The 10 Commandments as a Basis for Morality?
Summary and Conclusion
To open a discussion on this article, please use the contact page to provide your views.
I graded each commandment for its value as moral guidance as I went through this review, and the total is 30 / 100. That's a miserable F in any marking scheme I'm familiar with. Not surprising given that the first four commandments are entirely about religious observance and have no moral value.
The concept of posting the Ten Commandments in schools is not about inculcating moral values in schoolchildren. It is no more than an ill-disguised scheme to sneak religious instruction into schools.
And clearly any individual who claims in an argument to post these rules, "To restore morality we must first recognize the source from which all morality springs," does not understand what the commandments really say. And this is abundantly clear when we recognize the monument he constructed to the commandments is nothing more than a "graven image."
And in term of having an effect on the moral issues that really affect children, this posting the Ten Commandments will not have any impact.
The problems in school have little to do with failure to follow the Ten Commandments. They are about issues such as bullying, threats, fighting, teasing, tormenting, intimidation, cliques and factions. They are all about some children making the lives of others a living hell through immoral actions which are nowhere mentioned in the Ten Commandments.
The solution is not posting a piece of paper on classroom walls. The solution lies in actively teaching children to recognize the impact of their actions upon other, and to differentiate between negative and positive impacts. Teach them ethics and morality from an early age. Don't give them rules, teach them to think.
Note: For another take on this issue, visit Protect My Children from the Ten Commandments by Lewis Vaughn. Another newer look is found at Living the Commandments in America: An Experiment. Also, see Christopher Hitchens writing in Slate - Moore's Law: The immorality of the Ten Commandments. (This link may time-expire.)
Please take a moment to share your thoughts, pro and con, on this discussion of the commandments.comments powered by Disqus