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1
Debates: Miscellaneous / Kirk Durston vs PZ Myers
« on: January 23, 2012, 11:24:27 am »
I just finished listening to this debate.

I would concur with your sentiments.  Honestly, I expected more from PZ Meyers.  His strategy seems to boil down to "Audience, you are smart... this conversation is stupid, therefore don't pay attention to anything he says."  

His strategy, in fact, presumes that the audience is stupid and would be willing to overlook his lack of response to the actual points that were made by the other debater.

This was a very one-sided debate.


2
Blank,

 Your last paragraph is telling.  You listened to an interview to make your decision on a field of scholarship and understanding.  Can you not see the laziness in that?  You can base your decisions on ignorance if you choose, just to convince yourself that your decisions are correct or reasonable.  

Either way, have a wonderful Thursday (whatever it might mean to you).

If you ever get the effort instilled to inform yourself on the topic, I look forward to further discussion.  Until then.


3
blank wrote:


Sorry, those God blinders are in full effect. Until you're able to take them off and see how immoral and atrocious such a command is, you'll still be playing the usual apologist game of obfuscating by claiming language, ignorance and the failure of the invaded to flee as being the problem.
Good luck to you in your apologetics. Just hope you don't run into someone who has actually read the passages in question.
[/QUOTE]

Blank,

 I don't believe you are helping your case with comments such as this.  You CANNOT really understand the ACTUAL command if you are ignorant of the language, culture, setting, genre, etc. in which the command was set.  You continue to state things such as "Just hope you don't run into someone who has actually read the passages in question..." in efforts to prove your point, yet, you show your ignorance again.

Just because someone has read something does not necessitate that they understand what is actually being stated, how it is actually being stated, why it is actually being stated, etc.  Sure they have a perception... but most people take the time and effort to look deeper into the situation to make sure they are understanding it correctly.

So far you have acknowledged that you are content with your misguided surface level understanding and unwilling to take the time to understand that which you are talking about.  This has nothing to do with apologetics, this has to do with intellectual acumen (which you are not displaying to any degree).

4
Also, in light of your suggestion that God send prophets to the Canaanites or allow them to have another land, or give Israel another land... that has been dealt with.

Canaan knew about the situation as shown in the passages I gave you referring to Rahab and the Gibeonites.   So they did already have knowledge and the ability to turn to the God of Israel.   Second, they could have still repented and turned from what they were doing in Canaanite culture and turned to the God of Israel after the land was beginning to be taken over.  Here again it appears you are unaware of what it means to be a Canaanite.  It is not just to be in the land, it is deeper than that.   They could have stayed in their land if they simply turned to the God of Israel.

The Canaanites were also able to flee to other lands if that was the case.  The Canaanites IN THE LAND were to be dealt with.  The Canaanites had a myriad of options to avoid the judgment that God was enacting on them... yet they chose not to.

I appreciate your conversation, but unless you intend to make a good faith effort to understand the concept of which you are, seemingly, completely ignorant of at the time, it seems this conversation has reached the extent that it can go.

You talk about "God blinders" in my case... and yet you are the one with the ignorance of the background information, the context, and common usage of the language being dealt with.  Far from a rational position to take on your part.


5
All I have seen on your part is more commentary from a state of ignorance.   You are telling me to look at the Bible when you aren't even in a position to understand what the Bible is really communicating with what it is you are reading.  If you are going to read something and make a point from it it is first important to understand what it is ACTUALLY saying rather what you take it be be saying based on your current state of ignorance to its context.

Your objections will continue to be simplistic and misguided so long as you continue in your state of ignorance about the deeper context of the situation and commands at hand.


6
"Of course I'll bring up the women and  children we're talking about a genocide here aren't we? What am I to  get from Paul Copan's work? If you understand his work well enough, why  don't you present it satisfactorily?"

No, we are not necessarily talking about a Genocide here unless all the people were ACTUALLY intended to be dealt AND were dealt with.

There is ample evidence to show that NOT ALL people were intended to be indiscriminately (as you stated in your ignorance) brought to death, and NOT ALL people WERE indiscriminately brought to death.   You understand this, of course, depends on doing some research and taking some effort.  That is your call.  However, it will be hard to call yourself rational and reasoned in your position if you do not.  

