Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Create Account now to join.
  • Login:

Welcome to the Online Debate Network.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 71

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    343
    Post Thanks / Like

    Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    I'll try to keep this a short as possible.
    To address slavery in the bible from a moral perspective, it is defined here as: "owning a person as property".

    1. The bible implicitly condones and explicitly mandates slavery.
    Some common examples:
    - Leviticus 25:44-46 states that non-Hebrew slaves are to be acquired from neighbouring nations. They, along with any children they have while enslaved, are the possessions of their masters permanently, and they are passed on to the masters' children as possessions.
    - Exodus 21:2-7 provides instructions on how male and female Hebrew slaves are to be treated.
    - Exodus 21:20-21 states that slave owners can beat their slaves as long as they don't die within a day or two.

    2. The bible fails to express any clear moral opposition to slavery.

    Given the above, the bible cannot be seriously considered as a moral guide.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    8,183
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Your #2 is factually incorrect

    1 Timothy 1:8-11
    Quote Originally Posted by DA BIBLE
    We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers--and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine
    Secondly, your OP does not make any distinction in the kinds of slavery that can exist. Even voluntary slavery. In so dong you ignore or miss the different contexts by which the bible speaks of slavery.

    Further, if by slavery you are attacking the very concept of people being owned, then I think you fail to recognize that people are always owned through debt. You would have to say that debt is immoral to hold unflinchingly to your position.

    If not, then your objection really isn't about slavery itself, but how slaves are treated. Which is a different debate.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    160
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Your #2 is factually incorrect

    1 Timothy 1:8-11


    Secondly, your OP does not make any distinction in the kinds of slavery that can exist. Even voluntary slavery. In so dong you ignore or miss the different contexts by which the bible speaks of slavery.

    Further, if by slavery you are attacking the very concept of people being owned, then I think you fail to recognize that people are always owned through debt. You would have to say that debt is immoral to hold unflinchingly to your position.

    If not, then your objection really isn't about slavery itself, but how slaves are treated. Which is a different debate.

    I know of no financial debt (I assume that is what you are referring to) that could make a person someone's "property".
    Bankruptcy relieves most debts for instance.
    My bank wants a payment every month for my home loan, but if I don't make it, months/yrs later I have to move. My credit rating goes down, but not much else happens. I don't see how I am being owned by this relationship?
    (the larger problem is, IMHO, after I pay off the bank, my gov't thinks I need to make an ever larger payment to them for ever because I "own " property, sorry waaay off topic)

    Can you actually be a "slave" if you volunteer for the position? (I assume this means you could end the relationship at any time since you entered voluntarily.)

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    343
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Your #2 is factually incorrect. 1 Timothy 1:8-11.
    This passage does not clearly state an opposition to slavery as defined. It states that there are laws which apply to certain types of people, or people engaging in certain activities. It does not clearly state any moral position on any of those activities. Further, there is no consensus regarding the true meaning of the andrapodistes which are mentioned in this verse. Some translations have them as "man-stealers", which most likely refers to the law against kidnapping a person to sell them into slavery. Some interpretations list them as "slave traders". According to Pollux's Onomasticon, andrapodistes means "one who reduces a freeborn person to slavery or who kidnaps someone else's slave". So even to the Greeks the passage isn't specifically opposing slavery.
    Even if we were to grant that 1 Tim is talking about slavery and not the theft of slaves, all it says is that there are laws. It doesn't state what those are. For that we must look elsewhere in the bible, where the practice of slavery is mandated (the passages I listed in #1 of the OP).
    Even if we were to grant by no small stretch of interpretation that 1 Tim is somehow God's expression of a moral opposition to slavery (owning a person as property), then you still have to explain why slavery is mandated in numerous other passages using language much clearer than that of 1 Tim.

    So #2 stands - there is no clear opposition to slavery as defined.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Secondly, your OP does not make any distinction in the kinds of slavery that can exist. Even voluntary slavery. In so dong you ignore or miss the different contexts by which the bible speaks of slavery.
    Slavery has been defined here as "owning a person as property", therefore this is not a valid refutation of the OP or the fact that the bible condones and mandates the owning of people as property.

