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Glenn Miller on genocide

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  • Glenn Miller on genocide

    Someone on another forum at TWeb pointed me to this article by Glenn Miller, after I made a vague reference to Biblical genocides.
    http://christianthinktank.com/qamorite.html

    It is a topic that comes up in apologetics a lot, so let us see the page offers. It is specifically about God ordering the annihilation of the Canaanites, though it looks at other events to see what perspective they offer.

    By the way, by genocide, I mean the indiscriminate killing of a very large group of people (and by indiscriminate I mean not differentiating between people within the group, rather than picking groups at random). I appreciate there are some very specific definitions of the word. I think this definition is sufficient to cover the moral aspects. Also it is worth noting that the historical evidence for at least some of these genocides is dubious to say the least, so it is worth acknowledging the possibility that they never actually happened.


    Sodom and Gomorrah

    So he starts by looking at Sodom and Gomorrah. His justifications here are by-and-large not unreasonable, the only issue I have is the killing of innocent children. That is a theme in all these, so I will come back to it.


    The Flood

    Then he looks at the Flood.
    The story is familiar: (1) God decides to 'spare the innocent' again and warns Noah to build a boat for him and his household (apparently NOT so innocent); (2) the evil/violence of the people were both against God and against humanity (Gen 6.12) and was VERY EXTENSIVE ("filled"); (3) some of the evil was probably sexual violence or violation (Gen 6.1-2); ...
    So he claims God saved the innocent. And yet we know he did not save any babies. Are babies not innocent? The implication here is that all the babies that died in the flood went to hell. Anyone happy to confirm that? Most Christians have the opinion that young children are not sinful.

    He also seems to be making stuff up. Where does it say the people were violent, whether against God or against humanity? Where does he get "some of the evil was probably sexual violence or violation"? Let us look at the verses in question:

    Genesis 6:1 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. ...
    5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them. 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.


    It is not clear who the sons of God were; one possibility is that they are angels. That can hardly be any justification for the flood! The possibility I find more likely is they were the descendants of Seth, the man of God, while the daughters of man were the descendants of Cain. What was this great evil they did? They took women for their wives.

    Now it is possible that the women were not willing, but good luck arguing God has any issue with that!

    Look at this one: "God was willing to spare the innocent people--if any could be found;" I thought God was supposed to be all-knowing. How difficult was it for an all-knowing God to find someone exactly?

    Or this: "children living in the households of their evil parents would have undoubtedly died swiftly". Is he saying wholesale slaughter is moral if it is a quick death? And what is his basis for claiming a swift death? The Bible says it took forty days for the waters to rise (Genesis 7:17). Just how quick is death by drowning? Can we assume that killing people is okay if done by a quick bullet to the head? i do not think so, so why does the author imply that "undoubtedly died swiftly" makes the killing more moral?


    Amalekites

    Next, the Amalekites.

    The author says: "Before the attack on Amalek is initiated by Israel, the innocent are told to 'move away' from them" That is not quite right. The Kenites are told to move away. The author is assuming that there are no innocent Amaleks. The reasoning may well be because centuries earlier the Amalekites attacked the Hebrews, and God promised revenge on them. Thus, every Amalekite was guilty of the crime of being a part of a nation that had attacked the Jews centuries earlier.

    Is that just? The Bible says no: Deuteronomy 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin. Anyone here want to stand up and say it is morally acceptable to wipe out a nation for what the ancestors did centuries ago?

    Anyone think it would be acceptable for Native Americans to wipe out the descendants of the original white setllers, given the land theft and murders perpetrated by those settlers?


    A Pattern

    From these three events, the author shows a pattern; God gives them a chance to change their behaviour, and the killing is a subsequent judgement on those who did not (he cites Ninevah as an example of when people did change).

