snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Religion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #41  
Old 20 May 2007, 10:30 PM
geminilee's Avatar
geminilee geminilee is offline
 
Join Date: 02 December 2005
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 11,518
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
Unfortunately, I think that many modern-day Bible critics use the Fallacy of Equivocation when discussing slavery, saying, or suggesting, that the Bible says that slavery is OK, therefore it supported the early American slave trade. It clearly did not.

David
However, that is not what you said. You said:
Quote:
Quote:
You and others may hold a more abstract and enlightened view -- just as we, today, consider slavery to be evil, yet the OT condoned it
I think you mean "some American Christians at one time claimed that the OT condoned it"
The Bible may not condone a particular kind of slavery, but it does condone slavery in general, just as we today do not condemn only the type of slavery practiced in America, but all types of slavery. You can split hairs all you like, the simple fact is that the Bible is pretty much ok on the subject of slavery in general, witha few limitations as to how it is practiced.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 21 May 2007, 05:34 AM
PeterK
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
Slavery, as practiced in the USA until the 1860's, definitely was condemned.

"And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death." (Exodus 21:16)

The "slavery" practiced by the Israelites was a different type altogether. It was people with no means of supporting themselves, or owing a great debt, selling themselves or their children into servitude to prevent themselves, or their children, from starving to death.

David
Also among many other differences, no-one could be held as a slave for more than 7 years (at the end of which the ex-slave was paid due compensation either as payment or as remission of a debt); every fifty years all slaves were freed and all debts written off to zero; there was no "master race" nor "slave race" - all human beings were acknowledged as of equal dignity made in God's image; and perhaps most importantly of all, no-one could be "born a slave" as in America. The children of slaves were born free. (Sometimes the child of a slave became a King or Queen!)

The "slaves" of the OT and the slaves of the USA are chalk and cheese. It's not just a difference of degree or a matter of a few more restrictions, it's a totally different type of social institution.

Quote:
geminilee The Bible may not condone a particular kind of slavery, but it does condone slavery in general, just as we today do not condemn only the type of slavery practiced in America, but all types of slavery. You can split hairs all you like, the simple fact is that the Bible is pretty much ok on the subject of slavery in general, witha few limitations as to how it is practiced.
Would you say that, because the OT apparently condones some wars fought by the Israelites, therefore it condones war in general as always just (and for both sides at once!)? No? Then don't use the same argument about all slavery.

Last edited by PeterK; 21 May 2007 at 05:57 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 21 May 2007, 05:51 AM
Silas Sparkhammer's Avatar
Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
Join Date: 22 September 2000
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 26,843
Whalephant

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterK View Post
You asked me why good people in the OT suffer and die.
No: I disagreed with your declaration that God does not become wrathful and then cool down.

Quote:
AFAIK they are free to laugh, jeer and taunt without penalty.
And God is free to become wrathful and then cool down. However, Americans in the execution chambers don't do these things, and God, in the Old Testment, does.

Quote:
I was illustrating your contradiction. If Lot's wife suffered no pain, you shouldn't use her death in your thesis that God in the OT imposed particularly painful and lingering deaths.
Very well: strike Lot's Wife from the list. I cited several million others.

Quote:
Indeed, my point was that "Modern theology such as Deism" didn't come up with the idea of reinterpreting it.
But what you have not done is to demonstrate that "God does not become wrathful and then cool down."

Quote:
Have I demanded that others "must acknowledge that the people who wrote the OT thought of God in (some particular) way"?
No: however, you have spoken of God in a particular way, and, when I have disagreed, you have responded in ways that do not seem pertinent.

Quote:
You said "we, today, consider slavery to be evil, yet the OT condoned it". I do not share your interpretation.
Since the OT includes commands from God to take slaves, I can't guess what your basis for this could be.

Quote:
. . . I was tired when I made the last post, I made only a brief response to each. . . .
This is (and I can speak from experience) usually not a good idea.

