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The Problem Of Mass Killing In The Bible


shantonu
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As LNC has suggested, this topic probably should be in a separate thread.

 

The Bible has several passages that refer to God ordering the complete destruction of a particular tribe or set of people, notably various Canaanite groups, including the Amalekites and similar peoples. The main chapters describing mass killings and the like are in Joshua and the 1st Book of Samuel, but are scattered at various other points in first few books of the Hebrew Bible. These "mass killings" may or may not count as "genocides," but I don't think it matters--they are abhorent in their own right.

 

To me, these passages suggest one of two possibilities: (1) God is immoral and unjust in that He ordered the killing of innocents, non-combatants, women, children, and babies. (2) God, did not order these killings, but instead human beings later justified such atrocities by saying that God instructed them to do these acts.

 

If the first case is true, then it seems to me that God, even if He exists, would not be worthy of worship because only a just and good God should be worshiped. If the second case is true, then we must admit that the Bible is not infallable as a guide to what God said or did at a given time, and thus we would not be able to trust the Biblical record uncritically.

 

In either case, I think the Bible itself gives good reason why one should not adhere to the mainline, evangelical worldview. After all, we seem to know, from the Sixth Commandment, that murder is wrong. Yet, God clearly ordered the murder of some innocent people in the land of Canaan.

 

While my argument is based primarily on the instances of wholesale killing and infanticide in 1 Samuel and Joshua, the same argument can be made with respect to other sections in the Bible that contemplate, for example, selling one's daughter into slavery, the subjugation of particular ethnic groups (seemingly countenanced by Jesus's treatment of the Syro-Phonecian woman or is it the Samaritan woman? Anyway, you know what I mean) There is also the oppression of gay and lesbian people countencanced by Paul.

 

This does not mean that the Bible is "worthless." I've maintained, with some success I think, that the Bible is still an important landmark in ethical thinking. I don't deny that Jesus lived, taught, and died, more or less as the Biblical record said he did. I respect and admire Jesus for his human message. I like to think of myself as being a "Christian" in the limited sense that my worldview grows out of a Christian upbringing. I recognize that I share some kinship with Christians, but I just don't see how evangelicals get around the problem of genocide in books that I've mentioned.

 

I'm particularly interested in the LNC and End3's take on this, but anyone is free to jump in.

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There is a third option.

 

They must openly confess (especially if they try to justify the OT as 'fulfilled' which isn't even the discussion...but that of the immorality of their god's OT actions), that the god of the NT is a completely different being than the god of the jews.

 

I expect them to play the 'ignorance justifying abuse' card too....that humans during the time of OT were incapable of comprehending a loving god, but by the time NT was written, god could start being his "true self", but this means that MAN dictates and defines GOD...which...while true, would hardly be an argument in favor of religious validity, and makes god "worship" an ironic joke.

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There is a third option.

 

They must openly confess (especially if they try to justify the OT as 'fulfilled' which isn't even the discussion...but that of the immorality of their god's OT actions), that the god of the NT is a completely different being than the god of the jews.

 

I expect them to play the 'ignorance justifying abuse' card too....that humans during the time of OT were incapable of comprehending a loving god, but by the time NT was written, god could start being his "true self", but this means that MAN dictates and defines GOD...which...while true, would hardly be an argument in favor of religious validity, and makes god "worship" an ironic joke.

 

That's true. There may be more than one option. I always find it strange that prostheletizers (sp?) say that "Jesus was either (1) a liar, (2) a madman, or (3) the Son of God." I mean, there is at least one other choice . . . he could have (4) just been speaking metaphorically.

 

So I don't mean to suggest that the there are only those two choices--God is not moral or the Bible is not a good record of God's actions--there may be other choices. These are just the ones that I thought of. But I don't know if they can say that the "God of the NT is different from the God of the OT," even though that seems a perfectly reasonable and in fact true statement.

 

Anyway, we'll have to see what they say.