7
blank wrote:
Quote from: Jove81
Quote from: blank
Quote from: expsredemption
Blank,

 To make things clearer from this point I have started a new response so that all the information is not copied from previous posts.

If you are truly engaging, I will continue.

It seems you are playing the skeptic to me due to your sitting back rather then giving things that WOULD justify the situation for you.

I need to know what it is that it will take for you to accept a situation before I bother dealing with it.  This way, if that cannot be provided I don't have to waste time.  If it can, I will know what you are looking for and be more able to pin it down.

The large post that I put up breaking down what genocide is, and that it is not necessarily good or bad on itself (without background or supporting information).  It was to make it clear that genocide is not necessarily a negative thing just by being called "genocide".

Please give me some clarification on your end so that I know what exactly you are looking for and what you would find acceptable.


That's just it. I don't think genocide can be justified. Saying genocide isn't necessarily a negative thing and that humans aren't omniscient means to me that even the examples of genocide that you gave may in fact be positive occurrences just that humans in their limited capacities don't know this to be so.
That is why I look askance at people trying to justify genocide. They don't seem to realize the far reaching implications of such a justification.

What if the subject of the genocide were Nazis? We decide to wipe out all Nazis to prevent them from committing genocide on the Jews. Are we not justified?


Who is a Nazi? Are children Nazis? I don't think you can justify indiscriminately wiping out an entire population even if you're unable to separate the guilty from the non-guilty, you cannot justify it yet an omniscient God who can separate the guilty from the non-guilty chose not to do that.


Well... as Paul Copan might take it... you are taking an ill-informed Sunday School reading of the text when there is a much deeper and informed reading of the text that you are unaware of.  You are looking at the words you see from the standpoint you want to see them from, rather than looking at the language usage of the time in which it was written.

You just showed your ignorance in the past two posts.  If you were more informed you would realize that the command that God leveled does not necessarily mean that women and children were harmed in any way.  Secondly the Canaanites had the ability to turn from what they were doing and be saved (example of Rahab and Gibeonites).  Third, within the area directly dealing with the commands there is information that the Canaanites still persist.  The writers are not foolish enough to keep the Canaanites in existence while writing words that literally mean utter destruction.

I cannot solve a situation of ignorance for you.  You won't believe something you haven't seen or read with your own eyes... (obviously, or we wouldn't be having this discussion in this fashion).  One of the problems is... you stop your search before looking at all the details and understanding all the background information.

Copan's work deals with the common usage of the language (specifically dealing with war and combat language) of the time in that setting.  You would benefit from it because it will clarify some of the things you take to be the case in your current state of ignorance (lack of knowledge of some thing).

You continue to mention women and children out of ignorance of the subject.  This is the third time I am telling you this.   Will you do it again?  You have shown that it is likely.

8
Jove81 wrote:

What if the subject of the genocide were Nazis? We decide to wipe out all Nazis to prevent them from committing genocide on the Jews. Are we not justified?


If you "just decide", then I would say there is no way that you are justified (even if they were all guilty... you would not have good reason to think that by "just deciding").

I would say it is highly probable that some of the people who would be called "Nazi's" did not agree with the policies but were forced (by their fear) to go along with the Nazi ideals.   Again, based on this, you cannot rightly condemn all of them justly.

In the absence of a reasoned, fair, legal/judicial process, ruling, appeals, sentencing process, you would not be justified.

Blank might try to bring up the women and children, again, out of his ignorance for the common language usage in the OT and the situations described, in regard to the situation of God and the Canaanites compared to the "we can't know" in the human context.  To that I would encourage him to look into some of the work of Paul Copan on this subject.   There is more than good reason to think that the language style that would be used to describe the situations the OT Canaanite situation took place does not necessitate that women and children were actually harmed or even intended to be harmed.

A basic start would be this interview

9
Blank,

 To make things clearer from this point I have started a new response so that all the information is not copied from previous posts.

If you are truly engaging, I will continue.

It seems you are playing the skeptic to me due to your sitting back rather then giving things that WOULD justify the situation for you.

I need to know what it is that it will take for you to accept a situation before I bother dealing with it.  This way, if that cannot be provided I don't have to waste time.  If it can, I will know what you are looking for and be more able to pin it down.

The large post that I put up breaking down what genocide is, and that it is not necessarily good or bad on itself (without background or supporting information).  It was to make it clear that genocide is not necessarily a negative thing just by being called "genocide".

