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The Effect of 10 Commandments

 
Ugly Redneck
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I am trying to perform some sort of an analysis to understand a concept so I have a few questions for the several christians / catholics on this forum.
1. Do you remember the 10 commandments?
2. Which one do you believe in the most and which one do you believe in the least?
3. How much effort do you put in to ensure you live by the 10 commandments?
 
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1. 'Course!
2. Most believe: the commandments as expressed in Exodus, Chapter 20. Least: the commandments as expressed in Exodus 34.
3. What kind of effort are you thinking of?
 
Paul McKenna
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basically I am trying to find a link between religion and prosperity of a nation. I am examining three religions in my study:
1. Chrisitianity
2. Hinduism
3. Islam
Starting with Hinduism, my personal religion, I find it to be a religion espousing extreme freedom. Freedom to do anything without consequences. The most essential belief of this religion is karma - "The fruit of your action shall bear upon on you". But inaction is not encouraged either. Therefore Hinduism tells one essentially to do as one feels right. Consequences are for another day
Moving onto Christianity, this is a complex religion due to varied interpretations. You have a set of rules as mentioned in the 10 commandments and followers are expected to live by them but here again certain forms of christianity place more emphasis on interpretation and others on orders from a higher authority. But net result is that all christians submit themselves to varying degrees to a higher authority in fear of consequence
Finally, Islam. A highly submissive religion with extreme emphasis on consequences. To deviate from authority is blasphemous and hence all muslims are expected to be followers of the code as specified. Here again there are varying interpretations but these variations are inconsequential in this study as all forms of Islam advise total submission.
 
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I found a link for you, they are all made up bollocks
 
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I thought I knew most of the ten commandments, but I must have gotten them a bit mixed up. It has been a while since I have either read them or watched Charlton Heston lead the Isrealites out of Egypt.
Check out this link:
Which Ten Commandments?
But back to the original question, the most important ones to me are:
  • Thou shalt not kill.
  • Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  • Honour thy father and thy mother; in order that thy days may be prolonged upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
  • 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.


  • Now the kicker is the one that says "Thou shalt not kill". The exact wording is extremely important to me. It does NOT say "Thou shalt not murder". When people go to war is that killing or murder? And does it matter? If He does not want us to kill one another, why is it that we do it anyway in His name?
    Something to think about...
    [ December 15, 2003: Message edited by: Howard Kushner ]
     
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    Originally posted by Paul McKenna:
    I am trying to perform some sort of an analysis to understand a concept so I have a few questions for the several christians / catholics on this forum.
    1. Do you remember the 10 commandments?
    2. Which one do you believe in the most and which one do you believe in the least?
    3. How much effort do you put in to ensure you live by the 10 commandments?


    10 Commandments? A bit fuzzy I cant remember the specifics... I try not to kill people, and I try not to covet my neighbours oxen, but *damn* that is one fine oxen he has.
     
    Mark Fletcher
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    Originally posted by Paul McKenna:
    basically I am trying to find a link between religion and prosperity of a nation.


    There isnt. Id leave it at that. Anything else and I suspect youre just trolling. You want proof? Consider, the USA, one of the richest, if not the richest, countries in the world. Contrast with any African nation where Christianity is the primary religion.
    And Im sure that there are other examples for the other major religions.



    I am examining three religions in my study:
    1. Chrisitianity
    2. Hinduism
    3. Islam
    Starting with Hinduism, my personal religion, I find it to be a religion espousing extreme freedom. Freedom to do anything without consequences. The most essential belief of this religion is karma - "The fruit of your action shall bear upon on you". But inaction is not encouraged either. Therefore Hinduism tells one essentially to do as one feels right. Consequences are for another day
    Moving onto Christianity, this is a complex religion due to varied interpretations. You have a set of rules as mentioned in the 10 commandments and followers are expected to live by them but here again certain forms of christianity place more emphasis on interpretation and others on orders from a higher authority. But net result is that all christians submit themselves to varying degrees to a higher authority in fear of consequence
    Finally, Islam. A highly submissive religion with extreme emphasis on consequences. To deviate from authority is blasphemous and hence all muslims are expected to be followers of the code as specified. Here again there are varying interpretations but these variations are inconsequential in this study as all forms of Islam advise total submission.