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There is a third option.

 

They must openly confess (especially if they try to justify the OT as 'fulfilled' which isn't even the discussion...but that of the immorality of their god's OT actions), that the god of the NT is a completely different being than the god of the jews.

 

Or one could argue that the god of the NT is indeed the god of the Jews, but that this god has taken things to a new level. In the OT, this god was content with the wholesale slaughter of tribes, but this god has "evolved" to a place where that is not enough. Now he demands an eternal punishment for the vast majority of all that has ever lived ... an eternal KILLING of beings where this god can smell the smoke of their torment throughout all eternity. It is like this god started with a little murder and then it just grew from there. He just can't get enough!

 

The same is true in many respects with the Bible. The god of the Jews starts out as a very tribal god, but he is not content staying there. He wants to be king over the other neighboring gods as well. But that is not enough, he also wants to be the god of the world! And that is also not enough, he wants to be the god of eternity as well.

 

So what we see is an evolution of this murderous, blood-thirsty being in the Bible.

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There is a third option.

 

They must openly confess (especially if they try to justify the OT as 'fulfilled' which isn't even the discussion...but that of the immorality of their god's OT actions), that the god of the NT is a completely different being than the god of the jews.

 

Or one could argue that the god of the NT is indeed the god of the Jews, but that this god has taken things to a new level. In the OT, this god was content with the wholesale slaughter of tribes, but this god has "evolved" to a place where that is not enough. Now he demands an eternal punishment for the vast majority of all that has ever lived ... an eternal KILLING of beings where this god can smell the smoke of their torment throughout all eternity. It is like this god started with a little murder and then it just grew from there. He just can't get enough!

 

The same is true in many respects with the Bible. The god of the Jews starts out as a very tribal god, but he is not content staying there. He wants to be king over the other neighboring gods as well. But that is not enough, he also wants to be the god of the world! And that is also not enough, he wants to be the god of eternity as well.

 

So what we see is an evolution of this murderous, blood-thirsty being in the Bible.

 

The morality of killing off the whole human species (which many evangelicals insist God is perfect right to do) is an interesting question. However, I think that we should ask about the specific instances of killing in the Bible that seem particularly bizzare and abhorent. You raise a good point, but I think the more specific we are the clearer we are. I think Stalin said "one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic." I'd like to focus on particular acts of God-sanctioned murder rather than the broader (though valid) point that you are making.

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This does not mean that the Bible is "worthless." I've maintained, with some success I think, that the Bible is still an important landmark in ethical thinking.

 

I would take exception to that. Because of the Bible, we had oppression of women, slavery (or rather justification of it), oppression of homosexuals, and murder of those who didn't align precisely with the Catholic church (burnings) among other things.

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I think that we should ask about the specific instances of killing in the Bible that seem particularly bizzare and abhorent.

 

The genocide of the Amalekites in First Samuel 15 is one that hit me when I was in the process of de-conversion. According to the text, god wanted the Amalekites destroyed because King Amalek had "laid wait for him (Israel) in the way, when he (Israel) came up from Egypt." (1 Samuel 15:2) This is the ONLY justification that god gives Samuel to give to Saul as to WHY ALL the Amalekites, including the smallest of infants, need to be utterly destroyed. The reason for the slaughter of the Amalekites is no real reason at all. But it is worse than that. The supposed event of when King Amalek withstood Israel after they left Egypt was about 380 YEARS earlier than the time of Samuel being a prophet and Saul being Israel's king! 380 years is longer than the USA has been a nation (just to give some perspective). And god wants the Amalekites held responsible, down to the smallest child, for a supposed crime committed 380 years earlier! Not only is the crime questionable (whether it was even a crime to begin with), but the fact that the supposedly all-loving, all-forgiving, long-suffering god, who desires that none should perish but that all should come to repentance ... that he would harbor bitterness toward the Amalekites for 380+ years and demand retribution for the original act ... this is simply horrible! And the Bible has the gall to say that god is a just judge!

