Stop Excusing The Murder Of Children

Yesterday I briefly responded to James Bishop’s ‘refutation’ of my post ’10 Ways To Improve The Bible’. In that post, he defended slavery and made excuses for it, but in part 2 of his refutation, he goes a step further and actually excuses the killing of children.

Here’s what he said:

This is a critique of the law that imposed a severe punishment on intensely rebellious children. However, GC is being far too simple in his analysis for, as exegete Paul Copan explains, “We’re not talking about a little practical joker or even about a teenager who won’t clean up his room. No, he’s an utter delinquent whose hardened, insubordinate behavior simply can’t be corrected, despite everyone’s best efforts. He’s a repeat offender: “when they [his father and his mother] chastise him, he will not even listen to them” (Deut. 21:18). He’s a picture of insubordination—“a glutton and a drunkard” (v. 20; cf. Prov. 23:20–21). This serious problem would have had a profoundly destructive effect on the  family and the wider community.

Let me get this straight…this powerful being couldn’t figure out any other way to handle ‘intensely rebellious children’ than to have them stoned by the community?

You’re kidding, right?

Apparently he is not because he continues:

The parents aren’t in the picture any longer; they’re not taking charge of punishment. Rather, the community carries out this exercise of social responsibility. And when it takes this drastic action, it’s a tragic last resort to deal with this trouble” (4). I take such a child to be an uncontrollable burden to his community & family that threatened its stability. God commanded his people to be holy as well as to “purge the evil from among you” (Deu. 17:7) and I believe that such a child brought evil & disrepair to the community and thus needed to be dealt with since no other method of discipline had worked prior. For the people of God it would seem that these punishments were to be sobering reminders of what God expected.

And yet we don’t need to resort to such barbarity today, because we understand ethics, sociology and psychology (among other things) better than this supposed God.

God was way behind the curve it seems, because He was ordering the murder of children as the only possible solution when dealing with particularly difficult children.

It disgusts me in the extreme that this person is apologizing and excusing the killing of children behind a banner of morality.

Also, there’s this little tidbit about my point that this God could have provided the bible in all the known languages to avoid confusion:

Is GC really being serious here? Does he expect the Bible to have been written in all 6500 world languages (1)? That would be a mess. Again, like most other arguments by GC this is a non-sequitur.

Is that too much to ask from a deity, who has put in place a main requirement to understand and believe in Him? You make it sound like it’s beyond His power and is not a reasonable thing to expect from a being who can literally create everything, but fails to realize that Hebrew is not the ideal language to pass along a message and that providing copies written in languages everyone can understand could help avoid a TON of confusion.

I also don’t think you know what ‘non-sequitur’ means, but whatever.

Does GC think that God is some magical vending machine that you poke and then expect something to pop out? It would appear so.

No. In fact, even when you’re excusing child murder, you might notice it’s people who have to carry out the punishments.

Funny how that works.

He then goes on to tell us that the bible has knowledge that someone of that time couldn’t have known, such as:

To name a few, the authors mention details such as the creation of the universe from nothing

Which this God got wrong. The order of events is wrong for one thing.

the early Earth being covered in water of which is an accurate scientific description of early Earth

Between the very large asteroids and meteors, that covered the surface in molten lava.

And why couldn’t someone of that era guess that the world was covered by water?

the Earth being stationed in the expanse of space (Job 26:7)

Space is not mentioned. You’re grasping at straws. It says it’s hung over nothing. The Earth isn’t hung on anything and I wouldn’t call gravity nothing.

the description of springs at the bottom of oceans

You mean ‘fountains’? And this is after this God created a flood that scientists can find no evidence for; that closely resembles other flood myths that predate Christianity; a global flood that would break the laws of physics?

That flood?

He ends his refutation with:

I am also sure that Godless Cranium and I will have further interactions.

That’s unlikely, sir.

When someone excuses slavery and the killing of children, I quickly realize that they are probably beyond reason. They will make any excuse to continue to believe in their favorite myth. Further discussion is likely a waste of time.

But I wish you well. I hope that at some point, you realize that excusing child murder and slavery isn’t a good use of your time, and is unethical to say the least.



  1. Condoning severe punsihment “as commanded in the bible” is only an excuse for modern bad behavior. We no longer (and least on this side of the world) stone women for adultery, nor do we bury people in rocks for misbehaving; I think any judge who ordered “the right hand of that theif? Off with it” wouldnt be a judge much longer…
    It’s called context, and has to be read as a history of the time, not a list of do’s and dont’s for now. In much the same way schools ban books like Tom Sawyer, and call Twain a racist. He was a southern gentleman, and in the mid 1800s calling a black man a nigger was not an insult, but a statement of linguistic fact. Now he’s condemned for it. Language changes, mores change, attitudes slowly change.

