Reply to Patrick Chan


Patrick Chan Kevin:  
"God used Assyria to take vengeance on Israel, but the [sic] punished Assyria for doing exactly what God 'wanted' Assyria to do (steal, kill, pillage, rape, destroy, etc.). See Isaiah 10."  
What does this have to do with the debate over pacifism? You don't say. It has to do with Romans 13, which has been raised frequently in this thread. God "ordains" violence but commands us to be pacifists.
A major disanalogy in your example is human beings are not God.  
"It was a sin for anyone to enlist in the Assyrian army. It was not a sin (generally) to be conscripted into the army."  
How do you know the Assyrians even thought in these terms? If they didn't, then it'd be an anachronism to speak of enlistment and conscription. I'd like to think that nobody enlisted in the Assyrian army, and that all Assyrian soldiers were involuntarily conscripted. Alas, I suspect many enlisted. It doesn't matter, however, because we understand these concepts today, and I think they reflect God's judgment on the matter. A Christian should not enlist in a violent pagan war machine.
"We need to separate 'state' functions from 'market' functions."  
A far better starting point would be to properly exegete the relevant passages in the Bible (per the historical-grammatical method) and see if and how these passages apply to our current situations in their particular contexts (e.g. US gov't, US economics). I don't see the distinction. I say we should separate 'state' functions from 'market' functions based on my exegesis of the Bible.
"Jesus prohibits His followers from engaging in all uniquely 'state' activity."  
One could question whether it's even appropriate in the first place to define terms in the manner in which you've defined them, viz. "uniquely state activity." You're welcome to question it. I think it makes sense.
Also, this is a hasty generalization, for the Bible has several examples of Christians engaging in "state" activities, as Steve and others have cited above. The Bible has the example of King David committing adultery and murder. The Bible has examples of soldiers who (subsequently?) had faith, but the Bible doesn't enter into the discussion of how their faith would go on (in the future) to affect their conduct as a soldier. We can only speculate. But we can also construct moral arguments about what they should have done, and what we should do today. In our day, we should not voluntarily enlist in an effort to overthrow a pro-western government, kill, cripple, or make homeless hundreds of thousands of Christians, and replace that government with an Islamic Theocracy under Shariah Law.
"There can be no doubt that Paul and Jesus would condemn anyone who voluntarily signed up to kill or steal with the State."  
An assertion without an argument. Are you reading my links??
"So you seriously believe that a Christian should KILL someone who wants to steal a TV?"  
So you seriously believe that a Christian should not PROTECT his loved ones (e.g. wife, kids) from an armed home invasion turned violent (e.g. Cheshire, Connecticut home invasion murders)? "Protect" is defensive. I have no problem with that, nor does an pacifist I know.
"Kill" is offensive. God says "Thou shalt not kill."
"in the New Covenant we are no longer in the dark of night but in the bright day of the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2)"  
PT: If you're going to make this "New Covenant" argument, then perhaps you should cite a verse or passage from the NT rather than the OT. I cited Romans 13:12-13. I don't think you're paying close enough attention.
Besides, are you contending that Malachi 4:2 is not describing the coming of Jesus and the New Covenant?
Not to mention you should actually exegete the verse and its passage, then trace its logic to see if it applies in the way you think it applies. But you don't do any of this.  
"and therefore it is always murder to kill a thief"  
Besides the fact that "the sun of righteousness" is metaphorical, you don't bother to show how this conclusion ("and therefore it is always murder to kill a thief") even follows from your statement. Under the Old Covenant, you would not be executed for killing a thief at night, but you would be executed if you killed a thief when the Sun had come. The Sun has come (Malachi 4:2, Romans 13:12-13), therefore it is always murder to take the life of a thief in exchange for a TV. Jesus says "give to him who asks."
"This claim (in Ex.22) is not 'diametrically opposed to Gen. 9.'"  
What's even the point of such a statement? If, for example, you make an argument, then I make a counter-argument, it is not sufficient to undermine let alone overturn my counter-argument by stating "I disagree" and nothing else. How can God say something (in Exodus 22) which is "diametrically opposed" to what God said in Genesis 9? To say "don't kill someone just because he wants your TV" is not "diametrically opposed" to the command to shed the blood of a murderer.

I thought this was so obvious that all I had to do was call attention to it.

