The Instigator
LittleBallofHATE
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Saska
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

The Bible condones slavery

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Saska
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/23/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 979 times Debate No: 55304
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (16)
Votes (1)

 

LittleBallofHATE

Con

When I say slavery, I'm talking about the outright ownership of another person, for no other reason but that a person paid to own them, or abducted them and held them as slaves. The Bible actually forbids this. Pro has to show that the Bible actually condones this type of slavery.

Round one: Acceptance.
Round two: Opening argument.
Round three: Rebuttals.
Round four: Closing arguments.
Saska

Pro

I accept this debate.

I would like to clarify the following definitions:

condone verb
: to forgive or approve (something that is considered wrong)
: to allow (something that is considered wrong) to continue
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

slave noun
: someone who is legally owned by another person and is forced to work for that person without pay
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

If Con does not agree with these definitions, I would ask that he clarify the definitions that he intends to use for this argument to ensure we are on the same page.

I look forward to this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
LittleBallofHATE

Con

Thank you for accepting this debate.

Many non believers point to slavery, in the Old Testament, and try to compare it to slavery in 19th century America. Nothing could be further from the truth. The slavery, mentioned in the Old Testament, concerns the Jewish People.

(1) Unless stated otherwise, All quoted material is from this website. http://beginningandend.com... I strongly encourage you to peruse it, as it has much information that would not fit here.

"Slavery in ancient Israel was voluntary, not racist and done as a way for a man to provide for his family. If a person was in financial debt to another, the debt could be paid off by becoming a servant in the household of a wealthy landowner. Famines, droughts or marauders could bring financial ruin to a lesser off family and thus slavery allowed the family to have security and safety by "selling onseself" as a servant.. It was a purely financial arrangement. Once the debt was paid, the slave was free to go. The debt could even be paid by a "kinsman redeemer" ( a relative of the slave who had enough money). The Bible states this principle in Leviticus 25:

And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger"s family: After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: Either his uncle, or his uncle"s son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself.50 And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubile: and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years, according to the time of an hired servant shall it be with him."

The slavery of the 19th century was completely different. It was people buying others, much as they would buy pigs or cattle. I would like to point out that the Bible actually forbids kidnapping, especially as it relates to slavery.

Exodus 20:16 And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

As you can see, the Bible calls for the death penalty for human trafficking. In light of this verse, we can now see that any other verses that seem to support slavery must be saying something else.

African slaves were owned in perpetuity. they were slaves for life. If they had children, their children were also slaves. Slaves in Ancient Israel were released after seven years. "And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile. And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return. " Leviticus 25:39-41

At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbor shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbor, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD"s release. " Deuteronomy 15:1-2"

Slavery, in the Old Testament, was nothing like the 19th century slavery we're all familiar with. I could go on, but I wish to see what my opponent has to say on the subject, and I'm pressed for time. I'm sure he'll bring up some interesting points.
Saska

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for his opening arguments.

My burden here is to prove that the bible condones slavery. We have established the definitions of both "condone" and "slavery".

P1) Leviticus 25: 44-46 "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 bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly." [1]

The above quote from Leviticus should be evidence enough to win me this debate. The first sentence shows the acknowledgement that people will buy slaves from surrounding nations. It then goes on to say that one is permitted to purchase the children of neighboring strangers and they will become your property. There is very little vagueness in this passage, and it is clear from reading it that the bible most definitely condones slavery.

P2) Exodus 21:20-21 "Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property." [2]

The above quote from Exodus shows another example of the bible condoning slavery. It is very clear that beating a slave to death is a punishable offence, but owning a slave is not (nor is beating them within inches of death).

C1) I believe that the two quotes I have shown are ample evidence that the bible condones slavery. Regardless of what the bible says against slavery in other areas; that does not change the passages where slavery is condoned. If the debate was directed at proving that the bible preached against slavery, this would be an entirely different debate, but that is not relevant here. The bible is not consistent with its message throughout, and I am only here to prove that there are places in the bible where slavery is condoned.

I will leave my opening arguments at this and await my opponent"s rebuttal. As per the debate rules laid out in round 1, I will reserve my rebuttal to my opponent"s argument for round 3.

