There is no real "Judeo-Christian
" ethic. These two religions do share some common literature, but the basis of Jewish
ethics are not the same. Please note, I'm not saying one is superior to the other or that any group is any more holy. They are just different.
Jewish ethics are based on a covenent with God. This covenent was sealed on Mount Sinai
and is spelled out in the Book of Exodus
. God decided that the Jews would be his people, and he would be their god. They (the Jews) would also have to follow a set of rules, namely The Ten Commandments. These rules spell out several activities that Jews were forbidden to do. For example, the Jews were not allowed to murder
, commit adultery
, worship other gods, create or worship idols
, bear false witness
, work on the sabbath
, or use the name of god in vain. They also had to honor their parents. All ten commandments
deal with human behavior in some way, and this is the split between the two sets of ethics.
Typically, Christian ethics do not involve salvation through acts
, or the lack thereof. Instead, Christians are called upon to have faith in Jesus Christ
. More specifically, Jesus Christ asked his followers to have faith in a single commandment which he spelled out very plainly when he said "This is my commandment
, that you love
one another, as I have loved you." It is thought that the person of true faith will have their actions be a reflection of that faith, and will subsequently not sin, or at least not sin very much. Sin, being defined as a course of action that is in conflict with the kind of love that Jesus commanded.
Both religions do base their ethics on covenants with God. However, this is not unique to Judaism and Christianity. The covenents that these religions adhere to are too different to be considered similiar enough to exclude other religious systems in any significant way.
It is true that adherence to either covenent will pretty much look the same. I mean, neither a good Jew or a good Christian is likely to be robbing banks or killing puppies
, but that can be said of a good adherent to pretty much any religion. The similarities between these two religions' ethics are not greater then the similarities between the ethics of either of the religions and any other major religion. For example, the Ten Commandments can more easily be compared to the Buddhist Five Precepts
, then to the covenent at Calvary. Consequently, there really the "Judeo-Christian
" ethic isn't really a coherent idea. Insead, it seems more likely as a coded insult toward non-westerners, with the implication that people not of European
decent might be more inclined to commit anti-social acts.