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Hitchens on the Ten Commandments
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Christopher Hitchens writes on the recent Alabama 10 Commandments controversy by pointing out that the commandments aren't really all that great. Before looking at what he writes, let's look at the actual commandments for a refresher:

1. You shall have no other Gods before me
2. You shall not make for yourselves an idol
3. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God
4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy
5. Honor your father and your mother
6. You shall not murder
7. You shall not commit adultery
8. You shall not steal
9. You shall not give false testimony
10. You shall not covet

On the first four, Hitchens says:

The first four of the commandments have little to do with either law or morality, and the first three suggest a terrific insecurity on the part of the person supposedly issuing them.

True...but one of the first precepts of a religion is that it proclaims all other belief systems invalid.

He goes on to note that honoring your mother and father isn't a bad idea, but it's hardly enforceable as law. And while the others, such as murder and theft, are decent general guidelines, they are hardly all that revelatory ( a culture where such things are not illegal).

Hitchens ridicules the idea of god telling people not to covet:

To insist that people not annex their neighbor's cattle or wife "or anything that is his" might be reasonable, even if it does place the wife in the same category as the cattle, and presumably to that extent diminishes the offense of adultery. But to demand "don't even think about it" is absurd and totalitarian, and furthermore inhibiting to the Protestant spirit of entrepreneurship and competition.

One is presuming (is one not?) that this is the same god who actually created the audience he was addressing. This leaves us with the insoluble mystery of why he would have molded ("in his own image," yet) a covetous, murderous, disrespectful, lying, and adulterous species. Create them sick, and then command them to be well? What a mad despot this is, and how fortunate we are that he exists only in the minds of his worshippers.

Yeah. :) Anyway, it's funny and interesting...check it out.

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