The Ten Commandments

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The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments as handed down by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai were the beginning of the nation of Israel, when they were leaving Egypt as slaves, for freedom in the promised land.  They were considered to be the Law of God for his chosen people.  There are, however, some major differences in interpretation.  There is a difference in what the Catholic Church uses as the Ten Commandments and what the protestant churches use.  In the Catholic Church they are as follows:  1.     I, the Lord, am your God. You shall not have other gods besides me. 2.     You shall not take the name of the Lord God in vain 3.     Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day

4.     Honor your father and your mother
5.     You shall not kill
6.     You shall not commit adultery
7.     You shall not steal
8.     You shall not bear false witness
9.     You shall not covet your neighbor's wife
10. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods
 

The 10 Commandments as a Basis for Morality?

10. Thou shalt not covet.

• 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. . This is an extremely troubling commandment in my view. First of all there is the underlying sexism whereby a wife is considered property, valued somewhere between a house and a servant. Secondly, there is a denial of human nature. Even if a person succeeds in following the first nine faultlessly, it is just not possible to obey this last one. Nobody has ever lived without seeing a neighbour's possession and thinking at least transiently "I gotta get one of those!" And what is wrong with coveting your neighbour's possessions on occasion. As long as you don't act on your desires and steal from your neighbour, there is nothing wrong. There is already a commandment against stealing. There is already one dealing with adultery. This rule deals not with how you act, but with how you think. The only reason for this particular commandment is to make it impossible to follow the rules. It makes everyone a sinner. This is a complete denial of our human nature. It has nothing to do with morality. Moral value of the tenth commandment: 0 / 10

Summary and Conclusion

I graded each commandment for its value as moral guidance as I went through this review, and the total is 30 / 100. That's a miserable F in any marking scheme I'm familiar with. Not surprising given that the first four commandments are entirely about religious observance and have no moral value. The concept of posting the Ten Commandments in schools is not about inculcating moral values in schoolchildren. It is no more than an ill-disguised scheme to sneak religious instruction into schools. And clearly any individual who claims in an argument to post these rules, "To restore morality we must first recognize the source from which all morality springs," does not understand what the commandments really say. And this is abundantly clear when we recognize the monument he constructed to the commandments is nothing more than a "graven image." And in term of having an effect on the moral issues that really affect children, this posting the Ten Commandments will not have any impact. The problems in school have little to do with failure to follow the Ten Commandments. They are about issues such as bullying, threats, fighting, teasing, tormenting, intimidation, cliques and factions. They are all about some children making the lives of others a living hell through immoral actions which are nowhere mentioned in the Ten Commandments. The solution is not posting a piece of paper on classroom walls. The solution lies in actively teaching children to recognize the impact of their actions upon other, and to differentiate between negative and positive impacts. Teach them ethics and morality from an early age. Don't give them rules, teach them to think.

The Purpose of the...
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