Mmmm, "the nations which Israel was conquering were not friendly and peace-loving?!?!?!?" So god is only the god of the friendly, peace-loving people and not all people on earth? Who created them?
Humans have been flawed since the Garden of Eden. If humans were perfect, then there would (by definition) be no need for a higher power. Israel was chosen not because it was particularly friendly or peace-loving, but because it was the most stiff-necked nation on Earth. Jesus had not yet arrived, therefore there was only salvation by works, and the works of those nations were evil, therefore they died.
Is this a god of love who shows mercy to his "children", or does he just love a select few? They made themselves an idol and were doing the wild thing. Is that reason enough to slaughter 3000? And does that then give those that believe that the bible is the infallible word of god permission to kill buddhists who have statues of the Buddha in their homes? Or hindus who have statues of their deities? Or does the above passage only apply to certain people?
See above. It wouldn't be very fair if other nations got punished and then the Israelites got away with orgies and idol worship, now would it? Especially while sitting next to Horeb. You may notice by the way that only a small percentage of the population died - God didn't strike them all dead and pick a new nation, even though everyone apparently broke the rules.
And last time I checked, Buddhists didn't sacrifice their children to idols. What happens to someone who tries that in modern times? Simple execution is the nicer end of the spectrum.
Not at all, we are all slaves in one way or another. And was that their only transgression against god? And can you tell me, if the Egyptians were not part of god's people, who were they, and who created them?
Well, one could debate that we're slaves to sin, but that's the whole reason for having someone outside of ourselves help us, isn't it? Again, Jesus hadn't arrived yet, so the way to become part of God's people was to be adopted into Israel and follow the laid-out rules - just like anyone who was inside a house marked with lamb's blood was safe from the Angel of Death. Not that difficult a procedure to understand.
Of course it was the bible verse! Why did they start the witch burning in the first place? Because of this verse. If it did not appear in the bible, it would not have been used as justification for murder.
So every time someone misuses a rule that someone else makes, it's the original writer who's to blame? Let's say, for instance, that I tell you that food should be freely distributed to the poor. That's a noble ideal - unless you decide that food includes marijuana. Whoops! It must be my fault that you're handing out drugs.
Of course, how could I be so blind. It makes perfect sense to banish your sick and ailing, to die alone in the desert. But the verse says very clearly "In the midst whereof I dwell", and that does not sound like a sanitary issue, as god is god remember, he can cure these people if he wanted. He's a loving god not so? It smacks more of megalomania and cruelty to me.....
And if sanitation were an issue, why did god not provide them with a method to clean themselves? Was it because sending innocent sick people out to die was easier? Or was there some other reason?
Who said they were banished to die alone? They had to live outside the camp, but they were regularly inspected by the priests, and there are numerous Bible verses about giving to the sick and poor and needy. Every third year the Israelites were required to give a tithe of their increase to the Levites and anyone else without inheritance, and they were encouraged to be generous at other times as well.
And yes, since God is perfect, they were also not supposed to make the area around God imperfect by spreading disease and pestilence. I guess your basic question is, what is the point of leaving us imperfect when we could just as easily be perfect? Well, mankind was perfect originally, but we were given free will (otherwise we'd just be somewhat smarter animals) and Adam sinned, therefore we aren't perfect any more. A more difficult question is, how can we both have free will and always be following God's plan? That one can make your brain hurt, until you remember that God isn't restricted to linear time.
My point is that this book called the bible, tries to convince us that god is all powerful, and a loving god, but at the same time he is being given human attributes and faults that make him seem very unscrupulous. We are told he is powerful, yet he chooses to commit people to their deaths rather than change them, or heal them?!?!? Makes no sense to me......
And we're back to the issue of being imperfect after the Fall. If God fixed everything for us, then we wouldn't have free will, because the world would be perfect if we chose wrong and perfect if we chose right, therefore our choice would make absolutely no difference. So free will means we can't have perfection (on Earth), given at least one original bad choice. I guess this is something that either makes sense to you or it doesn't, and if it doesn't, then debating further is pointless because nothing else is going to make sense either. Logic only works if both parties agree upon a basic premise.
I notice, by the way, that we're getting somewhat far afield. This thread was originally a discussion of Creation vs Evolution and the scientific (or non-scientific) basis thereof. If God didn't create the world, then the world and everything in it must have evolved, so let's start with a simple question - where did the matter that got blown everywhere in the Big Bang come from? I like Kent Hovind's take on this:
In the beginning, God.
In the beginning, dirt.