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The Kill Command is Irrational

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/15/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 955 times Debate No: 49190
Debate Rounds (3)
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This is my opening for anyone who wants to go.

There is no reason for God to give the Kill Command; to kill by proxy. No reason whatsoever.

G= God
K=Kill Command
RK=Religions which have the KC as a central part of their theology
R-K=Religions that don't have as a central point of their theology God giving the KC

1. R (RK or R-K) is untrue if irrational.
2. RK is irrational
3. Therefore RK is untrue.

The Kill Command is the claim people give for killing for God. Religious texts are filled with them, and we know recent examples such as George Bush, Andrea Yates, and the 9-11 a-holes.

We are aware of people in recent history claiming to kill for the Greater Good (God to some, to Stalin, Mao and Pot, it was about Power, or a warped sense of Nationalism).

All of us have a distinct sense of morality (as William Lane Craig would argue), and I claim that our general sense of morality is extended to those with the general sense of morality I presume we all share: want to live in peace, raise a family, exist without extreme discomfort and threat.

We know if there is someone breaking into our house, raping or killing us - and we don't like it, nor the idea of living in a society that permits it.

Killing is the greatest violation one can perform against another human being. There is no person greater than us, that they have a right to kill us. We may break laws of the majority and not know it, but there would never be a reason for human being to claim "God commanded me to kill you".

Particularly in the sense that they are more preferred by God, such that they would warrant a rational response in the face of the killing. That is, if a killer said "God said to kill you", you would have a right to be skeptical - for good reason.

Killing, one of the biggest command NOT to do in the Ole Testament, is now, in the Abrahamic and other religions, claimed to be the one things that was important to do in that particular instance.

Apparenlty, God - the Thing that could simply give everyone an anuerism, had to COMMAND 18 year old kids to kill women and children.
Yet, such an important event should have more clarification than he person about to kill you saying "God told me to".

I challenge anyone to defend the rationality of this command.

I see no rational reason that God would act in such a way, that it makes any religion built on such an idea irrational.

A God wouldn't have an irrational religion, and therefore, these religions, while possibly close to what a God might want, can't represent the God they claim to portray:

A Rational God

The Command to Kill is Irrational and against everything we, average people (without communication to God), must stand for if we have a rational and moral chance of existing. Or, some such hyperbolic statement.


Thank you for starting this debate, I wish my opponent good luck.

I don’t see why religious killing is irrational when simple killing isn’t. For people kill other people to get rid of various pesky problems, and resolving problems is the art of rational reasoning. What makes religious killings any different? But anyway I’ll go into detail why a God might want to give a kill command


It is rational for a testing of loyalty.

It might be rational if God is trying to test you to see how deeply committed you are to him. An example can be found in Genesis 22, where it talks about God testing Abraham if he would kill Isaac or not. While in the end Isaac didn’t die, it was a kill command none the less.

Might do it to discourage certain behavior within a nation through Fear.

Fear is an effective tool when making laws, if you wish to minimize (or eradicate) a behavior in your nation just simply plop some fear in it. For example, if you desire to get rid of oh say beastuality, then simply say “do not lie with a beast on pain of death.” You can find this commandment in Genesis 22:19. Ideally this should drastically reduce this abominable practice. A plus to do this through the proxy of the judicial system is that it’s more civilized, and don’t have to take care of every single case in the world (just let someone else do it).

So there are reasons why issuing kill commands is completely rational, not necessary to kill people, but to instill a fear into them so that they are steered into a behavior that is more preferable to God.


Psycho Killers

"Particularly in the sense that they are more preferred by God, such that they would warrant a rational response in the face of the killing. That is, if a killer said "God said to kill you", you would have a right to be skeptical - for good reason."
--- Ooberman

In that case simply treat him like you would if he was a killer that did not believe in God and was wanting to kill you for sport and pleasure. I don’t see any reason why you should believe him either, for all you know he could be lying about his belief in God.

Efficiency vs Sufficiency

"Apparenlty, God - the Thing that could simply give everyone an anuerism, had to COMMAND 18 year old kids to kill women and children."
--- Ooberman

You mean why didn’t God work more efficiently by snapping his fingers and giving everyone aneurysm instead of using young amateurs? Well I don’t think the idea was to do complete genocide, I think it was more along to drive the wicked out of the land. When you think about it, by doing it a slower method that is sufficient over efficient, it would provide people a way to flee for their lives when they see that they’re losing and everyone were dying around them.

So in a sense sufficiency might trump efficiency here by giving a little mercy to some of the fools that opposed God.

