Author Topic: Slavery  (Read 2211 times)

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Offline Co.Inkadink

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Slavery
« on: April 16, 2012, 01:01:09 AM »
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.
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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.html
http://www.apologetics315.com/2011/09/slavery-in-bible-articles-audio.html
http://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.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 01:36:01 AM by Co.Inkadink »

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 01:08:52 AM »
William Lane Craig
Just so we can be on the same page, do you agree with the following statement(answer should be given in the form of "yes" or "no"): Atheism is a-theism, as in an absence of theism, in the same way as asexual would be an absence of sexuality? Again, this is a yes or no question.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline sun_king

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 01:17:54 AM »
William Lane Craig
Just so we can be on the same page, do you agree with the following statement(answer should be given in the form of "yes" or "no"): Atheism is a-theism, as in an absence of theism, in the same way as asexual would be an absence of sexuality? Again, this is a yes or no question.

Waiting to see an answer from Co.Inkadink. Personally I would need three english alphabets to answer your question KB, but I am predicting a wall of text with several irrelevant tangents and a few quotes from the slave owner's manual.

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 01:20:43 AM »
Waiting to see an answer from Co.Inkadink. Personally I would need three english alphabets to answer your question KB, but I am predicting a wall of text with several irrelevant tangents and a few quotes from the slave owner's manual.
I'm interested to see his answer as well. A very simple, straight-forward, unambiguous question that only needs a one word answer, and requires almost zero thought. I don't see how he could screw this up, but with God, all things all possible   :P
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline Co.Inkadink

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 01:21:50 AM »
William Lane Craig
Just so we can be on the same page, do you agree with the following statement(answer should be given in the form of "yes" or "no"): Atheism is a-theism, as in an absence of theism, in the same way as asexual would be an absence of sexuality? Again, this is a yes or no question.
Wow! Trying to derail the thread in the first post! Amazing! Bravo!

What the Greg Allman does that have to do with this subject kaziglu bey? Start a thread about that subject and I might chime in at some point.
I have a question for you. Just so we can be on the same page, do you agree with the following statement (answer should be given in the form of "yes" or "no"): Is slavery objectively wrong? Again, this is a yes or no question.

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 01:43:38 AM »
Wow! Trying to derail the thread in the first post! Amazing! Bravo!

What the Greg Allman does that have to do with this subject kaziglu bey? Start a thread about that subject and I might chime in at some point.
Not trying to derail anything. You cited William Lane Craig as one of your sources for your argument. My question is directly related to said source. Without knowing the answer to this question, I am not able to produce a meaningful reply to the OP. I am merely seeking a clarification from you before posting, as a good forum member does. In fact, I think it should go without saying that whoever posts the OP is necessarily subject to questions for purpose of clarification. You may not currently understand why this question is relevant to this discussion, but unless you think that you are omnipotent, I don't see why you would expect to.

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I have a question for you. Just so we can be on the same page, do you agree with the following statement (answer should be given in the form of "yes" or "no"): Is slavery objectively wrong? Again, this is a yes or no question.
Yes.

How do I feel confident in saying this? You might say something like "Well, if a society practices slavery, it doesn't consider slavery wrong, so it can't be objectively wrong". I disagree, for this reason: if the role of slave and slave owner were reversed, the former slave owner would most definitely not be happy with his/her reduction in status. They would think that it was wrong to be a slave. As far as an objective morality as to OWNING slaves, I would agree to an extent that such a thing does not exist. As far as an objective morality as to BEING a slave, it seems that no one truly desires such a thing, and those that do are properly considered mentally disturbed.

See how easy it was? I provided a one word answer to your question. I was even generous enough to follow it up with an explanation of my answer, so as to clear up potential questions regarding my answer. What's more, I realize that I could be entirely incorrect. You just asked me what I thought, and I told you. Now it's your turn to do the same. So, as to the question of whether or not Atheism means an absence of theism, just as asexuality means absence of sexuality, would you respond yes or no?
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline sun_king

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 01:49:43 AM »
Wow! Trying to derail the thread in the first post! Amazing! Bravo!

A clarification given by you amounts to derailment of a thread?

I have a question for you. Just so we can be on the same page, do you agree with the following statement (answer should be given in the form of "yes" or "no"): Is slavery objectively wrong? Again, this is a yes or no question.
Yes.

Online jaimehlers

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 02:05:49 AM »
I have a question for you. Just so we can be on the same page, do you agree with the following statement (answer should be given in the form of "yes" or "no"): Is slavery objectively wrong? Again, this is a yes or no question.
Love your attempt to throw his words back in his face, especially since you didn't answer his own question.

By the way, the fact that there is no objective framework to hang morality from doesn't mean that anything goes.  You would not want someone to enslave you, therefore it's necessarily wrong for you to enslave other people (and by extension, nobody would want someone to enslave them, therefore it's necessarily wrong for them to enslave anyone else).  This applies because nobody wants bad things to happen to them, therefore it's wrong for them to do those bad things to others.  Even people with a defective understanding of morality, such as psychopaths, would still not want someone else to do various things to them, and therefore it's wrong for them to do those things to other people despite them not understanding that the one is equivalent to the other.