    So #1 also stands.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Further, if by slavery you are attacking the very concept of people being owned, then I think you fail to recognize that people are always owned through debt. You would have to say that debt is immoral to hold unflinchingly to your position.
    Yes, I do fail to recognize that, since it is not supported. Please support your assertion that people are always owned through debt. It may very well be that debt is immoral if it results in the permanent ownership of people as the property of others.
    In any case, this is irrelevant to the OP, which is that the bible condones slavery and fails to stand in opposition to it. I'm not attacking the concept of people being owned.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    If not, then your objection really isn't about slavery itself, but how slaves are treated. Which is a different debate.
    This is irrelevant. My objection isn't about slavery or how they are treated, it's about how the bible is in favour of slavery, which is supported by #1 & #2, and therefore cannot be considered as a moral guide.

    Bottom line: if the bible is to be seriously considered as a moral guide by anyone, they must first answer the question, "Is it moral to own a person as property?".
    If yes, then why (how did you determine it to be moral)? If no, then why (how did you determine it to be immoral) and why does the bible condone it?

  5. #5
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2,975
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Given the above, the bible cannot be seriously considered as a moral guide.
    Your unstated premise is that all slavery is inherently immoral. Can you make a compelling case for that being absolutely true?
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  6. #6
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    8,183
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    This passage does not clearly state an opposition to slavery as defined. It states that there are laws which apply to certain types of people, or people engaging in certain activities. It does not clearly state any moral position on any of those activities. Further, there is no consensus regarding the true meaning of the andrapodistes which are mentioned in this verse. Some translations have them as "man-stealers", which most likely refers to the law against kidnapping a person to sell them into slavery. Some interpretations list them as "slave traders". According to Pollux's Onomasticon, andrapodistes means "one who reduces a freeborn person to slavery or who kidnaps someone else's slave". So even to the Greeks the passage isn't specifically opposing slavery.
    Even if we were to grant that 1 Tim is talking about slavery and not the theft of slaves, all it says is that there are laws. It doesn't state what those are. For that we must look elsewhere in the bible, where the practice of slavery is mandated (the passages I listed in #1 of the OP).
    Even if we were to grant by no small stretch of interpretation that 1 Tim is somehow God's expression of a moral opposition to slavery (owning a person as property), then you still have to explain why slavery is mandated in numerous other passages using language much clearer than that of 1 Tim.

    So #2 stands - there is no clear opposition to slavery as defined.
    There is at least a kind kind of slavery that is spoken to here, namely people that are stolen away into slavery, which is the common understanding.
    That it COULD be understood a different way, doesn't make it any less "clear". Though if you are appealing to your own self as the definer of "clear" then
    I am afraid i simply have no reason to accept it.
    It is this kind of slavery that I show to support that your #2 is not supported, because as long as it speaks against a kind of slavery, your statement is not true.

    As you generalize all slavery together without justification.

    Quote Originally Posted by futueboy
    Slavery has been defined here as "owning a person as property", therefore this is not a valid refutation of the OP or the fact that the bible condones and mandates the owning of people as property.

    So #1 also stands.
    well, fair enought that it has been defined, but it dosn't stand as a supprted premise, at you are simply defining ownership as immoral, and question begging.

    I point out one example, that of a consentual contract, as an example of "moral" ownership of another.
    at least if one holds that consent makes some actions moral, where it lacking.


    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    Yes, I do fail to recognize that, since it is not supported. Please support your assertion that people are always owned through debt. It may very well be that debt is immoral if it results in the permanent ownership of people as the property of others.
    In any case, this is irrelevant to the OP, which is that the bible condones slavery and fails to stand in opposition to it. I'm not attacking the concept of people being owned.
    The bible teaches as a truth that the borrower is slave to the lender.


    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    his is irrelevant. My objection isn't about slavery or how they are treated, it's about how the bible is in favour of slavery, which is supported by #1 & #2, and therefore cannot be considered as a moral guide.

