Forum:Help needed with defenses of Biblical Genocide
Hi there, new user.
One of the worst things Christians tend to engage in are defenses of Biblical Genocide. I'm currently in a discussion with two Christians with another secular guy supporting me, and we could do with some help with regards to some of the ways they're defending genocide as depicted in the Bible, within this discussion we're having it's mostly to do with the Amalekites and the morality of killing them.
In any case, here's the response I got during the discussion that I really need help with. The stuff we've talked about in the discussion is pretty much all referenced in the response:
I would just note that everybody dies. People argue the morality of God taking life without remembering that the whole race is already under a death sentence. Mass death only reminds us of what is coming to each of us in our turn.
And I can easily see that death is the necessary answer to misguided life. We kill cancer, and the strep bacteria. If we don't, they become a nightmare that kills us. So I can see that God must kill off a race that has gone wrong. The important thing is that he didn't do it all at once, but gives this race repeated opportunities to be healed. Some take that opportunity, many don't, and will ultimately die.
To clarify, women and children die all of the time, and in horrific ways. I asked you and your friend if you believe a creator is a possibility. You may have responded a second time (I have catching up to do in this thread), but stated it was a hypothesis, which I will take to mean a possibility. Your friend's response was "I'm unconvinced" which at first glance sounds pretty decisive, I'll still take it to mean it's a possibility as well (he also followed up with references to an intelligent designer being a faulty designer if he exists, which I'll have to address later).
So both of you have to come to grips with the fact that, assuming you both think life is overall good,, it can only be good if there is no creator of any kind responsible for out existence. Any type of creator allows for death, even if not directly causing it. There's no way around it, unless you make the argument that the creator may somehow lack the ability to prevent death. But if that's the case, by your general definition, this faulty designer as per your friend should never have created us to begin with. Do you go along with that?
Now, to the genocide. First off, no, the Biblical account involving the Amalekites does not qualify for any of the definitions of genocide unless you argue that the annihilation of an ethnic group no matter what the reason is. In which case, since you asked an extreme question, I'm going to respond with an extreme question (after answering yours).
God orders me to kill a bunch of people because they will pose some sort of threat to Christianity in the future. Will I do it? Probably not, unless I go under such mental strain and duress to the point I eventually lose it. Why? It's along the lines of God telling me He has changed His mind about the judgment of Satan, and made Satan God. It defies God's own law of never changing. Your description of killing is murder. It does not involve war. It does not involve justice as I am not in a position to pass judgment on anyone. The Israelites were in an international (or inter-ethnic) war situation. I am not. When they carried out death sentences on their own, they had mutual collective consent to do so. I am under the authority of a government, not above it.
Now we have many Christians in the world who won't kill a dog or cat let alone a human being. Many. So it's unlikely that God is telling Christians to kill people. Ah, but there's people in mental institutions who say God talks to them. And people who have murdered that stated that God talked to them. Yes, and there are also atheists in mental institutions, and that commit murder. There are people who are under a delusion that they are God. And that doesn't mean that they think they are omniscient, omnipresent, divine, a creator, etc. The conventional Satanist for instance is an atheist, and believe they are God. New Agers/Cosmic Humanists believe they are God. And fundamentalist atheists do as well in that they believe they are in control of their life. The God of their personal sphere/realm.
The question to you is, let's say the citizens of Guernsey Island collectively plan to wipe Great Britain off of the planet. The roaring mouse secretly accumulated the weaponry to do so. There's only one choice. Bomb GI, or let them do it to you (GB). If you bomb them, the whole island will be wiped out, women and children. No chance of saving women and children because the island is barricaded such to where it's impossible, and would actually be against the will of anyone old enough to know what's going on. If you don't bomb them, no more Great Britain. Period. What do you (Great Britain) do?
Now for some miscellaneous stuff. You mentioned and described the First Rationale for Genocide http://randalrauser.com/2013/01/an-unbelievable-defense-of-the-amalekite-genocide/ , does this First Rationale for Genocide include killing members of another group for their actual survival/existence? There are people who want to wipe Israel off of the map today. Further on to this, iff the Biblical scenario of the Israelites killing the Amalekites is mere rhetoric, then the writer of the linked article has a valid point. If it was an instruction by the actual creator of the Universe, then it's no longer mere rhetoric. Then, you are only left with questioning the Creator's judgment. Does that make sense?
I also pointed out before when justifying why God ordered the deaths of all the Amalekites including women and children, that based on readings of the Bible, when the Israelites did not carry out that command, they suffered for it later on when those children grew to adulthood. You dismissed this argument, and said that it could just as easily apply to Nazi soldiers not following commands to slaughter Jews. I couldn't imagine why. This would only make sense if the Creator of the Universe instructed the Nazis to kill all Jewish for the same reason the Israelites were commanded to kill the Amalekites. Is there any reason I should believe that?