The Kill Rebuke

"Killing, one of the biggest command NOT to do in the Ole Testament, is now, in the Abrahamic and other religions, claimed to be the one things that was important to do in that particular instance."
--- Ooberman

Yes, but the argument is probably mute for the command giver can just simply say kill, and then now its okay to kill. For one day a commander of an army can tell his troops not to kill, and the next day to kill. The commandments of the old testament are simply commandments, not objective morality. Not killing is generally a good precept, but war and peace has its seasons.

But I do perceive you are an atheist. Tell me, is it not written that you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart? If you’re an atheist, you can’t love god with your heart because you don’t even believe he lives. Why rebuke us saying we do not follow the commands when you yourself don’t either? You try to remove dirt from our eyes when you don’t see it in your own. Why should I follow the commands when you don't either?

Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for debating this with me.

First, I do want to make clear that by “God” I assume two things:
God is Rational
God is Good

I don’t believe these are extreme restrictions. I will admit that an evil or irrational God would use Proxy Killing. That is not the scope of this argument.

It is rational for a testing of loyalty.

1. The problem is that we, nor the person receiving the message can distinguish between God telling them to kill, or madness. They wouldn't know if they were being loyal, nor would the victim.
Andrea Yates claims God told her to kill her children. Was this a test or madness? Most people, including herself (now that she is medicated) realize it was madness. However, in her mind she was being loyal.

Why would a rational God use something so close to mental illness as a sign of loyalty? I see ou claiming it is a rational test for loyalty, but how? Are we to reason the 9-11 a-holes were blessed to fulfill the Loyalty Challenge?

2. Plus, wouldn’t the loyalty to a Good, Rational God be the REFUSAL to kill? Particularly, if that God has already commanded “Thou shall not kill” as an over-reaching command?

Why would a rational God say “don’t kill” then say “kill”? It is inherently irrational.

Might do it to discourage certain behavior within a nation through Fear.

1. But for all the people you might gain from fear, you lose by disgust over a God that would use fear to manipulate the very people the God (allegedly) loves.

2. As for our legal system, this flatly doesn’t apply. Just because it is rational for us (who cannot kill people by supernatural means, nor have perfect judgment) to kill by proxy doesn’t mean we should measure God by human standards. Your argument is, in a way, saying “Hey, we do it, so it must be OK for God to do it” This is backwards.

3. Plus, you are placing yourself in the position of this:

You are commanded to kill all the men, women, children, pets and livestock of any entire village – because they are evil.

How do you reconcile the claim that a Good, Rational God has told your boss to kill everyone, and the fact that you can’t distinguish this from madness?

4. Plus, the Janjuweed regularly went around killing people in the name of God. Wouldn’t the fear brought upon by killing for God by Proxy actually lead to violent reprisal on the people committing such violent and horrible acts?

I doubt anyone looks at the school massacre at Beslan and think those people we justified to strike fear into people in that way. It made them targets for assassination, not lauded for their loyalty to God.

5. You are saying this fear is to tell people what God wants: How would we know anything other than "God wants us to kill our enemies"?
It seems you have suddenly flipped the script - then, when the killing is done, you want to say "God says don't kill".
But I'm not convinced you have made the case that God is commanding anyone to kill or not kill. It seems like madness to me. Not the expereince of a Good, Rational God.

6. Making people disappear in front of others (something God could do) would instill the same kind of fear - and, in fact, distinguish between God taking you out and a mad man.
Clearly, this is more rational. By showing one option that is more rational than the one you propose (that can be confused with mental illness and the tactics of a dictator), I defeat your point.


Psycho Killers

Exactly! We would have no idea if God sent him to kill you, or not. So, if that’s the case, why would God send him to kill you when God could simply cause you to have an aneurism? God could stand in front of you, give his reasons for wnating you dead, and cleanly take you out.

I’m not aware of any Good or Rational reason a God would want you to suffer before he sends you to eternal suffering, or eternal joy?

Efficiency vs Sufficiency

1. The command, in the example you reference, was to kill everyone. Here you are saying that a Rational and Good God meant to be imprecise? "Kill everyone... well, except the fast ones?"

2. But, yes, why wouldn’t a Good/Rational God do the killing himself? He, allegedly, has had no problem sending floods and plagues, or putting demons into pigs, or hardening hearts…

All things, BTW, that are more rational than proxy killing, but none of them actually solve the problem of “why would God be so unclear about why and who he wants dead?”

None of these rebuttals are even coming close to why God wants people dead in the first place! CLEARLY it is not because they are sinners – since we know many sinners live long, full lives.

