Christianity, context and moral relativism.
For this argument I am not claiming that moral relativism is a good or bad thing (its all relative XD) but Christian apologists frequently claim that is an atheist/humanist concept and inferior to an absolute morality that comes from the word of God?
However, Christians also frequently claim that atheists take the actions of the Christian god out of context when we criticize his advocacy of slavery, rape, child sex abuse and genocide in the bible. Logically, this means that there is a context in which these things are right and that morality in such cases is relative to these contexts?
To Christians, genocide was right when God committed it globally by flooding the world killing nearly every man, woman and child but the holocaust, it is argued, proves that Hitler could not have been a true Christian because it was so very wrong?
Slavery was right then because it was a different time and God did make laws about freeing them eventually and not beating them so badly they died instantly (its OK if it takes a few days) but now nearly all Christians consider it wrong?
It was fine for God to tell the Hebrews to ransack villages killing everyone except virgin girls whom they could keep to rape and rape itself was OK then as long as the man married the woman afterwards. Christians will use the fact that this law is still enforced in some Muslim countries to argue that Islam is a religion of violence and oppression whilst Christianity is nothing of the sort?
Few atheists or agnostics would or could hold such contradictory ideas of right and wrong - most of us take a Humanist standpoint which assesses each case on the way it affects other people - genocide is always wrong to humanists because it necessarily harms innocent people as do slavery and laws which allow the sexual exploitation of women (or men naturally but in the bible its women.) Those can never be justified by humanist philosophy but can be by Christian theology?
At this point Christians will frequently argue that I am quoting the Old Testament and that this is not how they are to live their lives now - except the ten commandments. Oh and the bit about homosexuality being wrong. The claim that Jesus came and made a new covenant which absolved us from much of the Old testament is bizarre. Its the same god in both testaments. Either his word in the Old Testament was perfect as it is claimed to be or it was flawed and he changed his mind and decided that much of what was morally right in the Old Testament was no longer to be considered so - is this really moral absolutism?
Is it not true to say Christians have a far more relative sense of morality than Humanist atheists?