Here is something really challenging to wrap our minds around (this in no way proves/disproves theism/atheism, but its an interesting thought exercise)
Where did God come from? Why does he exist? How can it be that something as incredibly sophisticated as an intelligent mind “just exists” without a creator, a cause, or an origin story? If your mind didn’t have a body, do you think its possible that your intelligent mind could “just exist” without a creator? Then how can Gods intelligent mind, which is superior to yours, “just exist” without a creator?
If its possible that a non-physical intelligent mind can “just exist” as a brute fact, is it possible that the non-physical laws of physics “just exist” without a creator? Why should a non-physical person be more likely than a non-physical law?
For the philosophically erudite, since God is defined as a metaphysically necessary thing, is it possible that the laws of physics are a necessary thing? Why should a non-physical person be more likely than a non-physical law?
As a preacher I often taught that “the only religion that teaches grace is Christianity, all others teach works-based salvation.” It was an idea I picked up from other preachers, who had in-turn, picked it up from other preachers.
Turns out we were wrong per the evidence surveyed by Dr. Matthew P John (who was an Indian Christian and the president of India’s Society for Biblical Studies) in his paper “The Idea of Grace in Christianity and Hinduism.”
Contrary to the popular opinion, there are indeed other religions, including some sects of Hinduism that teach the idea of Grace.
Some 500 years before Jesus Christ, the Gautama Buddha, a prince who is considered the founder of Buddhism taught many doctrines that were very similar to what Jesus would teach five centuries later.
Numerous scholars have noted the undeniable similarities in teaching and doctrines between Jesus and Buddha, for example, the eminent New Testament scholar, Dr. Marcus Borg (who happens to be a liberal Christian himself) wrote “Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings” which aggregates hundreds of similarities in the teachings of Jesus and Buddha.
This certainly doesn’t mean the two are the same religion, but does this indicate that Jesus borrowed or stole ideas from Buddha? While there is some historical evidence that ideas from Buddhism reached Judea (and the western world) being brought back from Alexander the Great’s conquests, and some historians like Jerry H. Bentley argue that Buddhism influenced Christianity, this is not the consensus view.
In the end, this indicates that it’s very likely that kind/pacifist teachings and doctrines independently developed all around the world.