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What Was God's Rationale In This Instance?

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by cvanwey, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. Nihilist Virus

    Nihilist Virus Infectious idea

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    So if you were taken as a sex slave, you would be OK with it? Interesting. I'm guessing you aren't considering human trafficking to be a problem then.
     
  2. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    I didn't ask the 'church'. The question was posed here, and you responded.

    It would seem to be that you are under the impression that the 'church' is some unified force, which might furnish a singular answer? I hardly doubt this to be the case. I reckon you might find as many conclusions, as you might find here, if 100 Christians were to respond, and then give 'justification'.

    If the church had some singular answer to this specific question, don't you think it would be readily available and known among most/all Christians here?

    But I doubt this to be the case, as answers widely vary, even here; via to a response/rationale....
     
  3. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    There seems to be a negligible difference between a 'woman' and a 'slave', especially in the OT. They appear to both be some form of a possession.


    From my estimation, there is really nothing not to get :) You appear to have hit the proverbial nail on the head, as far as I'm concerned.

    Seems as though the infant males would/could also be kept, and trained up, to strengthen the numbers. The fact that such passages detail, young women alone to be spared, leads one to conclude the agenda was possibly more sexual in it's orientation.

    Thus, what was God's rationale exactly in this verse(s)?

    Even if such a God exists, isn't it possible that this war was not sanctioned by any said God; and that the author is mistaken about the origin of it's commands?

    And if so, what else can we question? And if not, why not?
     
  4. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    Human writing was sparse during these times. The entire event was explained in one portion of one book. That's it.

    It would be like me arguing that 'all the women loved their captors, and were glad they were shown the correct paths.' (i.e.) It does not mention this either....

    It simply mentions the battle, the conclusion, and then moves on to a differing plot. Antiquity was funny this way.

    But please continue to remember, we are speaking about the Bible, which was inspired by a higher power. And in some cases, the rationale is at least furnished....

    Thus, I again ask, does God demonstrate a rationale in this specific story?
     
  5. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    There are couple of alternative motivations I could imagine:
    (1) The Israelites didn't fully understand that genetic material came from both mother and father. I suspect from the terminology that many ancients believed that the sperm from the father was a complete "seed" and the mother only served as "soil". They surely knew that children had traits from both mother and father, but maybe they believed that the fundamental traits that would be passed on to grandchild came only from the father. An analogy would be planting grape vines in different types of soil. The flavor of the grape is affected by the soil, but that flavor from the soil cannot be passed on to the next generation of grapevine. ... Assuming this was the Israelite understanding of genetics, it would make sense to keep the young girls and kill the young boys. The offspring from impregnating a young foreign girl is as genetically Hebrew and pure as any other Hebrew child. ... Of course this genetic ignorance argues against divine inspiration.
    (2) Slave women are less dangerous than slave men in a revolt.
    (3) Maybe there was a shortage of women and they wanted to have one wife for every man without risking the cultural pollution that adult women would introduce.

    Thus, what was God's rationale exactly in this verse(s)?

    Very possible. There is also the possibility that the stories are false historically but true mystically. Many Jews and early Christians seemed to use that strategy to save God's reputation from the questionable morals of the OT. For example, some early Christians saw the Amalekites as symbolizing temptations to sin. ... If that was the case, I don't see why God would not use more pleasant fiction to convey the deeper mystical knowledge. Aesop's fables would be more pleasant fiction than stories of genocide and captive slave girls.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  6. David Neos

    David Neos Catechumen

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    Why is a Nihilist caring about it?
    Human trafficking is a problem because the laws do not allow it, we are talking about war and you come with an organize crime.
     
  7. David Neos

    David Neos Catechumen

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    Ok, I will stop playing your games.

    I have a principle of morality that is what God and the Holy Tradition establishes. The main purpose of mankind is achieving salvation through theosis.

    Your idea of morality is based on what society tells you, so if you were part of medieval ages or just 100 years ago you will just go along with what they tell you is good.

    Thanks for the few who had an interesting discussion but I'm done here.
     
  8. Nihilist Virus

    Nihilist Virus Infectious idea

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    Are you able to go two consecutive posts without appealing to an ad hominem attack? Lol. First asking me about my gender and now about nihilism. Well... you only asked a question so it's not technically an argument and hence not a fallacy... but I can read between the lines. You would do well to stick to the point.

    We aren't talking about laws. We're talking about morality. Two different things.

    Many Christians are opposed to abortion. Perhaps go tell them that abortion is moral because it is legal. I'll grab my popcorn.



    But yeah, it's hilarious that getting you all to admit that mass murder and mass rape is wrong is like pulling teeth. And they say atheists are the ones with no morals. Lol.
     
  9. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    Not sure who this is directly addressed towards...?

    I find it ironic, quite frankly, that it is you whom is accusing skeptics and doubters of 'playing games'. I asked a very simple and straight forward question.

    What is God's rationale for sparing the virgins? It would seem that you have tap-danced all around this simple question.

    Issuing a response, does not necessary 'answer' the question presented. (i.e.) post #2, for example.

    I asked how you came to this conclusion, and then watched, as it would appear that it was you, whom issued 'games.'

    At least take a stab at the 'rationale' question. Otherwise, why bother answering at all? I was truly interested to know how you came to your conclusion, in post #2. But you would not have any of it...


    Well, in this particular case, it would appear that taking virgins in war, is at least acceptable, and even condoned/commanded, in certain instances, by such a claimed God. This is the claim from the God you worship. BTW, a claimed 'all loving', 'all just', and 'never-changing' God.

    Thus, I ask you specifically... You stated you 'have a principle of morality that is what God and the Holy Tradition establishes.' Hence, my question being, how do you go about filtering out the events which may not appear to align with your own personal 'moral' standards? It sounds as if your believed doctrine is more of a dictatorship of sorts. Meaning, whatever God issues/commands is good, and who are we to question?


    This falls directly back to the crux of the OP... I assert that it appears likely that if such a God does exist, it is quite possible the claimed commands of (this particular event) were not issued by such a claimed God. Why? Because I cannot locate a logical rationale, to support such a said command...(i.e.) 'save the virgins for yourselves'. Again, there seems to exist no rational justification for such a command; and it seems more human inspired alone; as the prior posts demonstrate primarily from @cloudyday2 ... But the fact that you wish not to engage, becomes quite telling...


    Believe it or not, I'm a moral relativist... I'm simply analyzing the command for it's face value.

    Again, what is the rationale to keep the virgins, and slaughter the young boys? If the goal was to spread the True living God's word, then simply indoctrinate all young ones with such said desired teachings. I have yet to receive a reply, which demonstrates why the 'virgins' are the only exclusive ones, which should have been spared? Do you have any justified reasons?

    Thus far, you have stated "To allow non-married women to marry Israelites and join their people."


    I then asked you, how do you know this was the reason, via post #5? Crickets there-after....

    Again, issuing a response alone, is not necessarily the answer. You need to provide some sort of supporting 'evidence.' And in this case, you did not care to furnish the reason(s) for this conclusion. Hence, I am instead left to assume you really don't have any? Hence, the reason I expressed the terms 'rationalization', 'cognitive dissonance', etc...


    No, thank you for re-enforcing the conclusion that theists really do not seem to have a justifiable response to such a question. FYI, this is not the first time I have asked this question. I'm still awaiting a response which seems reasonable. And again, I'm a moral relativist. I am not judging the 'moral implications', just the rationale behind such claimed commands from the claimed God in question. Until a justifiable answer is issued, it seems more likely such a said story line in the Bible was perpetrated by individuals that, at best, thought they were doing God's word, but in fact, were not...
     
  10. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    There's probably something to this. It's also dictated that no Moabite, or any of their descendants, can ever enter the assembly of God, but it's my understanding that Moabite women don't count. That's why Ruth was okay, and her descendants, King David and Jesus, get a pass even though they had Moabite blood in them.
     
  11. Nihilist Virus

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    I'd argued in the past that Jesus, as a mamzer, was forbidden to enter the temple and therefore sinned when he had done so. But "mamzer" does not translate unilaterally to "bastard" in English, and I discovered that while Jesus absolutely is the latter, he is not the former. So my issue here is resolved merely by using a correct translation. But the issue of Christ's bloodline, as you mention, should bar him from the temple - the "loophole" resolving the issue is merely the Bible getting biology horribly wrong. So I would say they are absolutely cornered on that one. I look forward to them freely admitting this...
     
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  12. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    On the other hand (at least in the more modern forms of Judaism) the Jewishness comes through the mother rather than the father. I suspect that what this concept of inheritance from the mother developed in the Rabbinic phase of Jewish history, but who knows.

    If this idea of matrilineal Jewishness existed in the time of Moses, then maybe the purpose of killing the young boys and taking the young girls as slaves was to prevent any genetic contamination. Maybe the Jews understood that genetic material came from both parents and they wanted to ensure that mixed children could never claim to be Jews. Young boys could potentially marry Jewish girls and the mixed children could claim to be Jewish. This risk would not exist with young girls.

    Why Is Jewishness Matrilineal? - Maternal Descent In Judaism
     
  13. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    You brought up an interesting issue in light of the matrilineal descent of Jewishness mentioned in post #92. I don't know how the Rabbis could claim that Jewishness has always descended through the mother when King David's line had a Moabite mother. Probably the Rabbis have considered this and have some ideas. I will need to do some googling I guess.

    A couple more random thoughts:
    (1) Maybe Ruth converted to Judaism. That would make her children Jewish.
    (2) Maybe there is mystical concept in the matrilineal descent of Jewishness. Maybe the father's contribution to the child is "nature" and the mother's contribution to the child is "nurture". This matches with thinking of the sperm as a complete "seed" and the mother as "soil" for the seed. The deeper mystical concept is that Jewishness comes from "nurture" - not from "nature". Jewishness is a tradition learned from practicing Jewish parents rather than a biological trait.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  14. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    Yes, which might beg the question... How is one to infer what writings are from God's commands, and which ones aren't? This is my main point for starting this thread... Meaning, even if such an asserted God were to exist, it might appear such claims, from their God, in (this) story line don't jive. And again, if this story stems from human inspiration alone, what else follows????

    Yes, this could definitely be one of the reasons?.?. But I gather it was more-so purely in the interest of another type of nature; (i.e.) sexual...? Sometimes one just needs to resort to common sense. The reason I infer this conclusion, is because life long indoctrination is hard to shake. If say... 1,000 young women were spared, at most, a very small handful would likely later go so far as to revolt, (men or women), especially after years of repeated preaching... But again, you may be on to something as well..?

    Possibly...? It also seems likely the reason(s) was simply more carnal in nature. Seems as these men might have just liked them young. Women aged harder during these times; it was rough back then. --- No skin care, no make-up, no plastic surgery, no nothing... Just daily sun exposure and hard labor. Makes for some 'hard' aging :) (Not my view, but the perceived view from reading of the ancient past)...

    Well, if I may be presumptuous, it seems as though there was no God to be found in this situation. Just instead carnal urges, masked and hidden behind, as you stated prior, lust..? Which is the primary reason I raised this question... If this story line is not God inspired, what, if any verses, where? Furthermore, how do the ones, which pick and choose while reading through the Bible, decide HOW to pick and choose? I really don't see how one can do as such????

    I understand what you are saying. However, I see nothing but mental gymnastics, cognitive dissonance, special pleading, other fallacious reasoning, and severe hoop jumping, to accomplish such conclusions quite frankly. Some of these stories reek of the belief that they were real events in human history. Furthermore, if one is to practice this tactic, then what makes the claims of a resurrection completely concrete and factual? Just saying.... (rhetorical)...
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  15. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    Oh yes, one more explanation came to mind for sparing only the virgin girls - venereal disease. It is possible that the Canaanites had venereal diseases alien to the Hebrews. That doesn't explain why the young boys were not spared though.

    "The Lord works in mysterious ways." That is one answer. Let's say you are God and you want to determine who follows you because you are powerful and who follows you because you are good. You might create fictional Bible stories that record you giving instructions that seem amoral or even immoral. Then you would observe who reads these stories and continues to sing your praises and make excuses for your behavior rather than reacting with confusion or disgust. ... So we could say the fictional Bible stories portraying God as evil are still inspired by God, because God wanted to discover who disagrees or agrees that "might makes right". ... A critic of this idea could ask why God needs to test us. Doesn't God already know? My answer to that is: maybe these tests are designed to reveal our character to OURSELVES rather than to God. After we die we won't be able to argue about our character flaws because we will remember these tests that we failed.

    One way of thinking about God and inspiration is that everything is inspired by God. Even sinful behavior might be inspired by God. If God has a purpose then failures might be just as useful as successes. Maybe the purpose of my life is to learn for myself through rotten choices that my character is flawed. How can I truly ask for mercy from God through Jesus unless I know that I need mercy?

    That's possible too. I still suspect that there may have been a shortage of women. Lots of women died in childbirth. That is naturally going to create a shortage of women. But who knows.
     
  16. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    I guess? But this is yet another rationale which might not support that of a God's rationale, but that of "man's" alone. As you eluded to prior, it does not explain why no males were spared.

    If I had a nickel for every time I heard this one... But it seems more likely this is the response given when the person suggesting as such cannot rationalize, 'morally', such conclusions in their own head as well :)

    Highly unlikely...? 'Christianity 101' appears fairly clear... We have the 'fall of man.' The only way to resolve this occurrence, is by Jesus' sacrifice. And whomever does not believe in this transaction, and more importantly, accepts Jesus as their saving grace, has no chance for 'redemption'. Deeds alone would not 'cut the mustard.'

    Because the Bible tells you :) Jesus appears fairly clear, that "there is no way to heaven, but through me."

    But this does not explain why they must be virgins? If there was a shortage of women, take the younger ones whom may have possibly already lay with man, and are still fertile. If women were thought to not count in the bloodline, who cares anyways. They are possibly just vessels for reproduction.
     
  17. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    It might have been long-term planning to populate the promised land after the conquest. Imagine sparing only the foreign girls aged 3 and under. Place these toddlers in Hebrew families to be raised without any memory of their natural parents or native culture. In 10 years time the Hebrews will be busy repopulating the land, and the generation of children entering puberty might have a male to female ratio of say 1 to 3. There would be a Hebrew baby boom.

    So it isn't necessary to imagine lustful male warriors to explain the command from Moses.
     
  18. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    This might not appear to follow either...?

    The Bible makes a clear distinction (I.E.)


    "Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."

    Seems to suggest that they are to spare any woman prior to puberty, or possibly even up through puberty. The Bible specifies 'little ones', but only mentions boys. Meaning, to assure that every male is destroyed.

    Again, my focus is to determine if this command was more probable from a divine source, or, simply the 'justifications' of man alone.

    Since the Bible spells out which ones to target for death, seems as though 'God' is instructing the victors to keep any woman up to, and possibly above prepubescence. Where-as, for the males, even the 'little ones', or other, depending on translation, are all to be exterminated.

    Going back to the rationale at hand...

    Lack in 'memory' for the surviving girls was likely not the goal. Otherwise, the Bible might have suggested to spare only the female infants, little ones, other. But since these verses appears capable in distinguishing such specifics; and again, this is God we are apparently speaking about, it appears more likely the goal or focus was to spare the virgins alone. Which brings us right back to common sense.

    But I do have a side question...

    I would imagine that abuse and rape of their own children was possible and highly likely. And since this tribe was so 'bad' as to warrant apparent extermination by God, how would the soldiers know which children were actually pure; untouched from their fathers???? Did God guide them through this process as well?

    Maybe it turns out the term 'virgin' was instead code for, 'young and attractive suitable companions'?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  19. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    Maybe everything is from a divine source. If I murder somebody isn't that God's will? God made my personality and my upbringing and those mostly determine my actions. "The buck stops here" applied to Harry Truman, and it surely applies to God too.

    There is God's Will and God's Law. In some cases God's Will might be that we violate God's Law (maybe as a learning experience or maybe to prove to us that we need mercy from Jesus or maybe some Byzantine strategy for long-term good that requires some short-term evil).

    Personally I don't find this Bible story very inspiring. I think there might be a God, but I don't think these stories portray the God I hope exists. So I think these stories say little about God.

    That is true. Even with modern methods it is difficult for doctors to detect some types of abuse. It would help to know God's motivation, because that would imply the methods that the Hebrews might have used for selection. Why virgin girls? What was God's motivation?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  20. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    Quite the dichotomy. Either it is, or it isn't. :) But that really isn't saying much, quite frankly. My focus is on the "Christian" argument for God's existence. Seems rational and logical to conclude, that if some Bible stories demonstrate to be 'untrue', from a claimed Book of Truth, then if we are simply playing the game of 'rule-outs', one could sensibly 'rule-out' the Christian flavor for a claimed divine source.

    Then, I guess we are still left with an infinite number of other interpretations and options. Or, like the dichotomy suggests, no God(s) behind any of it...?



    In a sense, I guess, but there seems to exist caveats... God allows the freewill of 'man' apparently. But in the case of Numbers 31:17-18, for example, He commanded it; verses instead allowing humans to make choices upon their on volition, without direct intervention. But I get what you are saying, is if God knows the future, God already knows your future choices. But then the question becomes, why 'watch re-runs', in the sense that He already knows the conclusion of everything anyways... Or more simply, what is the point of life on earth, If God already knows your ultimate choices ahead of time?


    Prove it :)

    If this is your conclusion, this is where you and I will differ...

    Humans do not need to go through many differing experiences to know what lies elsewhere. Meaning, I don't need to experience the 'worse suffering ever', to know that such suffering exists, and is possible. (i.e.) I don't need to go to jail to conclude jail is a 'bad' place to be. Furthermore, God would know that some do not learn their lesson regardless. "Learning experiences" don't appear necessary for some/most. Most don't yearn for jail. And yet, that does not stop some from making choices, which send them there over and over again.

    Again, if we are speaking about Christianity 101, then the premise appears straight forward and simple... Without not only belief In Jesus, postmortem, but to accept His 'gift', no human can cross the pearly gates of eternal bliss.

    My question would be, how could anyone really?

    You could be right...? My point of this post, without beating a dead horse, is that there exists stories in the Bible, such as this one, which when added to many others, seems to suggest that this Book I revered for decades, no longer appears to demonstrate some divine source. But instead presents a period in time, a time capsule if you will, of a collection of human beliefs.

    It does not seem that there exists a logical or rational purpose or rationale? Hence, as the OP states, the reason I posed the question here.

    I now wonder if the responses are minimal, from Christians, because it causes too much uncomfortability, or maybe one may find that they have no choice but to practice cognitive dissonance, or maybe, I've just offended too many Christians, or other...?

    Oh well, I'm trying to make people here think. Meaning, is it rational to believe in the specific Christian brand for the claims of an asserted singular God? This passage from the Bible alone seems to stir the waters a great deal, in my estimation.
     
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