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Vexen Crabtree 2015


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Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree, LS Meet

Killing babies

Infanticide and Heaven: Killing Babies for God

If dead infants go to Heaven should theist parents sacrifice themselves to hell by killing their children? If not, why not?

Wow, very interesting arguments..

As a side-note, have you ever preached on the street, or handed out leaflets etc? If not, why not? :)

People get enough of that rubbish with the Christians around London, I think other religions and atheists too would just tarnish peoples' view of those things, too! Well... I guess we've got the Hare Krishnas, which are exceptional because people like their public displays! Christians and Jehovis Witnesses are both hated for their proselytisation! Atheism in America is also much more confrontational than here, I think because there are less atheists and it's more controversial, but American atheists' leaflets and literature makes me cringe and dislike it in the same way I dislike theist social literature!

As a Universalist this argument does not apply to my worldview, but as is often the case, your premises are based on a number of misunderstandings of conservative/evangelical Christianity and Judaism.

First, the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill" would actually be rendered, "Thou shalt not murder" in Hebrew. There is an acknowledged difference in every society that murder and killing are fundamentally different because "killing" in a war or in self-defense is not a crime whereas "murdering" someone in cold blood is. These words are not synonymous. The Hebraic verses you site in 1 Samuel and Numbers call for killing in the context of war and are therefore not considered cases of murder by the Hebrews. Christians maintain this Jewish perspective. The Hebraic verses you site in Exodus and 2 Samuel describe events whereby natural death occurred to children (and was ascribed to God) and was not an act committed by people...eg in both cases death was a natural occurance and "infanticide" does not apply to natural death. Using these verses out of context is unhelpful for this reason. I think one could argue that violence, war, and killing were a natural part of life among all ancient middle eastern cultures, but tring to apply modern day conceptions such as "infanticide" to these cultures is an anachronism.

Btw, this in no way justifies the atrocities described and attributed by the ancient Hebrews to "God," but it does clear up the otherwise blatant inconsistency you are claiming exists.

The next misunderstanding is the assumption that all or even most conservative Christians believe that babies who have died automatically go to heaven. Very few believe this. Many conservative Christians believe that the souls of babies and young children will be allowed to mature and then given the chance to make a decision for or against God in free will..therefore shortening life does not affect a soul's ability to choose hell or heaven. Those who believe in predestination believe that God already knows what the child would have chosen (hell or heaven) and the soul of the baby will be sent to that location accordingly. Most Christians believe that we -cannot- know with any great assurance exactly what will happen after death and they would never act on mere guesses or opinions about what might or could happen.

But let's pretend that there are actually many non-Universalist Christians who strongly believe that all babies and young children who die will go to heaven. There is still a very moral reason why they should not kill their children (even besides the clear commandments against murder). The reason is that they do not know what or who their children may grow up to become, and for all they know, their child could be one who brings salvation to millions. Killing them would mean the "loss" of salvation for all those their child might have saved. The unknown life and destiny of a child is moral reason not to kill them.

The most important factor in a Christian's life is knowing and doing the will of God...not heaven or hell. Many Christians have sacrificed themselves and their children in cases of martyrdom because they believed it was God's will. For most Christian's, acting outside of God's expressed will and command is always the worst evil, worse than hell itself.

Again, the insonsistency you claim for -not- killing one's baby is simply not evident.

While the vast majority of conservative Christians and Jews do not know for sure what happens to babies and young children when they die, they do believe that cold blooded murder is evil. There is absolutely no way to justify murdering one's own child in the hope of getting their soul into heaven regardless of which stream of thought one takes in traditional Christianity.

Can I quote you on a few things you've said? (Most notably on the comments on what happens to babies souls' if they die very young)

On the "Do no kill", I do actually mean "murder", and for that reason I didn't list all the wars and battles described in the OT! I stuck to the lists that included children and babies as part of the victims of the slaughter, because I count that as murder and not killing made necessary by war / self defence.

By the way, this statement is also a misunderstanding of Buddhism: "Buddhism, which was an atheistic reaction against Hinduism, retained Hinduisms' belief in Nirvana for all beings." Some think that Buddhism is atheistic because the Buddha did not speak much about God or the gods, but this is a misrepesentation of Buddhism. Shakyamuni Buddha never denied the existence of God or the gods. For Buddha, the gods were living realities. In the Buddha's sayings and scriptures the gods are often mentioned respectfully. I believe Buddha did not discuss God or the gods very much because Buddha saw the way to enlightenment as something one could achieve through human effort. This is one reason Buddhism is so compatible with nearly any world view....it simply does not get into the metaphysical questions and focuses on the here and now human activity. I believe Buddha would have answered the question of whether "God" (as defined by most religions today) exists in the same way he answered when asked if souls exist: Yes and No. The reason? Buddha knew that affirming or denying concepts that are beyond our comphrension would lead us into greater illusions about those concepts. There is an incredible amount of wisdom in that and surely the apophatics and mystics of all traditions agree on some level.

