Thought of the day

“Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife” is a ridiculous commandment. It amounts to a thought crime.

3 Responses

  1. Phil Plait had some words on the 10 commandments: Here

  2. “To covet” is more like to conspire, rather than just a mere passing thought. It has an element of culpability. Mens rea, or guilty mind is an element of most crimes.

  3. Actually, the original hebrew word used in the Bible is “chamad”, which has nothing to with actually doing – it just means wanting something.

    You can read about it here:
    http://strongsnumbers.com/hebrew/2530.htm

    Michael is right, there is no doubt it refers to a thought crime. And it doesn’t stop at the wife, it goes for anything of your neighbour’s (hebrew: “rea┬┤”, which doesn’t really mean neighbour, but more like “fellow” – i.e. anyone who isn’t your enemy).

    And yes, mens rea makes a difference, but only after you’ve actually committed a crime, never on its own.

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