Please give me some clarification on your end so that I know what exactly you are looking for and what you would find acceptable.


10
blank wrote:
Quote from: expsredemption


Let us set the context.

Genocide: the deliberate and systematic extermination (and or destruction) of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. (notice not positive or negative)

Terms origin: 1944, apparently coined by Polish-born U.S. jurist Raphael Lemkin in his work "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe" [p.19], in reference to Nazi extermination of Jews, lit. "killing a tribe," from Gk. genos "race, kind" (see genus) + -cide. The proper formation would be *genticide.

Usage: genocide [(jen-uh-seyed)]

The deliberate destruction of an entire race or nation. The Holocaust conducted by the Nazis in Germany and the Rwandan genocide are examples of attempts at genocide.


Are your examples positive or negative?

expsredemption wrote:
Who is conducting the genocide according to the word?  Human beings

The word genocide does not tend to be used in regard to situations with animals exterminating or destroying other animal groups.  If it is, it is not used in a moral sense of being “good or bad”.

In the situation with the Canaanites, it is proposed that God is the being who judges the Canaanites and decides that they merit destruction physically and/or culturally (It is not necessitated that they were all to be killed but that may be the case).


Maybe we do not use it in situations involving animals because animals aren't considered as being moral agents but god and the Israelites are considered as such.

expsredemption wrote:
What quality of the God that is giving the order might allow for that being to judge the merit properly and fairly? Omniscience (all knowing).

What quality of the God that is giving the order might prevent that being from making this order when it is not properly merited? Omni benevolent (all [more appropriately, perfectly] loving) We see this in that God waits until the iniquity of the Ammonites is at its maximum point (400 years) before the Canaanites are judged in this way. (Genesis 15:12-16)  This also shows that God gives an individual every opportunity to turn before the judgment takes place.  This is possible due to perfect knowledge. (Did the Canaanites know of this situation? Yes you can see that in Joshua 2.[also Joshua 9] They could have repented and been saved.)  This can also be seen with the woman of Tekoa talking to David regarding David’s behavior with shunning his son.  The woman states to David ‘For we will surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him.’ (2 Samuel 14:14  This of course does not necessitate that a son will turn back to God.   You can also see this in the conversation between Abraham and God regarding Sodom and Gomorrah (“if there are 50,40,30,10… righteous people I will not destroy them” Genesis 18:22-33)

What quality of the God that is giving the order might render that being to give the order when it is properly merited? Perfect Justice

Are perfect love and perfect justice contradictory? One who is perfectly just can and must enact justice even on those they love.  One who loves perfectly can and must continue to love those whom they enact justice upon.  Both can be done at the same time. Part of the perfection of the love and justice of God is that they are properly (or perfectly)  balanced between each other.  We can see this in that God does not take delight in the death of the wicked, rather God desires that they turn from their wickedness and be saved.  Although God desires that they turned and be saved, God must pursue justice if they do not turn from their wickedness.  This does not contradict God’s desire that they do turn from their wickedness and be saved. Does God treat this situation fairly?  Yes (Ezekiel 3:16-21 ; Ezekiel 33: 1-20)


So how does God decide if it is merited? What if they don’t have a perfect understanding of God’s commands?

expsredemption wrote:
You can see in the end of Ezekiel 33:1-20 that the individuals will be judged according to their own standards, let alone God’s, and still be found lacking.  You can also see this in Romans 1:18 – 3:31.  All are held to a reasonable standard based on what they know. Also seen in Acts 17:22-31.

The information is available to every individual.  Some choose not to act on it. However people are only judged on the basis of what they know, it is also written that they are placed in time and space in a manner that would be optimal for them to come to knowledge (although not that they necessarily will come to knowledge as they can refuse).

I would argue that Genocide cannot really be attributed to God.  Even if it were, the definition does not render it a negative or positive term in and of itself.

Now the two examples of genocide usually related to the term (one which originated the term) can be determined to be instances where genocide took place and if it was negative in those cases.

I would suggest it was negative for a couple of reasons:

1.     1. Humans (on their own) cannot know if the punishment of the whole of the group is merited without going through strenuous court/legal proceedings with evidence, etc.


