Sunday, April 22, 2012

I Heart Genocide

                           I


                     Genocide

Some people have criticized the Torah for being cruel because the Torah commands the extermination of certain ancient peoples, specificially the Canaanites, the Amalekites and the Midianites, including the killing of women and children.

I think that a few things must however be borne in mind.

These commandments were given by God who knows all of people's thoughts and all their future actions and the actions of their potential descendents. God knew that these people were evil, they were "bad to the bone", and the kindest solution was to kill them, for their sakes and the sakes of everyone else. Killing a baby is normally a heinous crime. However if someone would be truly psychic and would have truly been able to see the future, surely he would have done everyone a big favor if he would have strangled Adolf Hitler in his crib.

Additionally, we must bear in mind that these commandments were specifically regarding those nationalities. Orthodox Jews today are basically pacsifists who are almost never kill anyone.

46 comments:

Dave said...

"God knew that these people, including the children, were evil, they were "bad to the bone" and kindest solution was to kill them"

They were no worse or better than other surrounding peoples. Their only sin was getting in the way of the the Israelite's plans.

BTW your explanation blatantly contradicts your own claims that only a theist can believe in true free will.

How can you punish somebody BEFORE they have the chance to exercise their free will to actually commit the sin, only because they are destined to sin? That completely contradicts the basis of a criminal justice system, which assumes free will and makes a person responsible only for his actions, not his proclivity. In fact, you claim that Hitler goes to Hell even though he was carrying out Gods mission, only because he could have chosen NOT to do it.

So, continuing our previous dialogue, what makes specifically this type of morality make sense to you, as opposed to another?

jewish philosopher said...

According to atheists, these massacres are myths and never really happened.

According to Jews, they happened, however at the commandment of a righteous, all knowing God.

Either way, the Jews are good.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it God's plan for Hitler to commit genocide? Who are we to judge God? Just as he ordered the genocide of Canaanite tribes he must also have ordered the genocide of European Jewry. How can you love one genocide and say another one should have been prevented?

jewish philosopher said...

"he must also have ordered the genocide of European Jewry"

When?

Anonymous said...

When he allowed it to happen.

Joseph said...

Balaam described Amalek as "the first of the nations" even despite the fact that Amalek was not mentioned in the list of Noah's descendants. Clearly, the Amalekites are not descended from Noah. Since Noah was the ancestor of all humanity, the Amalekites aren't human. They must be extraterrestrials.

In accordance with the commandment, as humanity expands into space we must be on our guard and be ready to fight Amalek of Borg.

Resistance won't be futile.

Dave said...

I think that anonymous means to say that God decreed the genocide (according to your own approach).

His basic question is a good one. How do you know when you should "submit" to God's decree, and when you should defy it. If the Jewish people were evil and deserving of anihilation, you should have lined up to help the Nazis.

jewish philosopher said...

"Amalek was not mentioned in the list of Noah's descendants"

Amalek was the grandson of Esau. Genesis 36:12

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0136.htm#12

He was the first to attack the Israelites.

"How do you know when you should "submit" to God's decree"

When God tells to you to. The Torah contains specific laws, one of them is "don't murder" Exodus 20:12

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0220.htm#12

Everything which happens is a divine decree.

"I believe with perfect faith that G-d is the Creator and Ruler of all things. He alone has made, does make, and will make all things."

http://www.ou.org/torah/rambam.htm

However not every choice is a good one.

I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed;
to love the LORD thy God, to hearken to His voice, and to cleave unto Him; for that is thy life, and the length of thy days; that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. Deut. 30:19-20

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0530.htm#19

Baal Habos said...

God has to tell good people to do terrible things? You'd think God would do his own dirty work and allow us to follow the dictum of Dracheha Darchei Noam. Some God. You can keep him.

jewish philosopher said...

My brother's a cop. Let's say tomorrow he guns down a serial killer or a serial rapist. I'll be proud of him. That's good work, not dirty work, in my book.

Baal Habos said...

That's a terrible example.Of course, you're proud of your brother, cause you're not God so you need someone to gun down a rapist, to do the dirty work, for you. But if you'd be God, I'd expect you to gun down the rapist yourself; you wouldn't need your brother to do your work.

Anonymous said...

By your analogy, then, the Nazis did good work.

jewish philosopher said...

