Having watched Christopher Hitchens talk about the 10 Commandments, I found myself wondering:

What if, instead of giving his top ten orders to Moses way back when, he turned up last week, and gave his orders to, say, Derren Brown, or Richard Bandler, or Noam Chomsky – someone who had a firm grasp of linguistics? The way I imagine it, I don’t think any of the above would have been as credulous and sycophantic as poor old Moses appears to have been.

No doubt, they’d have had questions, and lots of them, for this being pronouncing himself not simply a god, but to be the one and only true God with a capital G!

And I wonder how he’d have faired… the Big Guy, I mean. God, with a capital G…

I Am The Lord Thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me.

That’s a big claim, Mr God. Your sentence is filled with many presuppositions, but the main one seems to be that you are the lord, that you are my god, is that what you’re saying?

Yes.

Fair enough. As you know, since you claim to have created everything, that any poor schmuck can come along and say he’s god – we’ve had plenty of them – how do we know that what you claim is true? Can you give us any proof, any evidence?

Thou shalt not tempt thy Lord thy God!

Is that another commandment?

Mmmmyes, I guess. But it’s not in my top 10.

Okay, so understanding that we humans on planet earth have heard people make this claim – that they are god – since the beginning of time right up to this very day, you still assert that we should only believe you and not them? Did you know that when they were asked for proof that they say virtually the same thing you do… and do you see how that makes it difficult for us to know just who the real god is… supposing that there’s even one in the first place?

That’s easy. That’s what faith is all about. Believing without proof. If I gave you empirical evidence, then you’d know – just as you know the world revolves around the sun – and that would nullify faith. You see that, don’t you, my son?

Okay. Well, let’s get back to your Number 1 commandment, shall we?

All right.

For the sake of continuing this conversation and hearing the rest of your favorites, we’ll skip over the proof part and pretend that we accept you are the one and only god and that you lord it over us, okay?

Well, I wouldn’t quite put it that way… but, for expedience, all right.

Thank you. Now, you go on to say that I shall have no other gods before me. Is that right?

Correct.

And you are the only god, right?

Right.

Does that mean that you could just as easily have said: thou shalt have no other unicorns before me?

That’s ridiculous! What do you mean?

Hey, chill! I just meant that since you claim that you are the one and only capital G, there cannot be any other gods. Not one. Just like there’s no bogeyman or Santa Claus. Why would you instruct me to do something that I cannot possibly do anyway? How can I hold any gods before you when they don’t exist and only you do? Can you see how that’s a tad confusing?

Mmmmyes. I understand. I understand everything. Of course there are no other gods. I was suggesting that you shalt not imagine or make-believe any other gods.

Oh, I get it. You don’t want me to use my creative mind in this particular territory. Got it. But why? Why would it matter to you if, like some children do, it pleased me to invent an invisible friend, and love it and care for it and think of it as my best friend in the whole wide world? If it made me happy and didn’t hurt anyone, why would you deprive me of that pleasant pastime?

Haven’t you read the bible, my son?

Yes. A couple of times. And, by the way, my name is Thomas.

Then you should know that I am a jealous God.

Do you mean to say the jealous god… since there are no other gods and all?

Listen, young man, I’ve got to be at a worship ceremony at 6:00, so if you want to ask me about the other 9 commandments, I command you to move on!

Yeah, I suppose, you wouldn’t want to be late for that. I’m curious – are you like a vampire in as much as you have a certain ‘worship’ quota you must satisfy or you’ll turn into dust? Is it like your food, your nutrition, or something? Oh, come on, don’t look at me that way. I’m just asking, just want to be clear. Wouldn’t want to assume and pretend to be able to read the mind of god… so I’m asking, okay?

Thou shalt not question the Lord thy God!

Oh, is that the next commandment? Where are we now… Commandment number 2 –

No. It is a commandment, but, yeah, I think I should’ve put it in the top 10. Maybe it should be the second one. It would fit pretty good right there, wouldn’t it?

So, you could just rewrite them, couldn’t you?

Until being interrogated by you I simply had no idea just how stupid humans could be. The commandments are simple, straightforward and pretty doable if you ask me. It’s not like I’m asking you to fly or anything. There just supposed to be good ideas to live by. Why are they so difficult to understand? I mean, check this one out – and tell me, what’s not to get?

I’m listening.

Next blog: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images. (Beware all artists!)

© 2010 Wordwurst

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