Friday, April 24, 2009

Commandments And Precepts II

There are a lot of 'alternative' Ten Commandments going around; the Golfer's Ten Commandments, the Vegan Kitchen Ten Commandments, the Ten Commandments of Customer Service, the Driver's Ten Commandments, etc. However, there are some genuinely spiritual and thoughtful ones too, like this one by the famous diplomat and founder of the Club of Rome.

Ervin Laszlo's Ten Commandments
1. Live in ways that enable other people to also live, satisfying your needs without detracting form the chances of others to satisfy theirs
2. Live in ways that respect the right to life an to economic and cultural development of all people, wherever they live and whatever their ethnic origin, sex, citizenship, station in life and belief system
3. Live in ways that safeguard the intrinsic right to life and to an environment supportive of life of all the things that live and grown on Earth
4. Pursue happiness, freedom, and personal fulfillment in harmony with the integrity of nature and with the consideration for the similar pursuits of others
5. Require that your government relates to other nations and peoples peacefully and in a spirit of cooperation, recognizing the legitimate aspirations for a better life and a healthy environment of all the people in the human family
6. Require of the enterprises with which you do business that they accept responsibility for all their stakeholders as well as for the environment , and demand that they produce goods and offer services that satisfy legitimate demand without reducing the chances of smaller or less privileged entrants to compete in the marketplace
7. Require of the public media that they provide a constant stream of reliable information on basic trends and crucial processes to enable you to reach informed decisions on issues that affect your life and well-being
8. Make room in your life to help those less privileged than you to live a life of dignity, free from struggles and humiliations of abject poverty
9. Encourage young people and open-minded people of all ages to evolve the spirit that could empower them to make ethical decisions of their own on issues that decide their future and the future of their children
10. Work with like-minded people to preserve or restore the essential balances of the environment, with due attention to your neighborhood, your country and region, and the whole of the biosphere

While being partly tongue-in-cheek the advice this TC advises is of the type that should give a few red-hot religious types we have here in Singapore pause to think.
A New Christian Ten Commandments
1.Thou shalt shut thy gob when politely asked, and not drone on endlessly.
2. Thou shalt not use circular arguments, such as "God exists, because the Bible sayeth so, and the Bible is True because it is God's Word."
3. Thou shalt notice when thy audience is bored rigid. See Commandment 1.
4. Thou shalt not use a cop-out such as "God worketh in mysterious ways" when backed into a corner by thine own convoluted logic.
5.Thou shalt use thine own imagination, and not just quote from the Bible all the time.
6.Thou shalt not tell atheists what they believe, nor that thy God loveth them.
7.Thou shalt not get upset by jokes about thy God. He is big enough and old enough to looketh after himself.
8.Thou shalt not define how thy God worketh. Thou canst not know.
9.Thou shalt not state that the Bible is consistent and hath no contradictions. Thou wouldst be a fool to doeth so.
. Thou shalt not say Grace without also thanking the farmers, truck-drivers and shopkeepers that actually did the work required to get your food to the table.

This is a sort of New Age Ten Commandments.
1. You will daily give thanks to your heavenly Mother and Father, and to your earthly mother and father, for the precious gift of life.
2. You will show your respect and appreciation for this gift by striving always to make life a rich experience for yourself and others.
3. You will have reverence for the plant kingdom, which provides oxygen to breathe, food to eat, and beauty to uplift your soul.
4. You will love the members of the animal kingdom as brothers and sister.
5. You will not wantonly injure or destroy any vegetation.
6. You will not injure or kill any animal, except in self-defense or for food.
7. You will not injure or kill any human, except in defense of your life, or your kin.
8. You will not wage war.
9. You will regard with equal dignity men, women and children of all races and creeds.
. You will joyfully give succor and assistance to those less fortunate than yourself.

This is called Ten Instructions For Life. I don’t know where it comes from or who wrote it.
1.Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2.When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3.Follow the three Rs: respect for self, respect for others, and responsibility for all your actions.
4.Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5.Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6.Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7.When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8.Spend some time alone every day.
9.Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10.Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

This is supposed to be a traditional Native American Ten Commandments although it’s a bit too 'new agey' to be genuine. Nothing about collecting scalps and raiding neighboring tribes. Nonetheless, its okay.
1.The Earth is our Mother - care for her.
2.Honour all your relations.
3.Open your heart and soul to the Great Spirit.
4.All life is sacred; treat all beings with respect.
5.Take from the Earth what is needed and nothing more.
6.Do what needs to be done for the good of all.
7.Give constant thanks to the Great Spirit for each new day.
8.Speak the truth; but only of the good in others.
9.Follow the rhythm of nature; rise and retire with the sun.
.Enjoy life’s journey, but leave no tracks.

This TC comes from Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, and while I heartily approve of every one of these commandments, I can only say, 'Richard, the reality is that the majority of people are never going to 'check their ideas against facts', or 'question everything.' They don’t even have the time!
1. Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.
2.In all things, strive to cause no harm.
3.Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect.
4.Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.
5.Live life with a sense of joy and wonder.
6.Always seek to be learning something new.
7.Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.
8.Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you.
9.Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others.
.Question everything

Gene Autry's wrote this Cowboy Code in 1930 which I honestly think is more comprehensive, more humane and more broad than God's originals, although the last two might come into conflict with the other eight.
1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man or take an unfair advantage.
2. A Cowboy must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
3. A Cowboy must always tell the truth.
4. A Cowboy must be gentle with children, the elderly and small animals.
5. A Cowboy must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant views and ideas.
6. A Cowboy must help people in distress.
7. A Cowboy must be a good worker.
8. A Cowboy must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits.
9. A Cowboy must respect women, parents and his nation's views.
10. A Cowboy is a patriot.


David ( said...

Some comedians like George Carlin have 'summarized' the TC to nothing more than "no stealing."

This is because the first five commandments deal with nothing but YHWH's ego, talking about "I AM" and not worshipping the other guys, not making images, etc.

6. Not murdering can also be called not stealing a life.
7. Not committing adultery can also be called not stealing someone's wife/husband.
8. [actually is] No stealing.
9. Not bearing false witness can also be called not stealing the truth.
10. Not coveting can also be called not planning on stealing.

So it all boils down to 'no stealing' all the rest is filler to make it sound good with a nice round number of 10.

David ( said...

Many gentiles do not realize it, but the TC was just the beginning. There are actually 613 commandments in the Torah (first 5 books of Bible). Some of these include wearing strings attached to the corners of your shirts, not cutting the corners of your hair, and other strange stuff.

Most fundamentalists just look to the commandments they like, such as those against gays, but fail to notice the hundreds of other strange commandments.