I. I Am the Lord Thy God.
I. “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”– God
INTERPRETATION: Basically, god is saying he had the power to save them from slavery, he could take their good fortune away just as easily. Ergo, if you dont follow what I says there may be consequences. Without a way to indicate repercussions for disobedience, why would anyone follow the rules? Back then, everything was magic. All good and bad fortune was bestowed upon them by higher beings. This is literally the 6000 year old equivalent to rational self-interest. It is not in your best interest to murder someone or steal their stuff. Generally speaking, the emotional, psychological, societal, ramifications are counter to your self-interest.
II. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them…”-God
INTERPRETATION: If God is easily replaced, then so are his commandments. This commandment is about virtue. If virtue is so easily replaced, than virtues might as well not exist. We can agree that virtues are a good thing. Especially the virtue of rational self-interest.
III. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”– God
INTERPRETATION: Easily the most misunderstood commandment, It does not mean “dont say god” or “dont swear at god.” It means don’t do shit in his name that goes against his teachings. Don’t hide behind his name. Don’t slaughter people in his name. The crusades come to mind, in regard to this commandment. They were fighting muslims though, so maybe they were being absolved after all. A modern application of this would be the state taking away your freedoms in the name of security. Or, Invading other countries in the name of security for instance. Living with absolute individual freedom is your raison D’être. Infringing on that for any reason is a big no-no.
IV. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work…”– God
INTERPRETATION: Only slaves work seven days a week. You are a human being. You are free. If you are forced to work seven days a week, by definition you are a slave. This commandment venerates humanity. Be a slave to no one and nothing.
V. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you”– God
INTERPRETATION: Children don’t need to love their parents, but they should still honor them. A child who does not honor their parents or guardians, are easily divided and manipulated by authorities like the state. All of these are in the context of the objectivist family, by the way.
VI. “You shall not murder.“– God
INTERPRETATION: No interpretation needed. Do not murder. No murder. This is a commandment for obvious reasons. However, 6000 years ago it was not so obvious. Dude, back then a man literally offered bandits his daughter to keep the bandits from stealing his coat. There is a similar story in the Old Testament about a guy who offered his wife to keep the guys from effing him in the bum. I may be mixing up whether the girls in the stories were daughters or wives but that is irrelevant. The fact is, it was shitty and morally questionable at best in the past. Thanks to Christianity, our modern morality is second nature. Too bad it also includes a heavy dose of altruism.
VII. “You shall not commit adultery.”– God
INTERPRETATION: The family is the building block of society. Unless otherwise agreed upon, a relationship outside the marriage is against the interest of the family and by extension, society.
VIII. “You shall not steal.“– God
INTERPRETATION: If you steal someone’s property, you are essentially stealing the time the victim dedicated to obtaining that property. In essence, you are stealing their life. It might as well be murder.
IX. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”– God
INTERPRETATION: The first draft of this article was over ten thousand words long. It contained detailed interpretations that covered all the bases and predicted questions and closed up loopholes. I decided against posting it for readability reasons. Ill most likely post the essay to my website http://www.thecuratorpapagiorgio.com after some polish and Ill put the link here. I mention this because in it, I used lying as an example of acting agains your self-interest, multiple times throughout the essay. Bearing false witness, aka. Lying, creates an alternate reality. When you lie to someone to advantage yourself, you create a new alternate universe that only exists for that person. That person no longer lives in the reality of truth. You, the liar, stole reality away from that person. Some Objectivists say its ok to lie to people to benefit yourself and if the person is dumb enough to believe it, then so be it. However, considering that you stole from them, objective truth, lying is without question morally reprehensible. Dont do it. Besides, when you lie, you have to lie again to cover up that lie, and again to cover up the lie that covered up the first lie. It is agains your best interest to lie.
X. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”– God
INTERPRETATION: This is more like a guideline than a rule. Or perhaps even a warning. I say this because it tells you not to think a certain way. If god was telling you to think a certain way, then that would mean you are not an autonomous being with free will. Even still, the “guideline “ provided here is very useful because it warns you about the thing that leads to murder, stealing, adulatory and lying. I do acknowledge that this commandment is contradictory.
You made it to the end. The Ten Commandments aren’t worthless, at the very least they are food for thought, I personally love them and will be teaching my children to honor thy father, heh. I hope you enjoyed it. If there is a part that you want me to expand on, let me know in the comments and I will gladly elaborate. Like I said above, this originally was a 10,000 word essay. Did not mean for it to be that long, it just happened because building a ship with no holes, using the tools that I have is difficult. ( my brain is stupid)