Comparison and Contrast of the Application of 3 Moral Codes to the Contemporary Society - Society Essay Example

A Comparison and Contrast of the Application of 3 Moral Codes to the Contemporary Society: Babylonians’ Code of Hammurabi, Egyptians’ Negative Confessions and Judeans’ Ten Commandments

Hammurabi’s Code, the Babylonians’ Moral Code


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The Code of Hammurabi was established and named after the remarkable King Hammurabi who reigned with greatness and glory in Babylon from 1795 up to 1750 B.C (Horne, 1915 qtd. in Halsall, 1998). The code was said to be written and established due to the need to create a unifying set of rules that will guide and control the very vast empire of Babylon which was then ruled over by King Hammurabi. The Code consisted generally of rules about social status, as well as devotion to god, social responsibilities, offerings, tax and even property ownership (Hermann qtd. in Halsall, 1998). The Code was actually a broad collection of rules for a lot of different aspects of community life. Aside from the general set of rules, it also touched the most intricate aspect of human life such as having credits, choosing a wife, having a purchase or conducting trade, irrigation systems, pasturing and a lot of other very specific rules. In a nutshell, the Code of Hammurabi appears to be a nation’s constitution and a sect’s moral scripture all rolled into one.

However, although the Code of Hammurabi appears to be this intricate and detailed, history accounts of Babylon’s glory proves that the Code has indeed served its purpose during King Hammurabi’s reign. And if this set of moral and ethical laws shall be associated with the contemporary society in comparison with other sets of moral codes from different religions, it can be said that the people are not anymore considering the Code of Hammurabi as a major basis of ethics and morality anymore because of the other existing moral codes from established religions today. However, although it may appear this way, the Code of Hammurabi still remains an important and valuable piece of ancient set of laws, customs and rules which will always be basis of what the ancient societies of yesterday regarded as their laws of morality.

Egyptian’s Negative Confessions

Compared to the Code of Hammurabi and any established moral scriptures, the Egyptian Negative Confessions appears to be the most mystic. It presents a list of considered sins that the soul of a deceased must all deny truthfully in front of the assigned judge or juror for him or her to be rightfully accepted in the pleasant afterlife (Gadalla, 2007). In several ways, this Egyptian idea of having to face a judge before entering afterlife and confessing the earlier sins committed, resembles that of the Catholic process of entering afterlife. Also, relating this idea or principle to the current society of the modern days, it may appear that a lot of people both the Egyptian myth believers as well as the Catholics are still sticking to the notion that they must live righteously so that they will not fail in answering such questions during the judgment day.

The Judeans’ Ten Commandments

Much like the Egyptian’s Negative Confessions, The Ten Commandments as written in the book of Exodus in the Holy Bible lists the ten most important reminders every Christian must keep in mind as their fundamental moral obligations while living in the sinful and temptation-filled world (Stapleton, 1908). As the Egyptians have a set of confessions, the Ten Commandments appear to be a set of directions and imperatives which all Christians must follow throughout the rest of their lives. As compared to the Code of Hammurabi and the Negative Confessions of Egyptians, it may appear that the Ten Commandments are the most prevalent rules and laws considered today. Although this is the case, it does not go to show that the rule of Ten Commandments is the most powerful, neither the most dominant, nor observed. It just appears that compared to the other two aforementioned moral scriptures, the Ten Commandments of the Judeans appear to have been the most talked about, disseminated and applied in the contemporary societies of today.


Gadalla, M. (2007). Egyptians: The Most Religious. Rediscover Ancient Egypt. Tehuti Research Foundation. Retrieved March 27, 2009 from

Halsall, P. (1998). Ancient History Sourcebook: Code of Hammurabi, c. 1780 BCE. Internet Ancient History Sourcebook. Fordham University, New York. Retrieved March 27, 2009 from

Stapleton, J. (1908). The Ten Commandments. In The Catholica Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved March 27, 2009 from

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