We also discussed Hiroshima, and you said that while it may have been sufficient to end the war, it wasn't however necessary. That's fair enough, but just to clarify, are you absolutely 100% sure that it was unnecessary? That there's no way anything worse could have happened if Hiroshima was not bombed? In the event of God existing, this goes quite smoothly with my point. Yes, the men responsible for bombin Hiroshima were not all knowing. However, God is. So if God knows the outcome of war depending on actions taken, then those instructions it would stand for reason should be taken seriously.
And I'll close with some quick questions: 1) Why is killing people "bad" in your opinion? 2) Pretend I'm from Mars. Explain to me what "bad" means. 3) Isn't death an essential part of evolution? You can't have selection without it, right? So why are you trying to stop this form of natural selection?
Any stuff you can provide me with in order to provide an effective rebuttal against this will be much appreciated. We could probably also do with a biblical genocide article and how apologists defend genocide, with some counter-arguments.
You can nibble at it, but assuming a God exists and owns all humans and therefor can do what it wants as a matter of right is fairly useless to argue with. Pick at why in some genocides God allowed the virgins to be kept. It makes the reason that they were all irreedemably evil a bit rediculous and reverts back to God wanted the land for his chosen people. Hamster (talk) 23:02, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
The reason for the Biblical Genocides
I wanted to contribute to this article as a Christian, but also someone who has studied, and is studying ancient Biblical literature and other texts of ancient literature as a hobby. No, I am not a Biblical scholar by any means, but I definitely do my share of reading and researching, because I, like you, have had many questions as to the why things have happened the way they have in the Bible, specifically why would God condone a genocide of an entire race of people.
First of all, I want to go off of historical and ancient literature only and not delve into any subjective opinions because to me that deters from the facts behind the ancient texts. I'd rather just go with objective evidence for that reason.
Ancient Hebrew and other ancient literature is often copies of copies sometimes, but it's also passed down from oral tradition. Many of the Semitic, Arab, Persian, and Near Asian cultures used oral tradition voraciously and were very keen on getting the stories down as they heard them (hence recitation of Koran and other se texts in childhood). So while these texts may not be 100% accurate, I think they are pretty close if we properly investigate the linguistics, the history, and all other facets of how these documents came to be. This includes the Bible, however, the Bible appears to stand alone in my opinion from what I've been researching as being divinely inspired by God.
Ok, so why did the genocides occur? You have to go back to the ancient literature, to the very beginning of the fall of Adam and Eve with the Serpent in the garden, who was also called the Nacash (meaning shining one, or one who deceives, or serpent). I have not figured out whether the fall of man occurred prior to the angels falling from heaven or not, but I tend to believe that Lucifer fell prior to the creation of man and woman. In the book of Enoch, and in several other ancient texts, it talks about a legion of angels who banded together with Lucifer (some 200)as they did not want to obey the commandments of God and be in service to humankind. Instead they wanted to rise above God and be like are AS the most high, to be above Him. Lucifer was so full of pride when he made this decision that it was easy for him to band with the angels, once they saw the women of earth and decided to mate with them. I believe that Lucifer already had this planned out, was already scheming this when he was asked to obey and serve humankind. So when they decided to mate with the women (basically they raped them) to bring about their own progeny (the nephilim), they were banished from heaven forever. Their offspring then were half demonic/half human, and they were considered to be the mighty men of old, them men of renown as mentioned in Genesis and throughout many other texts. So what happened is these nephilim they worshipped Satan/Lucifer (who also has many other pagan god names). Remember that Lucifer can also come off as a beautiful angel of light, because he was once the most beautiful angel in the kingdom of God per the literature. What occurred when these angels fell is that they taught the women all forms of fornication and the men all forms of battle and war techniques. They also included in their teachings homosexuality (Apollo (who also goes by other names is the first pagan god to have a homosexual relationship with a young male and history indicates that he was Lucifer himself), pedophilia, and human child sacrifice as well as cannibalism. During the times of the great flood of Noah, the human race had become so genetically corrupt with the seed of Satan that there were very few real human beings left. It appears that these nephilim were so scientifically advanced that they even corrupted their genetics with animals. You can find the historical basis for this is Jasher, the book of Giants, Enoch 1 and 2, the Bible, and several other documents. So throughout the Old Testament, God is commanding Noah's generation to kill off entire groups of people. The reason for this was solid as these races were completely corrupted genetically by the demonic angels who fell from heaven. I understand that many people will not believe what I have written. All you have to do is read the research for yourself. Start with the book of Enoch and all the other ancient Jewish literature. You can also research other ancient cultural texts. There is a huge plethora of information out there available that sadly no one is interested in for a variety of reasons.— Unsigned, by: Ruthie24 / talk / contribs
- The problem with all of this is that it based on two faulty assumptions - 1. That a being called "God" exists. 2. That the Biblical myths are true.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:34, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
- So you are saying that you can justify the whole thing except why God let everything turn to a shitfest with man defying him, angels rebelling etc and the only solution an omniscient , omnipotent, omnibenevolent God could come up with is kill them all and torture most of them for eternity ? Hamster (talk) 23:29, 25 April 2014 (UTC)