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!0 Commandments versus a legal system

steve_bank

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A legal system like in the west is not necessarily about morality and justice. It is about maintaining order.o
In the time of Moses although stated as from god, it is really a social legal system.

It promotes order. No adultery or fornication which can lead to conflict. Do not lie or steal, again all about order. Do not bare false witness or make false accusation, again promotes social order and stability.
 

Valjean

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Why do you single out the West?
I think legal systems in the West -- and i assume you're talking about Europe and the Americas -- tend to be based on abstract principles of fairness and idealism than those in the ancient world. That's not to say this veneer isn't fragile. If people feel threatened or insecure, the desire for order, convention and predictability can still override principle.
 

steve_bank

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Why do you single out the West?
I think legal systems in the West -- and i assume you're talking about Europe and the Americas -- tend to be based on abstract principles of fairness and idealism than those in the ancient world. That's not to say this veneer isn't fragile. If people feel threatened or insecure, the desire for order, convention and predictability can still override principle.

Fairness and legal systems are not the same.

sometimes the obliviously guilty go free because of the way the system works. A system of fixed rules and imperfect people can never be perfect. Sometimes the innocent are convicted. It is about a system that maintains order over chaos and individual justice.

The obvious flip side is the Philippines where the president had been involved in extrajudicial killing of criminals. Or the Argentine death squads. Or Iran and Saudi Arabia.
 

fromderinside

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Fair, sides, what the hay. Systems to survive need correcting processes. What was fair when women were property isn't fair when women are persons. Correcting processes need be in place to bring legal systems up to current specification of 'fair' and what constitutes 'sides'. Those processes need be adjusted for current conditions and current problems and they need to be constituted demanding continuous process improvement.

Pointing at others, the philippines for instance, is not one of those processes. Processes need be based on evidence of performance which is continuously updated for drivers and consequences using widely agreed to procedures.

Since this is a morality thread one must first accept that morality is an evolving thing not some etched in stone construct.
 

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A legal system like in the west is not necessarily about morality and justice. It is about maintaining order.o
In the time of Moses although stated as from god, it is really a social legal system.

It promotes order. No adultery or fornication which can lead to conflict. Do not lie or steal, again all about order. Do not bare false witness or make false accusation, again promotes social order and stability.

We possess two versions of the Decalogue, but both are part of the actual legal codes of the ancient House of Israel such as they were during the nearly-theocratic Second Temple period. It's not surprising that they have a legal feel.
 

steve_bank

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A legal system like in the west is not necessarily about morality and justice. It is about maintaining order.o
In the time of Moses although stated as from god, it is really a social legal system.

It promotes order. No adultery or fornication which can lead to conflict. Do not lie or steal, again all about order. Do not bare false witness or make false accusation, again promotes social order and stability.

We possess two versions of the Decalogue, but both are part of the actual legal codes of the ancient House of Israel such as they were during the nearly-theocratic Second Temple period. It's not surprising that they have a legal feel.

All cultures had codes for civil, moral, and religious issues. The Code Of Hammurabi.

Google bible 613 commandments. It pulls out all the biblical dictates. Compared to the Code Of Hammurabi the Hebrew codes were scattered over centuries with no consistency and some rather bizarre crimes and punishments. What you expect of a superstitious tribal culture.

Hardly a moral code for modern times.
 

Bronzeage

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Every culture known to mankind has their own version of the 10 Commandments. The core of everyone of these is the edict, "Do not kill your friends." The second is "Don't steal your friend's stuff."

These two basic rules are what allows a group of people to live in close proximity, whether it's a tent, a grass hut, or a cave. There's nothing vague about their origin. Humans cannot survive alone. We have to cooperate and without the assurance that our camp mates won't bash our skull while we sleep. Homo sapiens and all the hominids who walked on two legs before, would have gone extinct. Actually, we are the only ones who didn't, so who knows. In any case, it's kept us creating new homo sapiens for a very long time.

The operative words are "friends" and "stuff". In order to benefit from the two rules, we have to know who are our friends, and what is stuff. All the complex legal codes which have been created since the beginning of time were put in place to define these two words. It draws a circle around the group and within the group, we know what can be claimed and what cannot.

Beyond that, more rules have to be crafted to define what happens to people who kill friends and steal friend's stuff. The environment has the greatest effect on the sub-rules. If we live on a tropical island where we don't need clothes and all our food grows on trees, property is not going to be a big deal. What difference does it make if I have four coconuts and you have five. Another coconut is going fall to the ground in a minute. In a harsh environment, where food is scarce and either freezing to death or dying of thirst is a constant threat, the sub-rules get very specific and usually very harsh.