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How about god killing a man simply because he is displeased? Read Genesis 38:7-10.The Bible says that Er, Judah's firstborn was wicked and so god killed him. It does not say what Er did that was so bad. I mean, whatever it was, it must have been a dozy because god couldn't wait for the man to die ... he had to kill him himself! In any case, Er's brother Onan is told to go and get Er's wife pregnant. He has sex with her, but let's his semen fall to the ground instead of impregnating her. This also ticked God off and he personally kills Onan for it!

 

A passage like this indicates that it is god who is immoral (assuming that the Christian god really existed). His reasons were unjust. In fact, the text simply says that what Onan did "displeased" god. So god kills when he is simply displeased. If I acted like that I would be labeled a monster. God acts like this and he is called "loving" and "just." Huh?

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This thread says a lot to about the fact that ancient army could rack up a body count on par with something only our modern weapons could do. Around 900 BC or so, Asa slaughtered one million Ethiopians with the Lord's help.

 

How?

 

Where is the external documentation on the Ethiopian and Egyptian side of the conflict?

 

The largest death toll in military terms that has been verified beyond a shadow of a doubt is the battle of Lake Trasimeno (sp?) between the Romans and the Carthaginians where upwards of 30,000 Romans had been slaughtered in a short period of time. This happens in 217 B.C.

 

How could such a thing happen and how come the Jews still ended up as captives of the Babylonians?

 

A million dead, and you'd figure the nations around Israel and Judah would have left them alone.

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This thread says a lot to about the fact that ancient army could rack up a body count on par with something only our modern weapons could do. Around 900 BC or so, Asa slaughtered one million Ethiopians with the Lord's help.

 

How?

 

Sounds like Israel suffered from small-nation syndrome...

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This thread says a lot to about the fact that ancient army could rack up a body count on par with something only our modern weapons could do. Around 900 BC or so, Asa slaughtered one million Ethiopians with the Lord's help.

 

How?

 

Where is the external documentation on the Ethiopian and Egyptian side of the conflict?

 

The largest death toll in military terms that has been verified beyond a shadow of a doubt is the battle of Lake Trasimeno (sp?) between the Romans and the Carthaginians where upwards of 30,000 Romans had been slaughtered in a short period of time. This happens in 217 B.C.

 

How could such a thing happen and how come the Jews still ended up as captives of the Babylonians?

 

A million dead, and you'd figure the nations around Israel and Judah would have left them alone.

 

 

Another thing, if an army inflicted casulties of that magnitude on another nation during this era of history, that nation would be in dire jeopardy of going extinct. There we far fewer people then than there are now. The million that got killed would have been young men, so who would have been left to reproduce with the women of these already scarcely populated nations?

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Shantonu,

 

I have little time to elaborate tonight, but I will this weekend. I hope we can keep this post on topic. Although I can not justify killing babies, I must admitt that I am anti-abortion also, there are some things we must consider when looking at this.

 

My first point is that this was not unheard of. The are references, although sometimes vague, that indicates other cultures partook in this ritual called chērem, or the total giving over of something. Remember the golden rule, do unto others.... If someone was going to do this to you, maybe I would do the same. It is documented that these people practice detestible things such as child sacrifice. These were not civilized persons like you and I.

 

To further this point, I watched a horrible video the other day. A Hamas person bound an Isralie and put a sack over his head. another person held the captives legs while another beat his legs with a large piece of wood multiple times breaking his legs. You can literaly hear his bones breaking! This was a true torturing as the spectators cheered and kicked the person as he yelled in pain. He passed out due to pain, the people would hit him again to wake him up to beat him some more. It made me sick to my stomache. There is also a beheading that I saw that I will not even talk about because it was so bad; I wish I never saw it. How can you get rid of this hate? It has been going on for generations and will continue. How can you reason with such a barbarian?

