The Ten Commandments


In the other thread (before it got shut down) on atheism and morality Mirdath asked:

This overlap is actually the first objection I had as I was reading through your post the first time. Why, if it is inscribed on the human heart, did God feel it necessary to inscribe it on stone tablets as well? Why crudely duplicate natural law in the fourth through tenth commandments?

This seems to be answered succinctly by Pius XII in Humanis Generis:

Disagreement and error among men on moral and religious matters have always been a cause of profound sorrow to all good men, but above all to the true and loyal sons of the Church, especially today, when we see the principles of Christian culture being attacked on all sides.

  1. It is not surprising that such discord and error should always have existed outside the fold of Christ. For though, absolutely speaking, human reason by its own natural force and light can arrive at a true and certain knowledge of the one personal God, Who by His providence watches over and governs the world, and also the natural law, which the Creator has written in our hearts, still there are not a few obstacles to prevent reason from making efficient and fruitful use of its natural ability. The truths that have to do with God and the relations between God and men, completely surpass the sensible order and demand self-surrender and self-abnegation in order to be put into practice and to influence practical life. Now the human intellect, in gaining the knowledge of such truths is hampered both by the activity of the senses and the imagination, and by evil passions arising from original sin. Hence men easily persuade themselves in such matters that what they do not wish to believe is false or at least doubtful.
  1. It is for this reason that divine revelation must be considered morally necessary so that those religious and moral truths which are not of their nature beyond the reach of reason in the present condition of the human race, may be known by all men readily with a firm certainty and with freedom from all error.[1]

Humani Generis

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this matter?


God knew The Ten Commandments would provide an excellent vehicle for Charlton Heston’s career…


anybody else?


It is because man is a fallen race whose nature was corrupted, intellect darkened, and will weakened. The Ten Commandments are the standard against which we judge our actions and our hearts according to what God desires for us and not what we might want out of self-interest.

closed #5

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit