God ♥ Genocide

God ♥ Genocide April 16, 2016

The nation of Israel when it left Egypt was enormous, if the Bible is to be believed. There were 600,000 men—that is, potential soldiers—which suggest close to two million in the entire company (Exodus 12:37).

The Sinai peninsula, in which the Israelites spent forty years of exile, is a hundred miles wide. To get an idea of how big a group this supposedly was, the Israelites could have held hands to make a human chain to cross the Sinai ten times.

The Exodus and genocide

No archeological evidence has been found for the Exodus. Yes, it happened a long time ago, but deserts preserve things such as buried bodies. God declared that all the adults would die in the desert and be denied access to the Promised Land (Numbers 14:30). Since the Israelites didn’t cremate their dead, that’s over a million bodies that should be in the Sinai but, despite our searching, aren’t.

This population count leads to a appalling conclusion. Let’s assume flat population growth so that the Israelites entered Palestine with two million people. Moses said,

When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites [map here], seven nations larger and stronger than you—and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally (Deut. 7:1–2).

Seven nations, each bigger than the two-million-strong Israelites? Seven nations to be destroyed totally? Do the math—that eclipses the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust.

Of course, you could do what I do and conclude that the Holocaust is history and the Old Testament stories of the exodus and conquest of Canaan are just stories. That removes the moral cloud, but it turns the Bible into just another book of religious fiction, a buffet at which Christians can take or leave according to their fancy.

What Would William Lane Craig Do?

I always like to get an analysis of a cloudy biblical issue from philosopher William Lane Craig. Here’s what he says about God’s genocide.

I think it’s just dishonest when people like Richard Dawkins portray Yahweh … as this moral monster. These highly singular commands [to commit genocide] need to be read against the background of the whole of the Old Testament, which includes the great moral law that is given by God, which is head and shoulders above other ancient near eastern moral or legal codes like the Code of Hammurabi and so forth. It’s against the backdrop of the prophets, which explain god’s compassion for the poor and the oppressed and the orphans and the widows. (Source: “Richard Dawkins and Driving Out the Canaanites” @ 4:00)

Dishonest? Let’s see who’s dishonest. Consider fun Bible quotes like this one:

So Joshua subdued the whole region. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD had commanded (see Joshua 10:28–40).

The Babylonian Code of Hammurabi, written around 1772 BCE, probably preceded the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Mosaic law by centuries. In fact, many scholars think that the Code inspired some of the Mosaic law. For example, the Bible’s “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” is found there. However, it has nothing like the Bible’s genocide.

Craig will respond that this is cherry picking and that the Old Testament offsets the genocide and slavery with compassionate demands like, “Love your neighbor as yourself” from Leviticus 19:18. (Nope—”neighbor” here means “fellow Jew.”) But I’ll grant that looking only at the Bible’s savage side doesn’t give a complete picture. The problem is that Craig wants to cherry pick in the other direction. A balanced look shows the Bible to be what you’d expect from the blog of an ancient tribe. It reflects the morality of the time. There’s no need to imagine a supernatural source.

And why is a balanced look at the Bible the correct approach when God himself doesn’t do that? One error and God sends you to hell. The godly approach would be to find one moral error in the Bible and reject any claims for supernatural inspiration.

This entire interview with Craig is a rich vein of crazy, but let me give just a few highlights.

These Israeli soldiers would be prosecuted for war crimes if this [Canaanite genocide] were to occur today. (5:40)

Yes they would, and what does that tell you? Are you a moral relativist, where you say that genocide is reprehensible from our standpoint but wasn’t from the different perspective back then? Or are you an objectivist who says that genocide is always wrong? In that case, tell me whether our rejection of genocide is wrong today or Israel’s God-given approach was wrong back then.

Craig tries to minimize the damage

If [this] is a good objection, what does it prove? What it would prove would be that the Bible has an error in it, that biblical inerrancy isn’t right, and that would force us to adjust our doctrine of inspiration, but it wouldn’t prove that God didn’t exist, it wouldn’t prove that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead (7:48).