Quote:
I reject the charge of evasion, I am trying to respond constructively to your points. You may view some of my statements as platitudes or patronising. I view some of yours the same way. Sometimes we see something as a platitude because it's true. Replying to you can get wearying, but on the whole I find you one of the more constructive posters here, as long as you avoid the tendency to non-responsive mockery.
I seriously do try to avoid mockery, and to avoid equivocation, and to admit it when I am wrong. I honestly believe that you are avoiding admitting that you were wrong; you made a declaration about the nature of God that is grossly contradicted by the Old Testament.

If you want to disavow the OT accounts, that's a valid response. Most Christian theologians (Jerry Fallwell notwithstanding) hold that God does not directly send natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, etc.) and, in fact, that the Great Flood was not an actual event, only a parable of sorts.

At that point, I might grumble something about the "No True Scotsman" fallacy, but I would have to accept this as a valid rebuttal. What you have posted, instead, has not been relevant to what I have held, and, in fact, you have several times now misstated what my opinion actually is.

Again, if you'd like me to just shut up, I can do that.

Silas (cut to Bugs Bunny cartoon with gangster figure saying, "Shut up shuttin' up.")
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 21 May 2007, 05:55 AM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,603
Baseball

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
"And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death." (Exodus 21:16)
I don't know much about ancient slavery but this passage proves little if anything. It was illegal to steal and sell slaves or freemen throughout the history of the colonies and the states and, though the penalty may not have been death, it would have been severe. The trade of slaves was based on the fiction that they had never been stolen but were rightly acquired. So it may be that the ancient people similarly accepted their slaves as "rightly acquired". From the point of view of a slave, and in modern terms of human rights, I cannot think of any situation in which one could be given to servitude that would not match the description above. From the slave owner's point of view, there has always been a convenient excuse, such that they could always argue, "We are not that kind of slave owner!" Yes, even in the colonies and states there were such laws.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 21 May 2007, 10:31 AM
KingDavid8 KingDavid8 is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 4,126
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
However, that is not what you said. You said:


Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDavid8
Unfortunately, I think that many modern-day Bible critics use the Fallacy of Equivocation when discussing slavery, saying, or suggesting, that the Bible says that slavery is OK, therefore it supported the early American slave trade. It clearly did not.
However, that is not what you said. You said:
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
You and others may hold a more abstract and enlightened view -- just as we, today, consider slavery to be evil, yet the OT condoned it
I think you mean "some American Christians at one time claimed that the OT condoned it"
The Bible may not condone a particular kind of slavery, but it does condone slavery in general, just as we today do not condemn only the type of slavery practiced in America, but all types of slavery. You can split hairs all you like, the simple fact is that the Bible is pretty much ok on the subject of slavery in general, witha few limitations as to how it is practiced.
Actually, only the first quote was me. The rest was someone else.

David
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 21 May 2007, 10:41 AM
KingDavid8 KingDavid8 is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 4,126
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
I don't know much about ancient slavery but this passage proves little if anything. It was illegal to steal and sell slaves or freemen throughout the history of the colonies and the states and, though the penalty may not have been death, it would have been severe.
The American slaves were stolen at the point where the slavetraders went to Africa and took them from their lands.

Quote:
The trade of slaves was based on the fiction that they had never been stolen but were rightly acquired. So it may be that the ancient people similarly accepted their slaves as "rightly acquired".
There's no reason to believe that the Israelites ever invaded lands that they weren't already at war with and took people innocent against their will for use as slaves. The Israelite slaves were, for the most part, people given over to servitude to pay off a debt, or to avoid starving to death. I'm not sure if the POW's were called "slaves" (I'd have to look it up), but even that, whether right or wrong, is very different than invading a land you're not at war with and taking people against their will.

Quote:
From the point of view of a slave, and in modern terms of human rights, I cannot think of any situation in which one could be given to servitude that would not match the description above. From the slave owner's point of view, there has always been a convenient excuse, such that they could always argue, "We are not that kind of slave owner!" Yes, even in the colonies and states there were such laws.
And they'd be committing a fallacy in doing so, just as those who say, or suggest, that the Bible condoned the American form of slavery did, and are doing. The kind of slavery that the Bible condoned may well be condemned in this day and age, and for good reason. But considering the times it took place in, and that the alternative to it was starving to death, or watching your children starve, I kind of understand why they did it.

If I had to choose between watching my daughter starve to death, or putting her with a family that, while it may legally mistreat her, would at least see that she is fed, I can see choosing that latter.

David
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 21 May 2007, 12:47 PM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,603
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
The American slaves were stolen at the point where the slavetraders went to Africa and took them from their lands.
Yes, that's the point. It was just as against the law then as ever but it was how people became slaves.
Quote:
There's no reason to believe that the Israelites ever invaded lands that they weren't already at war with and took people innocent against their will for use as slaves. The Israelite slaves were, for the most part, people given over to servitude to pay off a debt, or to avoid starving to death.
Sounds like the same excuses the slave traders gave for capturing Africans. In any case, I don't find that excuse adequate at all. Slavery is wrong and immoral in any case and I can't believe anyone would make excuses for it, whenever and whatever the circumstances of it.
Quote:
And they'd be committing a fallacy in doing so, just as those who say, or suggest, that the Bible condoned the American form of slavery did, and are doing.
The point is, I don't see any reason to believe that this type of fallacy was limited to the Americas and the their three and a half centuries of slavery.
Quote:
The kind of slavery that the Bible condoned may well be condemned in this day and age, and for good reason. But considering the times it took place in, and that the alternative to it was starving to death, or watching your children starve, I kind of understand why they did it.
More excuses? Why do you feel the need to defend slave owners? It's truly unbelievable. Are you defending them because you respect them for other reasons or do you really think it was okay for them to own human slaves?
Quote:
If I had to choose between watching my daughter starve to death, or putting her with a family that, while it may legally mistreat her, would at least see that she is fed, I can see choosing that latter.
Why do you think this was the only option for the slave owners? I find it incredible that anyone would even swallow that load of BS. If you could feed a slave then you could give that same slave freedom and allow the slave to work for the same food. I don't see the logic in keeping her a slave at all. Is she so stupid tat even when starving she refuses good work for good food? Pitiful excuse for humanity is what that kind of treatment is, be they Israelites or New World Europeans.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 21 May 2007, 06:18 PM
Silas Sparkhammer's Avatar
Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
Join Date: 22 September 2000
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 26,843
Whalephant

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterK View Post
Would you say that, because the OT apparently condones some wars fought by the Israelites, therefore it condones war in general as always just (and for both sides at once!)? No? Then don't use the same argument about all slavery.
No one said that the OT condones all slavery. You added a word to the statement, and then rebutted it.

The OT condones slavery. It also condones war, ethnic cleansing, and genocide, not in all cases, but in certain specific ones.

May I now claim the right to add words to what you say, and then rebut the altered statement? You've done this twice now to me.

Silas
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 21 May 2007, 11:20 PM
KingDavid8 KingDavid8 is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 4,126
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Quote:
The Israelite slaves were, for the most part, people given over to servitude to pay off a debt, or to avoid starving to death.
Sounds like the same excuses the slave traders gave for capturing Africans.
Really? The slave traders captured Africans so that the Africans could pay off a debt to them, or to stop the Africans from starving to death? You don't really believe that, do you?

Quote:
In any case, I don't find that excuse adequate at all. Slavery is wrong and immoral in any case and I can't believe anyone would make excuses for it, whenever and whatever the circumstances of it.
Okay. Just so long as you understand that the type of slavery practiced the USA was indeed condemned by the Bible. That's all I'm trying to say.

Quote:
Quote:
And they'd be committing a fallacy in doing so, just as those who say, or suggest, that the Bible condoned the American form of slavery did, and are doing.
The point is, I don't see any reason to believe that this type of fallacy was limited to the Americas and the their three and a half centuries of slavery.
It's not. I've heard it's still happening in this day and age in some parts of the world, but I'm not sure there are so-called Christians practicing it anywhere and using the fallacy that it's the same kind of slavery that the OT was talking about, when it's not.

