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What Moral Code do you follow?

02/18/2015

In “How to Determine Moral Principles without Religion,” (www.wikihow.com) one finds this quote,

“Understand that the presence or absence of a higher power has no effect on your moral code, unless he or she were to provide a code that is superior to one that you can deduce on your own. In this case, a moral and logical atheist would accept such a code without question. However, despite its godly origin, such an atheist would still recognize the value in questioning this divine moral code in order to potentially obtain even greater moral right. If such as divine code is perfect, then questioning it only serves to support its greatness. As such, one should never fear questioning any moral code.”

I think I found the divine moral code which is higher than any. I actually found it in the Bible, Dt 5:6-21. If every human being lived by this simple code, there would be peace in the world.

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. (Translation, I am God. Remember what I have done for you in the past. Remembering what I have done for you, will remind you to turn to me in your needs. Give me first place in your life, before that of power, prestige, success, material things, sexual gratification, technology, etc.)

 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,  but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Translation, if you worship those other gods (graven images) your children will learn from you, and the damage will continue for generations.)

 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. (Translation, do not commit evil in God’s name. God will not forgive those who commit evil in the name of God, Allah, or Christ, because in doing so, there are human victims, but God is also defamed to the point where people stop believing in Him.)

“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day. (Translation –God would like us to rest, but He knows we won’t, so he commands that we do, for our own good. It is good to rest. We need rest; the land needs rest, etc. Getting rest makes everything more productive in return. Remember God while you rest, and reflect on his love, a love so strong that he commands you to do that which He knows you will not do on your own.)

“Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you. (Translation, respect your parents, even if you cannot find it in your heart to love them. Show them respect, along with others, who are older than you as well. You may very well find that as you reach their age, you will understand what they were trying to tell you, do for you, or show you. The young always think they know better. It has been that way in every generation. However, the wisdom that comes with living through life’s ups and downs has great value and should not be so easily discounted.)

“You shall not murder. (Translation unnecessary)

“You shall not commit adultery. (Translation unnecessary)

“You shall not steal. (Translation, do not take what isn’t yours or what you have not purchased)

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Translation, do not lie, gossip, or make up stories about others, especially, but not exclusively, in a court of law.)

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Translation, be content in what you have. Do not envy what others have, that you do not. Do not allow the unrest of the discontented  settle in your soul and eat you up inside. Jealousy, envy, coveting can only lead to heartache, anger, or worse to evil acts. Work hard, save much, and you will enjoy your own rewards in their time.)

Seems to me, that it is a pretty good moral code to live by. God wanted people to live in harmony, and so he gave them directions and rules to make it possible for them to have harmony. The problem is, however, that we are not good at following rules, or even at knowing what is best for us. We prefer doing it our own way. We are convinced that there is no one perfect moral code for all, and we have the human intellect great enough for all the guidance we need.

In fact, we find God’s laws so offensive, that we have made sure to take every publicly displayed copy of these laws removed.

I guess we have gotten so cocky and sure of ourselves that we turn up our noses at anything that we do not originate for ourselves, and certainly, we would not want to admit that God had any better ideas than us. However, over my lifetime I have seen our society slip deeper and deeper into a moral abyss. It just seems to me that the more we push God out of the public eye, the less and less we understand what morality really is.

If we just lived by the 10 rules listed above, we would have very little need for thousands and thousands of regulations and laws. We would live contented, happy, and peaceful lives. We would work hard and rest hard.

Personally, I’m going to do my best to live this way, and I know many of you will toss this aside without much thought. I’ll be praying for you.

M.

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