I was discussing religion with a Christian online (as I often do) and he started to brag about how great the Ten Commandments are. I know that’s hilarious and while many people have ripped the big ten before and I probably have too, let’s do it again!
This was my response:
1. Worship no other gods – How does that have anything at all to do with morality? In the Book of Numbers, Moses was commanded by God to rape and commit genocide because the Midianites worshiped cupid over him. The good news is that it is fiction and that never actually happened.
2. No graven images – Again no morality there. But how many Christians have no problem wearing graven images around their necks and support erecting religious images all over the place?
3. Don’t take God’s name in vain – Again, no morality there either. Maybe thou shall not rape would have been a better commandment to put in here.
4. Don’t work on Saturday – Again, no morality there either. However, the Bible says that the punishment for any commandment is death. So think about that for a minute. Do you think it is moral to kill someone for working on Saturday? I don’t.
5. Honor your father and mother – sure that sounds great on paper (not in stone though). Some parents suck and don’t deserve to be honored. Sometimes kids are served better with foster parents. It all depends on the situation. Life and morality are much more nuanced than 10 commandments written in stone.
6. Don’t murder – Okay, I’ll give the Bible this one. Finally, more than half way through these commandments and there is something that resembles morality that actually makes sense. However, this is probably the most obvious thing in the world and every society has the exact same rule because it is really that fucking obvious. So I can’t see giving the Bible any points for stating what everyone already knew.
7. Adultery – This is a good moral guide, but it shouldn’t be a law (and isn’t) and it certainly shouldn’t be punishable by death (as it is in the Bible). Also, I should note that this is basically a property issue in the Bible. Women belonged to their men. So adultery was like stealing.
8. Stealing – Again, this is a pretty basic rule that can be found in pretty much every culture and society and dates back well before the Bible.
9. False witness – A good general rule, but life and morality are again more nuanced. Sometimes lying is a good thing. Just ask Anne Frank.
10. Don’t covet – I live in America. This whole country is centered around coveting. I see nothing wrong with coveting. While I don’t covet my neighbor’s ox, I do covet their grill. I wish my grill was that nice. Should I be put to death because I wish I had a grill as nice as my neighbors?
If this is the best God can do, then I’ll stick with human laws.
- Why there is no such thing as a good Christian (examiner.com)
- Testing The Source of Morality (skepticink.com)
- Catholic League: ‘Marriage has nothing to do with love’ (examiner.com)
- Georgia Pastor: Homosexuality Death Worthy (skepticink.com)
- Christian Bookstore: An Unexpected Find (skepticink.com)