The Ten Commandments and American Law
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
13-11-2011, 07:31 PM
The Ten Commandments and American Law
Not being of the American persuasion I'm baffled by how often it's taken as uncontested matter of fact that the 10 Commandments form the basis of American law. By my count in the United States there are no laws against six out of the ten. Of the remaining four, adultery is only illegal in about half the States including those in which it is a misdemeanor. The remaining three are complete no-brainers - theft perjury and murder are illegal in any remotely civilized society whether or not any significant portion of the population holds Moses in any particular esteem. Of the other six, the idea of using the law to say which gods you should have before which other gods is an idea the constitution was very explicitly set down in opposition to. Visit any courthouse in America and you'll find it positively brimming with graven images. Coveting seems to me the very basis of the Nation's economy, an economy that was important enough to repeal many older laws about doing business on the Sabbath (the Christian Sabbath at least.) Then there's the one about taking the lord's name in vain, a practice that has become venerated solely because it's forbidden, and while I might recommend against this while addressing the bench, it's not illegal. That leaves us with "Honor thy mother and thy father", which sounds like a good idea in general, but if you knew my in-laws you'd understand why I'm so ready to forgive my wife of this one.

Maybe it's me but it seems the claims about the influence of these commandments on American law and the foundation of American values aren't challenged nearly enough. I have enough respect for American laws and values to think they can only be tarnished by claiming such inane ancestry. The idea that an omniscient being had a chance to give humanity a set of guiding principles and that was the best He could do, while perhaps not proving god does not exist, has to at least strongly hint at it.

-Joe
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Eye Sage's post
13-11-2011, 07:53 PM
RE: The Ten Commandments and American Law
The Constitution of the United States is based on the ideas and thinking of the Enlightenment, not on the Bible or any religion. Many Christians don't know this or don't want this to be true.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
13-11-2011, 08:10 PM
RE: The Ten Commandments and American Law
The way I heard it told is that the ten commandments are the basis for jurisprudence for half of the world. All I can think of is the don't steal, don't kill pair plus some eye-for -an-eye action. Vengeance, in other words.

[Image: klingon_zps7e68578a.jpg]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-11-2011, 04:01 AM
RE: The Ten Commandments and American Law
Idk adultery was against the law...are you sure thats not one of those really outdated laws that havent been taken off the books yet?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-11-2011, 01:03 PM
RE: The Ten Commandments and American Law
(14-11-2011 04:01 AM)mysticjbyrd Wrote:  Idk adultery was against the law...are you sure thats not one of those really outdated laws that havent been taken off the books yet?

Check it out:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/for...6_ST_N.htm

I thought I'd throw that up in case some of you are thinking maybe you'd better start being more careful.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-11-2011, 04:31 PM (This post was last modified: 14-11-2011 04:39 PM by mysticjbyrd.)
RE: The Ten Commandments and American Law
(14-11-2011 01:03 PM)Eye Sage Wrote:  
(14-11-2011 04:01 AM)mysticjbyrd Wrote:  Idk adultery was against the law...are you sure thats not one of those really outdated laws that havent been taken off the books yet?

Check it out:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/for...6_ST_N.htm

I thought I'd throw that up in case some of you are thinking maybe you'd better start being more careful.

That says exactly what I was stating. It just a really old outdated law that really isnt enforced. In fact, its even been overturned in the supreme court.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_v._Texas

PS: "Do not lie" is only against the law in the very specific situations. Like if you are in court, or when doing your taxes, etc.. I would not really even consider it a law either, which really brings you down to 2.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-11-2011, 07:47 PM
RE: The Ten Commandments and American Law
(14-11-2011 04:31 PM)mysticjbyrd Wrote:  That says exactly what I was stating. It just a really old outdated law that really isnt enforced. In fact, its even been overturned in the supreme court.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_v._Texas

I'd hate to see the intent of the original post get lost in an in-depth discussion of details that really don't alter the point much, but the article you link to here refers to sodomy laws, not adultery. The fact is that adultery laws are not only on the books in many states but still get enforced, if only rarely. While it might further my point if it were otherwise the truth is it's not inconceivable that someone in the United States could be sentenced to life in prison for adultery to this day.

(And yes I, and presumably everyone else in these forums, realize that only a very narrow subset of the ways someone can lie are actually illegal.)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-11-2011, 09:10 PM
RE: The Ten Commandments and American Law
George Carlin summed it up as good as possible:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-RGN21TSGk

Thou shalt always be honest and faithful
to the provider of thy nookie.

&

Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless of course
they pray to a different invisible man than you.

Two is all you need; Moses could have carried them down the hill in his fuckin' pocket. I wouldn't mind those folks in Alabama posting them on the courthouse wall, as long as they provided one additional commandment:

Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.

"Like" my Facebook page
Brain Droppings Blog
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT16Rq3dAcHhqiAsPC5xUC...oR0pEpxQZw]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Seasbury's post
15-11-2011, 07:47 AM
RE: The Ten Commandments and American Law
U.S. law is based on the Constitution which is clearly not based on the ten commandments. The founders of the U.S.A. were men of the Enlightenment, many were not religious and many were atheists.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Chas's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: