Infanticide – Ain’t god a shit!

Pharaoh's dead son.

Ah, the final plague, the death of the Egyptian first-born. At long last and after great fanfare, we arrive at the murder of Egyptian children and all for the glory of the Lord. This is the culmination of God’s strategy of beating the Egyptians with plagues and horrors on one hand and forcing the Pharaoh to be a stubborn bastard on the other. The stage is set for his big event, the miracle that will show the world once and for all that he is Lord. Here, he finally gets to do just what he wants, that is to create such an atrocity  his name will reverberate throughout Egypt and the known world and spread fear down through the ages. Doesn’t that sound reasonable? Come on! Who doesn’t want that? And can you actually doubt that it has worked? Ever hear of a God fearing’ folk? Does this not reaffirm his title of the Lord of Genocide? What he does here must be a crime by any measure in any culture!

Did all this actually happen? Uh… No. In fact, certainly not. The only record of it is in the Hebrews own accounts, that is the Bible. In fact, nothing in Egyptian history or ancient archeology even hints at the Hebrews being in Egypt at the time, at all. Did you know that with all the references to Egypt contained in these lovely biblical pages, there is not even a single reference to the pyramids? It’s such an outstanding feature to our modern minds that you would think that it would have made more of an impression on a group of desert herders. The only reference to the Israelites at all from any Egyptian source is an inscribed stone telling of Egypt conquering the Hebrews. This is an obviously manufactured or greatly embellished story that has expanded over the ages. Like the great epics of Homer, it may have a kernel of truth to it, but it certainly is wrapped tightly in a thick outer shell of fiction.

This tale of God’s power was certainly told by Hebrews to Hebrews to give them a special place in the world, and it grew in the telling. As with any other mythology, the story of Moses and all the other biblical stories gave the Hebrew mind a place to belong, a mental fortress where they and their culture were special, important, powerful. Every culture finds these self-deceptions necessary to make it through life, some myth to grab on to in the bitterest of times. Look at the stories of the ancient Greeks and Romans, the Hopi and the Navaho, the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans. Each of these groups and every other group on the planet has similar stories that set them apart from their neighbors. Something they can rally around to feel important. Something to give them hope. We have them today, and the Hebrews were certainly no different.

There is something in the human psyche that needs to belong to the better group, needs to separate themselves from the barbarians. In the absence of real history and science, the stories they wove from evolved legends became the basis for their uniqueness, their superiority over their enemies. Is this tale any different? Only in the negative effect it has on our modern western world. Viewing it as a window into the ancient mind is one thing, understandable and enlightening. Insisting on its literal truth is quite another. It retards progress and causes stagnation and decay. Our world is as progressive as it is today not because we cling to some ancient creed handed down for centuries. We have progressed greatly because we have shed these superstitions and taken science as our tool, as our savior.

Look at the world today. Those areas that cling hardest to their cultural superstitions, that baggage also known as religion, are the regions of our planet which are poorest, have the least respect for human rights, and are the least free. This is not a coincidence. Not by a long shot. This is an inevitable result of hanging on to nonsensical beliefs in the light of all evidence to the contrary, a direct result of fundamentalism.

But for our purposes, We assume it is 100% literal and true and see what kind of world it would be if that were the case. I know many of you long time readers are well aware of this, but I feel the need sometimes to remind both you and I why we do what we do and give any new reader a chance to jump right in and not get lost or misinterpret my intentions. In the moral muck we deal with, it’s so easy to lose sight of our purpose. It’s also too easy to rely on political correctness to carry us through. So often the distaste of offending anyone is our greatest weakness. We hold back when some right-wing religious neighbor or coworker starts in about prayer in schools or the United States being a Christian nation. We as skeptics need to refute these statements, to come into the fight. Polite and peaceful offense are the best weapons for this job. Pick them up. Try them out.  Trust me on this, it’s amazing how good it can feel to say what you truly feel. Our opponents have said what they have felt for ages; it’s time we exercised the same rights.

