Skip to comments.The Real Ten Commandments: Solon vs. Moses
Posted on 08/22/2003 10:59:42 PM PDT by Destro
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I have a more Freudian take on it. Muhamed was an Arab outsider wanting in on civilization. You had the Zoroastrian Persians, the Christian Romans and the strong community of Jews. The pagan Arabs were like children looking to fit in.
Muhamed viewed the Jews and the Christians as his mother and father. When the Jews and Christians rejected him it was as if his mother and father rejected him. The result was violence.
It was like "Look daddy, I defeated your ancient Persian enemy for you. Love me Daddy"
While this is commonly believed, it is not true.
There have been periods in history when men and women found spiritual fulfilment, as I and increasing numbers do today, in nature, art; long periods too when they lived without religious beliefs. The Ancients, wrote the philosopher John Locke in 1689, had no beliefs in a personal god, and about the same time French missionaries seeking converts were finding godless societies living contentedly all over the world.
The Indians of the Gaspe peninsula, wrote Chretien Le Clerq, had never formed a conception of any divinity but were charitable beyond anything in Europe, while the Jesuit Le Jeune found the natives of Cap Breton "exceptionally clever, honest and decent, very generous with a cheerful disposition", but also godless. And the Dominican Jean-Baptiste du Tertre whose church had warned him he would find black atheists in the Antilles to be depraved found otherwise.
"The love they have for one another is extremely tender... they assist each other in all their illnesses and cannot see their companions mistreated without feeling their pain." Similar discoveries were made in Thailand, China and Japan.
That is correct. Existence is primary, then our consicousness of it, then we form 'ideas' (concepts) about that which we are conscious of.
In general, your analysis of the history of philsophy is also correct.
It is interesting how many people become so adamant about the authority of the ten commandments, claiming such things as, "there is not absolute moral code," to those who reject them. Moral relativism is the invention of Biblical teaching. God commands the children of Israel, "Thou shalt not kill," and a five books later he his telling those same children of Israel (actually the next generation, since the former all died in the wilderness), to go into the land of Canaan and kill everyone, man, woman, child, and beast.
And for those who insist the ten commandments are absolute law, how many of them keep Saturday holy?
There is an absolute moral code. It's purpose is to protect life, rights and property.
"Moral relativism is the invention of Biblical teaching. God commands the children of Israel, "Thou shalt not kill," and a five books later he his telling those same children of Israel (actually the next generation, since the former all died in the wilderness), to go into the land of Canaan and kill everyone, man, woman, child, and beast."
Bogus. God told them to do no such thing. It was the Israelites that decided that was the thing to do.
"And for those who insist the ten commandments are absolute law, how many of them keep Saturday holy?"
What does it mean to keep the day Holy? What's so special about Saturday?
You said: Bogus. God told them to do no such thing. It was the Israelites that decided that was the thing to do.
But the Bible says (for example), Deuteronomy 20:16-17 But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.
I said: And for those who insist the ten commandments are absolute law, how many of them keep Saturday holy?
You asked: What does it mean to keep the day Holy? What's so special about Saturday?
As far as I am concerned there is nothing special about Saturday at all, but for those who claim the ten commandments are the absolute law of God, it is everything. It is the forth commandment.
Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
The sabbath is Saturday, the seventh day of the week. It commemorates the day God rested from His creation activities and is symbolic of the believer's "rest" in the finished work of Christ. It is explained with the commandments themselves:
Exodus 20:9-11 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Now, if the ten commandemnts are absolute, and God's law never changes, and you work on Saturday (the seventh day of the week), you are breaking the absolute moral code of God. Funny, isn't it. The ten commandments are only absolute when they are convenient.
That does not mean their is a god or a spirit world, just that humans all over seem to think their should be and act accordingly.
You evidently have been fortunate enough never to have been around a human cadaver that has been dead for any length of time. If you had, as I unfortunately have, you would not ask why they buried them, and flowers seems a natural way to try to cover up the putrid odor.
One of the most fascinating and controversial burial sites is the Shanidar Cave. The remains there, called Shanidar IV, were carefully placed in the fetal position on a rough bedding of woven woody horsetail, a type of local plant. According to the pollen samples taken, this Neanderthal was interred with several different species of flowers. "From the orderly distribution of grains around the fossil remains, there is no question that the flowers were arranged deliberately and did not simply topple into the grave, as believed, as the body was being covered" (Leaky and Lewin 1977:125). Apparently, the family and friends of the deceased gathered these distinct species of flowers, carried them to the grave, and carefully placed them on the body. Some of the flower specimens found with Shanidar IV were yarrow, cornflowers, St. Banaby's thistle, groundsel, grape hyacinths, woody horsetail, and a kind of mallow. Many of these have medicinal qualities which "range from relief from toothache and inflammation to uses as poultices and for spasm" (Solecki 1971:249). According to Solecki, "one may speculate that the individual was not only a very important man, a leader, but may have been a kind of medicine man or shaman in his group" (Shreeve 1995:53). From this analysis it is likely that the "Shanidar people were aware of at least some of the medicinal properties of the flowers is not unlikely" (Leaky and Lewin 1977:125).
This skeleton showed that he had been buried lying on his back, slightly inclined towards the left, with flexed legs. Three flat stones, were associated with the burial, one near the skull and the others on the arms, and various incised large bones, bone splinters, and flint flakes had been put in his grave, the former often being interpreted as protection for the burial. Near the male grave was the skeleton of a woman aged between twenty-five and thirty, buried in a such a position to suggest that she might have been tied up before burial. No grave goods accompanied this burial. Neanderthals three and four were buried in trenches both 30-40 cm deep and very similar in appearance. They contained the bones of two (possibly three) children and one fetus or neonate. Amidst the sterile trenches was one oval depression, 40 by 30 cm, which contained the remains of an incomplete foetus (aged about seven months) and three beautifully made racloirs. (Shackley 1980:87)
The burial site of the "Old Man," at La Chapelle-aux-Saints, was of vital importance in the growth of ideas about Neanderthals during the turn of this century. This individual was buried on his back, with his head to the west, the left arm extended and his legs flexed to the right. Next to the head were three long bones of a mammalian metatarsal, along with other animal remains. Many of these bones appear to have be burnt, as well as the surrounding sediment, which could possibly represent some feast that took place before this individual was buried.
Matt 19:8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning."
War is a clash of wills. If you understood Deuteronomy, you would understand that Moses's goal is to purify the land his enemies. Thou shalt not kill does not refer to self defense. Moses saw it at self defense. The rule did not apply for thoes outside of Israel, unless they were particularly stubborn and insistant attackers.
Moses gave the rule, not God. Moses also led them to where he thought the promised land was. God gave the gift of Life and the Earth to all men. He did not parcel out this land for the Israelites. That was Moses job to do. They were to become a nation and have their own land. Have you not heard, Genesis 3:17-19
"To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,'
"Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return."
The Holy Spirit was their spiritual and moral guide, but not their general.
The Jews had Sat. and Christians have Sun. They both have their reasons for choosing particular days. In the end it's not what day that counts, it's the activities of the day that matter. The activities that are important are prayer, family and rest. Failing to set aside that day would be breaking the commandment.
You may rationalize these things any way you like, and believe them too. But, for the rest of us, "thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth ... as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee," cannot possibly be stretched to mean "self defense." What threat, exactly, were babies and animals?
Believe what you want to believe, that is what freedom of religion is. But do not expect others to be convinced the ten commandments are worth much if those who claim to revere them do not mind changing the meaning whenever they feel like it. We just don't believe you, and the more you protest, the more we are convinced its all a big sham.
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