The Ten Commandments (the commonly quoted ones, not the real commandments in Exodus 18-28) are the cornerstone for the conduct of Christians. You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not covet, and so on, are summed up in the single commandment known commonly as the Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”As much of the current and past violence in the world is between different religions, it’s time we’re all reminded that no one religion has a lock on the truth and most have a version of this commandment in their holy books. It is normally intended to apply to the entire human race. Unfortunately, it is too often applied by some people only to fellow believers.
The Dalai Lama said:”Every religion emphasizes human improvement, love, respect for others, sharing other people’s suffering. On these lines every religion has more or less the same viewpoint and the same goal.”
Confucianism:”Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you”
Hinduism: This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you. Mahabharata 5:1517
Islam: “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” Number 13 of Imam “Al-Nawawi’s Forty Hadiths.”
Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary.” Talmud, Shabbat 31a.
Taoism: To those who are good to me, I am good; to those who are not good to me, I am also good. Thus all get to be good.”
Buddhism: “hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” Udana-Varga 5:18
We humans have done some serious damage to the planet we inhabit in the name of progress. Our current wars are more brutal than ever, and as in previous wars, are usually based on racial and religious hatred, requiring a certain degree of ignorance. Must humans are born with a conscience that must be disabled before they’re willing to kill for a cause. There are tried and true methods whipping a population into action. Those who profit from war and chaos always use one or more of the “isms” for this purpose ….. Racism, Capitalism, Nationalism, Patriotism, Socialism, Communism etc. But religion is the most effective of all because it often includes forgiveness for whatever atrocities are committed in the name of the chosen ism, which is vital when the population still has a conscience. Many of the mainstream religions are based on archaic writings brimming with violence and bloodshed, but then an eternally happy ending for their true believers.
You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to understand the Golden Rule. You don’t need encyclopedic knowledge of the Bible to be a Christian. All too often religious differences are over inconsequential details and slanted interpretations of sacred writings. If all religions focused on this simple moral commandment instead of fighting over the differences, perhaps peace rather than war would become the norm. We all inhabit this earth together and are more alike than we are different.
For the sake of our planet and all living things that inhabit it, we all need to do some serious explorations of our beliefs to find and embrace our commonalities with our fellow human beings, and discard beliefs that cause discord and dissension.