Quote:
Quote:
The kind of slavery that the Bible condoned may well be condemned in this day and age, and for good reason. But considering the times it took place in, and that the alternative to it was starving to death, or watching your children starve, I kind of understand why they did it.
More excuses? Why do you feel the need to defend slave owners? It's truly unbelievable. Are you defending them because you respect them for other reasons or do you really think it was okay for them to own human slaves?
Personally, I think it was evil. I'm just saying it was the lesser of two evils.

Quote:
Why do you think this was the only option for the slave owners? I find it incredible that anyone would even swallow that load of BS. If you could feed a slave then you could give that same slave freedom and allow the slave to work for the same food. I don't see the logic in keeping her a slave at all. Is she so stupid tat even when starving she refuses good work for good food? Pitiful excuse for humanity is what that kind of treatment is, be they Israelites or New World Europeans.
Okay, then. Again, the only point I'm trying to make is that the kind of slavery practiced in the USA was not condoned, and was even punishable by death, according to the OT. I'm not saying OT slavery was a perfectly wonderful system, just the lesser of two evils, considering the times they lived in.

David
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 22 May 2007, 12:07 AM
KingDavid8 KingDavid8 is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 4,126
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
The OT condones slavery. It also condones war, ethnic cleansing, and genocide, not in all cases, but in certain specific ones.
As far as ethnic cleansing and genocide go, are we including situations where it's happening in self-defense? The Amalekites and Midianites were, after all, trying to wipe out the Israelites. While that might fit the loosest definition of genocide, situations like that generally are not considered genocide by most experts. Genocide is generally considered a one-sided thing, one group trying to kill another, with the other group being relatively helpless to stop it. I doubt you could find any modern example that is generally considered genocide where that wasn't the case. If two groups are trying to kill each other, the one that's left standing isn't considered to have committed genocide by most experts' understanding of the term.

I do hear some Christians arguing that since they spared the female children, it doesn't count as genocide. But from what I understand, since they raised them as Israelites, thus denying them their cultural identity, it doesn't really count as an exception. But it being a case of self-defense does.

David
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 22 May 2007, 12:11 AM
Chloe's Avatar
Chloe Chloe is offline
 
Join Date: 13 September 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 39,316
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
As far as ethnic cleansing and genocide go, are we including situations where it's happening in self-defense? The Amalekites and Midianites were, after all, trying to wipe out the Israelites.
But the Israelites had God on their side.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 22 May 2007, 12:44 AM
Silas Sparkhammer's Avatar
Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
Join Date: 22 September 2000
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 26,843
Whalephant

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
As far as ethnic cleansing and genocide go, are we including situations where it's happening in self-defense? . . .
I'm mostly thinking about the conquest of the Promised Land, which just happened to belong to someone else at the time. Joshua's treatment of Jericho can not possibly be justified on the grounds of "self defense."

Even when acting in self defense, tribes of the period tended to wreak excessive vengeance; this is hardly unique to the Children of Israel. My only rhetorical point here is that the God of the OT condoned such actions, something which we, in hindsight, cannot easily accept as "moral" in any way.

Silas
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 22 May 2007, 02:14 AM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,603
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
Really? The slave traders captured Africans so that the Africans could pay off a debt to them, or to stop the Africans from starving to death? You don't really believe that, do you?
Of course not. But you're missing the point. Lots of people did believe that and these stories are still told. There is probably even a grain of truth in some of them because the captors were often African tribes, some who probably had a history if slavery. But even if it were true, in either case, I have no idea how anyone can think this justifies a single thing. There is no justification for forced servitude.
Quote:
Okay. Just so long as you understand that the type of slavery practiced the USA was indeed condemned by the Bible. That's all I'm trying to say.
Fine. But I don't know of any society in history where it was not.
Quote:
Personally, I think it was evil. I'm just saying it was the lesser of two evils.
That's a false dichotomy. The choice was not between the lesser of two evil slaveries but between slavery and freedom.
Quote:
Okay, then. Again, the only point I'm trying to make is that the kind of slavery practiced in the USA was not condoned, and was even punishable by death, according to the OT. I'm not saying OT slavery was a perfectly wonderful system, just the lesser of two evils, considering the times they lived in.
Again, it wasn't the lesser of two evils. It was an evil choice among many that would not have been.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 22 May 2007, 02:35 AM
Silas Sparkhammer's Avatar
Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
Join Date: 22 September 2000
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 26,843
Whalephant