 

edit

 

also, I think you have to read the bible as God commanded these things, or else it negates a lot of the OT, but I do have a point on this that will leave more questions than answers we can discuss later.

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Shantonu,

 

I have little time to elaborate tonight, but I will this weekend. I hope we can keep this post on topic. Although I can not justify killing babies, I must admitt that I am anti-abortion also, there are some things we must consider when looking at this.

 

My first point is that this was not unheard of. The are references, although sometimes vague, that indicates other cultures partook in this ritual called chērem, or the total giving over of something. Remember the golden rule, do unto others.... If someone was going to do this to you, maybe I would do the same. It is documented that these people practice detestible things such as child sacrifice. These were not civilized persons like you and I.

 

[ . . .]

 

edit

 

also, I think you have to read the bible as God commanded these things, or else it negates a lot of the OT, but I do have a point on this that will leave more questions than answers we can discuss later.

 

I'm glad that you've chosen to address this issue head-on. It speaks to your courage. I don't want to anticipate your arguments, particularly because you haven't had time to frame them. I see your point about God wanting to protect his people from total destruction. And thus, leaving aside whatever difficulties regarding favored people, I see why God might have justly ordered killing all the combatants, and if we stretch things a bit, even all the adults and most of the children.

 

However, the very young children could have been adopted. So, please keep that point in mind. God is supposed to be wise. But if human wisdom can envision adoption of the Amalekite babies, why was divine wisdom so lacking?

 

Again, don't feel rushed into answering. These are difficult issues.

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I see your point about God wanting to protect his people from total destruction. And thus, leaving aside whatever difficulties regarding favored people, I see why God might have justly ordered killing all the combatants, and if we stretch things a bit, even all the adults and most of the children.

 

Just to bounce off this for a moment ...

 

Consider again the First Samuel 15 passage. It is very explicit in that it states the REASON that god gives for the destruction of the entire tribe of the Amalekites. It DOES NOT say that this is being done to protect the people of Israel from anything or anyone. It DOES NOT say that god wanted them destroyed because they sacrificed their babies to Molech by passing them through the fire. It does not say anything other than that King Amalek had laid in wait for Israel way back during the time of Israel's exodus from Egypt. Since the Bible specifically says this is the reason (see chapter 15 and verse 2) then I have to assume that this is indeed the reason. It shows a god that is vindictive and not willing to forgive, despite the number of times the Bible declares that god is merciful and forgiving. It also shows a god that is not a righteous judge in that he punishes people for a crime that they themselves did not commit. And this is typical throughout the Bible. In fact, the last Adam (Jesus) dies because of the first Adam's sins. And why is this important? Because we are all not just held accountable for our own sins, but also those of Adam (original sin, the fall, etc).

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I see your point about God wanting to protect his people from total destruction. And thus, leaving aside whatever difficulties regarding favored people, I see why God might have justly ordered killing all the combatants, and if we stretch things a bit, even all the adults and most of the children.

 

Just to bounce off this for a moment ...

 

Consider again the First Samuel 15 passage. It is very explicit in that it states the REASON that god gives for the destruction of the entire tribe of the Amalekites. It DOES NOT say that this is being done to protect the people of Israel from anything or anyone. It DOES NOT say that god wanted them destroyed because they sacrificed their babies to Molech by passing them through the fire. It does not say anything other than that King Amalek had laid in wait for Israel way back during the time of Israel's exodus from Egypt. Since the Bible specifically says this is the reason (see chapter 15 and verse 2) then I have to assume that this is indeed the reason. It shows a god that is vindictive and not willing to forgive, despite the number of times the Bible declares that god is merciful and forgiving. It also shows a god that is not a righteous judge in that he punishes people for a crime that they themselves did not commit. And this is typical throughout the Bible. In fact, the last Adam (Jesus) dies because of the first Adam's sins. And why is this important? Because we are all not just held accountable for our own sins, but also those of Adam (original sin, the fall, etc).

