Tonka wrote:Chris wrote: But morality isn't exclusive to Christian societies. Altruism existed long before Jesus - there's evidence that primitive hunter-gatherers looked after frail and elderly members of their tribe even though it cost them valuable food and slowed them down.
I have no issue at all with Jesus's message. What I do object to is the suggestion that Christianity (or any other religion for that matter) has the monopoly on morality, and that a secular society is automatically an immoral one. Just about every society in the world promotes mutual co-operation, selflessness and honesty.
But morality and altruism are not the same thing. A man can take care of his family or fellow man because of his altruism, but morality stops him sleeping with his brothers wife.
Much of what we might term civilized society was brought about by Christian pioneers educating (and by no means only religious education) primitive peoples in the 18th and 19th Centuries. No one has said that Christianity has the monopoly on morality, but i personally haven't observed a better 'manifesto' yet, and whilst it would be wrong to say that all outside of religion have no morality at all, the advancing liberal attitudes ever more present in the West don't appear to be making society a better/safer place to be.Chris wrote: I suppose the other problem of promoting a moral code based on the Bible, as opposed to the teachings of Jesus, is that as we all know the Bible can be utterly vile. To pick one example at random:
"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.
- Leviticus 20:13"
This and countless other barbarous verses is why as a society we do not, should not, and must not derive our moral code from the Bible.
Science is very clear. Unprotected anal intercourse followed by vaginal can lead to horrific consequences. The bacteria present where not made to merge. This prohibition was put in place thousands of years ago, in a relatively small community. If it hadn't, in time, with the advancing ravages of HIV and other STD's, its possible the human race would not have come this far.
I was reading your arguments with admiration up until this post. I'm not a believer myself but hearing both sides is good thing to do.
Christian people educating primitive peoples, if you mean the wholesale indoctrination of other civilisations that the so called missionaries carried out then I'm afraid you've lost it. Primitive people, by your standards or theirs?
There are still many people living in this world who are untouched by the mainstream religions and they are being left alone as much as possible, we have no right to impose our so called standards upon other civilisations and to be perfectly honest we should never even have tried. Trying to defend such an episode in our recent history is comical to say the least.
There is little doubt that the morals you hold so highly are formed from religious teachings but who are you or I to say that they are correct. If you look back in time then there were many civilisations that allowed homosexuality and accepted it as being totally normal. Not so long ago a woman wasn’t allowed to enter a church showing her hair and not at all if she was menstruating , Christian morals at their highest. Not forgetting the recent issues with priests and young people that the church tried to cover up. Morals indeed. Sleeping with my brothers wife is a blip in comparison.