The Ten Commandments: A Great Misunderstanding

The Ten Commandments: A Great Misunderstanding Ver. 2.0.4

https://gadflyblog.com/tag/hypothetical-imperatives/

November 5, 2013
Revised December 26, 2018

 

Introduction

 The “Ten Commandments” have been made into a religious symbol and therefore, under a “separation of church and state” policy, a growing number of individuals and organizations think they should be removed from public property. The Ten Commandments were never meant to be religious and this is probably the most disastrous action that could have been initiated into these “Ten Imperatives.” They were meant to develop a strong infrastructure in this “new nation,” making them economically stronger than their competitors that would take their land from them. It is the nation’s economic vitality that makes a nation strong, not its many weapons and troops on the ground.  Philosophically, the Ten Commandments are “hypothetical imperatives,” not “categorical imperatives.” A categorical imperative is something one does because it is the right thing to do. A hypothetical imperative means there is a reward for following the imperative, according to Immanuel Kant, German philosopher of the eighteenth century. Kant thought that there was only one categorical imperative: “Act as if the maxim of thy action were to become by thy will a universal law of nature”[i]. The reward for following the Ten Commandments is that “you may live long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12). Thus, the Ten Commandments are actually “Ten Hypothetical Imperatives.

            “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by       debt.”

                        – John Adams, second president of the USA

We are in an economic war with our international competitors and the nation that has the highest “National Economic Operating Efficiency” (NEOE) will own the other nations’ debt. Theoretically, the interest on “the debt” can grow to exceed our taxable “Gross National Product” (GNP) and cost to operate our country. In this case, we will have become slaves to the nation holding our national debt. The Ten Commandments were, and are meant to, form a strong national infrastructure and create a high NEOE, therefore, making us more competitive in the international economic war. This is not by the will of a “Higher Power,” but first year economic principles. The lower a nation’s NEOE, the higher the national debt, and the higher the nation’s NEOE, the lower the National Debt or even a surplus in the budget.

Explanation of the Ten Imperatives: [ii]

 The Israelites were enslaved in Egypt for about four hundred years before their exodus under the leadership of Moses. As slaves under the Egyptians, they had become accustomed to receiving “commands.” Once freed from slavery, they did not automatically become free and act like they were free. They had to learn how to be free of slavery. If one were to invite some of these newly freed slaves from Egypt to dinner, they would have interpreted this invitation as a command. In the same way, they interpreted these ten instructions as commands rather than instructions (or hypothetical imperatives) on how to build a strong nation that would result in a strong infrastructure and a high National Economic Operating Efficiency and would not be overrun by its neighboring nations.

The USA has and is having these same phenomena with slaves freed under Proclamation 95, also known as the Emancipation Proclamation, which was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. [iii]  One hundred and fifty years later, the USA is still struggling with advancing these descendants of slaves into full citizenship and learning to act and communicate as free citizens and be accepted as free equal citizens by the rest of USA society.

  1. You shall have no other Gods before me: Would not any parent tell their children this same thing, that they are the ones responsible for their well-being, so don’t seek advice or help from anyone else? Our Father in Heaven (in the universe) is the one with all the resources and He’s the one who is willing to give us the resources we need to live on this planet.
  2. Do not make yourself an idol: These instructions are to a people that are naturally very religious and they are going to find something to worship that is going to take up their time, energy and resources. This can be extrapolated in modern times to such things as: alcohol, tobacco, drugs, porn, gambling and many more things that can take control of our lives.  The Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov, showed us how easy it is to form a habit through conditioned response by rewarding ourselves for a certain behavior (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_conditioning).  In addition, written works such as the Bible, the Koran, documents of Buddha and Confucius quotes can also be made into idols.
  3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God: This has been interpreted for centuries as a verbal activity.  But this cannot be a verbal activity; it has to be an actionable activity.   Do not intend to bring harm, discomfort or kill anyone in the name of God.  This applies to our nation, as well as to individuals that make up that nation.  This cannot be both verbal and actionable, because if it were both, someone might make a verbal remark that is taken by someone else as “taking God’s name in vain” and then they choose to bring discomfort to the accused, which is an action in God’s name and therefore, misusing the name of God.   Therefore, verbal and actionable misuse of the name of the Lord your God are mutually exclusive.

    Even the Apostle Peter did not understand that misusing the name of the Lord your God is an action,  as he verbally accused two capitalists of withholding funds to the Apostles’ social program after they had sold their land and only gave part of the capital gains to the Apostles.   It appears both the husband and wife may have died from a heart attack after being accused of sinning against God by Peter for withholding part of the capital gains from the sale of their property.

  4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy: The best reference I have seen on this subject states that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).   We need one day a week to recharge our batteries, spend time with our families and friends.  Everyone needs to choose for themselves what day this will be for them.
  5. Honor your father and your mother, that you might live long, in the land I’m giving you: We need to learn from our parents and respect their wisdom and knowledge. They have seen things first-hand that we will never see.  “Living long in this land” is an economic reality. These Ten Commandments are classified as “hypothetical imperatives”  – something you do because there is a reward for following the imperatives. This is not by the choice of a higher power; it is first year economics.   Any nation that follows these Ten Hypothetical Imperatives will develop a strong infrastructure and a high National Economic Operating Efficiency. The result will be that we will be stronger economically than the nations that would like to take our land from us.

    Honoring your father and your mother does not mean to worship your father and your mother.  In particular, our communication skills have progressed past that of our parents. To refuse to move forward with our communication skills because of parent worship is making an idol of your parents.

  6. You shall not murder: Our nation will not advance socially if we are killing each other.  Each of us can contribute to the economics of the nation and we need all our productive citizens to operate efficiently.
  7. You shall not commit adultery: This is probably one of our nation’s most complicated issues. One really needs to connect with this “Personal Counselor,” “Personal Adviser,” or Tour Guide through life that Jesus sent to us at the Pentecost Festival after his ascension into Heaven. Notice these are descriptive terms for what the literature calls the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Ghost. These are known as “Horse Labels” (“This is a horse” or “This is an elephant”), while the former are known as “Descriptive Labels,” as they describe what the entity does. To connect to this Personal Adviser, one only needs to make a decision to want to connect to the adviser, the adviser will find them, and they just need to be prepared to listen to this adviser advising them (something like “a little birdie told me”). This is all you need to do. There are no ceremonies needed – not even a declaration of your decision. This decision is personal, private and confidential information; it is between you and this personal counselor.  (Note; this process may be dependent on the development of the brain which may be age related).
  8. You shall not steal: Theft causes a great inefficiency in our national economic operations.   There are too many police boots on the ground trying to manage these crimes, and building more prisons to hold more prisoners is counterproductive to increasing our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and increases our national debt.   This could extrapolate to the point where more of our tax dollars are spent building prisons and taking care of inmates than tax dollars allocated to educating the next generations of GDP producers.   Schools and prisons are in competition with each other for funds from the taxpayers. The more funds allocated to prisons, the less funds are allocated to schools that are producing our next generation of GDP producers.  Some states, like California, are making efforts to reduce court-ordered prison population reduction mandates by using loopholes in the law.  They are making assigning felonies more difficult than assigning a misdemeanor to a crime. What should be classified as a felony is being classified as a misdemeanor to keep individuals out of prison.
  9. Or give false witness against thy neighbor: Courts are inherently inefficient; we should not waste our tax dollars on false reports of crimes committed.  It costs dollars to defend oneself against false charges, which may be the objective of the one making the false report,  but we must think of the cost to the tax payers as well as the effects our National Economic Operating Efficiency.
  10. You shall not covet thy neighbor’s house or wife: Be content with what you have. Legal costs to manage greed can be staggering, and the negative social issues that result from divorces are numerous and astounding.   All of this is a drain on our National Economic Operating Efficiency and can have lasting effects on others in our society, down to the next three or four generations.  Increasing violence in the nation, such as mass shootings, is an indication of the increase in breakups of families.

Conclusion

 The Ten Commandments have been misinterpreted for centuries, almost as soon as they were given to the new Israelite nation on their exodus from slavery in Egypt.  A more modern approach to understanding these “Ten instructions for forming a strong nation” leads to the citizens of that nation making better choices in their lives which leads to a stronger nation – a nation that will not likely be overrun or become economically in debt to other nations (their national debt).

Q.E.D.

[i]                  Robert C. Solomon, Introducing Philosophy, 4th ed. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Pub. 1989, P 385.

[ii]                  The Bible, NiV, Exodus 20:3-17

[iii]                 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emancipation_Proclamation/