    Bottom line: if the bible is to be seriously considered as a moral guide by anyone, they must first answer the question, "Is it moral to own a person as property?".
    If yes, then why (how did you determine it to be moral)? If no, then why (how did you determine it to be immoral) and why does the bible condone it?
    I readily concide that the bible condones slavery (of some kinds).
    Your conclusion doesn't follow from that observation, again you have not established such slavery to be immoral.

    -----------------

    Quote Originally Posted by BELTHAZOR
    I know of no financial debt (I assume that is what you are referring to) that could make a person someone's "property".
    Bankruptcy relieves most debts for instance.
    My bank wants a payment every month for my home loan, but if I don't make it, months/yrs later I have to move. My credit rating goes down, but not much else happens. I don't see how I am being owned by this relationship?
    (the larger problem is, IMHO, after I pay off the bank, my gov't thinks I need to make an ever larger payment to them for ever because I "own " property, sorry waaay off topic)

    Can you actually be a "slave" if you volunteer for the position? (I assume this means you could end the relationship at any time since you entered voluntarily.)
    Yes bankruptsy is called "theft" and is actually immoral.
    as to voluntary slavery, there is nothing about a contract being voluntary that requires the abilty to quit at any time.
    As long as you go into the contract of your own will, then the terms are "voluntary" even if you can't opt out In fact, that
    is pretty much the point of contracts.

    as to a broader understanding of the borrower being slave to the lender, go look at a person who has not opted out of their debt
    who sends every cent of profit to some creditor their entire life.
    What is the difference from slavery as you understand it? To own a person is to own their labors, our modern social terms are just a lot nicer on the slave.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    160
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    There is at least a kind kind of slavery that is spoken to here, namely people that are stolen away into slavery, which is the common understanding.
    That it COULD be understood a different way, doesn't make it any less "clear". Though if you are appealing to your own self as the definer of "clear" then
    I am afraid i simply have no reason to accept it.
    It is this kind of slavery that I show to support that your #2 is not supported, because as long as it speaks against a kind of slavery, your statement is not true.

    As you generalize all slavery together without justification.


    well, fair enought that it has been defined, but it dosn't stand as a supprted premise, at you are simply defining ownership as immoral, and question begging.

    I point out one example, that of a consentual contract, as an example of "moral" ownership of another.
    at least if one holds that consent makes some actions moral, where it lacking.



    The bible teaches as a truth that the borrower is slave to the lender.



    I readily concide that the bible condones slavery (of some kinds).
    Your conclusion doesn't follow from that observation, again you have not established such slavery to be immoral.

    -----------------



    Yes bankruptsy is called "theft" and is actually immoral.
    as to voluntary slavery, there is nothing about a contract being voluntary that requires the abilty to quit at any time.
    As long as you go into the contract of your own will, then the terms are "voluntary" even if you can't opt out In fact, that
    is pretty much the point of contracts.

    as to a broader understanding of the borrower being slave to the lender, go look at a person who has not opted out of their debt
    who sends every cent of profit to some creditor their entire life.
    What is the difference from slavery as you understand it? To own a person is to own their labors, our modern social terms are just a lot nicer on the slave.

    Though I personally have some issues with bankruptcy, I don't think I have ever heard it called theft in a legal sense. What is your source for this definition?

    What contract exists that there is "no way to opt out"? Sure it could make your life harder/more complicated to back out of a contract, but this seems nothing like being "property". Perhaps that is our impasse. I see a slave as some one that can be purchased, sold, starved or treated well. Whatever your pleasure and your pleasure can change at any time. This concept is considerably stronger than "owning your labors". Every employer I have ever had "owned my labors", but only during working hrs. I don't see a slave enjoying personal time (unless it is at the pleasure of their owner).

  8. #8
    Administrator

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    10,293
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post

    Given the above, the bible cannot be seriously considered as a moral guide.
    Setting aside MT's correct point that your definition of slavery does not match the Bible's definition, from where do you draw this conclusion? You seem to be appealing to some other moral code here, but (assuming it is a subjective code) you haven't clarified where that moral judgement comes from.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  9. #9
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    343
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Your unstated premise is that all slavery is inherently immoral. Can you make a compelling case for that being absolutely true?
    Could you clarify what you mean by "absolutely true"?