"Hard to continue taking you seriously."  
You've taken issue with people not being "charitable," yet here you are being quite uncharitable yourself! No, I'm not being uncharitable.
I said, "You don't know with certainty what the future holds. You are not God." and therefore you should not kill someone who is threatening you, because you don't know that he might repent if you witness.
Steve then said that because the future is not known to us, "Then I shouldn't hesitate to shoot the assailant. After all, I don't know with certainty that my gun won't jam. 
Is it "uncharitable" of me to point out that that argument cannot be taken seriously?
"Jesus said we are to love the murderous assailant. You cannot love your enemy if you kill him. 'Thou shalt not kill.'"  
What makes you think "the murderous assailant" is "your enemy"? What if the murderous assailant is your neighbor's enemy, but a complete stranger to you? Say you're just arriving home and getting out of your car. Say you hear screams from your next door neighbor's house. Say you know your next door neighbor is a committed Christian. Say you look to your neighbor's house and see a murderous assailant rushing towards your neighbor with a knife. Say you have a gun (you probably wouldn't own a gun, but say you did in this scenario). Say the only way to stop this murderous assailant is by shooting him and thus possibly killing him, which you are able to do. Say there's no time to call for help from others. What would you do? He's not your enemy, and in fact he's a stranger to you, but he's your neighbor's enemy. If he is not an "enemy," why would you KILL him?

"The enemy of my friend is my enemy."

"It's not a 'reversal.' It's part of the mentality that transformed America into the most evil and dangerous entity on the planet."  
Again, simply stating, "I disagree," followed by a bare assertion is not a counter-argument. I didn't simply state, "I disagree," I said that America's revolutionaries killed tax collectors over taxes which were 1/20th what they are today. I think America is a violent place in part because of our violent origins.
"Most of the slaughter of the Indians occurred as the U.S. become more secular, in the 19th century."  
So what? This doesn't touch on Steve's point at all. There were still plenty of battles and wars between the colonials and Indians during the Colonial period. Ever heard of the French and Indian War, for example? British and European historians use the term "the Seven Years' War," rather than "French and Indian War," as do English speaking Canadians. French Canadians call it La guerre de la Conquête (War of Conquest), or the Fourth Intercontinental War. It had more to do with France and Britain than merely the unaided Indians, who were simply allies with the various European colonists.

My point is that Christians don't commit genocide against Indians, secularists do.

"If it is wrong for you to engage in the violent overthrow of a government (and it is wrong_,"  
As far as I can see, no one agreed it's always "wrong for you to engage in the violent overthrow of a government." That's just another one of your assertions sans argumentation. I'm not saying everyone agrees with me against violent overthrow of governments, just like I'm not saying everyone agrees with me against the violent response to someone taxing your TV. (Excuse me, I meant "taking your TV" [although there is no moral distinction].)
"why is it OK for you to 'vote' for someone to destabilize a government by funding terrorists, or by directly staging a violent coup?"  
What makes you think these are "wrong" in the first place? Romans 13 says we are not to engage in the violent overthrow of the government.
"That is totally an 'ad hominem' argument"  
How so? Steve said,

i) I see that Kevin is drunk on the moonshine of That explains a lot.

That is not a refutation of my facts or arguments, it's just a mild form of personal slander.

By the way, what makes you think ad hominem arguments are necessarily wrong? See the relevant sections of these posts for starters: ad hominem is always wrong, or else it's not truly ad hominem.
Your articles would not disagree with me.
If a "drunk" person says "Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity," the unitarian does not refute the claim by saying "Oh he's just drunk."
On the other hand, if a drunk says "My Alcoholism doesn't create any problems," it is not a fallacy to ask, "Then why are you lying in the gutter?"  
"and does nothing to present contrary facts or even a probative argument."  
This is ironic coming from you since this is what you've been doing throughout much of this exchange. Well, I disagree with you. Saying I'm "drunk with Lew Rockwell" is hardly a refutation of facts or arguments. I think my posts are filled with facts, exegesis and probative arguments.
"The commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' prohibits involuntary manslaughter as well as murder."  
Both sides could agree (to varying degrees). But so what? It doesn't prove pacifism is the morally correct choice while non-pacifism is immoral. Some people are raising the old canard about "Thou shalt not kill" meaning ONLY "Thou shalt not murder."
I'll stop here for now. I might come back and respond to the rest of what you say. Although based on your responses thus far, I'm not sure if you're mostly arguing in good faith or not. If not, then it won't be worth responding to you. It'd just be a time-sink for everyone to keep going back and forth with you like this. Not arguing in good faith??

Why would I spend so much time arguing against so much violence if I were not sincerely concerned about it?

The United States is the Enemy of Humanity