All we know is that a man with an army said God told him to kill – because they were wicked.

A 'possible reason' is not a reason if it doesn’t make sense.

The Kill Rebuke

As I said, if you don’t believe God is Good or Rational, then this argument holds little force.

If there is a Good and Rational God, then the argument still stands.

In this example, you are – again – appealing to what Man does and then presume it’s Good for God to do also.
Yet, we all know that if the world was populated by completely rational people, if any killing was going to happen, it would be clear and reasonable – if at all.

The argument is, if God is Good and Rational, then the use of Proxy Killing can’t be from this God.


A man breaks into your house. Has killed your Mom and Dad, is about to kill you baby brother – and looks at you and says “God commanded we kill you because you are evil”.

What possible rational purpose would God have to put you, your family, or the killer through this if the killer as been commanded to do it from a “voice in the head” or from a man who claims to “speak to God”?

If there is a rational reason for you to accept the killing, then I’d like to hear it.

Otherwise, I don’t see any rational reason you should allow the person to continue to kill – and you have not made that case.

That is, if there is a rational reason for Proxy Killing, it must make rational sense for you, yourself, to submit to the knife of a murderer who claims to be killing for God.

Our expereince with people who kill because God told them meets none of the rationalizations you propose here.

I wouldn't think it rational to allow myself to be killed because God told someone to kill an entire town, and allowed some people to escape after telling the killers to let noone escape.

I wouldn't think it rational to allow myself to be killed so God can use it to scare future generations.

Con must finish this sentence with a convincing reason:

"The reason I would let a man kill me, because he said God told him to, is __________________________________."



Oh the god has to be good? You do know that some gods aren’t good, say Loki the god of mischief. But you seem to be shifting your case around, saying that good is now a requirement. I guess to specifically attack the Christian variant of God.

So is the kill command Irrational? No! Obviously because the god could possibly be not good. So in a sense I’ve already won the debate as far as the topic is concerned in the first round. However I do believe it’s not irrational for the Christian God to kill if good.


It is rational for a testing of loyalty.

1) Okay, this should be a no-brainer. You should ASSUME that the person is lying. If you don’t know that God sent the individual to kill you should exercise extreme secular behavior, after all whomever is trying to kill you. It’s their burden of proof to prove God told them to, and FAST before you decide to blow a hole in their head.

Let’s entertain the thought that there is one true religion. This would mean that 99% percent of the time you are wrong about your religion, thousands contradict each other. Then 99% of the time you’re in the right to defend yourself, the odds are in your favor. The 1% of the time when you’re wrong, you can simply tell God “Oops, sorry. I was only trying to purge evil from my sight like you did to them of old.”

Religious folly should not go unpunished. Again I say, treat the matter like you would with a godless person trying to kill you for pleasure.

2) No, because your putting your own morality above God’s morality. You seem to think killing is immoral, no it isn’t. For if some murderous predator broke into your house and raped and killed your children, what evil you do from vengeance by hunting this predator down, raping and killing the predator. So it’s not about good and evil, it’s about what God commands, loyalty is following the commands not judging good and evil.

Why he might give a command not to kill is because your rebellious, and he doesn’t want you to fight because of it (see Num 14:39-45) and God might command killing to execute vengeance (Numbers 31:2)

Might do it to discourage certain behavior within a nation through Fear.

1) Why attract people that practice abomination? And if you need more people you can simply engineer more, after all didn’t God make man? It’s not God that needs people, its people that need God. Also places that do have capital punishment don’t have a shortage of people. A lot of people think capital punishment is good, I know because I’m one of them. So it doesn’t harm the gain much anyway.

2) How can you possibly have imperfect judgment? Did you have sex with a beast, yes or no? How hard is that? You’re not trying to decide what is moral, but if you followed the command or not. The only reason why we have imperfect trials today is that we operate off of people’s sense of morality (which is NOT consistent with all people). You really don’t need a jury for this, the commands are clear, not unclear like morals.

3) Yes, I’m completely confident. For he has the right to take or give life as he sees fit, for he created all things, and has the right to un-create all things. And I do not see evil if he decides to use proxy tools (other people) to execute judgment.

4) They did it because their god is gravely STUPID. To their god I say, come down here that I might chastise him with whips and tutor the way of wisdom by putting the fear of ME into him.

5) No, it’s to get people motivated. We already know what he wants with the “don’t have sex with a beast...” part. By mere words servants aren’t motivated, for when they see that nothing happens by breaking the commands then they will simply do whatever they want.