All of this reminds me of the movie "The Name of the Rose." (Um, no, I haven't read the book...) In the movie, two groups of monks gather for a debate. The terms are, "Did Jesus Own the Clothes on His Back?" However, one of the monks says, brusquely, "This isn't really what it's about. It's really about whether our order can have great wealth."

What's really at debate here, I think, is whether morality has changed since the time of the Old Testament.

One point of view is, yes, it has. Slavery was "okay" then, but "not okay" now. Raining fire upon a city, or drowning millions of people, was "proper" for God to do then, but "not proper" for God to do today.

Another point of view is, no, it hasn't. Slavery was always wrong, and God was always emotionally remote from human judgement, i.e., never wrathful. It is only our understanding that has changed.

What I think is key here is that both approaches require one to re-frame the OT stories as parables, and to discard them as histories. The stories, if taken at face value (whether literal or not) depict an ugliness, not only in mankind, but in God. They show us a petty, wrathful, jealous, vengeant, and immature God. The image is not of the abstract Deity of Deism; it isn't the figure of wisdom and sagacity that framed the fundamental laws of physics. Instead, the depiction is of a God of storms and fires, with very little to distinguish him from Zeus or Odin.

Christianity, heavily influenced by Greek Philosophy, embraces the "omni" of God, the Alpha and Omega, the erudite "Word" of John. But this isn't what is written in the Old Testament. The OT God was a God of slavery and slaughter.

Either God has changed, or the OT is flawed. There simply is no other choice.

There is no "surrender" involved in accepting the latter. Only the most infantile and insecure believers require a literal Flood or a literal six-day Creation. I don't believe that any of the faithful participating in this thread hold either of those views. It should be no great challenge, then, to take the next step and admit, yes, God in the OT is depicted in those stories as telling his followers to keep slaves, to kill prisoners of war, and to rape women in captured cities.

And, to be honest, there is no "surrender" in chosing the former! Maybe God has grown up just a little, alongside humanity. Maybe he really was a bit new at this business of governing an entire cosmos, and made some rash decisions. Maybe he truly did repent of his own wickedness, and the restitution Jeus (or he and Jesus together) paid on the cross is for his own sins as well as for ours. It fits in well enough with the stories as they are told, and, to be frank, it makes him a better person all around.

Silas

ETA: is "vengeant" a proper word?
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 22 May 2007, 03:14 AM
KingDavid8 KingDavid8 is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 4,126
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
But the Israelites had God on their side.
So....God should have wiped them out Himself?

David
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 22 May 2007, 03:20 AM
KingDavid8 KingDavid8 is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 4,126
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Quote:
Just so long as you understand that the type of slavery practiced the USA was indeed condemned by the Bible. That's all I'm trying to say.
Fine. But I don't know of any society in history where it was not.
Southern society prior to the Civil War?

Quote:
Quote:
Personally, I think it was evil. I'm just saying it was the lesser of two evils.
That's a false dichotomy. The choice was not between the lesser of two evil slaveries but between slavery and freedom.
No, it was between slavery and starvation.

David
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 22 May 2007, 03:46 AM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,603
D'oh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
Southern society prior to the Civil War?
Again, it was condemned and illegal in the strongest possible terms. If there were any proof at all that any slave had been stolen or that a free person had been forced into servitude, the perpetrators would have been punished very severely. The enslavement took place in essentially lawless places on the fronteirs of Africa and the Americas. (The people who participated in the enslavement always had excuses, too. They told themselves it was the lesser of two evils, that if these low people were not enslaved that they would starve to death, that they were actually giving them a better life, that they were the spoils of a just war in defense of the tribe... They believed this as much as you believe those old tales.)
Quote:
No, it was between slavery and starvation.
How is that possible? Please give some scenario where taking away someone's freedom for years or even a lifetime would help feed them. It makes no logical sense at all. If you can feed a slave, you can feed a free person.

