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The New Ten Commandments

By jardinier ·
As I am so far the only nominee for the position of God in a new, universal religion, in another thread, I thought I would post these alternative 10 commandments which I drew up many, many years ago.

It occurred to me that this should start a new thread, giving anyone interested an opportunity to list what they think should be the ten most important rules to create an ordered, peaceful, unified society on earth.

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 defence or for food.

7. You will not injure or kill any human, except in defence 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.

10. You will joyfully give succour and assistance to those less fortunate than yourself.

If I started from scratch now, quite likely my list would be different from that above, but as this was already on hand, it should do to get the discussion rolling.

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Therefore what?

by maxwell edison In reply to 1960's idealism

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I understand the observation you made, and no, I haven't traveled to such places as you describe. But go beyond your description and give me a "therefore what" conclusion. And please be very precise as to what could be done, what should be done, by whom, to what extent, for how long, and so on. And be precise and exact in your offered "solution". After you give yours, I'll give mine.

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There is no conclusion

by amcol In reply to Therefore what?

I don't have a "therefore what" since I was just offering an observation on the sorry realistic state of our world.

I'm not saying you shouldn't feel the way you do, nor am I saying you shouldn't keep offering hope and guidance to those less fortunate. I have the same attitude as you...I'm a fervent believer in personal responsibility. Perhaps where we differ is that I can only apply that concept to myself, and have no illusions that others can somehow be made to see the light.

I've run across too many people, especially in this generation we're raising (and shame on us, not them, since we're the ones at fault here) whose attitude of entitlement completely pushes out any thoughts of personal responsibility. I spend a lot of time trying to get people to understand that they are in control of their own destinies if they'll only take personal responsibility for making that happen. It falls on deaf ears. However, like you, I'm still enough of a 60's hippie filled with enough of my original youthful idealism that I'll keep trying. My idealism, unfortunately, has become tempered with realistic cynicism.

I'm in a position where I've seen firsthand the most pathetic examples of the human condition, things that are quite literally indescribable. I don't share your view that "anyone" can raise themselves up and achieve their dreams, principally because there are millions and millions of people who lack two of the most basic ingredients to make that happen...the dreams themselves, and the resources to make them happen. It's all well and good to hope for a better life, but the plain fact of the matter is that for these people there really and truly is no hope.

I had a relative who survived Dachau. I asked her once what made her keep going, being in that hellhole. She told me it was just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, every single day, day after day...that as long as she was alive there was hope for a future. You would have liked her, because she was a living example of exactly what you're talking about. Here's where the argument breaks down, however...she was one of the lucky ones who did make it out, but the other 6 million could have had all the hopes and dreams in the world for all the good it did them.

Idealism unmixed with realism leads to the kinds of conclusions you've drawn, that there's enough fairie dust to sprinkle around such that everyone can move forward. Some can...some can't. It's not your thesis that's erroneous, it's the way you maintain it can be broadly applied without exception.

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Just luck?

by Absolutely In reply to There is no conclusion

Dependence on luck, and the belief that random chance is the prime determinant of one's life, leads to a dismal outlook where liberty is meaningless because personal choice matters less than the luck of the draw. Maybe your relative did survive Dachau because of luck. But maybe it was because of the willingness to continue "putting one foot in front of the other, every single day" just in case her effort did matter.

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If you offer no conclusion. . . . .

by maxwell edison In reply to There is no conclusion

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....then what's the point?

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Who says there has to be a point?

by amcol In reply to There is no conclusion

Sometimes debate just for the sake of debate is enough of a point. What we're talking about here is too broadly based for us to reach any points.

However, since we're waxing philosophic...

I don't necessarily subscribe to determinism, although I'm comfortable with it conceptually, because I don't hold with any one particular philosophical construct. My own belief system is mostly a combination of determinism, pragmatism, and rationalism, which does sometimes present some conundrums since there are disconnects between those schools of thought. I don't like being pigeonholed, so I've come up with a synthesis of a variety of philosophies that I'm comfortable with.

