October 27, 2011 at 7:11 am
One more time for the learning impaired-
If justice is good and the alleged genocides were just, then it follows that God is still good.
October 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm
How can genocide be just?
October 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm
I don’t think it can. But what about when the Allies destroyed many German and Japanese cities in World War 2? I’m curious to know if you think those were justified or not.
October 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm
Well, I don’t know, Collin. My bias is strongly pacifist, and I find it hard to justify those attacks. But I think that often ethical dilemmas are between two evils, made worse by the fact that we have to guess at the likely results of alternative courses of action. Perhaps those attacks saved lives in the end. I don’t now.
But they were not genocides which is a term usually reserved for the deliberate eradication of a population or culture as the primary effect of an action, and often deliberately targets children to bring about that end, as well as the abduction and/or rape of the women. I do not believe that Churchill or Truman intended to eradicate German/Japanese culture, but to end the war. Hitler, on the other hand, most certainly committed genocide.
On at least three occasions in the NT, God allegedly commands or commits genocide: the Canaanites, the Midianites, and of course the entire world bar 8 people in the Flood.
Anyway, I’m going to log out of UD shortly and take an extended break. It’s been nice to talk to you, but I think I’ve been a thorn in your collective sides for long enough :)
If you want to drop by The Skeptical Zone you’ll be very welcome, as will anyone from UD.
October 27, 2011 at 4:34 pm
Thanks. For the response. I think you mean “OT” not “NT.”
October 28, 2011 at 12:16 am
you just condemned the world to be subjected to the genocidal mania of Hitler and the Japanese militarists.
That’s why I have written in the vein I do here on this subject. There are no easy answers in a world of radically demonic irreconcilable evil. (And you are in no position to dismiss the demonic as only metaphorical if you have not fully grappled wit the case of Hitler, the carpet-chewer.)
So, Craig is fundamentally right that we must start with what is plain and well founded before we address what is difficult, in light of what we have established before. And, I am on record on this matter that there is no easy, non-difficult answer, including he view that lies behind Dawkins’ dismissal. Such is always the case with major worldview issues.
But there is more, an issue of tone, responsiveness and attitude.
Once we reckon with the realities of needing to confront unbridled evil in this world, and its aggressive propagation by sword or by ideology or both, and the problem of irreconcilable blood feuds as a significant feature of the culture in question [something the Romans faced with Carthage and Hannibal], we need to take a long, slow pause before pronouncing too confidently on this matter.
Unless our hearts have lurched like Marshal Petain’s by that roadside on the way to the Verdun Front in 1916, we are in no good position of being sufficiently morally wounded and hurt, to make a sound judgement on this.
(And that, BTW, is the glaring gap between Craig and Dawkins on this matter: Craig is speaking as one wounded by grappling with a really hard difficulty leading to uncertainties and open-endedness in his position, Dawkins is using a supercilious and insincere smearing talking point to dodge having to have the moral courage to defend some really outrageous assertions against Christians, the Scriptures and God.)
GEM of TKI
October 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm
I hesitate to drive off the “absolute moral good” cliff again, because I think it’s an irrelevant point.
But you seem insistent that to kill a population of people is an absolute moral wrong. Why? I’m not asking it in the snide, ‘you’re an atheist so you don’t believe anything’ way. Really, why?
You can never really judge anything without the facts, not even this. And in this case those facts include what the long-term outcome would be with out without that decision. And that long-term outcome may even include some of those who died. I don’t know.
I’m not asking you to agree with it. I’m asking you to realize that although your point of view is a good principle to live by, it is not a universal all-or-nothing case of right or wrong. Within the context of belief in God is the belief that he gives us enough wisdom to live by, but that he has it all. That enables him to decide what is absolutely right or wrong, but enables us to live within narrower guidelines.
And if you don’t believe in a God who can make those decisions, select the best outcome, and right any wrong, then you don’t believe that God commanded those things anyway. So what does it matter?
It’s like cutting a man’s heart out while he’s still alive and removing it, and cutting another man’s heart out while it’s still beating and putting it in the other body. No matter how you slice it, that will always be barbaric and shocking outside of its context.
In this case the wrong you perceive cannot be separated from its context. As an atheist, how can you believe the verses that say God commanded it and reject the ones in which he expresses his hatred of bloodshed and his love of justice? It’s pointless to make arguments about any belief system from outside of its context.
To me, the next logical argument is, what if someone says that God commanded him to raise an army and commit another genocide? If this act is viewed as righteous, what else will someone do? I don’t disparage such reasoning. It’s rational, and such fears have been realized many times over. But there’s no value in explaining it to anyone who doesn’t really want to know about it. The world is full of people, including clergy and theologians, who have read the Bible from cover to cover and have never been moved by it, because they view it as a collection of stories, just one more dusty old book to discuss academically.
If there really is "radically demonic irreconcilable evil" in the world, it's in christians and other religious maniacs who excuse and condone genocide and other despicable acts in the name of their god. gordo and the rest of the bloodthirsty IDiot horde (with only one or two possible exceptions) are as crazed and dangerous as muslim terrorists, and maybe more so.
By the way, did you notice the sneaky trick of trying to divert attention to Hitler, instead of just accepting and admitting that the christian god is depicted as a murderous, sadistic, two-faced, petty, selfish, violent monster in the so-called holy book (the bible) that is alleged to be his own words?
Just one thing that the barbaric, genocide-supporting IDiots are conveniently ignoring is that Hitler was not a god, was not depicted as a god, didn't claim to be a god, and was not alleged to be a loving, forgiving, merciful, kind, peaceful, caring, prayer answering, healing, life-giving god. So, what's the christian god's excuse for being a genocidal monster and for his worshipers to be in support of his multiple acts of genocide? Shouldn't "God" and his worshipers and promoters be better than someone like Hitler?
Also, please notice this (from gordo) especially:
"Dr Liddle: you just condemned the world to be subjected to the genocidal mania of Hitler and the Japanese militarists."
Yeah, as though Dr. Liddle actually did that. Sheesh!
I honestly can't think of anyone more despicable than gordon e. mullings of Montserrat.
There's a lot more IDiotic support and justification for genocide in that thread and others.