One constant problem with codified rules is they tend to stick around, long after the conditions which spawned them are gone. An adulterous wife is no longer a threat to the family's wealth (allowing someone from outside the group to consume resources), so stoning is no longer in order. That kind of thing still happens in some places, mostly because that's the way it's always been done.

There's nothing particularly special about the 10 Commandments of Moses. They just happen to have been the rules of a literate society which passed them on to other literate societies which took cooperation to higher levels than had ever been seen.

As societies and cultures become more complex, which is to say, they have more resources(however they get them), whatever authority rules the day, co-opts the rules and claims they made them up. Maybe it's divine inspiration or just divine right, but it's never something new.
 

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The powers-that-be are concerned with maintaining their power and/or wealth. Their concern is stability and preserving the system that created their power. They craft laws accordingly, to suppress anything or anyone threatening the status quo. Heaven forbid the hoi polloi should ever catch on and demand a piece of the pie.

Best maintain the trappings of democracy and keep the people either happy or squabbling amongst themselves.
 

fromderinside

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The problem with identifying powers is that there are always many perceived powers which is normal for living things since living things compete for resources. Yet as a social species we need recognize we are one species and that with which we must compete are natural forces and conditions rather than among ourselves for possession and exploitation of such resources. Wasting energy on differentiating among us impedes this primary task of overcoming natural conditions outside our species.

Just a take on what might be another way to approach morality.
 

HaRaAYaH

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A legal system like in the west is not necessarily about morality and justice. It is about maintaining order.o
In the time of Moses although stated as from god, it is really a social legal system.

It promotes order. No adultery or fornication which can lead to conflict. Do not lie or steal, again all about order. Do not bare false witness or make false accusation, again promotes social order and stability.

We possess two versions of the Decalogue, but both are part of the actual legal codes of the ancient House of Israel such as they were during the nearly-theocratic Second Temple period. It's not surprising that they have a legal feel.

All cultures had codes for civil, moral, and religious issues. The Code Of Hammurabi.

Google bible 613 commandments. It pulls out all the biblical dictates. Compared to the Code Of Hammurabi the Hebrew codes were scattered over centuries with no consistency and some rather bizarre crimes and punishments. What you expect of a superstitious tribal culture.

Hardly a moral code for modern times.

You must stop doing this. It's really not intellectually sound. It's not what the 613 commandments say, it's how Judaism interprets them. All words need interpretation. The US Constitutions seems clear to me, nut it's not what I say it is, it's what the Supreme Court says it is. SO the eye for an eye crap is not literal. In Judaism it's monetary damages. The death penalty stuff. Judaism is opposed to the death penalty. And those 613 rules only apply to Jews.

All laws of any society are about control.
 

lpetrich

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Why not state them explicitly so that we can all know what we are talking about? Be careful about which version you list, because there is more than one in the Bible and more than one of the usual set of 10.
 

HaRaAYaH

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Why not state them explicitly so that we can all know what we are talking about? Be careful about which version you list, because there is more than one in the Bible and more than one of the usual set of 10.

The framers felt the Constitution was crystal clear. Humans have trouble with words. Always have, always will.
 

Politesse

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Why not state them explicitly so that we can all know what we are talking about? Be careful about which version you list, because there is more than one in the Bible and more than one of the usual set of 10.
Your response does not make sense to me. What legal code has ever existed that did not need to be interpreted through some system of jurisprudence? No matter how "clear" a law is, HaRaAYaH's comment would still be relevant.
 

lpetrich

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As to the 10C's, there are three sets. The Exodus 20, Exodus 34, and Deuteronomy 5 sets. The Exod 20 and Deut 5 ones are duplicates, and they are at the beginning of larger law codes. The Exod 34 one is a different one. The Ten Commandments - Both Sets

Fun fact: a little after the Exod 20 set is that one should not walk upon an altar because one will expose oneself if one did.

The Exod 20 / Deut 5 set:
  1. I am the Lord your God
  2. Don't worship any gods in preference to me (Exod 20) / other than me (Deut 5)
  3. Don't make depictions of anything or worship them
  4. Don't misuse My name
  5. Every seventh day is a holy day, and one must not work on that day
  6. Honor your father and mother
  7. Do not murder anyone
  8. Do not steal anything
  9. Do not falsely accuse anyone of anything
  10. Do not desire anything that your neighbor owns
The Exod 34 set:
  1. Do not worship any god but Me
  2. Do not make any agreements with the other people who live on your land
  3. Do not make cast-metal statues of gods
  4. Observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread
  5. Offer your firstborn livestock animals to Me
  6. On each seventh day, do not work
  7. Observe the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Ingathering
  8. Be sure to make your offerings without yeast
  9. Offer your first harvests to Me
  10. Do not cook a baby goat in its mother's milk
 

steve_bank

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All cultures had codes for civil, moral, and religious issues. The Code Of Hammurabi.