"But if you'd be God, I'd expect you to gun down the rapist yourself"

The Talmud teaches "The Holy One, blessed be He, wanted to give Israel merit; therefore He gave them Torah and mitzvos (commandments) in abundance"

http://www.torah.org/learning/pirkei-avos/chapter6end.html

"the Nazis did good work"

Without any divine commandment, it was murder.

Anonymous said...

But the Nazis were doing Gods work!

jewish philosopher said...

God's work certainly, but not the work they were commanded to do.

Anonymous said...

Somebody has got to do it...

jewish philosopher said...

God's has many ways and means to cause death and devastation - plagues, famine, floods, meteor strikes, etc.

Anonymous said...

Like all sociopaths

jewish philosopher said...

You clearly don't understand the meaning of tough love, as I explain here.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/08/kindness-of-suffering.html

Anonymous said...

Tough love doesn't mean killing a person, by any meaning of the word.

jewish philosopher said...

That's merely because you don't appreciate the enormous vileness and evilness of sin.

Frankly, I view atheists generally as suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder. They view any type of discipline, any limits and consequences, as being outrageous crimes against their (imaginary) greatness and therefore "even if God exists He isn't worth worshipping".

Dave said...

"Frankly, I view atheists generally as suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder. "

I view the theology that you espouse as psychopathic. Killing people because they don't worship you is vengeance, rage and jealousy, signs of a petty and sociopathic being.

"They view any type of discipline, any limits..."

Atheists accept the the limits of law and society, not arbitrary interpretations of words of a non-existent god by a lunatic.

jewish philosopher said...

"Atheists accept the the limits of law and society"

No, actually they don't.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2011/10/atheists-have-license-to-kill.html

Atheists are like eternal adolescents (actually, many are adolescents) rebelling against any authority and infuriated by any lack of respect God might have for their greatness. How dare He tell them what to do.

Have you ever noticed how atheists seem to invariably be very unlikable people? To the best of my knowledge, Richard Dawkins has no relationship with his only child, an adult daughter. There appears to be no memorial service of any kind planned for Christopher Hitchens by his family. When Madalyn Murray O'Hair disappeared, no one bothered investigating for a year.

http://investigation.discovery.com/tv/disappeared/the-missing/madalyn-ohair.html

Ironmistress said...

"Tough love" is an oxymoron. It has produced emotionally crippled and distrustful children growing into sociopathic and misanthropic adults for ages.

The line between "tough love" and "child abuse" is one drawn on water.

Ironmistress said...

Religion is like alcohol. In small portions it is beneficial, overindulgence is disastrous and abstinence makes a dull life.

Religious people and alcoholics have much in common. So do atheists and teetotalers.

Ironmistress said...

Have you ever noticed how atheists seem to invariably be very unlikable people?

Have you ever noticed that people with extremely high intelligence and/or wisdom seem to invariably be very unlikable people in general?

jewish philosopher said...

""Tough love" is an oxymoron."

Tough love is real love.

http://www.parenting-child-development.com/tough-love-parenting.html

"Religious people and alcoholics have much in common"

Actually monotheism is the only cure for alcoholism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-step_program#Twelve_Steps

"Have you ever noticed that people with extremely high intelligence and/or wisdom seem to invariably be very unlikable people in general?"

No.

Ironmistress said...

""Tough love" is an oxymoron."

Tough love is real love.


No, it isn't. It is the ultimate treason. It is the ultimate reason why the Orientals are far more prone to suicide and depression than they should and why they are grossly under-represented amongst Nobel prizes, managers and leaders. The home of the Tiger Mom is a snake pit.

There is very little difference between authoritarian, violent parenting and outright child abuse.

I am a mother myself and I have seen more than my fair share of outcomes of "tough love" and of Proverbs 13:24. Prisons are full of them, as are the institutions and asylums.

Usually the outcome is a troubled and confused adult full of anxieties and complexes and various disorsers. Sometimes it all will end like this.

Your link does not describe tough love. It is IMO normal parenting. Love does not mean neglect but it does neither mean smothering.

"Religious people and alcoholics have much in common"

Actually monotheism is the only cure for alcoholism


One dependence is replaced with another.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-step_program#Twelve_Steps

Last time we had a debate, you scorned AA.

Ironmistress said...

"Have you ever noticed that people with extremely high intelligence and/or wisdom seem to invariably be very unlikable people in general?"

No.


Look at the mirror. It is really sad a bright and sharp person like you rather selects to blindly follow an authority than think by his own brain.

