sense of direction." Of these ten foundational, imperative, paramount moral and legal principles, Westmoreland was able to name three.

The truth is that the Ten Commandments are mostly useless and serve no moral or legal purpose whatsoever.

1. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. This commandment is completely worthless. It provides no moral or legal guidance whatsoever - akin to a Commandment that Thou shalt not recognize Unicorns or Pixies or Faeries. Commandments that do nothing more than stroke Yahweh's massive and completely unwarranted ego are completely useless.

2. Thou shalt not make or worship graven images. Yet another worthless commandment. Honestly, the Creator of the entire Universe comes down to our planet, takes the time to actually give us specific commands and THIS is what he gives us? Don't make statues? Really? Another useless commandment that does nothing more than stroke Yahweh's massive ego.

3. Thou shalt not take the lord's name in vain. Really? No swearing? God dammit! Another meaningless Yahweh ego stroking commandment. Don't make fun of Leprechauns! Don't insult Cthulu.

4. Honor the Sabbath by keeping it holy. Honestly, we're nearly half way through the entire list of THE MOST IMPORTANT MORAL AND LEGAL DOCUMENT EVER and the ONLY thing the document has done is stroke Yahweh's massive ego. Honoring the sabbath does not make one moral. It does not lead to a better life. It does not advance human kindness or fairness or equality. Four out of ten and not one sound legal or moral principle. No wonder Representative Westmoreland can't remember them.

5. Honor thy Father and Mother. Finally. This is the first Commandment that actually posits an actual moral position and is actually somewhat useful. To be sure, this is not a legal commandment. And to be sure, many fathers and mothers are not actually worthy of honor, so the commandment is not universally applicable, but as a general proposition, this is actually somewhat worthwhile. Congratulations Yahweh, you finally got one.

6. Thou shalt not murder. And so we come to one of the Commandments that people actually remember. This is the first actual legal principle articulated in the Ten Commandments and it is actually an indispensable legal principle that, unsurprisingly, exists in every single culture.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Another fine moral principle. Not one that is or ever has been particularly well followed, or one that is a recognized legal principle in any Christian or Jewish state, but nevertheless it is a sound moral principle that people should try to follow. Ironically, the only states where this commandment actually carries legal weight are in Islamic countries.

8. Thou shalt not steal. This is one of the other Commandments that people actually remember - mostly because it is an indispensable legal principle in every single culture in human history.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness. This is the final Commandment that people usually remember - mostly because generally speaking, people know that it is bad to lie, cheat, steal and kill.

10. Thou shalt not covet. Really? Why not? Even if we don't act on it? We shouldn't think about and dream about bettering ourselves? We shouldn't look at what other people have and desire that for ourselves? To be sure, it is wrong to TAKE what other people have, but that is already covered by the no stealing, no adultery, no killing Commandments. Coveting is merely a thought - a desire - to prohibit that merely constitutes a meaningless and completely useless thought crime.

So for those of you keeping score: Five are completely worthless. Two represent good moral aspirations. Three represent indispensable legal principles. In other words, SEVEN of the Ten Commandments are so disposable that they do not even make it into modern legal systems.

God could have done so much better. Instead of engaging in Yahweh's useless ego stroking and punishing thought crimes, God could have said:

Thou shalt not discriminate against one another on the basis of sex, nationality, religion.
Thou shalt not enslave one another.
Thou shalt not torture.
Thou shalt provide equal protection for all citizens under the law.
Thou shalt not arbitrarily deprive citizens of property.
Thou shalt not arbitrarily arrest, detain or exile.
Thou shalt presume the innocence of the accused until they are proven guilty.
Thou shalt not interfere with the privacy of others.
Thou shalt ensure the freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.
Thou shalt provide for the safety, welfare and security of all your people.
Thou shalt educate your people.

Those are all actually provisions of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. All of which would be a dramatic improvement over Yahweh's ego stroking commands. They actually provide a basis for a more just, equitable honest, fair, egalitarian and peaceful society. Surely an omniscient being could have come up with such commands. Surely an omniscient being could have designed a society in such a way.

Instead Yahweh wastes the bulk of his divinely authored tablets stroking his own ego. Further, Yahweh wastes chapter after chapter after chapter of the Biblical legal code discussing how exactly all of his blood sacrifices must be prepared and then going on to describe in even greater detail the exact measurements and construction methods for the Ark, the exact style of dress for priests, the dimensions of the tabernacle, the width of doors and windows, etc. In other words, VAST amounts of legal doctrine that could have been used as the foundation of a more just, more fair, more peaceful, more virtuous society are instead squandered on useless and pointless laws that do NOTHING but give Yahweh a chance to design buildings, braziers, arks, candles, tents and priestly vestments.

One has to wonder why the Creator of the Entire Universe would have the slightest inclination to waste his time on such pointless and trivial matters when he could have simply outlawed slavery or torture or warfare. The Ten Commandments are worse than mostly useless - They are a colossal waste of opportunity.
A bit of hyperbole perhaps. But if you take the Bible literally - well watch the clip, and see what you think.



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Joined: November 4th, 2006, 5:18 pm

December 18th, 2010, 5:28 am #9

its not too bad here but I know there are a lot of cold people out there: Its been crazy in my family; lots of tragedies in the past few months and I have been all over the USA visiting people, going to funerals:( Two of my sisters husbands died within two months apart: Both sisters were 8 and 9 years younger than me and so were their husbands. Now my three youngest siblings all lost their mates so far and its difficult to even speak of the sadness for my family this time of the year:(
I pray that The Father will send His comforter to those who grieve. That is His promise.

God Bless you and Merry Christmas.