He’s trying to sacrifice the pawn of biblical inerrancy in this chess game to preserve the queen of God’s existence. Great—let’s take that pawn. But no one thought that the queen was under attack. This is clumsy misdirection on Craig’s part. What’s under attack is the bishop of God as a morally perfect being. Craig’s own book tells us that God orders genocide, which makes clear that he’s not. Let’s take that bishop as well.

About God ordering the death of everyone, including the children, Craig says:

God, as the author and giver of life has the authority to give and take life as he chooses (11:10).

So God has no obligation to the people he created, and he can do with them whatever he wants without moral obligation? A human life is then to God what a sand castle is to us, and each of us can destroy our creations without moral error.

Incredible! This is what religion does to good people. It forces them to justify insanity. Like the defense lawyer for a Mafia boss, Craig spins every bit of evidence to fit his presupposition. He removes himself as a credible critic.

Richard Swinburne also plays God’s jester when he said that the Holocaust gave Jews the opportunity to be courageous and noble. He said that one fewer Hiroshima victims would mean “less opportunity for courage and sympathy.”

I’ll take his analysis seriously when he takes his own medicine.

I can destroy my sand castle because I built it and because it’s not alive. That Christians cede to God the right to capriciously kill humans for no better reason than that he made them is damning evidence against that worldview. The elementary moral truth that every child knows but that Craig’s religion has forced him to suppress is that there’s a difference between living things (like people) and nonliving things (like sand castles).

Craig has said, “If there is no God, then life itself becomes meaningless.” But wait a minute—if God can destroy us like I destroy my sand castle, simply because he made us, then life with God is meaningless!

Craig could respond that God’s ways are not our ways. That may be, but first we need to conclude that God exists. Given the information that we have, the God of the Old Testament is, like Dawkins says, a capriciously malevolent bully.

(h/t commenter Rain)

Ladies and gentleman, beware of these scamsters—
especially scamsters in religious garb—
quoting the Bible. I mean, run from them. 
They are all over the place. 
— Pat Robertson

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 4/24/13.)

Image credit: Evonne, flickr, CC

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  • epicurus

    Back in the days when they dreamt up this morally perfect, all knowing, all present version of a god, they weren’t to concerned about genocide, which is probably why it was so easy to picture an omnigod. Trying to defend it now, when we are much more sensitive to genocide and racism, just makes people like Craig look ridiculous. If only they could ditch the notion of a perfect God, they could keep their theism, and everyone’s life would be much easier.

    • RichardSRussell

      But would they make as much money? Guy’s gotta eat, y’know.

  • epicurus

    Don’t the Mormons also make a claim of a huge amount of people that left no trace – that the civilization of North America was advanced and huge in antiquity, but yet there is also no archeological evidence for that?

    • Yep. Not only that, they claim the indigenous people are descended from ancient Hebrews. There’s no genetic evidence for this, naturally.

      • Michael Neville

        There’s no anthropological or linguistic evidence for it either.

        • There’s no evidence for it, period. Unless we consider Joseph Smith’s word “evidence”.

        • tsig

          If you don’t believe a rock in a hat what will you believe?

        • I don’t know. I guess I’m just stubborn really.

        • TheNuszAbides

          TWO rocks in a hat!

        • MNb

          Well, it is evidence. But for what exactly?

        • Three possibilities seem to exist: that it was a con (there is evidence Joseph Smith was a con artist, including a conviction), that he was delusional, that he was a divine prophet. The latter seems the most unlikely, particularly given the lack of supporting evidence.

        • TheNuszAbides

          indeed, why didn’t C.S.Lewis run his slanted trilemma schtick on Smith?

        • I’m not sure whether he was even aware of Mormonism. Of course, applying it to anything else exposes the whole thing pretty clearly. People put Lewis on a pedestal, but I’ve always found him pretty shallow. He didn’t even coin the trilemma anyway, even though it’s now got his name attached.

        • Otto

          But all religious claims are just the ‘word’ of someone when you think about it.