    He says:
    There is an obvious pattern here:

    The annihilations are judgments.
    These judgments are for publicly-recognized (indeed, international and cross-cultural in scope!) cruelty and violence of an EXTREME and WIDESPREAD nature.
    These judgments are preceded by LONG PERIODS of warning/exposure to truth (and therefore, opportunity to "change outcomes").
    Innocent adults are given a 'way out'
    Household members share in the fortunes of the parents (for good or ill).
    Somebody ALWAYS escapes (Lot, Noah, Kenites)
    These are exceptional cases--there are VERY, VERY few of these.
    Most of the rest of the article is arguing that the annihiliation of the Canaanites is just the same, or indeed was merely an expulsion of the people, not an annihilation. His focus is the Canaanites, but mine is not, so I will give him the expulsion, and concentrate on the others.

    He ends with this rhetorical question:
    Doesn't wholesale slaughter of nations seem a little incompatible with a God of Love and Mercy?
    The first bit is specific to Canaanite expulsion, not genocide. Thereafter he lists the seven points above (with a comment specific to the Canaanites). That is it. So that list is, it seems, his justification for the Biblical genocides. The last three, however, are just part of the pattern; they certainly do not offer any justification. As for the first four:
    The annihilations are judgments.
    Well, sure, no one is saying they were done on a whim. The issue really is that God is making a judgement on a whole nation or a whole city or even the whole world. That is the mentality of the racist and the bigot.
    These judgments are for publicly-recognized (indeed, international and cross-cultural in scope!) cruelty and violence of an EXTREME and WIDESPREAD nature.
    And we have the Hebrews' word on that!
    These judgments are preceded by LONG PERIODS of warning/exposure to truth (and therefore, opportunity to "change outcomes").
    So the genocides are because God has failed. One might imagine an all-powerful entity would have more success.
    Innocent adults are given a 'way out'
    If only the children were.

    And that is it. It is a long article, but if it actually justifies the genocides, then I missed it. At the very start he asks the question:
    How could a God of Love order the massacre/annihilation of the Canaanites?
    Having read the article I have no more clue about than than I did before.
    My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

  • #2
    This seems to be a huge problem for the Abrahamic religions. Since they were codified during less enlightened times, the prejudices of the age became the obligation to justify for modern believers. I've found that Christians will either adopt a loose adherence to the Bible or stick with the atrocities and justify them. Therefore, I don't find Biblical atrocities a useful point of contention. People will approve of horrible things too easily if they stand in the way of justifying one's own divinity, which I believe the strict adherence to scripture really is.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
      Someone on another forum at TWeb pointed me to this article by Glenn Miller, after I made a vague reference to Biblical genocides.
      http://christianthinktank.com/qamorite.html

      It is a topic that comes up in apologetics a lot, so let us see the page offers. It is specifically about God ordering the annihilation of the Canaanites, though it looks at other events to see what perspective they offer.

      By the way, by genocide, I mean the indiscriminate killing of a very large group of people (and by indiscriminate I mean not differentiating between people within the group, rather than picking groups at random). I appreciate there are some very specific definitions of the word. I think this definition is sufficient to cover the moral aspects. Also it is worth noting that the historical evidence for at least some of these genocides is dubious to say the least, so it is worth acknowledging the possibility that they never actually happened.


      Sodom and Gomorrah

      So he starts by looking at Sodom and Gomorrah. His justifications here are by-and-large not unreasonable, the only issue I have is the killing of innocent children. That is a theme in all these, so I will come back to it.


      The Flood

      Then he looks at the Flood.

      So he claims God saved the innocent. And yet we know he did not save any babies. Are babies not innocent? The implication here is that all the babies that died in the flood went to hell. Anyone happy to confirm that? Most Christians have the opinion that young children are not sinful.

      He also seems to be making stuff up. Where does it say the people were violent, whether against God or against humanity? Where does he get "some of the evil was probably sexual violence or violation"? Let us look at the verses in question:

      Genesis 6:1 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. ...
      5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.