So much for my raving soliloquy. We must get back to the task at hand. Most of us know the story already, and I urge you to read it for yourselves, but let’s cover it again. Bear with me for this is a long quote, but one essential to understanding the horrors inherent in this story.

Exodus 11, 4-10.

Moses then said, “Thus says the LORD: At midnight I will go forth through Egypt. Every first-born in this land shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh on the throne to the first-born of the slave-girl at the handmill, as well as all the first-born of the animals. Then there shall be loud wailing throughout the land of Egypt, such as has never been, nor will ever be again. But among the Israelites and their animals not even a dog shall growl, so that you may know how the LORD distinguishes between the Egyptians and the Israelites. All these servants of yours shall then come down to me, and prostate before me, they shall beg me, ‘Leave us, you and all your followers!’ Only then will I depart.” With that he left Pharaoh’s presence in hot anger. The LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh refuses to listen to you that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” Thus, although Moses and Aaron performed these various wonders in Pharaoh’s presence, the LORD made Pharaoh obstinate, and he would not let the Israelites leave his land.

This one passage encapsulates everything that sickens me about this book and it’s more rabid followers. God murders the children of the Hebrews enemies because they will not relent. They will not relent because God will not let them relent by breaking the Pharaoh’s free will to force this infanticide on the world. I have heard it argued several times that because he is God, what he does is right. Tell me, how can any creature, God or no, have the right to act in this manner? There have been similar biblical instances before but none so egregious. With Sodom and Gommorah and the Flood, he targeted both the innocent and the guilty. Here, he targets the innocent to punish the guilty! He kills the children to harm the parents. More accurately, he kills children to punish the parent’s boss. Simply, to torment the guiltiest, he murders the most innocent. WTF? What could have the lowly slave girl possibly have done to warrant such punishment, let alone her child? Why is God always such a bastard? How can there ever be any justification for this act? In any court for crimes against humanity, could there ever be extenuating circumstances that would mitigate this atrocity or  even reduce the horror of this sin. Could God have had a good reason?

No! Shit no! What the hell was he thinking? This behavior dips into areas we, as imperfect as we are, would refuse to tread, yet he glories in his crime. In all my reading of history I can recall many places where children were murdered along with their parents, but I remember few where they were murdered in their stead. Even without the “perfect justice” and “perfect mercy” attributed to The Lord, we wouldn’t stoop so low.  Why does he? No matter how your look at it, this is indefensible. This is wrong! As lowly flawed mortals, do we morally stand so much higher that our Lord? Must we?

It would be as if we built a weapon system that would kill only Iraqi children and leave the adults screaming in grief. Can you possibly imagine the reaction if our government even contemplated such a weapon. Can you imagine how you would feel, what you would be willing to do to stop it. In our modern wars, we’ve killed children without a doubt, by the thousands, but it was because we aren’t precise enough with our technology. Even with all the murderous instincts we possess, and those are many, the vengeance of infanticide cannot even be contemplated. Yet, there are vast numbers of people in our society who not only accept such a creature but actively worship it. WTF? What is so wrong with us that we refuse to hold our God, the object of all praise honor and glory, to the same standards we hold every human being? If God were made human and held accountable for his crimes against humanity, he may not make monsters like Stalin and Hitler appear benevolent, but he would reset the entire definition of being an asshole. View this in this light I think the theists ought to give up all the current symbols of religion in favor of a more accurate one, one huge puckering asshole just waiting to shit all over us at will. Can’t you just see that icon hanging over the altar, a swollen sphincter bulging with malevolence. Damn, I can almost smell it already.

Other oddities in this biblical section include the demand of valuables from the Egyptians. You see, God has not only promised the Hebrews that they will be freed, but that the Egyptians shall give them many valuable things before they depart. So before the infanticide hits, he instruct the Hebrews to ask their Egyptian neighbors for  valuables.

Instruct your people that every man is to ask his neighbor, and every woman her neighbor, for silver and gold articles and for clothing.” The LORD indeed made the Egyptians well-disposed toward the people; Moses himself was very highly regarded by Pharaoh’s servants and the people in the land of Egypt.