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2012, 02:09:24 AM »
Seriously Dink, what's the problem? I have waited an HOUR for you to provide a one word answer, and you have been online the entire time. Surely that is within your intellectual capacity. In fact given the length of the OP, I would think that a one word answer should come easily. Please don't make my insomnia in vain.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2012, 02:11:19 AM »
Slavery is wrong, pure and simple. Fuck your assumption that I, as an atheist, think all morals are relative. Some are perhaps, but not this one. Any human being forced to serve another and given no choice in the matter is having their fundamental rights violated. Anyone forced to serve others, be it for seven years or life, is being treated immorally. There are no exceptions. If I wouldn't want to do it, it is wrong. And I wouldn't want to do it.

A human is not property. This is not open for discussion. You can talk about it all you want I guess, but don't imagine for a second that if you talk yourself into it believing that it becoises acceptable. To the slaves, it never is. And that's all I need to know.

I don't need a god to call slavery wrong. I don't need a god to call the torture of babies wrong. There exists no truly moral reasoning that could cause one to decide otherwise.

If you have to think about either of those questions, your own morality is questionable. Very questionable. In fact it is useless. About the only decision you are qualified to make is what kind of ice cream you want. Leave the rest of the decisions to actual human beings.

Humans have championed slavery for centuries. If the stories are true, there is now more slavery in the world than there ever has been before. Like all social ills, it's hard to fix the problem because too many immoral bastards prefer the status quo.

Do your best not to be one of those immoral bastards and you can say most anything you want. Join them or justify them and you'd best keep your mouth shut around me.

People who ram crap down little kids throats don't have a leg to stand on when they start complaining about my poor morals caused by atheism. The only thing I do that any christian can possibly complain about is my atheism. Everything else I do is socially acceptable, by even the most stringent christian standards. The only difference between my morality and christian morality is that I don't need a frickin' excuse to do the right thing. I don't need to be scared of hell to keep myself from robbing and stealing and raping and voting straight republican. All I need to know is that I inhabit this planet with 7 billion other people, so being nice benefits everyone. Being nice includes not taking slaves. In case you needed that clarified.

Dink, in the OP you said, and I quote: "I don't think slavery or some forms of slavery are inherently wrong. "

Don't ever tell me christianity is morally superior to anything if you truly feel that way. You can have one or the other, but not both. Not while you're on my planet.

Jesus, the cracker flavored treat!

Offline Co.Inkadink

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2012, 02:12:28 AM »
Quote
Is slavery objectively wrong?
Yes.
How do I feel confident in saying this? You might say something like "Well, if a society practices slavery, it doesn't consider slavery wrong, so it can't be objectively wrong". I disagree, for this reason: if the role of slave and slave owner were reversed, the former slave owner would most definitely not be happy with his/her reduction in status. They would think that it was wrong to be a slave. As far as an objective morality as to OWNING slaves, I would agree to an extent that such a thing does not exist. As far as an objective morality as to BEING a slave, it seems that no one truly desires such a thing, and those that do are properly considered mentally disturbed.
So if someone is unhappy with their situation it is objectively morally wrong? If people in prison are unhappy it's wrong for them to be there? In the sense that we're talking about it here it's the same context. The Hebrews didn't beat or kidnap their slaves, they were sometimes POW and they had rights but not freedom. Prisoners in jail are property of the state until they serve their sentence or die in some cases. It doesn't matter if they like it.
Some slaves in Bible times did like being slaves so much that when it was time for them to go free they would become bond slaves for life. If your master treated you well and provided for your every need and you had no worries about food clothing or shelter some people could enjoy that. They worked and they had time off as well and were not mentally disturbed, just because we can't understand this mindset doesn't mean it's insane. You are using an absolute there to say it is. Not everyone feels as you do.

See how easy it was? I provided a one word answer to your question. I was even generous enough to follow it up with an explanation of my answer, so as to clear up potential questions regarding my answer. What's more, I realize that I could be entirely incorrect. You just asked me what I thought, and I told you. Now it's your turn to do the same. So, as to the question of whether or not Atheism means an absence of theism, just as asexuality means absence of sexuality, would you respond yes or no?
I don't really understand the question. I think atheism means you don't believe in God. I'm not going to answer a question I don't understand.

Offline Co.Inkadink

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2012, 02:18:47 AM »
Seriously Dink, what's the problem? I have waited an HOUR for you to provide a one word answer, and you have been online the entire time. Surely that is within your intellectual capacity. In fact given the length of the OP, I would think that a one word answer should come easily. Please don't make my insomnia in vain.
I've been doing other things and checking other sites. I was annoyed that your first post seemed "to me" like a derailment. It had nothing to do with slavery. I spent 2 hours writing that original post and I thought you were trying to be cute. It is 3am and I'm sleepy.

Offline Co.Inkadink

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2012, 02:23:30 AM »
Slavery is wrong, pure and simple. %^* your assumption that I, as an atheist, think all morals are relative.
I don't
from the first post if you had read it in BOLD.
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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.
I've said it before atheists seem very moral on average. I don't think you think all morals are relative but for your worldview to be consistent they have to be.