Not that I was particularly likable person, but I know my deficiencies.

jewish philosopher said...

"No, it isn't. It is the ultimate treason."

Frankly, I think a lot of atheism today is just immaturity. We believe in an eternal infancy without responsibility. People remain students until well into adulthood. Even after that, many continue living in Hotel Mom for years. A large and growing percent never marry, don't want children and in essence never accept adult responsibilities. Drinking, drugging and fornicating through life, they eventually end up dependent on an overburdened public health system.

In a culture like this, the idea that our Creator actually makes rules and imposes consequences is an unspeakable cruelty which must be completely denied in spite of any or all evidence.

"One dependence is replaced with another."

Other than Karl Marx who considers Judaism to be an addiction?

"Look at the mirror. It is really sad a bright and sharp person like you rather selects to blindly follow an authority than think by his own brain."

Based on my biography, this sounds like you not me.

http://jacobstein-mystory.blogspot.com/

Ironmistress said...

"No, it isn't. It is the ultimate treason."

Frankly, I think a lot of atheism today is just immaturity.


This is a red herring combined with a straw man.

Religious people tend to be socially extremely immature and regulation blind. They do not have their own conscience, but they rather outsource it to some authority. Usually Bible, Qura'an or Talmud.

But back to the tough love: one of the reasons why there was Dark Ages was that Europe fell under the scourge of Bible. It has brought up generations after generations of emotionally crippled and socially dysfunct people. Tough love is just an euphemism to child abuse and at worst permanently maiming or crippling them. I have seen enough such cases to base my argumentation of real life experience and not on authority

"One dependence is replaced with another."

Other than Karl Marx who considers Judaism to be an addiction?


All religions are addictions.

http://jacobstein-mystory.blogspot.com/

See what I mean.

jewish philosopher said...

"Religious people tend to be socially extremely immature"

Evidence please.

"one of the reasons why there was Dark Ages was that Europe fell under the scourge of Bible"

As opposed to the Bible free societies of eastern Asia and the Western hemisphere which were so much more successful.

"All religions are addictions."

No psychologist claims that.

Yaron Karl said...

So basically you're espousing the idea that people like the Son of Sam have the right idea. He murdered people indiscriminately based on the orders of something only he could hear. You think it is ok to kill people randomly based on a text that you claim is divine. There's a word for people like you: psychopath

jewish philosopher said...

All the Jews heard God speak at Mount Sinai. And if you don't that that happened, then you don't believe the massacres happened either since their only source is the Bible.

Ray McIntyre said...

Genocide, regardless of who (supposedly) ordered it, is unacceptable.

jewish philosopher said...

Why is that?

According to Judaism, if God commanded it, of course it's OK.

According to atheism, genocide is a necessary part of evolution:

"the struggle almost invariably will be most severe between the individuals of the same species, for they frequent the same districts, require the same food, and are exposed to the same dangers. In the case of varieties of the same species, the struggle will generally be almost equally severe, and we sometimes see the contest soon decided: for instance, if several varieties of wheat be sown together, and the mixed seed be resown, some of the varieties which best suit the soil or climate, or are naturally the most fertile, will beat the others and so yield more seed, and will consequently in a few years quite supplant the other varieties."

The Origin of Species
Charles Darwin
Chapter 3 - Struggle for Existence

http://www.literature.org/authors/darwin-charles/the-origin-of-species/chapter-03.html

Of course, humans are no exceptions, being merely another species of animal.

“The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, from general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks often occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies--between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridae--between the elephant, and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidna, and all other mammals. But these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked (18. 'Anthropological Review,' April 1867, p. 236.), will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”


The Descent of Man
Charles Darwin
Chapter 6 - On the Affinities and Genealogy of Man


http://www.literature.org/authors/darwin-charles/the-descent-of-man/chapter-06.html

Anonymous said...

I love how the first argument I hear when someone mentions the fact that there is zero archeological evidence for Jews ever having been enslaved by (much less escaping the rule of) Egyptians (in an escape planned by god that hilariously enough also slaughters, in this case, all of the first born children (ie. not the people enslaving the Jews in the OT)) is that the Egyptians would have been far too embarrassed to write any of those events down. Yet, somehow, when it comes to the brutal conquests of ancient Israel, no thought is given to the idea that maybe, just maybe, the Jews would have been embellishing the stories of just how evil exactly the surrounding peoples were. Sorry, I'm not buying that every man, woman, child, unborn child, and all the livestock were evil and corrupt to the core, that's just silly. Stop trying to justify something that is nigh unjustifiable.