In that case, it may just be that the act of genocide may end up being a good thing since no one really knows whether or not it is merited.

expsredemption wrote:
2.      2.These cases were not done under some kind of judicial/merit based situation, but rather a malicious hate based situation.  The merits were not justified in any way. This is something that can be examined in a situation where humans are making the decision so that we can determine if the action of ‘genocide’ is wrong and thus morally abhorrent.


God's system wasn't any better because he ordered indiscriminate killing. Is it a merit based situation to kill all people in a society?

expsredemption wrote:
If there was a situation where the last remaining group of 300 gypsies were in a country that allowed for the death penalty, and each one of those gypsies in the group were rightly suspected, tried, and convicted of a crime that merited the death penalty, all those gypsies facing the death penalty could technically be “genocide”.  However, all those gypsies would be guilty of a crime and meriting the death penalty.  Now the death penalty may not have to be enacted in this case but that does not mean that it cannot be.  Given that it is… this can be “genocide” in a technical sense but also a proper avenue of handling the situation as their individual actions merited individual deaths which lead to the death of the whole group.


Would this make it appropriate to kill the gypsy children and gypsies who just happened to be visiting within the vicinity?

expsredemption wrote:
I think in the realm of God making a command against the Canaanites and the realm of human beings making a command against another group of human beings, there is a stark difference of context.  Thus it does not seem that genocide is really appropriate (in regard to God's actions with the Canaanites) and even if it is used technically, it is not render a negative connotation, just a description of what has taken place: the extermination or destruction of a group.  In this case it would have been a merited and justified undertaking rather than the unmerited and unjustified undertaking of humans committing this act toward humans without correct and fair court/legal proceedings.


Of course. I hope you realize that you are simply defending genocide by special pleading. Saying genocide is wrong but when God does it is ri
   ght, is special pleading. Claiming that we do not know whether a genocidal actions is right or wrong simply means that actual incidents of genocide cannot be decided as being immoral since we do not know the ultimate effects. After all, it could be that the action lead to avoiding a worse genocidal maniac.


This was not a very substantive interaction with my post.  It also failed to take into account things that I have already made clear. (In terms of how God knows if it is or is not merited.  He is all knowing.  I also showed that God would not do it if he knew it was not merited [do to perfect love and justice].  You are dealing within the Christian frame of reference when you talk about the Christian God.  These are his qualities and how he makes the decisions.  You ask questions that are already answered)

You will also notice that I never said that genocide is wrong when everyone else does it and right when God does it.   I set parameters to show that the two cases of genocide most commonly used today (Holocaust and Rwanda) can be shown to be wrong based on a few facts (they people conducting the genocide could not know if everyone in the group merited the punishment; the people conducting the genocide did not go through a rational, fair, legal/judicial process to determine if every individual in the group merited that punishment.   I did also make clear that genocide conducted by human being is not necessarily bad.  If all in the group merit the punishment and it is justified punishment, the "genocide" would not be bad it would just be.

You seem to be taking statements in a vacuum. You ask questions that are answered already or later in the post and unnecessarily distinguish and separate thoughts.

It seems you are simply playing the skeptic.  If you have anything substantive to DISCUSS (rather than just being skeptical of) I look forward to the discussion. If not, thank you for your input thus far.

11
Debates: Miscellaneous / Has Craig ever debated a Mormon?
« on: November 15, 2011, 02:35:33 pm »
skunker wrote: Anyone know?


I do not believe that William Lane Craig has ever debated a mormon in a formal debate.

He does interact with mormon positions and bring arguments against their beliefs.

He has participated in a book called "The New Mormon Challenge"  .

12
 

Let us set the context.

 

Genocide: the deliberate and systematic extermination (and or destruction) of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. (notice not positive or negative)

 

Terms origin: 1944, apparently coined by Polish-born U.S. jurist Raphael Lemkin in his work "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe" [p.19], in reference to Nazi extermination of Jews, lit. "killing a tribe," from Gk. genos "race, kind" (see genus) + -cide. The proper formation would be *genticide.

 

Usage: genocide [(jen-uh-seyed)]

 

The deliberate destruction of an entire race or nation. The Holocaust conducted by the Nazis in Germany and the Rwandan genocide are examples of attempts at genocide.

 

Who is conducting the genocide according to the word? Human beings

 

The word genocide does not tend to be used in regard to situations with animals exterminating or destroying other animal groups.  If it is, it is not used in a moral sense of being “good or bad”.