    All religions exert control over their believers in some form or other. None of them have a clean sheet.
    I would say its far more likely that the nations that have managed to separate Church and State are more likely to be successful, especially when you consider that nowadays, in the first world, most countries do not have just one religion. For example in France and the UK, there is a sizable Muslim population who cannot just be ignored.
     
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    Do not kill? What about killing animals for food? What about swatting an annoying mosquito? What about killing the enny weeny ants by accident when walking along the road? Damn, these prophets need to be a bit more specific.
    Seems a bit of a fix to me - huge bunch of people migrating along to a new place. Guy in charge thinks "how can I keep control?", and then says to everyone "Hey guys, I've just been up that mountain there, and God just told me some rules. Basically be nice to each other etc. They're not laws you see, cos they're commandments. Neither am I trying to use them to control you. Really. Honest." Its a bit like Old World Politics 101 - "What better way to control a population then through religion?"
     
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    animals are not considered in the "thou shallt not kill" and neither are plants.
    The early Christians were quite pragmatic in that, and this continued to later dates when for example beavers were classed as fish so they could be eaten on fasting days (when the only meat allowed is fish).
     
    Howard Kushner
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    Originally posted by Joe King:
    Do not kill? What about killing animals for food? What about swatting an annoying mosquito?


    Thanks Joe. If I eat the animal that someone else killed and someone else butchered, then am I an accessory after the fact?
    Are animals and bugs creatures with small souls? Where did all the dietary laws come from? My small brain has a fit trying to figure out all this stuff! :roll:
    He must have one of a sense of humor. That's all I can say!
     
    Michael Ernest
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    Paul -
    I find your premise rather interesting. I wonder if it would be fair to rephrase your question like this: Does the hierarchical nature of Christianity promote modes of economy that are generally more effective in the world today than others? This seems to me a very difficult question to develop a system of problematic steps for, but it's an intriguing approach just the same.
     
    Wanderer
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    [Howard]: Now the kicker is the one that says "Thou shalt not kill". The exact wording is extremely important to me. It does NOT say "Thou shalt not murder".
    No? Depends whose translation you trust I guess. It seems that most modern scholars concede that "murder" is a more accurate translation of the Hebrew "ratsach". Googling "commandments kill murder hebrew" given many discussions of this; I have yet to see one which suggests "kill" is more accurate (though ceratinly haven't read them all). Is there some reason to think the King James translation is correct in this respect?
     
    Michael Ernest
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    Can you imagine relying on the Bible as the Word of God, but only reading it in translation?
     
    Paul McKenna
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    Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
    Paul -
    I find your premise rather interesting. I wonder if it would be fair to rephrase your question like this: Does the hierarchical nature of Christianity promote modes of economy that are generally more effective in the world today than others? This seems to me a very difficult question to develop a system of problematic steps for, but it's an intriguing approach just the same.


    Not just the economy. I'm talking about the effect of the 10 commandments on aspects such as corruption, social evolution etc. To illustrate better let me give a few examples that cross my mind:
    1. In a Hindu society where there is little emphasis on consequences what is the incentive to not be corrupt? DO NOT mistake this to be a blanket statement that a Hindu society will be corrupt, but it is rather a question what is the incentive to be corruption free? There is no consequence according to the prevalent religion
    2. In a Christian society, there is specific emphasis on being good and corruption free otherwise the follower is likely to be condemned to eternal damnation according to his or her religion. Is this incentive enough to be a corruption free society? On the face value it seems so looking at western societies
    3. In Islam, there is again eternal damnation as well as mortal punishment for any follower found guilty of corruption and therefore is definetly a strong deterrent. But I find many Islamic societies to be authoritarian and therefore likely to be corrupt. So what is wrong here? Is too much fear of consequences also bad?
    -------
    Next section:
    In Hinduism there is no religious leader. There are temple priests but they have little or no control over the society. Their duties are ceremonial and thats it. There are some senior leaders but again they refrain from indulging in social responsibilites. This gives the impression of a directionless society.. yet the hindu society is evolving albeit slowly and haphazardly. There is no effect of religion on society.. what effect is this likely to have?
    In Christianity, the priest gives sermons and followers are expected to listen, think and act upon what they learn from these sermons. This "perhaps" helps the society gain direction in times of need? Perhaps brings the society together when things are falling apart? Still, the responsibility to act on these sermons is left to the individual follower. They may choose to act or simply ignore.. there is no compulsion. There seems to be a loose tie between religion and society.. yet this loose tie seems to be enough to provide a direction?
    In Islam, the Imam is the sole provider of direction. He is the authority in society and therefore his words are as good as gold. Therefore there is a strict tie between religion and society.. what effect does this have?
     