So just before he murders their children, God magnifies the moral repugnancy of the act (if possible) by making the Egyptians actually like the Hebrews. And he still murders their children! What a son-of-a-bitch, huh? Why the games? Why the constant need for pain? He’s like some emotional vampire feeding off the fear and pain he causes.

Just look at this next quote. This one’s right after the firstborn’s destruction and the Hebrews are given permission to depart.

The Israelites did as Moses had commanded: they asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The LORD indeed had made the Egyptians so well-disposed toward the people that they let them have whatever they asked for. Thus did they despoil the Egyptians.

Oh, yeah. I’ll just bet they were “well disposed”, their dead children still lying at their feet and all. I’ll bet they were very “Well Disposed”. Murder my children and rob me? Sure. Thank you Lord! May I have another?

To protect themselves from being mistake for an Egyptian, (apparently, we all look alike to God) the Hebrews butcher their lambs using a prescribed ritual and mark their doors with the blood so that God will know who is who. Omniscient, my hairy white ass! God then instructs them to hold this event sacred for all time, thus the Passover celebration. Were I God, I’d be hoping my people would forget this murderous rampage rather than celebrating it annually. It’s like having Jeffery Dahmer eve or John Wayne Gacy day. Why in today’s world, do we celebrate infanticide? Why must this book always insist black is white, bad is good, and atrocity is justice? Why do we make excuses for him?  Why must God always equal right? Fascinating questions, no?

Again, I feel the need to point out that what I say shouldn’t be taken as anti-Semitic. The Jews are an amazing people with a fascinating culture and heritage. The things they have accomplished as a group and as a nation have been nothing short of incredible. I don’t always agree with Israeli policies, but I have great respect for their accomplishments, and it would take a complete idiot not to acknowledge the hardships they have only overcome.   I’m just pointing out the absurdity of using a bronze age work of fiction as your ultimate moral guide. People were bastards back then, all people, no exceptions. I understand this and do not blame them for their flaws. I just don’t see how we can hold any of them or their Gods up as pillars of morality in today’s world.

Are we much different today? Maybe not, but we’re trying. And a big part of the effort is to leave the morals of the past lying in the dirt and pick up better ones along the way. We cannot act as though we reached some moral peak 3000 years ago and continually try to reach back into our past and recover it. A people cannot improve if their way is always back. To use the morality of the past is the way of genocide, infanticide and racism. The morality we need is the path to tolerance, not arranged and halfhearted justifications of genocide. We need to improve, not regress. To evolve, not to decay. Thoughtful science, not irrational superstition.

Forward, not back. Damn it people, let’s get going!

    • atheistwars
    • May 8th, 2010

    *************************************************************************
    how about I believe in WHATEVER I want – even in the FLYING SPAGHETTI
    MONSTER! – and you have nothing to say!
    *******************************************************************************

    let me show you the end results of this particular *ONE-DIMENSIONAL SCIENTIFIC MODE*
    of thinking that is called *CRITICAL THINKING*, which is completely divorced from
    any human objectives…

    this style has been perfected by dawkins, pz, randi and the other *NEW ATHEISTS*
    **
    THE BOOBQUAKE – 911!
    ***
    hey, atheists don’t even BELIEVE IN BOOBIES!!!
    they thought BOOBIES had no effect… WRONG!

    see, I just want to make it clear to the rest of you:
    jen is unable to see that there is a CONFLICT BETWEEN EROS & SCIENCE….

    http://www.blaghag.com/2010/04/in-name-of-science-i-offer-my-boobs.html

    see how we take a term and convert it into its AUTHENTIC POLITICAL DIMENSION – THAT
    OF LIBERATION – not just merely harmless expression…

    Visit for the BOOBQUAKE:

    http://dissidentphilosophy.lifediscussion.net/philosophy-f1/the-boobquake-911-t1310.htm

      • Dave
      • May 8th, 2010

      I love this guy’s comments. Its truly mind-boggling, but I think he really believes he is making a coherent anti-atheism statement. Its obviously just nonsensical ramblings, but you get the impression that he really thinks he’s getting through to people. Just wild.

