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The ONLY commonalities among "Holy Books" is their
Fri Nov 3, 2017 12:25pm

inclusion of those basic moral principles that no sane society could do without.

"Love thy neighbor as thyself" = condemnation of selfishness, provision of charity, decency, etc

"Thou shalt not steal" = protection of private property, the cornerstone of commerce and the foundation of civilized trade

"Thou shalt not commit murder" = condemnation of gratuitous violence that can destroy any society, as Iraq and Syria prove every day

These are common because they are powerful survival tools for societies. There HAVE been societies that had none of them, such as Classical Rome, but very few of these societies survived for long, Rome being an exception.

In short, these principles WORK, so they helped their societies to survive and flourish.

Of course, they did not evolve at the same time for the simple reason that civilizations do not progress at the same rate. However, there DOES seem to be a surge of humanitarian morality in the sixth & fifth centuries BCE.

Lao Tzu died 531 BCE
Confucius died in 479 BCE (may have been influenced by Lao Tzu)
Buddha died sometime in the 400s BCE
Zoroaster died in fifth century BCE (dates from various sources disagree)
Mahavira, one of the founders of Jainism, died in 527 BCE
Pythagoras who founded a religion, not just a branch of Mathematics, died circa 500 BCE

Other religions (Hinduism, Judaism, for example) are much older, and of course many are much younger (Christianity, Islam), but this particular era seemed to have quite a few heavy hitters who expressed the same principles at approximately the same time.


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