Christian morality?

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On several occasions I have found that some people act as though their religion invented morality. As much as some Christians would like to believe that the world was in chaos before the Bible came along, this is not the case.

I have heard people say that atheism ‘steals’ morality from Christians, and that other religions have inconsistent moral values, but this is just ridiculous. Another example would be on the comments of a YouTube video, the video was about one of Richard Dawkin’s lectures on God and atheism, and someone commented, saying that ‘Richard Dawkins didn’t call that guy stupid for asking him if he was going to accept Jesus Christ as his savior, that was very Christian of him.’ Those are just two examples that I can remember of seeing this assumption firsthand.

Regardless of what apologetics like to preach, morality is not unique to Christianity and never was, furthermore, morality is not unique to religion either. Humans got on just fine before the Bible, humans get on just fine without the Bible, and humans will get on just fine without the Bible. If chimpanzees and other apes can show basic moral behavior, then we should be able to cope!

The authors of Psalm 14 and other verses like that are just an attempt to justify religious bigotry and discrimination. Babies as young as 18 months of age can recognize aggressive, ‘immoral’ behavior, and apes can function as a group with morality. Humans evolved morality as a by-product of our evolution – those who helped others would be more likely to survive. A common argument is that if we evolved morality, rape shouldn’t be wrong, because it’s just passing on our genes to further our species survival. This is quite amusing, considering it’s coming from the people who’s Holy Book doesn’t list rape in the Ten Commandments. If we only thought like animals, then this would be true. But in order to work in a functioning society, our morality developed as our brains did and we made our own ideas about what was acceptable.

An example of why we don’t need religion to be moral can be found in European countries such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Estonia. These countries are listed as over 60% atheist (including agnostic, anti-theist, secularist, freethinker, skeptic and all the other countless names) according to some polls. Do you ever hear in the news about how corrupt and evil those countries are, and how much crime goes on? No. In fact, Sweden has been rated as a very good country to live in, the 8th happiest country in the world, Japan is the first happiest, and that country isn’t very religious either. Similar studies have shown that the majority of criminals in the US are religious, and they did not convert in prison.

Further reading & sources:

Wikipedia article on religions in Sweden.

Happiest country article.

Potholer54 debunking the morality argument.

Atheism, religion and morality

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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