A brief debate I had on Facebook:
I'm open to a designer of this nature. But if that's the case it would blow apart Clay Jones's articles on God's order for soldiers to kill babies.Jones touts 400 years as a reasonable metric as God "waits patiently for all people to turn to him." He is "slow to anger" after all.But a designer of the wonders described in Shapiro's article works methodically, millennia upon millennia. It seems absurd for a being of that nature to give a "point of no return" to a culture after 400 years. And grievously absurd to mark that anniversary with mass slaughter.If you're given to a designer of wonders, that's great. If you're given to capital punisher that includes infants, that seems weird. But it is truly inconsistent to try reconciling one with the other.
The fundamental issue isn't so much how or when people die, but human mortality in general. Whether that's by divine command or divine providence isn't a morally all-important distinction.
There seems to be a distinction between adult punishment after choosing poor paths, and infants being slaughtered by soldiers.If there wasn't a moral distinction between these two concepts, Clay Jones wouldn't have written on the topic so extensively.
You seem to be assuming that the death of children by divine command is punitive. If so, that doesn't follow.
Because humans are social creatures, adults cannot be harmed without harming children who depend on adults (or elderly relatives who depend on able-bodied grown children to care for them).
What's the alternative? Leaving the children orphaned, to fend for themselves? To die of starvation?
The death of children is a side-effect of executing their adult caregivers. Keep in mind, too, that this is because the Canaanites didn't self-evacuate.
As a former Marine, when you kill adult combatants, there will often be innocent people who suffer as a result. People who were dependent on fathers and sons who died in combat. Unless you think your former profession was immoral, you yourself admit that it isn't always possible to draw nice distinctions.
BTW, Jonathan's post has nothing to do with the fate of the Canaanites. And even if you wish to drag that red herring into the discussion, there's no reason we have to frame the issue in just the way Clay Jones does. (Which is not necessarily a criticism of his approach.)
If we want to marvel at a designer who spends millennia building DNA, it seems inconsistent to imagine that same designer ordering mass baby slaughter, especially in the form of telling adult human soldiers to do it.I'm testing for consistency, and the parameters from Shapiro's article do not seem to match the parameters from Jones's.As for whether the mass baby slaughter was punishment, I'm not necessarily assuming punishment. I'm just saying the mere act of soldiers slaughtering babies seems out of line of a designer of DNA.And yes, I was a former Marine. And yes, there are often non-combatant casualties. But there is still a moral distinction between that and soldiers actively targeting babies.I used Clay Jones because Jonathan posted it the other day. I try to keep my critique limited to material posted by this page.
You yourself raised an ethical objection, but then you duck the implications of your own position. Suppose a Marine kills an enemy combatant. Presumably, you believe there are situations where that's justifiable.
But in some, or many cases, by killing the combatant, you deprive his wife of a husband, deprive his kids of a father, and deprive his parents of a son they were counting on to care for them in their old age.
So the distinction between "actively targeting" innocents and the inevitable consequences of harm to innocents isn't morally clear-cut.
I'm not defending collateral innocent deaths at war. But I am saying there's no wiggle room for targeting all the babies in a city specifically to kill them all.And this is not about me. I'm a person. This is about how a designer of the universe would treat infants.
What do you mean when you say you're not defending collateral innocent deaths in war? Presumably you're not a pacifist. So you regard that as morally defensible–a tragic, but necessary side-effect of winning a just war.
You've asserted that there's no wiggle room, but your distinction is ad hoc. You're not engaging the counterargument.
How is the fact that you're a person germane? God is a personal agent, too.
I'm just not allowing you to change the argument. You don't have to address my original argument if you don't want.I'm seeing a lack of consistency between claims. That's all.
I addressed your original argument by demonstrating that your original argument overlooks moral complications. It's your position that lacks internal consistency.
I expect me to be inconsistent. I would not expect a designer of the universe to be inconsistent.
What's that supposed to mean? If your objection is inconsistent, then why should that be taken seriously?
Whether the designer of the universe is inconsistent is the very issue in dispute. I've presented several counterarguments to your position, which you continue to duck.