The Instigator
Pro (for)
5 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

The Bible Is Immoral: It Is Acceptable To Beat Slaves According To Old Testament Laws.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/17/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,262 times Debate No: 31382
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)




(Exodus 21:20-21) "When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property."


Well um... As you can already tell I am most likely going to lose this argument. But I will try!

1. slave- a person who is owned by another. As in this definition you can tell that a slave is property of another man. Back then peoples tribes/races formed entire nations. slaves were imported from other countries and nations. They were not considered the same as a jew at the time. Jews aoso considered themselves special because they were gods chosen people. So a slave was in there eyes not a human but rather an animal, and this anim,al was there property. If this is true then they were more merciful then modern humans are to animals. And this reafirmed because slaves were not citizens but owned by citizens of Isreal.

2. Back just 250 years slaves were still owned by people and legally property. Was it legal to kill a slave then? yes, yes it was because they were property. Imagine the racism back 5,000 years ago. Isreal was one of the first nations to punish people for killing slaves, and for that are actually a good example and may have have brought the idea of civil rights too some people. So yes, Isreal is responisble to ending some racism in Amereica and other nations.
Debate Round No. 1


1) There is absolutely no moral justification for slavery. To own, buy or sell another human being, therefore reducing them to sub-human standards, is a complete violation of basic human rights. To view another human being as a piece of property is to deny them their humanity.

2) The Bible clearly condones slavery and openly advocates them being beaten as punishment for any misdeeds or disobedience. For those who feel that I'm being too tough on the Bible, please bear in mind that African-Americans suffered for 400 years because the Bible had a pro-slavery stance.

3) Using basic laws of logic, if slavery is immoral (and hopefully we can agree on that) and the Bible advocates slavery, then the Bible is clearly immoral.


1. My argument here is that they were not recognized as the same but different. Yes one should not deny ones right of humanity but the bible doesn't, protest such a thing. First off even if someone were enslaved that does not deny them of humanity but of freedom. Second please remember that the slavery used in the 1700s and 1800s was very different then the ones described in the bible. The first time the bible clearly mentions slavery is in exodus:1;13 were they described the ruthless work the egyptians made them do. so clearly the bible doesn't completely advocate slavery.

2. "The bible clearly condones slavery and openly advocates them being beaten as punishment for any misdeeds or disobedience". Not true the verse levite:25;v39-40 says the Israelites were to treat there hebrew slaves like servants. They also gave them the option to be free after the seventh year of there service Duet 15 v12-18. There were many diffrent laws and restrictions in the bible about slavery. For one a slave could run away from its master and be welcomed as a citizen of Israel. The foreign slaves, yes remained slaves forever but were given the right to share festivals, passover, were given sabbath rest and could get circumcised too.

3. My opponent claims the" if slavery is immoral and the bible advocates slavery then obviously the bible is immoral". Well there was many restrictions as I have brought up, and also have stated that hebrew slaves eventually become free. But other then that there wee some reasons for slavery. If an Israelite had gotten into hard times they could offer to work for someone else in exchange for someone to look after them. If a debtor couldent pay back his money his children became slaves along with him. For foreign slaves it could have been a way to keep prisoners without killing them. This reason could apply to david putting the ammonites to forced labor [2 sam. 12.31]. People fail to realize this was some 5000-12000 years ago, were reasons for slavery were immense, and when almost every nation advocated slavery. And Israel was one of the first nations to have these restrictions for slave owning.
I send the argument back to pro!
Debate Round No. 2


"please remember that the slavery used in the 1700s and 1800s was very different then the ones described in the bible."

Ugh...wrong!! Please differentiate:

1) They were bought and sold.
2) They were forced to due hard, thankless tasks for no money or compensation.
3) They were beaten if they were disobedient.
4) They were considered the property of another human being.
5) They had no legal rights.
6) They were often born into slavery and remained slaves until they died.

My opponent is treating biblical slaves as the equivalent of being modern day servants. Yet beating a voluntary servant would be considered assault & battery, and it is illegal.

No the Bible clearly states that beating slaves is O.K. Once again, I have shown that the Bible is immoral.


My opponent has dropped all of our arguments and has not responded to any of the verses. Instead my opponent uses basic assertions that are not true. For this I believe I should get the conduct point. But I will refute what my opponent has given me and make a summary.
First off I found out that exodus 21:20-21 only pertains to foreign slaves. So to most slaves that rule did not effect them.

1. Hebrew slaves were not bought and sold. Foreign slaves however were but were still treated with respect.

2. Again Hebrew slaves were either ordered to be slave by a Court or voulenteered themselves. So the Hebrew slaves either agreed to do this for something like food or protection, and the other Hebrew slaves served to do harsh work for there crimes.

3. Hebrew slaves were not beaten but foreign slaves were. Though back then regular peoe would get beaten to when they misbehaved, maybe not as badly but they were beaten.

4. The slaves in the bible dd have rights as I have mentioned in the previous round. Yes they were considered property but again as I said before slavery was not always permanent.

5. (Sigh) did you not read my last argument? Yes slaves did have sone legal rights. Such as to celebrate festivals and to take rest on Sundays.

6. A man could not be thrown into slavery unless ordered to by a court or by voulanteering to be one. A person could have become a slave because he had no money or might have needed protection, if slavery was not an option msny of people would have starved.

Slavery was pertained in all the nations around Israel, at time Israel was the only nation not to force isrealites to join slavery (unless the Israelites has committed a crime). Israel did set the standered and its silly to think otherwise. Now you may argue that the bible still advocates slavery so the bible must be immoral. This is not the case, this was back thoundands of years ago when the need for slaves was much higher then now. The bible put many limitations on slavery and gave all slaves basic rights and the option to become free after the seventh year if labor. It's unfair to judge a nation from 9000 years ago with 21st century standards. I believe I have proven that slaver in the bible wisent all that bad and have done a much better job then my opponent in this topic. Vote con!
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Albert 3 years ago
Albert isnt filtered, dont bother trying to get rational voters or debaters. Can only hope for someone who can offer a real debate.

I mean, look at devient genie !
Posted by wolfman4711 3 years ago
Someone needs to counter nimbus
Posted by Albert 3 years ago
Exodus 21:20-21 "And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money [property]."
Posted by Albert 3 years ago
Slaves were more like hired workers with protection. Poor parents would sell their childern into slavery because all slaves must be fed, housed and clothed. Slaves were never excluded from Jewish holidays or festivals. Slaves were given the same promise Abraham's children received by the agreement of circumcision.

Western culture think slaves as prisoners of war, or the inhuman treatment of African slaves in america.

Biblical slaves were totally different.
Posted by Albert 3 years ago
Pretty sure any slave that was beaten was permitted freedom,

Exodus 21:26-27 "And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake. And if he smite out his manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake."

Unless you have scripture which allows beatings and rape?
Posted by wolfman4711 3 years ago
Oh, alright
Posted by justin.graves 3 years ago
There are more than one. And they mean different things. (i.e indentured servant, actual slave, someone who sold him or herself into slavery, etc.) Also, context would help. (i.e the entire passage is about how to deal with violent crimes.)
Posted by wolfman4711 3 years ago
What is it?
Posted by justin.graves 3 years ago
justin.graves have either of you actually looked at the Aramaic word for slave that was used? It would be profitable.
Posted by wolfman4711 3 years ago
Give me some time for this one
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Nimbus328 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: The bible is biased towards the Jews. Gentile slaves were mistreated. Most of the world is gentile.