Greta Christina pointed out a little nightmare of a post by William Lane Craig at his wittily-named blog “Reasonable Faith,” saying that genocide is ok because God decided.
I haven’t properly read Greta’s article yet because I wanted to read Craig first. I’m doing that now.
He says about the genocide of the Canaanites.
These stories offend our moral sensibilities. Ironically, however, our moral sensibilities in the West have been largely, and for many people unconsciously, shaped by our Judaeo-Christian heritage, which has taught us the intrinsic value of human beings, the importance of dealing justly rather than capriciously, and the necessity of the punishment’s fitting the crime. The Bible itself inculcates the values which these stories seem to violate.
What? The story violates our moral sensibilities but oh, haha, those moral sensibilities come from the place that says the story is fine.
Oh no you don’t. None of that, bub. That’s called having it both ways, or eating your cake and having it, or a contradiction.
The story violates our moral sensibilities because we have better moral sensibilities than the people who wrote the bible. We have the benefit of many centuries of thinking and learning and cumulative wisdom. We did not get them from the bible.
According to the version of divine command ethics which I’ve defended, our moral duties are constituted by the commands of a holy and loving God. Since God doesn’t issue commands to Himself, He has no moral duties to fulfill. He is certainly not subject to the same moral obligations and prohibitions that we are. For example, I have no right to take an innocent life. For me to do so would be murder. But God has no such prohibition. He can give and take life as He chooses.
How does Craig know this god is “holy and loving”? He doesn’t. I don’t know that about Craig’s god, and I don’t know that Craig knows it either. I don’t want to be subject to Craig’s cosmic dictator who can kill anyone he damn well feels like killing. I’m not going to agree to Craig’s PR for the dictator.
Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God’s grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven’s incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.
So then all children should be murdered. It totally makes sense – that way they’re guaranteed god’s grace, while if they live to get older, they might lose it, by being gay or an atheist or an imbiber of spirits. Those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven’s incomparable joy, so what possible reason could there be not to kill all children right now?
Anyway, the best news is, it turns out that Christianity is good while Islam is bad.
Christians believe that God is all-loving, while Muslims believe that God loves only Muslims. Allah has no love for unbelievers and sinners. Therefore, they can be killed indiscriminately. Moreover, in Islam God’s omnipotence trumps everything, even His own nature. He is therefore utterly arbitrary in His dealing with mankind. By contrast Christians hold that God’s holy and loving nature determines what He commands.
So if god kills you tomorrow it’s because of god’s holy and loving nature, even if you don’t go to heaven like the babies and children but instead go to the bad place. You’re pleased, right?