At any rate, if you're looking for a point here it is...or more correctly, here they are:

1. Any philosophy or code of conduct posed by anyone at any time in history cannot be considered anything other than broad guidance. They can't be applied at an individual level.

2. Philosophies, religious persuasions, codes of ethics, whatever they are and whatever you want to call them, must be historically organic. By that I mean you can't take something written down at some specific point in human history and continue to apply it throughout time without constant review and revision. What makes sense for one group of people in one particular historical setting under a specific set of political, geographic, climatic, religious, demographic, and philosophical conditions doesn't necessarily apply anywhere or anytime else.

3. No one's right, and everyone's right. No one's wrong, and everyone's wrong. Not getting metaphysical here, just saying that unless a particular approach has been developed as a result of drug induced schizophrenic paranoid delusional psychosis, there's at least a shred of truth to every approach and none are perfect. We all have to decide for ourselves what it is we're comfortable with.

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Making a point is not a formal requirement.

by Absolutely In reply to There is no conclusion

But like Maxwell, I expect one. I know I don't post just to see words with my name associated with them. I have one or more ideas I'm trying to communicate. It looks to me like the point that you're trying to make is that this issue is hopelessly complicated, but I can't be sure because you have said that you have no point.

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ideals are never "dated"

by Absolutely In reply to 1960's idealism

They are wrong or right, valid forever if they were ever valid. The conditions of the most impoverished places on Earth are due to decades or centuries of systematic violations of the liberties Maxwell supports. Dying babies and 80 pound mothers are the ones who need capitalism and political freedom the most. Fat party chairmen, Hollywood celebrities and hippie burn-outs can afford communism. The poor cannot.

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Very well said, Absolutely

by maxwell edison In reply to ideals are never "dated"

And I absolutely agree.

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Not well said at all

by amcol In reply to ideals are never "dated"

Again, a simplistic treatment of a hugely complex set of issues.

You're right as far as you've gone but you're missing so many other causal components, which is typical when trying to promote or denounce a particular point of view.

This is hardly a comprehensive list but in addition to the violations of liberty you identify let's not forget the following, all contributing to the impoverished nature of far too many native Africans:

1. Many African nations are subject to brutal famine. You can't eat dirt.

2. There are entrenched cultural practices that Western society cannot understand which result in what we would consider to be poor resource management and distribution.

3. Those same cultural differences have prevented the application of what we would consider to be basic hygiene and prophylactic practices, not to mention the avoidance of modern medical treatment. The spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa is epidemic, due in part to people not seeking or even rejecting treatment.

4. Education is not a high priority for most people since most of their energy is taken up by issues of simple survival.

I could go on for hours, but hopefully you begin to get the picture. There are no easy answers.

BTW...this isn't confined to Africa. Many parts of Latin and South America and Asia are in worse shape.

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And then to watch a country like Zimbabwe head to its destruction because

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Not well said at all

Some power crazed Megalomaniac wants to get rid of the "White Farmers" and then not allow the land to be used to feed his countries people"

When the worst of Rwanda was happening I was support the "Doctors Without Borders" Organization way before the UN got involved and I had to organize the transport of supplies to the place which was almost impossible at the best of time and this certainly was not the best of times. I couldn't even keep up a supply of Surgical gloves to the Doctors working there they where washing them out as they finished using them and then reusing them until they fell to bits and could no longer be used.
What I found the worst thing about that whole situation is that it was the same race and the same religion they turned on each other for no reason that made any sense at all they took that country they was at least self sufficient and turned it into a disaster area that it is yet to recover from.

I only made one trip over there with supplies just after the UN had got involved and when I got the the main hospital compound I was appalled to see multiple injuries inflicted upon people who had obviously been previously treated and the moment that they where discharged from the hospital because of lack of everything including space meant at the very least another horrendous attack that involved multiple injuries being suffered and left for a slow agonizing death as it wasn't worth the effort to finish off the job.

While I'll never regret that work that I did there I'll also never pretend to understand the mentality that justified it either and what is even worse the Governments of the world ignoring it totally.

Col ]:)

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