Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Christianity's influence on a nation's morality

A while back I started reading Dawkins' The God Delusion but I have to admit that I gave up on it before I got to the section on morality. Nevertheless, I understand that when Christians and atheists talk about morals they are pretty much talking about two different things.

The Christian says, "Morality is the definition of what human behaviour is 'right' and 'wrong', as defined by God Himself. God sets the standard of moral perfection, and is the judge of good and evil."

The atheist says, "Morality is a system that humans have evolved in order to help societies function smoothly. There is no absolute good and evil, only relative concepts of right and wrong that constantly shift as a culture develops."

this fantastic screen shot is from http://www.scales-and-weights.com/
I have previously blogged about the implications of those definitions.

The issue seems very prevalent at the moment, what with the row over gay marriage, the proposal of "after-birth abortion" and the ongoing outcry over the greed epidemic amongst MPs, bankers and the like.

Do you think moral standards in your country are in decline?

(Incidentally, if you think morals can be said to 'decline' at all then you're a moral absolutist, right? Which means you probably believe in God, yeah?)

So what is it that causes shifts in the moral fabric of a culture?
And how can a moral decline be reversed?

I don't claim to have all the answers, but, well, I've got a few largish ones. Namely, that an increase in Christianity is always good for overall morality, and actually the only way of restoring broken morals is an increase in Christianity. Conversely, a decrease in Christianity is always bad for overall morality. This is not because religious people are better people, it's because Jesus is the light of the world.

So we can petition and campaign like William Wilberforce. We can lobby and protest. We can speak up on behalf of the church, and pray for her voice to be heard. We can plead with the government to listen to bishops, arch-bishops and cardinals. But we'll only pull out of a moral decline when people start repenting and believing the gospel.

I'mma finish with a quote from everyone's favourite pastor.

“See, after church tonight you will go home and you will eat chicken, not human, because of the spread of Christianity. You think I’m kidding, go to a country that hasn’t had the spread of Christianity. They’re having human for dinner.” 

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