Offline Co.Inkadink

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2012, 02:30:33 AM »
A human is not property. This is not open for discussion. You can talk about it all you want I guess, but don't imagine for a second that if you talk yourself into it believing that it becoises acceptable. To the slaves, it never is. And that's all I need to know.
People in prison are property. Whether they like it or not is irrelevant. Should they be set free because they don't like it?
So if the slaves were taken as POWs in a war "where they are trying to kill you" or owed a debt that was astronomical they should be set free or killed? Which one? Better set them free so they can regroup and come kill you or just take the loss and the debtor never pays. People go to jail for things like that and it's almost the same thing.

Offline Co.Inkadink

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2012, 02:48:43 AM »
By the way, the fact that there is no objective framework to hang morality from doesn't mean that anything goes.  You would not want someone to enslave you, therefore it's necessarily wrong for you to enslave other people (and by extension, nobody would want someone to enslave them, therefore it's necessarily wrong for them to enslave anyone else).  This applies because nobody wants bad things to happen to them, therefore it's wrong for them to do those bad things to others.  Even people with a defective understanding of morality, such as psychopaths, would still not want someone else to do various things to them, and therefore it's wrong for them to do those things to other people despite them not understanding that the one is equivalent to the other.
If there is no objective morality anything goes. It doesn't mean you'll get away with it and it doesn't mean people will like it but if you break the law "and don't get caught" or lie or do any manner of selfish things ultimately it doesn't matter.
If humans are just animals and we are molecules in motion what is truly wrong? Why are our feelings about it important?

Inmates don't want to be in prison, some people work jobs they are stuck in or in relationships they don't like it. What about masochists? Is it morally good to beat them because they like it? And there are some people who want to be enslaved "not that it matters if they didn't if there is no objective truth". There are all kinds of exceptions to your theory.

Offline Co.Inkadink

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2012, 02:50:52 AM »
I off to bed now.

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2012, 02:58:18 AM »
So if someone is unhappy with their situation it is objectively morally wrong?
I never said that. I said that the same people who considered it right to own slaves would consider it wrong to BE a slave. Just like everyone else.
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If people in prison are unhappy it's wrong for them to be there?
If they are unhappy because they have been falsely imprisoned, then absolutely. Someone paying the consequences for their actions as set forth by the society that they live in is not at all the same as taking someone to be your property.
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In the sense that we're talking about it here it's the same context. The Hebrews didn't beat or kidnap their slaves,
I don't even know how to respond to such ignorance. God even gives instructions as to what happens in the case of a beaten slave. If the slave owner inflicts serious physical injury, but not serious enough to kill the slave in a day or two (even if they are suffering horribly the entire time) then it's totally ok.
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they were sometimes POW
yet oddly enough, when the Allied Forces defeated the Axis powers in WWII, they didn't turn POW's into slaves, because they knew it would be wrong to do so.
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and they had rights
Correct me if I'm wrong, but what "rights" does a slave have? If they had rights, they wouldn't BE a slave. I don't think that you could direct me to the Biblical verses that contain the Slave's Bill of Rights, could you? If you can't then you can't assert that Biblical slaves had rights.   
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but not freedom. Prisoners in jail are property of the state until they serve their sentence or die in some cases. It doesn't matter if they like it.
Yes, it does matter. It matters if they are not guilty. It matters that they are being treated humanely. If a prisoner is forced at gunpoint to clean toilets with their face, it MATTERS.
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Some slaves in Bible times did like being slaves so much that when it was time for them to go free they would become bond slaves for life.
Or, they were unable choose freedom at the cost of abandoning their own loved ones, which is a pretty sadistic position to put someone in in the first place.
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If your master treated you well and provided for your every need and you had no worries about food clothing or shelter some people could enjoy that.
It doesn't say much for the morals of a society in which being a slave is the best option someone can aspire to. It's more likely that having been a slave, possibly from birth, they are so indoctrinated into the system of slavery that they don't know how to function otherwise. Kind of like how many inmates will end up re offending and back in jail. When Institutionalization is all you've ever known, and all you've ever given hope to expect, what motivation would the slave have to choose otherwise? I also would like to mention that, according to the Bible, the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, and wanted to be free. Why? If there is nothing wrong with slavery, if its such a desirable state, particularly in Biblical times, which is what you are arguing, then why bother with the Exodus at all? I'm sure the Israelites were well cared for, and had rights (but not freedom), and were never beaten, and were treated humanely. Why did they protest this? Were they just selfish?
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They worked and they had time off as well and were not mentally disturbed, just because we can't understand this mindset doesn't mean it's insane. You are using an absolute there to say it is. Not everyone feels as you do.
So under what conditions would it be morally acceptable for YOU and YOUR children to be slaves?

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I don't really understand the question. I think atheism means you don't believe in God. I'm not going to answer a question I don't understand.
  If you didn't understand the question, that should have been your first objection. You stated that the question was meant to derail the thread. How could you think that if you didn't even understand the question?