[1] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[2] http://www.biblegateway.com...
Debate Round No. 2
LittleBallofHATE

Con

(1) "In Matthew 19:3-10, the Pharisees came to Jesus, attempting to trap Him with questions about the Old Law. They asked: "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?" Jesus informed them that divorce was not in God"s plan from the beginning. Thinking they had trapped Him, they inquired: "Why, then, did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce and to put her away?" If it was in the Old Law, they suggested, then it must be God"s ideal will. But Jesus" answer quickly stopped that line of thinking. He responded:

Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.

Jesus" point was crystal clear"some things permitted in the Old Testament did not necessarily represent the ideal. Due to the hardness of ancient Israel"s heart, God tolerated (and regulated) some things under the Old Law that He did not endorse. As He did so, however, He progressively revealed His divine will to mankind, clarifying that will more fully through Christ.

Many of the injunctions found in the Old Testament pertaining to slavery fall into the category of regulating something that was "less than ideal." Even in the Old Testament, God desired that all people love their neighbors as themselves (Leviticus 19:18). Yet, in a time when God used the children of Israel as His arm of justice to punish evildoers, certain questions arose. What was to be done, for example, with the survivors of those wicked nations? What was to be done with a man who was so far in debt that he could not repay his lender? These issues, and others like them, necessitated that God institute some form of humane regulations for "slavery."

Often, those who attack the Bible skirt the real crux of the slavery issue. They point to verses in the Old Testament that offer a particular regulation for slavery. From there, they proceed to argue that the Bible is a vile book that does not condemn, but actually condones slavery. And, they argue, since all slavery is morally wrong, the Bible must not be the product of a loving God.

However, those who take such a position fail to consider that certain types of slavery are not morally wrong. For instance, when a man is convicted of murder, he often is sentenced to life in prison. During his life sentence, he is forced by the State to do (or not do) certain things. He is justly confined to a small living space, and his freedoms are revoked. Sometimes, he is compelled by the State to work long hours, for which he does not receive even minimum wage. Would it be justifiable to label such a loss of freedom as a type of slavery? Yes, it would. However, is his loss of freedom a morally permissible situation? Certainly. He has become a slave of the State because he violated certain laws that were designed to ensure the liberty of his fellow citizen, whom he murdered. Therefore, one fact that must be conceded by anyone dealing with the Bible and its position on slavery is the fact that, under some conditions, slavery is not necessarily a morally deplorable institution."

In response to your first quote, from Leviticus, I would like to point out that the slaves it refers to are the ones mentioned in the previous chapters. Thieves, murders and prisoners of war. Back then, they didn't have a prison system, like we do today. I would also like to point out that it does not endorse slavery. It regulates it. Nothing more. There is a BIG difference. It does not say that it is OK to own slaves.

Now, consider this. At the time this verse was written, Israel was surrounded by pagan nations, who committed crimes against humanity, including child sacrifice. These are the nations that the verse refers to. Slavery was an alternative to genocide. Would you have them kill all of the women and children, after they have defeated their armies? Of course not!

Old Testament Law also went out of it's way to ensure the humane treatment of these slaves. The second verse you quoted was referring to such slaves, as mentioned earlier. This did not apply to those who sold themselves because of debt or because they could not provide for their families, due to famine or war. They were rarely, if ever, beaten. These slaves were also released after seven years, or during the year of Jubilee. Whichever came first. All of their debts paid.

In the first round, my definition of slavery referred to chattel slavery, as it was practiced from the 17th to the 19th century. This is what this debate is all about. As I have shown, Israel did not engage in, nor does the Bible condone such slavery. It condemns it, calling for the death penalty for whoever engages in such practice.

(1) http://www.apologeticspress.org...
Saska

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for his rebuttal.

To begin, I want to clarify that at no point in his opening statement in round one did my opponent specify that we are debating slavery as it was practiced from the 17th to 19th century. The agreed upon definition of slavery is "the outright ownership of another person, for no other reason but that a person paid to own them, or abducted them and held them as slaves," with no specifics on times or places of slavery.

