The Ten Commandments/Which Is The Most Important Commandment?
Perhaps a better question might be: what philosophical purpose did the authors of this ancient narrative have at that time, and is that purpose still relevant to us who live in the very different highly technical world of today? As it says in Wikipedia these ten principles seem to be the distilled wisdom of many cultures. In the Jewish-Christian-Islamic tradition there are rather more than the memorable ten but the focus is on the first :- the obligation to love God. The problem with that is that within monotheism, the Almighty is not a person, nor a power nor anything tangible, describable or measurable in any human terms (as the next few commandments: forbidding any substitutes, images and names clearly insist).
The enigma is encapsulated in the expression I am that I am full stop! For Christians God is Love, In Islam it is similarly the epitome of Grace and Mercy - the phrase Our Father in Heaven should not be interpreted as a person but as an earthly representation of a generous, omnipotent but somewhat paternal spirit.The New Testament was mostly written in Greek, and follows that traditional (pre-Christian) obligation called Xenia. The point is to worship generosity, rather than idols. Early religions were a primitive corporate survival strategy that involved winning wars. Modern religion is truly all about winning peace and harmony, although there are plenty of false prophets still advocating war in the Name of Their God
- "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Mt 22:37-40)
These, however, are not really two, but one single commandment, to love one another the spheres of operation of which the pair are completely inseparable. Although that specific dual-commandment form is not found among the Ten Commandments of Exodus, in so many words, perhaps there is no need for any other law - except perhaps the amplifying Love Thine Enemy
It is not strange that modern religions, which philosophically teach peace (at least those inspired by Moshe Rabbenu then by Jesus the The Savior and most recently by Muhammad PBUH) should so often be used as psychological weapons for the promotion of conflict? Perhaps we mortals might perhaps approach divinity more closely were we to sacrifice our judgemental instinct for punishment and personal promotion in favor of striving to become ever more loving, more gracious and more merciful as these ancient prophets long ago suggested? For not are we, like them mere mortals alive today, yet also part of a greater quest - already ongoing for many millennia - in search of a more noble, more global philosophy in which all humanity mighty thrive in peace?