      The Boobquake though, that’s just good science. Deluded religious leader says immodestly dressed women cause earthquakes. So women get together to wear scanty clothing and see if an earthquake hits. Science and boobs, together at last :) So yeah, in response to the above comment, I’m an atheist and I believe in boobies.

    • Um… What… ?

      Don’t you love it when you understand all the words you read individually, but as a whole, they make no sense what-so-ever! Voices saying then screaming random bits that if heard lightly in the background would give the impression of human reasoning, but when listened to directly, you realize that it was just a cat coughing up a hairball. If any of you have ever seen the new Battlestar Galactica series, this guys thought process reminds me of the Cylon starship navigators. Frog blast the vent core! I’d be surprised if this one isn’t soaking in a warm bath of nutrient broth somewhere.

      Personally, I tend to think of comments like these as accurate snapshots of their minds. Scary, huh?

  1. Phew. I’m not the only one who thinks the bloke’s rambling.

  2. Phew. I’m not the only one who thinks the bloke’s rambling.

    Daz :
    Phew. I’m not the only one who thinks the bloke’s rambling.

    atheistwars I mean, not KK, who’s doing a great job

    • no no not about the open feeling I meant..the stntieg/idea comes through definitely but the framing I suppose u can call it..like..maybe if she moved to her left it would be fine or like I said earlier, if u cropped it right n bottom it would look better. in this foto, the focus falls on the lady, but it could be more on her. I’m not sure if my point makes sense..

    • Joel Wheeler
    • May 10th, 2010

    BABS:1, atheistwars:0.

    Keep it up, Blessed!

  3. Great ending line — fun writing !

    • Guest
    • July 23rd, 2010

    Just a coupplee thoughts.

    “Firstborn” doesn’t technically call for just infants and children. My dad is the firstborn son of my grandmother, and being in his fifties, if he were to be hit by this plague, he would have died as well as his first born son, and so on. Not just infants, so I think maybe your titles is a bit misconstrued. =)

    And the second thing. Infanticide is actually quite prevalent in today’s society, namely, abortion. I don’t know if you believe that a child is a child at conception, but I just though maybe I’d mention it. The killing of millions of babies, innocent babies I might add, is done every year. Why should these babies be punished for their parents irresponsibility, as the egyptians were punished for Pharoh’s hard heartedness?

    Just a thought or two. = )

    Take care.

    • ” “Firstborn” doesn’t technically call for just infants and children. My dad is the firstborn … so I think maybe your titles is a bit misconstrued. =) ”

      Are you suggesting that infanticide, and a lot of it, **wasn’t** involved? That’s if the story’s taken seriously, of course.

      As to your second point, I’m not going to argue at what point the foetus becomes a person, but I would say that a few cells that haven’t even developed brain tissue, let alone any kind of awareness, fall short of that line by a fair way.
      But anyway, isn’t God supposed to be morally better than us? If it’s wrong for us, who at least have the excuse that we are ‘fallen,’ how much more wrong is it for the being who claims to be able to judge our morals?

      And surely you mean “as the Egyptians were punished for Pharaoh’s **God-enforced** hard heartedness?”

    • I have to agree with Daz here. You compare the morals of a perfect god to us mere humans in the wrong direction. You imply that if we have killed a collection of a few thousand cells that may eventually grow into a human being that this gives god the license to do as he wishes. The truth is backwards. We are the ones who are to follow his example. He is the “superior” being here. We are not. In a strict reading of the Bible, if he kills children, and I’ll grant you adults, then how can you say it’s morally wrong to abort a child. He has set the bar pretty low for ethical behavior.
      You say that he killed all the first born including adults. Maybe you are not thining this through but this does not actually subtract from the killing of children. They are all still dead, the first born anyway. You have only added to his atrocity. In fact the Bible only says first born and that could mean adults, the example given are of children, the slave’s child and the pharaoh’s son. The intent is to punish them by slaying the things they live the most.

      • I think we’ve both broken the First Commandment Of The Internet here mate:

        Thou shalt not feed the trolls…

        Look out for a mail in the next half-hour or so, btw. If I can find the disc I backed it up to, I’ve got a present for you.

