Genocide summary argument

To summarize the accusation that God is genocidal:

It depends on what is meant by genocidal. If it means killing a group of people based on amoral reasons (race, nationality, geography, etc), then God is not genocidal. If it means killing a group of people, then God is genocidal. However, this is not what is typically meant by genocidal, otherwise all battles and wars would be genocidal.

The question is if God is justified in having people killed. I argue yes because he is judging sin. We see this today when the state executes people based on their crimes. For addressing immoral actions, it is a justifiable killing. It is not justified if someone is killed because of their race or nationality, as we see with the holocaust.

The top two instances of genocide brought up are the flood and the Canaanite conquest. I’ve addressed these at:
* Flood and morality
* Genocide and child sacrifices

There was also a large time gap in both instances to allow the people to change their ways. With the flood, it was 120 years. With the Canaanites, it was 400 years.

In warfare in the ANE, it was standard practice to kill everyone. But unlike other cultures, there is no evidence the Israelites participated in senseless brutality, had an imperialistic military to continue conquering other nations, or commit warfare with the intent of mass conversion.

The biggest issue commonly brought up is the death of “innocent” children. People might accept adults were all sinners in the flood and in Canaan. But what about all those innocent babies?

otseng wrote: Thu Dec 21, 2023 7:09 amMyself, since I believe morality requires a free will choice, I think babies are amoral. Guilt and innocence are conditional on free will choice. We even see this with crimes which involve insanity. Those who are insane and are not able to have complete freedom of choice are judged less strictly than those who have total control of their free will.

I believe it is a categorical error to say babies are innocent. Babies can neither be innocent nor guilty because of a lack of ability to make moral choices.

But babies still died anyways in the flood. Yes, it is a tragedy. But the people were warned 120 years in advance. Also, nobody has proposed any way God could have saved them. In all ethical situations, there is not always a win-win situation, and it is the same with the flood.

Instead of God being charged as a racist or xenophopic, He is actually the opposite. God is xenophilic.

God’s heart is not to dominate through military power or to oppress any particular group, but to support and defend the weak and marginalized.

Therefore God is not genocial as commonly defined.