BashaSheyna said...

You've written a lot of posts that I find to be disheartening, but this is absolutely disgusting. You just don't get it, do you? You write as if you talk for many Jews, but a lot of the things you write are in opposition to who we are as a people. How can you approach the murder of a people, a people who were deemed evil, so casually? Out of pain and persecution, we should rise beyond our roots of bloodshed and strife toward enlightenment. How can we escape persecution if we continue to refer to others as adversaries?
You've never heard stories of your relatives being gunned down at their dinner tables during progroms, of grandparents screaming in their sleep because of dreams of their childhood, of knowing that you will NEVER see parts of your family because of the systematic decimation of your ancestors. You don't know what it's like to know that people hate you because you were BORN, because for you it was a choice. I absolutely HATE when goyim take genocide lightly, and while I shouldn't hold anyone to a higher standard just because I happen to be "affiliated" with them in some cultural or religious way, I do. So for you to say you love the elimination of an entire people (regardless of what you're referencing), laughs in the face of my dead ancestors; the same people you claim as your own.
Seriously, stop. Stop talking for me and on behalf of the people who I love. You seem to care more about Jewish texts than the people who give them life.

jewish philosopher said...

"I love how the first argument I hear when someone mentions the fact that there is zero archeological evidence for Jews"

I don't use that argument. I have different ones.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2008/02/torah-and-archaeology.html

"Seriously, stop."

It won't matter. The verses in the Bible commanding genocide, commanding execution for sodomy, allowing slavery, commanding circumcision, commanding animal sacrifices and whatever else you may not agree with are all in the Bible, translated into every language, published in every country and available on the Internet. I think that cat’s out of the bag.

Anonymous said...

"I don't use that argument. I have different ones." Yes, and you unfortunately left out any actual evidence pointing to the idea that the Jews were ever enslaved in Egypt (I never said there is nothing in the OT or NT that does not have some basis in reality, I said you have no evidence of Jews living in Egypt try and respond to actual points made). Of course you would simply skip the rest of the comment though. You sincerely believe that (assuming it actually all happened) every man, woman, child, unborn child, and all the livestock were evil and all deserved to be slaughtered? Again, thinking that way is closer to psychopathy than you might think.

Oh, one small point (and just to prove I did read you small archeological bit), "The Torah states that man was created about 6,000 years ago. Archeology tells us that writing began about 6,000 years ago." That is a non sequitur, no archeologist worth his/her salt would try and make an argument saying that when writing began is a good place to assume humanity started existing (not including the mountains of evidence they have that speaks directly contrary to that). Oh, also, (because it's fun to tear up your arguments) "The Torah tells us that the Deluge destroyed all life on earth about 4,000 years ago. Archeology tells us that the Egyptian Old Kingdom and the Sumerian civilization ended about 4,000 years ago." Another non sequitur. You are completely ignoring, say, the Chinese, (and countless others really) who were not all wiped out from a flood 4000 years ago, meaning the deluge was not a world demolishing kind of event at the very least.

Stick to apologetics for your holy book I guess. Archeology isn't your thing.

jewish philosopher said...

I have a different post with evidence of Torah 

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2012/01/why-weshould-beorthodox.html

Recorded Chinese civilization only began after the Dispersion.

What I think is interesting is how atheists claim that the lack of fossil evidence of evolution doesn't disprove evolution because absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. The fossils have been lost. However in regards to lack of documentation of the Exodus or anything else in the Bible, that does prove it didn't happen and of course absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

Basha said...

"I think that cat's out of the bag"

What? Did you have an aneurysm or something, because that has absolutely nothing to do with what I said. Are you saying that your "I heart genocide" comment is simply a reference to you loving all things in the Torah that would today be considered atrocities? Are you somehow saying that Judaism is only equal to the holy texts that it claims? I'm not talking about what's in the Torah (or Bible, as you seem to still call it). I'm talking about YOU. You seem to think Judasim = Torah, and that sucks, because it means that you're really missing out on a whole lot. Instead, you've decided to use texts as a personal weapon to persecute others. You're obviously a diligent when it comes to texts but that's all you seem to have.
I don't expect you to change the way you think and feel. I don't expect to convince you you're wrong. I'm just sorry that you brandish your knowledge as if you were defending yourself or smiting others, because to you, it seems that 's all the religion is. Just input that one memorizes. I'm also sorry that you care more about these bits of information than the people who were with you, seeing what people could only hear, hearing things that we usually only see.

jewish philosopher said...