 

In the situation with the Canaanites, it is proposed that God is the being who judges the Canaanites and decides that they merit destruction physically and/or culturally (It is not necessitated that they were all to be killed but that may be the case).

 

What quality of the God that is giving the order might allow for that being to judge the merit properly and fairly? Omniscience (all knowing).

 

What quality of the God that is giving the order might prevent that being from making this order when it is not properly merited? Omni benevolent (all [more appropriately, perfectly] loving) We see this in that God waits until the iniquity of the Ammonites is at its maximum point (400 years) before the Canaanites are judged in this way. (Genesis 15:12-16) This also shows that God gives an individual every opportunity to turn before the judgment takes place.  This is possible due to perfect knowledge. (Did the Canaanites know of this situation? Yes you can see that in Joshua 2.[also Joshua 9] They could have repented and been saved.)  This can also be seen with the woman of Tekoa talking to David regarding David’s behavior with shunning his son.  The woman states to David ‘For we will surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the
   banished one will not be cast out from him.’ (2 Samuel 14:14  This of course does not necessitate that a son will turn back to God.  You can also see this in the conversation between Abraham and God regarding Sodom and Gomorrah (“if there are 50,40,30,10… righteous people I will not destroy them” Genesis 18:22-33)

 

What quality of the God that is giving the order might render that being to give the order when it is properly merited? Perfect Justice

 

Are perfect love and perfect justice contradictory? One who is perfectly just can and must enact justice even on those they love.  One who loves perfectly can and must continue to love those whom they enact justice upon.  Both can be done at the same time. Part of the perfection of the love and justice of God is that they are properly (or perfectly) balanced between each other. We can see this in that God does not take delight in the death of the wicked, rather God desires that they turn from their wickedness and be saved.  Although God desires that they turned and be saved, God must pursue justice if they do not turn from their wickedness.  This does not contradict God’s desire that they do turn from their wickedness and be saved. Does God treat this situation fairly?  Yes (Ezekiel 3:16-21 ; Ezekiel 33: 1-20)

 

So how does God decide if it is merited? What if they don’t have a perfect understanding of God’s commands?

 

You can see in the end of Ezekiel 33:1-20 that the individuals will be judged according to their own standards, let alone God’s, and still be found lacking.  You can also see this in Romans 1:18 – 3:31.  All are held to a reasonable standard based on what they know. Also seen in Acts 17:22-31.

 

The information is available to every individual.  Some choose not to act on it. However people are only judged on the basis of what they know, it is also written that they are placed in time and space in a manner that would be optimal for them to come to knowledge (although not that they necessarily will come to knowledge as they can refuse).

 

I would argue that Genocide cannot really be attributed to God.  Even if it were, the definition does not render it a negative or positive term in and of itself.

 

Now the two examples of genocide usually related to the term (one which originated the term) can be determined to be instances where genocide took place and if it was negative in those cases.

 

I would suggest it was negative for a couple of reasons:

 

1.     1. Humans (on their own) cannot know if the punishment of the whole of the group is merited without going through strenuous court/legal proceedings with evidence, etc.

 

2.      2.These cases were not done under some kind of judicial/merit based situation, but rather a malicious hate based situation.  The merits were not justified in any way. This is something that can be examined in a situation where humans are making the decision so that we can determine if the action of ‘genocide’ is wrong and thus morally abhorrent.

 

If there was a situation where the last remaining group of 300 gypsies were in a country that allowed for the death penalty, and each one of those gypsies in the group were rightly suspected, tried, and convicted of a crime that merited the death penalty, all those gypsies facing the death penalty could technically be “genocide”.  However, all those gypsies would be guilty of a crime and meriting the death penalty.  Now the death penalty may not have to be enacted in this case but that does not mean that it cannot be.  Given that it is… this can be “genocide” in a technical sense but also a proper avenue of handling the situation as their individual actions merited individual deaths which lead to the death of the whole group.  

 

   ast-font-family:"times="" roman";color:#333333"="">I think in the realm of God making a command against the Canaanites and the realm of human beings making a command against another group of human beings, there is a stark difference of context.  Thus it does not seem that genocide is really appropriate (in regard to God's actions with the Canaanites) and even if it is used technically, it is not render a negative connotation, just a description of what has taken place: the extermination or destruction of a group.  In this case it would have been a merited and justified undertaking rather than the unmerited and unjustified undertaking of humans committing this act toward humans without correct and fair court/legal proceedings.


