I have a hunch that genocide is objectively immoral. Because God commands genocide with respects to the Perrezites and Amalekites and others in the Chronicles and Exodus etc. I feel justified in at least questioning why a good God would command people to do something evil. Of course, because God is not real…the question quickly boils down to “why would a poor, nomadic and bloodthirsty people group in the Middle East living over 3,000 years ago want to wipe out others?” The answers are obvious: agricultural advantage, proximity to water, existing buildings and resources etc.
When talking to a fundie about this, I get some fun answers to why “God” would command genocide. . .I get the classic circular argument. Watch how it magically does its thing.
God is good and cannot command evil.
If God commands something, it is good. It would be wrong to disobey.
What God does is good.
So, hold up…the definition of good is that it pleases God? Does God say something is right because it is, or because he wants it to be? A little bit of both… That is the answer I get all the time. God has the final say on whether something is good or bad. If God does it, it is good. If God wills something to happen in our lives, we should accept it. So the real question isn’t “is it wrong to commit genocide?” but rather, “if God doesn’t command genocide…is it wrong to take initiative and do it on one’s own authority?” That is a better question. When we uncritically believe the God of the Bible is the only authority on good vs. evil, we have created a static and arbitrary/relativistic idea of morality…but that is what Christians accuse evolutionists of doing! WTF?
So why is God good? Because he is? Because he says so? But to say God is good is to recognize a coherence or correlation between two ideas: God and Goodness…let’s consider an example.
Tigger is wonderful. Why? Well, check his lyrics!
The most wonderful thing about Tiggers is Tiggers are wonderful things!
and now the syllogism
[A] GOD IS GOOD AND ONLY DOES GOOD THINGS…
[B] GOD DID SOMETHING
[C] THEREFORE, WHATEVER GOD DID IS GOOD…see [A] for
God is so much like Tigger! Now I only hope God doesn’t bounce on me for pointing it out. More self-referencing comes when we ask how we know God is good. Because the Bible says so. How do we know the BIble is true? God says so…how do we know God says the Bible is true? He said so–in the Bible. The most wonderful thing about God is that he is so damn wonderful, apparently!