        • Yes, and in most cases it’s actually much worse. At least here we have Joseph Smith dictating. Usually it’s some guy much later. So not only do we have the potential game of telephone at work, but it’s all hearsay upon hearsay, as Thomas Paine put it.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          As I put it, “No god is saying anything.”

        • TheNuszAbides

          “i’m speaking for every god now: ‘i don’t need anyone’s help killing people!'”
          –tom simmons (paraphrased)

        • RichardSRussell

          In legal proceedings, personal testimony is indeed included under the general heading of “evidence”, along with bullet casings and cell-phone records. Obviously, there are wild variations in how reliable it is, and the hoot-and-holler show that is the Book of Mormon (which isn’t even well written as science fiction goes) is grossly unreliable, based on the internal evidence alone, to say nothing of its failure to sync up with the tangible evidence from the real world.

        • True, but we’re talking science here, not law. Christians like to claim the Bible can be proven according to legal evidence rules, but anyone who knows anything about them (like I do) finds this laughable.

        • RichardSRussell

          True. And if we’re comparing venues for decision-making, they obviously would really really prefer the court of public opinion even more than a court of law. “Can millions and millions of satisfied customers be wrong?” Well, yes, as a matter of fact, they can indeed.

        • Quite so. Here’s how what God’s Not Dead 2 portrays would have gone in actual reality: “Sorry, the existence of Jesus is irrelevant. You can’t bring that up.” Of course, people can’t sue a public school teacher just for mentioning Jesus either, so the whole case would have been dismissed. It would make for kind of a boring story though.

    • Max Doubt

      “Don’t the Mormons also make a claim of a huge amount of people that left no trace – that the civilization of North America was advanced and huge in antiquity, but yet there is also no archeological evidence for that?”

      They were probably just good campers, leaving the place cleaner than it was when they arrived.

    • L.Long

      Well! Actually the Mississippians were advanced with large cities and temples. But they are covered and mostly stay that way and are not talked about as it makes the AmerIndian murder-fest by the xtian bigots look about as terrible as they still are.

      • True, some did indeed have cities and complex civilizations. Yet they still lacked the horses and bronze weapons as the Book of Mormon claims (in the latter case they weren’t extant in the Americas). Most died from smallpox and other diseases, not violence (although that did take place too). As you say, it serves the European perception to portray all indigenous peoples as primitive barbarians.

        • Michael Neville

          The Book of Mormon describes the Indians as having steel weapons. The anachronisms in the BoM are really quite jarring.

        • Ah, my mistake. That’s even worse, actually.

  • MNb

    “which is head and shoulders above other ancient near eastern moral or legal codes”
    LOL! Now that’s an open door for a supposed objective morality coming from a supposed omnivolent god himself.

    “Craig will respond that this is cherry picking”Of course it is. When you claim an omnivolent god who grounds an objective morality laid down in a Holy Book that’s exactly what we should do – and all cherries should taste good. They don’t.

  • Michael Neville

    God, as the author and giver of life has the authority to give and take life as he chooses (11:10).

    So God has no obligation to the people he created, and he can do with them whatever he wants without moral obligation? A human life is then to God what a sand castle is to us, and each of us can destroy our creations without moral error.

    Callously killing an animal is a criminal act, killing a sentient human is considered a more serious crime. I think that Craig’s god should be held to the same moral standard as me. According to the propaganda Craig’s god kills indiscriminately and mercilessly and orders his followers to commit genocide. That makes Craig’s god a genocidal war criminal.

    • TheNuszAbides

      damned devious, how Yahweh’s handlers kept him from signing the Geneva Convention.

  • This is what divine command theory can lead to. God embodies goodness, and therefore anything he does or orders is good. The problem with genocide only comes up when he didn’t command it. “Dishonest” is not the word for attacking Yahweh-it’s a difference of opinion. His argument that the supposed virtues of Jewish law makes up for this amounts to someone arguing Nazi laws prohibiting animal cruelty or conserving forests offset the Holocaust. Then again, he’s also spoken sympathetically of how it must have been hard on Israeli soldiers when slaughtering women and children. What can we say to people like this?

