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Infanticide Common in Ancient Times

The Mahabharata begins with the story of a queen who drowns her seven sons upon birth. Caananite deities demanded child sacrifices; their followers built great fires inside massive idols to extinguish human children. Somehow, in polytheistic cultures, infanticide is an acceptable part of religion.

Shantanu stops Ganga from drowning their eighth child, later known as Bhishma.

Abrahamic monotheism condemns the practice in multiple places. The Qur’an says about Judgement Day, “And when the infant girl is asked for what crime she was buried alive…” (81:3). In no uncertain terms, it links the final Day of Judgement and infanticide (which was embraced in ancient Rome, Babylon, and India). Polytheism does not believe in a Day of Judgement, preferring reincarnation as the venue for the immortal soul. The Discovery Channel reports the ancient Israelite also participated in such practices:

Since few infant skeletons show evidence of cause of death, Mays and Eyers used an indirect method to investigate possible infanticide in Ashkelon, Israel once part of the Roman Empire.

Nearly 100 infants all died at Ashkelon at about the same full-term age. They were not buried, but instead were cast into a sewer that ran beneath a brothel. Researchers suspect that most such victims were suffocated to death.

Child Sacrifice to Baal/ Moloch

No doubt this was part of the “foreign worship” the Israelites were frequently admonished for.

By AFarooqui

I write about the dichotomies present in religion, gathered mostly from discussions with average Jews, Christians, Muslims and atheists.

1 reply on “Infanticide Common in Ancient Times”

Let me start by saying that you obviously have not read the Mahabharata. The epic does not begin with “the story of a queen who drowns her seven sons upon birth”. And just because she committed infanticide (as interpreted by some, and there are many interpretations to each event in the Mahabharata) does not mean it was an acceptable part of the Hindu religion. Murders, robberies, infanticide, etc. happen in many societies even today. It does not mean that it is sanctioned or accepted by the dominant religion of that region.

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