Very nice resource you've put together here. A worthy bookmark!
slaves were to be respected, not looked down upon, and respected. If they were struck, it was for punishment and the owner was to be punished if the slave was killed.
*This slave thing seems to sound like an NBA contract,a team or a maid really, (agreement, following orders)
Also, about the institution, he may have meant that accept every institution that has a justified system punishing those who do wrong.
Look at if from another point of view.
That's a joke right?
I am amazed at how well you word your arguments. They have certainly helped me to argue well and convincingly with believers. Bravo.
Your work helps us introduce reason to the religiously indoctrinated. I believe it is every strong atheists duty to spread reason in an evangelical manner and your arguments make the job so much easier. I have used your techniques to de-brainwash my mother and the day she admitted she had been fooled by preachers and popular opinion was one of the most gratifying moments of my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
This argument might work in conversations with american evangelican christians, but will not work in conversations with most german christians. They say that god directly creates a feeling for good and evil in people. They also say, that the opinion of god defines what is good and what is evil, and this opinion can change over time. Therefore, what may have been good or bad back then, does not have to be good or bad now.
I'd probably start responding along these lines in this argument: http://conversationalatheist.com/challenges/respo...
And I'd be certain to ask: How do you know that you are following God and not Satan? Especially when, as you admit, God regulates and allows slavery (among other atrocities).
Many Christians apologists on various websites try to falsify history by claiming that slavery in the 1st century Roman/ Palestine era was more like being a butler or maid than the reality of African American slavery of the South or slaves of other rascist ideologies and/ or innumerable wars. Therefore, according to them, the Bible is teaching you to accept being Jeeves or Hazel with dignity and perform your duties faithfully.
Research and well documented historical evidence tells otherwise. In this Biblical screwball pitch on history, we would have seen Alice on the Brady Bunch beaten with a rod for not making those delicious pies she always came up with!
Great article and pocket version, too.
blackbart1721, I've heard this a number of times, too. The thing is, when the Bible talks about the Israelites being captive in Egypt, apologists make it sound like slavery, but when the Bible (including Jesus) mentions slavery, then they act like it's just a butler or something, like you said. I think using Alice from the Brady Bunch is a good image, using specific examples (even if fictional) can drive home a point, I'll have to think of this next time it comes up.
1 Peter 2:13-14 (NRSV)
For the Lord’s sake accept the authority of every human institution, whether of the emperor as supreme, or of governors, as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right.
Hmm does that mean USA's existence it itself against god and christian principles? As it did not submit to authoritys...
Wrong....wrong....wrong...wrong. So many things misunderstood and taken out of context.
Try this for a much more accurate review of slavery in general and what the Bible actually says about it. One great mistake is assuming any mention of 'slavery' involves on the modern conception of it and reading that in. Like assuming that slavery is purely a 'white on black' institution, or that whites went to Africa and 'took' slaves rather than bought them from other black Africans who had already enslaved them as war captives. Far from the truth...as this is.
Have humans used 'religion' to promote evil? Absolutely.....but ususally they haven't need to even resort to that.
I just want to say that the verses in the New Testament regarding slavery was not condoning it. You twisted the passages out of context, as written back the writers of the New Testament were writing to a certain specific cultural crowd. Back then it was 'appropriate' if you will to have slaves and it was a common practice of countries to take defeated nations as their slaves. What Paul and Peter are saying when they write those verses was not that God was commanding that slavery be good and thus contradicting his Holy Purity. They were saying that in the situation each person found themselves, for example being a slave who became a believer and follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ, they should show love and respect to their masters. Christ taught obedience and respect to your authorities, and so the slaves were supposed to show their obedience in Christ's teachings by showing respect to their masters. Today we can take lessons from that, not having slaves in most of our civilized cultures, but we can still respect our presidents, our teachers, etc..
“He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.” (Exodus 21:16)
Ignorance is ignorance whatever label you put on it Atheist or Christian, intolerance is always ignorance, move on, its like arguing liberal vs conservative, there is no winner, only arguments. Atheists use the bible as some form of written proof that religion is evil and in the same breath claim it is fiction, written by men, and point out its ironies, much like using a book whose authority you demean as proof against its followers. Seriously who is more retarded? As an atheist most other atheists make me physically ill of shame.
You're right -- there is a verse that doesn't allow you to sell a free man into slavery.
Lest you misconstrue Exodus 21:16 is somehow making a larger point against slavery itself, please note what's written in the same chapter 4 verses later: Exodus 21:20-21 (NRSV) When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property.
I'm not sure what the point of the rest of your comment. Yes, some atheists use the Bible as some form of written proof (I prefer the word evidence) that religion is evil, and that it is fiction, written by men, and to point out its ironies (I prefer the word contradictions both internal and with modern moral sentiments). Also, yes, when people commit their life to following a terrible book full of falsehoods and dangerous writing, I will point these facts out in an attempt to both fix the believer and warn nonbelievers.
The next two sentences have no connection that I can see with your previous comment. Do you think that it is wrong to argue against writing that you find offensive and wrong? (I'd hope not, because I think that's what you're trying to do in your comment). What is it that atheists do that makes you physically ill with shame? Any why?
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The Bible also says to slaves, if you can obtain your freedom do it. The Bible is merely saying, if you are naturally bound as a slave, and there is no way out, continue to do your best and work as if you're working for the Lord. And keep looking for an opportunity to be free. In other words, becoming a Christian doesn't change your physical circumstances, only your mental and spiritual state.
Why was God vague about condemning slavery? Because Palestine in the middle bronze age was not the U.S. in the twenty-first century. God must work with the culture he's given. "But," you object, "if God is omnipotent, he can do whatever he wants." To say God is omnipotent does not mean that he can do two mutually exclusive things. He cannot give people choice and simultaneously control our actions. He chose to give us choice. Evils like slavery are the result of that. God works with society as it exists. Reform does not come easily when humans are involved. Wouldn't atheists agree that people (at least many of them) have evil tendencies, and that this makes moral progress slow? In ancient Israel, the time was not ripe for a revolution to rid the world of slavery. To demand that would have been too much change too fast. But God did push back a bit. The Israelites could have slaves, but the rules God gave for the treatment of slaves were radical for their day. "Okay, fine, the culture wasn't ready for a revolution like that, but why doesn't God ever explicitly condemn slavery in Scripture?" Because the evil of it is self-evident. "Well, evidently not," you counter, "because the ancient Israelites never figured that out." Again, to them slavery was a normal part of life. But today, the world is different. We are accustomed to the idea that slavery is evil. Think of how governments (especially in the West) have changed in the last few hundred years. Democracy and respect for the individual's rights are a rather recent development. Now that some countries have been practicing that kind of government for a few hundred years, we are ready to hear from God, "What are you waiting for? Get out there and demand an end to slavery!" (or the mistreatment of women or minorities, etc.) God's opinion of slavery is spelled out when he condemns all oppression. Psalm 82:3 - "Defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed." Proverbs 14:31 - "He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God." If we do not know the culture of people who lived when the Bible was written, we will misinterpret its message for today.