    ================================

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    There is at least a kind kind of slavery that is spoken to here, namely people that are stolen away into slavery, which is the common understanding.
    That is one interpretation, however, you have not supported that the passage contains a moral opposition to owning people as property. It appears to state nothing more than that there are laws which apply to various activities and types of people, including something called andrapodistes.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    That it COULD be understood a different way, doesn't make it any less "clear". Though if you are appealing to your own self as the definer of "clear" then I am afraid i simply have no reason to accept it.
    "Clear" implies unambiguous. Simply put, the 1 Tim passage is not a clear expression of a moral opposition to owning people as property.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    It is this kind of slavery that I show to support that your #2 is not supported, because as long as it speaks against a kind of slavery, your statement is not true.
    Again, speaking of a kind of slavery in an unclear way is not a clear expression of a moral opposition to owning people as property.

    Please provide the specific text of the 1 Tim passage which clearly expresses a moral opposition to owning people as property.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    As you generalize all slavery together without justification.
    There is no generalization. It's defined simply as owning another person as property. From MW's dictionary for children, it means "the state of being owned by another person". So all it means is "owning another person as property".

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    well, fair enought that it has been defined, but it dosn't stand as a supprted premise, at you are simply defining ownership as immoral, and question begging.
    I'm not simply defining ownership as immoral. Our secular moral system has identified that treating people as property is wrong, period. We have laws against it and organizations devoted to eradicating it.
    The problem we're discussing here is that the bible condones it. Anything else is a red herring.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I point out one example, that of a consentual contract, as an example of "moral" ownership of another.
    Unfortunately, the jury is still out regarding the moral, free will, and legal aspects of "voluntary slavery". Many would say that it is a contradiction, and any contract which relinquishes all consent is not a consensual one, even though it might have been entered into by consent, which itself is highly debatable. Feel free to start a thread on that.
    In any case, this is irrelevant to the OP, which is that the bible condones treating people as property, buying and selling them as such, and fails to express any moral opposition to treating people as property.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    The bible teaches as a truth that the borrower is slave to the lender.
    This is a claim of something the bible teaches. This is not support that with debt always comes ownership of the debtor.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I readily concide that the bible condones slavery (of some kinds).
    You're contradicting yourself now. You first provided 1 Tim 1 as support against OP #2, arguing that the bible does state a moral opposition to owning people as property. Now you're admitting that the bible condones it.

    So far both #1 & #2 stand - the bible condones and mandates owning people as property, and it lacks any moral opposition to owning people as property.

    Questions:
    Is it moral to own a person as property?
    If yes, then why (how did you determine it to be moral)?
    If no, then why (how did you determine it to be immoral)?

    -----------------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Yes bankruptsy is called "theft" and is actually immoral.
    Please provide support for this and explain how you determined it to be immoral.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    as to voluntary slavery, there is nothing about a contract being voluntary that requires the abilty to quit at any time. As long as you go into the contract of your own will, then the terms are "voluntary" even if you can't opt out. In fact, that is pretty much the point of contracts.
    Again, the concept of voluntary slave contracts has not been established as sound.
    As Murray Rothbard puts it in The Ethics of Liberty: "A man can alienate his labor service, but he cannot sell the capitalized future value of that service. In short, he cannot, in nature, sell himself into slavery and have this sale enforced — for this would mean that his future will over his own person was being surrendered in advance. In short, a man can naturally expend his labor currently for someone else’s benefit, but he cannot transfer himself, even if he wished, into another man’s permanent capital good. For he cannot rid himself of his own will, which may change in future years and repudiate the current arrangement. The concept of “voluntary slavery” is indeed a contradictory one, for so long as a laborer remains totally subservient to his master’s will voluntarily, he is not yet a slave since his submission is voluntary; whereas, if he later changed his mind and the master enforced his slavery by violence, the slavery would not then be voluntary."