As I stated in the previous round, we are discussing whether or not the bible condones slavery. The bible is made up of many books that often have little to do with other books and often contradict what is said in other books. We are not arguing that parts of the bible condemn slavery, because it is very clear that it does. This argument is geared towards whether or not the bible "condones" slavery; meaning that it forgives, approves or allows something (that is considered wrong) to continue.

In my opening arguments I showed two verses where the bible clearly condones slavery. In Leviticus 25:44-46, it allows/approves of the act of buying slaves. In Exodus 21:20-21, it forgives a slave owner of an action done to his slave. If there is no punishment for beating your slave nearly to death, there is clearly no punishment for owning your slave either.

Nowhere in our discussion is it relevant what type of people the slaves are, nor whether or not they are deserving of slavery. We are talking about the bible condoning "the outright ownership of another person, for NO OTHER REASON but that a person paid to own them, or abducted them and held them as slaves." My opponent made it very clear in his opening statement that the reasons for owning their slaves are irrelevant to this debate, only that one person owns another person.

My opponent again veers off topic by stating that the "Old Testament Law also went out of [its] way to ensure the humane treatment of these slaves." If anything, this statement does nothing more than aid my argument. If the bible has listed out rules as to how to treat your slaves, it clearly condones slavery. The government would not release detailed instructions on how to humanely kill someone, unless they condone killing people.

My opponent needs to show that the bible does not condone slavery. He needs to show that the sources that I provide that show the bible condoning "the outright ownership of another person, for no other reason but that a person paid to own them." Yes, there are various types of slavery that exist. Yes the bible outlines humane (although allowing a slave to be beaten nearly to death is not all that humane) ways to treat your slaves in certain parts. Yes the bible condemns slavery in other books. But the overall fact is that there are most definitely portions of the bible that condone slavery.

I have not provided any further resources because my singular source here is the bible. The question asks if the bible condones slavery and I have provided biblical evidence that it does. No amount of Christian apologetic sites that try their hardest to redefine every word until they no longer mean the same thing will change the evidence of the bible condoning slavery. Of course the bible says nothing about 17th century African slaves working on the American plantations, but trying to shift the goal posts like that just takes away from the debate at hand.
Debate Round No. 3
LittleBallofHATE

Con

In the first round I stated that my opponent had to prove that the Bible condones slavery. I defined slavery as "The outright ownership of another person, for no other reason but that a person paid to own them, or abducted them and held them as slaves."

The slavery in the Old Testament referred to those who had performed criminal acts, were conquests of Israel's war against some really heinous people, who sacrificed their own babies, among other atrocities, or people who actually sold themselves to pay a debt or support their families in times of hardship. These are the REASONS they were slaves. My definition stated 'for no other reason but that a person paid to own them, or abducted them and held them as slaves.'

My opponent has used quite a bit of verbal gymnastics to try to steer the debate in his favor. In round one he stated

"If Con does not agree with these definitions, I would ask that he clarify the definitions that he intends to use for this argument to ensure we are on the same page.

I attempted to do so. He insisted that we have the debate, based on my original definition of slavery. These are in the comments section. I suggest you read them, before voting.

Now, let's look at pros definition of condone.

condone verb
: to forgive or approve (something that is considered wrong)
: to allow (something that is considered wrong) to continue
http://www.merriam-webster.com......

Hmmmm. Something that is considered wrong. The slavery practiced in Israel was not considered to be wrong. Checkmate.

Finally, I'll remind you that the verses that pro provided for this debate simply REGULATE something that already existed. It does not mention, in any way, whether it is right or wrong. To regulate something does not indicate approval. Pro has failed, utterly, to provide the burden of proof.

Thank you for your time. I now turn it over to Pro, for his closing argument.
Saska

Pro

I would like to start this final round but addressing a few points made by my opponent.

1)"The slavery in the Old Testament referred to those who had performed criminal acts, were conquests of Israel's war against some really heinous people, who sacrificed their own babies, among other atrocities, or people who actually sold themselves to pay a debt or support their families in times of hardship. These are the REASONS they were slaves. My definition stated 'for no other reason but that a person paid to own them, or abducted them and held them as slaves."