How would we know? Well after seeing the ten plagues of Egypt you’ll understand why they trusted Moses. It doesn’t matter if it’s a flip switch or not, for do you want the supernatural power of God against you? How would you like to wake up and have boils or your water turned to blood? If Moses says God doesn’t want them to kill or not to kill, his words are good enough for me.

6) Well making people disappear is a very easy thing to do for magicians, and for all you know they could’ve left town and gone on vacation without telling (people disappear all the time) So no it wouldn’t instill the same fear. It had a judicial system (there’s even an entire book named judges that talks about different judges) It was a civilized society, not a barbaric prison camp. If you didn’t want to live by Israel’s rules (e.g. bestiality), simply move out and practice them elsewhere. Their laws were given for them to follow, not for the world.

Psycho Killers

It’s irrelevant, it’s not my burden of proof to prove God exists much less prove that a psycho killer is telling the truth. All I know is that the nutcase is threatening to kill me, and I don’t mind getting a little trigger-happy with my 12-gauge. And even if God really sent him, I would probably use this psycho servant for target practice anyway, for what is God going to do to me? Throw me in hell for eternity, again?

So again I say, treat him like any killer. For it doesn’t matter, whoever wants you dead. And as I pointed out earlier, 99% he’s incorrect for certain.

Though to clarify my beliefs. I don’t believe God sends people to eternal hell, I believe hell is a path not a destination. People walk the highway to hell because they are STUPID. God doesn’t send them there, fools run to it because they prefer hell over God.

Efficiency vs Sufficiency

1) I didn’t give a reference, but out of curiosity what battle are you thinking of? There’s so many. And they are done for different reasons & criterias.

2) To be clear here, God did participate in some of them. An example might be seen in 2 Chronicles 20:20-23. As to why it’s rational, what’s the point of having servants that you never use? How do you know that the people desired to fight enemies? Why deny them the right?

Because not all sins are grave as others (sexual cannibalism isn’t like stealing cookies), and he’s patient with people so that you can repent.

The Kill Rebuke

Okay, you completely changed your case and narrowed it down to a “good” God. Also rationalism has nothing to do with morality. Morality has to do with value put on objects. Rational has more to with reason and logic. For example, did you know that if a long enough famine hits, cannibalism is completely reasonable. When there are no more plants to eat, next goes the animals, than fellow humans. You’ve got to eat something, adventurely survival = cannibalism. The ferociously wicked problem is not with reasoning, but with a different set of values. Raping & stealing is completely rational because you can get sex & possessions. So He being irrational is off the table, because he might just simply hate you for whatever reason.

So it’s not a matter of something being rational, for all things evil can be rational.As to good, does God do wrong by killing? The way I see it the Lord gives life as he sees fit, and I don’t see why he doesn’t have the right to take it life when he sees fit. He completely works within his rights, so he wrongs no man by ending their life. I do not see why the creator cannot use a tool (person) to execute judgment, so he does not do wrong through proxy.

You might disagree on what is moralful because you and I are different here. But who are you to decide what is right or wrong for anyone? For the creation is not better the creator. If God desires someone dead, so be it, life is his to take & give. He does no wrong.


There is no answer to that sentence because I wouldn’t let anyone kill me period (ITS STUPID). I value life more than death!

God might kill you because he hates your sinning too much, it’s rational to kill out of hate. There are many things God hates, a lying tongue, haughty eyes, shedding innocent blood, etc (Proverbs 6:16-19). So don’t practice sin, lest you give God reason to kill out of hatred of your sinning.

Debate Round No. 2


ooberman forfeited this round.


Opponent forfeit. Extend My arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by The_Scapegoat_bleats 7 years ago
Religion is not a matter of ratio. To believe in a deity is a rational thing (gives resolve and comfort in dire times), but the content of any religion is by definition irrational, since in order to have faith we may not "know":
faith: "2 b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof " (Merriam-Webster's)
So your statement is a truism.
Posted by ooberman 7 years ago
I find it hard, too. I can't imagine any one facing Moses, as he held a sword to his mothers throat, would accept his claim that God told him to do it because his mother was evil, as was the baby in her womb.

I'm not much of a moralist, but if anything seems wrong, it's that your killer - who just invaded your land, broke into your home, and killed babies, women, oxen and sheep - is asserting that YOU are the evil one....

There seems to be no moral reason since God could avoid the confusion by simply making people spontaneously combust, or disappear.

I'd like to see someone who believes in one of the Abrahamic Gods take this on.
Posted by whiteflame 7 years ago
I'm tempted, though it's difficult to find rationality in ant given intervention attributed to a deity.
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