Dennis Prager
There is only one solution to the world's problems, only one prescription for producing a near-heaven on earth.

It is 3,000 years old.

And it is known as the Ten Commandments.

Properly understood and applied, the Ten Commandments are really all humanity needs to make a beautiful world. While modern men and women, in their hubris, believe that they can and must come up with new ideas in order to make a good world, the truth is there is almost nothing new to say.

If people and countries lived by the Ten Commandments, all the great moral problems would disappear.

Or, to put it another way, all the great evils involve the violation of one or more of the Ten Commandments.

Here is the case in brief for the Ten Commandments (using the Jewish enumeration, which differs slightly from the Protestant and Catholic):

1. I am the Lord your God.

There are moral atheists and there are immoral believers, but there is no chance for a good world based on atheism. Ultimately, a godless and religion-free society depends on people's hearts to determine right from wrong, and that is a very weak foundation.

Plenty of people have died in history in the name of God. But many more have been killed, tortured, and deprived of liberty in the name of humanity and progress or some other post-Judeo-Christian value. Religion gave us an Inquisition and gives us suicide terrorists, but the death of God gave us Nazism and Communism, which, in one century alone, slaughtered more than a hundred million people. All the founders of the United States - yes, all - knew that a free society can survive only if its citizens believe themselves to be morally accountable to God.

2. Do not have other gods.

The worship of false gods leads to evil. When anything but the God of creation and morality is worshiped, moral chaos ensues.

No one is godless. Either people worship God, or they worship other gods -- nature, intelligence, art, education, beauty, the environment, Mother Earth, power, fame, pleasure, the state, the fuhrer, the party, progress, humanity. The list is almost endless. And no matter how noble -- and false gods are often noble -- when they become ends in themselves, they lead to evil.

3. Do not take God's name in vain.

People have misinterpreted this commandment. They think it prohibits saying something like, "Oh, my God, what a home run!" But the Hebrew literally means "do not carry" the name of the Lord in vain.

In other words, we are forbidden from doing evil in God's name. Only when thus understood does the rest of the Commandment make sense -- that God will not "cleanse," or forgive -- the person who does this.


Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.
 
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Dennis Prager's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.