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  • Let's discuss the Second Commandment according to the oldest, that is the Jewish, enumeration

  • of the Ten Commandments. In Christian tradition it is the First Commandment.

  • The most common translation begins: "You shall have no other gods before me."

  • The commandment then goes on to prohibit both making idols and worshiping idols.

  • Most people, when they think of this commandment understandably think that it only prohibits

  • the worship of idols and the worship of gods such as the ancient pagan gods of rain,

  • of fertility, all the other nature gods and chief gods such as the Roman Jupiter, and the Greek Zeus.

  • However, there is a major problem with this understanding of the commandment.

  • Since no one today worships these gods, let alone worships idols made of stone,

  • most people think that this commandment is irrelevant to modern life.

  • The irony, however, is that this commandment is not only relevant to modern life,

  • it is in many ways the mother of all the other commandments.

  • Why is it so relevant today? Because today we have as many false gods as the ancients did.

  • And why it is the mother of all the other commandments? Because if we identify false

  • gods and avoid worshipping them, we will eliminate one of the greatest barriers to a good world

  • -- false gods. So, let's begin by defining a false god. The point of biblical monotheism

  • is that there is only one God and that only this God, the Creator of the universe who

  • demands that we keep these Ten Commandments, is to be worshipped. Why?

  • First, because one God means one human race.

  • Only if we all have the same Creator, or Father, as it were,

  • are we are all brothers and sisters. Second, having the same parent also means that no person

  • or group is intrinsically more valuable than any other. And third, one God means one moral

  • standard for all people. If God declares murder wrong, it is wrong for everyone, and you can't

  • go to another god for another moral standard.

  • When anything else is worshipped, bad things result. Not only things that can obviously

  • lead to evil such as the worship of power, or race, or money, or flag.

  • But also things that are almost always seen as quite beautiful -- such as art,

  • or education or even love.

  • Yes, any of these often wonderful things, when worshipped, can lead to terrible results.

  • Take art. Many of the cruelest humans in history loved beautiful music and art. But, as a music lover,

  • I learned early in life the sad fact that great music can be used to inspire people

  • to follow evil just as much as it can be used to inspire people to do good.

  • The great Hollywood director Stanley Kubrick vividly made this point in his classic 1971 film,

  • A Clockwork Orange. In it, men rape and murder while classical music plays in the background.

  • Take education. We all recognize how important education can be -- from preparing people

  • to be able to find work to understanding the world. But education in and of itself,

  • divorced from the higher ends of God and goodness, can lead, and often has, led to great evil.

  • Many of the best-educated people in Germany supported Hitler and the Nazis.

  • And almost all of the Western world's supporters of the genocidal regimes of Stalin in the Soviet

  • Union and Mao in China were highly educated. There is nothing about a Ph.D. that guarantees

  • a person will be wiser, kinder, or more ethical than someone with only a high school education.

  • The same holds true even of love. Love, of course, is so often beautiful.

  • But it, too, can lead to evil. In the twentieth century people who put love of country above love

  • of God and goodness often committed terrible evil.

  • And here's a test for you: Imagine that the pet you love and a stranger -- a person you

  • don't know and therefore could not possibly love -- are drowning. Do you first try to

  • save your pet or the stranger? Well, if love is an end in itself, you save your pet.

  • But if you hold human life as a higher value than love, you won't follow love.

  • This Commandment made the ethical revolution of the Bible and of the Ten Commandments

  • -- what is known as ethical monotheism -- possible. Worship the God of the Ten Commandments and

  • you will make a good world. Worship a false god -- no matter how noble sounding --

  • and you will end up with a world of cruelty.

  • I'm Dennis Prager.

Let's discuss the Second Commandment according to the oldest, that is the Jewish, enumeration


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B1 中級

2.他の神々はいない (2. No Other Gods)

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    周杰 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日