Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What the 10 commandments would be like without god?

George Carlin has me thinking about the 10 commandments. I like his comments.

And it's kinda got me thinking what the 10 commandments would be like without god?

I'll start off by noting that there is no definite agreement on which rules are the 10 commandments. There's a lot of rules in the book of Deuteronomy.

So, how would we divvy up the commandments if we took out god?

I'd have to combine the first three to:

1.) You shall not make for yourself any idols to worship.

The next isn't a bad idea, I think it's good for sanity's sake. I'll keep it.

2.) Take one in 7 days off from work; use that time to relax.

Like George says, Honor is earned, not outright deserved. And I think if one kept up with the rest of the commandments, you'd be honoring/respecting other people, including your parents, anyhow. So we'll toss out that one.

Now this one:

3.) Do not commit murder.

could technically be combined with stealing as far as I see it; you're taking some-one's life. But we'll leave it because some people need that spelled out for them. (I really don't even want to get into when life begins, or when someone wants to take their own life. I'm not sure how to address that in a simple manner.)

How about adultery? I kinda feel that's a little more complicated, again, I like how Carlin said it, because faithful implies more than sex. Be faithful in all relationships, and uphold your promises. But faith implies the supernatural and "always be true" would be covered under not lying, plus I'd like to put something in there about "thou shall not rape," so I'll revise it to:

4.) Sex shall be reserved for loving relationships.

We can keep this one almost as is:

5.) Don't steal.

I also like Carlin's idea of turning some of these into positive actions, instead of a whole list of "don't"s.

6.) Always be honest with yourself & others.

I also don't feel that "don't covet" is quite right. Living in the capitalistic society of America, "I want it" drives the economy. Wanting things can drive people to work harder. I gather that the true reason to avoid coveting is to avoid the temptation to just take what's not yours. It also can really great on one's mind to want what we can't have. And I'd really like to add "Do not over-indulge," but what is too much? Big meals, big cars, big egos, these are things I see wrong with society today, but how to make a statement about them that would apply to everyone, everywhere, every-when? So lets change it up, make the language so that it's easier for everyone to understand:

7.) Don't be selfish or wasteful; don't take more than you need, share what you have.

So, we have 3 to play with. Lets throw in the golden rule.

8.) Do unto others as you'd have done unto yourself.

So what now? I want to keep it at an even 10, it's easier marketing that way. Everyone loves a top-10 list.

I really think this top-10 list needs some sort of earth-conscious reminder. We only get one planet & fucking it up will kill us all, and then no body is happy. Again, taking care of the earth would probably fall within not being selfish & treating others well, so I feel it needs to be spelled out, but how? Clean up your own mess? Keep your environmental footprint small? Treat all life with respect? Maintain a balance with nature? The best I can come up with is:

9.) Utilize the earth efficiently, so that it may always treat all life well.

And finally, I feel there is need for the mention of not perpetuating belief in the supernatural. While this would be lying, I think our world needs it yet again spelled out: there's no magic, no miracles, no voo-doo. "Obey the laws of nature" isn't right because it's impossible not to. And we can't tell people to not believe in things that haven't been proven because where would technology be without a belief that we could create new things? So the best solution is:

10.) Reject the supernatural.

Ok, I think that's a more complete 10. Lets re-arrange them in an order that flows best, and make the language easier to memorize:

1.) Act towards others as you'd wish them to act towards you.
2.) Utilize the earth efficiently, so that it may always treat all life well.
3.) Don't steal.
4.) Do not commit murder.
5.) Reserve sex for loving relationships.
6.) Always be honest with yourself & others.
7.) Share and don't wasteful.
8.) Take one in 7 days off from work.
9.) Reject the supernatural.
10.) Don't worship or pray to anything.

I'd like to think no one could argue with the above, but I'm sure that's not true. It's hard to be concise while imagining the ways definitions of words can be spun. What is "well"? What is "waste"? What is "loving"? What is "work"? What if I'm into pain & wish others to hurt me? What about mind-altering drugs? The line can be grey in many areas.


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