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Quote# 78831

Can the actions of the Israelites legitimately be called genocide?

The term “genocide” means a major action “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.” Some twentieth-century examples are the extermination of six million Jews by the Nazis and the slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis by the Hutus in Rwanda in 1994. Going by this definition alone, the destruction of the Canaanites would seem to have been genocide.

But there is a major difference. These twentieth-century examples were basically people killing people simply because they hated them and/or wanted their land. The Canaanites, by contrast, were destroyed at the direction of God and primarily because of their sin. Because of this, I think the term should be avoided. The completely negative connotations of “genocide” make it hard to look at the biblical events without a jaundiced eye.

One’s background theological beliefs make a big difference in how one sees this. If God was not behind the conquest of Canaan, then the Israelites were no different than the Nazis and the Hutus. However, once the biblical doctrines of God and of sin are taken into consideration, the background scenery changes and the picture looks very different. There is only one true God, and that God deserves all honor and worship. Furthermore, justice must respond to the moral failure of sin. The Canaanites were grossly sinful people who were given plenty of time by God to change their ways. They had passed the point of redeemability, and were ripe for judgment.


Rick Wade, Rightly Concerned 76 Comments [1/17/2011 6:04:52 AM]
Fundie Index: 118
WTF?! || meh
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LDM

Argue technicalities all you want, it won't wash the blood on your hands.

1/17/2011 6:08:51 AM

nutbunny

"The Canaanites, by contrast, were destroyed at the direction of God and primarily because of their sin. The completely negative connotations of “genocide” make it hard to look at the biblical events without a jaundiced eye."

Nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade.

"One’s background theological beliefs make a big difference in how one sees this. If God was not behind the conquest of Canaan, then the Israelites were no different than the Nazis and the Hutus."

Yeah, no different.


1/17/2011 6:10:27 AM

D Laurier

Lets play your game Rick Wade.
Hitler claimed that Gott (the god of the Germans) commanded him to invade Poland

Can the actions of the Germans legitimately be called genocide?

The term “genocide” means a major action “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.” Some twentieth-century examples are the slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis by the Hutus in Rwanda in 1994. Going by this definition alone, the destruction of the Poles would seem to have been genocide.

But there is a major difference. These Later twentieth-century examples were basically people killing people simply because they hated them and/or wanted their land. The Poles, by contrast, were destroyed at the direction of God and primarily because of their sin. Because of this, I think the term should be avoided. The completely negative connotations of “genocide” make it hard to look at the biblical events without a jaundiced eye.

One’s background theological beliefs make a big difference in how one sees this. If God was not behind the conquest of Poland, then the Germans were no different than the Hutus. However, once the biblical doctrines of God and of sin are taken into consideration, the background scenery changes and the picture looks very different. There is only one true God, and that God deserves all honor and worship. Furthermore, justice must respond to the moral failure of sin. The Poles were grossly sinful people who were given plenty of time by God to change their ways. They had passed the point of redeemability, and were ripe for judgment.



See how that works?


1/17/2011 6:14:54 AM

Anon

And here we see very clearly what happens with any ideology containing an "absolute good".

When you assume an "absolute good", and that you are on "goodness' side" (of course), then everything is justified. Every atrocity, every bloodshed, everything. All you do is allegedly for "the greater good".

*This* is the main reason for the major atrocities in human history. This was the motivation behind the Holocaust, the Gulag, Pol Pot, Mao's "Great Leap Forward", the crusades, 9/11, suicide bombers, the atrocities of the Jugoslav wars, the 30-year war (1618-1648) between catholics and protestants, the slaughter of the Canaanites, and countless more.

All of this was committed by people who were 100% convinced that they are the "absolute good", and that they must do it for "the greater good".

1/17/2011 6:17:15 AM

Serph-no-Okami

You'll notice that the reason for the genocide isn't specified anywhere in your own definition and as such, has no bearing on wether it is genocide or not. Admit it, you're just trying to make excuses, which can be a very dangerous line of thinking...

1/17/2011 6:28:53 AM

Table Rock

However, once the biblical doctrines of God and of sin are taken into consideration, the background scenery changes and the picture looks very different.

No, it really doesn't. It doesn't stop being genocide just because you think god said it was okay.

1/17/2011 6:53:36 AM

Doubting Thomas

Oh, well, since they had the blessing of God, I guess killing an entire race of people down to the last man, woman, child, and all their livestock is perfectly acceptable. Hey Ricky boy, guess what? The people committing genocide only CLAIMED to be acting on God's orders. And since you mentioned the Nazis already this is not a Godwin: Hitler also believed he was doing what God wanted. Read his writings some time.

And it never ceases to amaze me how people can worship a god they believe to be all-loving, while justifying horrendous bloodshed because it was commanded by this god.

1/17/2011 7:00:20 AM

i read about the afterlife

There is no God. Therefore he could not possibly be behind the Israelites. Since we have that settled, the Israelites are no different than the Hutus and the Nazis.

1/17/2011 7:01:44 AM

breakerslion

"The Canaanites, by contrast, were destroyed at the direction of God and primarily because of their sin."

