Our genocidal God? The genocidal Old-Testament God?


“…But hang on a sec there, Prof. I thought your argument was that neither the God of Israel nor the gods of the Canaanites nor any other gods who might come forward to compete for our worshipful attention actually exists or ever did exist. If not existing is count one of the indictment against Him, you can’t very well make count two the fact that He ordered the murder of a bunch of kids. If He did, then He must have existed. If He didn’t exist, then you must at least acquit Him on the charge of genocide. You can’t have it both ways.” (boldface added)

James Bowman continues his critique of Richard Dawkins’s reasons why he won’t debate William Lane Craig right here.

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2 responses to “Our genocidal God? The genocidal Old-Testament God?

  1. “If not existing is count one of the indictment against Him, you can’t very well make count two the fact that He ordered the murder of a bunch of kids.”

    We can certainly count it against someone who believes it happened and believes that it is good.

    Lord Voldemort doesn’t exist. But if I meet someone who thinks his murder of characters in the Harry Potter books is a moral thing, that is an argument against the morality of that person.

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  2. You’ve made an excellent point and a reasonable analogy, but I’m not sure how well it will hold together. After all, do we judge a person’s morality based on his opinion of fictional characters? Well, a reasonable person could answer “yes” and have some legit concerns, but a reasonable person could also answer “no.” A reasonable person could say, you might as well take vampire costumes and Michael Meyers costumes as an argument against the morality of trick-or-treaters. We humans have come up with clever ways to mitigate our dark impulses through fantasy, role-playing, and rituals — like typical American Halloween celebrations.

    Bowman continues, “Likewise, if Professor Craig’s apologia is offered on behalf of a non-existent deity for something that that deity, being non-existent, didn’t do, then he is not an apologist for genocide but a fantasist. Isn’t that your point? And, if so, isn’t it a bit, um, ad hominem, to try to make him out to be a war criminal too?”

    Remember, we’re dealing with a specific argument from Dawkins, not passing judgment on everything Dawkins has written or everything he believes.

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