Slavery Debate with Pastor
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14-09-2016, 04:02 PM
RE: Slavery Debate with Pastor
(14-09-2016 03:53 PM)bigjay Wrote:  I have a request. This pastor seems to place a lot of value on the idea that slavery was already happening and that the regulations in the bible concerning it were god's attempt to get the slavers to eventually rise above their sins and stop engaging in the slave trade eventually.

I call balderdash, but I'd like an analogy to ask him. So can you guys and gals come up with a good analogy related to maybe a parent and child that is the same as the god/human scenario? One where the parent, instead of flat out telling the child in no uncertain terms to STOP what they're doing, instead tries to regulate what they're doing in the hopes that the child will eventually give it up?

Thanks!

I don't have a child/parent analogy but why is slavery different than murder and stealing? Why didn't god tell people they could steal, but only things worth less than a certain amount? Is slavery less evil than stealing?

If he can say "thou shalt not steal" then he can say "thou shalt not enslave people". That certainly seems to me to be a more important moral guideline than "don't make engravings picturing living things". How did that make the top 10 when "no slavery" didn't even make it into the 613?

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14-09-2016, 04:06 PM
RE: Slavery Debate with Pastor
Good question. Don't eat shellfish, but slavery, eh, if you simply MUST own slaves, here's how to do it.

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14-09-2016, 04:19 PM
RE: Slavery Debate with Pastor
Also, if rules were set during the exodus period to try to dissuade people from having slaves and they hadn't done the job by the time Jesus arrived why didn't he provide an addendum saying "knock off the slavery thing". All we got from him was "obey your masters" and accept your lot in life.

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14-09-2016, 05:53 PM
RE: Slavery Debate with Pastor
(13-09-2016 01:40 PM)bigjay Wrote:  J,

Quite the opposite, J. Every culture in the world has had slavery, and all of it morally appalling. But if every culture in the world held it to be an inviolable moral truth that kidnapping and selling human beings in order to force them to work for no pay is wrong (like the bible says several times), slavery would've ceased to exist a long time ago.

This guy is either lying or doesn't know how to read.

Exodus 21 explicitly draws a distinction between Hebrew and non-Hebrew slaves and even provides a loophole to turn a Hebrew servant into a slave for life (Exodus 21:5-6). I would not say this however because he would simply say that the servant volunteered to stay. If this does come up, I would say that the wife that was given to him was referred to as property in several translations. However, considering the servant's family are essentially hostages, I can't imagine any man who loves his wife and children would leave them. These rules only apply to Hebrew MEN. In terms of women, they have no say in this since it is the father who sells his daughter (consent is not required) into slavery (verse 7-11). This passage also explicitly says that a master can have more than one wife, thereby defining marriage as at least, but not limited to, one woman.

(13-09-2016 01:40 PM)bigjay Wrote:  My point is that while it seems (to you) to flinch on certain aspects of slavery, the bible is unequivocal that taking people against their will and selling them as a commodity is a moral abomination.

Again, absolute bullshit. In addition to Exodus 21 stating that a father may sell his daughter, Leviticus 25:44-46 states that you may buy slaves from the nations around you and the aliens among you (this excludes Hebrews) and they are your property for their entire life and you can pass them to your children as inheritance. Buying something is treating something as a commodity and the selling of humans is never forbidden. Ephesians 6 commands slaves to obey their masters, 1 Timothy 6 says the same, and Luke 12 has Jesus saying that you shouldn't beat some slaves quite so hard. The only place where the bible says it is questionable (and it really doesn't say it's wrong) is 1 Timothy 1 where it says that the Law is laid down for slave traders and others (not relevant here), but never slave owners. This is also ignoring that Timothy is a forgery. Additionally, you may pay a debt with your property. Slaves are your property and were also a symbol of wealth. The Law of Moses never forbids paying a debt with your property and slaves are your property. He is wrong.

(13-09-2016 01:40 PM)bigjay Wrote:  The bible's moral logic runs something like this:

Major premise: The death penalty is the most fitting punishment for the most morally grievous offenses.
Minor premise: Dealing in kidnapped slaves is a capital offense.
Therefore, dealing in kidnapped slaves is a morally grievous offense.