For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When, with the ever-circling years,
Shall come the Age of Gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And all the world give back the song
Which now the angels sing



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Tim
Tim

December 18th, 2010, 6:43 am #10

Uh, no, our legal system is not based on the Ten Commandments. Some of these guidelines are pretty good, but consider that adultery is not illegal, yet it is part of the 10 commandments. Hmmmm.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The Ten Commandments - Mostly Useless

God botherers like Roy Moore and Representative Lynn Westmoreland R-GA love the Ten Commandments. Westmoreland and Moore love them so much that they demand they be displayed in every public building because they "provide the moral and legal foundation for our civilization" and "without them we would lose our sense of direction." Of these ten foundational, imperative, paramount moral and legal principles, Westmoreland was able to name three.

The truth is that the Ten Commandments are mostly useless and serve no moral or legal purpose whatsoever.

1. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. This commandment is completely worthless. It provides no moral or legal guidance whatsoever - akin to a Commandment that Thou shalt not recognize Unicorns or Pixies or Faeries. Commandments that do nothing more than stroke Yahweh's massive and completely unwarranted ego are completely useless.

2. Thou shalt not make or worship graven images. Yet another worthless commandment. Honestly, the Creator of the entire Universe comes down to our planet, takes the time to actually give us specific commands and THIS is what he gives us? Don't make statues? Really? Another useless commandment that does nothing more than stroke Yahweh's massive ego.

3. Thou shalt not take the lord's name in vain. Really? No swearing? God dammit! Another meaningless Yahweh ego stroking commandment. Don't make fun of Leprechauns! Don't insult Cthulu.

4. Honor the Sabbath by keeping it holy. Honestly, we're nearly half way through the entire list of THE MOST IMPORTANT MORAL AND LEGAL DOCUMENT EVER and the ONLY thing the document has done is stroke Yahweh's massive ego. Honoring the sabbath does not make one moral. It does not lead to a better life. It does not advance human kindness or fairness or equality. Four out of ten and not one sound legal or moral principle. No wonder Representative Westmoreland can't remember them.

5. Honor thy Father and Mother. Finally. This is the first Commandment that actually posits an actual moral position and is actually somewhat useful. To be sure, this is not a legal commandment. And to be sure, many fathers and mothers are not actually worthy of honor, so the commandment is not universally applicable, but as a general proposition, this is actually somewhat worthwhile. Congratulations Yahweh, you finally got one.

6. Thou shalt not murder. And so we come to one of the Commandments that people actually remember. This is the first actual legal principle articulated in the Ten Commandments and it is actually an indispensable legal principle that, unsurprisingly, exists in every single culture.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Another fine moral principle. Not one that is or ever has been particularly well followed, or one that is a recognized legal principle in any Christian or Jewish state, but nevertheless it is a sound moral principle that people should try to follow. Ironically, the only states where this commandment actually carries legal weight are in Islamic countries.

8. Thou shalt not steal. This is one of the other Commandments that people actually remember - mostly because it is an indispensable legal principle in every single culture in human history.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness. This is the final Commandment that people usually remember - mostly because generally speaking, people know that it is bad to lie, cheat, steal and kill.

10. Thou shalt not covet. Really? Why not? Even if we don't act on it? We shouldn't think about and dream about bettering ourselves? We shouldn't look at what other people have and desire that for ourselves? To be sure, it is wrong to TAKE what other people have, but that is already covered by the no stealing, no adultery, no killing Commandments. Coveting is merely a thought - a desire - to prohibit that merely constitutes a meaningless and completely useless thought crime.

So for those of you keeping score: Five are completely worthless. Two represent good moral aspirations. Three represent indispensable legal principles. In other words, SEVEN of the Ten Commandments are so disposable that they do not even make it into modern legal systems.

God could have done so much better. Instead of engaging in Yahweh's useless ego stroking and punishing thought crimes, God could have said:

Thou shalt not discriminate against one another on the basis of sex, nationality, religion.
Thou shalt not enslave one another.
Thou shalt not torture.
Thou shalt provide equal protection for all citizens under the law.
Thou shalt not arbitrarily deprive citizens of property.
Thou shalt not arbitrarily arrest, detain or exile.
Thou shalt presume the innocence of the accused until they are proven guilty.
Thou shalt not interfere with the privacy of others.
Thou shalt ensure the freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.
Thou shalt provide for the safety, welfare and security of all your people.
Thou shalt educate your people.

Those are all actually provisions of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. All of which would be a dramatic improvement over Yahweh's ego stroking commands. They actually provide a basis for a more just, equitable honest, fair, egalitarian and peaceful society. Surely an omniscient being could have come up with such commands. Surely an omniscient being could have designed a society in such a way.

Instead Yahweh wastes the bulk of his divinely authored tablets stroking his own ego. Further, Yahweh wastes chapter after chapter after chapter of the Biblical legal code discussing how exactly all of his blood sacrifices must be prepared and then going on to describe in even greater detail the exact measurements and construction methods for the Ark, the exact style of dress for priests, the dimensions of the tabernacle, the width of doors and windows, etc. In other words, VAST amounts of legal doctrine that could have been used as the foundation of a more just, more fair, more peaceful, more virtuous society are instead squandered on useless and pointless laws that do NOTHING but give Yahweh a chance to design buildings, braziers, arks, candles, tents and priestly vestments.

One has to wonder why the Creator of the Entire Universe would have the slightest inclination to waste his time on such pointless and trivial matters when he could have simply outlawed slavery or torture or warfare. The Ten Commandments are worse than mostly useless - They are a colossal waste of opportunity.
Matthew 5:19
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, AND SHALL TEACH MEN SO, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:
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