1. Interesting question: "If Christianity is true..."

2. I agree with your passage from "confused religious ethics" and the assessment insomuch as in general, many 'Theists are inherently less moral.'

3. The experience of suffering being 'for our own benefit' does sound very *Eastern.* Personally, I certainly side with that explanation; otherwise, I'd be constantly questioning whether certain events WERE evil! However, even the definition of evil has to be worked out. Are natural disasters evil? Auto accidents? Obviously, one is human-caused and the other not, generally speaking. If one views everything except the most obvious, unavoidable NATURAL disasters or deaths to have a human cause, then the question of evil lies in the acts of humans.

4. I don't think Buddhism is actually meant to be taken as completely atheistic, as empiress has stated.


I'm changing "Theists are inherently less moral" to "Theists are potentially less moral", because I sound a bit nasty otherwise.

What if Human caused evil, such as mass murderers, are also natural? (Ie, natural diseases and genetic disorders can cause people to be predisposed to violent behavior). The natural world (animal eats animal, etc) seems to contain lots of evil of it's own, I think Human beings (as another animal) are merely part of nature, and therefore are partially evil. (But note the use of the word "evil" is very subjective, and the discussion of "what is 'evil'" as a concept is a very wide one!)

I've updated the essay also to include a footnote on whether Buddhism is atheistic or not, including a comment by Christmas Humphreys (a Buddhist who founded the well respected London based Buddhist Society), and Moojan Momen (a Bahai and interfaith scholar). From the looks of it, Empiress is expressing similar opinions to Momen, that Buddhism doesn't plainly deny or confirm the existence of Gods, but that deity-respect (and even worship) exists amongst some followers of Buddhism, whether or not such things are supported by the teachings.


OKay, there are a few things wrong with your essay. One, it lacks turth. You took the ible verses out of context completely. The first time, the one in Exodus, the pharoah of Egypt kept telling Moses that he would let the Isrealites go, and then didn't. Moses warned him, after nine plagues (he warned the pharoah of those, too) that God would allow hevery first born child in Egypt to die if he didn't let them go. When he pharoah refused, he told the Isrealites to cover the door pots with lambs blood, and their children would be spared.
And in Second Samuel, David had an affair with Bathsheeba, and had her husband killed when she got pregnant. The Lord punished David by allowing his son to die, and David knew he was wrong. And NO, Christianity does not allow infanticide. There is no excuse for killing another human being.All the examples you showed were punishments from God, therefore it was justified.

I know they are punishments from God. Punishment of an infant for someone else's misdemeanor is injustice, as well as infanticide. That it was God who done it himself (as in the cases you pointed out) or God who commanded it be done (David's son, and in times of war), it doesn't matter which, it's still Christin God-sanctioned infanticide.

Re: HuHz?... (Anonymous) Expand
If we base this on christian theolergy there are two possible arguments.

1) we are born in sin having an abortion is about the only way to get the job done quickenough.

2) Life is a test to see if we are fit for heaven. it would be immoral to help sombody cheat the test.

1) What job?

2) Immoral, perhaps, but if you done it out of love to help someone (who themselves are innocent of the cheating) then it is a self-sacrifice (ie, committing an evil in order to help your baby). God already knows who will pass the tests, etc, so it doesn't actually matter if a baby dies or not; God knows what the baby would have chosen.

I would like to go way back and quote Empiress when she says: "Their child go be the salvation of many others". A just and benevolent God would at least give some signal as to what this child could mean for the world...as well as signaling the coming of an evil one and thus avoiding much pain and suffering. In fairness to his people, he should signal these things, yet he does not. This can mean one of three things: 1)He does not know everything, 2) He does not exist, or 3)He is a sadist. He is a sadist that enjoys watching those who praise and love him to suffer. Not only is he a sadist, but many of his followers are masochists (I've observed that the more misfortune that a person suffers, the more he/she turns to God). So, if he truly knew everything, and loved his followers, it would be the correct thing to do...to signal such things to them, right? Well, Christians see God as a parent figure, and as a parent I would do all that is in my power to keep my children from suffering, wouldn't you all? If I knew for a fact that heaven and hell existed and that dead infants go to heaven...being a parent I would sacrifice my own salvation for my child's, not only sparing him of the suffering on earth, but granting him paradise. Now, I believe most monotheist religions see God as a sort of judge, right? Now, what would be the moral thing to do with this mercyful parent that was willing to give up his salvation to guarantee the salvation of his child? Being a moral and benevolent judge, I would grant this person a place in paradise because of his actions...if done out of mercy and pure love. By sacrificing myself for my children, wouldn't this make me Jesus Christ? If God was morally correct and just, he would indeed allow this person into heaven...but that would contradict his written law, so apparently the person would go to hell for "loving too much". I could go into Euthanasia for hours, but I won't. I quote Vexen when I say that this can mean one of these things: 1)God does not exist, 2)Christianity is wrong.

