Wednesday, June 9, 2010

thou shalt not kill

Thou shalt not kill

Sometimes I have trouble with religion. This is particularly an indictment of the religion I am most exposed to—Christianity—but it has applications across all religions. Check out this website and if it doesn't seem scary to you, then I'll break down the logic:

“God is loving, but God's love requires God's justice. As I discipline my three children when they disobey, God disciplines us if we don't meet His requirements.” Ok easy enough; I totally get it; there are situations where discipline is necessary. No government has ever functioned without some form of discipline.

“God would have been completely just and loving in destroying all of us for our disobedience to Him. It is only through His extraordinary love and grace that we are allowed into His presence.” Ok—wait, what! God is being loving when he destroys things. But does the punishment fit the crime. Personally I am against the death penalty, but let's put it on the table as a reasonable punishment anyway.

The article then goes on to say that Jericho, Sodom, and Gomorrah had it coming. The towns were full of sin so repulsive that God had to destroy them. These cities were so bad that he even took out the palm trees there. Pretty drastic stuff.

But let's quickly focus on Jericho. God destroys that city because it is the land he promised to the Israelites. And granted they are wicked, but it doesn't appear really anywhere that God gave them a chance to not be wicked. How is one supposed to know of God if they are not told of God or he does not present himself to them? Granted killing sons and daughters isn't a great way to go about a society, but doesn't that put Jericho on the decline anyway? Bottom line everyone is killed, babies too.

And that's where this really starts to get weird. Check out these two lines, unchanged.

“Then again, maybe those atheists believe that killing your children is not all bad. After all, killing viable pre-born babies is legal in this country (it's called a choice, a.k.a. Abortion).”

“In some instances, God ordered the killing of entire populations, presumably including the killing of babies and children. Isn't God unrighteous in killing these innocent little ones? First of all, the Bible indicates that all people are sinners,8 including babies,9 and worthy of judgment.10 However, the Bible also indicates that children are incapable of making moral choices, so that they are automatically rewarded with heaven.11 So, in having babies killed, God is actually doing them a favor, since, if they had grown up opposed to God, they would have gone to hell.”

Umm...That's right. God can kill babies. It's totally ok because he has some greater justice to serve. One that he doesn't really illustrate to those he destroys by the way. Not to be morally relativistic about the situation but I think it stands to reason that if a culture has not been given a proper education in the right ways to act, they should be given a chance first. We cannot destroy simply because they are ignorant.

The logic, if followed, is that we shouldn't kill (good stuff, can't disagree), but God can in his infinite might regardless of innocence. Now I'm generally opposed to double-standards, and this is a big one. Besides, I feel it is a mere hop skip and a jump from “God can kill” to “I can kill because I have God's word.”

I don't like that. How about we just stick to “thou shalt not kill” and keep God out of it?