And does your book mention by name just who was wearing the sock puppet at the time? You know, the one that told the masses just what God had in mind?

1/17/2011 7:04:15 AM

aaa

Now i've seen everything. Are you seriously defending genocide?

1/17/2011 7:30:27 AM

TGRwulf

Oh please. Quit arguing symantics. Genocide is still genocide even if your god supposedly commanded it.

1/17/2011 7:30:58 AM

nazani14

Yes, King David was a genocidal maniac. There can be no justification for the alleged genocide at Jericho, etc. Nest question?

1/17/2011 7:32:46 AM

aaa

double post

1/17/2011 7:35:58 AM

John

I'm sure a lot of genocides were done by people who thought they were doing the work of some god or another. Anyway, they did the same thing against Sihon and his people, and in that case, it wasn't because they were sinful. The Israelites were to pass through the land, and "the LORD thy God hardened his [Sihon's] spirit, and made his heart obstinate" - in other words, God Himself made Sihon provoke the battle so the Israelites could "utterly destroy the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain". In other words, God helped the Israelites play the game of what Eric Berne, the author of "Games People Play" called "Now I Got You, You Son of a Bitch" - where you goad someone into doing something bad to you, then use it as an excuse to do something far worse to them.

1/17/2011 7:42:15 AM

Anon-e-moose

"Can the actions of the Israelites legitimately be called genocide?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&v=mxELSzay2lc

(*sings*)

'Get up in the morning
Sleeping for bread, sir
Sold out of every monk
And beef head

oooooooOOOOOO Me ears are alight

Why fight me kids
They buck-up and a-leave me
Darling cheesehead
I was yards too greasy

oooooooOOOOOO Me ears are alight!'

X3

(Gotta love that Maxell advert. One of the finest ever made!)

1/17/2011 7:50:23 AM

JonathanE

The short answer: YES!

1/17/2011 7:54:07 AM

WMDKitty

Even if "God" "commanded" it, it's still genocide. And any god that would go on a killing spree because some people worship different gods really really is NOT worthy of honor and worship.

1/17/2011 8:11:23 AM

Balthazar The Wise

I won't get into the issue of genocide, but I do think that trying to maintain a jewish majority is nazi-like.

1/17/2011 8:30:12 AM

Canadia

You know that the Nazis thought God was on their side, too, right?

1/17/2011 8:30:27 AM

Brendan Rizzo

For a moment, I thought he was referring to the accusations of modern-day Israel committing genocide, but that's not what he's talking about at all.

But there is a major difference. These twentieth-century examples were basically people killing people simply because they hated them and/or wanted their land.

Hahaha. The Canaanites (according to the Bible, at least) were killed because the Israelites hated them and wanted their land! The only source that says that their removal was ordered by God was, get this, an Israelite source! Obviously, they would try to give themselves a justification for their genocide! Even if the evidence that the Israelites never were a separate people from the Canaanites and they peacefully assimiliated is true, then all that means is that the Israelites didn't have any problem with genocide, since they made up a story that they killed all the Canaanites and portrayed this action as good. Of course, there is absolutely no evidence (besides that biased source) that God WAS behind the conquest of Canaan, if that even happened.

If God was not behind the conquest of Canaan, then the Israelites were no different than the Nazis and the Hutus. However, once the biblical doctrines of God and of sin are taken into consideration, the background scenery changes and the picture looks very different. There is only one true God, and that God deserves all honor and worship.

Wait... are you, a citizen of a country which guarantees freedom of religion, seriously suggesting that people who do not worship your god deserve to die? I am flabbergasted, and ashamed that I share the same species as you. How do I know that you wouldn't kill all atheists and agnostics if you were in power?

1/17/2011 8:31:57 AM

Brendan Rizzo

The Canaanites were grossly sinful people who were given plenty of time by God to change their ways. They had passed the point of redeemability, and were ripe for judgment.

Proof that fundies don't actually believe the teachings of Jesus. That is the least Christian statement that Mr. Wade has made in his entire spiel. If I recall correctly, Christianity states that no one is beyond forgiveness for as long as they live, and that instead of destroying the Canaanites, God would do whatever he could to get them to repent. If the Canaanites were denied the opportunity to repent, while other, equally bad sinners had that option, then that is not a fair system, and not a just system either. Don't Christians say that God is perfectly just?

1/17/2011 8:32:50 AM

freako104

It is genocide no matter how you want to justify it.

1/17/2011 8:34:49 AM

John_in_Oz

If God was not behind the conquest of Canaan, then the Israelites were no different than the Nazis and the Hutus.
If God was behind the conquest of Canaan, then the Israelites were no different than the Nazis and the Hutus.

1/17/2011 8:40:34 AM

JohnTheAtheist

So, basically it isn't genocide if you win?

Let's ask the American Indians...

1/17/2011 8:47:39 AM

NoriMori

@John

Kinda reminds me of what God did to the Pharaoh during the Plagues... Methinks there is a pattern emerging here... And this pattern tells me that God is a dick.

1/17/2011 8:49:03 AM
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