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  #141  
Old 28 May 2007, 07:44 AM
KingDavid8 KingDavid8 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
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KingDavid:Considering that you've been arguing for days over something that should be incredibly obvious to any rational person (that the American form of slavery was condemned by the OT), I'm really not interested in getting into a whole 'nother issue with you. Sorry.
I have not argued about that even once. Please quote me.
Here's the exchange from post #75

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KingDavid: Okay, but I thought we were discussing whether the OT condemned it [the American form of slavery]. If Israelites did practice it, then they were violating the law and could have been killed for it, whether they felt they were justified or not.
The point is, the book tacitly condoned the act.
If you're saying it condoned it, then you're saying it didn't condemn it.

If you're saying that you agree that the American form of slavery was condemned by the OT, then I guess our discussion is over, since that's primarily what I've been trying to convince you of.

David
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  #142  
Old 28 May 2007, 07:52 AM
KingDavid8 KingDavid8 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
"I'm confused." Yeah, me too. Are you saying that the women and children of other tribes weren't free prior to becoming slaves?
No. I'm just questioning how you can say that in American slavery, it was illegal to enslave a free person. Under American slavery, it happened all the time, and wasn't illegal at all prior to 1820.

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"I'm even more confused." Yeah, me too. If the Israelites knew that someone must be doing the enslavement, then they had to have known that people were turning from "free" to "slaves", which means that they did not consider it illegal to enslave a free person. Did they think that all slaves were born as slaves? Were they unaware that people were going to other tribes and buying women and children?
Again, I'm just trying to wrap my mind around your claim that under American slavery, it was illegal to enslave a free person, and then saying that they all knew that someone was enslaving free people. Yes, under OT law, free people were enslaved all the time, quite legally (though immorally). I was only asking you to explain what you meant by these apparently contradictory statements. So could you explain them, please?

David
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  #143  
Old 28 May 2007, 07:56 AM
KingDavid8 KingDavid8 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Ah, so you think it is so much different for a child to be sold as property as to be stolen?
Absolutely. A person who steals a child from its parents and sells it into slavery would not be presumed to have the child's best interest at heart. A parent probably would, and would only turn them over for slavery if the child would likely not have any future otherwise, such as their situation being so bad that the child would likely starve to death before growing up, and thus would be better off with a family that, though it would treat the child as a slave, would be able to provide for it.

Or if we're assuming that the parents turns the child over for slavery only because he or she hates the child and wants to see them live the horrible life of a slave, then would the child really be better off with such a cruel parent?

David
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  #144  
Old 28 May 2007, 08:12 AM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
No. I'm just questioning how you can say that in American slavery, it was illegal to enslave a free person. Under American slavery, it happened all the time, and wasn't illegal at all prior to 1820.
Yet the law after 1820 was as clear as the quote you gave from that old book. That's the point. (Nitpick: In the US, the African slave trade was made illegal as soon as the new constitution permitted, in 1808. In 1820, all the slave states in Europe and the Americas agreed to make the practice illegal and punishable as piracy.)

It certainly would not have been legal at any time in US history for a person to sell his own daughters and sons into slavery to settle a debt or to deal with foreign invaders and, as far as I know, such things would have been rare, too. So I'm not interested in comparing two extremely cruel societies. It's like the old "who was worse Hitler or Stalin?" meme. You know, after they get that bad, comparing them just makes you feel like you're tasting manure for freshness.

ETA -- I have to object to your saying that people were "enslaved all the time" in the Americas. There were cases of natives and free Africans being enslaved but, for the most part, that happened in Africa. It makes little difference in the argument, though.

Last edited by ganzfeld; 28 May 2007 at 08:27 AM.
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  #145  
Old 28 May 2007, 07:39 PM
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Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
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In the old slave south, wasn't it legal for a white man to "claim" a resident black whom no one else claimed? I have read about this, where, for instance, in Missouri, if a black man -- a freed black man! -- were to live there for a period of time (six months?) then anyone could come along and take him up as a slave. I do not know if actually having one's manumission papers was protection against this. (And, of course, those were the days where "papers" meant nothing; if someone wanted to seize a black man or woman as a slave, he'd just do so, and burn whatever papers the victim was carrying.)

Some Christians at the time argued that this was all perfectly acceptable under the Bible, usually citing the curse of Ham (not the Mark of Cain, although some actually distorted scripture so far as to cite that in justification!)

In other words, the Bible may have forbidden southern slavery...but the Christians of the day were far from agreeing on that interpretation.

It gives me some hope for other divisive issues; perhaps in another century, the current disagreement over gay rights will seem equally quaint.