    Howard Kushner
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    Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
    Depends whose translation you trust I guess. It seems that most modern scholars concede that "murder" is a more accurate translation of the Hebrew "ratsach".


    Howdy Jim,
    Good one! I went back and Googled some more and found this one, which leaves me as confused as ever, but at a higher level and about more important things.
    Thou Shalt Not Murder
    Which stands pretty much in direct contrast to the link I shared in my first post to this thread:
    *Which* Ten Commandments?
    I gotta say that I love this kind of discussion because it really helps me open my mind to other possibilities. Thanks again for encouraging me to give another thought to a not so cut and dried answer to another of those mysteries of life.
     
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    HK: Now the kicker is the one that says "Thou shalt not kill". The exact wording is extremely important to me. It does NOT say "Thou shalt not murder".
    ME: Can you imagine relying on the Bible as the Word of God, but only reading it in translation?

    We discussed a while back that there are not two different words for this in Russian, only one. I wonder, what percent of languages the Bible is translated into distinguish the two.
     
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    Map: We discussed a while back that there are not two different words for this in Russian, only one.
    There is no difference between убивать and убийство?
    Joe
     
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    Except for the former is a verb and the latter a noun, I do not think there is. They both have the same root, like with "kill" and "killing".
     
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    Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
    [Howard]: Now the kicker is the one that says "Thou shalt not kill". The exact wording is extremely important to me. It does NOT say "Thou shalt not murder".
    No? Depends whose translation you trust I guess. It seems that most modern scholars concede that "murder" is a more accurate translation of the Hebrew "ratsach". Googling "commandments kill murder hebrew" given many discussions of this; I have yet to see one which suggests "kill" is more accurate (though ceratinly haven't read them all). Is there some reason to think the King James translation is correct in this respect?



    I think there is a similar issue with 'Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live'. I've read that in the original Hebrew it was closer to 'Thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live. Which makes sense. It's the kind of mistake which could easily have been made. No doubt some 'witches' were also poisoners. Unfortunately the converse is not true, and many innocent people suffered and died because of the mistranslation....
     
    Joe Pluta
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    Except for the former is a verb and the latter a noun, I do not think there is.
    So is убийство the gerundive form of убивать?
    In English, we say "I sled", but we normally use -ing to indicate the noun form of the verb. "Sledding" is what I do when I "sled". In that case, the word "killing" would be the noun form of "kill":
    "Killing is bad."
    This is different than:
    "Murder is bad."
    Note, though, that murder does not require the -ing ending to become a noun. Murder can be both a noun and a verb; I can't think of many words like that in the English language.
    Joe
     
    Michael Ernest
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    Originally posted by Joe Pluta:

    "Killing is bad."
    This is different than:
    "Murder is bad."


    Well, yeah, but "Killing is bad" and "Murdering is bad" are denotatively identical.


    Note, though, that murder does not require the -ing ending to become a noun. Murder can be both a noun and a verb; I can't think of many words like that in the English language.


    Kill is one example.
    [ December 15, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
     
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    Joe: So is убийство the gerundive form of убивать?
    Usually the gerund is formed with suffix "-nie" or maybe some other, in this case the suffix is "-stvo", which is closer to "-ness" in English.
     