      It is not clear who the sons of God were; one possibility is that they are angels. That can hardly be any justification for the flood! The possibility I find more likely is they were the descendants of Seth, the man of God, while the daughters of man were the descendants of Cain. What was this great evil they did? They took women for their wives.

      Now it is possible that the women were not willing, but good luck arguing God has any issue with that!

      Look at this one: "God was willing to spare the innocent people--if any could be found;" I thought God was supposed to be all-knowing. How difficult was it for an all-knowing God to find someone exactly?

      Or this: "children living in the households of their evil parents would have undoubtedly died swiftly". Is he saying wholesale slaughter is moral if it is a quick death? And what is his basis for claiming a swift death? The Bible says it took forty days for the waters to rise (Genesis 7:17). Just how quick is death by drowning? Can we assume that killing people is okay if done by a quick bullet to the head? i do not think so, so why does the author imply that "undoubtedly died swiftly" makes the killing more moral?


      Amalekites

      Next, the Amalekites.

      The author says: "Before the attack on Amalek is initiated by Israel, the innocent are told to 'move away' from them" That is not quite right. The Kenites are told to move away. The author is assuming that there are no innocent Amaleks. The reasoning may well be because centuries earlier the Amalekites attacked the Hebrews, and God promised revenge on them. Thus, every Amalekite was guilty of the crime of being a part of a nation that had attacked the Jews centuries earlier.

      Is that just? The Bible says no: Deuteronomy 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin. Anyone here want to stand up and say it is morally acceptable to wipe out a nation for what the ancestors did centuries ago?

      Anyone think it would be acceptable for Native Americans to wipe out the descendants of the original white setllers, given the land theft and murders perpetrated by those settlers?


      A Pattern

      From these three events, the author shows a pattern; God gives them a chance to change their behaviour, and the killing is a subsequent judgement on those who did not (he cites Ninevah as an example of when people did change).

      He says:

      Most of the rest of the article is arguing that the annihiliation of the Canaanites is just the same, or indeed was merely an expulsion of the people, not an annihilation. His focus is the Canaanites, but mine is not, so I will give him the expulsion, and concentrate on the others.

      He ends with this rhetorical question:

      The first bit is specific to Canaanite expulsion, not genocide. Thereafter he lists the seven points above (with a comment specific to the Canaanites). That is it. So that list is, it seems, his justification for the Biblical genocides. The last three, however, are just part of the pattern; they certainly do not offer any justification. As for the first four:

      Well, sure, no one is saying they were done on a whim. The issue really is that God is making a judgement on a whole nation or a whole city or even the whole world. That is the mentality of the racist and the bigot.

      And we have the Hebrews' word on that!

      So the genocides are because God has failed. One might imagine an all-powerful entity would have more success.

      If only the children were.

      And that is it. It is a long article, but if it actually justifies the genocides, then I missed it. At the very start he asks the question:

      Having read the article I have no more clue about than than I did before.
      I'm glad someone had the patience to rebut this piece.

      One thing about it that bugs me is his claim that the people who were killed were warned repeatedly. But what of the people who were good and wanted change? "Sorry, only if the whole culture changes will you be spared," is God response pretty much always. Seems like a pretty coarse-grained and completely unrealistic expectation to me.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well your first and foremost problem is to take the Bible and read it at its entire face value only. The Hebrew people believed God was telling them to kill. If we look at the time frame upon which we are reading about historically, this behavior was completely normal. Kill those who don't conform to your ways of rule. Scripturally there were even laws about how to take a person who they could not kill as a slave or a wife or a child. A few things that set the Hebrews apart? There was no human sacrifice and only a certain type of animal sacrifice was allowable to the Hebrew God. (you seem to be conveniently missing this part of the literature.) The Hebraic law also dictated limits on killing. (again this is conveniently left out of Pixie's response) I'm no fan of genocide, and I also happen to believe that genocide was very cultural. I do not believe that God told the hebrews to "go kill" but I very much believe that the law defined the limits of what was done. I believe because of the wickedness of heart, God allowed the hebrews to take land, but He also worked within their culture to prove his existence.
        A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
        George Bernard Shaw