Last edited by ganzfeld; 22 May 2007 at 04:04 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 22 May 2007, 03:50 AM
KingDavid8 KingDavid8 is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 4,126
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
Either God has changed, or the OT is flawed. There simply is no other choice.
Personally, I'd say that God has changed. Not that He's become wiser, more caring, or less angry or any of that, but as the human race has become wiser, more caring and less angry (for the most part), God's relationship with us has changed accordingly. I see God as a bit like a parent who chose to be stricter when their child was younger, so that their child would go onto the right path, and then the parent wouldn't have to be quite as strict once the child got older. I believe that God is mostly concerned with making us better people.

I think that everything that God did and condoned in the OT, while we could view it as evil or unfair from the standard of 21st century Western morality, was nothing more or less than what the human race needed at that time. While I'll agree that much of what God did was bad for certain people at certain times, I believe it was always for the good of the human race as a whole in the long run, and I definitely see God as a big-picture kind of guy.

The Israelites needed for God to be angry and wrathful, because it helped keep them on the right path. They were people that, at least according to the story, starting worshipping a golden cow just after He freed them from Egypt. They needed a little anger and jealousy from God, or they would have kept straying.

David
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 22 May 2007, 04:02 AM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,603
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
One point of view is, yes, it has. Slavery was "okay" then, but "not okay" now. Raining fire upon a city, or drowning millions of people, was "proper" for God to do then, but "not proper" for God to do today.
I think throughout the centuries, except for in complete anarchy, societies who have participated in slavery have known, deep down, that it went against their basic principles and morality. So they made strict laws about the conditions under which it could be practiced "fairly". Yet, the more they established the rules of slavery, the more obvious it was that the practice itself was wrong. I don't see any difference between "modern slavery" (withing the last few centuries) and ancient slavery except that the modern one was gradually ramped up to a horrific industrial efficiency that wouldn't be seen again until the mass murder machines of 20th century dictatorships. In this sense, the slavery of ancient people does seem a little more personal, lower scale, not comparable in scope and brutality to modern slavery. But the act of slavery itself -- unjustly taking away ones freedom -- in my opinion, is not excusable inthe slightest by the supposed justifications that have been offered, and which have changed little from ancient times.
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 22 May 2007, 04:06 AM
KingDavid8 KingDavid8 is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 4,126
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Again, it was condemned and illegal in the strongest possible terms. If there were any proof at all that any slave had been stolen or that a free person had been forced into servitude, the perpetrators would have been punished very severely. The enslavement took place in essentially lawless places on the fronteirs of Africa and the Americas.
But the Bible says that even owning a stolen person was punishable by death. It doesn't matter if you didn't do that stealing yourself. The African slaves were free people who had been forced into servitude. Owning a person who had been stolen was, per the OT, punishable by death.

Quote:
The people who participated in the enslavement always had excuses, too. They told themselves it was the lesser of two evils, that if these low people were not enslaved that they would starve to death, that they were actually giving them a better life, that they were the spoils of a just war in defense of the tribe...
Okay, but the Africans weren't in danger of starving to death, weren't being given a better life by being taken as slaves, and we weren't at war with Africa. So you're saying that people lied (to themselves or to others) in order to justify their actions. I'm not seeing how that in any way goes against what I'm saying. The OT says not to steal and sell people. It doesn't say don't steal and sell people unless you can find a way to rationalize it in your mind. It says don't do it. And they didn't do it in OT times.

Quote:
How is that possible? Please give some scenario where taking away someone's freedom for years or even a lifetime would help feed them. It makes no logical sense at all. If you can feed a slave, you can feed a free person.
Okay, here's a scenario. A rich family has plenty of food and wealth and wants to have an indentured servant, someone who will always be on hand when they need his service, and not just someone who comes and goes as he pleases. So they take in a poor person who would otherwise starve to death, and give him food and shelter in exchange for him living with them as their indentured servant.

David
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.