Thursday, 13 November 2008

The Seven Aphorisms

When undertaking tests to see whether a hypothesis is valid or not, scientists will look at extreme cases. Abortions are generally considered morally wrong by the religious right for example. They assert that aborting the embro is the same as “killing”. But does this argument hold up? Well, an extreme case in this particular problem would be when a woman has become impregnated through rape. Would abortion then be considered morally wrong?

Well, most would say it would not, thus suggesting that the original assertion of the conservative right – that abortion is “killing” – is invalid. After all, it shouldn’t be any more acceptable for a raped woman to kill than it should for any other women, should it?

On a similar theme is cults. They are at the extreme end. As such, the same logic should also apply: what goes for the established religions should also go for them.

One strange cult in the US is the “Summum”. And they have burst into the headlines this week for suing a small city in Utah for not being allowed to post their "Seven Aphorisms" next to the Ten Commandments in the city park:

In 2003, the president of the Summum church wrote to the mayor here with a proposal: the church wanted to erect a monument inscribed with the Seven Aphorisms in the city park, "similar in size and nature" to the one devoted to the Ten Commandments.

A strange bunch, the Summum “meditate on their Seven Aphorisms, fortified by an alcoholic sacramental nectar they produce and surrounded by mummified animals”.

Nice.

And on the Summum website they say their mission is: to help you liberate and emancipate you from yourself and turn you into an Overcomer.

An Overcomer? What the heck is that?

Anyway, here are the Seven Aphorisms:

1. SUMMUM is MIND, thought; the universe is a mental creation.

2. As above, so below; as below, so above.

3. Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.

4. Everything is dual; everything has an opposing point; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes bond; all truths are but partial truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.

5. Everything flows out and in; everything has its season; all things rise and fall; the pendulum swing expresses itself in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.

6. Every cause has its effect; every effect has its cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is just a name for Law not recognized; there are many fields of causation, but nothing escapes the Law of Destiny.

7. Gender is in everything; everything has its masculine and feminine principles; Gender manifests on all levels."

Source: The Washington Post

So, it will be interesting to see how the five liberal members of the Supreme Court wrestle with this First Amendment challenge. After all, are the Ten Commandments really so great anyway?

Well to refresh your memory, here they are:

1 You shall have no other gods before me
2 You shall not make for yourself an idol
3 Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
4 Honour your father and mother
5 You shall not murder
6 You shall not commit adultery
7 You shall not steal
8 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour
9 You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife
10 You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbour

Now most of this is decent stuff of course. But not numbers 9 or 10 surely. Well, not if you’ve got this lass living next door to you anyway…


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