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Catholicity View Post
          Well your first and foremost problem is to take the Bible and read it at its entire face value only. The Hebrew people believed God was telling them to kill. If we look at the time frame upon which we are reading about historically, this behavior was completely normal. Kill those who don't conform to your ways of rule. Scripturally there were even laws about how to take a person who they could not kill as a slave or a wife or a child. A few things that set the Hebrews apart? There was no human sacrifice and only a certain type of animal sacrifice was allowable to the Hebrew God. (you seem to be conveniently missing this part of the literature.) The Hebraic law also dictated limits on killing. (again this is conveniently left out of Pixie's response) I'm no fan of genocide, and I also happen to believe that genocide was very cultural. I do not believe that God told the hebrews to "go kill" but I very much believe that the law defined the limits of what was done. I believe because of the wickedness of heart, God allowed the hebrews to take land, but He also worked within their culture to prove his existence.
          You are opposed to genocide, even though the Bible says God commanded it. You don't think God told the Hebrews to kill, yet you say God placed limits on killing. How do you determine which parts of the Bible are from God and which are not?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Enjolras View Post
            You are opposed to genocide, even though the Bible says God commanded it. You don't think God told the Hebrews to kill, yet you say God placed limits on killing. How do you determine which parts of the Bible are from God and which are not?
            ## The whole of it is "from God" - but not all of it is to be followed. Apart from anything else, the Bible contains a great variety of literary genres. So what a parable says is not what a piece of historiographic writing says; a wisdom text is not a prophetic oracle; a lament is not a letter, nor are any of these an apocalypse. In addition, one has to find out what the leading ideas of books and parts of books are, and when they were composed. The Bible is not a book, and it can cause confusion if it is treated as one - it is more like a library. The teaching of Christ cannot be treated as though it were the theology of Joshua or Genesis 1-11, and the book of Leviticus has a different message from Isaiah 40-55. In short, a lot of puzzles might be avoided, if only people took the trouble to avoid thinking of the Bible as an undifferentiated static mass of totally homogeneous ideas.
            Last edited by Rushing Jaws; 02-16-2015, 04:11 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Catholicity View Post
              Well your first and foremost problem is to take the Bible and read it at its entire face value only. The Hebrew people believed God was telling them to kill. If we look at the time frame upon which we are reading about historically, this behavior was completely normal. Kill those who don't conform to your ways of rule. Scripturally there were even laws about how to take a person who they could not kill as a slave or a wife or a child. A few things that set the Hebrews apart? There was no human sacrifice and only a certain type of animal sacrifice was allowable to the Hebrew God. (you seem to be conveniently missing this part of the literature.) The Hebraic law also dictated limits on killing. (again this is conveniently left out of Pixie's response) I'm no fan of genocide, and I also happen to believe that genocide was very cultural. I do not believe that God told the hebrews to "go kill" but I very much believe that the law defined the limits of what was done. I believe because of the wickedness of heart, God allowed the hebrews to take land, but He also worked within their culture to prove his existence.
              Catholicity, I was responding to an article that took the Bible at its entire face value only, and so responded in kind. I did acknowledge that the events may not have happened at all. You also say I "conveniently" left things out; if you can point to where they are in the article I was using, I will concede you have a point.

              I will note that you "conveniently" ignore the genocides God committed at his own hand; the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Flood.
              My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

              Comment


              • #8
                Rushing Jaws

                I have taken the liberty of addressing some of the points you made on the other thread here.
                Originally posted by Rushing Jaws View Post
                ## 1. Everyone dies eventually - why is death by universal flood a big deal, when universal lack of immortality seems not to be ?
                Is murder wrong? After all everyone dies eventually, so why is murder a big deal?

