Daily Dose of Ingersoll


Some Christian lawyers some eminent and stupid judges have said and still say, that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of all law.

Nothing could be more absurd. Long before these commandments were given there were codes of laws in India and Egypt laws against murder, perjury, larceny, adultery and fraud. Such laws are as old as human society; as old as the love of life; as old as industry; as the idea of prosperity; as old as human love.

All of the Ten Commandments that are good were old; all that were new art foolish. If Jehovah had been civilized he would have left out the commandment about keeping the Sabbath, and in its place would have said: “Thou shalt not enslave thy fellow-men. He would have omitted the one about swearing, and said: “The man shall have but one wife, and the woman but one husband. He would have left out the one about graven images, and in its stead would have said: Thou shalt not wage wars of extermination, and thou shalt not unsheathe the sword except in self-defence.

If Jehovah had been civilized, how much grander the Ten Commandments would have been.

Robert Green Ingersoll, “About the Holy Bible” (1894)

(First posted on May 28, 2007)