Friday, May 05, 2006

The New Commandments

The time has [finally] come, brethren.

After a vicious period of examining human history and human nature, I have finally come up with a new draft of the commandments. They are as follows:

1. Keep thy faith to thyself
2. There is no Lord to blasphemise
3. You are nothing by definition, except a human being
4. Help the Heathen Scum realise the error of their ways. If they don't co-operate, leave them to realise it themselves
5. Spread the love, albeit in a decent manner
6. Always be willing to break the rules
7. Covet appropriately. In fact, covet all you want. What good will it do you? What are your chances, realistically speaking?

One of the benefits of this religion/philosophy that I outlined earlier was that it essence is still open to change and discussion. This means that you can actually put your suggestions up here to modify or oppose the above seven. If your argument is convincing enough, I shall definitely alter the commandments. I am looking forward to your feedback.

The next step in cementing Spork's existence is to actually go out there and do this. Take it to work, school, and your house. Argue with fundamentalists. Encourage those who wish to progress in a modern manner. Introduce Spork to the people in your lives. Give them this link. This is the first step in creating Spork-societies.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go for it! And report back reactions.

Keep Sporking.


Blogger Singer Gazelle said...

Sporky, I'm starting to drift...

a beefpie godhead for a vegetarian

and now...

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's ass. But his wife's ass, that's a different story."

when my neighbour's "ass" is his best feature even if his wife is uncomfortable that he quite enjoys me coveting it...

I'm starting to check out the hemming on the drapes here rather than listen to the speeches...

How about making Number 7 along the lines of "Covet whatever the hell you like so long as you don't frighten the horses or stop t'chickens laying"?

Hell, I used the word "Hell".

Don't you just have mildly negative feelings about the way Established religions have hijacked even the mildest of expletives? Don't you just have mildly negative feelings about the nit-picky nit-pickings of Spork acolytes?

Number 8 - thou shalt not feel mildy negative!

8:12 pm  
Blogger Prophet said...

It's very good that you are inspecting the hemming on the drapes. We need to be spotless, and therefore welcome your criticisms.

Well, there isn't concrete evidence whether this Beefpie voice is a God or not. I just address it that way, because I see startling visions of the future. I have stressed before that It has not demanded worship.

The coveting issue, I must admit, requires revision. Thanks for alerting me on that one.

I'm not sure about not being negative. If I wasn't negative, I wouldn't have been persuaded by the Voice to start Spork.

8:26 pm  
Blogger Singer Gazelle said...

Wow! I've never changed a draft commandment before! Thank you!

The drapes are fine by the way...

Peace, love and Plymouth Gin to all.

8:42 pm  
Blogger Singer Gazelle said...

Just a suggestion thrown into the ring for consideration or disconsideration - maybe the old ten commandments should be completely discarded and instead the Asimov laws of Robotics (0 to 3 inclusive) would make a splendid starting point for rewriting?

A robot may not injure humanity, or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Quite a hefty rewrite necessary from both potential starting points though...

"Do no harm, do good where you can unless intellect dictates that you do neither in which case have a beer (or a glass of a decent Merlot) before you act"?


9:16 pm  
Blogger Prophet said...

Quite coincidentally, I have just purchased "I, Robot", and will have to speedily read it to view what the consequences of these laws were. All laws are vague, that's their fundamental flaw.

But straight off, the 'orders' thing wouldn't work out. I'm not ordering you here. I'm showing you what I think is a sensible viewpoint, instead of threatening you with Hell and Eternal Damnation if you don't listen to me. It's what I think is sensibility, and, arguably, what the majority of forward-thinking humans would think too. And that's still up for debate.

And, what if, in a bizzarely twisted scenario, we DID have to kill one person, in order to save the rest of our species? A man with a Super-Duper-Nuke strapped onto his chest?

Can you REALLY tell someone he/she can't hurt him/herself?

Still, these are points to consider. I'm starting "I, Robot" now...

