An often used argument in favour of Christianity is that without God one isn’t able to be moral, that morals come from God. A great many religious people have made that argument or have asked the question (how can you be moral without God) and insist that the basis of morality is religion or at least the deity of that religion. Of course, Christians insist their God is the basis of morality. Muslims insist it’s their God. Jews insist it’s theirs.
The Bible is filled with many do’s and don’ts but probably the most famous list is the ten commandments. The second list of ten things the almighty creator of the universe wants you to do (or not do) since the first list got broken by Moses during a tanty he threw upon seeing his people worshipping a golden effigy of the offspring of a cow. What most people – most Christians even – don’t know is that there are actually 613 commandments in the Bible. Hasidic Jews follow all of these laws strictly, Christians follow none of these laws unless it suits them. The law condemning homosexuality for example, is hauled out by tattooed bigots when it’s handy while completely disregarding the law right next to it against tattoos.
What’s quite obvious when you read these ‘laws’ is that they are wholly inadequate for any kind of decent moral system. Especially a modern one. There are no laws against slavery; in fact, there are laws on how to properly operate as a slaver. There are no laws against child abuse. The laws around rape include instructions on how much a rapist should pay the father of the victim.
Clearly these ‘laws’ are a terrible basis for any kind of civilised community.
For an example of a set of statements that do constitute a code for decency and civility one does not have to look far to find something created by humanity that is vastly superior to anything any religion has ever come up with.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a document that is the very embodiment of everything that is right and moral. It says all of the things that religious codes would have said if the deity of that religion actually existed and wasn’t a psychotic mass-murdering tyrant. It is quite telling that the greatest objection to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights come from Islamic countries who insist they are governed by a ‘religion of peace’ while subjugating women and partaking in some ludicrously barbaric traditions and application of law.
If a loving actually God existed, The Declaration of Human Rights would have been it’s code of conduct. That the Declaration of Human Rights exists and was created by human cooperation is proof that no such God has ever existed.
A couple of stand-out passages from the declaration:
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
In only a few short sentences humanity proves its self superior to any deity ever previously imagined.
Read the full declaration here: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ and the Wikipedia page here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights