This isn’t a new take, nor is it a new take for Paul Williams of Blogging Theology, but it just so happens that there is an interesting and ready-made rebuttal of this claim, available for anyone who is an atheist or agnostic.
In direct response, please check out Bruce Gerencser’s post on criminal behaviour and religion here. Where I’m quoting Bruce his comments shall be in blue.
To begin though, with a few thoughts of my own. The religious right loves to believe it has a monopoly on morality. Alongside a few discussions with Paul, I’ve had a few with David Thiessen of Theology Archaeology as well. What’s often interesting to me is that the Muslim (Paul) and the Christian (David) will both assert their beliefs as the superior morality – and yet, they cannot both be right. Both believe in their divine texts and figures and both believe the codes of conduct written for them to follow to be absolute. Yet they cannot both be right. Throughout history Christianity and Islam have waged war upon one another, slaughtered one another, and claimed to have the superior morality.
Both religions (and indeed, most organised religions) argue they have cracked the moral code. ‘Murder is wrong’. Well, thanks for the obvious. Most people understand this, irrespective of faith. Humanism is a straight-forward philosophy whereby religious beliefs are not forcibly imposed on others. Being religious doesn’t make someone superior morally. If that is the case, what do Paul and David make of these statistics?
Atheists make up a small minority of prisoners! Interesting…
We must also examine God’s position on murder. The wholesale slaughter of cities, executing people for a glance, and allowing through inaction some truly heinous crimes (such as the Holocaust). If God exists, there are many, many questions to ask of them, and it’s strange that we would draw morality from a being that, if we are to take holy texts as true, is proven to commit terrible acts.