How can he even say this with a straight face? The bible says that you can kidnap slaves from conquered territory, you just can't kidnap Isrealites!!! (Deuteronomy 24:7) Numbers 31 has the story of the Midianites where the Jews took " all the booty, both people and animals. (Num 31:10-12)" and Moses tells them to kill every male, young and old, and keep the virgin females for themselves (Num 31:18). This is SEXUAL SLAVERY!!! Judges 21 has the same thing happen with the women of Jabesh-gilead when, in an effort to keep the Benjaminites from going extinct, they slaughtered the place and took the virgins (Judges 21:8-14). Deuteronomy 20:10-18 EXPLICITLY says that a town that surrenders shall be used as forced labor (verse 11) and if does not surrender, to raze the city and take the women and children (no men obviously, so if only women, what does this pastor think the ladies are for?). Deuteronomy 21:10-14 talks about female captives and that you can groom and rape them as you see fit and if they don't please you, you can send her away. More interestingly, verse 14 says that you may not sell your female captive as a slave. Here is the exact verbage:

Quote:Deuteronomy 21:14 But if you are not satisfied with her, you shall let her go free and not sell her for money. You must not treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.

See what they say here? No selling as you would a slave. This clearly says that if you don't sell her, you aren't treating her as a slave. Therefore, selling and buying humans was a matter of business.


(13-09-2016 01:40 PM)bigjay Wrote:  Now, I'm going too long here, but my assertion is that the moral logic in the bible, between the outright prohibitions and the protections against abuse, right through the promises of liberty and freedom in the prophetic books, leads to the eventual rejection of slavery by all of God's people. It was abolitionists like William Wilberforce and John Newton, a former slave trader, who quoted the summary of the Bible's moral logic in order to campaign for the abolition of slavery: Love your neighbor as yourself.

Tom

I would ask him to defend these verses and contexts and in what contexts would these things be acceptable. I also do agree with him that some abolitionists were christian and did use the bible to justify the abolition of slavery, but if god's word is binding and since until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished (Matthew 5:18) he seems to be in conflict with the bible. Slavery was justified at the pulpit for centuries and for good reason. The abolitionists hated slavery in spite of the bible, not because of it.

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15-09-2016, 01:00 AM
RE: Slavery Debate with Pastor
(14-09-2016 03:53 PM)bigjay Wrote:  I have a request. This pastor seems to place a lot of value on the idea that slavery was already happening and that the regulations in the bible concerning it were god's attempt to get the slavers to eventually rise above their sins and stop engaging in the slave trade eventually.

I call balderdash, but I'd like an analogy to ask him. So can you guys and gals come up with a good analogy related to maybe a parent and child that is the same as the god/human scenario? One where the parent, instead of flat out telling the child in no uncertain terms to STOP what they're doing, instead tries to regulate what they're doing in the hopes that the child will eventually give it up?

Thanks!

God could tell them to not eat shrimps or wear mixed fabric, but couldnt tell them not to own other human beings?
What weak ass god is this who does not know a proper and effective way to tell humans not to own other humans as property?

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15-09-2016, 01:11 AM
RE: Slavery Debate with Pastor
(13-09-2016 07:05 AM)KerimF Wrote:  Sorry, isn't this Pastor Jewish, practically speaking?

I mean, he is interested almost solely in what was addressed to the ancient Jews (the kids of humanity) though the updated teachings, provided by Jesus to the adults of humanity, supersede and go beyond all previous ones on the Old Testament.

Kerim

Jesus said nothing against slavery

paul fully supported the institution of slavery

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15-09-2016, 02:19 AM
RE: Slavery Debate with Pastor
(15-09-2016 01:11 AM)OrdoSkeptica Wrote:  
(13-09-2016 07:05 AM)KerimF Wrote:  Sorry, isn't this Pastor Jewish, practically speaking?

I mean, he is interested almost solely in what was addressed to the ancient Jews (the kids of humanity) though the updated teachings, provided by Jesus to the adults of humanity, supersede and go beyond all previous ones on the Old Testament.

Kerim

Jesus said nothing against slavery

paul fully supported the institution of slavery

He told slaves to obey their masters, even if they are bad masters.

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15-09-2016, 02:29 AM
RE: Slavery Debate with Pastor
God made a top 10 list of things you should not do.

Slavery and rape didn't make the list, but coveting your neighbor's cattle did. Not incidentally, 'coveting' is the very basis for a consumer driven capitalist free market economy.


Also, the few admonishments against abusing your slaves? The rules that allow for their emancipation in certain circumstances? Those only apply to Jewish slaves, much like the 'do not murder' rule only applied to other Jews. As for everyone else who wasn't in god's chosen tribe? Fuck 'em.

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15-09-2016, 05:41 AM
RE: Slavery Debate with Pastor
(14-09-2016 05:53 PM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  
(13-09-2016 01:40 PM)bigjay Wrote:  J,

Quite the opposite, J. Every culture in the world has had slavery, and all of it morally appalling. But if every culture in the world held it to be an inviolable moral truth that kidnapping and selling human beings in order to force them to work for no pay is wrong (like the bible says several times), slavery would've ceased to exist a long time ago.