9:31 pm  
Blogger Prophet said...

Hell, even worse: what if a Granny was being attacked by bears, but at the same time you didn't want to hurt yourself by attempting to rescue her? Have a beer or a glass of Merlot? Quite morbid.

9:32 pm  
Blogger Singer Gazelle said...

The four suggestions of robotics?

By definition laws only dictate the actions of the law abiding. Consequences (punishments) influence the actions of a large proportion of the unlawful but there is always a number for whom nothing but their own laws apply whatever the possible consequences.

I thoroughly agree though that something along the lines of "Thou shalt not kill unless doing so would significantly raise the general tone of the gene pool" is absolutely needed. It will stop some and for those it does not stop... well, you need something to quote while you're sharpening the axe...

ps - given the nature of my deep-sea trawling family ancestors & relatives if Granny had ever been attacked by a bear we would have all rushed to get the barbecue lit and find recipes for bear...

10:14 pm  
Anonymous rug said...

"Thou shalt not kill unless doing so would significantly raise the general tone of the gene pool"

How is one to judge (who to kill) and then kill in order to raise the general tone of the gene pool?

Take this scenario:
A sporkist from Istanbul by some sort of epiphanic experience decides that people partaking in an event X are all bad people and the world is better of without these people.

Then one day when he's on his way to the corner store, to get some lime for lemonade, he sees an Egyptian partaking in event X. Our sporkist decides to kill the Egyptian in order to raise the general tone of the gene pool.

Then two years later our sporkist travels to Egypt only to find everyone partaking in event X. After some inquiries our sporkist realises something he didn't seem to understand before - i.e. that event X is actually something relative and isn't really that bad.

Now invain our sporkist has killed a man without seeing the entire picture (in order to judge properly and in full), by only considering the fragments of the picture that he once thought was whole.

"Thou shall not kill, because thou art not omniscient."

1:18 am  
Blogger Singer Gazelle said...


Fraught with difficulties, ain't it?

Imagine the scenario where, unless you kill X, he she or it will kill you and your family. You have a gun in your hand and one second to decide... is the gene pool better with you and your family or with X?

1:53 am  
Anonymous rug said...

Death is inevitable so if that happens I suppose it's either you live abiding by the commandments or give up your faith.

If you end up sticking to your faith you'll be dead but at least you die knowing that you didn't do wrong according to your faith (hmmmm... What say the beefpie about life/whatever after death?).

If you give up your faith and kill X then I guess it was your decision - free will.

Of course you would then be responsible for killing the rest of your family. But then again you are not the one whose pulling the trigger.

2:28 am  
Anonymous rug said...

" would then be responsible for killing the rest of your family..." - that's if you didn't kill X.

2:31 am  
Blogger Singer Gazelle said...

Hmm. I see where you are coming from. An interesting, if potentially short-lived, point of view.

Thank your god(s) I'm an atheist.

There is no afterlife and my faith is in myself, absolutely. We appear to be talking to each other from opposite sides of a rather grand canyon.

Living in rural Norfolk as an herbivorous apologist I don't see much in the way of killing - and given the state of the world that's a serious comment and a condition for which I am truly happy - so the scenario was just that. A scenario to test a hypothesis.

This blog is more about lack of conventional faith and lack of conventional conventions. You remember - the ones which got the world into this bloody mess in the first place...

I'm seriously interested in your basis for the existence of an afterlife - is it empirical or purely faith driven?

2:52 am  
Anonymous rug said...

Neither. I am undecided on whether an afterlife actually exists.

All this talk about life after death is mere speculation, there is no way of knowing - at least for me, your average human.

What I meant in my earlier post was what the beefpie has to say (if anything at all) about an afterlife.

To clarify my earlier post some more, let me just say that my mindset is of a person who is ready to die at any time (I mean it will happen sooner or later) and if there is an afterlife... good. If there isn't who cares... I'm dead!