    • MNb

      That they are like nazis and hence that Dutch orthodox protestants, who played a huge role in Dutch resistance, prefer to neglect Craig.

      • Are the orthodox Protestants still Calvinist? Because divine command theory seems quite compatible with it. I would be surprised if Craig was even known in Europe. He does not seem like he’d be that influential.

        • Greg G.

          IIRC, Craig earned a post-graduate degree in Europe, Germany, I think.

          Hamza Tzortzis is a Muslim apologist from London who has stolen many of Craig’s arguments to argue for Islam.

        • Oh really, I didn’t know that.

          Funny how they work just as well to argue for Islam, huh?

        • Pofarmer

          I think that is the Muslim apologist I,saw Laurence Kraus “debate” although Kraus was more trying to explain reality to him.

        • Greg G.

          I like the video where Hamza ambushed PZ Myers in London (I think) and started to argue biology but backed down when he found out that was Myer’s PhD.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Link plz!

        • Greg G.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msOlpj886H4

          AronRa is in the background. I think it may have been in Dublin after thinking for a while.

        • He has one doctorate from Germany and one from England.

          The British radio program Unbelievable has had WLC there for several conferences, so that’s one data point that among evangelicals he’s hot stuff there as well.

        • MNb

          I don’t know about the rest of Europe, but Craig is pretty well known in The Netherlands. An example is this Dutch website:

          http://www.geloofstoerusting.nl/zoeken?q=Craig

          Twice I checked the two Dutch orthodox protestant newspaper. They write a lot more about Plantinga than about Craig, who is hardly mentioned.
          The Dutch orthodox protestants are full blown calvinists. They largely reject evolution etc.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_Belt_(Netherlands)

          My guess is that compatibility doesn’t matter too much. Similarities with nazi doctrine does.

        • I don’t think Craig is a Calvinist, unlike Plantinga (whose father was born in the Netherlands). Perhaps right now the Netherlands lacks many prominent conservative Christian theologians, so they admire some overseas too? I’m surprised to see the Netherlands has such a right-wing segment still.

        • MNb

          I looked it up and indeed Craig is not a calvinist.

          “the Netherlands lacks many prominent conservative Christian theologians”
          Not really. Dutch orthodox protestants value historical ties.

        • Ah, I see.

  • Greg G.

    I think the Exodus 12:37 should include verse 38 to show even more people plus their livestock.

  • wtfwjtd

    “So God has no obligation to the people he created, and he can do with them whatever he wants without moral obligation?”

    Interestingly enough, “God” always relies on actual human beings to do the dirty work of killing the people that they think that he thinks are humans that need killing. What was that you were saying about religion turning otherwise good people into monsters? It’s just insanity couched in religious language.

    • Michael Neville

      According to the propaganda God isn’t afraid to get his hands bloody. He drowned everyone except for Noah & family. He nuked Sodom and Gomorrah and then zapped Lot’s wife. Killing the Egyptian first-born let Ol’ Yahweh really satisfy his blood lust.

      It’s only in the past couple of thousand years that God needs humans to kill people. He must be too busy worrying about peoples’ sex lives to be in killing mode any more.

      • wtfwjtd

        The God of the Bible has quite the bloodthirsty reputation, doesn’t he? Of course, the flood story never happened, Sodom is mostly gross exaggeration, and the whole Egyptian narrative is fiction. Maybe, as commenter Hilary and others have suggested, the Israelites lived in a dangerous neighborhood, and needed their neighbors to believe that they served a very dangerous god.

        Times change, and the need for protective bullies in the form of dangerous gods has long since passed for industrialized nations. Rather than acknowledge it for the anachronism that it is, many Christians (and others) insist on trying to justify such behavior, and shoe-horning it into modern society. It’s these people, not their made-up god, that frighten me, and it would be a foolish mistake to underestimate their zeal.

        • Michael Neville

          We see this all the time in modern Christianity. Christians try to combine a Middle Eastern tribal god with an omnipotent, omniscient, etc. creator of the universe and the fit just isn’t there.

        • Greg G.

          I think that happened when they put Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 back to back.

