As if wanting to give me inspiration early on, the YouTube gods dropped this into my feed for some fun relaxing viewing:
Christopher Hitches, now quite dead, created this wonderful inspirational clip for Vanity Fair while he was a columnist there. I hadn’t seen it in years, but it’s well worth watching.
The most important comes straight at the beginning when he points out that there is more than one version — actually a total of four versions — contained in the old testament. So immediately the idea that these rules come from any other source than human beings trying their best to figure out how to live a good life immediately becomes ridiculous.
The other thing that becomes obvious is how little the original authors understood about human wellbeing. That they forgot to include a commandment outlawing slavery, but still had room for one about not working on Sundays (or Saturdays depending on your particular convictions) says a lot and no one has ever come up with a satisfying excuse for how they could make such an important mistake and still expect to be taken seriously.
It’s important to remember that you could grab an average ten-year-old off a playground and ask them for a set of Ten Commandments and you would would be all but guaranteed to get a more moral set of rules than these ten. That’s the orders-of-magnitude increase in our moral sense as a species over the last couple thousand years.