Agnostic Mom has an interesting piece in the Humanist News Network, entitled A System For Morality that you should read. As I've said here before, the suggestion that Christians are the only people with a moral code is not only wrong, it's a repugnant position to take. There is no historical basis for making that assumption, other than to start from the position that "I believe it, therefore it must be so". History has shown time and again that good and evil crosscut all cultures and religions through time, and no verifiable data exist to suggest that any one group holds the moral high ground consistently.
In a follow-up post, Agnostic Mom has this to say about morality in general:
What do I mean when I refer to right and wrong, good and bad, moral and immoral? And what about that extreme word, “evil?”
Wrong: Causing another person unnecessary pain or increasing the amount of pain and suffering in the world.
Bad: Causing another person unneccessary pain or increasing the amount of pain and suffering in the world.
Evil: Causing another person an excruciating and horrific amount of unnecessary pain or increasing the amount of pain and suffering in the world.
Immoral: Knowing you are causing another person unnecessary pain or increasing the amount of pain and suffering in the world. And doing it anyway when you have a choice to do otherwise.
Right, Good, and Moral: The opposite of the above.
I found this interesting, because it is basically the kind of moral code I've seen expressed in people throughout the world, particularly hunter-gatherer and pastoralist peoples I've lived with. This will not be a sufficient definition for Christian fundamentalists who demand the sole authority to make moral rules based on their own interpretations of scripture, but systems of morality are ingrained within cultures worldwide. Whether or not individuals choose to abide by those systems is dependent upon a variety of complicated factors of the kind that drive behavioral ecologists nuts. I would argue that economics is a significant driving force in making people violate (or modify) their intrinsic moral code, but that's a topic for another time; I would also suggest that over the last 40-60 years Christianity has actually morphed its own moral code to emphasize economic gain rather than spritual fullfillment - it has largely abandoned the substance of Christ's moral commandments to justify unlimited financial gain at the expense of just about everything else - again, another reason my family and I left the church - but again, a discussion for another time.