That being said, your champion William Lane Craig does not agree with you. He stated, in front of a live, serious, debate audience, that atheism does not mean lack of theism. He even pretended that such a proposition was entirely alien to him, as if he had never heard such a thing before. Typically, when going into a debate, it tends to help if you actually have a working knowledge as to what the definition of the oppositions position is. This would be the equivalent of someone saying that "Christianity" has nothing to do with faith in Jesus. Yet, WLC acted as if such a suggestion was ludicrous. As in the prefix "a-" meaning not/lacking, and theism, belief in God(s). This is one of the people who you think provides an excellent argument, yet he is blatantly dishonest and deceptive. Perhaps you also get your debate strategies from him.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline sun_king

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2012, 03:02:34 AM »
Prisons and masochism are two common defense attempts the pro-slavery lobby resorts to.

People are in prison for a reason. They broke the rules of the society and poses a threat to society. Removing them from society is NOT slavery. They had a choice to abide by the rules set for everyone, they chose not to. It is a different scenario, not a parallel to the slavery mentioned in the bible. How exactly does judicial imprisonment become slavery? Does an inmates offspring automatically become a prisoner?

BDSM is also a different topic. Its out of choice. Boxing is legally a sport for willing participants. It does NOT mean donning a pair of gloves and slugging anyone in sight is sports. Dude, get a grip and try to think within contexts.

Prison: Prisoner is not fit to be released in the society
BDSM: Between consenting adults, consenting.

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2012, 03:09:25 AM »
Prisons and masochism are two common defense attempts the pro-slavery lobby resorts to.

People are in prison for a reason. They broke the rules of the society and poses a threat to society. Removing them from society is NOT slavery. They had a choice to abide by the rules set for everyone, they chose not to. It is a different scenario, not a parallel to the slavery mentioned in the bible. How exactly does judicial imprisonment become slavery? Does an inmates offspring automatically become a prisoner?

BDSM is also a different topic. Its out of choice. Boxing is legally a sport for willing participants. It does NOT mean donning a pair of gloves and slugging anyone in sight is sports. Dude, get a grip and try to think within contexts.

Prison: Prisoner is not fit to be released in the society
BDSM: Between consenting adults, consenting.
I would additionally point out that BDSM, or master/slave sexual relations, as it is sometimes called, involves choice and a limited duration. The person being the "slave" in these situations understands that they are not the permanent property of another human being. When the thrill of sex is over, they are still a person with rights and freedom. An actual slave has no such choice, and has no opportunity for things to revert to "normal". They can vote, and drive, and hold elected office. How many Biblical slaves held elected office, specifically WHILE they were slaves? I can't think of any. Yet a "slave" in a BDSM relationship possesses all of the same rights and liberties without interruption. How many Biblical slaves had freedom and rights, but CHOSE to gave them up in order to become someone's personal property, knowing that such a decision would be irreversible? Again, I can think of none.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline Timo

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2012, 03:19:21 AM »
Some points:

I asked if slavery or the torturing of babies objectively wrong? That means if no one objected would it still be wrong?

If no one objected, it really wouldn't be slavery, would it?  It would just be a world in which people had a lot more job security.

Some atheists hold that such objective truths do not exist, that morality is decided by society and culture.

Some do.  I don't.  Though I do think that it's important to recognize that everyone is influenced to some degree by the culture in which they were raised with respect to morality and any number of topics. 

Still, I think it's this sort of statement that has me thinking that kaziglu bey is right in thinking that we should start with a discussion of what atheism is and isn't.  Atheism is not a moral system unto itself.  The aforementioned William Lane Craig, for example, always points out that there are atheists that agree with him about morality, that if God does not exist objective morality doesn't exist.

I disagree and am often perplexed by the presumption that morality can only exist if it's grounded in the nature or the whims of a deity.  Ethicists have been working without that assumption for quite some time and yet apologists present it as it is self-evidently true and needs no explanation.

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.

Here's the thing.  No matter what you or I think properly grounds a system of morality, be it theistic or nontheistic, we need to begin with an assumption, namely that this thing that we believe grounds our morality is in fact the thing that should ground our morality.  And that's something that I think we can really only argue about indirectly.  This topic is actually a good example of that.  You're not arguing against the rightness of grounding morality in one's society directly so much as you are holding up some of its implications as being problematic.  There's nothing wrong with that.  In fact, I think that's the only way we can really argue this sort of topic.  After all, in these sorts of discussions, what's being questioned is our very basis for morality.

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.

This sort of argument strikes me as a bit nonsensical if we're taking the Bible to be authoritative.  You mentioned baby killing, for example.  You might argue that the Bible condemns baby killing in general and I'd agree.  But you can't argue that the Bible condemns baby killing in principle.  There are several instances in the Bible where baby killing is portrayed as good and necessary.  Was it wrong of God, for example, to kill the Egyptian first born?  Was it wrong of the Israelites to kill children in their conquest of Canaan?  With this being the case, it would seem that every objective wrong you might want to talk about must be given the caveat, "unless Yahweh says otherwise."

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.