    ================================

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Setting aside MT's correct point that your definition of slavery does not match the Bible's definition, from where do you draw this conclusion? You seem to be appealing to some other moral code here, but (assuming it is a subjective code) you haven't clarified where that moral judgement comes from.
    We're talking about owning people as property - where does the bible define this? Our secular moral system has identified that treating people as property is wrong. We have laws against it and organizations devoted to eradicating it.

    Questions:
    Is it moral to own a person as property?
    If yes, then why (how did you determine it to be moral)?
    If no, then why (how did you determine it to be immoral)?

  10. #10
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    East Lansing, MI
    Posts
    9,508
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Could you clarify what you mean by "absolutely true"?
    I think he means that it's immoral to take slaves no matter what. And I do think that given specific circumstances, slavery is not inherently immoral.

    For example (and I'm pretty sure that this is historically accurate), if two tribes/civilizations are at war and the conquering tribe captures a bunch of enemies, making the enemies slaves is the best option overall because all other options are worse either in a moral sense or in the interest of the security of the conquerers.

    The other options include killing all of the captives (morally worse), letting them go which frees them to attack again (bad for security), let them join the conquering society as equals (also bad for security). So how do you let them live but keep your society safe? You let them live in your society but give them a lower status that lets you control them so they don't pose a danger (or as much of a danger).

    It's still not a good thing but given the circumstances, it could be seen as the best option amongst a series of bad options.

  11. #11
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    343
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    The lesser of two weevils is still a weevil.
    Committing an immoral act to protect yourself from others committing immoral acts against you doesn't make it moral. It's just what's best for you, while completely disregarding what's best for others, which kind of an important moral value.
    Also, some captives might prefer to be killed than be enslaved by their conquerors. And depending on how the masters treated their human property, it may very well be better to kill them than to subject them to such treatment for the rest of their lives.

    Questions:
    Is it moral to own a person as property?
    If yes, then why (how did you determine it to be moral)?
    If no, then why (how did you determine it to be immoral)?

  12. #12
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    East Lansing, MI
    Posts
    9,508
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Committing an immoral act to protect yourself from others committing immoral acts against you doesn't make it moral.
    If one has only immoral options and has to choose one (for choosing to do nothing is still a choice), the most moral option is to pick the option that is the least evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    It's just what's best for you, while completely disregarding what's best for others, which kind of an important moral value.
    Not necessarily. If one is protecting one's family and one's own society by not letting enemies free to potentially attack, it's not just in that one person's interest.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Also, some captives might prefer to be killed than be enslaved by their conquerors. And depending on how the masters treated their human property, it may very well be better to kill them than to subject them to such treatment for the rest of their lives.
    Yes. Those are possibilities as well. But that doesn't alter the fact that in some situations, taking slaves is the most moral option available.

    Again, you are presenting the position that slavery is always wrong which would mean that there is no situation where taking slaves is morally permissible. I've shown that that is not the case.

  13. #13
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    343
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Again, you are presenting the position that slavery is always wrong which would mean that there is no situation where taking slaves is morally permissible. I've shown that that is not the case.
    You have showed that, based on what little we know of such history, the enslavement of conquered tribes can be rationalized by appealing to the lesser evils principle. This in no way makes it morally permissible to own people as property.
    Also, in the situations to which you are referring, the conquering tribe doesn't enslave the conquered tribe with the explicit goal of achieving the lesser evils outcome, and this is not stated anywhere in the bible. They don't do it based on any moral values.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    East Lansing, MI
    Posts
    9,508
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    You have showed that, based on what little we know of such history, the enslavement of conquered tribes can be rationalized by appealing to the lesser evils principle. This in no way makes it morally permissible to own people as property.
    Because you say so? I've made my argument and your rebuttal has to amount to something more that just saying that I'm wrong.

    If you have four bad options but some are worse than others, which option does morality indicate that you should choose? The least bad option of course. If you disagree with that, then explain why my answer is wrong.