 

I agree with your point. However, we have to look at the matter in manner most favorable to the other side. We have to give God the benefit of every reasonable doubt. If after all that, God is still deemed unjust, then I think we are right not to worship God.

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I believe it is accepted because it is oft put as a false dichotomy, kill or be killed. Or it is assumed to be justified because these people were wholly evil and irredeemable. Probably a common place idea back then and quite palatable to audiences that were used to knowing that the other tribes and their gods were evil to the core and peace would only come with their deaths. I'd like to say people have dropped such barbaric notions, but this kind of thing have been getting assenting nods since the Crusades and the Counter-Reformation till the War on Terror.

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However, we have to look at the matter in manner most favorable to the other side. We have to give God the benefit of every reasonable doubt. If after all that, God is still deemed unjust, then I think we are right not to worship God.

 

I am not sure I see why we have to give god the benefit of the doubt. By stating things like god was protecting his people by committing genocide we are reading into the text and placing things there that are not stated. In a trial the lawyers, judge and jury will look at the evidence. In the case of something like First Samuel 15, this is the evidence we have. The command is given and the reason for the command is stated. There is no evidence to the contrary. In fact, a study through the Bible will affirm the reason god gives in verse two. Several times in the Bible a prophecy is uttered about the destruction of the Amalekites and each time it is justified because of King Amalek laying in wait to destroy the people of Israel.

 

This sort of thinking is further reaffirmed by the fact that the Bible states the same sort of thing about other people groups. Prophecies are uttered in the prophets and minor prophets about the divine punishment of several tribal groups (the Edomites, for example) and in none of the cases is the prophecy there to protect the Israelites. Instead, each prophecy is there as a form of retribution because of some wrong they had done to Israel in the past. And, like the Amalekites, the wrong may have been committed in the distant past (generations earlier). Some of the pronouncements of god's displeasure would be considered FUTURE prophecies that would ensure that these tribal groups are extinguished before the end so that they will have no part in Israel's future kingdom. As a result, this would indicate that the god of the Bible holds a grudge for THOUSANDS of years.

 

I see no reason, especially because of the Scriptural evidence, to give the god of the Bible the benefit of the doubt. The evidence is against him. Trying to come up with excuses to make him appear "good" or "loving" is simply making things up and not facing what is written in the book attributed to him.

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Shantonu,

 

I have little time to elaborate tonight, but I will this weekend. I hope we can keep this post on topic. Although I can not justify killing babies, I must admitt that I am anti-abortion also, there are some things we must consider when looking at this.

 

My first point is that this was not unheard of. The are references, although sometimes vague, that indicates other cultures partook in this ritual called chērem, or the total giving over of something. Remember the golden rule, do unto others.... If someone was going to do this to you, maybe I would do the same. It is documented that these people practice detestible things such as child sacrifice. These were not civilized persons like you and I.

 

[ . . .]

 

edit

 

also, I think you have to read the bible as God commanded these things, or else it negates a lot of the OT, but I do have a point on this that will leave more questions than answers we can discuss later.

 

I'm glad that you've chosen to address this issue head-on. It speaks to your courage. I don't want to anticipate your arguments, particularly because you haven't had time to frame them. I see your point about God wanting to protect his people from total destruction. And thus, leaving aside whatever difficulties regarding favored people, I see why God might have justly ordered killing all the combatants, and if we stretch things a bit, even all the adults and most of the children.

 

However, the very young children could have been adopted. So, please keep that point in mind. God is supposed to be wise. But if human wisdom can envision adoption of the Amalekite babies, why was divine wisdom so lacking?

 

Again, don't feel rushed into answering. These are difficult issues.

 

This is a great point you bring up, of which I don't have a real good answer for. I think The-Doctor answered this best in his previous post and I would agree with him on it also. I feel culture plays a dominant role in the bible. That command was given to a culture that would have accepted the idea of cherem. Also I feel looking at the culture, that maybe adopting thousands of babies was just not feasible. Thier era was not one of prosperity such as ours and there may have not been enough provisions for such a burden of babies.

