The first four of these injunctions have nothing whatsoever to do with morality. As stated, they forbid the practice of any non-Judeo-Christian faith (like Hinduism), most religious art, utterances like 'God damn it!,' and any ordinary work on the Sabbath--all under penalty of death.
Commandments 5 through 9 do address morality, though it is questionable how many human beings ever honored their parents or abstained from committing murder, adultery, theft, or perjury because of them...And what are we to make of the fact that, in bringing his treatise to a close, the creator of our universe could think of no human concerns more pressing and durable than the coveting of servants and livestock?Mr. Harris then goes on to issue a small challenge.
If you think that it would be impossible to improve upon the Ten Commandments as a statement of morality, you really owe it to yourself to read some other scriptures.Now, I am certainly no scholar when it comes to world religions, but a couple of weeks ago, I took a crack at creating my own set of "Atheist Commandments" (with a little help from Richard Dawkins). In future posts I will go into more detail with each one, and if anyone has suggestions for things I missed, feel free to let me know.
Quote of the Day:
(In a study involving hypothetical moral dilemmas)
"There were no statistically significant differences between subjects with or without religious backgrounds....Like other psychological faculties of the mind, including language and mathematics, [it appears that] we are endowed with a moral faculty that guides our intuitive judgments of right and wrong....It is our own nature, not God, that is the source of our morality."