Genocide…is it wrong?

Wow, what a title for a post. Here are my presuppositions that I am bringing to the table on this:

1. All people are born with a sin nature or state of being. If you want to label this the ego then that is fine. The super ego might be the better psychological term for what I am talking about. People are naturally or inherently self-seeking. We do not of our own accord desire to help others unless it has some benefit to our self.

2. A culture is a way of life of a group of people. The smaller the group of people the more likely it is that an individual within the group will not turn away from the culture to do something different than the norm.

3. There is an absolute right and wrong in the world.  Everyone has the capacity to know it (except for those with mental disabilities who in some situations are able to show more compassion than us “normal” folks).  A culture may have its social norms that vary from one culture to the next but there are certain truths that are universal.  For example, murder is wrong anyway you look at it.  Killing, however, can be justified: just war theory, self-defense, …genocide?

4.  Some cultures practice wrong things to such an extent that it permeates all members within the culture, even down to the children.

With those presuppositions in place it is my opinion that what we know as genocide, the killing of a cultural people group, can be justified.

Now for the interesting part.  If you are a Christian and you do not agree with me then I want an explanation for what happened when the nation of Israel marched through and claimed the “Promised Land”.  A good example is the king of Og being defeated in Numbers 21:33-35.  Another example prior to Moses death is the defeat of the Midianites, Numbers 31:7-11.  The best example I have found so far is in the book of Joshua, chapter 6.

My question would be, what would have made this okay then, but now it is seen as completely close-minded, unethical, morally repugnant, and more?

Can people as individuals change?  Yes.  Each of us has changed over the years.  What happens when a culture is so ingrained into each individual that it would take nothing short of a miracle to change their way of life?  Let’s do this in reverse.  Hitler mobilized an entire nation in Germany to support a way of thinking that sub-humanized certain people groups.  Those who opposed this way of thinking were removed from the way of life that was created by this movement.  Would anyone in the entire world have cared if the Allied Nations bomb all of Germany into a fiery heap of ash?  No.  History would say that it was necessary to secure the freedom for men and women of the world.  We would say it is justified.  Again, if you disagree with genocide but would agree that bombing all of Germany was okay during World War II then what is the difference?

Maybe I am playing devil’s advocate…maybe I’m not.

Your thoughts, please.


4 thoughts on “Genocide…is it wrong?

  1. jewelfern22

    It is wrong. I was wrong. I wrote a column one time when you got back from the war that Iraq should just be blown to bits and forget about the whole nation. I wasn’t thinking about those who were good and had morals and deserved their right to live. I grouped everyone into the same category of fanatical suicide bombers and wanted them all dead. Again, I was wrong. Those that are decent and good and love life deserve their future, deserve the ability to live. Not everyone does, but you can’t just group everyone together. There are those who don’t deserve this thing called life and those who do. To kill a whole culture because of those few who are evil and warped is wrong. Period.


    1. Daddy Moose

      I don’t know that I agree with you. Again, what about Nazi Germany? What do you do with Hitler’s armies, with the geographical location of Germany itself during that time frame? What is the responsibility of “good” people in those situations? Both from within and for those on the outside? Can those on the outside blanket destroy areas in order to protect the masses of people who consider themselves “good”? What do you do if you know that everyone in the group is opposed to your philosophy of life and wants to kill you? I know you. You are not a pacifist. You would not roll over and let somebody destroy you. But what would you do to the group that wanted you dead?

      That is my argument. When most of the culture is bent towards the destruction of others then don’t we have a responsibility to wipe them out? Or do we? How do we selectively clean out a culture?

      It is not easy to answer but it needs to be debated and reasoned through. If not by us then at least by those who have the power to make the decisions.



  2. David

    I am not really sure how to answer your question is genocide wrong. You ask so many questions it is virtualy impossible to answer them all. I think it is all in your perspective. If Israel decided to wipe out the Palenstines (man, women, children, cats, dogs, etc) from the west bank or gaza to reclaim land that God had given them, would that be genocide or fulfilling a promise? Do you actually have to kill someone for it to be genocide or can you just “homestead” an area and run the native population out. Basically killing all resemblence of what used to be a culture. See muslim spread to Europe and Asia. Taking over a culture without firing a shot. Is that genocide?
    See Crusades…. Muslims to this day see that period as a genocide of all muslims, however, Christians were trying to protect “their” european culture. was that wrong. No! God was very specific about what his intent was-wipe them out even down to the littles critters…it was for a purpose. His purpose. Is it political genocide for us to impose a “democratic” form of government on Iraq just because we did not agree with a dictatorship? Afterall they have been living this way for thousands of years. You can change a culture in many ways other than war. Is genocide wrong? It depends on what side of the fence you are standing on….


    1. Daddy Moose

      I like your last line the best “It depends on what side of the fence you are standing on”.

      While people might think that they do not believe in genocide I bet there are situations that all but the tinyiest, tiniest bit of people would support it for. It is not as cut and dry as what people seem to think. That was the point of the post. I wanted to challenge the tolerance and religious pluralism of our mindset to see what folks truly believe deep down inside.

      I say that the word “genocide” is being used incorrectly a lot of times. Genocide itself is not wrong. The reasons for genocide are what make it right or wrong.



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