New fodder for discussion:
I came across this post in a forum discussion and figured it might make for an interesting discussion topic:
“Atheist friends: tread carefully. When you claim superior "morality" to Christians, you are standing on moral and ethical ground carved out entirely by the Judeo-Christian God and worldview.
You take for granted that people understand that lying, killing, rape, and slavery are wrong. That is incorrect. Your understanding that those behaviors are unacceptable is based on the teaching of Christian morality, and its influence on its own culture and others.
It can honestly be said that atheists today who are against slavery, mistreatment of women, dishonesty, and war would almost certainly not have those beliefs had the Judeo-Christian God/worldview never existed. If anything, any similar moral beliefs you might have would be based on keeping social order and your moral appeals would be to the State, not to ideals of right and wrong.
Here's a simple morality test: are you in favor of abortion? Then chances are you would not have been an abolitionist in 1800 America. Your morality is probably based on pragmatism and self-interest, and your reasoning is then custom-fitted to the same.”
There are religions and moral philosophies older than Christianity which teach that killing, stealing, lying, rape and slavery are wrong. And, as stated above, the Bible is pro-slavery, and pro-killing. (as long as it's in the name of god...)
His argument is false on its face. He needs to read a bit about the history of religion and/or morality from something other than 10-page evangelical Christian comic book tracts.
There are even full legal codes that predate Christianity
I also doubt that humanity survived for tens of thousand of years without figuring out that killing other people and stealing from them is wrong. At least within your own clan or tribe. It's in the group's best interest to treat each other well. It was only when societies became larger and more complex that sociopathy actually paid off.
I saw the Hammurabi's stele a year and a half before I overcame my qualms and acquiesced to atheism, but it was such a moving experience to be in the presence of one of the earliest codes of law--it should have been a dead give away that I was bound for secular humanism.
I was thinking about "Christian Morality" yesterday. Theists will often ask the question, "What is the basis for atheist morality?". In turn, I thought, "What is the basis for christian morality?". According to biblical teachings, once a person "accepts Jesus into their heart", they are "saved" and they are guaranteed a spot in heaven. Once they get to heaven, there will be eternal joy, peace, happiness, and maybe 72 virgins.
So while on earth, why wouldn't a christian go around being gluttonous and slothful, stealing, raping, drinking, and tripping 24 hours a day? After all, once they die, they are going to be partying in heaven for eternity?
I think Gandhi would agree with you, Kairan. Here is one of his quotes... a personal favorite of mine:
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."