                If you agree with me (and everyone else and the Bible) that murder is wrong, then you are tacitly admitting that this argument is flawed.
                2. "God kills" nobody - you might as well accuse a novelist of murder for "killing off" his characters; because you're talking of God as though God were a man. God is no such thing. To be consistent, you ought to say that God killed the Jews in the Shoah. God did no such thing - the killing was the work of men, not of God. That people died in the Flood, no more means God killed them, than that the deaths of Jews in the Shoah means God killed them. You're ignoring secondary causes.
                Not sure I get this, but there seems to be two different arguments.

                i God has not killed anyone because he is God; from his perspective, we are as characters in a book. Are living, sentient beings ever analogous to mere characters in a book? I think not. Characters in a book have no feeling, cannot think, do not worry about their peril. Furthermore, this undermines the Christian claim that God loves us. Is his love for us as hollow and meaningless as an author's love for a character she created?

                ii. God did not directly kill anyone. This seems to be saying that if you shoot someone, it is not murder, because it is the bullet that caused the death, not the person who aim the gun and pulled the trigger. Can you clarify if this is actually your position?
                ## It's a very good reason for the Flood. Gen.1-11 contains several stories about creating, or over-going, limits: mostly the latter. In addition, the Sodom narrative of 19.1-29 mirrors the Flood narrative, and inverts it: the Flood of water confuses the limits of sea & land, whereas Sodom is destroyed by fire & brimstone. Noah is spared - Lot is spared. Noah is drunk and loses face, Lot is drunk & his daughters have sons by him. The "sons of G/god" in 6.1-4 came down and take human wives - the men of Sodom in 19 seek to have their way with the "messengers" who had earlier visited Abram.
                That is interesting from a literary point of view, but how does it address the moral question (unless your point is they are both myths)?
                The "mighty men" who are the Nephilim (= "fallen ones") are the offspring of women, and of the "sons of G/god" in 6.1-4. IOW, they are the unnatural offspring of unnatural unions. As a perversion of the original blessing of fruitfulness in Gen 1.28 - "And God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth' " - this seems like a very good reason for a flood. It ties up with Israel's consciousness of being God's Chosen People, that was not permitted to mingle with peoples outside the covenant between Israel & JHWH.
                The mighty men are called *gibborim* - *gibbor* is next used for Nimrod, in 10.8-12, who is said in that passage to have ruled Babylon.
                So let me see if I have this straight. God wanted to get rid of the "unnatural offspring of unnatural unions", and so he killed everyone except eight people? And this "seems like a very good reason for a flood"? It was beyond God to stop the "unnatural unions" resulting in pregnancy, so he had to destroy the world in a flood.
                Originally posted by Rushing Jaws View Post
                ## The whole of it is "from God" - but not all of it is to be followed. Apart from anything else, the Bible contains a great variety of literary genres. So what a parable says is not what a piece of historiographic writing says; a wisdom text is not a prophetic oracle; a lament is not a letter, nor are any of these an apocalypse. In addition, one has to find out what the leading ideas of books and parts of books are, and when they were composed. The Bible is not a book, and it can cause confusion if it is treated as one - it is more like a library. The teaching of Christ cannot be treated as though it were the theology of Joshua or Genesis 1-11, and the book of Leviticus has a different message from Isaiah 40-55. In short, a lot of puzzles might be avoided, if only people took the trouble to avoid thinking of the Bible as an undifferentiated static mass of totally homogeneous ideas.
                Fair comment.
                My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Many people see inconsistencies between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. But the loving God of the New Testament is also the one who brought upon the greatest judgment on his people, including 'genocide' through the Romans, just as He warned.

                  What then remains? Only that one's limited sin-tainted moral intuition does not approve of the acts of almighty God. How audacious.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Pixie
                    The Flood

                    Then he looks at the Flood.