      • L.Long

        Assume the flood is true, gawd still is a cowardly ahole as the most powerful thing around could not bring himself to just kill everyone and start over, he had to use a stupid thing like a flood!!! On its own it is silly, & of coarse never happened. Even in Job he has poor old Satan do most of the dirty work!! Gawd if real is a full blown coward, as with blasphemy laws he needs people to do his dirty work!!!

        • Zeta

          Drowning humans and animals is a very cruel way of killing them. It is very odd that an omniscient god could not foresee his own (admitted) mistake in creating humans. Even if humans were so evil that almost everyone had to be killed (including “evil” children and “evil” babies!), he could have just easily zapped them out of existence by using his omnipotent power. And what did the animals do to deserve drowning?

          Incredibly Christians take pride in this immoral story and it is one of the most favorite stories told to children. Of course, the cruelty and immorality of it were censored (I found that many Christians did not even realize this). Instead we have idiotic stuff like a pair of penguins swimming and waddling all the way from Antarctica to the Middle East and back, and a pair of giant pandas slowly moving from China to go onto the Noah’s ark and they had to have the sense, intelligence and ability to bring adequate supply of their own special bamboo food to last for months.

          Incredibly stupid story!

      • Yes, but he does appear in toast now and again. And sometimes tortillas (though that’s often Mary).

        Some might say that he’s just phoning it in now.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          not to mention dogs’ butts’ appearances.

  • Greg G.
    • MNb

      Yeah, I like that one.

  • Otto

    One minute Christianity says that God loves us as his children…the next minute it tells us we are nothing more than objects to be thrown in the garbage on a whim.

    Again Christianity is internally inconsistent with itself.

    • Zeta

      If one reads the bible without being a believer first, what one sees is a tribal war god of the ancient Israelites helping them to commit genocides on other tribes perceived as their enemies. There is nothing in the bible that suggests these so-called enemies (including children, babies and the soon-to-be-born babies) are Yahweh’s children or his creations. Even rapes of the captured virgins were encouraged. The morality, if there is any, is obnoxious.

      I can never understand why this god is the omni* god of billions.

      • Otto

        You are right, there is no indication that anyone other than the Hebrews are God’s children. Only they are the chosen people, no one else is. That all changes somehow in the NT, now EVERYONE is God’s children. Why? What changes God’s mind? Again they argue 2 opposing ideas. I am not sure there is one point of Christian theology that is not in conflict with some other point. I have yet to find one that is consistent throughout.

        • wtfwjtd

          Jesus said he was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel, Paul says he was sent to the Gentiles, and will have nothing more to do with Jews.
          Who are we supposed to follow, the Creator of the Universe™ or some random dude that has visions?

          No wonder I was so confused as a Christian.

        • L.Long

          Paul was a brain damaged idiot…I’ve read his silly BS!!!

        • Zeta

          Christianity is in a confused mess, with numerous contradictions, inconsistencies, unsubstantiated silly claims, etc. But many believers seem oblivious to all these nonsense.

          A devout Christian friend advised me: “You are using the wrong approach. You should just open up your heart fully to embrace Christ, attend sermons in churches and you’ll understand.” It remains as the most idiotic advice I have been given all my life.

          Any takers?

        • epicurus

          Tell your devout Christian friend that the Mormon God is the true God, and that your friend should open his heart fully to mormonism – he is just resisting the truth due to pride and a stubborn heart. If he would just do that he would understand.
          Then watch the magical transformation as your friend becomes a master of logic and historical analysis, telling you about how the Book of Mormon is not from God, etc.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Yeah….up there with

          “Take this poison, so I can sell you the antidote….which has to be re-bought *constantly*”

        • Matthew46

          In other words, turn off your rational mind and let your emotions be guided by fantasy.
          .
          A fundie preacher said this to me one day: “Imagine how Jesus must have suffered to pay for your sins…..think of him hanging on that cross just for you”. I replied: “Imagine how 1000 in a row must have suffered? Did you know that it was a favored execution method of the Romans for a period of 700 years and………….”. The conversation ended.

