In a 1997 lecture on Exodus 21: 26-36, Dennis Prager says: It’s easy to give rituals laws. How do you give ethical principles? You would have to have an encyclopedia the size of the Encyclopedia Brittanica on how to behave because on every given moment, there’s an ethical question:
* Do I laugh at the ethnic joke somebody at work told me?
* I’m at a high school party and the fat kid has nobody talking to him. How long do I have to talk to him to be a good person? Five minutes? Just say hi? Don’t make a bad joke about him?
It’s impossible to have an encyclopedia of ethics. You can have an encyclopedia of rituals. But you can’t have one of ethics because every day the nuances change. How many people do I let in in front of me on the freeway? At what point do I block somebody?