    And here’s another: there werent, at that time, all that many languages, and for the most part the bible was written around and for the middle east. As far as they were concened, that WAS the world. And all the world was, as I think I read somewhere, considered the distance a man could walk or ride in a particular space of time. Most people did not or could not read anyway. The people who could were priests, scholars, and not many others. And one final poiint–if there were a god, he would have been communicating with everyone, regardless of language, anyway. Gods do that. They don’t wait for the Sunday paper to make announcements.

  2. the ‘it was a different time’ argument doesn’t work for a god who… “is the same yesterday today and forever”. cultural context tells us that these laws were culturally determined laws, not divinely inspired dictates. and well, that just puts them outside of god speaking them doesn’t it? but what of the guys telling people that god DID give them these laws? makes them liars and manipulative deceivers, wouldn’t it?
    that’s the problem with apologetics, if you use the ‘culture of the time doesn’t apply any longer’ to explain these difficulties away, you end up excusing god by removing his existence and influence from the very books, laws and dictates you are trying to defend… and you also end up declaring that they were just made up ‘cultural norms’ by groups of men to keep communities running ‘smoothly’ and they lied saying it was god telling them so they could gain authority and powerful effect that they themselves didn’t have in themselves.

    they had to lie about a god who didn’t exist and say that these laws were written by him when they weren’t. you cant have it both ways, and if you try you only succeed in destroying the foundation of your religion.

  3. and on second issue… if there were indeed a god existent such as the Abrahamic god of the old and new testaments… you’re darn right he could make his word clear and understandable and available to all people in all languages, or at least ‘intelligently design’ a SINGLE language used by everyone so it would be not so ‘messy’ as the other persons response to GC’s article stated.
    it would be messy and inconvenient for an all powerful god? too hard for him to do? BS answer!!
    just proves that the god of the bible, even if he were existent which is unproven and undemonstrable, could not be all powerful… but once again… limited by mankinds cultures and different people groups and languages. he is limited BY them because he was CREATED by them. the other persons responses prove too much and he doesn’t even know it.

  4. Killing children for bad behaviour? That’s what a divine objective morality looks like, I guess… but then the term ‘oxymoron’ immediately springs to mind. Funny, that.

    As for the depths of depravity that is assumed by faitheists to make the immoral moral if committed by a god, consider all those miscreants who were so craven that they actually made fun of a bald guy and God Himself (that’s love personified for you sophisticated believers) intervened to met out the right and just ‘moral’ punishment of death for those kids… through the use of bear, apparently (with lions and tigers temporarily unavailable lying down with lambs and all that but ready to spring into carnivorous action upon divine command). Oh my! And some militant atheists are so stupid as to think the near Middle East has no similarity to the magical land of Oz. Such materialists… don’t they even know that smiting children in defense of a prophet’s lack of hair is really a figurative and mythologized morality play – not because it casts Yahweh as a capricious bully and murderer of children but because nothing about the Bible is to be taken as literal? Such dullards these immoral atheists are.

    • tildeb,

      Young David, drove a stone through the forehead of his enemy, in cold blood and with a lot of pride.

      The ancient world wasn’t an atheist kissy poo love fest.

      In fact, the Pax America that atheists enjoy so much and think happened all by itself, was itself the result of an existential face-off between good and evil:

      America and the West against the German, Imperial Japanese and Italian fascists.

      64,000,000 people, mostly civilians, were slaughtered before the evil you and your fellow atheists condone, was destroyed.

      • In the world of SOM, calling the murder of children immoral equates with being in favour of killing 64 million civilians… assuming as he does that not believing the killing of children by a god is moral by definition belongs only to the atheist AND that certain totalitarian leaders were advancing the cause of rational thinking that respects reality by carrying out 64,000,000 murders.

        How does one even begin to have a rational exchange with such a person as SOM? It’s a Very Great Mystery (TM) that his god organizes his thinking this way and so it requires his god’s divine intervention to miraculously fix it. Other that, I don;t think it’s possible.

  5. Eradication of evil? Seems the bible god isn’t that good at cleaning up around the house anymore since the good old days, eh?
    So, why does all the divine ‘eradication of evil’ in the ot stories look like nothing different that tribal rivalries and ethnic cleansing among different people groups, sans divine beings?

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