You might be wasting your time.  If we thought that religious apologists had compelling arguments, we'd be...religious.  In any case, some of the people you mentioned don't find each others arguments compelling.  Frank Turek and William Lane Craig, for example, put forth arguments that rely on big bang cosmology and are therefore at odds with the fine people of Answers in Genesis and other young earth creationists. 

As for slavery, I think the Bible outlines a two-tiered system of slavery.  On the one hand, there are rules for Israelites taken into slavery, rules you did a nice job of outlining.  And on the other, are a different set of rules for the heathen.  And we have to keep that in mind if we're talking about the comparison between that slavery and the sort of slavery that was practiced in the Americas:

Quote from: the LORD thy God
45. And also from the children of the residents that live among you, from them you may acquire [slaves] and from their family that is with you whom they begot in your land, and they shall become your inheritance.  46. You shall hold onto them as an inheritance for your children after you, as acquired property, and may thus have them serve you forever. But as for your brethren, the children of Israel, a man shall not work his brother with rigor. [Leviticus 25, from chabad.org in case you're wondering about the translation]

This two-tiered concept is something we also find in early slave codes.  For example, here's a bit from Virginia's 1705 code:

Quote
And also be it enacted, by the authority aforesiad, and it is hereby enacted, That all servants imported and brought into this country, by sea or land, who were not christians in their native country, (except Turks and Moors in amity with her majesty, and others that can make due proof of their being free in England, or any other christian country, before they were shipped, in order to transporation hither) shall be accounted and be slaves, and as such be here bought and sold notwithtanding a conversion to christianity afterwards….

So yeah, the Bible says people can be property and the proponents and practitioners of chattel slavery took this into account and ran with it. 

In addition, there was this idea floating around in Christendom that we people who are darker than blue were cursed and therefore properly the subject of white domination.  Here's a good Christian son of South Carolina on the matter:

Quote from: James Henry Hammond
The doom of Ham has been branded on the form and features of his African descendants. The hand of fate has united his color and destiny. Man cannot separate what God hath joined.

So nah, slavery in the Americas was an institution put into place by Bible believing Christians and one that was believed to be in line with Biblical teachings and principles.  Catholics and Protestants agreed.

Also, I'm not a fan of a lot of these distinctions between Biblical slavery and chattel slavery that you keep trying to draw.  I mean you do realize that people used to buy slaves from rival tribes right?  Slaves that were ostensibly POWs.  And you realize that there were slaves who were treated well even during chattel slavery.  In fact, the leader of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis was famously kind to his slaves as far as slave-masters went.  None of this justifies the institution.

I think that I should point out that you're mistaken here:

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.

Leviticus 25:47 refers to Israelites who were slaves to foreigners not to POWs.  Leviticus 25:45-46, the section I cited explains that foreign slaves are slaves forever.

Also:

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.

This really isn't a valid comparison.  People are sent to prison because they have violated the rules of a given society.  People were taken as slaves often times because they were dominated in some sort of battle, whether or not they participated in that battle.  Women and children, for example, don't typically get on the front lines in these kinds of conflicts, and yet they were enslaved.  Furthermore, people that are born in prison do not remain in prison for life.  The status of prisoner is not something that is inhereted.  While the status of slave is.

As for the bigger question at hand:

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.

I think that slavery is always wrong and always immoral.  I approach this and other moral issues as more or less a Rawlsian.  In other words, I think that when we're assessing a given issue we need to step back and think to ourselves whether or not we would think it's fair even without knowing which side of that issue we'd fall on in life.  So slavery would be something that I'd have no problem condemning.  It's fundamentally unfair that someone can be a slave by virtue of their birth.  With prisons, the issue is a bit more complicated.  On the one hand, I wouldn't want to be a prisoner.  But on the other hand, I wouldn't want to live in a society where murderers aren't locked up for a while.  I've lost friends to gun violence and I don't think it's okay that there are people that are responsible for the deaths of people I cared about that are probably still walking around right now like it didn't count.

On a side note, while I see the usefulness in your prison analogy, I think that it's probably a bad one here in the states given that we have a disgusting and disfunctional prison system.  It's a system that our children will be disgusted by and ask us to explain how people could have been so mean.  It's our Jim Crow.

So yeah...welcome to the forum.



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Offline Quesi

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2012, 05:18:02 AM »
A while back I wrote a piece on slavery and Christianity and posted it on a different forum.  I hope that it is not against policy to plagiarize your own work. 

I think it is relevant. 

A mere 15 decades ago, many adherent Christians in the US believed that kidnapping, torturing, and raping people, in order to exploit their labor for financial gain, was completely consistent with the teachings of the Bible. Now maybe it is because I am a heathen atheist who does not really understand good and evil, but for me, kidnapping, torturing, and raping in order to benefit financially really sort of falls into the evil category. In fact, if we were to have a scale of good and evil, I’d put that sort of behavior pretty far down on the evil side.

So help me understand. I know that there was slavery in the Bible. Do Christians really believe that kidnapping, raping, torturing and then benefiting financially is consistent with the teachings of the Bible? Did Jesus forgive those kidnapping, raping, torturing folks because they accepted him as their savior, and therefore had a better understanding of good and evil than I do? Did Jesus let those kidnapping, raping, torturing folks into heaven because they vocally proclaimed that Jesus was the best deity ever? And did Jesus subsequently condemn my beloved parents to an eternity of hellfire because they were too busy helping humanity to sing Jesus’ praise?
Is it possible that slavery was ok then, but isn’t ok any more because Christianity’s understanding of the concept of “good” has, for lack of a better word, evolved?

