The New Commandments

Given the lack of any mention in the original ten commandments about what is to be done with people who hurt children, or treat women as property—Christopher Hitchens has kindly taken it upon himself to devise a new set of commandments, which—unlike any of the three different versions that appear in the good book—actually have something to say on morality and the golden rule.

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Vanity Fair


5 comments on “The New Commandments

  1. Actually, you’ll find that the 10 commandments are a summary of Christian Theological Ethics & and the principles of justice more broadly, and that the Bible more than addresses the issues mentioned as a unified revelation…

  2. Isaac, by unified revelation do you mean all the bits where it blatantly ignores the ten commandments or do you mean all the parts you’ve selectively chosen to ignore?

  3. I love it when atheists start talking morality. It’s wonderfully naive. Fortunately, every philosophy department (and, of course, Bertrand Russell) knows that morality is meaningless if there is no God. Thus the need to turn to the rantings of a Hitchens or a Dawkins.

  4. ALex M:

    “There can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true” – Russell.

    Don’t misquote my heros and I won’t denigrate yours.

  5. Alex would be correct, if it wasn’t for the fact that most morality is based on the intrinsic effects of certain actions, which is then related to value judgements, which require no higher source.

    For example violence against another causes pain, meaning pain can be considered a direct consequence, or intrinsic feature of violence.

    Human beings in most cases deem pain to be undesirable, therefore violence is undesirable in most cases.

    In certain situations however the use of violence may be weighed against an outcome which has a higher intrinsic value, such as self-preservation. In such cases violence is deemed as self defence, and is therefore considered just. There is a value judgement made between the negative action (violence), and the positive outcome (self-preservation.)

    Simple. And no anthropomorphic diety required.

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