The Ten Commandments Disproven (II)
In my first post on the Ten Commandments, I went through most of the secular values and virtues that each commandment breaks. In this post, I'll finish with the political values.
Political values are described in chapters 3 and 7 of Logical Structure of Objectivism. Living in a free society is valuable to the individual because it permits the individual to make moral choices free from the coercion of other individuals. Society provides the context by which we can cooperate peacefully with each other, in accordance with man's social needs and fulfill our more basic values.
The fundamental right is the right of self-ownership - that we own our own bodies and minds, and be protected against attempts to attack our moral autonomy. Corollary to this is the right of action - that we are free to control our own bodies and minds - and corollary to this is the right of property - that we can own the products of our own work. From these three rights are derived all other rights, such as the right of free speech (communication in one's media property), the right of free thought (thinking in one's own mind) and the right of self-defense (protecting one's life and property with one's property).
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Opposing secular political right : Right of free thought. Anyone should be free to rationally draw conclusions on the religion, if any, they should believe in... as long as they do not use that religion to attack other people's freedom or the integrity of our institutions, as Christians do.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Opposing secular political right : Right of free speech. Anyone should be free to make and sell art. To prohibit it is to use coercion against a victimless action.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
Opposing secular political right : Right of free speech. Anyone should be free to say the name of any god in any way they want, as they are free to draw their own conclusions on religion and decide whether any god should be respected or not.
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Opposing secular political right : Right of action. Anyone should be free to work at any time they desire, in accordance with the demands of the free market. It is in the interest of some people to contribute to other people's free time, as weekend grocery sales demonstrate.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother:
Opposing secular political right : All of them, potentially. Our societies make children subservient to their parents in the name of social stability, supported by the political power of parent voters. We must reject any such subservience as a breeding ground for incompetence and abuse, religious or otherwise.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
Opposing secular political right : Right of self-defense, as anyone should be free to use lethal force against a lethal threat, and right of action, in the cases of most animal killing.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Opposing secular political right : Right of action. Anyone should be free to enter into consenting relationships with others, in accordance with their rational judgment.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
Opposing secular political right : Stealing is permitted in emergency situations where one's life is threatened. In this case, the virtue of non-sacrifice, as discussed, applies.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Opposing secular political right : Right of free speech. Anyone should be permitted to tell untruths about other people's lives, as long as they do not commit fraud in so doing, simply because determining truth and untruth is the responsibility of each individual.
10. Thou shalt not covet...
Opposing secular political right : Right of free thought. It's absolutely ridiculous to prosecute anyone for their emotions, as they are facts of the human brain. To even propose this as a commandment is the height of the absurd, but it's expected from a religion which also supports stoning for the sins of their fathers.
It's interesting to note how almost all of these commandments threaten man's moral autonomy. No wonder presuppositionalists argue so strenuously against moral autonomy... the so-called foundation of their morality consists of a litany of hatred against it. To this, we must make clear that reason, not faith, is the sole foundation of knowledge, and that moral autonomy and freedom, not subjection, are the foundation of a moral and responsible society.
To the Christian hatred of the individual, we must oppose love of reason and freedom. We must make clear that everything, even the Christian presuppositions, start from the individual mind, not from doctrine. This is our "theology of salvation".