Anthony Horvath has an interesting post over at the Christian Apologetics Ministries blog. It’s particularly interesting in that it raises an issue you don’t ordinarily hear.
Christian religion says that people are by nature sinful and fallen. So it isn’t any surprise to Christians- or it shouldn’t be- when humans do bad things to other humans. We shouldn’t even be surprised when Christians are mean to other Christians…
But what explains that fact? I have never heard of a genocide by the gorillas. Have we found concentration camps erected by dogs? … No, raw brutality towards one’s own entire species seems to be a problem unique to the human race, with or without religion.
But can we generate an explanation for that fact without religion? …
The response of [Neibuhr and Chesterton] in the face of human nature’s apparent depravity was to identify it with a doctrine that was already known to them within the Christian community. What is the atheist going to turn to?
So man’s inhumanity to man is supposed to pose a tough problem for atheists, not because it’s so difficult to stop, but because the atheist’s lack of belief in God means he can’t explain why man is sometimes cruel to man. In other words, if God did not exist, we would expect man to behave better.
That’s a refreshing change from the usual argument, isn’t it? Let’s see if we can’t explain human cruelty without recourse to superstitious ideas about God.