Google bible 613 commandments. It pulls out all the biblical dictates. Compared to the Code Of Hammurabi the Hebrew codes were scattered over centuries with no consistency and some rather bizarre crimes and punishments. What you expect of a superstitious tribal culture.

Hardly a moral code for modern times.

You must stop doing this. It's really not intellectually sound. It's not what the 613 commandments say, it's how Judaism interprets them. All words need interpretation. The US Constitutions seems clear to me, nut it's not what I say it is, it's what the Supreme Court says it is. SO the eye for an eye crap is not literal. In Judaism it's monetary damages. The death penalty stuff. Judaism is opposed to the death penalty. And those 613 rules only apply to Jews.

All laws of any society are about control.

Functionally the 10C amd the 613 were all a legal-social system. It defined tribal social bounds and behavior and defined punishments.

It was all a legal system functionally, invoking god is irrelevant which is my point. Saying by the leadership it is all from god who will punish you is just an enforcement tool.

What Jews do today is irrelevant to the discussion. Jews today run from ultra conservative to liberal with different interpretations.

As to words and meaning, the founders put prohibitions in the constitution against religious tests for office and creating laws to promote religion because they understood the issues and conflicts surrounding religion.e Religious law is open to wide interpretations.

If you are uncomfortable on secular discussion of religion then do not read the threads and put me on ignore.

If you want to discuss Jews and the death penalty that would be a political discussion on Israel.
 

HaRaAYaH

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Functionally the 10C amd the 613 were all a legal-social system. It defined tribal social bounds and behavior and defined punishments.

We agree.

It was all a legal system functionally, invoking god is irrelevant which is my point. Saying by the leadership it is all from god who will punish you is just an enforcement tool..

Well Judaism would disagree with you. I'm not speaking about American Jews today many of whom long ago abandoned any belief in God

What Jews do today is irrelevant to the discussion. Jews today run from ultra conservative to liberal with different interpretations.

This has nothing to do with Jews today.

As to words and meaning, the founders put prohibitions in the constitution against religious tests for office and creating laws to promote religion because they understood the issues and conflicts surrounding religion.e Religious law is open to wide interpretations.
They also prohibited the government from interfering with the free exercise of religion. They did not want one religion dominating the government. It's clear the founders expected a secular government and a religious society.


If you are uncomfortable on secular discussion of religion then do not read the threads and put me on ignore..

I;m not uncomfortable being around people who disagree with me. I expect people here will challenge my beliefs and I have no issue with it. I'll have an intellectual conversation with anyone, I just want it based on reality.




If you want to discuss Jews and the death penalty that would be a political discussion on Israel.

Well, here you go again. Your knowledge of the subject matter is limited.

I said Judaism is opposed to the death penalty not Jews of today.

A Sanhedrin that puts a man to death once in seven years is called a murderous one. R. Eleazar ben Azariah says 'Or even once in 70 years.' R. Tarfon and R. Akiva said, 'If we had been in the Sanhedrin no death sentence would ever have been passed

That's three sages from the Talmudic era, not three guys from the mens club at the local shul. The Rabbis erected every possible barrier to the implementation of the death penalty. So again, my point is this: You can disagree with whatever any region teaches about anything but you have to argue (to be intellectually honest) against what the religion holds, not what the text says. The Torah (the five books of Moses) contain about 80,000 words, Yet, the Babylonian Talmud which is basically an interpretation of the same is 1.8 million words.
 

HaRaAYaH

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The Jewish Version:
The Exod 20 / Deut 5 set:
  1. I am the Lord your God
  2. Don't worship any gods in preference to me Don't make depictions of anything or worship them
  3. Don't misuse My name
  4. Remember the Sabbath day & keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and mother
  6. Do not murder anyone
  7. Do not commit adultery
  8. Do not steal anything
  9. Do not falsely accuse anyone of anything
  10. Do not desire anything that your neighbor owns
The first five are considered commandments between god and man and the second 5 are between man and man
 

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Fun fact. In the Book of Exodus, Moses gets very mad when he sees his fellow Israelites worship a golden statue of a bull. In his rage, he smashes the first set of tablets of the Law, the Exodus-20 set. But God obligingly makes a second set of tablets of the Law, the Exodus-34 set.

