Do We need The 10 Commandments?
And stuff like: “If you just believe in me, you will be saved and go to heaven.” This is what I was told as a child, and made to memorise.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could save our kids from having to memorise the 10 Commandments, and from all the broken promises?
See, what worried me when I was 12 years old was that what I heard in sermons was, well, suspect.
We were told to love our neighbour. I looked around at the grown-ups near me. I could see none of our neighbours even talking to each other, let alone loving each other. We were told not to steal and not to lie and yet I saw it happen every day.
So there we were being briefed on good stewardship as part of our preparation for communion. The padre was a gentle young man and I had nothing against him but it seemed to me, aged 12, that he was not practising what he preached when he was explicitly critical and negative about some member of the congregation who apparently was an alcoholic. Then, at 12 years old, somehow I knew that alcoholism was not a sin but rather an illness, and as such needed help and mercy.
Which it didn’t seem like he was about to receive from my padre.
So that was the end of my faith in the messages I heard in church.
However, there is undoubted merit in the 10 Commandments. But surely the 10 Commandments must be written for the very simple minded? Because anyone who is not an idiot knows that it is idiocy to steal.
Anyone with any brains must know that the misery you trigger by taking what is not yours has got to come back to you. Surely its obvious? And it’s written in every scripture in every religion and every utterance of the wise—the same moral injunctions: don’t steal, love thy neighbor … and …
The 10 Commandments are rules for life that WORK. They are obvious truths.
I said I would save you having to memorise these beautiful truths. Heres how:
Simply put, if everyone, or even just a good fraction, say 5%, of the population, would practice a decent meditation technique—we wouldn’t NEED the 10 Commandments. People would LIVE the 10 Commandments.
Just take a peek at this paper which relates the cognitive–moral development theory of Lawrence Kohlberg to a model proposed by Charles Alexander. The idea is that higher states of consciousness lead to higher levels of moral reasoning. And meditation, specifically Transcendental Meditation develops higher states of consciousness. Research suggests that EEG brainwave coherence is associated with the development of higher states of consciousness and Kohlberg’s Stage 7. So science regards Transcendental Meditation as an effective way to promote moral development.
Higher levels of moral development would render a person incapable of breaking the 10 Commandments.
What do YOU think?
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