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Why do you suppose Jesus never condemned slavery?

 
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 02:25 pm
IronLionZion

You have captured exactly where I am at on this issue.

I thank you for that.
0 Replies
 
Laptoploon
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 02:28 pm
IronLionZion wrote:
Laptoploon wrote:

Why didn't/don't (insert political/social leader of your choice) condemn the fact that most working people didn't/don't get free at the point of delivery health care?


To be fair, most political/social leaders do not claim to be the eternal moral leader of humanity.

Laptoploon wrote:

Actually I think it demonstrably wasn't an issue. It's merely an issue from a 21st century perspective.


The fact is that there was slavery in Jesus time.


The point is that it WASN'T an issue. If it had been it would have been raised. The bible doesn't raise it. Tacitus doesn't. Josephus doesn't. It was a non issue

Quote:


Another fact is that slavery has existed throughout the ages and throughout the world.


No contest

Quote:
The question of why it wasn't an issue to Jesus is the whole point of this thread, Lap. Read my last post. Clearly, in our modern age and culture most people and most Christians consider the concept of slavery wrong. Which begs the question: if Jesus is the eternal moral leader of all humanity why didn't he speak out against slavery if it was wrong, and keeping in mind the fact that it has been such a ubiquitous problem throughout the ages?


I think the major question is "Why is slavery wrong, who says so?" Slavery has been in existence for most of man's history and worked wonderfully well, so why is it suddenly wrong?
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 02:34 pm
It's "wrongness" is not new.

e.g. Rape, murder etc has foerever been with us and functions well (it works) yet it is wrong.

If you really want to argue that slavery is not wrong or was not wrong it should be interesting.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 02:35 pm
IZL, what rot.

Frank asked why "Jesus" had not condemned slavery. You reply to me: "Jesus was the son of God, the perfect moral being, and the person whom every human should strive to be like." Is that some sort of statement from authority? How ludicrous! Since Frank asks why "Jesus" did not condemn slavery, whether or not he considered himself to be the moral acme of humanity is very much to the point, as is the question of whether or not slavery was an issue in Palestine 2000 years ago. As ebrown_p has pointed out, he was preaching to a crowd for whom it likely was not an issue (once again, with the caveat that i have no good reason to assume that such an individual, as described by the religious, ever existed).

"Questioning the morality of someone who is considered by millions to be the perfect moral being is a 'pointless discussion?'" Yes, it is pointless unless and until anyone can demonstrate (assuming for the sake of argument that such an individual actually existed) that "Jesus" considered himself to be the moral compass of millions, and therefore had an obligation to hold forth with the last word on every moral issue.

I understand what Frank is getting at. I consider the discussion pointless, though interesting, because we don't have any good historical reason to believe that "Jesus" ever existed; we have every good historical reason to question the accuracy and provenance of what is today the accepted scriptural canon; we have no good historical reason to assume either that slavery was prevalent in ancient Palestine, nor that it was considered morally reprehensible there at that time.

As i say, pointless, but interesting.
0 Replies
 
IronLionZion
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 02:40 pm
Laptoploon wrote:

The point is that it WASN'T an issue. If it had been it would have been raised. The bible doesn't raise it. Tacitus doesn't. Josephus doesn't. It was a non issue.


To be frank, you just aren't getting it. This may be due to my poor writting more than your intellectual fault. Read my last post.

Quote:
I think the major question is "Why is slavery wrong, who says so?" Slavery has been in existence for most of man's history and worked wonderfully well, so why is it suddenly wrong?


A valid question. Again, read my last post.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 02:41 pm
Laptoploon wrote:
IronLionZion wrote:
Frank's point is that slavery was clearly an issue during Jesus time, .


Actually I think it demonstrably wasn't an issue. It's merely an issue from a 21st century perspective.


That is abject nonsense -- just as it is nonsense to suggest that Jesus was not presented with the fact of slavery damn near every day of his life.

Slaves were everywhere.

Or at least, the Bible leads us to suppose they were.

The Bible talks about slaves in the society in which Jesus was raised -- and talks about it at length.

It also notes that there were concerns about the institution -- and attempts were made to codify how slaves could be treated. (Although I suspect most people did not want to live in slavery no matter how "enlightened" the slavery was.)


But the fact remains that the Bible does not report a single instance of Jesus saying anything, negative or positive, about slavery.



I personally suspect Jesus never spoke out against slavery because he saw nothing wrong with it.



St. Paul never spoke out against slavery -- and it is almost certain that he saw nothing wrong with it -- because unlike Jesus, who remained silent on the issue, Paul often spoke of the subject in a way that clearly establishes that he saw nothing wrong with it.


Now we know this...

...the god of the Bible saw nothing wrong with slavery.

The god of the Bible actually goes out of his way to assure the ancient Hebrews that owning and trafficking in slaves was completely okay with him.

And we know that Jesus -- whom Christians consider GOD -- never spoke out against slavery.