This guy is either lying or doesn't know how to read.

Exodus 21 explicitly draws a distinction between Hebrew and non-Hebrew slaves and even provides a loophole to turn a Hebrew servant into a slave for life (Exodus 21:5-6). I would not say this however because he would simply say that the servant volunteered to stay. If this does come up, I would say that the wife that was given to him was referred to as property in several translations. However, considering the servant's family are essentially hostages, I can't imagine any man who loves his wife and children would leave them. These rules only apply to Hebrew MEN. In terms of women, they have no say in this since it is the father who sells his daughter (consent is not required) into slavery (verse 7-11). This passage also explicitly says that a master can have more than one wife, thereby defining marriage as at least, but not limited to, one woman.

(13-09-2016 01:40 PM)bigjay Wrote:  My point is that while it seems (to you) to flinch on certain aspects of slavery, the bible is unequivocal that taking people against their will and selling them as a commodity is a moral abomination.

Again, absolute bullshit. In addition to Exodus 21 stating that a father may sell his daughter, Leviticus 25:44-46 states that you may buy slaves from the nations around you and the aliens among you (this excludes Hebrews) and they are your property for their entire life and you can pass them to your children as inheritance. Buying something is treating something as a commodity and the selling of humans is never forbidden. Ephesians 6 commands slaves to obey their masters, 1 Timothy 6 says the same, and Luke 12 has Jesus saying that you shouldn't beat some slaves quite so hard. The only place where the bible says it is questionable (and it really doesn't say it's wrong) is 1 Timothy 1 where it says that the Law is laid down for slave traders and others (not relevant here), but never slave owners. This is also ignoring that Timothy is a forgery. Additionally, you may pay a debt with your property. Slaves are your property and were also a symbol of wealth. The Law of Moses never forbids paying a debt with your property and slaves are your property. He is wrong.

(13-09-2016 01:40 PM)bigjay Wrote:  The bible's moral logic runs something like this:

Major premise: The death penalty is the most fitting punishment for the most morally grievous offenses.
Minor premise: Dealing in kidnapped slaves is a capital offense.
Therefore, dealing in kidnapped slaves is a morally grievous offense.

How can he even say this with a straight face? The bible says that you can kidnap slaves from conquered territory, you just can't kidnap Isrealites!!! (Deuteronomy 24:7) Numbers 31 has the story of the Midianites where the Jews took " all the booty, both people and animals. (Num 31:10-12)" and Moses tells them to kill every male, young and old, and keep the virgin females for themselves (Num 31:18). This is SEXUAL SLAVERY!!! Judges 21 has the same thing happen with the women of Jabesh-gilead when, in an effort to keep the Benjaminites from going extinct, they slaughtered the place and took the virgins (Judges 21:8-14). Deuteronomy 20:10-18 EXPLICITLY says that a town that surrenders shall be used as forced labor (verse 11) and if does not surrender, to raze the city and take the women and children (no men obviously, so if only women, what does this pastor think the ladies are for?). Deuteronomy 21:10-14 talks about female captives and that you can groom and rape them as you see fit and if they don't please you, you can send her away. More interestingly, verse 14 says that you may not sell your female captive as a slave. Here is the exact verbage:

Quote:Deuteronomy 21:14 But if you are not satisfied with her, you shall let her go free and not sell her for money. You must not treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.

See what they say here? No selling as you would a slave. This clearly says that if you don't sell her, you aren't treating her as a slave. Therefore, selling and buying humans was a matter of business.


(13-09-2016 01:40 PM)bigjay Wrote:  Now, I'm going too long here, but my assertion is that the moral logic in the bible, between the outright prohibitions and the protections against abuse, right through the promises of liberty and freedom in the prophetic books, leads to the eventual rejection of slavery by all of God's people. It was abolitionists like William Wilberforce and John Newton, a former slave trader, who quoted the summary of the Bible's moral logic in order to campaign for the abolition of slavery: Love your neighbor as yourself.

Tom

I would ask him to defend these verses and contexts and in what contexts would these things be acceptable. I also do agree with him that some abolitionists were christian and did use the bible to justify the abolition of slavery, but if god's word is binding and since until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished (Matthew 5:18) he seems to be in conflict with the bible. Slavery was justified at the pulpit for centuries and for good reason. The abolitionists hated slavery in spite of the bible, not because of it.

Organic chemist stated the truth, he's either lying or doesn't know how to read.

This guy is willing to twist things or outright lie to prop up his beliefs, you aren't having a discussion with someone that's honest, just keep that in mind.

