2 readers online now  |  69 million page views

To Lactantius Jr - the magic of "LOGIC"

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
in response to reader comment: To Sohail and Plato, what do the Bible and Qur'an say about violence?

Submitted by Plato (India), Dec 1, 2006 at 01:26

Dear Lactantius Jr,

Convoluted logic I have heard of. It can show the moon is made of green cheese. The logic of 'the Lord your God' asking for extermination of part of the creation 'He so loves' takes some mind-bending logic. I really do not have the time to go through all the links you have given justifying genocide. I took one almost at random: http://www.christian-thinktank.com/qamorite.html. Instead of asking itself whether god intervenes ethically in this world the 'thinktank' simply tells us God has his reasons for literally imposing unethical behaviour on his creartures. I took a quick look at some of the 'thinktank's' statements. (WORDS IN BOLD ARE PLATO'S, ITALICS FROM THE ARTICLE)

Here is the merciful Lord asking his chosen people to show no mercy. Man, woman, child, infant, foetus. Maybe this is some kind of inverted mercy. Leaving some alive may only be misery for them so why not put them out of their misery as we do to our pet animals. What a merciful 'Lord your God!'

...Deut 7.1-5

...Deut 7.16fff What about all the innocent people killed in this "holy war"--families, "good" Canaanites, etc.? Even if it is 'okay' for God to execute judgment on nations within history, why didn't He only kill the evil-doers? Doesn't wholesale slaughter of nations seem a little incompatible with a God of Love and Mercy

These are NOT simple or light questions (if your heart is in right!),

This 'thinktank' knows its job. It is an attempt to analyze genocides to make it appear the extermination was necessary. And again putting exterminate in inverted commas to make it sound as though no real extermination was involved. And suppose you have 'precedents, paradigm cases, or similar incidents' does it justify genocide? Well we have the paradigm of Hitler. We have the precedent of the near extermination of the American Indians. The Nazis could have given good Aryan justification for exterminating Jews. So too the Spanish conquistadors. All such nice incidents to emulate. God allowed us, nay commanded us to do it, so it was lawful. Simple.

This is very clever. An almost mathematical algorithm to 'prove' and 'justify' genocide. Leading questions and key words put in inverted commas.

Well, so was booty including women and children as slaves, attacking peaceful traders marrying anyone who took his fancy made lawful for Mohammed. Do you have a problem with that?We will use the following question-set in analyzing the issue:

Do we have any precedents, paradigm cases, or similar incidents of such orders/actions to annihilate?

Who exactly WERE these people that God wanted Israel to 'exterminate'?

Were there any limits placed upon Israel in this venture, and what was the EXACT content of the orders?

What general principles of God's governance might shed some light on the situation?And voila! After a lot of rambling about biblical and non-biblical evidence for the depravity of those condemned, their annihilation/extermination is converted to mere deportation (that too after judgement)!When we restate the pattern of our 'control data'--judgments that seem to be 'true annihilations'--and correlate that pattern with the Conquest data, we see similarities AND differences:

The annihilations are judgments [But the conquest judgment was a deportation, not an annihilation.]

These judgments are for publicly-recognized (indeed, international and cross-cultural in scope!) cruelty and violence of an EXTREME and WIDESPREAD nature. [This applies to the Canaanites, plus the additional 'load' of long-term "being a curse" to Israel.]

These judgments are preceded by LONG PERIODS of warning/exposure to truth (and therefore, opportunity to "change outcomes").[This applies to the Canaanites extensively.]

Innocent adults are given a 'way out' [This is very true here--in additional to the extensive warnings, plenty of time&space is given to allow migration before Israel arrived. We even have one example of a non-migration exception--Rahab--which suggests there might be others that were not recorded.]

Household members share in the fortunes of the parents (for good or ill). [This is true here as well--everyone in Rahab's house was spared--whether they were good or evil!]

Somebody ALWAYS escapes (Lot, Noah, Kenites). [In our case, the mass of people that migrated north to Phoenicia, Rahab+household, plus Gibeonites (although through deception).]

These are exceptional cases--there are VERY, VERY few of these. [We have two other cases structured after this deportation--that of Israel and Judah--after the same standards and structures.]Anyone for imported green moon cheese? It will simply overwhelm and boggle your taste buds. Apply here. Plato is seriously thinking of approaching NASA for a franchise.

However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathesand when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy

Among the good questions are these hidden gems. "good" in inverted commas for Canaanites as there could not have been any good Canaanite or maybe they are to be dismissed as so much chaff as Bush and his cohorts do when their bombs fail to distinguish between good and bad Afghans or good and bad Iraqis.And this little beauty I found there. Read what is in parenthesis. Simple. If you get me wrong your heart is in the wrong. No Muslim apologist could have done a better job in insinuating how right whatever their religion says is and whatever is questionable is because of wrong understanding. Certainly they are not simple or light questions they are simply LOADED.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to To Lactantius Jr - the magic of "LOGIC" by Plato

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)