    Joe Pluta
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    denotatively identical
    What does this phrase mean, and how does it relate to the topic?

    Kill is one example.
    Except it is only used as a noun (and usually only by military types), not as an action. For example:
    "There were three murders in Osceola last month."
    "There were three kills in Osceola last month."
    The term "kills" is technically correct, but a rather uncommon usage except as I said among military types (or wargamers).
    On the other hand, the following does not track:
    "Murder is bad." (grammatically correct)
    "Kill is bad." (not grammatically correct)
    You cannot commit "kill", but you can commit "murder".
    Joe
     
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    denotatively identical
    What does this phrase mean, and how does it relate to the topic?

    That they both refer to the same physical act? I think, the Russian word is more "objective" in this case, or less interpretive. What is "killing" for one, can be "murder" for another.
     
    mister krabs
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    Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
    Murder can be both a noun and a verb; I can't think of many words like that in the English language.

    Smell?
     
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    The Ten Commandments provided a structure to ancient Israelite life that was mostly uinique in the area (although the Code of Hammaurabi did provide a simlilar structure). The enumeration of ten simple laws to govern a person's life gave allowed the Isrealites to live without a king/monarchy.
    As far as the history of these commandments, previously I have seen the link provided by Mr. Kushner and would like to point out that the differences between the versions of the commandments is not a difference between the "First Set" and the "Second Set" as the author of that page would have you believe but rather a difference in how the various churches presented those commandments. Note that the Hebrew and Protestent versions are actually quite similar (except the Hebrew has "I am the LORD your God" as a commandment I'm not sure of the syntax of the original Hebrew, but certainly, in English, it doen't translate a a commandment, but as a statement).
    The big difference between the Hebrew/Protestent versions and the Catholic version is that the Catholic version leaves out the whole "no graven images" thing. Not because that part is not in the Catholics' Bible; rather, it is left out because the Catholic Church cannot reconcile that commandment with its own practices. After all, how can you have a crucifix or statues of the various saints and still keep the "No Graven Images" commandment?
    As far as the difference between the Exodus 20 version of the Ten Commandments and the Duteronomy 5 verison, all I have to say is that the whole book of Duteronomy is "suspect." No offense meant to those who believe that Moses wrote the Pentateuch himself, but I find that highly suspect. I have nothing but the highest regard for Moses, but if I were to believe that he wrote those books, then I would be drawn into the conclusion that Moses was a senile, schizophrenic storyteller who couldn't keep his facts straight and kept repeating himself. Since I cannot beleive that to be the case, I have to believe there were different people, with different adgenda, writing these documents and then one or more people combining them to produce the documents that we have today. While they may have been divinely inspired, they are by no means divinely written.
    This brings me to my point about Duteronomy. This is a book that was "discovered" in the Temple during the reign of Josiah. Josiah followed King Manassah to the throne of David; Manassah was a puppet-king of the Assyrians. During the reign of Manassah, most monotheistic practices were abolished.
    Josiah sought to return Israel to its monotheistic ways, and conveniently for him, there just hapened to be a hithertofore unknown scripture hidden in the back of the Temple that he was restoring that exhorted Israelites to remember their monotheistic roots. Furthermore, this book is written in a different style from the other four books of the Torah, and it is coherant, in such a way that the other four books are not. This implies one author. Either this is one of the sources of the other books, or it is a product of the other books. Given the style of writing within the book (linguistically speaking), it points more toward a later time than an earlier time. Thus, we can conclude that Hilkiah the High Preist wrote (or oversaw the writing of) Deuteronomy.


    2 Kings 22
    3 In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the temple of the LORD . He said: 4 "Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him get ready the money that has been brought into the temple of the LORD , which the doorkeepers have collected from the people. 5 Have them entrust it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. And have these men pay the workers who repair the temple of the LORD - 6 the carpenters, the builders and the masons. Also have them purchase timber and dressed stone to repair the temple. 7 But they need not account for the money entrusted to them, because they are acting faithfully."
    8 Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, "I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the LORD ." He gave it to Shaphan, who read it.