This type of person will spout something that might take a bit of research to determine if it's true or not. I find this aspect of interacting with apologists enraging, I have no idea if they're being deliberately untruthful or simply throwing a bunch of assertions out without verifying their truth.

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15-09-2016, 01:33 PM
RE: Slavery Debate with Pastor
The next round...

I wrote:
You keep asserting that the bible condemns slavery, yet it explicitly does not.
I will ask again, where is the clear, concise wording that says “Do not own other people as property”?
 
Tom wrote:
It simply isn't there, not in the words you're asking for it. But you already knew that. Either you're open to the possibility that it is defensible apart from a blanket prohibition, or not. If it's the latter I'm not sure why you even reached out to me to begin with. If it's the former,  we’ll just carry on.
 
I cannot offer you an exhaustive defense of every aspect of the biblical legislation of slavery. A lack of prohibition on its own would be problematic, but when you look at what it does say, it's hard to sustain the view that the bible is ambivalent about slavery. Exhaustive doesn't equal sufficient.
 
 I wrote:
"between the outright prohibitions and the protections against abuse” (beat them as long as they don’t die within a day or two) Wow, what a great and generous character your god is in this play! Do you ever go back and read the things you typed, Tom? If someone were to beat you so severely that you died on the 5th day after the beating, would you think that person deserves no punishment?
 
Tom wrote:
Your original question was how can the bible condone slavery and the owning of another human being.
The answer is that it prohibits on pain of death the most morally heinous forms of slavery;
it gives Jewish slaves the same protections and rights due to any free day laborer;
it gives foreign slaves more rights and protections than any other culture has ever given foreign slaves, including the right to free asylum and not being turned in if they run away from their master, thus giving even foreign slaves a way out;
and makes the masters subject to the same penalties under the law as everybody else.
 
You keep insisting Exodus 21 gives them the right to beat slaves as long as they don't die. It simply does not. It says that reparations for time lost are not owed to the slave. You still owe him your life, if you take it, even if it takes him 5 days to die. In fact, a strict reading of the Hebrew of vvs. 20-21 together with vvs. 26-27, would imply that if it takes him more than a day or two to recover, he is to be set free. And if he dies, you will die. “he shall be avenged.”
 
 I wrote:
"leads to the eventual rejection of slavery by all of God's people.” Really? Why eventual? Why wasn’t the path to us not killing each other an “eventual" path, instead of the very explicit “Thou shalt not kill”? along with the rest of the Thou Shalt Nots?
 
Tom wrote:
Funny thing about the eventual path to us not killing each other. It only took a few days after God explicitly said, “thou shalt not kill” for us to stop.
 
I wrote:
Also, please elaborate on how my making a moral argument about slavery v murder is weak. I am the author of my morality, (as are you and everyone else that ever existed), I don’t get it handed to me by a capricious dictator who, himself, has morals far, far beneath mine. My morality stems from human well being and the ethics of reciprocity.
 
Tom wrote:
“human well being and the ethics of reciprocity?” Like “love your neighbor as yourself?”
 
You keep talking about the moral inferiority of the Bible, that's fine, but I rephrase the question I asked before: What kind of world would it be where slave-traders and human traffickers, pimps and johns were on death row?
 
The bible calls it slavery, but what else might you call an institution designed to provide shelter and work to people who have lost everything through misfortune or war or stupidity, with term limits (if you're Jewish), wage equivalencies (for all), and equal protection under the law, people who today would be placed in concentration camps and refugee camps and prisons, or under the overpasses in Nashville?
 
By the way, even today we make vast distinctions in the way we apply labor and  tax law between citizens and immigrants. Nothing immoral about that. Again, exodus 21 et al. are case law for a particular country based on principles that all who claim to love God are to follow, regardless of their country. Certain things carry over in the letter, certain things carry over in the spirit. That's just reading 101.
 
I wrote:
I wonder if you had ever been enslaved if you’d think differently about this whole affair. I suspect you would. And no, I have never been enslaved, but I have empathy.
 
Tom wrote:
Enslaved how? You mean kidnapped from my home, beaten into submission and forced to work inhuman hours in inhuman conditions for the rest of my life? I would hope somebody out there had read Exodus 21:16 and showed up with a gun and a shovel.
 
Or do you mean if I lost everything I own and became an unemployable, homeless charity case? I would hope someone out there had read Leviticus 25:35 and following so I can get back on my feet. “if your brother becomes poor beside you and sells himself to you, you shall not make him serve as a slave: he shall be with you as a hired worker and as a sojourner. He shall serve with you until the year of the jubilee.”
 