  15. #15
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    343
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Because you say so? I've made my argument and your rebuttal has to amount to something more that just saying that I'm wrong. If you have four bad options but some are worse than others, which option does morality indicate that you should choose? The least bad option of course. If you disagree with that, then explain why my answer is wrong.
    Your argument is nothing more than post-hoc rationalization of why ancient conquerors enslaved their enemies. It wasn't because they wanted to do the least bad thing, it was because they wanted slaves. You're appealing to a hypothetical which in no way applies to what we've seen in history, let alone now. Please provide an example where a tribe was forced to do the least bad thing as you describe.

    ---------- Post added at 04:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:05 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Well, that does seem to be your position, however, it doesn't appear that you've taken much effort to define the term in the Biblical context. You are appealing to chattel slavery, involuntary, life time bondage. That is a concept not present in the Hebrew Bible. Rather, slavery is defined in Leviticus, Exodus, and Deuteronomy as being finite in nature, almost always voluntary, and with defined rights to the slave (such as being able to end the servitude). This is far more like our concept of indentured servitude or labor contracts.
    Um, Leviticus 25:44-46 specifically mandates involuntary life-time ownership of people, so I don't know where you get that from. Also, only male Hebrew slaves were to be set free (Exodus 21:2), all others were owned as property for life. There's even a nifty loophole allowing unmarried male Hebrews to be owned as property forever (Exodus 21:4-6). Female Hebrew slaves were owned as property for ever (Exodus 21:7).

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I'd be curious if you could show where the Bible says that a master owns the person, rather than owns their labor. Those are two very different concepts.
    Exodus 21:20-21
    Deut. 20:14 has the women and children taken as plunder/spoils.
    Also, when the master is allowed to beat their slave to death, I guess you'd say they're beating the labour, not the person, right?
    Could you show where the bible says that a master owns the person's labour, rather than the person?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    You've conflated two concepts here. Our legal code does have provisions against slavery. But our legal code is not a moral code, right?
    Laws are intended to uphold and protect the values of a society. Those values are determined by that society's moral code. From link: every law springs from a system of values and beliefs, every law is an instance of legislating Morality.

    Please answer these questions:
    Is it moral to own a person as property?
    If yes, then why (how did you determine it to be moral)?
    If no, then why (how did you determine it to be immoral)?

  16. #16
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    East Lansing, MI
    Posts
    9,508
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Your argument is nothing more than post-hoc rationalization of why ancient conquerors enslaved their enemies. It wasn't because they wanted to do the least bad thing, it was because they wanted slaves. You're appealing to a hypothetical which in no way applies to what we've seen in history, let alone now. Please provide an example where a tribe was forced to do the least bad thing as you describe.
    Support or retract that my hypothetical situation does not apply to what we've seen in history.

  17. #17
    Administrator

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    10,293
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    We're talking about owning people as property - where does the bible define this?
    Well, that does seem to be your position, however, it doesn't appear that you've taken much effort to define the term in the Biblical context. You are appealing to chattel slavery, involuntary, life time bondage. That is a concept not present in the Hebrew Bible. Rather, slavery is defined in Leviticus, Exodus, and Deuteronomy as being finite in nature, almost always voluntary, and with defined rights to the slave (such as being able to end the servitude). This is far more like our concept of indentured servitude or labor contracts.

    I'd be curious if you could show where the Bible says that a master owns the person, rather than owns their labor. Those are two very different concepts.



    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Our secular moral system has identified that treating people as property is wrong. We have laws against it and organizations devoted to eradicating it.
    You've conflated two concepts here. Our legal code does have provisions against slavery. But our legal code is not a moral code, right?

    So I'm asking you, what is our "secular moral system?" Where did you find the rule or what source did you have to determine the moral conclusion in your OP?
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  18. #18
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    8,183
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    You're contradicting yourself now. You first provided 1 Tim 1 as support against OP #2, arguing that the bible does state a moral opposition to owning people as property. Now you're admitting that the bible condones it.
    The phrase "no **** Sherlock" comes to mind.
    Contradiction being the necessary aspect of concession, of course my concession contradicts an earlier position.