        • Rex Jamesson

          Yeah, I was a taker of that advice for several lost decades! Funny how a little moral light and science later, and I’m still listening to those same sermons (because I’m not yet out), and they’ve become a morally abhorrent, inconsistent, babbling mess to me. Nothing about the sermon changed, it’s just that now I have an opened mind!

        • Paul of Tarsus: Best. Antichrist. Ever.

        • Matthew46

          Simple. The man, Jesus, if he existed, would have been a Jew, circumcised and under the law. He was a Jew who preached to Hellinized Jews losing their faith. He had no interest in gentiles. He was executed and died. Along came Paul 40 years later, invented a man god Jesus, used a Greco Roman theme of virgin birth and human sacrifice and bingo – you have today’s Christianity.
          .
          Even there, there is a problem. The god of the OT is one and indivisible with no son. The god of the NT is made up of three parts and has a kid via the virgin birth. The first story is Jewish. The second is of GrecoRoman pagan origin. Two different religions.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Hey!!! They *consistently* pick the interpretation that supports their position of the moment!!!!leventy11!! 😉

      • Greg G.

        I saw a documentary many years ago where Israeli children were told about those stories without mentioning the names and the children thought the attackers were wrong. When they were told who the tribes were, they began to make excuses to make it seem OK that the Israelis did that. I have also seen grown Christian men make excuses for it, William Lane Craig, for example.

      • Dannorth

        According to scholars, Judaism emerged from Canaanites polytheistic religion first as monolatry or henotheism, the worship of one god while believing that other gods exists and then to monotheism.

        Judaism was not, and still is not an evangelical religion like Christianity and Islam. That transition is one of the fascinating riddle of early Christianity.

  • John Collins

    The real agenda of people like William Lane Craig is to argue we all believe in God really but atheists are just pretending they don’t so they can “sin” as much as they like. One just has to compare and contrast the behaviour of Christians against other people. It ain’t a pretty sight.

    • Michael Neville

      Craig isn’t arguing against atheism. He’s trying to reassure the faithful that while their god looks like a genocidal, sadistic monster he’s really a loving parent with their best interests in mind.

      • I agree that the real focus of apologetics is inward at the wavering members of the flock, not outward at non-Christians.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Based on the cases apologetics has been making and the results, religion needs an ‘intervention’. 😉

      • TheNuszAbides

        AND it doesn’t matter what puny mortals think about His behavior anyway, because {insert bombast dressed up as though it isn’t just another “might makes right”}.

    • Andrea Fitzgerald

      What is a sin? Is it not following one of the ten commandments or the actual 613 commandments? I’m an atheist and I try not to “sin” as much as can. I’m actually a very moral person.

      • Greg G.

        Morality is how you deal with real beings. Sin is something where you must apologize to an imaginary being. There are some incidental overlaps but the remedy for a misstep is different.

        • Andrea Fitzgerald

          Greg G “Sin is something where you must apologize to an imaginary being.” I like that, thanks!

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          “Sin” is offending a deity that has no evidence to support it.

          “Sin” can also be self-forgiven while claiming the deity approves.

        • TheNuszAbides

          There are some incidental overlaps but the remedy for a misstep is different.

          i need to remember phrasing like this for when someone overstates the idea that law and morals are separate. a Venn diagram would be even better …

      • L.Long

        Actually there are 1150 commands in the buyBull!
        http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/
        And most of them are as stupid as the common 10 bad suggestions!

      • adam

        Sin?

        Elbow deodorant – Bob S

        • Andrea Fitzgerald

          I agree.

  • tsig

    “God, as the author and giver of life has the authority to give and take life as he chooses”

    IOW might makes right.

  • Jack Baynes

    A child has the power to break his toys, but he doesn’t deserve respect for doing so, and if his toys could think, he wouldn’t deserve their love or worship.

  • MNb

    1) Its’ the middle of the month again.
    2) This topic is a bit awkward, so we need a remedy.

    http://www.shanalogic.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads2/2012/09/sloth-hugs-600×450.jpg

    • Cross Examined–as much fun as a bucketful of sloths. Thanks for remind us.

