I am writing in response to
and his Medium post
Are Christians Really the Only People Capable of ‘Goodness’?
I am going to disagree (I hope politely and respectfully).
To begin with, I will argue that humans (technically Homo sapiens) are animals. We are very intelligent animals. We can build airplanes that fly through the sky. We can build huge ships that sail over any ocean. We can transplant hearts to save lives and immunize against diseases such as polio and diphtheria that previously killed many people. We can even leave our planet, orbit our planet, land on the moon, and send probes to the planet Mars, and probably land humans on Mars in the next 20 years of so.
We can communicate with each other all over our planet with devices such as radios, televisions, telephones, and computer networks joined together by the Internet.
Other animals are very intelligent. Most obviously primates (apes such as gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutangs) and perhaps a little surprising to humans, creatures such as whales, elephants, crows, ravens, and parrots, and octopuses. Birds and bats can fly. Many animals have primitive languages and can communicate. Many animals such as crows and chimpanzees can use tools.
What make humans different is that we know we will die. All living things die. All living things strive to stay alive. On this planet only humans think about death. Most of us don’t think about it very much, because thinking about it very much can lead to depression and suicide. Even so, some people have jobs that force them to think about it. Doctors, nurses, police, soldiers, and so on.
Now I will outline my disagreements with you. As a species, Homo sapiens is about 250,000 to 500,000 years old. As we evolved we developed a capacity to think about our existence, sometimes called INTROSPECTION. We developed the capacity to communicate in words, and later in writing.
We are products of a process called evolution. Evolution is an accident. Somehow, millions of years ago on our planet live developed. We do not know exactly how, but here we are.
Evolution demands that living things survive and reproduce.
No survival, some other species fills the slot.
No reproduction, some other species fills the slot.
As soon as humans arose and thought about death, we invented religion.
The core message of religion is
Physical death does not mean spiritual death.
Most (but not all animals) care for their young, especially “higher” animals (a misleading term — perhaps “more complex” animals would be more appropriate). The more complex the animal — especially humans — the longer it takes for young to develop enough to survive. Humans are especially complex, and are young are especially vulnerable and take an especially long time to care for themselves. Humans evolved in the midst of very dangerous animals such as lions, leopards, elephants, crocodiles, wild dogs. To survive we had to become dangerous and develop weapons of mass destruction, starting with bows and arrows and eventually culminating in nuclear weapons. We lived in small tribes of 150 people or so because that is the number of people we can hold in our mind. As we became dangerous, starting with bows and arrows, and discovering agriculture, which allowed us to live in larger communities we had to INVENT laws to keep us from killing each other.
“The oldest record of outlined civil laws resides in the Decalogue provided Moses by the Christian God, this while He, the Christian God still was known only as the Jewish God, Jehovah or YHWH. All of this, thousands of years before advent of Jesus Christ. “
The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian code of law of ancient Mesopotamia, dated back to about 1754 BC (Middle Chronology). It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world. The sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi, enacted the code. A partial copy exists on a 2.25 metre (7.5 ft) stone stele. It consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments, adjusting “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” (lex talionis) as graded depending on social status, of slave versus free, man or woman.
As humans developed cities and empires, they CREATED a variety of gods and systems of rules to control our behavior, before the Jews, and before Paul INVENTED Christianity. Jesus Christ may or may not have existed. Probably he did, but it is not certain. The Romans were the Nazis of their time. They nailed people on crosses and stuck them up as a warning to their subjugated people
If you think Jesus was an ordinary (probably mentally ill) human who preached and demonstrated how to live, that might be moderately interesting.
Jesus instituted democratic principles before ever there was any real democracy anywhere in the world. American democracy is built on foundation of Jesus’ teachings.
This makes little sense. I am not sure if you personally believe that Jesus was an actual son of god who let himself die or if you just think that Jesus means we will not die (which billions of people claim to believe.
As far as I can figure out, empirical science (our best way of understanding our universe) provides no indication that death means anything more than the end of all existence. Period.
There are many religions. They do some good (in the way you define good) and they all do much harm. No government or human organization operated by any religious organization or belief system has successfully managed to maintain a fair and just government or governing system.
We (humans) are quite likely to destroy our own species by the year 2099, if not sooner. I think Christianity of any other superstitious belief system has little or nothing to help keep our species alive. I look forward to your reply. I apologize for the length.