                    Originally posted by Miler
                    The story is familiar: (1) God decides to 'spare the innocent' again and warns Noah to build a boat for him and his household (apparently NOT so innocent); (2) the evil/violence of the people were both against God and against humanity (Gen 6.12) and was VERY EXTENSIVE ("filled"); (3) some of the evil was probably sexual violence or violation (Gen 6.1-2); ...
                    So he claims God saved the innocent. And yet we know he did not save any babies. Are babies not innocent? The implication here is that all the babies that died in the flood went to hell. Anyone happy to confirm that? Most Christians have the opinion that young children are not sinful.

                    He also seems to be making stuff up. Where does it say the people were violent, whether against God or against humanity? Where does he get "some of the evil was probably sexual violence or violation"? Let us look at the verses in question:

                    Genesis 6:1 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. ...
                    5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

                    It is not clear who the sons of God were; one possibility is that they are angels. That can hardly be any justification for the flood! The possibility I find more likely is they were the descendants of Seth, the man of God, while the daughters of man were the descendants of Cain. What was this great evil they did? They took women for their wives.

                    Now it is possible that the women were not willing, but good luck arguing God has any issue with that!

                    Look at this one: "God was willing to spare the innocent people--if any could be found;" I thought God was supposed to be all-knowing. How difficult was it for an all-knowing God to find someone exactly?

                    Or this: "children living in the households of their evil parents would have undoubtedly died swiftly". Is he saying wholesale slaughter is moral if it is a quick death? And what is his basis for claiming a swift death? The Bible says it took forty days for the waters to rise (Genesis 7:17). Just how quick is death by drowning? Can we assume that killing people is okay if done by a quick bullet to the head? i do not think so, so why does the author imply that "undoubtedly died swiftly" makes the killing more moral?

                    I don't think you've very accurately represented Glen's full argument. When I have time I'll address some of the points bolded above.

                    Care to try again?
                    ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MaxVel View Post
                      I don't think you've very accurately represented Glen's full argument. When I have time I'll address some of the points bolded above.

                      Care to try again?
                      Thanks, but I will wait for when you have had time to address it yourself. But I am impressed that your insightful use of bold has already elicited two Amens.
                      My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rushing Jaws View Post
                        ## The whole of it is "from God" - but not all of it is to be followed. Apart from anything else, the Bible contains a great variety of literary genres. So what a parable says is not what a piece of historiographic writing says; a wisdom text is not a prophetic oracle; a lament is not a letter, nor are any of these an apocalypse. In addition, one has to find out what the leading ideas of books and parts of books are, and when they were composed. The Bible is not a book, and it can cause confusion if it is treated as one - it is more like a library. The teaching of Christ cannot be treated as though it were the theology of Joshua or Genesis 1-11, and the book of Leviticus has a different message from Isaiah 40-55.
                        I don't think anyone is questioning whether Christians today should slaughter Amalekite children and infants. The real issue is whether a being that would make such a command is morally virtuous. I'm familiar with the standard apologetic responses, but I've yet to see one that could not also be used to justify the actions of say, ISIS or Boko Haram. To give one example: God as the creator has the right to take life as he pleases. Well, if God is justified in ordering the death of Amalekite babies simply because he is their creator, I see no reason why he wouldn't also be justified in ordering the beheading of journalists, since he is their creator as well. Given this apologetic, there is simply no way to truly determine what commands to kill are or are not from God.

                        In short, a lot of puzzles might be avoided, if only people took the trouble to avoid thinking of the Bible as an undifferentiated static mass of totally homogeneous ideas.
                        I agree. The Bible makes a lot more sense when you don't try to pretend that every author is agreement and is basically saying the same thing in different ways.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                          Thanks, but I will wait for when you have had time to address it yourself. But I am impressed that your insightful use of bold has already elicited two Amens.
                          "making stuff up" is unnecessarily harsh - Miller might be speculating here, or offering a differing interpretation from yours. And Miller cites v13 as a basis for his argument here. So saying he's making stuff up is really a misrepresentation.