Or is Jesus the kind of deity who buys into “the end justifies the means” as a reason to turn a blind eye to some sins? Was Jesus really a bit put off by the all the nasty stuff that went along with enslaving millions of human beings for so many generations, but decided it was ok because many of those slaves, (and an overwhelming number of their decedents), ended up being Christian?

Or did those kidnapping, raping and torturing folks who called themselves Christians, really misread the scriptures? And if so, why did God write scriptures that are so easily misunderstood? I mean, there are a bunch of references to slavery in the Bible. I can see how they might have gotten it all wrong. And if they were really so seriously misreading the scriptures, how do you know that you and your pastor are not seriously misreading the scriptures as well?

You see, for me, kidnapping, raping, torturing and enslaving other human beings for financial profit is evil, under any circumstances. But I am not a Christian, so I don’t really understand good and evil in the Christian way. So when I work my way through the above example, without the help of a skilled Christian to help me really understand it, these are the possible conclusions that I draw:

Kidnapping, raping, torturing and enslaving other human beings for financial profit;
A) Is ok and consistent with Christian teachings on good and evil.

B) Was ok in the past, but isn’t ok anymore because Christianity changes with the times.

C) Is ok and consistent with Christian teachings on good and evil if the people being kidnapped, raped, tortured and enslaved end up learning about the Bible.

D) Isn’t really ok and consistent with Christian teachings on good and evil, but folks who engaged in those practices get to go to heaven anyway because they accepted Jesus. (Sort of like the way that people who say “God damn it” when they stub their toes get to go to heaven because, after all, we are all sinners but if we accept Jesus our sins get forgiven.)

E) Is not ok and is not consistent with Christian teachings on good and evil, and the folks who engaged in those practices in the name of Jesus already went to hell for all of eternity because they misunderstood God’s confusing scriptures as they apply to slavery.

F) Another explanation which I am missing because I don’t understand good and evil and because I don’t have Jesus to guide me and help me understand.

I would really, really appreciate clarification from some of our resident Christians.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 05:51:04 AM by Quesi »

Offline Alzael

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2012, 06:15:55 AM »
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.

Christians keep saying this. However they can't ever make a decent argument for why that is true. Morality is nothing more than the code of conduct adopted by a society or person. It's grounding is in our own sense of right and wrong. If enough people agree on what is right and wrong then the moral is adopted by the whole society. There is nothing about morality that requires it to be objective for it to exist. It's a description of what a person believes to be right or wrong.

It is self-evident certain things are just wrong.

Then provide evidence for this statement. Why is there so much disargeement over human history on many aspects of morality? What about sociopaths?

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.

Interesting claim. We'll have to see about these in the morning. By the way, consdiering that you seem to know nothing about logic or sound arguments, or intellectual honesty for that matter you might want to keep those comments to yourself.

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.

Then you're wasting your time. Aside from the fact that they don't even have the same arguments, they've never made any good arguments for anything.Although they do make better arguments than you so that's something at least.

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.

Which has already proven to be an outright lie.

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.

This does not apply to POWs (do you even read this stuff?) The verse says that if a foreigner becomes rich and an Israelite becomes poor and sells himself to the rich foreigner he retains the right to be redeemed. The verse describes the rules for if an Israelite voluntarily sells himself to a foreigner.

What you should have quoted was the two lines that came just before that.

"Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly."

The punishment for killing any slave was the same as killing a free person Ex 21:20.

Another outright lie, and a second one by omission. First you lie in saying that the punishment for killing a slave was the same as that of a free person. The verse only says that he will be punished, not that he will be punished similarly. You also lie by omission because you failed to mention the next line which says that the master won't be punished if the slave survives for a day or two.

So I'm curious, clearly you've either never read this and are just quoting from somewhere else, you're deliberately lying to justify your position, or you're an idiot, which one is it?

A slave could inherit their masters estate if there was no heir.


I note that you didn't list a source for this. That would be because it's said nowhere in there.

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.

Note how the womans choice is not mentioned anywhere in there. It's only if he decides he doesn't want her that she gets to go free. The verse says that if you find a woman that you like (after massacreing her village and family, mind you) you can take her a prisoner and force her to become your wife. However if you later decide that she doesn't do it for you, then you have to let her go free. And this is much more morale example of slavery.

You're a very sick individual.

I compare this somewhat with the penitentiary system. You have prisoners who are in essence slaves sometimes for life.

Except for the beatings, the whipping, the denial of basic human dignity........

The punishment for capture was sometimes slavery sometimes death. This is true in war today.

What country in this day and age enslaves it's POW's?

You don't allow the prisoners to just go home and regroup and come try to kill you again.

And you jump from this idea to slavery? As I said, you're a very sick person.

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.

Interesting how you go on later to try and claim that Kaz was asking a question off-topic. You seem to be going quite a ways off topic yourself.