So, assuming for a moment that GOD EXISTS...we are left with the following propositions:

Either the Bible is "GOD inspired" and accurately depicts what GOD is like and what pleases GOD and what offends GOD...and correctly depicts that GOD does not think there is anything particularly wrong or immoral about one human being trafficking in and owning other human beings....

...or...

...the Bible is in error about some things...which of course means, it may be in error about most or all things.



Which is your guess?


BTW-- If you see other alternatives, please bring them out for discussion.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 02:42 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
It's "wrongness" is not new.

e.g. Rape, murder etc has foerever been with us and functions well (it works) yet it is wrong.

If you really want to argue that slavery is not wrong or was not wrong it should be interesting.


Craven, I am not sure I understand what you are saying.

It is difficult to argue "wrongness" without a social context. If you accept a social context then it is perfectly reasonable to say that slavery wasn't wrong before, but is is wrong now.

If this is not the case, than you need to explain how the issues of slavery (and rape and murder) are different than the currently "OK" issues of homosexuality and witchcraft.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 02:44 pm
I want to be sure we all realize that the Bible has an historical component and a theological component.

The historical component seems to be an idealized, self-serving history of the early Hebrew people.

I am not taking issue with that component here.

I am taking issue with what I see as the mytholological theology component interwoven into the historical one.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 02:46 pm
Social acceptance, collective morality if you will does in fact change.

I see how it can get confusing.

Let's put it this way. I contend that slavery was always "wrong". I recognize that slavery was not always considered to be "wrong".

It is not at all reasonable to me to argue that slavery was "right". Only that it was accepted as right.

A comparable example is that there was a time when a flat earth was considered "right" but the theory was not.
0 Replies
 
IronLionZion
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 02:59 pm
Setanta wrote:
IZL, what rot.

Frank asked why "Jesus" had not condemned slavery. You reply to me: "Jesus was the son of God, the perfect moral being, and the person whom every human should strive to be like." Is that some sort of statement from authority? How ludicrous! Since Frank asks why "Jesus" did not condemn slavery, whether or not he considered himself to be the moral acme of humanity is very much to the point, as is the question of whether or not slavery was an issue in Palestine 2000 years ago. As ebrown_p has pointed out, he was preaching to a crowd for whom it likely was not an issue (once again, with the caveat that i have no good reason to assume that such an individual, as described by the religious, ever existed).

"Questioning the morality of someone who is considered by millions to be the perfect moral being is a 'pointless discussion?'" Yes, it is pointless unless and until anyone can demonstrate (assuming for the sake of argument that such an individual actually existed) that "Jesus" considered himself to be the moral compass of millions, and therefore had an obligation to hold forth with the last word on every moral issue.

I understand what Frank is getting at. I consider the discussion pointless, though interesting, because we don't have any good historical reason to believe that "Jesus" ever existed; we have every good historical reason to question the accuracy and provenance of what is today the accepted scriptural canon; we have no good historical reason to assume either that slavery was prevalent in ancient Palestine, nor that it was considered morally reprehensible there at that time.

As i say, pointless, but interesting.


I doubt you took the time to read and think about what was written. You say you inderstand what Frank is getting at, but honestly, I don't think you do. I will respond later, right now I gotta go.
0 Replies
 
Laptoploon
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 03:00 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
It's "wrongness" is not new.

e.g. Rape, murder etc has foerever been with us and functions well (it works) yet it is wrong.


Wrong is it?
How many examples of apparently wrong "murder" would you like me to cite?
I've read enough of your posts to know that you would not defend that position. Morals, as you've argued elsewhere eloquently on this forum, are subjective. Slavery's "wrongness" is equally subjective.

Quote:
If you really want to argue that slavery is not wrong or was not wrong it should be interesting.


A master owns slaves who work his land, they are bound to him with their lives. He loves his slaves (translate this as compassion for the less well off) Because of his love he makes the effort to educate his slaves and their off spring, he ensures they are fed, clothed, housed and have access to health care....for this he requires their labour....and he retires the old and the infirm.

Now translate this to prechristian history......this happened....time and time again and there is simply too much evidence to deny this.....contrast this to the life of a pre-christian proto-european stalking the as yet unflooded low countries of europe.

Slavery isn't an absolute term. By comparison to the working condidtions of most Americans and Europeans, the children (yes that's children) that make your Levis or your Nike trainers are slaves....but ...and this is the big but most wouldn't acknkowledge this (cos it's meaningless to them) ....life might well be **** for them, but it was life-prematurely **** for them before.

Anyone giving up their "Made in Sweatshop" goods?

I know I'm not
0 Replies
 
Laptoploon
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 03:04 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
Social acceptance, collective morality if you will does in fact change.

I see how it can get confusing.

Let's put it this way. I contend that slavery was always "wrong". I recognize that slavery was not always considered to be "wrong".

It is not at all reasonable to me to argue that slavery was "right". Only that it was accepted as right.

A comparable example is that there was a time when a flat earth was considered "right" but the theory was not.