    I see the bible making a distinction where you are not. As such, the bible does condone slavery as you have it defined it.
    That doesn't make your position morally superior, or your conclusion logical.

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    I'm not simply defining ownership as immoral. Our secular moral system has identified that treating people as property is wrong, period. We have laws against it and organizations devoted to eradicating it.
    The problem we're discussing here is that the bible condones it. Anything else is a red herring.
    As there are different conditions under which slavery occurs, you are committing the equivocation fallacy in saying that the bible condones the kind of slavery that took place in our nation.
    Such that while the bible may condone owning people, it most certainly doesn't condone being evil towards slaves. Also the way America engaged in slavery is the kind of "man stealing" that was mentioned earlier. Which would bring my earlier position back into relevance.

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    So far both #1 & #2 stand - the bible condones and mandates owning people as property, and it lacks any moral opposition to owning people as property.
    Yes the bible lays out ways in which people can be owned.
    That doesn't make it immoral, and you need to establish a justification for your position that it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    Questions:
    Is it moral to own a person as property?
    If yes, then why (how did you determine it to be moral)?
    If no, then why (how did you determine it to be immoral)?
    I see this as burden shifting.

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    Please provide support for this and explain how you determined it to be immoral.
    Why? do you disagree that theft is immoral? Or do you disagree that Bankruptcy steals money rightfully owed to another person?

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    Again, the concept of voluntary slave contracts has not been established as sound.
    As Murray Rothbard puts it in The Ethics of Liberty: "A man can alienate his labor service, but he cannot sell the capitalized future value of that service. In short, he cannot, in nature, sell himself into slavery and have this sale enforced — for this would mean that his future will over his own person was being surrendered in advance. In short, a man can naturally expend his labor currently for someone else’s benefit, but he cannot transfer himself, even if he wished, into another man’s permanent capital good. For he cannot rid himself of his own will, which may change in future years and repudiate the current arrangement. The concept of “voluntary slavery” is indeed a contradictory one, for so long as a laborer remains totally subservient to his master’s will voluntarily, he is not yet a slave since his submission is voluntary; whereas, if he later changed his mind and the master enforced his slavery by violence, the slavery would not then be voluntary."
    Actually this is incorrect, per your definition.
    First, it is not ownership of labor that is being sold per-say, it is the physical body. If you don't think that your body can be sold or handed over by contract, then please look to the military. They literally own your body for the extent of the contract. and apparently refusal to submit is justly punished.
    I don't see how voluntary slavery is different. Especially given the body mutilating nature of the military. And the example directly contradicts everything Murry said.
    So it is certainly the case that a person can sell himself and it can be legally enforced.

    But it is important to note that the legal enforce-ability is not relevant to the morality of a thing.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  19. #19
    Administrator

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    10,293
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Um, Leviticus 25:44-46 specifically mandates involuntary life-time ownership of people, so I don't know where you get that from. Also, only male Hebrew slaves were to be set free (Exodus 21:2), all others were owned as property for life. There's even a nifty loophole allowing unmarried male Hebrews to be owned as property forever (Exodus 21:4-6). Female Hebrew slaves were owned as property for ever (Exodus 21:7).
    I would suggest you need to apply more rigorous hermeneutics to your readings. The Verses mentioned allow for lifetime ownership, they do not mandate it. Hence the term “May.” May means a conditional statement. In this case all of the following conditions must be met;

    1) The owner hasn’t manumitted the slave.
    2) The owner has not injured the slave.
    3) The slave has not become disabled.
    4) The slave has not been redeemed by his/her people (dictated as the same price paid for them).
    5) The slave’s “wages” (the amount their labor earns under Talmudic law) have not purchased their freedom.
    http://biblehub.com/commentaries/leviticus/25-46.htm

