We have actually convinced ourselves that slogans will save us. Shoot up if you must; but use a clean needle. Enjoy sex whenever and with whomever you wish, but wear a condom. No! The answer is no. Not because it isn't cool or smart or because you might end up in jail or in an aids ward, but no because it's wrong, because we have spent 5,000 years as a race of rational human beings, trying to drag ourselves out of the primeval slime by searching for truth and moral absolutes. In its purest form, truth is not a polite tap on the shoulder. It is a howling reproach. What Moses brought down from Mount Sinai were not the Ten Suggestions.Take a moment and savor the irony of the bolded sentences.
We have, as a race, spent all of 87 minutes searching for moral absolutes. We've spent at least half of the last 5,000 years (if not ten or a hundred times as long) killing each other over the moral absolutes du jour, and the rest redefining the truth so that it fits the personal prejudices and interests of whoever had the biggest club or the better artillery.
Koppel goes on to assert that
The sheer brilliance of the Ten Commandments is that they codify, in a handful of words, acceptable human behavior.This is complete idiocy. Singling out just ten of the commandments (which ten? there are three versions) out of the thousands that Yahweh endorses seems like cherry-picking to the extreme. Out of these ten, a third have to do with Yahweh's murderous insecurity, and one (no images) is so absurd that only the Muslims take it literally. The other five or six are decent enough advice, I suppose, long pre-dating the Old Testament, but quite vague.
"Thou shalt not murder" means, of course, "Thou shalt not kill anyone without permission." Given that Yahweh demands that people be snuffed left and right, from human sacrifice to capital punishment to outright genocide, reading a respect for human life into this commandment is ridiculously absurd. "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife or his ass" does, I suppose, concisely codify Yahweh's commandment that we treat women like domestic animals. And "Thou shalt not commit adultery" means that only one Hebrew gets to rape the twelve-year-old virgin sex slaves whose parents they
Oh yeah, gotta love those Ten Commandments.