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Why do you suppose Jesus never condemned slavery?

 
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 04:04 pm
Precious little it seems.

Upon what do you base your assertion that "wrong" is an absolute?
0 Replies
 
Laptoploon
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 04:06 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
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?


.[/quote]

Do you accept that your lifestyle is based on the slavery of others?

It is, so is mine. I'm not condeming merely commenting on an obvious fact.

is this moral?
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 04:08 pm
You know precious little about my lifestyle and have no more basis upon which to declare that my lifestyle is based on the slavery of others than you would to declare that it isn't.
0 Replies
 
Laptoploon
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 04:14 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
Precious little it seems.

Upon what do you base your assertion that "wrong" is an absolute?


Is that it.....the base of your position? This intellectual dishonesty?

I wrote" "yet it is wrong" seems like an absolute to me.

Suddenly "seems like" becomes an assertion and therfore an absolute?

"yet it is wrong" were YOUR words......OK applied to murder and rape, but with out qualifying what murder is. I did HONESTLY ask for a defintion of what "murder" is, but you neatly sidestepped that.

Unless you are prepared to do the fundie thing of disclaiming what is absolutely right and and wrong, why are you wasting my time and yours?
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 04:21 pm
oh dear something went wrong

meant to say

Frank asked

Quote:
Now, any chance you'd like to respond to the question I asked, Steve? I'd love to hear your opinion.


Fair question Frank

To which my answer is 'No ****ing idea', which is why I answered the way I did in the first place.

I just don't know enough about Jesus, slavery in the time of Jesus or social mores about slavery in Jerusalem AD 20.

BUT you must have your own preconceived answers, or you would not ask such a closed question. So why do you think?

Sorry if this sounds abrupt, have been enjoying Laptop's dinner (via proxy) and drowning my own for various reasons.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 04:26 pm
Laptoploon wrote:

Is that it.....the base of your position?


No

Quote:
This intellectual dishonesty?


Your inability to comprehend my point (or if you prefer, my inability to articulate it) is not intellectual dishonesty.

Quote:
I wrote" "yet it is wrong" seems like an absolute to me.

Suddenly "seems like" becomes an assertion and therfore an absolute?


No, it did not "suddenly" become anything. Laughing And frankly you are having difficulty understanding me (or, again, if you prefer I am having difficulty articulating).

It's damn simple, I expect you to understand that when speaking of things of a moral nature it is subjective.

I expect you to understand that when I say something like "slavery is wrong" it is understood to mean that it is my opinion that slavery is wrong.

You and Eric have decided to make the underwhelming points that morality is subjective. Allow me to say again that for this line of argument you get the "bloody obvious argument" award.

It's an award given to those who make a point of arguing something so axiomatic that it was understood to be a given.

Even children are able to understand the implied caveats. If you tell a child "I'll see you tonight" the child understands that just because you didn't say "that is, if I don't die on the way home" does not mean that were you to die your statement would still hold true.

So if your point is the fact that morality is subjective you'll simply get the same yawn and "no duh!" from me.

Beyond that do you have a point? If you do I will adress it. If not cherish the award.

Quote:
"yet it is wrong" were YOUR words......OK applied to murder and rape, but with out qualifying what murder is. I did HONESTLY ask for a defintion of what "murder" is, but you neatly sidestepped that.


I didn't sidestep it. I ignored it. Just as I ignored a babbling lunatic recently (as opposed to "side stepping" him).

The reason I ignored your request was because it had no intellectual value.

Defining murder had no relevance to the examples I cited toward teh point I was making.

The point was that your argument about how slavery "worked well" was idiotic. That was well conveyed without a logomachy over the "definition of what murder is".

See, whether or not something "works" does not make it right or wrong.

Again the example:

Murder works.


Quote:

Unless you are prepared to do the fundie thing of disclaiming what is absolutely right and and wrong, why are you wasting my time and yours?


I am neither wasting my time nor yours. What you do with your time is your prerogative and your responsibility. If you feel it is wasted make better choices with your time. Don't whine to me about it.
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 04:36 pm
Aw 'cmon you guys, Laptop never meant (no) any harm, why come down like a ton (tonne) of bricks just cause he's new 'round these pards?
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 04:39 pm
You are right Steve. My post's tone was absurdly harsh. Perhaps even idiotically so. But that's just because I'm given to superlatives. And nothing personal.

Laptop, no harshness was meant. I am simply being as blunt as I can be because my every post here is either being misunderstood or poorly articulated.

For any harshness conveyed I apologize.