                          "That can hardly be any justification for the flood!" - but where does Miller say that that was the justification for the Flood? He cites Gen 6:5-7 (mankind's wickedness and constant inclination to evil), and the violence (v13); and

                          Originally posted by Glen Miller
                          (2) the evil/violence of the people were both against God and against humanity (Gen 6.12) and was VERY EXTENSIVE ("filled"); (3) some of the evil was probably sexual violence or violation (Gen 6.1-2); (4) Noah apparently "preached righteousness" to these people for AT LEAST a hundred years! (cf. 2 Pet 2.5); (5) this long period of preaching was an act of patience on God's part (I Pet 3.20);(6) in spite of the warnings, there were apparently no 'changed minds'.
                          the degree of evil, the nature of it, and the failure of people to repent in any way.

                          Again you've either misrepresented or missed altogether what Glen is arguing.



                          Originally posted by The Pixie
                          Look at this one: "God was willing to spare the innocent people--if any could be found;" I thought God was supposed to be all-knowing. How difficult was it for an all-knowing God to find someone exactly?
                          The bolded is just a snappy retort that ignores the point of what Glen was saying: That God didn't just arbitrarily decide to wipe out everyone.


                          Originally posted by The Pixie
                          Or this: "children living in the households of their evil parents would have undoubtedly died swiftly". Is he saying wholesale slaughter is moral if it is a quick death?
                          No, he's saying that a quick death is preferable to other possible deaths, remember what he said about Sodom and Gomorrah:

                          Originally posted by Glen Miller
                          (5) children living in the households of their evil parents apparently died swiftly in the one-day event (instead of being killed--as homeless orphans--by a combination of starvation, wild beasts, exposure, and disease; or instead of being captured and sold as slaves by neighboring tribes, for the older ones perhaps?)
                          You seem to be reading this with your 'atheist assumption' goggles on - you appear to assume that life / being alive is the most valuable thing anyone has. But that's not a value shared by the Christian / biblical worldview - life is very important, but knowing and following God is vastly more important.

                          By assuming the atheist position, you're subtly begging the question against the Biblical worldview, viz: See how awful it is? God kills innocent babies and Christians just shrug. That shows that Christianity is false, and their God not really a true God, because they condone such horrors. We know that when you die, that's it, game over, worm food, and so God killing anyone is just... ...pure evil.
                          Last edited by MaxVel; 02-16-2015, 10:34 AM.
                          ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Enjolras View Post
                            I don't think anyone is questioning whether Christians today should slaughter Amalekite children and infants. The real issue is whether a being that would make such a command is morally virtuous. I'm familiar with the standard apologetic responses, but I've yet to see one that could not also be used to justify the actions of say, ISIS or Boko Haram.

                            Can you outline what you think the 'standard apologetic responses' are?



                            Originally posted by Enjolras
                            To give one example: God as the creator has the right to take life as he pleases. Well, if God is justified in ordering the death of Amalekite babies simply because he is their creator, I see no reason why he wouldn't also be justified in ordering the beheading of journalists, since he is their creator as well. Given this apologetic, there is simply no way to truly determine what commands to kill are or are not from God.

                            This makes me wonder if you're really that familiar with apologetics on the issue...
                            ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

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                            • #15
                              There is a difference between us and God in that God is able to restore life and we are not, so when we take a life we are taking something we have no power to restore - this is not so for God.

                              The ark wasn't built overnight so I am sure people would have asked what Noah was doing and been told about the coming flood. God is within His rights to judge people and it looks like they had warning. Natural law means that the children would have died. Any young children would have died as a consequence of their parents sin, not because God was necessarily judging the children. ( Just like when a gambler spends all his family's food money and the children go hungry, the children suffer as a consequence of the sins of the parent). Genesis 6:5 makes it pretty clear that the place was wicked.

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