, asked the Canaanite. Yes, a terrible pun.
Further to my last post, if you’re a Christian and God commanded you to commit murder, would you?
BTW, there’s plenty of semantic arguments around why God isn’t commanding anyone to do anything wrong in the case of the Canaanites. Basically, there’s four arguments:
- He’s not commanding an individual, but a nation. This relies on the scale being important, which it isn’t. The numbers of those addressed can be reduced one by one until there’s just one person. It’s ridiculous to say that commanding a pair, a group, a crowd, or a nation to do wrong is different in guilt to commanding an individual to do wrong. That somehow the numbers obscure the fault.
- He’s talking to a king or a priest who then relays the command, and not the individual directly. This relies on the medium being important, which it isn’t. Whether God chooses to issue his commands through a prophet, an angel, a burning bush, or telepathy, these are still the commands of God. No Christian would make the counter argument for the Ten Commandants, that because they were delivered by an individual who was given them while alone on a mountain they are not the commands of God, so it’s impossible to argue the other way.
- The Canaanites were very bad eggs, and so deserved it. This relies on the end justifies the means logic. If you’re happy to become the monster that you hunt, then so be it. I think you’ve just sold a great chunk of your humanity to follow God, a god that could solve this problem without asking his people to do the unspeakable. I’d be curious to know if you also believe in the death penalty.
- God is all-knowing, and so makes such commands from a standpoint of greater authority, and thus can see beyond what we would consider in the moment to be evil to the good. This relies on God always being right, which… is the only out a Christian has in this case. But if you’re going to argue that evil is good because God says it is, then we’ve nothing more to discuss as I’m going to let you just walk on by, and hope you think really intently about what you’ve just said.
Needless to say, I find none of these Christian apologies at all convincing. If you do, then I’d be interested to know why.