Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Ten Commandments = Irrelevant

Many people say quite factually that without the Ten Commandments we couldn’t be moral. These people are obviously ill informed, to put it politely. Others may concede that we could be moral apart from the Bible, but that the Ten Commandments are still good rules to live by. I doubt that very much. One only need read them to know that they mostly devalue women to the status of property and tell you not to steal your neighbors goods, or boil a baby goat alive in its mother’s milk, oh, and not to worship other gods. These don’t exactly improve a person’s morality, and besides, such a list is unwarranted if common sense can handle the rest. In fact, I think George Carlin said it best.

But the question remains, are the Ten Commandments even logical? Can a rational person buy into the premise of these rules if they feel there may be merit to them, perhaps, great wisdom hidden in them somewhere?

First of all, I should point out that there isn’t just one list. The Bible has three different Ten Commandments lists. This is a Biblical discrepancy, since God only wrote the list TWICE, but since Moses destroyed the first list in a maniacal rage, according to the story there can technically only be one surviving list. So three different lists is problematic for believers. Remember now, Orthodox Jews don’t say people wrote the Torah, they believe God wrote it via divine dictation! Christians say the same about the New Testament (but that argument has been put to rest whether or not Christians want to admit it).  So we have a problem involving discrepant lists, since apparently an all perfect God got the divine laws, his own laws, wrong TWICE. That's right, God forgot about the first list, and had to correct himself not once but two times. Goodness gracious, God made another blunder... and another!

Peculiar as it all is, let’s ignore this for now. Let us focus on a couple of the commandments themselves, as they are to be the perfect law of the perfect God. As such, we should expect them to be flawlessly reasonable, beneficial, and deeply meaningful to everyone.
Let’s use the Exodus 20:2-17 list for simplicity sake, and we’ll ignore the discrepant variant lists found in Deuteronomy 5:6-21 and Exodus 34:11-27 for now. 

The 4th commandment is: to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Sounds simple enough, but don’t only Jews practice the Sabbath? What were the Chinese doing for centuries before there were any Jews for God to talk to? Well, in actuality the Chinese were busy reading and writing, creating poetry, breading dogs, brewing tea, inventing gun powder and fireworks, and numerous other things advanced civilizations are known to do. Obviously God thought that the Chinese were getting along just fine, because he didn’t give them any lists or words to help improve them.

So now let us look at the 6th commandment, which is: though shall not kill. Good to hear it. But now, this seems to me to be, again, applicable only to Jews on Jews. For the Jews are commanded by God *multiple times throughout the Bible to kill entire nations, races of people, murder women and children, and to rape, pillage, and plunder.  Oh, and they needlessly sacrifice animals to God, a bloody symbolic ritual of offering penitence in the form of slaughtered flesh, as commanded by God, to be cleansed of sin and free of punishment. This sort of negates the shall not kill part. It seems that in the good olden days Jews were allowed to kill almost anything that walked or breathed. So maybe God meant only that Jews shouldn't kill other Jews?

Although, as perplexing as all this sounds, we aren’t out of the thick of it yet. For what is the punishment for picking up sticks on the Sabbath? Numbers 15:33-36 states quite emphatically that God said to Moses that the punishment for picking up sticks on the Sabbath is inescapable death! Low and behold, the Jews find another Jew doing just that and they take him to Moses, who consults with God, and God demands they murder the unholy fiend! And they do! Oops, God did it again, blunder!

Are you starting to get a headache yet?

Thou shall not kill, yet those who break the Sabbath must be killed. This is not just a big discrepancy; it is an all out contradiction made by God himself! Seriously, are we to believe that a perfect being makes such a fallible and (suspiciously) human mistakes such as this? Are you seeing a pattern here? I know I am.

Now let’s suppose we plugged this information into a computer and asked it to solve the problem for us. Well, I think you have already guessed what is likely to happen, CYCLIC ERROR, CTRL Alt Delete, REBOOT, CYCLIC ERROR, DOES NOT COMPUTE... DOES NOT COMPUTE... and so on until sparks are flying out and smoke is filling the room as your computer goes up in flames. Just an atheist’s hypothesis, but maybe this is where God went? He self destructed three thousand years ago due to his own inadequacy and irascible demands. After all, a perfect being couldn’t be so imperfect, so downright irrational, could he? If so, then he’s not God. And if not, then the God of the Bible is not God

Therefore, in light of this evidence, I suggest that the Ten Commandments aren’t just irrelevant, but they are truly nonsensical. And furthermore, if you have understood the argument, that the only logical option we are left with is that imperfect men wrote the Bible, and as a consequence, the Bible contains flawed and irreconcilable information so stupendous, so stupefying, that it would likely be able to make the Starship Enterprise self destruct. In summary, when it comes to the Ten Commandments of the Bible, we have no better evidence of a logic FAIL than this.

Advocatus Atheist

Advocatus Atheist