On free will: free will is probably the most debatable of all christian concepts. God granted free will to all men...good and evil. If we knew everything, he would know that by granting free will he would allow evil people to harm good people, as well as allowing everyone to be evil if they wanted to. A just and benevolent god allows good people to be harmed by evil people...hmm. So, good people are rewarded with heaven and bad people are punished with hell (what if someone were a masochist and truly wanted to go to hell? Would he be punished with heaven?). Now, if heaven were truly paradise...then the bliss of free will would exist there; if free will exists in heaven, than one can be evil in heaven (or else there would not be free will). If one could not be evil in heaven, it would mean that one would not have free will in heaven...so, you have passed from a life of freedom, to a life of having to be good by obligation. So life is freedom, and heaven would have rules...that would contradict the concept of heaven, thus making heaven as bad as hell, where you have no control over your life (or afterlife in this case). All this can mean one of these:
1)God does not exist
2)If God exists, free will doesn't
3)If God exists and free will as well, then heaven doesn't.
4)Christianity is wrong

If the Christian God were the God that existed...I would truly love to have a long, long debate with him/her/it. I'm sure Vexen would like to as well. BTW Vexen, you could make an essay on this: if god existed, does he truly have control over his power?
Just thought you might find it interesting.

I had the same thoughts when writing that, that a parent who does actually sacrifice themselves to hell, as a result of such a loving, caring, honest and overwhelming sacrifice for one they love would actually grant them heaven... but I thought this point would be pushing it a bit all in one essay :-)

About Heaven and free will:

I think along a few similar lines to you, but don't hold the belief that lack of ability to choose good or evil means lack of free will. For example: Having the ability to choose chocolate or strawberry ice cream is free will (assume that both are completely harmless and purely pleasurable!), also the ability to choose a harmful icecream or a purely good one is also free will. Both set of choices grant free will, but as you can see not free will itself doesn't require that there are choices that result in suffering.

An answer from a Christian.... continued in next

Hey, I have read several of your essays. I must say that you appear to have spent some time thinking on and devising what one would assume must be a truly rational conclusion based on the facts (or theories) which have been presented to you.
In this particular essay you have done something I see quite often, i.e. follow what you see on the surface of christian thought and belief and draw it out in a string of through that takes you tier to tier, step by step towards a final conclusion.
You see, as a christian there are many things that i pre-suppose to be true. From these things I allow my thought process to unfurl along a course that will lead me safely to correct end conclusions.
Many of your statements have an almost algebraic pattern in the way you develope an arguement.
Meaning this; If 9 x X = 36. By inserting the variables, though i am missing one of the main elements of the equasion, using the Absolute laws of mathematic science, and following the correct formula I can divine what the unknown variable *X* is. Simply, 36 divided by 9 is *X* i.e. 4.
ok, ok, am i a math teacher, no. But I do have a point.
If I do not know mathematics, and have never learned the proper way to insert the variables and apply the laws correctly, then I am left to guessing.
Now, having learned all these things, I am not unable to find an answer that will prove true.

Ok, the point.
You may have a few of the variables, may even know a few of the laws of theistic belief, yet you lack, almost universally, the ability to produce an arguement that leaves the laws, formulas, and correct variables of christian understanding.
Simply put, you insert variables I would never insert, apply formulas which are catagorically insufficient to contain and conclude (within the realm of historically orthodox christian belief)a genuinely christian world view or theology proper.
Left to your own, you devise something no, christian with a proper understanding of the God he serves, would ever conclude.