In my opinion slavery in all of it's forms is not always wrong or immoral.

Then how is it not? Your claim that biblical slavery was different is shot to hell so far.

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.

You started the thread. Justify how and when it isn't wrong.

Do objective moral truths exist or do they not? If they do by implication it points to a moral law giver = God.

No it doesn't. In fact it can't. Seriously if you're going to use words at least take the time to learn what they mean. If there were such a thing as objective moral truths they cannot come from a moral law-giver, because at that point they become subjective/

This is typical Christian stupidity. Arguing for objectivty when they have no idea of what it means. What you are arguing exists is not an objective morality. What you are arguing is that there is a set of morals imposed on us by a higher power (in this case a god) that we must obey due to threat. This is not objective, it is subjective because the morals are dependant on the whims of another entity. As god changes his mind about what is right and wrong, so does your version of morality. For morals to be objective it would require them to exist independant of any conscious entity, including god.

For example if killing a child were objectively immoral, then that would apply to god as well. When god kills kids (such as in the flood) it is an unquestionable act of evil.

Now that we've gotten to this point there's something that I would like to go back to.

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.

Following your own logic displayed here this applies to you as well. You can't say that your morality has any grounding either under this model because you don't believe that morals exist as an objective concept (you just think you do because you're ignorant of the terms you're using). What you've done is accept the morals that another being has handed down to you as a commandment that must be followed, rather than decide on morals for yourself.

This isn't really being a moral person. It's being a bitch.
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Offline Alzael

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2012, 06:18:35 AM »
Wow! Trying to derail the thread in the first post! Amazing! Bravo!

That wasn't derailing the thread. This is just the usual excuse to avoid answering.

Case in point:

I've been doing other things and checking other sites. I was annoyed that your first post seemed "to me" like a derailment. It had nothing to do with slavery. I spent 2 hours writing that original post and I thought you were trying to be cute. It is 3am and I'm sleepy.

You could have given the "yes" or "no" right there. Instead you gave another excuse.

I also note that your post failed to address all of the bits about the raping of female slaves that I mentioned before as well. You remember those right? The ones that you tried to ignore?
"I drank what?!"- Socrates

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Offline Nodak

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2012, 07:18:25 AM »
You say in your opinion there are forms of slavery that are not immoral.....please give us an example. Prisoners are not slaves, if that was your example.

Also the part of freeing a woman slave if you dont take delight in her is probably one of the most immoral acts that you could do against a woman in those times.  You've raped her and then set her " free" in Nonvirgin state so that she will have no chance of a man taking her as a wife and she will live her life as a beggar and/or prositute just to survive.  Basically the slave owner took his pleasures and none of the responsibilty of taking those pleasures. You think that's moral.? Are you thinking at all or just trying to justify your Bible?

Offline HAL

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2012, 07:35:06 AM »
I think social morality (of which there is no objective measurable standard) is mainly related to how pain and suffering is perceived. For example, we would consider it morally wrong to allow a club to exist that believed in using hammers to hit children on their big toe. Let's say the club had 25 members and they had this club, and went around town hitting little children's big toes with hammers. In their club by-laws, it said they believe it's morally right to do this. However, the greater society disagrees (they have many more "members"), and they get the club shut down. It's because most people realize children feel pain when their big toes are hit with hammers and we empathize with them. Same with most other things, the greater majority of people have the same views of pain and suffering because we all have are human, and they band together.

The greater population with the same views controls the moral standards of society, and sometime when viewed form another society we disagree with the standards of other societies. For example some other societies eat cats and dogs. In US society we have laws protecting the rights of cats and dogs against cruelty. That's why moral standards differ around the globe. Differing opinions on people's rights and beliefs. If another country had slavery it might exist for a while but probably the country would have sanctions put in place or maybe even be invaded by other societies regarding slavery as morally wrong. It's because we empathize with the oppressed to such a degree that we act to help them. That's the way it works on this Rock. No objective moral standard.

If there is an objective moral standard then you might want to try and answer the question posed in the link below - but the answer has to come from an objective moral standard regarding the specific topic of the thread -

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,22211.0.html

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2012, 08:15:07 AM »
I think he's got you defending a straw man.

1) Judeo/Christian morality is always changing. He implies that it doesn't, and that, for some reason, becomes an axiom in this thread.

2) He implies that there is some kind of virtue in unchanging morals, and that gets your back up. Yet, Christianity is a revolution of new morals, slowly replacing Judashit. There is no evidence that unchanging morals are somehow better, yet that has also sneeked in, as an axiom.

Christianity proves that man can keep developing morals, even when people think they are fixed by a sacrifical religion that would kill people who worked on the sabbath. Paul made some of the first steps away from Judashit, but he denegrated women and homosexuals; encouraged servititude to the state, and didn't say anything about slaves. Matthew wants to keep people adhering to the whole law, inc stoning raped women.

I'm sure that morality will keep getting more advanced, even if most Christians want to hold us back, and stop us following Christ's example.
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Re: Slavery
« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2012, 08:25:13 AM »
Quote
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.