I'm not publicizing anything which isn't already known to everyone.

Basha said...

...right. Again, not talking about Torah content, I'm talking about your own words as someone who claims to represent the Jewish faith. You seem to believe that the accounts of a fighting and zealous people as "massacre of entire peoples everywhere is totes awesome" or "revel in the death of others that aren't us cuz we rool and they drool". And then you seem to insinuate that THIS = All Jews Everywhere In Da World. Perhaps there's just something that I'm not conveying properly, or that you're not understanding, because you're not actually replying to anything I write. Maybe it's something I'm not understanding, who knows? It's as if I'm talking to you about a beautiful work of art, describing the way the artist plays with lighting and brush strokes, and you respond, saying that paint chips are crunchy.
So maybe you're a great Poe (in which case, excellent job my good sir/madam). Maybe you don't know how to really respond to people who aren't "your enemy", with Great Big Citations and references. Maybe I don't know what I"m talking about and I should go back in the kitchen. Maybe in a house, all hidden by a hill.
So gay ga zinta hate, I guess. Have fun hating people and memorizing texts and...whatever else you do. Macrame?

Anonymous said...

"I have a different post with evidence of Torah." Funny enough, that post has nothing in relation to evidence for the idea that Jews were enslaved in Egypt. Please do enlighten us if you do actually have evidence, otherwise, don't bother linking to anything. I never said the Exodus couldn't have occurred, merely that you apparently have no good reason to think that it did. Absence of evidence is indeed not evidence of absence, however, absence of evidence is (by it's very definition) not evidence of anything ever. So this is where we stand at this very moment; You posit the idea that Jews were once enslaved in Egypt and then all of them escaped, but you have zero evidence of this. That's not a terribly compelling case.

For the record, I didn't say anything about when the earliest Chinese written records were, merely that the Chinese civilization existed before said flood, during the supposed time, and after. You simply cannot get around that.

As for evolution, all one need do is bother to look it up to find all the fossils we do have (an understanding of the fossilization process might help you out as well). You quite obviously have a flawed understanding of what evolution is if you think it requires that we have every fossil of every species that ever existed to know that over time, species will change (we see it all the time within laboratory controls). Oh, and before you mention transitional fossils, everything is a transitional fossil. Evolution of populations of living things doesn't stop, everything is constantly changing bit by bit every new generation.

Oh, and how good of you to also again ignore the other terrible claims you made. Correlation is not causation, you cannot simply assert (and yes, I'm paraphrasing, but this is the assertion I read out of your previous blog), "Writing began roughly 6000 years ago, therefore, humanity was created 6000 years ago." That is simply put, a non sequitur. You have made some leap in logic here and have yet to explain it (or the other example, it would be interesting to see you do so however)

jewish philosopher said...

"Again, not talking about Torah content, I'm talking about your own words as someone who claims to represent the Jewish faith."

According to my profile, this blog as a rule follows the teachings of the Lithuanian rabbinical seminaries of the 1920s and 1930s. Specifically, I have been very influenced by the recordings and writings of Rabbi Avigdor Miller obm.
http://www.blogger.com/profile/17987540457195983665

I think that's accurate.

"Funny enough, that post has nothing in relation to evidence for the idea that Jews were enslaved in Egypt."

That's in the Torah, the first half of Exodus.

"I didn't say anything about when the earliest Chinese written records were, merely that the Chinese civilization existed before said flood, during the supposed time, and after."

How do you know?

"You quite obviously have a flawed understanding of what evolution is if you think it requires that we have every fossil of every species that ever existed to know that over time, species will change"

You quite obviously have a flawed understanding of what Judaism is if you think it requires that we have archeological evidence of every event that is ever mentioned in the Bible to know that Judaism is true.

"That is simply put, a non sequitur."

I think that Judaism fits in fairly well with the current archeological and paleontological evidence, as I’ve explained :

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2008/09/how-i-understand-genesis.html
http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2008/10/biblical-deluge.html
http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2008/02/torah-and-archaeology.html
http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2012/01/does-egyptian-history-contradict-torah.html
http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2012/01/comparative-chronology.html