This is both a self-improvement and inspirational book with a very real difference. That difference is crucial. James Miller is a man on a mission. A mission I’m utterly at one with.
Our lives are governed from birth, throughout education and maturity, to the final day, by dogma, myth and legend posing as truth. Although those familiar 10 Commandments appear only in the texts of the Abrahamic religions, which account for around 55% of those who profess a faith, other religious groups are yoked to similarly restrictive, arbitrary and often frankly ludicrous rules.
What the author does here is to thoroughly debunk these 10 injunctions, examining them, analysing and putting them in their place. What sort of deity is it that puts personal vanity before the murder of one of its creations, for example? Simply examining the text of any religion generally confirms the rational conclusion that it’s all so much man-created hogwash. But, enough faith-bashing from me.
James Miller proposes replacements for those rules carved in stone by Moses, rules that failed to prevent the furious slaughter of 3,000 former adherents due to a fit of jealous rage.
He advocates a more reasonable set of social and personal rules that can be applied by and to all people in all lands. These are alternative guides that will improve the lives of those applying them and all those others with whom they come into contact.
I won’t list the new commandments here; the book does that job with common sense, passion and some optimism. Optimism, because I fear many readers who espouse a faith may find their desperate clinging to the dogma of unrecognised indoctrination will block their reading beyond the introductory chapter. This is a real shame, as the book sets out to help everyone.
The author is driven by passion and a desire to make a positive difference to a world currently mired in conflict and tension. To undo the often hypocritical, and frankly lunatic, regimes produced by the superstitious and fear-driven leaders of organised religion. He is not at all condemnatory (that’s all me, I confess!) recognising the very real contributions made by those faiths in terms of moral guidance, marred as this is so often by dangerously outdated custom and tradition.
Rational readers will readily agree with most of what this book has to say. Whether the reader mired in in religious belief, of whatever flavour, will be capable of defeating a lifetime’s indoctrination, and come to a better way of living, remains to be seen, however. I hope this miracle can occur, for the sake of our children and the future of humanity.
[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]