Why Christians get the 10 commandments wrong | Salon.com by Valerie Tarico
That’s what makes all of the pages devoted to useless things like tribal spats, genealogies, rules for slaveholders, menstrual rituals, misogynist trash talk and loquacious donkeys such a wasted opportunity. But even that would be less painful if core moral mandates like the Ten Commandments were of higher caliber.

Secularists had a good laugh a few years back, when Stephen Colbert nailed Georgia Representative Lynn Westmoreland, who had co-sponsored a bill requiring display of the Ten Commandments in the House and Senate chambers. “What are the Ten Commandments?” asked Colbert. Westmoreland came up with three.

VT's statement of them:

Exodus 20, KJV:
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

Exodus 34, KJV:
1. Thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
2. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
3. The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep.
4. All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male.
5. Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest.
6. Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.
7. Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven.
8. Neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.
9. The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
10. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.
 

HaRaAYaH

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My favorite version of the 10 commandments:

[YOUTUBE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI1JJZuopig[/YOUTUBE]
 

lpetrich

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Ten-Commandments enthusiasts argue "What can be wrong with objecting to murder and theft?" But murder and theft are (1) very easy to object to and (2) only part of the 10C's.

It's like saying that it's impossible to object to Buddhism because its Four Noble Truths recognize the suffering in our lives and because its Five Moral Rules forbid murder, theft, lying, sexual misconduct, and consuming anything intoxicating.
 

steve_bank

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_Eightfold_Path

The Buddhist 8 Fold Path is derived rationally from observance of causes of human suffering. No god needed. Only monks practice celibacy and poverty. Sex is limited to marriage. No intoxicants. Right livelihood, no work that violates morality.. A true moral code.

Right View: our actions have consequences, death is not the end, and our actions and beliefs have consequences after death. The Buddha followed and taught a successful path out of this world and the other world (heaven and underworld/hell).[28][29][30][31][note 3] Later on, right view came to explicitly include karma and rebirth, and the importance of the Four Noble Truths, when "insight" became central to Buddhist soteriology.[32][33]


Right Resolve or Intention: the giving up home and adopting the life of a religious mendicant in order to follow the path; this concept aims at peaceful renunciation, into an environment of non-sensuality, non-ill-will (to loving kindness), away from cruelty (to compassion).[34] Such an environment aids contemplation of impermanence, suffering, and non-Self.[34]
Right Speech: no lying, no rude speech, no telling one person what another says about him.[27]

Right Conduct or Action: no killing or injuring, no taking what is not given, no sexual acts, no material desires.[27]

Right Livelihood: beg to feed, only possessing what is essential to sustain life;[27]

Right Effort: preventing the arising of unwholesome states, and generating wholesome states, the bojjhagā (seven factors of awakening). This includes indriya-samvara, "guarding the sense-doors," restraint of the sense faculties.[35][34]

Right Mindfulness (sati; Satipatthana; Sampajañña): "retention," being mindful of the dhammas ("teachings," "elements") that are beneficial to the Buddhist path.[36][note 4] In the vipassana movement, sati is interpreted as "bare attention": never be absent minded, being conscious of what one is doing;[38] this encourages the awareness of the impermanence of body, feeling and mind, as well as to experience the five aggregates (skandhas), the five hindrances, the four True Realities and seven factors of awakening.[34]

Right samadhi (Passaddhi; Ekaggata; sampasadana): practicing four stages of dhyāna ("meditation"), which includes samadhi proper in the second stage, and reinforces the development of the bojjhagā, culminating into upekkha (equanimity) and mindfulness.[39][8] In the Theravada tradition and the Vipassana movement, this is interpreted as ekaggata, concentration or one-pointedness of the mind, and supplemented with Vipassana-meditation, which aims at insight.
 

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Why do you single out the West?
I think legal systems in the West -- and i assume you're talking about Europe and the Americas -- tend to be based on abstract principles of fairness and idealism than those in the ancient world. That's not to say this veneer isn't fragile. If people feel threatened or insecure, the desire for order, convention and predictability can still override principle.

Fairness and legal systems are not the same.

sometimes the obliviously guilty go free because of the way the system works. A system of fixed rules and imperfect people can never be perfect. Sometimes the innocent are convicted. It is about a system that maintains order over chaos and individual justice.

Any system that values ethics (avoiding undue harm to people) and fairness will sometimes let the guilty go free and jail the innocent. Fairness and minimizing of unethical actions are optimized when explicit rules and procedures are followed for determining whether a person is guilty of violating behavioral codes. Violation of those procedures will always create unchecked power that leads to the greatest levels of unfairness and immorality.
IOW, your setting up a false dichotomy between fixed rules and order versus morality, fairness, and justice. While rules and order can be devoid of morality and fairness, morality and fairness in a large society is not possible without them.
 

steve_bank

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The way I see it a moral code is a set of rules. Ethics is how you stick to the rules.

