This is rather entertaining. And informative, for those Christians who don’t know much about their own Ten Commandments.
Hitchens thinks that ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor’ is the most impressive commandment, in particular for its subtlety. For example, it does not say ‘Thou shalt not lie.’ It says you should not lie against your neighbor. So if you’re hiding Jews, this law permits you to lie to inquiring Nazis.
At the end, Hitchens proposes some better commandments:
- Do not condemn people on the basis of their ethnicity or their color.
- Do not ever even think of using people as private property.
- Despise those who use violence or the threat of it in sexual relations.
- Hide your face and weep if you dare to harm a child.
- Do not condemn people for their inborn nature. (“Why would God create so many homosexuals, only to torture and destroy them?”)
- Be aware that you, too, are an animal, and dependent on the web of nature. Try to think and act accordingly.
- Do not imagine you can avoid judgment if you rob people [by lying to them] rather than with a knife.
- Turn off that fucking cell phone.
- Denounce all jihadists and crusaders for what they are: psychopathic criminals with ugly delusions and terrible sexual repression.
- Reject any faith if their commandments contradict any of the above.
Of course Hitchens is being funny, but a two of these commandments are particularly interesting.
Hitchens’ Commandment #2 condemns thoughtcrime even though Hitchens hates Hebrew Commandment #10 precisely because it condemns thoughtcrime.
Hitchens’ Commandment #5 entails that we should not condemn clinical psychopaths and pedophiles.
I like Adam Lee’s Ten Commandments better.
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