    (NIV translation; Unfortunately, I don't have my NRSV or Tanakh readily handy)
    As far as the question about religion and economics, I don't think that you can say that one causes the other; they mutually influence each other. A religion is a reflection of the soceity as a soceity is a reflection of the religion. You can make a statement about how economy is affected by religion, but I think that that is a tenuous statement at best.
    Granted, it is possible that certain societies create more favorable climates for economies. Think in terms of evolution: If you had complete chaos (mutations occurring in large percentages), then you will have slow growth as you have many organism that are not viable. If you have strict order (an exceptions low number of mutations), you also have slow growth, but for opposite reasons: you have a viable organism that never changes. If you have a moderate amount of mutations, you get better growth, as you continue to have viable organisms, but every so often one comes along that is much better suited than the rest, and that becomes the new viable organism.
    From Paul's description above, I would relate Hindu societies to the chaotic, large-number-of-mutations organisms, the Islamic soceities the strict order organism, and the (Western) Christian soceities the balanced-mutations organism.
    It is interesting to note that medieval Christian soceities certainly would fall under the strict-order organism category, as the Church weilded great power in soceity. And, likewise, we see the "Dark Ages" where economic/intellectual growth was stagnated. It isn't until the soceitial reforms that came about due to the Protestant Reformation do we see a soceitial landscape capable of supporting the Renaissance. However, that is a reflection of the soceity, and not the religion. Certainly, the same Ten Commandments were in effect (well, insofar as outlined above ). Likewise, as Mark pointed out, there are impoverished African nations whose primary religion is Christianity. I would hazard to say that these nations are much more chaotic, and thus would not develop very fast.
     
    Joe King
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    I've never really understood those people who take the entire Bible literally. Some farmer wrote some stuff about his religious views and suddenly its a 100% accurate message from the sky? Sorry, but that's a bit odd. If I was to walk up to people and say "I've just had a message from God. Apparently we all have to dunk our heads in water. Yep, I know it makes no sense, but there we go." then people would lock me up in a loony bin. For some reason people seem to accept the bible because it was written a long time ago, but not the same thing now. Its also a bit suspect that people stick by one particular book while saying that all the others are total rubbish. Put it this way - there's been thousands of religions over the history of the world. What makes one right and all the others wrong? Mind you, you wouldnt be much of a believer if you didnt believe in your own religion I suppose
    Goes to show how strange humanity is.
     
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    Originally posted by Paul McKenna:
    Starting with Hinduism, my personal religion, I find it to be a religion espousing extreme freedom. Freedom to do anything without consequences. The most essential belief of this religion is karma - "The fruit of your action shall bear upon on you". But inaction is not encouraged either. Therefore Hinduism tells one essentially to do as one feels right. Consequences are for another day.


    Actually it happens lot of time that when we talk about 'Karma' we often forget to talk about 'Dharma'.
    No, it is not the the 'Dharma' which means religion.
    But its a 'Dharma' which tells you how to behave in your social life.
    One of the reason why Yudhistar[Eldest of Pandav] is called "DharmaRaj" because his conducts were with in the 'Dharma'.
    Regarding consequences for not following Dharma; there is only one punishment. "You have to born again in this painful world". Not necessary as human, but you could re-born as pig/dog/xyz depending upon your Karma.
    If I am not wrong they have mentioned 84 lakh names of animal after which one soul take birth as human.
     
    Howard Kushner
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    Originally posted by Joe King:
    I've never really understood those people who take the entire Bible literally.
    Goes to show how strange humanity is.


    There ya go. We as humans strive (in vain) to find some order in our chaotic lives, and then to top it off, we struggle with the notion of free will. It seems we have this great need to know if we've been naughty or nice.
    Unfortunately, the more we try to impose that strict ordering, the more slippery it becomes, full of paradoxes and contradictions!
    Our logic continues to break down, as we keep stubbing our toes on the simple fact that "provability is a weaker notion than truth". (GEB - Douglas R. Hofstadter)
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