Or do you mean if the entire American economy collapses and I find myself exiled in a foreign country, broke and destitute? I would hope someone there cared enough about God’s word to obey Exodus 21:20-21, 23, and 26-27, plus the 8th commandment so that I can enjoy the same protections under the law against abuse as everyone else, and Leviticus 19:9-10, so I can have the means to work and feed my family. Or just Leviticus 19:33-34. That would be awesome.
 
J, I worked with a group of Burmese refugees in Raleigh, NC. I can tell you from their own mouths: they wish they had had just half of the protections that this immoral capricious god gave the Israelites in Exodus and Leviticus. I too have empathy.
 

I wrote:
Finally, do not ever forget that your bible was held up by many in the old south here in the US as proof that the slave trade was not only moral, but that it was endorsed by your god!
 
Tom wrote:
Sure it was. But the fact is, if everybody woke up one day in the height of the slave-trade boom and decided to obey the scripture rather than twist it, every slave would've been set free with wages paid for every minute worked, plus medical expenses for the abuse endured, plus traveling expenses for the trip back home, plus damages for their loved ones who perished during the ordeal, and every slave trader and auctioneer rounded up and stoned with stones. Those are biblical principles, J, and they would've killed the slave trade in 27 countries, and put slave traders into the outer darkness. All that from a morally inferior book.
 
AND if the Bible hadn't been around, in this ideal world you daydream about, the slave traders would've just carried on merrily making money off of innocent free men and women, never losing any sleep, since the twisting of the scripture they did was merely a justification for something they would've done anyways. We have at least one example of a slave trader who woke up one day and decided to obey the bible; he gave up his trade and went to England to join the fight for abolition because of what he read in the Bible.
 
The problem isn't the bible, J. It's why in 2016, the grand dawning of the age of secularism, slavery is still alive and well and there are just as many labor slaves, sex slaves, indentured servants, and children illegally making my Nikes as there ever have been, and the bible speaks against their conditions of life as well. Whatever the problem is, it isn’t the Christians with their old book and their petty rules and the capricious overlord in the sky.
 
 
I wrote:
If your god is omniscient, why didn’t he see that coming? Why didn’t he see that maybe his disdain for slavery should be worded more clearly?

Tom wrote:
The bible's approach to slavery may not satisfy you, but if it had been obeyed, we would not have the history with slavery that we have.
 
With kidnapping-based chattel slavery prohibited, most of it is gone. When the Hebrew nation ceased to exist, the distinction between Jew and gentile in the ot law ceases to matter. When nations figure out bankruptcy is a cheaper way to deal with people in oppressive debt, debt slavery goes away (but even if it doesn't, biblically, this is a type of slavery that has a clear term limit: The satisfaction of the debt based on what the slave's wages would've been, y'know, like the IRS does to people who don't pay taxes and child-support).
 
When corporations and plantation owners figure out that it costs more to own a slave than to pay a free laborer, labor slavery goes away (remember, the cost of redeeming a slave is equal to what his labor is worth: "the laborer is worth his wages;" and slaves have the ability to redeem themselves according to this principle, even those who have been "handed down" in the inheritance because they're foreigners).
 
But most of our sugar is still harvested by slaves, most of our expensive shoes are still made by slaves, most of our wars are still fought by slaves, most of the prostitutes in our country and abroad are slaves, notwithstanding what the bible says about all of that. The bible's approach may not satisfy you, but the bible's approach isn't the problem, and I repeat myself, if more people obeyed the bible, more slaves would be free and earning a living and raising their families in humane conditions.
 
 I wrote:
I’m a fairly literate man, Tom, and your bible is one of the worst examples of communication I’ve ever read. Either the god who guided its production was inept or just screwing with us or it was all a fabrication of man.
 
Tom wrote:
Well, you know. If you don’t have a category for “maybe I don’t know everything there is to know about everything and I should give an ancient document from a vastly different culture the benefit of the doubt,” then I don’t know what is the point of talking to people who disagree with us.
 

I close by asking yet again, where is the clear, concise wording that says “Do not own other people as property”? No more tap dancing around it, Tom. Where is it?
 
Where?
 
Tom wrote:
I don't know, but since there's so much more about slavery there, it would be irresponsible for me to call God's word immoral because it is silent on something. That's a textbook definition of an argument from silence; and the bible isn't exactly silent on the issue. And what it does say doesn't give me any room to say "the bible condones what Europeans did to Natives and Africans" or "it's the bible's fault that slaves today live in awful conditions." Not even a little bit.
 
Again, either you're open to the possibility that it is defensible apart from a blanket prohibition, or not. If it's the latter I'm not sure why you even reached out to me to begin with. If it's the former,  I look forward to your questions. And I promise the next reply will be much shorter.
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