      • MR

        More like a bucketful of trolls.

  • RichardSRussell

    Like the defense lawyer for a Mafia boss, Craig spins every bit of evidence to fit his presupposition.

    Actually, that’s like defense lawyers in general. Also like prosecution lawyers in general. In our adversarial justice system, their ethical obligation is to present the strongest possible case for their own side and let the jury and judge decide which of their 2 blowtorches has blown away the detritus and distractions from the other side, leaving behind the solid rock of truth at the core. Even so, there are boundaries that lawyers are not permitted to cross. They can’t lie, for example, or fabricate evidence, and they’re supposed to remain civil.

    So if Craig were forthrightly presenting himself as an advocate making a case to an impartial decider, I wouldn’t have much of a beef with him. But, from what I’ve read, he’s trying to pretend that he is an impartial decider, and this is what he’s concluded after weighing the entirety of the evidence. That would get him disbarred pretty fast in an actual court of law.

  • MR

    One error and God sends you to hell.

    And look how many Christians relish in that idea and call it justice.

    • MR

      And look how many Christians on this site relish in that idea and call it justice.

      FTFM

    • Myna Alexanderson

      And look how many Christians relish in that idea and call it justice.

      It’s all part of the Christian conceit. I’m giving you the rules and if you don’t follow them as my good book says, boy are you going to be sorry. And I’m going to be right there to tell you so when that awful day comes. Smite that sinner, Jesus, because I warned him. You saw me warn him.

      • MR

        Preaching forgiveness while harboring disdain.

      • MR

        One hell of a superiority complex, isn’t it?

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Snitch-ianity?

        • Myna A.

          LoL! Where’s the sport in sending folks to hell if you can’t be smug about it?

    • What’s really weird is that they’re OK with Hitler being in heaven now, playing canasta with Jesus, because he said the sinner’s prayer just before he killed himself.

      • MR

        Tribalism. As long as he’s on their side of their imaginary line now, it’s okay. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a wonderful person, a good person, if you’re on the other side of their imaginary line, you’re going to hell. We’re just trying to point out that there is no line. We’re all human. We’re all part of the same tribe. For some reason it’s a scary thought to them.

        • TheNuszAbides

          such a convenient loophole–that only divine being X can be perfectly compassionate etc., so while some may strive for that, surely you can’t expect fallen humans to cooperate freely with … with … those people?!

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        …even though suicide is a sin, so one can’t say the “sinner’s prayer” afterward….

        There’s a logic short in there, *somewhere*…. 😉

  • Sophia Sadek

    Through early morning fog I see
    Visions of the things to be
    The pains that are withheld for me
    I realize that I can see

    That genocide is painless
    It brings so many changes
    And I can take or leave them if I please

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Props for the M*A*S*H reference 😉

  • Zeta

    W.L. Craig:”it’s just dishonest when people like Richard Dawkins portray Yahweh …

    Craig should look into a mirror first when accusing others of being dishonest.

    When talking about the genocide of the Canaanites, Craig said: “There was no command to pursue and hunt down the Canaanite peoples.

    This is an outright lie.

    Deuteronomy 7:1-2: “7:2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

    Deuteronomy 20:16-17 “But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.

    What a bloodthirsty god! Is he worth worshiping?

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Since I’m into weasel-wording today, I’ll grant Craig that he starts with “I think”

      But Craig is still wrong by my personal measuring stick, that being that he’d accept his arguments if used in support of a conflicting religion.

  • Myna Alexanderson

    Richard Swinburne also plays God’s jester when he said that the Holocaust gave Jews the opportunity to be courageous and noble. He said that one fewer Hiroshima victims would mean “less opportunity for courage and sympathy.”

    Is there even a word for that kind of demented thought process? How desperate does one have to be to come up with something like that? It has to be some form of functional insanity.

  • KON3110

    I suggest Reading:
    Did Moses Exist? The Myth Of the Israelite Lawgiver by
    DM Murdoch an excellent book which totally annihilates any
    historical Moses.