13
Sandspirit wrote:
Hitler is a pejorative terms at the moment. Sure it was his view, but there are two questions to ask:

1. Was his view correct?
2. Even if his view was correct, was he actually (not what he thought personally) in a position to make and act upon that decision?


I don't suppose many of you became Christians in order to be associated with this sort of sentiment but in the name of "reasonable faith" you've compromised your critical faculties to the point where you don't know whether genocide is right or wrong. Many Christians shun Craig because of his views on genocide. Forget Dawkins and the debate - it doesn't matter. It's not hard to see that eliminating an entire people is wrong. Or maybe I'm mistaken.


I have to address Blank again, which I am working on, however I am trying not to make it quite so long as most people probably won't read it and will probably get confused as to the core of the argument.

This is a perspective thing.  When we say that some situation is bad or wrong from any perspective... I think it DOES merit consideration of whether the pejorative terms are really can be used in that case, or if it is a case of using a word that is pejorative so that people will ASSUME that the wrong action was taken.

Again a whole group of some group (every individual in that group) can do something wrong, meriting a severe punishment for each individual in the group.  Now each individual of the group is being punished in a way that is merited and thus the whole group is being punished for the same crime with the same merit.  If it was the taking away of land, or the death penalty that was merited by their actions... one might be able to say that it was technically "genocide" but it was not wrong to do.  They merited the punishment.

You seem to be the one that is not up to looking at the situation fully, and rather continue to ASSUME the negative nature of the act simply based on the pejorative usage of genocide.  Unfortunately, words do have meanings and meanings do get mixed up.  It is always important to look at what a word actually means as compared to what someone is trying to make people ASSUME it means.   To hoist "genocide" up without the whole context of the situation is disingenuous.

14
blank wrote:
Quote from: expsredemption
Quote from: blank
Quote from: emailestthoume
Quote from: blank
Craig justified the genocide by basically saying something along the lines of it being okay since it was commanded by God. He thus, promptly gets gored by the second horn of Euthyphro's dilemma.


Dr. Craig has defended his divine command morality in print, and in depth. I doubt he made such a simple mistake. I believe he has also successfully refuted Euthyphro's dilemma in other places. (using arguments of his own or others I am unsure) Furthermore, if I remember correctly, almost his entire speech about the destruction of the Canaanites had to do with the historical evidence about it, where he argued that what happened was indeed not genocide at all in the first place.

I would encourage everyone to watch it themselves and make up their own mind. It is dealt with towards the end in the question and answer section.


Though he has defended the genocide in print, it still is a bad idea. No, he hasn't refuted the dilemma and he clearly gored himself with the statements he made at the closing. The methods by which he tried refuting the dilemma were sometimes special pleading (e.g God gave the command but we cannot really say it was immoral) or blunt assertions (e.g God is good though he gave such a command).
I too encourage someone who hasn't heard it to listen to it and if you have heard it, please listen to it again and pay close attention to his response on the Canaanite genocide commanded by his God.


What is the probability that you will EVER be convinced that the situation with the Canaanites was a moral situation?


The chances of that happening is very low.

expsredemption wrote:
To me it seems that you are caught up on the term "genocide" as necessarily bad.  If the whole group is bad... and they are killed for that immoral nature... it can be just punishment AND genocide at the same time.


How can one conclude that an entire population of people which includes old people, young people, toddlers, pregnant women are all bad and deserve to be murdered for their land?

expsredemption wrote:
Definition of Genocide:
"the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group." (www.dictionary.com)

If the whole national, racial, political, or cultural group is deserving of a penalty... it does not become undeserving just because the whole is punished, as they merited such punishment.


You may want to look up on the idea of collective punishment and the problems associated with it.

expsredemption wrote:
Is you fixation on the word genocide? Or is your fixation that what happened with the Canaanites (even if not genocide) cannot ever be considered moral?


Sorry but I have a problem with genocide. Not just the word but a command that says a group of people should be exterminated and their land taken away from them.
How is it that you people can try to justify such terrible activities? Do you really not expect non-believers to stand by and watch justification of genocide?


You brought up the idea of collective punishment which is understandable.  From the human perspective collective punishment is a bad idea because we (as finite humans) cannot know whether a population really merits a collective punishment.

I do see that you seem to acknowledge that punishment is, at least, sometimes personally merited.  So punishment in and of itself is not the issue.

You stated that Genocide is a big issue with you.  It is a big issue for me as well.  However, I made my statement about some whole group meriting punishment in order to show that there can be cases where what looks like genocide is, in fact, merited punishment.  

If a whole distinguished group merits the punishment... should the punishment not be enacted simply because it would punish the whole group (even though the punishment was merited)?

There can be instances when a situation is merited punishment and yet we don't see or understand how it is merited... so we call it genocide.   This is not to make a case for a human to be able to make the decision as to whether the punishment of a whole group is merited.   This is to say that in a world where there is two perspectives, God's and man's, man may not always fully understand or see why God took some form of action.

If the situation with the Canaanites were simply a decision made by a human being, I would be more than willing to call it Genocide and view it as a negative.   A human being is not in the position to make the decision of whether something like that is merited or unmerited.

If the situation involved a being such as God, the situation changes dramatically.  God does have a better position to acknowledge whether the punishment of the whole group is merited.  God would also have the ability to act upon that acknowledgment that the punishment is merited.   If the punishment is merited and deserved, it is not necessarily genocide as we commonly mean it.  Sure the whole group was effected fitting the definition but the pejorative nature would not be there as the punishment was merited and deserved.

You brought up the concept of their land being taken away.  If there is a being such as God, is the land really the Canaanites?  Or are they just "tenants" of sorts?

I don't know if you are doing this or not, but often times I see people trying to see things from the perspective of a being like God existing but actually continuing to view things from the human perspective with a being like God not existing.  Viewing out of context.

I would say that if there is a being like God (you know what context in which we are speaking) that a situation like the Canaanite situation can be merited and acted upon and not be immoral.  This of course is so long as God is the one making the decision rather than a man (who is not in the position to make this kind of decision).

I would also state that if the situation is that a being like God exists, what you might call genocide subjectively in this case (in the pejorative negative sense) is not genocide objectively, rather an appropriate punishment for acts that merited such punishment (no matter how many people are being punished, even if they are a whole culture, it is not immoral if they merited such a punishment.)

But lets look at the situation with the Canaanites.  
Is there a being such as God involved in the context? Yes
Does God make the decision or does man make the decision? God
Does God really kill all the people in the land? No
Does it really call for all the people in the land to be killed? Not necessarily (this is something much bigger than what can be handled in the forum setting with here and there responses).
Is the punishment merited? It can be. God seems to think so.  Man may not, but man does not have all the information either.
Was this land objectively the land of the Canaanites in the context that a being such as God exists? No.

Don't get me wrong, this is a tough situation to deal with even with a being such as God existing.  I don't intend to present the case more lightly than it should.  I simply don't know if there will be much movement on the topic in this format as people post here and there, and each small aspect of the posters statements are extensively discussed... the discussion tends to simply get larger rather than more narrowed.

Looking forward to your thoughts.  I am really trying to get a good picture of where you stand and why.  It is much easier to discuss a topic when you know exactly where the other individual stands.  

I stand in a position where a being such as God is possible.  I also understand that if such a being as God existed and acted in the context given in the
    OT I would be held accountable by such a being.  Whether I liked that being the case or not would not matter as that would be the case and the frame of reference in which I would have to function.   Would I be mad if I were to be punished similar to the Canaanites?  Probably.  Does that mean I am justified to be angry... not necessarily.   When I got a speeding ticket, I was furious that I got the ticket.  Was I speeding? Yes.  Did I deserve the ticket? Yes.  Did I know this? Yes.  Did I like it? No.  Why didn't I like it?  I felt there were other people who deserved a ticket as well.  Even if it was true that other people deserved a ticket as well, it does not change the fact that I deserved a ticket myself.  We don't always like the situations we find ourselves in, but that is not an indication that they are unfair, unmerited, or wrong.

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Sandspirit wrote:
If the whole national, racial, political, or cultural group is deserving of a penalty... it does not become undeserving just because the whole is punished, as they merited such punishment.


This was Hitler's view too.

How many of you, if you really reflect and think, feel comfortable with this statement?






Hitler is a pejorative terms at the moment.  Sure it was his view, but there are two questions to ask:

1. Was his view correct?
2. Even if his view was correct, was he actually (not what he thought personally) in a position to make and act upon that decision?


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