This is one of the reasons I like structuring many posts in the back-and-forth format. Dr Funkenstein has helped bring out some really helpful clarifications to the abortion question here.
babies that are incapable of feeding themselves or walking hadn't committed any capital crimes
Not such that a human being would be justified in executing them, no.
But for God to do so is a completely different matter. He has authority to do that; we don't.
then how can anyone be a murderer when they kill someone when you then go on to say its acceptable that
B/c humans only have permission to kill other humans under certain conditions. Wartime, self-defense, and punishment for a capital crime are 3 examples.
if everyone is a capital criminal then you should have no objection to anyone killing anyone else.
Your problem lies in equivocation between the executing authorities. Yes, I am a capital criminal before God, but not before any human authority. God can justifiably put me to death whenever He wants, but no human would be justified to do so.
I have to ask why God uses such obviously human means to achieve his goals
He wanted to.
why not just snap his fingers and click them out of existence, as opposed to requiring some sort of bloody slaughter?
B/c it pleases Him to involve His people in the means of carrying out His plan on earth.
defending the biblical acts of God as matters pertaining only to dis/obedience, the gruesomeness of slaughter seems to be no concern whatsoever when you agree with it. So is it merely following commands that is the important thing here?
No, it's doing what is right that is the important thing here.
You who have never defended any moral basis other than "I like it or don't like it/a group of people who are kinda like me in general like it or don't like it" are hardly in a position to criticise. Show me a wider basis for moral judgments in your worldview and we can talk.
how does/did God choose between one group of sinners and another - after all presumably the Israelite children were as guilty therefore as the Hitiite children?
Side note - the Hittites weren't part of the Canaanite conflicts. But anyway...
Some of the OT prophets declare that the Israelites actually were worse sinners than the Canaanites, even worse than Sodom and Gomorrah. But God states in Deuteronomy that He chose them simply b/c it pleased Him to do so.
I admit it sounds a little strange to me too, but that doesn't mean He didn't have any other reasons. I know some reasons why it ISN'T that He chose them (they were purer, holier, greater, more numerous, etc) and I can guess at a few why He did (by choosing an insignificant people like them to bring the Messiah into the world, He causes more glory since it was all Him and not the greatness of the people).
Or is it simply a subjective decision on his part?
It seems very relativistic rather than objective.
Well, you should probably be careful about your terminology here. Relative to what?
I grant that it's subjective to God. But since He's God, it's quite different from saying that it's subjective to Joe.