31 August 2006

Satan vs God: an updated body count

For those of you keeping score, I've made some additions to the list of people killed by God.
SAB, Brick Testament Number killed
God tells Joshua to stoned to death Achan (and his family) for taking the accursed thing. Joshua 7:10-12, 24-26, BT 5+
God tells Joshua to attack Ai and do what he did to Jericho (kill everyone). Joshua 8:1-25, BT 12,000
God delivered Canaanites and Perizzites Judges 1:4, BT 10,000
Ehud delivers a message from God: a knife into the king's belly Jg.3:15-22, BT 1
God forces Midianite soldiers to kill each other. Jg.7:2-22, 8:10, BT 120,000
Seven sons of Saul hung up before the Lord 2 Sam.21:6-9 7
God sent a lion to kill a man for not killing a prophet 1 Kg.20:35-36 1
Ahaziah is killed for talking to the wrong god. 2 Kg.1:2-4, 17, 2 Chr.22:7-9 1
Trampled to death for disbelieving Elijah 2 Kg.7:17-20 1
Jezebel 2 Kg.9:33-37 1
God sent lions to kill some foreigners 2 Kg.17:25-26 3+
Saul 1 Chr.10:14 1

So chalk up another 142,021 for God, for a new total of 2,270,365. Satan's score remains at 10.


Suki said...

Very nice.
The Bible was a propaganda device. The more "bad guys" aka others your god kills, the more powerful he seems, and the more people you can get on your side.

We've linked to this site on http://23rd-mandalation.net

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Hence, the whole hell thing too. You don't follow my religion you'll burn in hell for all eternity.

Even most ministers agree their goal is to instill the 'fear of god' into you. Which tries to force you to believe in him.

Anonymous said...

Isaiah 37:36 Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.

Doesn't look like you have this, unless I'm dyslexic. Or are you discounting this because its only an angel of the lord? Certainly it was sent forth by the LORD, I'd imagine.

Steve Wells said...

Yeah it's a bit confusing, isn't it? The same account of the 185,000 sleeping soldiers is told in three different places (2 Kg.19:35, 2 Chr.32:21, Is.37:36), so I only list it once.

Anonymous said...

Ah, didn't think that it was told elsewhere.


Brucker said...

Heck, I might as well chime in with another two cents here, theologically at least.

From a conservative Christian theological perspective, Genesis 3 tells us a few things. As you probably know, Christians identify the "serpent" as being Satan. God tells Adam that the fruit will kill him, and the serpent tricks Adam into eating it. As I said in my own comments on that chapter, the fruit did kill Adam, it just did it slowly (in the physical sense; in the spiritual sense, the "death" was immediate). Then that death passed from Adam onto all of his descendants and the rest of the world.

By this theological perspective, everyone who ever died was killed by Satan.

Anonymous said...

So when God drops a wall on someone, it's the work of Satan?

Brucker said...

No, that's one of the weird things about theology, especially from a Calvinistic point of view, is that in the end, both God and Satan in different ways are responsible for every single death that has ever happened and *will* ever happen.

Satan's responsible because he brought about a chain of events that made mankind mortal in the first place, but then God is responsible as well since He is omnipotent.

I don't think that Steve Wells is wrong in compiling this list, but I do tend to think that there are more issues at stake here. It's complicated to decide what level of blame to assign to any group of parties involved. As I said somewhere in a previous comment on this blog, there's a differeence between God killing someone in retaliation for an act of violence and killing someone for gathering sticks on the sabbath (and killing for no apparent reason, on a number of occasions).

I feel like I hear a lot of atheists complain that it's cruel for God to allow babies to die, but when the Bible says He wiped out a nation because they were involved in ritualistic sacrifice of their children, I don't recall ever hearing any atheists saying, "Well, at least God did something about it that time, I guess." Did those people die because they were bad people and got what they deserved, or did they die because a neighboring nation hacked them to pieces with swords, or did they die because they were tempted by Satan to provoke the wrath of a just God, or did they die because God decided they ought to die? Answer: probably all of the above.

Brucker said...

Are you sure about the general consensus on the death penalty? I'd be curious as to what the stats really say. I'm sure there are many non-religious people who support the death penalty, and I know for a fact that there are plenty of Christians who oppose it. (I believe the official stance of the Catholic Church is anti-death penalty, for instance.)

But the main point is that so much of right and wrong and the laying of blame for things is a highly subjective process. (That's not to say that morality is subjective per se so much as people understand it differently.) If a majority of the people who support the death penalty think they are carrying out "God's will" by putting murderers to death, then does that mean that God has to take part of the blame, whether they are right or not? Maybe.

I was just hearing earlier today that there was a religious leader who claimed that there was a connection between hurricaine Katrina and a scheduled gay-pride parade in New Orleans. The person commenting on this pointed out that this was an odd assessment as the part of New Orleans in which the parade was to be held was one of the few parts of the city that was not flooded.

I get sort of tired some times--scratch that, a lot of the time when people take spurious connections between two events and attempt to divine the will of God from it. If Katrina was "judgment" on anything, I'd say it was judgment on our wrecking the environment through global warming; at least there's a reasonable natural causal connection there.

Anonymous said...

perhaps there isn't a biblical reference to god's hand in lot's wife's demise, but rumour has it someone turned her into a pillar of salt. that sounds uncomfortably permanent. +1 for god?

Steve Wells said...

"+1 for god?"

Well, actually I'd already included her in my original body count. Lot's nameless wife was the first on the list.

Anonymous said...

Question for thought: should a perfect God tolerate evil people (keeping in mind that in God's view, anything less than perfect is evil)? And if He should tolerate evil people, is there a reason He shouldn't tolerate evil events?

Anonymous said...

to be fair, shouldn't god get -2 for the resurrection of lazarus & jesus?