      • Yeah Daz, but it’s so fun. How can we resist combatting the irrationality around us? True we are feeding them, but in return they give us such fascinating little tidbits.

        Delicious!

    • Sergey
    • November 5th, 2010

    You out of time. Infanticide – is a good, highly ethical idea. At least great atheist thinkers believe so.

    http://www.utilitarian.net/singer/by/1993—-.htm

    • Guest
    • January 29th, 2011

    The god we know as our god or whoever you worship is misconstrued as something else. This god we see is someone who had a higher sense, or more knowledge than the average human. Or something other than human. An example is Leonardo DaVinci he was hundreds of years ahead of his time. We can do all of the things that Jesus did, why do we have to worship him. The people of the day of the Pharaoh’s misinterpreted what they saw as magic or something that they couldn’t understand. We now understand these things such as curing the sick, making blind people see (Lasik). We are past the time of worshiping such stupid things as these and need to embrace our own humanity.

    • Tony Lugo
    • January 13th, 2012

    For years I believed and counted on the blessings from God Jehovah, Christ the Lord at right hand of the father. I was born into a catholic family with Mother from Spain and father from Puerto Rico. For years I saw my mother in poor health and pleading to the almighty to die with no compassion. Father who changed his life to study and give his all to a God who let him suffer a coma of 7 month’s of harsh treatment at a Veterans Hospital to die with no compassion. I got Juvenile Diabetes Type 1 at the age of 21. I have prayed and believed in the Bull shit form the bible from the church and from the priest and pastors.
    How many times have I defended God and gave assurance to friends and family that God would not let them down. Bullshit! I must have something wrong with me if he let me down time after time and my parents who believed were treated so wrongly. How could I tell others he wont let you down believe and it will be so. I’m so much a hypocrite.
    There is no God , Devil , Saints , Angels or any other bullshit. Life is about suffering and yes if you can steal and get away with to be rich by all means go for it. If you hit the lottery careful how you spend your money or give it to. If you have bad health enjoy your money to the end. Hit first before being stricken, never turn the other cheek that is for suckers. Do onto others before they do unto you. Help if you can but without hurting yourself. God is a myth invented by the weakest individuals on earth the jews. Do you believe a real loving God would of allowed 911 and Bush to get away with what he did ? Believe in nothing but the dollars in your pocket. Honor Country Duty are all bullshit. Also!!

    • Hi Nancy,I have been pondering your cnomemt here and I have a few questions. I will admit that I have not been trained in a seminary in hermeneutics, but I hopefully have now thrown something out there that is not unfounded.I believe scripture teaches that there is a strong sense of already/not yet regarding our salvation. We are have been saved, are being saved and will be saved. We were saved on the cross. We are saved at our baptism and will be fully brought in on the Last Day.Is the Flood not also a type of baptism, which is also a type of judgment? There are recurring themes, wouldn’t you agree, throughout scripture? The flood is a picture of baptism, where God, by his grace, brought his people safely through, and the rest were judged. We are brought safely through what? When Jesus was crucified and we with him, and we were buried with him, our sins, like the Egyptians, remained behind in the grave to harm us no more.On the day of judgment, we will pass safely through while the rest of the world is baptized by fire and we escape through the flames. Are you saying that baptism is not a wonderful picture of our salvation and that it can be telescoped out to look exactly the same, on a grander scale, on Judgement day? If the waters do not stand for judgment, as our sins were judged and condemned and buried with Christ, as the World was judged at the flood, then I guess I have to wonder why they would stand for something else suddenly in baptism? Throughout the Bible, we see God’s people finding their means of salvation through the very same thing that condemns those without faith. Jesus, for instance, is the fragrance of life to those who are being saved and the stench of death for those who are lost.I need to get on with my home school day, among other things in a busier day than average. I apologize I have not given citations for the verses I have semi-quoted and alluded to. I will go back and do that when I get a chance tonight or tomorrow.

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  4. Asking questions are actually pleasant thing if you are not understanding anything totally,
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