A case in point.
For your case that the Christian God of the Bible PROMOTES infantacide, you use three very distinctly historically signifficant passages of scripture to build your case.
Had i the time, I would take a good deal of time and work through these carefully, however i don't so let me summerize;

An answer from a Christian.... Part 2....continued in next

- Exodus 4:22-23: "Then you must tell him that I, the Lord, say, 'Israel is my first born son. I told you to let my son go, so that he might worship me, but you refused. Now I am going to kill your first-born son.'"
This is a verse dealing with pharoah of egypt, moses and the final curse God uses to cause egypt to allow Isreal to leave egypt and pass from slavery to freedom. Pharoah, at the time of moses' birth decreed that all male children of the hebrews be put to death so he could avoid the coming of a savior (moses) from being born or growing up. God turns the tables, it breaks pharoah, and off they go.
- Exodus 4:22-23: "Then you must tell him that I, the Lord, say, 'Israel is my first born son. I told you to let my son go, so that he might worship me, but you refused. Now I am going to kill your first-born son.'"
Numbers 31:17: (Moses) "Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every women that hath known man by lying with him (in other words: women that might be pregnant)."
1Samuel 15:1-8: "Now listen to what the Lord Almighty says. He is going to punish the people of Amalek because their ancestors opposed the Israelites... 3-8 : With 210000 soldiers they killed all the men, women, children, babies, cattle, camels and donkeys."
Here God is using His people, Isreal to deal out punishment on the ungodly nations in the lands that God had promised to isreal as thier inherittence.
- 2Samuel 12:11-19: "Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee ... the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. ... And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. ... David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead."

More comments on this essay can be read on the Atheist community, here:


I do agree with the essay for the most part, but, as you mentioned earlier, it would be a selfless act to try to get your baby into heaven at the cost of your own soul; so selfless, that any God would judge you to be a morally good. In fact, for you to even have come up with such a train of thought is enough to get God to realize that you're thinking with the brain He gave you. Good deal. Excellent essay. However, I still haven't found a conclusive answer from any x-ian on what abortion does to the baby...

Oh well. How else could they have lasted this long? If they went around giving straight answers to everyone who asked a good question, they would have died out a long time ago.

We do not kill babies because killing is a sin. Sinning or not sinning has nothing to do with going or not going to Hell for a Christian, It has to do with love. A sin makes God unhappy. Therefore, if we killed our children so they can go to heaven we would be loving our children more than God and a Christial loves God more than anything else.

"The "Do not kill" commandment is not absolute nor completely binding, if the intentions are good and Godly then it seems this commandment becomes overridden." -- Actually, it has nothing to do with intentions. It has to do with authority. The only One with authority over life is God. Therefore God can decide when a life should end and that does not constitute murder. Only if a man decides to carry out the killing it is murder.

Good response.

But, given that a parent knows themselves to be a sinner, and perhaps maybe believes they're going to hell anyway, they could quite easily kill their child out of love for it, to guarantee it's going to heaven.

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand

a simpler thought...

Just to play Devils Advocate (no pun intended :S ) what if it is simply because all a dead baby would do in Heaven is drool and chew on stuff? I mean, they haven't had time to mature, assuming against all logic they have a soul and there is a Heaven...


Re: a simpler thought...

wow this is an old post. but this response comes from the bible answer book by hank hanegraaff

"scripture does not speciffically address the issue of apparent age, however it does provide glorous insights concerning the state of our ressurected bodies.
First, when god created adam and eve in eden, he created then with apparent agae and in the prime of life. additionally, jesus died and was resurrectd at the prime of his physical development.this we are justified in beleiving that whether we die in infancy, in our prime or in old age, we will be resurected physically mature and perfect, as God origiannly intended.
Furthermore, our DNA is programmed in shuch a way that at a particualr point we reah optimal development from a functional perspective. for the most part, it appears that we reach this stage somewhere in our twenties and thirties. prior to this stage the development of our bodies(anabolism) exceeds the devolution of our bodies (catobolism). from this point on the rate of breakdown exceeds the rate of buildup, which eventually leads to physical death. all of this is to say that if the bluepint for our glorified bodies is in the DNA, then it owuld stand to reason that our bodies will be resuurected at the optimal age of deveopment determined by our DNA.
Finnaly one thing can be stated with certainty in heaven there will be no deformities. the body tarnished by humanity's fall into a life of constant sin terminated by death, will be utterly transformed. you will be the perfect you, and I will be the perfect me. indeed, in heaven "there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old oreder of things has passed away" (revealtion 21:4)

i hope that helps answer that question. and also, i think you might know this and some people have posted this but christians dont believe you go to heaven by works(good deeds) but by the saving grace of jesus christ. its the only religion thats like that. and you use some of that in your arguments and you might need to chagne them a bit.

