The Second Tablets

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Thou Shalt Not Be Wilfully Blind

Thou shalt not think unjust evil of they brethren Thou shalt make thy best effort to avoid committing the sin of stupidity.
Thou shalt not create paranoia Thou shalt not destroy what is good to achieve what thou thinkst is best.
Thou Shalt Not Blame Others When It's Thine Fault Thou shalt not assume that pacificism will bring peace.
Thou Shalt Not Homogenize Thou shalt not confuse appeasement with peace making.
Thou shalt not assume that those who disagree with oneself are evil. Thou shalt not assume that those who promote military strength are for war.
Thou shalt not attempt to silence those thou does not agree with. Thou shalt not assume one is entitled simply because one wants to be.

 

   According to the Bible Moses smashed the second set of tables because he was angry at the Jews for worshipping a Golden Calf.  As a result the second set of commandments was lost.

  When I observe the sins of my fellow man I observe sins which were not on the original tablets and which they are violating.  I have listed them above and include a discussion of them below.

Thou shalt not be wilfully blind:  Rael Jean Isaac wrote an article called The First Deadly Sin in which she wrote:

"Wilful Blindness" should be added to the list of the seven deadly sins and Pride should give way to Wilful Blindness as chief among them.   Pride destroys a person, wilful blindness a people.

   Wilful blindness is when people choose not to face reality even though they know what reality is.  Rael Isaac was referring to the fact that after the Israeli government published a list of Arab violations of their agreements, it continued to make dangerous concessions in return for more worthless agreements.   Wilful blindness destroys individuals as well.   Drug addicts and alcoholics who refuse to face their conditions are wilfully blind. 

Thou shalt not think unjust evil of they brethren:  Much of the evil done in this world is not done by ill-intentioned people wanting to hurt good people but rather by well-intentioned people trying to hurt people they incorrectly believe to be bad.  Thinking bad things about another person that are untrue is an evil thing to do to that person.  There is a saying regarding this

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions.

    An example of a group of people who mean well but have caused a lot of Hell are Recovered Memory Therapists.

    That doesn't mean paranoid people who are mentally ill should be punished for being paranoid.  They may not be able to help themselves.

Thou shalt not create paranoia:  Blaming others in order to protect one's self esteem is an example of this.  Rationalizing bad things about someone one wants to take something from is another.  Creation of paranoia toward other groups is the first step toward attacking them.  Aaron Beck in his book Prisoners of Hate writes  about how a Nazi doctor rationalized the killing of Jews.  The doctor created in his mind the paranoid image of Jews as a gangrenous appendix.  The Nazi doctor explained his murder of Jews as follows:

Of course I am a doctor and I want to preserve life.  And out of respect for human life, I would remove a gangrenous appendix from a diseased body.   The Jew is the gangrenous appendix in the body of mankind."

   In his excellent book, Dr. Beck gives many examples of the creation of paranoia by groups and the terrible consequences. 

    I have devoted a page of this web site to past and current examples of creation of paranoia by groups.  

Thou Shalt Not Blame Others When It's Thine Fault:  This is related to the command, thou shalt not create paranoia.  When you blame someone else you are saying that person did a bad thing or that person is bad which creates paranoia to that person.  People do this to protect their own self esteem from the admission of their own guilt.  An example of this in the news is the way Egypt reacted when EgyptAir Flight 990 crashed into the Atlantic.  The evidence as of November 18 1999 points to the copilot deliberately crashing the plane.  According to the Associated Press:

There is no sign of mechanical malfunction or explosion.   Relief co-pilot Capt. Gameel Batouty, scheduled to take over much later in the 11-hour New York-to-Cairo flight, enters the cockpit and asks to fly.  His request is accepted.The cockpit door is opened later, after which there is no converation, leading investigators to conclude Batouty is alone.He says in Arabic: "I made my decision now. I put my faith in God's hands."  Shortly thereafter, the autopilot is turned off and the jet begins to descend steeply from 33,000 feet.  The cockpit door opens again.  Investigators believe the pilot, Capt. Ahmed Mahmoud el-Habashy, has returned because he is heard to ask what's going on.  They believe he tries to regain control because he is heard to say, "Pull with me. Help me. Pull with me."... 35 seconds after the autopilot was turned off at 33,000 feet, there was an unusual split in the plane's elevators: The pilot's side elevator moved up, which would push the nose up, but the co-pilot's side elevator was in the nose-down position...Boeing has told investigators crew members must apply 50 pounds of pressure in opposite directions on the pilot's and co-pilot's control yokes to achieve this split outcome...Also 35 seconds after the autopilot was turned off, the jet's two engines were turned off.

   The Egyptian press however does not accept the very reasonable conclusions of the investigators of the crash.  Instead they accuse the American government of covering up for Boeing Corp.  Some newspapers darkly hinted at the likely involvement of foreign agents, obliquely suggesting Israel--the most frequent scapegoat in the public's imagination when disasters befall Egypt.  According to a neighbor of Batouty, Batouty's family said that it was sabotage and that maybe Israel was involved.

    The consequences of the Egyptian reaction is that they feel better about themselves and further their paranoia toward Israel and the United States.  Their paranoia toward Israel may ultimately lead to war between the two countries.

Thou shalt not homogenize:  Homogenizing is viewing all people in a group as being identical.  My current girlfriend told me that she went to a dinner where the other women sat around saying how awful men are.  These women may have had unpleasant experiences with men (that may or may not have been the fault of those men) and from that they conclude that all men are jerks.   These women are homogenizing men as all being jerks.  It's unlikely that they will ever have a good experience with any man with that attitude. 

    People who hate all members of another race or ethnic group are homogenizing.  For example someone who hates all Germans because many German's were Nazis is forgetting that there are good Germans.  Homogenization is a step in the thinking that leads to wars and massacres.

Aaron Beck in his book Prisoners of Hate outlines some of the thinking that leads to massacres:

  1. Opposition homogenized
  2. Opposition dehumanized
  3. Opposition demonized (also made into a threat)
  4. Conclusion drawn that opposition must be exterminated.

Thou shalt not assume that those who disagree with oneself are evil: If we consider the extent to which the left and right wing of the political spectrum make this assumption about each other it becomes clear that this is a common problem.  Believing others are evil is the first step to hating them.   Hatred of those who disagree or the non-believer has caused vast amounts of violence and misery throughout history.  This is discussed on the Creation of Paranoia web page and in the article Creation of Paranoia (Part 1Part 2) that appeared in the International Bulletin of Political Psychology.

Thou shalt not destroy what is good to achieve what thou thinkst is best:  A book has been written called The Coercive Utopians by Drs. Erich and Rael Isaac which describes how people seeking a Utopian society often undermine what is good in American society.  The problems with Utopian thinking are discussed on the Problems with Utopian Thinking web page.

Thou shalt not attempt to silence those thou does not agree with.   The Coercive Utopians are guilty of this as well.     

Thou shalt not assume that those who promote military strength are for war.  Those who are critical of people who advocate military strength often accuse them of wanting war.  Military strength may deter an enemy aggressor from waging war.

Thou shalt not assume that pacificism will bring peace.  Pacifism can encourage the aggressor since the aggressor knows that there will be no retaliation.

Thou shalt not confuse appeasement with peace making.  Often people who are the target of aggression attempt to appease the aggressor thinking that will bring peace between them and the aggressor.  Often appeasement simply leads to a stronger aggressor and weaker defenses against the aggressor and ultimately war.  This topic is discussed further on the appeasement page of this web site.

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