Theistic Moral Fallacy
Theists are forever claiming themselves to be the guardians of "true morality" claiming that if belief in god wanes, morality goes out the window. Many of them build these strawman arguments with bogus "evidence" citing supposed "moral decay" of the last half century or so. They think without the threat of eternal punishment with a set of rigorous moral demands (I wont go into the problems involving the myriad ways of interpreting the moral demands), society will have no moral compass and no incentive to be moral.
Do people really need a belief in a supernatural parent who can dish out eternal punishment to be moral?Do they really need to have commandments spelled out in stone in order to know right from wrong? I think the answer lies in what motivates folks to abstain from an evil act. Say your coworker leaves a 20 dollar bill on his desk after he leaves for the day. Is the person who doesn't take it because he fears he's being watched morally different from the person who doesn't take the bill because he KNOWS in his heart that it's wrong, thinks about how his coworker might need that 20 dollar bill and knows that he couldn't enjoy the ill gotten gain for feeling guilty? Does it really take something supernatural to make a person behave like a decent human being?
Evolutionary science says that morality, the feelings that are associated with them, feelings of guilt for doing something wrong, feelings of being victimized when wronged are a result of natural selection, embedded into our DNA. Indeed such behaviors can be seen in other animals, particularly primates. Our closest living relatives,chimpanzees share some of our nastiest moral deficiencies. They wage war on one another, often fighting cruelly, attacking faces and genitals. They cheat and steal from each other and have even been observed engaging in prostitution. Within communites, primate cultures carry out punishments for behaviors that were considered wrong within the group. They, too, have a set of moral obligations to each other.Any social and political animal has a code of ethics,they have to or else the community wouldn't function.
How moral could a society be if their only motivation for doing the morally right thing is eternal punishment? I suppose Christians would like to point out how Christ expounded upon what was in a person's heart, saying if they felt lust, they were already guilty of adultery, though I think a person would have to be pretty obtuse if they couldn't understand the moral similarities between desire to do evil and actually doing it.
Science has also shown that in cases of what we consider extreme evil, such as seriel killers, areas of the brain responsible for emotions like empathy and compassion can be seriously underdeveloped and damaged in such individuals, gving an organic reason for their evil. It's conceivable that "evil" may one day be something that can be spotted on an MRI and cured with a medical procedure. I for one, put far more stock in science and that approach to the problem than prayer,scripture or waiting for god to destroy the devil
"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."