Before I begin talking about this I want to point out something I've been thinking about for the last few days on this subject. As with the torturing of babies issue from the other thread and this subject I realized my questions have been being answered over and over again.
I asked if slavery or the torturing of babies objectively wrong? That means if no one objected would it still be wrong? Some atheists hold that such objective truths do not exist, that morality is decided by society and culture. I and other Christians have argued that if this is true the atheist has no moral grounding for calling anything wrong. I don't understand what makes it truly wrong if this is decided by culture and society. I'm talking about transcendence that some things are wrong or evil or immoral even if a society would agree and approve of it. I believe there are such things.
Allow me to make a statement before I go any further and I and many Christians have said this and either atheists just gloss over it or they want to deliberately edit it out like it hasn't been said.I don't think atheists have no morals, what I think and believe is that if morality is based on society or culture and subject to change morality doesn't truly exist and has no grounding.
That means that if Hitler won WWII hating the Jews would be good and moral and it would be moral according to the definition of morality that is based on society and culture as it's foundation. On the contrary atheists don't believe this because society and culture cannot decide morality, it's impossible to call evil good logically and coherently. It is self-evident certain things are just wrong.
C. S. Lewis, said:
Think of a country where people were admired for running away in battle, or where a man felt proud of double-crossing all the people who had been kindest to him. You might just as well try to imagine a country where two and two made five.
Finally here are some links if you don't find logic and sound arguments on this subject from them then I believe you are being intellectually dishonest. http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2012/03/does-the-bible-endorse-slavery.htmlhttp://www.apologetics315.com/2011/09/slavery-in-bible-articles-audio.htmlhttp://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/02/02/feedback-bible-slavery
These unlike the links I googled before are apologists I respect and agree with almost 100%.
If you think Greg Koukl , Paul Copan, William Lane Craig, Frank Turek, Norm Geisler or Answers in Genesis all have weak arguments for these discussions then I am wasting my time because that is where I draw most of my information and arguments from. I would advise you to read "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist" as it is one of the best books on the subject.
All of this said and linked I'm going to give my own personal opinion. I don't think slavery or some forms of slavery are inherently wrong.
Slavery in America is much different from the slavery of the Bible. Slaves were set free after 7 years, usually it was indentured servitude to pay off a debt, they were treated as members of the family and some would choose to become Bondslaves for life at the end of the 7 years. If you struck a slave he went free. It was illegal to kidnap in the Jewish law so there was no capture and subjugation.
I've had it pointed out to me that when Israel captured people they could treat them as slaves and the same rules didn't apply. However the Hebrews treated alien slaves much better than the Romans or Muslims of the time. The alien slaves that were P.O.W.s could purchase their freedom or be redeemed by a relative at any time before the year of jubilee. Lev 25:47-55. The punishment for killing any slave was the same as killing a free person Ex 21:20. A slave could inherit their masters estate if there was no heir.
If an Israelite took a woman as a prisoner of war as his wife she no longer was a slave. She was to be treated as his wife.
Deuteronomy 21:10-14: "When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.""
If he decided to divorce her she went free.
I compare this somewhat with the penitentiary system. You have prisoners who are in essence slaves sometimes for life. The punishment for capture was sometimes slavery sometimes death. This is true in war today. You don't allow the prisoners to just go home and regroup and come try to kill you again. I would write more on this but I'm waiting for the opinions to come out before I do.
In the new testament however slavery isn't always condoned it is mentioned matter of factly as a way of life which it was. A slave shouldn't try to be free just because he became a christian. Just like in the modern legal system if a criminal becomes a christian he still has to pay society for his crime no matter what he now believes or how repentant he is. If it's capital punishment he must still face it or serve other sentences.
Slavery in the Bible or the word slave is used as an illustration for how we are to serve Christ. Lord in the NT Greek mostly is kyrios which is absolute master. The word which is improperly translated "servant" in almost every translation of the bible is doulos which means Slave it appears 124 times, Christians are supposed to be slaves of Christ no rights of our own to be the property of Jesus Christ. We can discuss this further but this is pretty clear throughout the NT. Read the book Slave by John Macarthur he discusses almost every passage.
Here is a verse that gets beat up a lot IMO.
Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
This is not saying you should actually hate your mother and father the OT teaches to honor and respect them many times. This is a Hebraism meaning you Love God/Jesus more than anything or anyone else in the world, he is absolute master and we are his slaves.
It says and his very own life. It's not talking about self-loathing it's talking about putting God in first place always as master and Lord.
Gen 29:31 And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.
Leah wasn't hated but preferred less.
Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Esau wasn't hated but preferred less.
This is why I have problems with professing Christians who do all kinds of things contrary to the Bible. Either they are ignorant of it's teachings or rebellious or they aren't truly saved with God's Holy Spirit guiding them. How could they be?
In my opinion slavery in all of it's forms is not always wrong or immoral. However if as an atheist you believe that it always is you are being inconsistent with the majority of atheists who don't believe morality is objective or absolute and we can discuss by what standard slavery is transcendent and inherently wrong.
Do objective moral truths exist or do they not? If they do by implication it points to a moral law giver = God.