Let me begin by affirming, without reservation, a total abhorrence of genocide. I write this chiefly as an apologetic exercise.
I write because many a-theists use the God-commanded "genocide” of the conquest of Canaan as an argument against Jehovah. Such and argument raises several problems of logical inconsistency, and I love a good logical inconsistency.
First of all, is the issue of “sez who?” You are morally opposed to genocide, as am I, but what’s your basis? You don’t like it? It doesn’t seem right? It’s “inherently” wrong? Sez who? In your objections, you have merely stated your preference.
A bigger problem is the logical inconsistency inherent in the protest. Most a-theists, I’m guessing virtually all, deny the “divine inspiration” and even the authenticity of the Bible in general, but the “Old” Testament in particular. So, to state the objection in slightly different terms, you don’t believe the Bible, but you use the Bible which you don’t believe to disbelieve in G^d, because of what the Bible tells us G^d did in history. Hmm, I’ hoping most see the problem here.
But you argue instead, NO, I am challenging the Bible you say YOU believe! True enough, but YOU are the one who is disturbed greatly of the view of G^d expressed in a book in which you have no faith.
So, you may ask a Person of Faith, and you probably won’t, my a-theist friend, “How could you believe in a G^d who kills innocents? There are a couple of responses to this: 1) G^d does NOT have to justify Himself to me, you or anyone. HE made it, He can destroy it. 2) G^d is BEYOND time and space, by definition. G^d sees all from what we call “beginning” to what we call “end”. If G^d sees the few days of life that ends in frustration and pain, statistically what does it matter if those futile lives are terminated early? This is a harsh argument, but we’re talking about a harsh topic any way you look at it. A-theists may want to argue about a “G^D of Love”, but that’s a different topic. 3) Why do we mere mortals, pretend that we should be able to fully comprehend the G^d who “spoke the world into existence”? We are pretty content NOT understanding lots of much simpler stuff than G^d, yet here we want perfect coherence of the infinite with our finite minds. Go figure. And, 4) So you, my a-theist friend, believe in a god who is different? Tell me about him/her?
The last point in this brief post is perhaps the worst. Hitler, Pol Pot (killed 3 mil out of 8 million fellow Cambodians in only 4-yrs), Stalin, Lenin, all were genocidal maniacs. They killed many times the number of people of ancient Canaan. And I didn't even mention the 56 million babies aborted. If you are an a-theist, then you must think that we humans, in our wisdom, are smart enough, logical enough, to figure out there is no G^d. So the highest rung on your developmental ladder turns out to be rampant pursuers of genocide? You worship man, we worship G^d. Who’s got the bigger genocide problem?
To conclude, I do NOT favor genocide, and hopefully neither do you. If you are an a-theist, I suspect I have NOT changed your mind, even slightly. That is because your objection isn’t sincerely an objection to genocide, your objection arises from a different issue, but that’s another post.