 

 

good thought though, I had not recognized this until you pointed it out

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Shantonu,

 

I have little time to elaborate tonight, but I will this weekend. I hope we can keep this post on topic. Although I can not justify killing babies, I must admitt that I am anti-abortion also, there are some things we must consider when looking at this.

 

My first point is that this was not unheard of. The are references, although sometimes vague, that indicates other cultures partook in this ritual called chērem, or the total giving over of something. Remember the golden rule, do unto others.... If someone was going to do this to you, maybe I would do the same. It is documented that these people practice detestible things such as child sacrifice. These were not civilized persons like you and I.

 

[ . . .]

 

edit

 

also, I think you have to read the bible as God commanded these things, or else it negates a lot of the OT, but I do have a point on this that will leave more questions than answers we can discuss later.

 

I'm glad that you've chosen to address this issue head-on. It speaks to your courage. I don't want to anticipate your arguments, particularly because you haven't had time to frame them. I see your point about God wanting to protect his people from total destruction. And thus, leaving aside whatever difficulties regarding favored people, I see why God might have justly ordered killing all the combatants, and if we stretch things a bit, even all the adults and most of the children.

 

However, the very young children could have been adopted. So, please keep that point in mind. God is supposed to be wise. But if human wisdom can envision adoption of the Amalekite babies, why was divine wisdom so lacking?

 

Again, don't feel rushed into answering. These are difficult issues.

 

This is a great point you bring up, of which I don't have a real good answer for. I think The-Doctor answered this best in his previous post and I would agree with him on it also. I feel culture plays a dominant role in the bible. That command was given to a culture that would have accepted the idea of cherem. Also I feel looking at the culture, that maybe adopting thousands of babies was just not feasible. Thier era was not one of prosperity such as ours and there may have not been enough provisions for such a burden of babies.

 

 

good thought though, I had not recognized this until you pointed it out

 

I appreciate your answer. We may have a parting of ways on this on grounds of faith vs. reason. The failure of God to consider adoption seems to me to be a deal breaker. I'm not sure I'm convinced that the scarcity argument works in view of the various miracles God is reported to have performed, manna from heaven for example.

 

However, I respect your answer which suggests that it is a matter of faith and chosing to believe. I can't make that choice because my mind rejects worshiping God under these terms. Or at least that's how I think of it right now. Therefore, let me put the question somewhat differently then: if you were among the ancient Israelite army would you have carried out the order?

 

I like to think that I would not have carried out the order. It seems an unjust order. I hope that I would have disobeyed. Would it not have been moral to disobey?

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Also I feel looking at the culture, that maybe adopting thousands of babies was just not feasible. Thier era was not one of prosperity such as ours and there may have not been enough provisions for such a burden of babies.

 

This is assuming there are "thousands of babies." Who knows the size of the Amalekites (for example) when Saul attacked them according to 1Samuel 15? They may have been around for hundreds of years, but that does not necessarily mean that there were millions of Amalekites around. They might have been a fairly small tribe (which would explain how Israel at that period of time in her history could so easily defeat them). Their might have only been hundreds of babies or even dozens. And if the god of Israel is a loving god that desires that none should perish, but that all should come to repentance, then provision should have been made for these babies instead of outright killing them (imo).

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Besides all of that, why would an all powerful deity need the jews to do his killing for him? He certainly didn't need any help in other circumstances. What benefit would a "loving" god have in making his people into mass murders?

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Shantonu,

 

I have little time to elaborate tonight, but I will this weekend. I hope we can keep this post on topic. Although I can not justify killing babies, I must admitt that I am anti-abortion also, there are some things we must consider when looking at this.

