IMAGINE – NO SEVENTH COMMANDMENT
(House is still cold — 60 degrees in here, but I’m not putting on the furnace. Sniffly cold went away fast.)
This “IMAGINE . . . ” business — What we’re doing is imagining if “there were no religion” to guide us into ethical behavior; no Commandments from God. No objective right and wrong. We humans are pretty good know-it-alls and can just figure things out for ourselves.
Imagine that no One says: “Thou shalt not steal.” Just, we wouldn’t usually steal because it’s not polite or we don’t want to start a fight, but sometimes stealing can be justified. like if someone has more than you do, or like the professor at the University of Wisconsin who said: it’s okay to steal from big corporations like Walmart, because they can absorb the loss and they’re insured anyway. Sound stupid? Sound like fiction? Here’s the link which generated so much discussion this week. He didn’t exactly say it was “okay,” but just that police shouldn’t prosecute shoplifters. So . . . “come on in!” to Walmart!
So WHO PAYS for the product loss?
Shoplifting product loss, higher insurance rates, higher cost of doing business — we all pay, in the form of higher prices. (Seems like we’d all be a little better off if we didn’t have to pay for the cost of thievery.)
Same thing goes for all forms of bribery . . .
Imagine a world where we were never commanded not to steal. Who could we trust? A simple walk in the park might lead to a mugging. A simple walk down the boardwalk could lead to the loss of our wallet, phones, or ID.
Hang on to your possessions! Lock your doors and windows. No Seventh Commandment — no trust. Anyone can justify taking anything from anyone.
Now, we have a problem. We do have a Seventh Commandment. We’re supposed to teach our children not to take anything that doesn’t belong to them, and then as they get older we’re supposed to train them all that that means. And the adult world would be a more pleasant, more secure, and less costly place.
But something went wrong, and we don’t have to “imagine.” We can observe a world where the Seventh Commandment is quickly evaporating from our common human society. It does seem that a world without religion, without the Ten Commandments revealed to the ancient Israelites, is not a world that works very well.