Killing babies

I came across your post and didn't read all the way to the bottom before I wanted to ask a question. Are you saying that a person should kill their baby if they accidentally get pregnant? Or that any parent should kill their baby if they want their baby to go to heaven? Then why have a baby in the first place? That doesn't make sense. That we should all decide to kill our babies if we want our babies to go to heaven. God doesn't wish that any of us should perish (or go to hell). He wants for us to be a people who will learn to love Him out of our own free will. If we choose to turn our backs on Him then we have made that decision. He won't force us to love Him but if we do choose to love Him then He will pour blessings upon us. Sure, pain and suffering will rain upon the just and the unjust but I couldn't have made it through my best friend's death without leaning upon God for comfort and peace. And knowing that she loved Him and asked Him to come into her heart and was filled with His Spirit and baptized in His name that she obeyed and lived according to what the Bible says. Therefore, I believe with my whole heart that she is in Heaven because she was a child of His and He went to prepare a place for her and for you and for me, if we only believe and trust and obey. I have the assurance that God is a good and faithful God and His name is Jesus and all I have to do is call upon that name and He'll be there. So, killing babies is not the answer. A baby is born for a reason and just as we were allowed to live and to learn what our purpose is in life so should they. I am a mother and I pray for my daughter to live for God and love Him and to have a better life. I'm not sure that I would want her to bring another life into this world because of all the hate and pain and suffering but if she does then so be it and I will help her to train and teach this child in the way that it should go. By being an example, I have shown my daughter and I would show this child (my grandchild) that there is a loving God and because of His love we learn to love each other for He first loved us.

Re: Killing babies

i was actually just going thru the internet where i fell upon your essay...which i will in fact say that you are wrong. just a friendly suggestion...don't judge a christian if you're not one. Obviously you don't know the meaning of christianity...christianity is not "just a religion" or a "cult" it's relationship w/ God. Yes, God is a just God and a loving God at the same time. And because he's a loving God and if God created us in his image why on earth would christians want to kill their own child.

Also you said something about atheists are more "moral" than christians because they do "good" out of their own will as oppose to christians their just afraid of going to hell.

*first of all GOOD WORKS do not get you into heaven* that is why God sent his only begotten son Jesus to die on the cross for us and that's where grace comes into play. Us sinners having the opportunity to go to heaven even though we do not deserve it. and if good works did is the only way to heaven...then we'd all be screwed...basically jesus would not be needed and moses would be a savior because he is the one that found the law (ten commandments)...as well as i do believe that if a baby passes away...that baby will go to heaven because as it says in the bible when david slept w/ bathsheeba...and when his child died...it says in the bible that the baby would be w/ God.

And just to let you know...just a random FACT, if you're then wondering why then did God give us these ten commandments where we cannot even obey...this is the very answer...God gives us something to hope for...he does not expect us to listen to him all the time...to obey his laws, for he knows we are incapable of that and that just shows how much he loves us for who we are even though we are sinners, and basically he gave us these laws just to show us how far we are from God's perfection.

And God did not bring disasters, or sin, or diseases to this world....God is so holy and pure that it is utterly impossible for him to sin. as it says in genesis..that once adam and eve ate the forbidden fruit they aquired the knowledge of good and evil...and that's when sin came to this world. God never wanted his children to be hurt physically or emotionally, and that's why we christians hope for something more a place of perfection and that place being called heaven.

i am very impressed with ur essay though...but i will pray for you that God may open your eyes and hopefully you will see the truth from your very own eyes.

Re: Killing babies (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Killing babies (Anonymous) Expand

Paul sends babies to burn in hell

"Does an unborn baby or a baby go straight to heaven? I will start of by assuming that it does, and later will consider the possibilities that it doesn't. Traditional and liberal Christianity believes that they do1."

Sorry, not according to non-western orthadox Christianity (i.e pauline Christianity).

Paul said that we inherit the "original sin" disease from Adam upon conception from our father and the first born babies that were killed by 'god' in Egypt was not the result of an unbelievable evil 'god' Yahweh, but because the babies were to "flawed" like bad pottery.

"For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth. .... For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction."

god IS god please dont forget

god is god. i chose not to question his works. when i look in amazement of childbirth as complex as it is, i know its too much to figure out all the things that god can do and why,how!!!look at how man has made computers, do you think man will give the computer full insight on how to completly controll it self.god bis in control with plans our human minds cant comprehend..

Re: god IS god please dont forget

The reason Christians dont do so, is not because we are selfish, its because we were not given final say over life and death. Who made you the final say? Yes, if you kill your baby it will go to heavan, but thats not for you to make the call. What if the baby you killed would end up being a christian anyways, but was also instrumental in a world wide revival that saved millions of souls? Who are you to step in and descide that ultimate course of a child.