Ancient Moral Systems

Topics: Morality, Law, Bible Pages: 3 (1077 words) Published: May 5, 2013
Ancient Moral Systems
Throughout history different civilizations have been able to demonstrate their moral systems through their codes, laws, and religions. Beginning with the Mesopotamian civilization during the Babylonian empire, King Hammurabi brought forth the Code of Hammurabi. The Hebrew civilization used guidance from their Hebrew bible as a template for their moral standards. Order was established by their religious beliefs which were derived from two stone tablets given to Moses on Mount Sinai. The ancient Indian civilization is seen as the blending of the indigenous Dravidians and the nomadic Aryans. A millennium later, the Bhagavad Gita is presented and it represents the Indian moral system as a whole. The moral systems of the ancient Mesopotamian and Hebrew civilizations are clearly defined in the Code of Hammurabi and The Jewish Bible respectively, while the Indian civilization had a moral system not as clearly defined because individuals strongly focused on transcending caste levels. King Hammurabi composed the first set of written laws during his reign 1,000 years after the Sumerian empire was established. His code of Hammurabi set a social norm for moral standards and presented the idea of ensured punishment for wrong doers. Because the laws were written down, all citizens were expected to adhere to them. The Hammurabi code was centered on the idea of revenge. “If any one steal the minor son of another, he shall be put to death.” This example in the Hammurabi code represents the Mesopotamian belief in fairness and explains that tolerance will not be allowed for anyone who breaks the moral code. The idea of stealing as moral wrong is similar to the law presented in the Jewish bible. The bible contains the Ten Commandments, the primary source of law and moral values in ancient Hebrew times. The first commandment states “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me,” proclaiming that the Hebrew God is the greatest; however it also states “Thou Shalt...
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