Of course I would want to die doing the right thing and it's difficult to find the right thing to do in your scenario. I suppose something like try and save your family and then fight off (not kill) person X at the risk of death would be it for a person like me.

You're totally right, there is no straight answer to this scenario, at least if you don't like the idea of dying.

4:19 am  
Blogger Prophet said...

Drifting, you're drifting. But it's good.

Spork isn't an institution that tries to promote a lack of conventions - not intentionally, anyway. You forget that it is a method to call for a pause in humanity, because we all understand that our race is headed down the wrong road. It's a workshop to fix all the broken parts of the engine.

Death, however, and killing need some attention. i'm glad the two of you are focusing on it. Good argument - but what's your final suggestion of a commandment on killing?

10:57 am  
Blogger Singer Gazelle said...

If you'll excuse the nautical terms, not so much a drift, more of a doggie-paddle slightly to the left bank.

A commandment-ette on killing?

Well, I've done an overnight poll in surrounding villages and we're rather for its active discouragement, both individually and as a team sport. It does tend to curtail a victim's future so.

I have discovered though, in the course of my work at Gnu PLC, that there are people who won't take subtle hints like my just walking away from them or my hiring packs of unemployed wrestlers to apply duct tape to their mouths. Some individuals are just never going to be happy under a Spork paradigm.

It does seem to be a bit hard to reconcile expunging them from the race-memory simply because they won't be happy, content and peaceful individuals. Conjures up visions of fluffy humanoids sitting in meadows eating the grass and meditating while guarding their meadow with an Uzi. Not pleasant.

That said, if said flies in the ointment can't be deleted (and they shouldn't be) the extra complication is that I've never been fond of or believed in the old tie them to a tree in the woods and leave them there "solution" either.

With Human nature we're trying to reconcile the irreconcilable here so lets go for pragmatic rather than perfect. Not even the gestalt gets to kill and both collective and individual are responsible for finding ways of living with the inherent inconvenience thereof.

I say that the original stands. Thou shalt not kill.

You can't start enshrining exceptions (thou shalt not except under the following list of permitted killing scenarios).

What you might be able to do is add "...but if you do then common sense of twelve times twelve good Sporks and true will be applied to your circumstances before we condemn you" to cover self-defence etcetera.

Inconvenient though it is, freedom to do (only) what the majority want to do is no freedom at all for someone who wants to do something else.

1:10 pm  
Blogger Prophet said...

True enough. But what about violence in general? A follower asked me what I would do in the following scenario: a madman is stalking my family, and the only way to stop him without killing him is to beat the stuffing out of him, get him admitted to the ICU, and leave him there for a few weeks so he gets the message.

I gather that we've concluded that Killing isn't justified, even though this resolution might turn out to be an obstacle for us Sporkists. But what about violence?

2:35 pm  
Blogger Singer Gazelle said...

I'm not great with violence of any level. Uncooperative indolence is more my style on the rare occasions when I can't just suddenly not be at the scene of any violence, hence the two Police Handbook phrases - "Where's Hutson?" and "My goodness, isn't he heavy and hard to lift even with knees bent?"

We can't design a philosophy which actually advocates either killing or violence, surely?

Perhaps we will now fall into the usual failing of such ventures by taking an oath to do neither and yet also turning a blind eye to the "necessary (if lethal and bruising) procedures" of actively promoting the philosophy?

Does the end sufficiently justify the effort involved in forgetting the sordid and gory details of the means?

None of the "ends" so far sought have done so...

3:26 pm  
Blogger Prophet said...

That's what I was trying to bring out - what do you do? Christian and Muslims both claimed alike that no one should be killed, yet more have been killed in the name of God than for any other cause, as George Carlin pointed out.

Brainwashing, then, to advocate our movement to those who stand in the way of a sensible salvation? Other forms of punitive education? They all oppose the idea of free will and freedom in general.

Thoughts, anyone? And does the Fluffy Bunny and rug man speak for the entire class? Come on, Sporkists! I want to hear you!