Except one is an ignorance of fact (the world is demonstrably NOT flat)

The other is a subjective view point. You can demonstrate why you think slavery is wrong, you cannot demonstrate the fact that it isn't
0 Replies
 
husker
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 03:04 pm
I think you can get your best answer from someone who knows the Jewish history and tradition of the time, what I remember is vague. I think the slavery we define now was a little different then, more like an endentured sort of thing, way back then many people expecially Jews wanted to live in that type system for protection, security and such - I think??
0 Replies
 
husker
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 03:18 pm
Quote:
All ancient economies involved slavery, But no other people in the ancient near east had so many safeguards to keep indentured servants from becoming perpetual slaves. Rabbi Rachel Adler
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 03:33 pm
Laptoploon wrote:

Except one is an ignorance of fact (the world is demonstrably NOT flat)

The other is a subjective view point. You can demonstrate why you think slavery is wrong, you cannot demonstrate the fact that it isn't


You have a remarkable talent for stating the obvious.

Like I said, if you want to debate the morality of slavery feel free to do so.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 03:34 pm
Laptoploon wrote:
Anyone giving up their "Made in Sweatshop" goods?

I know I'm not


Sweatshops are rarely, if ever, slavery.

If you are to discuss this, I suggest you at least start with the understanding of what slavery is.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 03:54 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
Social acceptance, collective morality if you will does in fact change.

I see how it can get confusing.

Let's put it this way. I contend that slavery was always "wrong". I recognize that slavery was not always considered to be "wrong".

It is not at all reasonable to me to argue that slavery was "right". Only that it was accepted as right.

A comparable example is that there was a time when a flat earth was considered "right" but the theory was not.


Craven, I think Laptop and I have a valid point.

You are using the words "wrong" and "right" without a definition of either term. Nor do you provide any way to determine what is wrong or right.

There is a logical basis for deciding whether a scientific fact is wrong or right. You can do tests that provide a objective answer.

But how do you prove that any moral issue is "wrong"? It seems to me that this type moral judgement necessarily subjective. It is completely dependent on your circumstances and the society of which you are a part.

I completely agree slavery is wrong in the context of our society and with our shared values.

But, to show this is a Universal Truth, you need to provide a logical framework for you statement.

I don't think this is possible without a social framework. We are just pointing out that social values and mores change from time to time and from society to society. I have no reason to believe that 21st century American values reflect any Universal Truth more than past societies have or future societies will.

My challenge is to defend your belief that slavery is wrong, without basing your argument on axioms that depend on American values. You can use any value that you can show is a Universal truth.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 03:56 pm
Craven's point is well taken -- and any time this topic is discussed, at some point, someone starts talking about how slaves really wanted to be slaves back in those days.

They say "slavery was different."

Well, slaves always could be bought and sold -- they could be separated from family -- children and spouses OFTEN sold out from them.

Slavery sucks.

As for morality -- well, all I can say about that is that religions determines "morality" -- and the religions of the Bible have the word of the Lord God of the Bible to contend with on this level:


"Slaves, male and female, you may indeed possess...such slaves
you may own as chattels, and leave to your sons as their
hereditary property, making them perpetual slaves." Leviticus 25:44ff

Can't get much more clear than that!


I do appreciate all the input.

Hope more comes.

I'm listening and considering everything.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 03:57 pm
Eric,

It's a subjective matter. Of course it won't be proven the same way that a scientific fact is.

I do not assert that it is wrong based on American values at all. I assert that it is wrong based on human nature.

Would you accept being a slave? Your children? Your family?

The point about prooving that slavery is "wrong" cuts both ways. Try proving that it is right. <shrugs>

In any case you two have strayed from my point through misunderstanding. My point was to assert that it was not right in the past, but merely accepted as so.

It was not meant as an argument about the ability to proove subjective issues. It was simply opining that slavery falling into disfavor has more to do with its inherent injustice than times simply changing.

In other words I am asserting that it was morally wrong then, even if it was not viewed that way by the masters.

The fact that subjective moral arguments can't be proven was supposed to be a given. It wasn't taken that way by you two for reasons I won't speculate about.

So if you guys want to say that morality is subjective you'll get the "bloody obvious statement" award.

If you want to argue that slavery is morally justified I'm all ears. You'll face the same dillema.
0 Replies
 
Laptoploon
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 04:02 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
Laptoploon wrote:

Except one is an ignorance of fact (the world is demonstrably NOT flat)

The other is a subjective view point. You can demonstrate why you think slavery is wrong, you cannot demonstrate the fact that it isn't


You have a remarkable talent for stating the obvious.

Like I said, if you want to debate the morality of slavery feel free to do so.


I thought I was and all without your input or permission. Perhaps I got that wrong when you posted "It's "wrongness" is not new.

e.g. Rape, murder etc has foerever been with us and functions well (it works) yet it is wrong.

If you really want to argue that slavery is not wrong or was not wrong it should be interesting."


"yet it is wrong" seems like an absolute to me....but what do I know in this bendy universe.
0 Replies
 
 

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