Divine assassination

What would you do if?

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Bugmaster
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Divine assassination

Post #1

Post by Bugmaster »

This is a question for all the theists in the forum, obviously, with a strong emphasis on Christians. I've posted a version of this dillemma on another thead, but I can't find it now...

Anyway, let's say that, one day, you wake up, turn on the news, and hear this news story. A man named John Chalmers, 32 years old, killed a stranger in cold blood at a local Denny's. John Chalmers was a devout Christian all his life; in addition, he donated to charity, volunteered at the local shelter, and generally led a virtuous life. He has no previous criminal history whatsoever. After killing his victim, he knelt down and prayed until the police arrived.

John claims that he heard a "voice" of God -- well, not an actual voice, but the same kind of feeling that he felt when he prayed, and received revelations from the divine. God has appointed him to kill this stranger, as a service to be performed for the Lord. John did not have the slightest doubt that the message came from God; he described his murder as "an act of divine love".

So... Is John a murderer ? Is he a saint ? Is he crazy ? Should Christians punish him, or praise him ? I'm interested to see how the local Christians would answer this question, and I'm especially interested to see their reasons for their answer.

Spoiler warning: yes, yes, this question is a trick.

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Post #2

Post by steen »

It isn't that much of a trick. "Army of God" has murdered quite a few physicians merely because they performed abortions.
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Post #3

Post by mrmufin »

steen wrote:It isn't that much of a trick. "Army of God" has murdered quite a few physicians merely because they performed abortions.
What would be neat trick is if the frontline troops in the "Army of God" managed to whack doctors who peformed abortions without any firsthand knowledge that the doctors actually performed abortions. Maybe if the "divine insight" went something like, "Wax this person now and I'll tell you why later."

Well, maybe it wouldn't be that neat of a trick, 'cause it would still smell like murder to me...

Regards,
mrmufin

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Post #4

Post by skeeterses »

God, being a super powerful being, doesn't need people to do his dirty work. There is a name for people who kill in the name of religion. Those people are called terrorists.

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Re: Divine assassination

Post #5

Post by Bugmaster »

Well, if there's no trick, and killing people based on God's command alone is murder... then... what value do God's commands have ? It seems that people who've posted on this thread so far are making their own moral choices; they are not merely following God's word. In fact, they are actively condemning my hypothetical John Chalmers (and the very real Muslim terrorists) who follows God's word into murder.

Well, in that case, what happens to the often-made claim that there's no morality without God ?

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Post #6

Post by Jenchol »

either way its murder. killing sum1 is murder. so if God condones this act, that your hypothetical character performed, HE in himself is a contradictiary entity, because it states in the bible thy shall not kill, so he is going against his own commandment.

christians who "kill for the lord" are f***ing crazy and are not christians at all. murder is NOT what christ preached.

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Post #7

Post by achilles12604 »

Here is a thought for everyone to consider.

Is cutting down a tree that you planted a crime? Is it wrong?

Humans are bound by God's laws because we are not divine. Specifically we are told not to murder. We are also not able to create life. We can reproduce, however this ability is not a "skill" of ours but rather the result of mixing DNA that is already part of us and which we had no part in creating in the first place. So strictly speaking we can not create anything.

God can however. He is the one who created the cromozomes and DNA which make us. He is the author of life. Now . . .

If God decides that someone needs to cease being on earth and should be removed to either another realm (heaven or hell) or the cease existing entirely, isn't that within his authority to do? He planted the tree. Why shouldn't he dig it up when he wants to?
It is a first class human tragedy that people of the earth who claim to believe in the message of Jesus, whom they describe as the Prince of Peace, show little of that belief in actual practice.

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Post #8

Post by McCulloch »

achilles12604 wrote:Is cutting down a tree that you planted a crime? Is it wrong?
In my city it is.
achilles12604 wrote:Humans are bound by God's laws because we are not divine. Specifically we are told not to murder. [...] He [God] is the one who created the cromozomes and DNA which make us. He is the author of life. Now . . .
If God decides that someone needs to cease being on earth and should be removed to either another realm (heaven or hell) or the cease existing entirely, isn't that within his authority to do? He planted the tree. Why shouldn't he dig it up when he wants to?
Certainly. The issue is when some human claims that God instructed him to kill. Is the claim legitimate? How would you tell? If the claim is legitimate, then the person has the God-given right, obligation even, to carry out the killing. If the claim is not legitimate, then the person is a dangerous psychopath that society needs to be protected from.
How do you tell the difference?
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Post #9

Post by achilles12604 »

McCulloch wrote:
achilles12604 wrote:Is cutting down a tree that you planted a crime? Is it wrong?
In my city it is.
achilles12604 wrote:Humans are bound by God's laws because we are not divine. Specifically we are told not to murder. [...] He [God] is the one who created the cromozomes and DNA which make us. He is the author of life. Now . . .
If God decides that someone needs to cease being on earth and should be removed to either another realm (heaven or hell) or the cease existing entirely, isn't that within his authority to do? He planted the tree. Why shouldn't he dig it up when he wants to?
Certainly. The issue is when some human claims that God instructed him to kill. Is the claim legitimate? How would you tell? If the claim is legitimate, then the person has the God-given right, obligation even, to carry out the killing. If the claim is not legitimate, then the person is a dangerous psychopath that society needs to be protected from.
How do you tell the difference?
Very true. Usually in these cases the individual is either crazy or using religion as an excuse. I would certianly expect anyone with divine instruction to kill to have at least some kind of proof. However, since in my opinion, death is not permament but rather a step, anyone invoking divine instruction to kill, if they are lying, will pay for it later.

I guess my mentality is to let God sort it out and try my best to live how I should. Once I have all the answers, I'll run for God and then I'll ask for your vote, ok?
It is a first class human tragedy that people of the earth who claim to believe in the message of Jesus, whom they describe as the Prince of Peace, show little of that belief in actual practice.

sue

Re: Divine assassination

Post #10

Post by sue »

Bugmaster wrote:Well, if there's no trick, and killing people based on God's command alone is murder... then... what value do God's commands have ? It seems that people who've posted on this thread so far are making their own moral choices; they are not merely following God's word. In fact, they are actively condemning my hypothetical John Chalmers (and the very real Muslim terrorists) who follows God's word into murder.
Murder goes in direct contradiction to "thou shalt not murder". Ideally if a person thinks they're getting a message from God that contradicts a commandment, they'd melt down like an Asimov robot ordered to disobey one of the three laws of robotics. But humans are allowed to be flawed.
Bugmaster wrote:Well, in that case, what happens to the often-made claim that there's no morality without God ?
I don't make that claim and won't defend it. :)

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