|IHM, in Monroe|
Becoming a Christian has made many of us morally better. I know this has happened to me. I, like the apostle Paul, have not yet arrived at full Christlikeness. But Christ has made me a better person, morally and spiritually.
This is what real Christianity accomplishes. It produces brokenness over moral failure, followed by repentance (going away from the attitudes and choices that led to moral failure), followed by transformation (the formation of Christ in us).
Real followers of Jesus grieve over their slanderous, hate-filled behavior. Because our Text states that Real Love is exemplified on the Cross, and bullet-pointed in passages like 1 Corinthians 13. (Which is, in my mind, the greatest word ever written about love.)
As far as I can tell atheism (as philosophical naturalism) provides no guidance here, except for exalting the mostly unrealized inference to the non-existence of objective moral values.
So, it's not religion (esp. Christianity) that is the root cause of evil. It's atheism (non-belief) that best serves as an evil-allowing worldview since, on atheism, objective morality does not exist.
Atheist John Gray writes: "To insist that religion is peculiarly malignant is fanaticism, or mere stupidity."
- John Gray, reviewing Religion for Atheists: a Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion, By Alain de Botton
This is a nice review of de Botton's book. I am certain the following is true: "We can be sure the world's traditional religions will be alive and well when evangelical atheism is dead and long forgotten."