Thou shalt not kill

18 Apr

That is the sixth commandment. It is very simple and direct, and there are no sub-clauses or exceptions. Personally, I am an atheist, so it should make no difference to me, but it is the one commandment that really makes sense in humanist, ethical terms. As for coveting my neighbour’s ox or ass, well it doesn’t really apply, and not believing in God or sin, most of the other ones tend to go by the board. Being faithful to my wife is a personal and practical decision, so that deals with the seventh commandment. As I try to be a responsible member of my little sub-set of society theft and deception are also not on my agenda.

The death penalty was abandoned in Britain back in the sixties, and yet murder is much less prevalent here than in many countries where it is still a proscribed punishment. The vast majority of murders are committed by someone known to the victim, usually when not in a sane state of mind. The death sentence is not a deterrent. It does not work. If killing people is wrong then it also applies to judicial murder, otherwise known as execution. As I said above, there are no sub-clauses or exceptions. Way to go, Almighty one!


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