Incidentally I usually leave those who dislike blunt debate alone as there are others who, like me enjoy them.

So if you ever dislike my tone please call me on it. In fact I'd be offended if one weren't to do so.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 04:41 pm
Sorry Craven, I am going to push you a little further. (Understand that I do this with the utmost respect, and that I don't support Slavery at all). I am just trying to illustrate a philosophical problem that I think is important and interesting.

There are two statements in your response to me that I challenge on logical grounds...

"... it is wrong based on human nature"
and
"...slavery falling into disfavor has more to do with its inherent injustice..."

I think you are projecting your values (which I happen to share) into a Universal (or as laptop says 'absolute') morality that isn't real.

The first point you make is that I would not like myself to be a slave (and you are correct). But historically this has not been a basis for morality. I think the "golden rule" first showed up a mere 2000 years ago.

Many cultures have had a "survival of the strongest" value that would morally justify me enslaving those weaker than I. Of course you (and I) find this reasoning repulsive. But, logically, this way of looking at things is no less subjective than ours.

A person with the ability to own slaves needs to make a moral judgement about whether to own slaves or not on her own values.

The term "inherent injustice" is very problematic since it is still based on cultural values. I would argue that Americans can't even agree on what this term means (and we are from the same culture).

My point is that it is impossible to speak of "inherent injustice" or a Universal "right" and "wrong".

Each society (and individual) must decide on a set of values. In the history of humanity there have been many different solutions to this problem. Several of these systems of values have accepted slavery.

As you say, we all "face the same dillema" when it comes to defending our values. Remember that our circumstances are not that different then those of people who were absolutely sure that slavery was morally justified.

We don't have any more access to Universal truth than they had, and we aren't that much different in how we think.

Who knows what future societies will find offensive in our way of life...
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 04:42 pm
We all seem to be posting at the same time, sorry if I repeated anything.

Anyway, thanks for my award! Wink
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 04:54 pm
ebrown_p wrote:
Sorry Craven, I am going to push you a little further. (Understand that I do this with the utmost respect, and that I don't support Slavery at all). I am just trying to illustrate a philosophical problem that I think is important and interesting.


No problem, I don't mind a push.

"A mind is like a wheelbarrow, it goes only as far as it's pushed" - My adaptation

Quote:
There are two statements in your response to me that I challenge on logical grounds...


I've already responded to them but will try to do so more coherently.

Quote:
"... it is wrong based on human nature"
and
"...slavery falling into disfavor has more to do with its inherent injustice..."

I think you are projecting your values (which I happen to share) into a Universal (or as laptop says 'absolute') morality that isn't real.


I really can't think of another way to make this clear. But: I agree.

I will go on to state that this is a given, when morality is discussed.

Quote:
The first point you make is that I would not like myself to be a slave (and you are correct). But historically this has not been a basis for morality. I think the "golden rule" first showed up a mere 2000 years ago.


And the point that I'm trying to make is that the pervasiveness of something isn't really a measure of its validity.

I don't think the inception of the golden rule changed anything except awareness of that notion.

Quote:
Many cultures have had a "survival of the strongest" value that would morally justify me enslaving those weaker than I. Of course you (and I) find this reasoning repulsive. But, logically, this way of looking at things is no less subjective than ours.


I agree. And to keep all cards above the table will repeat that: morality is subjective.

Quote:
A person with the ability to own slaves needs to make a moral judgement about whether to own slaves or not on her own values.


Correct. This person should also note what rights he himself would like to be afforded and how best to secure those rights.

Perhaps the forwardinbg of those rights as universal is simply the most logical way in which he can do so.

More grist for the mill.

Quote:
The term "inherent injustice" is very problematic since it is still based on cultural values. I would argue that Americans can't even agree on what this term means (and we are from the same culture).


Yeah, we're still on a subjective subject.

Lemme clarify the "inherent" part to include the given.

"Slavery has inherent elements that I assert to be an injustice. I state this with the explicit disclaimer that justice is subjective."

Quote:
My point is that it is impossible to speak of "inherent injustice" or a Universal "right" and "wrong".


Yeah, and my point was that when one speaks of right and wrong, it's usually a given that they acknowledge that it's a subjective matter.

Again an example:

"I will see you tomorrow."

Perhaps I won't. But those are "known caveats".

But as an aside, of course you can speak of universal rights and wrongs. You apply them universally. But that doesn't mean others will agree ot that it's not subjective.


Example:

"It's always wrong to unecessarily harm the majority."

That is a universally applicable statement. It's validity is subjective but one can , indeed, speak on universal levels.