The most worrying thing I find is that people feel that without God there would be no ground for being moral. The reason it worries me is because this person is just relying on what they're 'told' is moral and if suddenly that authority was lost, what would it mean for their actions? I often find it amusing when Christians try and claim authority as far as morality goes. I was actually talking to a Satanist friend over the internet this morning, he's staying in Japan to volunteer and help rebuild towns and communities affected by the tsunami and basically help people get back on their feet. A moral Satanist who has the desire to help others, obviously this Satan bloke isn't as bad as people make him to be. ;) So I think it's clear people find their own moral grounding without God. I think it was you who mentioned an atheist friend who kind of went off the rails, well, maybe if he came here or talked more with fellow atheists about morality, he might have come to better conclusions about what's right and wrong.

But I will talk about myself specifically, because all an atheist can do with this kind of discussion is offer their own insight rather than attempt to represent others - though there's plenty of secular arguments & systems for morality out there. For example, Utilitarianism is one example of secular moral relativity. Going to the ancient Greeks there's Aristotle's Virtue Ethics, or for Immanuel Kant there's the Categorical Imperative. But they may not be what the majority of atheists use or reason with, but they're examples none-the-less and would probably be something interesting to read up upon.

Anyway, I am what you might call an agnostic atheist Buddhist. Why do I feel the need to be moral? We're a social species, therefore our sociability is important for our species survival. We take care of our own and empathy is a quality our species possesses, which may derive from being a social species. Comparative to a snake, who lacks sociability, I've never heard of snakes feeling empathy. But humans aren't the only species of animal with it, it can be witnessed in other apes and I've even witnessed it in my pet cats. So more than anything our empathy is a natural trait. As humans who are able to think and reason, we kind of think more on the subject and form our own systems of morality, rather than just rely on instinct. For example, the morality of Buddhism. It has the famous story of 'The Buddha', Siddartha Gautama becoming Buddha (I don't know how factual the story is, but it's just a story none-the-less), he was a prince living in a palace in India and he never left the palace. He was well looked after and everybody around him was bright and healthy and he led a good life. But he did venture out of the palace and found himself witnessing the suffering of different people. And he didn't understand why they suffered. It became his goal to understand how to overcome suffering.

In a sense I feel that it was empathy that led him onto the line of reasoning that would define Buddhism...assuming this is indeed what happened, but I think it is reflective of how we can feel someone's suffering through empathy and thus desire to end it. For this reason I've come to actually agree with many teachings I've read from Buddhism. Buddhism, which is sometimes referred to as an atheistic religion, because on its own, Buddhism lacks deities. People who become Buddhists make acquire the deities of other religions. Heck, Buddhism isn't always considered a religion, I know I don't consider it one.

I don't even believe any of the supernatural stuff mentioned in it. However, things like reincarnation aren't essential to what Buddhism is and the teachings it does have are non-dogmatic and Buddha himself basically said, "study & understand these teachings, but ultimately decide for yourself". Not, "you must do this and you must not do this!" I understand there are schools of Buddhism that are more dogmatic than others and are more worship based. But then, at the end of the day, what they end up believing is up to them so long as they still hold core Buddhist values - hence to my mind, it's a philosophy and not a religion. In my case, agnostic atheist Buddhist.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 08:39:16 AM by Seppuku »
“It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet” - Miyamoto Musashi
Warning: I occassionally forget to proofread my posts to spot typos or to spot poor editing.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2012, 08:25:54 AM »
Waiting to see an answer from Co.Inkadink. Personally I would need three english alphabets to answer your question KB, but I am predicting a wall of text with several irrelevant tangents and a few quotes from the slave owner's manual.
I'm interested to see his answer as well. A very simple, straight-forward, unambiguous question that only needs a one word answer, and requires almost zero thought. I don't see how he could screw this up, but with God, all things all possible   :P

A One word answer with a few paragraphs of explanation would be acceptable.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Slavery
« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2012, 08:36:00 AM »
William Lane Craig
Just so we can be on the same page, do you agree with the following statement(answer should be given in the form of "yes" or "no"): Atheism is a-theism, as in an absence of theism, in the same way as asexual would be an absence of sexuality? Again, this is a yes or no question.
Wow! Trying to derail the thread in the first post! Amazing! Bravo!

What the Greg Allman does that have to do with this subject kaziglu bey? Start a thread about that subject and I might chime in at some point.
I have a question for you. Just so we can be on the same page, do you agree with the following statement (answer should be given in the form of "yes" or "no"): Is slavery objectively wrong? Again, this is a yes or no question.

No, because the only thing that can be objectively wrong if it doesn't agree with reality. It is not objectively wrong or right because no question of morality can be.

Morality is not objective. Do I find it personally repugnant?, repugnant enough that I would personally consider advocating the death of slave owner, or killing them, yes.

Were a sentient being with a sense of morality to have created the universe, then morality would be objective. It would be part of the fabric of the universe much like Newtonian motion. So since you hold that a sentient Being with a sense of Morality DID create the universe, you must hold the belief of objective morality.

Yet you keep weaseling away from the implications of this paradigm. That is intellectual dishonesty.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.