Kristians totally ignore this with their plastic Jesus’s dangling from the dashboard and weeping virgin statues in their churches and statues generally. I agree most of these statues are tacky, but I cannot understand why this should be considered the number two sin. Do statues accidentally entrap spirits trying to incarnate in bodies? Would putting a little warning sign on the statue saying Not a real person suffice to stop it from being considered a danger? Islam has a similar prohibition, even against two dimensional realistic images, possibly based on Deuteronomy 16:22. Is it only because of the temptation to worship them? Is the problem idealisation, creating impossibly beautiful images that no real person could measure up to, basically a condemnation of pornography? What is the history of this taboo? Do dolls, robots, holographic projections and inflatable dolls count as statues? This commandment needs to be reformulated to make it clear why it is needed, if indeed it is. Few people literally worship golden calves any more, though I did read that the golden calf from the movie was being auctioned at Ebay.
I am just an ordinary mortal, but I think these new commandments above that I have composed more accurately reflect the true spirit of Christianity (and the other world religions) than the traditional ones. I think they raise the bar. They urge you to strive for excellence, rather just do enough to get by. Instead of a minimal set of thou shalt nots I composed them with a set of unattainable goals like a distant star to keep you on course, after the spirit of the Vow of the Bodhisattva:
The deluding passions are inexhaustible.
I vow to extinguish them all.
Sentient beings are numberless.
I vow to save them all.
The truth is impossible to expound.
I vow to expound it.
The way of the Buddha is unattainable.
I vow to attain it.
~ Stephen Gaskin (1935-02-16 2014-07-01 age:79) This Season’s People
My version of the ten commandments is a crude attempt at bringing the Ten Commandments up to date. However, my impudence may spark a project by professional theologians to do it properly. Even then, we should not assume we have composed the final word on wisdom. A set of commandments like this need to be tested in the real world for its practical effects, not just its beauty.
Even if theologians decide the current set are just fine for humans, they might consider what sort of set we should create as hints to the artificial intelligences coming down the technological pipe. How do we convince them not to harm us?
You may wonder why I left out a specific stealing commandment. It is covered by the new first and fifth commandments. I think in future it will not be much of an issue. For why, see my essay The End of Work.
I could go on an on and on. Perhaps it is time for Christians to disown the violence, craziness, cruelty and retribution of the Old Testament as Jesus suggested in I John 2:7-12 and embrace the message of forgiveness in the New Testament.
On the other paw, Jesus suggests you are stuck with all that nuttiness in Matthew 5:18-19.
Given that no one bothered to record his words as he spoke, it is little wonder accounts of his sayings conflict.
I am not the first person to suggest that the Bible should be pruned. No less than President Thomas Jefferson was so disturbed by this admixture of dross with the gold, he edited a condensed Bible with the obsolete parts removed. Another way to look at it, that was his Bible Study Guide to point you to the most important parts of the Bible.
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