 

My first point is that this was not unheard of. The are references, although sometimes vague, that indicates other cultures partook in this ritual called chērem, or the total giving over of something. Remember the golden rule, do unto others.... If someone was going to do this to you, maybe I would do the same. It is documented that these people practice detestible things such as child sacrifice. These were not civilized persons like you and I.

 

[ . . .]

 

edit

 

also, I think you have to read the bible as God commanded these things, or else it negates a lot of the OT, but I do have a point on this that will leave more questions than answers we can discuss later.

 

I'm glad that you've chosen to address this issue head-on. It speaks to your courage. I don't want to anticipate your arguments, particularly because you haven't had time to frame them. I see your point about God wanting to protect his people from total destruction. And thus, leaving aside whatever difficulties regarding favored people, I see why God might have justly ordered killing all the combatants, and if we stretch things a bit, even all the adults and most of the children.

 

However, the very young children could have been adopted. So, please keep that point in mind. God is supposed to be wise. But if human wisdom can envision adoption of the Amalekite babies, why was divine wisdom so lacking?

 

Again, don't feel rushed into answering. These are difficult issues.

 

This is a great point you bring up, of which I don't have a real good answer for. I think The-Doctor answered this best in his previous post and I would agree with him on it also. I feel culture plays a dominant role in the bible. That command was given to a culture that would have accepted the idea of cherem. Also I feel looking at the culture, that maybe adopting thousands of babies was just not feasible. Thier era was not one of prosperity such as ours and there may have not been enough provisions for such a burden of babies.

 

 

good thought though, I had not recognized this until you pointed it out

 

I appreciate your answer. We may have a parting of ways on this on grounds of faith vs. reason. The failure of God to consider adoption seems to me to be a deal breaker. I'm not sure I'm convinced that the scarcity argument works in view of the various miracles God is reported to have performed, manna from heaven for example.

 

However, I respect your answer which suggests that it is a matter of faith and chosing to believe. I can't make that choice because my mind rejects worshiping God under these terms. Or at least that's how I think of it right now. Therefore, let me put the question somewhat differently then: if you were among the ancient Israelite army would you have carried out the order?

 

I like to think that I would not have carried out the order. It seems an unjust order. I hope that I would have disobeyed. Would it not have been moral to disobey?

 

I would disobey, there is no way I could kill a little baby. Luckily for me this is not the unpardonable sin. :grin:

 

this could be answered by looking a relativism, a concept in philosophy where you or society (conventionalism) dictates what is moral. I don't feel this is how you should base your morals on; however, the theory has its applications. Maybe in their culture this would have been acceptable. For example, the Nazi's felt it was moral to kill Jews because the whole group of them felt it was moral. That was their societal normative ethical framework. Therefore, in their minds, this was not an abomination.

 

Although this does not justify this, it gives us a better idea of how it could have been included, remembering that I feel the bible is culturally influenced.

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My first point is that this was not unheard of. The are references, although sometimes vague, that indicates other cultures partook in this ritual called chērem, or the total giving over of something. Remember the golden rule, do unto others.... If someone was going to do this to you, maybe I would do the same. It is documented that these people practice detestible things such as child sacrifice. These were not civilized persons like you and I.

 

 

What version of the golden rule are you talking about?? From this it looks like you are mixing Do unto others BEFORE they do unto you...which is NOT the golden rule at all.

 

And...so since these cultures practiced child sacrifice...God endorses killing them all?

 

Wait Wait...my brain hurts....

 

A group practices child sacrifice.

 

OT god doesn't like child sacrifice.

 

He endorsed the complete eradication of cultures practicing child sacrifice, so it wouldn't happen anymore (don't call it a punishment...punishment implies an intent to correct behavior...and you can't correct behavior when you are eradicating the whole culture)

 

And so all the people of a given culture, including the children to be sacrificed were killed.

 

Let me repeat. God endorses the killing of children, so they would not be killed. :twitch:

 

And this makes SENSE to you Freeday? Either you are drinking too much of the kool-aid, or something is eating your brain.

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