7:01 pm  
Anonymous Electra said...

can't you throw something in there about monogamy? monogamy is rubbish! we should banish the backward and medieval notions that polygamy is unaaceptable. i can't think of anything more acceptable.

humans weren't meant to be monogamous. am i the only one who's noticed?

killing is largely wrong, but who's to say what's 'right'? the definition of 'right' is so ever changing and fluid that it's really hard to put into a frame of any sort. i'll probably never kill anyone, but then, i haven't been raped or molested or emotionally scarred for life by having had to watch my entire family being hacked to pieces. perhaps, if i were in any one of those shoes, i wouldn't consider murder a moral absoloute as i do now. it's all subjective.

i'm personally against violence, but that's because it terrifies me. it terrifies me to see it used and it terrifies me to have to use it. but i think violence is just one of those things, this world and our kind has never been without it, and will never be without it. it's sort of inevitable and necessary, in it's own twisted way.

i like this, though
"Thou shall not kill, because thou art not omniscient."-

down with monogamy!

12:46 pm  
Blogger Prophet said...

Well, we certainly can't banish monogamy forever - there are definitely couples out there who certainly feel that they were meant for each other and no other. I mean, you can be polygamous if you want, no one's stopping you. You'll have to be prepared for either the consequences of a great sex life, or cold breakfasts for the rest of your existence.

Good to see that you've grasped the problem with killing as well. At the Nuremberg Trials, most of the Nazi Commanders were sentenced to death - and yet death is wrong. I personally feel that perhaps imprisonment is a better punishment than death - it would give the person all the time in the world and more to go over his crime countless times in his head and grasp what he did wrong, and then truly repent.

But would every criminal do that? The only reason you don't see Charles Manson shopping for cucumbers at your local grocery store is because at every parole hearing of his, he claims that he'll do it all over again.

Actual quote at his 1986 parole hearing: "From behind the time locks of courtrooms and from the worlds of darkness, I did let loose devils and demons with the power of scorpions to torment."


Could it be that the problem isn't with the system? Is it us?

3:23 pm  
Blogger Singer Gazelle said...


The Human Race as a virus which just happens to play the violin and try to be nice most of the time?

It all fits.

Free will must be just that. Free will - until the point where actions begin to curtail the free will of others. At that point good sense must take over and if that doesn't work then an established framework has to be brought into play.

Killing tends to curtail the free will of the victim. Totally. Violence does the same. Punishment needs to be the absolute minimum required to effectively curtail the ability of an individual to curtail the free will of others.

Execution scores one hundred percent on the effectiveness scale but about a zero on the absolute minimum scale...

Imprisonment is a better compromise but it is still a pragmatic value-judgement of bigger force over individual force.

Believe me though, I don't believe we'll ever behave other than as an increasingly considerate virus so I can hear the jangle of distant keys in a barbed-wire compound...

4:06 pm  
Anonymous rug said...

If we conclude through proper reasoning that killing is wrong then all of us that follow spork will not kill.

So sporkist will have to turn to violence for self-defense only when non-sporkist do something that requires us to be violent due to their ignorance (or if you're a sporkist like me, fearless of death, you can choose not to even lift a finger).

We can't stop them from being ignorant.

10:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there! Get the real stuff!

1:23 pm  
Blogger Prophet said...

Real stuff? Please expand.

4:12 pm  
Anonymous Raabasauros Rex said...

interesting commandments, appreciate the the commemoration to Bill Hicks a true revolutionary in his own right- evan though his mind drifted in limbo for the better part of his life.
Dear prophet your premanition almost came true if it wasn't for my ability to swiftly decieve the law enforcers. hope all is well in your part of the world. Unfortunately though i had to supress the inner visions and discard them due to psycological preasure the law was putting on me. to the future.

6:32 pm  
Blogger Prophet said...

Keep Sporking, Raabasaurus.

8:29 am  

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