Silas
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  #146  
Old 28 May 2007, 09:01 PM
Zakor
 
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Originally Posted by PeterK View Post
I'm sorry, but you're really displaying your ignorance here. It is not a "defence", it is a historical fact that the Israelites understood the commandment as a prohibition of murder. In the same passage God commands them to carry out capital punishment for several offences. Are you really proposing that the OT writer/s intended to say that God first said that killing people is always wrong, then a few verses later changed his mind ? Or realised he had got it wrong?

And it doesn't say "Thou shalt not kill humans". By your own incredibly trite logic God was telling the ancient Israelites they must be fruitarians.

You can't just pluck four words out of the Bible in isolation, impose a slavishly literalist and irrelevant meaning onto them, and then accuse anyone who tells you to look at the context, of mounting an "incredibly trite" "defence" of them.
I'm displaying my ignorance? Welcome to ignore.
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  #147  
Old 28 May 2007, 09:03 PM
Zakor
 
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Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
This kind of comparison makes me sick to my stomach. While we're at it, can we compare Manson and Hitler? Give me a break.
You can definitely choose the "least worst" of two bad situations. They both are horrible...but they still can have an optimal solution.
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  #148  
Old 29 May 2007, 02:59 AM
PeterK
 
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Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
I see indentured servitude as a form of slavery, since they're denied personal freedom, considered property, and compelled to perform services without pay. If you don't consider indentured servitude to be a form of slavery, that's fine, but it does fit the definition, as far as I'm concerned.



I do, actually. But then again, I'm not an Israelite bound by the old covenant.

Seriously, if you think I'm one of those right-wing Bible-thumping pseudo-Christian morons who's trying to shove my beliefs down everyone's throat, then you really don't know me very well. I have my beliefs and try to live by them, but don't expect people who disagree with my beliefs to be compelled to live by them, also. I'm opposed to compulsary prayer in school, opposed to sticking the Ten Commandments in public court houses, and in favor of equal rights for homosexuals and people of other religions (or of no religion at all).

David
Amen to that, your majesty.
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  #149  
Old 29 May 2007, 03:09 AM
PeterK
 
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Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Isn't it obvious -- how long Ganz can go without sleep!

Well, you're probably right. I'm no Joe Bentley but sometimes irrationality really annoys me. I just feel that it is extremely irrational to say that the acts described in the OT were "voluntary" or "for the good of the slaves". To me, it's almost worse than believing in that 6000 year old Earth crap because the same arguments are still used in 2007 to enslave people.
I'm not aware of anyone since the 19th century who has tried to use the OT to justify enslaving people.
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The connection between the excuses then and the excuses throughout history is as clear as the fossil record to me.

But I'll try to let go.

Every now and then I get worked up about these kinds of things but I hope KingDavid8 and PeterK know I don't mean to insult them as people or to try to take away something about their culture that's important to them.
Thanks, but it's no skin off my nose if you disagree with something in my culture which is important to me. Feel free to disagree, it doesn't "take away" anything from me. (In fact your reference to "take away" is the only insulting thing you have said, suggesting perhaps that I only have these "irrational" beliefs because I've been brainwashed and that my beliefs would instantly dissolve if I was ever exposed to "rational" arguments such as yours.) I'm merely pointing out that you are mistaken regarding the fact that the OT does not condone slavery in general.
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  #150  
Old 29 May 2007, 03:38 AM
PeterK
 
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Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
In the old slave south, wasn't it legal for a white man to "claim" a resident black whom no one else claimed? I have read about this, where, for instance, in Missouri, if a black man -- a freed black man! -- were to live there for a period of time (six months?) then anyone could come along and take him up as a slave. I do not know if actually having one's manumission papers was protection against this. (And, of course, those were the days where "papers" meant nothing; if someone wanted to seize a black man or woman as a slave, he'd just do so, and burn whatever papers the victim was carrying.)

Some Christians at the time argued that this was all perfectly acceptable under the Bible, usually citing the curse of Ham (not the Mark of Cain, although some actually distorted scripture so far as to cite that in justification!)

In other words, the Bible may have forbidden southern slavery...but the Christians of the day were far from agreeing on that interpretation.
Yes, but those who disagreed were never more than quite a small minority. The acknowledged authorities of the major branches of Christianity have always condemned racial and chattel slavery as immoral and contrary to the Bible. And 3 centuries of enslavement of Africans in America by "Christians", massive in scale though it was, was very much an aberration in the history of Christianity. It's true that Christians did not abolish slavery overnight when they first gained political power, but they did get rid of it over the next century or so. And historically Christians have been far more commonly the victims of enslavement than the perpetrators. Even during the same era as the American slave trade, more than a million Christians were simultaneously being enslaved by non-Christians.
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It gives me some hope for other divisive issues; perhaps in another century, the current disagreement over gay rights will seem equally quaint.

Silas
Indeed. That goes for abortion and contraception as well. On slavery and many other once-divisive issues, the historical majority Christian position has always eventually reasserted itself as the overwhelming consensus.
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