500 Years of Lost Progress?
Let us never forget the burning of the Library at Alexandria by early Christians, the Roman inquisition and imprisonment of Galileo, and of course the dark ages of European history. Without religion history would not have witnessed in 1492 a human discovering the "new world;" it would have observed, "...one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." That is about how far Christianity has set us back.
Although the church is now relatively peaceful when contrasted with its very barbaric and totalitarian past; it is still harmful to technological and social progress because it relies on blind faith in ancient man who did not have the luxury of modern science and technology to explain the natural world and therefore depended on myths and superstitions.
On Who's Authority God or Man?
People living 2000 years ago have as much authority over our lives as we do for those living 2000 years from now. Still many people value the bible for its code of moral principles even if they find many of its fantastic tales such as Genesis and Noah's Ark unbelievable. But even these fail sadly if we examine just the first four commandments which essentially demand adulation for a very jealous and insecure creator.
It is because of this that I derived my own set of sensible commandments which would have been made by a dignified deity who cared far more about sheltering us from harm than for acknowledgment of his grand design.
A Better Set of Divine Orders
The Ten Commandments of the Old Testament are clearly not the work of a divine creator. They are flawed beyond reason and do a poor job of hiding their deceptive intentions. If a benevolent creator exists after all we do not need to fear him into submission. If he had any commandments at all they would probably read more like the following:
- Thou shall not honor nor acknowledge me, your God, your creator, or any other gods.
- Thou shall not maim nor commit murder other than in defense of life or property.
- Thou shall not build oppressive or imperialist institutions.
- Thou shall not create laws that punish those for committing victimless offenses.
- Thou shall not embed thyself in an unwilling person’s personal space.
- Thou shall take personal responsibility for everything thy do.
- Thou shall not bear false witness upon thy neighbor.
- Thou shall use science for the common good not for murder or oppression.
- Thou shall not overpopulate her mothership.
- Thou shall honor her starship, all her children, and all her majestic beasts and beautiful creatures.
- Bonus: Thou shall not hoard more resources than can be expended in one entire life time.
This post is dedicated to the late Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) who derived his own set of ten commandments a few years before his passing.
Top image courtesy of The Hand of God.
© 2013 Jules Manson — All Rights Reserved