To the ancient Samurai ritual suicide was the ethical thing to do under certain circumstances.

What is moral is decided by a culture.
 

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Humans have William the Conqueror to thank for integrating legal structures in occidental culture. Now, if only we could integrate legal with religious aspects of said culture we might have something that works. Unfortunately one needs find soul to achieve this.
 

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Ten-Commandments enthusiasts argue "What can be wrong with objecting to murder and theft?" But murder and theft are (1) very easy to object to and (2) only part of the 10C's.

It's like saying that it's impossible to object to Buddhism because its Four Noble Truths recognize the suffering in our lives and because its Five Moral Rules forbid murder, theft, lying, sexual misconduct, and consuming anything intoxicating.

Now this is a good place to stat this thread. So as post 2 Oregon Connection:

I argue

Relativism has no place when speaking of morality and ethics because we are talking about human nature.

Relativism is an essential part of law which is supposed to arbitrate disputes within each culture.

I don't think one can successfully argue that cultures share human nature since each is divided by technology, place, and disagreement with other cultures.

So my short answer answer is that morality and law can only be related by the nature of the humans within a culture which is common with that of other cultures. Among these I find that small snippets of criminal law can be related to commonalities in various cultures shared morality relative to murder, theft, coercion, possession, family behavior, as long as caveats mentioned above are illuminated and justified, and a few other moral staples to which I'm willing to negotiate with those here.

Using the above as a starting point along with your essential distinctions we will at least know what we are up against.
 
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A legal system like in the west is not necessarily about morality and justice. It is about maintaining order.o
In the time of Moses although stated as from god, it is really a social legal system.

It promotes order. No adultery or fornication which can lead to conflict. Do not lie or steal, again all about order. Do not bare false witness or make false accusation, again promotes social order and stability.

https://talkfreethought.org/showthr...avior-Only-civilized-and-uncivilized-behavior

An objective person is a person with sufficient objectivity to understand that the universe does not revolve around their ego.
A civilized society is a society whose laws do not revolve around any one person or any one group of people.
The more a society treats everyone as equals the more civilized it is.

But treating everyone as equals is not the same thing as treating everyone exactly the same.
If we treated everyone the way that extroverts want to be treated then people who are introverted would suffer.
Treating everyone as if they were exactly the same is pseudo-civilization.

Civilization is an emergent property. It has emerged from the law of the jungle. It is not part of the law of the jungle. It is separate from the law of the jungle. It is beyond the law of the jungle. It is above the law of the jungle. It is something entirely new. Civilization is what separates man from the animals. Humans are (in varying degrees) civilized. Animals are not.


There are 3 common positions:
1) The Theist position: There exists a magical and totally selfless being called 'god' that is the source of all morality (godliness) and civilized behavior should be derived from this morality.
2) The Hyper-empirical position: There is no 'god' therefore there is no morality (godliness) and therefore there is no such thing as civilized behavior (only mob rule) and everyone is free to do whatever they can get away with.
3) The Rationalist position: Civilization and civilized behavior are emergent properties that arises whenever you have a large number of objective human beings interacting with one another. A civilized society is a society governed by proper laws. Proper laws do not give any one person or any one group of people any special rights. All people have equal rights in a civilized society. Civilized behavior is behavior that respects proper laws, rules, and expectations.


In the hyper-empirical (autistic) world view, a person is seen as just a "collection of atoms" and since it is not improper to use, abuse, or manipulate atoms to one's own ends it is, therefore, not thought improper to use, abuse, or manipulate people to one's own ends.

On the face of it, this almost seems reasonable. After all, we are indeed made entirely of atoms (or some other units that can be modeled mathematically). It fails, however, to take into account the emergent phenomena that make a human being so much more than "just atoms". Atoms don't have thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, or aspirations but people do. Clearly, being "made of" something (for example atoms) is not the same thing as "being" something.

Sometimes hyper-empirical people will avoid the phrase "humans are just atoms" and will opt instead for "humans are just animals". Both phrases express the same underlying idea
 

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Ten-Commandments enthusiasts argue "What can be wrong with objecting to murder and theft?" But murder and theft are (1) very easy to object to and (2) only part of the 10C's.

It's like saying that it's impossible to object to Buddhism because its Four Noble Truths recognize the suffering in our lives and because its Five Moral Rules forbid murder, theft, lying, sexual misconduct, and consuming anything intoxicating.

We don't object to murder and theft. We argue over the definitions of the words and what is more important, what actions do not fit the definition.
 
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