But I now run the risk of arguing about one of your known caveats.


Quote:
Each society (and individual) must decide on a set of values. In the history of humanity there have been many different solutions to this problem. Several of these systems of values have accepted slavery.


I agree, but what I'm saying is that I do not consider those positions to be justified.

I do assert universal values based on my subjective opinion of them.

I assert that slavery was always wrong. Yes, this is my opinion on a subjective issue.

Quote:
As you say, we all "face the same dillema" when it comes to defending our values. Remember that our circumstances are not that different then those of people who were absolutely sure that slavery was morally justified.


I agree, but they were wrong (disclaimer: my opinion on a subjective matter).

Quote:
We don't have any more access to Universal truth than they had, and we aren't that much different in how we think.


Perhaps, this is also very subjective.

Quote:
Who knows what future societies will find offensive in our way of life...


But again, who cares? The prevalence of an accepted notion is no fool-proof measure of its validity.

Perhaps those in the future will be wrong. <shrugs>
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 05:01 pm
I see this as being several different questions.

1.) Did Jesus exist? Who knows. Most of us seem to think, yes, probably.

2.) Was Jesus a wise, moral person? See above.

3.) Did Jesus ever denounce slavery? We don't know. If we are assuming that he actually existed, we only know bits and pieces of him. Those bits and pieces are often contradictory, often second or third hand, and were "documented" in a Bible which has gone through many message-changing translations and "updates".

4.) Was Jesus an all-knowing infallible Son of God, etc?

I don't think so, but the fact that the current version of the Bible does not record him coming out against slavery does not mean that he didn't say it. Which leads us to,

5.) Is the Bible an absolutely factual, absolutely infallible, absolutely consistent directory on how to live a moral life? I can say conclusively to this one, no. How many people say yes to this one, though? Even those who believe in it recognize some kind of "larger truth", that all of that stuff about revenge killings and not eating shellfish and whatnot can stand to be updated, is not literally true in every facet.

Frank says,

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


We can't know that he actually never spoke out against it.

If someone religious says A) everything Jesus ever did was recorded in the Bible, B), everything in the Bible is utterly consistent, and C), Jesus was the Son of God, moral exemplar, blahbedy blah, well then you've got 'em by the short and curlies. But I think that for all of the sparring, everyone here is on basically the same page about A through C.

My own take -- there was probably man named Jesus who was a wise philosopher, and said a lot of groovy things, many of which were recorded with varying degrees of accuracy. A lot of these records were gathered into what became the Bible as we know it today. However, the Bible as we know it today is a highly political document, influenced in large and small ways by waves of translators and Christians with political agendas of one kind or another (as in my Junia---> Junius example.) As such, the Bible is an interesting piece of literature with a lot to offer, but not something to be taken too literally.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 05:01 pm
Craven, Ah Shucks, agreeing is no fun Wink.

Let's leave it there.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 05:04 pm
IZL, i do understand Frank's point, and have from the beginning. It does not, however, interest me much, because i long ago tired of Frank's favorite stalking horse. This topic only remains interesting to me because of the historical aspect, and certainly not because of Frank's eternal, self-righteous crusade against the evils of religion.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 05:07 pm
Sheesh sozobe if you weren't female I'd agree with you.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 05:09 pm
Too much agreeing all around. Perhaps Frank can come back and remedy things. Cool
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 05:21 pm
agree sozobe too much agree'en aint good for a man
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Diane
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 05:33 pm
Not having read the bibly in many years, I can't remember if this is correct or even in the bible, but I seem to remember that Jesus said something about treating your slaves well. This would indicate that he either approved of slavery or really didn't have any concern about it other than the mistreatment of the slaves.
0 Replies
 
Diane
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 05:39 pm
Found this on Google.

What did Jesus have to say about slavery? Well, in the cherished Sermon of the Mount, allegedly given by him and recognized as a prescription for Christian living, the institution of slavery, so prevalent at the time, is never mentioned. However, in Matthew 8 Jesus heals the Roman centurion's slave while (v10) praising the centurion for his exemplary faithfulness. Why didn't Jesus seize this opportunity to condemn slavery and forbid it? But the most astounding pro-slavery statement in the Bible is made by Jesus himself in Matthew 10:24-25. Here he not only reminds slaves that they are never above their master, he actually recommends that they strive to be like him.

http://home.inu.net/skeptic/slavery.html
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2004 05:40 pm
Well, i'll be go to hell, a definitive answer, and from the fallen nun, no less. Kudos, Miss D.
0 Replies
 
 

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