    So sure, in theory it could be lifetime service, if the slave did no work, was never injured, and no one redeemed him. But that isn’t the type of chattel slavery you are appealing to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Futureboy
    Could you show where the bible says that a master owns the person's labour, rather than the person?
    Don’t try to shift the burden here. It is your claim, support it or retract it. Neither of your sections supports this claim. The first mandates punishment for killing a slave (and remember if the slave is injured during the beating they are offered recompense or freed), the second mandates the Israelites not kill women and children. Neither of these are really the moral problems you lay out. And neither refer to your claim of ownership of the person rather than labor.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Laws are intended to uphold and protect the values of a society. Those values are determined by that society's moral code. From link: every law springs from a system of values and beliefs, every law is an instance of legislating Morality.
    So laws imply the existence of a separate, earlier moral code, sure. But they aren’t that moral code, right? So what moral code are those laws drawing from? Where is this magical objective moral code you are appealing to?

    Without offering an objective moral code to compare your claims to, your conclusion in the OP doesn’t follow and would need to be retracted. So far, all you've offered is that it disagrees with some, current US law. But that doesn’t make it an unreliable moral code, anymore than people who were arguing against eugenics in the 1920s were unreliable morally because they disagreed with US law. Or that abolitionists (who were using the Bible btw) were morally unreliable because they disagreed with US law. You need to show that there exists an objective moral code to compare the Bible to, and that that code trumps the biblical code offered. Neither premise has been supported.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  20. #20
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    8,183
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Slavery and the bible as a moral guide

    Quote Originally Posted by BELTHAZOR
    Though I personally have some issues with bankruptcy, I don't think I have ever heard it called theft in a legal sense. What is your source for this definition?

    What contract exists that there is "no way to opt out"? Sure it could make your life harder/more complicated to back out of a contract, but this seems nothing like being "property". Perhaps that is our impasse. I see a slave as some one that can be purchased, sold, starved or treated well. Whatever your pleasure and your pleasure can change at any time. This concept is considerably stronger than "owning your labors". Every employer I have ever had "owned my labors", but only during working hrs. I don't see a slave enjoying personal time (unless it is at the pleasure of their owner).
    All fine points.
    First, the "owning labor" is a term used by me, in response to future boys quoted source (see post *8).
    Also, as long as the person is "owned" the duration and conditions are not relevant, because futureboy has excluded all outside considerations. If you are a slave for a week or a day or your life, treated well, poorly or even have laws governing treatmentm it doesn't matter. Even matters of "opting out" are not relevant as long as the person himself is owned. Again, all excluded by the broad definition of "owning a person".

    So, several instances in our own society come to mind where people are effectively owned.
    The first, where you are not allowed to "opt out" on pain of death. Is the military. In the heat of battle, if you unilaterally attempt to "opt out" your life is forfeit. You also have to do what they tell you in total submission of your own will, effectively giving up your rights for freedom and to freely choose. - IE you are owned.

    The second is children, in every sense of the world your children, are ... "your" children, and you own them. Their will is totally subservient to your own, and the law will back that up. There are limits on to what actions can be done, but as they are still owned, then they are "slaves" under the broad definition offered. We even have ways of transferring this ownership, via adoption.

    The third is debt, now this is a biblical understanding of the term, and as the bible is the one being attacked it is important to recognize that it makes distinctions. From this POV slavery is a part of our world. As the debtor is slave to the lender until the debt is repaid.

    For other conceivably "just" forms of slavery, see Mican's post #9.

    ---
    ON the last note, bankruptcy as theft.

    Steal defined : : " to take the property of another wrongfully and especially as a habitual or regular practice"
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/steal

    1) It is wrong(morally) to take money with the promise to repay, and to not do so.
    2) Bankruptcy is the legal means of preventing creditors from collecting what is rightfully owed them, and the embodyment of #1.
    3) 1&2 fulfill the definition of steal which is theft.
    4) Bankruptcy is thus Legalized theft.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

 

 
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Men/women's guide
    By Just Me in forum Jokes and Humor
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: July 20th, 2008, 11:38 PM
  2. Slavery in the Bible
    By KneeLess in forum Religion
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: November 21st, 2004, 08:13 PM
  3. The Bible condones slavery
    By 3rdPersonPlural in forum Religion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: July 27th, 2004, 11:06 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •