Whether or not you agree with Christian theology, you will probably admit that the 10 commandments did a pretty good job of proscribing behaviors that will otherwise disrupt the fabric of a community.
E.g. adultery. You don’t have to believe adulterers burn in hell to recognize that there’s often a big pile o’ nasty fallout when someone cheats on a spouse.
Which is why the tenth commandment addresses covetousness.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Coveting is a destructive behavior. It shifts one’s focus to the wrong things.
First, and fundamentally, it shifts one’s frame of mind to an inner state of envy and frustration.
What good can come of that?
Next, from this starting point of envy and frustration, a person has only two choices. Stew and be miserable. Or act out by stealing, or cheating, or tearing down the object of his envy.
Guess where I’m going with this, yet?
When our politicians propose that we tax “the rich” in order to pay for services for “the poor,” are they not encouraging covetousness?
Are they not — in fact — institutionalizing covetousness?
Welcome to the post post modern ethical wilderness. Where behaviors once regarded as destructive are now celebrated openly by our political leaders.
Think we aren’t going to reap what we sow?