It is a common, but mostly rather vague, assumption of Christians that Christianity made the world better. I have seldom been happy about this assumption.
Matters are seldom made specific, nor tested rigorously; but broadly speaking many (most?) Christians seem to assume and assert that the world has - in some fashion, been made a better place, since Christianity.
For example; Christians may believe and say that the world was better after Christ than before, that Christian societies are better than the alternatives; and that the more genuinely Christian a society - the better it will be.
Before I was a Christian; it seemed to me that this was - indeed must be - a circular argument. Modern Christians would therefore think that past Christian societies were the best, because the moderns use using Christian criteria to make this evaluation. But if someone was not a Christian, and held distinctive - maybe opposed - values; then what counted as Good for a Christian may count as bad for the modern.
The usual way around this constraint, is to try and develop agreed common measures of Goodness; values that are shared beyond Christianity - so that Christianity could be compared with other value-systems. Values perhaps related to social cohesion, prevalence and conduct of war, presence or not of human sacrifice, the harshness of judicial punishments, perhaps?...
But this doesn't work (even if such prior agreement could be obtained, and was stuck-to during the evaluation procedure); unless the particular shared values are also regarded as the most important values.
If other values - especially spiritual values, and other-worldly hopes and beliefs - of the kind that will not usually be shared between religions of ideologies (because they are what make religions different) - are regarded as more important than the shared values - then the exercise of comparison of outcomes does not help.
And my objections to this 'social and comparative' method of evaluating Christianity also go deeper; to depend on agreed 'history', 'scholarship' and reasoning procedures - strikes me as a very insecure basis on which to base my most fundamental and life-shaping beliefs.
Is it really possible to base a profound Christian belief on what we read in books, what we are told by 'experts'?
Not for me. I am perhaps hyper-aware of the disagreements between 'authorities', and the way that consensus changes through time - and often for bad reasons; to be able to suppose that Christianity can be justified by such procedures.
In other words; I do not think it is possible to make a solid and convincing argument - an argument that would convince skeptics or non-Christians - that Christianity has 'made life better' than other religions, or better than no religion.
We cannot escape our assumptions; and, anyway, this kind of 'proof by history' is intrinsically too weak for the job.
If Christianity genuinely depends on arguments that are rooted in any form of large-scale consensus; then I think it will prove too weak to survive these times that are upon us now. These times seem to be characterized by accelerating corruption, manipulation, manufacture, and changeability of consensus.
Also by what strikes me intuitively as increasing evilness of actual consensus.
So, if we demand consensus Christianity as our ultimate - I don't see we can avoid being manipulated by whoever has the most power to manufacture and control the process of consensus.
But even in saying this, I am already assuming that - ultimately - my intuition is more valid and secure than social consensus. Best to admit this, make it explicit and conscious...
This is why I 'demand' that my Christian faith ultimately be based on 'factors' that I can evaluate for myself, and from my-self.
This seems to me the deepest and most secure possible rooting; and the only root likely to withstand and resist the consensus-storms of these dark days for Christianity.