Recently one of my Facebook statuses prompted another debate wherein one of the Christian participants made the argument that the good of Christianity outweighs the bad in reference to the fact that I am so passionate about fighting religion in general. I want to explore that idea from a reasoned and historical perspective as this discussion always leads to a debate about the origin of morality and supposed objective morality standards. Of course I find that this argument is old and played out since I’ve only dealt with it six times now on this blog, but I figure why not try one more time…seeing as I haven’t updated in over 30 days now.
One of the Goods of Christianity, as pointed out by my friendly opponent is the morality that it provides. Somehow people still believe that the Bible has a corner on the market of reasonable laws to follow in that the Ten Commandments tell us not to Steal, Lie, Murder, or commit Adultery (unless of course, YHVH says that it’s ok to do so…then it’s cool). For some reason those same people forget that those same laws, among others, predate Moses by means of the Code of Hammurabi and the Code of Ur-Nammu. Interestingly enough the Code of Hammurabi was also handed down to it’s recipient directly from a deity. These facts are convenient to forget and they fly in the face of the argument that morality comes from their “one true” god. For some reason most of the god’s that man has had have had a similar moral compass despite those gods being devils from the Biblical perspective.
Moral relativity is also consistently used as an argument against the idea that morality is impossible with a deity to provide the standard. The problem with this argument is that even if moral relativity IS true it rarely deviates to the extent of some massive change in the morals of the populous. When it does it is generally the religious population that makes the largest change.
Case in point: In 2003 it was the Christian right that most loudly supported the Bush Administrations plan to invade Iraq, despite there being no connection between Hussein and 9/11 nor any implied threat from him. Christians all over the South and the rest of America came together over this and supported the killing of over
50,000 7000 innocent civilians during the initial bombing of Baghdad. Even today the Christians are the ones supporting indiscriminate bombing in Pakistan…something I call murder. These people will go so far as to justify these actions with God. What is most interesting about this example is that the largest group of dissenters are the non-religious or non-christian. My morals haven’t been manipulated by god, church, or bad information…to me, it’s still wrong to kill an innocent person.
Just a thought…
Discussion topic: What are some other examples of the non-religious having superior morals?