I decided to start a new post on the Amalekite Genocide in order to reduce the clutter below. But before I return to the discussion, I want to spend a little time explaining what I consider to be the correct approach to this topic and why.
I already mentioned that the topic can be broken into three parts: 1) God’s general right to kill, 2) God’s right to kill groups of people (including women/children), and 3) God’s right to use one nation to wipe out another. These three parts can be organized as a 3-level pyramid.
The foundational level of the pyramid has to do with whether God ever has the right to take a life that He has created. In my opinion, this is the principle issue in the discussion and affects how the other two parts are dealt with. Not just this, but if the Apologist loses the debate at this bottom level, the debate is entirely lost and there is no longer a need to proceed to level two. If on the other hand he succeeds at this level he still needs to defend the second level and then the third before the debate is fully won.
An unfair tactic on the part of the counter-apologist is to attack the top level of the pyramid directly. When the debate is started correctly (at the bottom,) the conversation only proceeds to the next level if the issue at the first level was conclusively dealt with. And, if conclusively dealt with, it does not need to be visited again. When the discussion is started at the top however, whatever defense the apologist makes is insufficient to address the problem since there are underlying issues that were never dealt with. And, even if he manages to bring up a good point, his opponent can always fall back to an underlying layer and dismiss the point as invalid.
Not just this but starting at the top causes confusion by trying to tackle too many facets of the topic at once (like when creationists bring up abiogenesis in an evolution debate.) And, since the burden of proof is on the apologist, confusion is always to his disadvantage.
If the counter-apologist prefers not to start from the foundational layer for that topic, there is nothing wrong with conceding that part of the debate. What this means however is that for the duration of that debate it will be assumed that the conceded parts have been addressed and conclusively dealt with and can no longer be brought into question.
If I am having a conversation with one person and that person made a concession and, if a second person wants to join the conversation, then it is assumed they are making the same concession. If they do not wish to concede any particular point then we will need to start a separate conversation.
One last thought regarding debate procedure. For this particular topic, it is necessary before anything else, to come to some consensus regarding the basis for any rights of created entities. This is another thing that might differ from one person to another and, if necessary, a new conversation could be started.
I will continue to work on responding to some of the previous questions over the next few days but wanted to give a more complete explanation of how I am approaching this discussion so that there is no confusion. Also, if there are any flaws in my reasoning here, they should definitely be dealt with before we continue on with the conversation as they will probably affect everything else.Share