My opponent provided no citation for this information. I see no proof that all slaves from biblical times must necessarily fit into one of the reasons my opponent has provided above. Even if what my opponent is saying is true though, they may have been captured and sold as slaves for the reasons he provided, but some of the ones buying them still likely bought them for no other reason than because they paid to own them and use them as slaves. To attempt to argue each individual slave owner"s reasoning for purchasing their slaves would be an absurd ordeal, but people buying the slaves likely had little to do with the men capturing slaves much the same way that we all have very little to do with the gold mine workers when we buy gold jewelry. So whatever reasons the men had for capturing certain slaves has as little to do with the people"s reasons for buying slaves, much like your reason for buying jewelry is much different than the mine worker"s reason for mining gold.

I would think it is very fair to argue then, that reasons for buying slaves has not changed over the years. People over the years have bought slaves for one main reason; cheap/free labour. The reasons slaves are captured vary throughout the years and throughout the world, but we are not arguing the capturing of slaves, we are arguing the purchasing of slaves ("a person paid to own them").

2)"Now, let's look at pros definition of condone.

condone verb
: to forgive or approve (something that is considered wrong)
: to allow (something that is considered wrong) to continue
http://www.merriam-webster.com.........

Hmmmm. Something that is considered wrong. The slavery practiced in Israel was not considered to be wrong. Checkmate."

The fact that my opponent outright claims that the slavery practiced in Israel was not considered to be wrong seems like it would be a notch in my favour here. First, I would argue that whether or not it was considered wrong is in the eye of the beholder. I would argue that many of the people bought and sold in the slave trade would consider slavery to be wrong. Second, looking back, we can say that the slavery in Israel can be seen as wrong for multiple reasons. If you don"t know the reasons why slavery is wrong for yourself, please view my source at the bottom [1] that explains why slavery is pretty much universally accepted as wrong or unethical. Just because it was not seen as wrong at the time; that does not render my argument useless nor does it put me in checkmate. As we grow as a species, we understand more about ourselves and the world. Looking back and acknowledging that things in human history were wrong is one way that we continue to learn from our mistakes and grow. It is seen as wrong now, and we are arguing now whether or not the bible condones slavery.

3)"Finally, I'll remind you that the verses that pro provided for this debate simply REGULATE something that already existed. It does not mention, in any way, whether it is right or wrong. To regulate something does not indicate approval."

Why would the bible regulate something that it would consider wrong? The government provides no laws for ways to rape people humanely, because rape is wrong so people don"t need to know safe ways to do it. If the bible provides instructions on how to treat your slaves, it would only be fair to assume that owning a slave would not be considered wrong.

So the question is: Does the bible condone slavery?

I have shown with quotes from the bible where it clearly states "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves" (Leviticus 25:44). I have also shown where the bible permits the beating of a slave: "they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property" (Exodus 21:21). These two points were my opening argument and are irrefutable proof that the bible condones slavery.

The rest of this debate has been a chess match of words and definitions. My opponent has tried to narrow the definition of slavery so much that it could not possibly line up with anything that exists in the bible, but anyone who can read can see that the words in the book clearly state that "You may buy slaves".

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk...

Thank you to my opponent for this debate, and thank you to anyone who took the time to read it.
Debate Round No. 4
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by nonprophet 2 years ago
nonprophet
I see you like my topic. Go Pro!
Posted by Saska 2 years ago
Saska
You are on the clock. I used round 1 to accept the debate.
Posted by LittleBallofHATE 2 years ago
LittleBallofHATE
Never mind. It's my turn...Arf arf.
Posted by LittleBallofHATE 2 years ago
LittleBallofHATE
Fine. Go ahead and post your opening argument.
Posted by Saska 2 years ago
Saska
Ozzyhead, please don't try to have the debate in the comment section. If you want to have this debate, create it and challenge someone. Posting multiple arguments in here just takes away from the debate we are having. I plan to address the issues you bring up in due time. In a real debate they do not open the floor to the audience until after the debaters have had a chance to present their arguments.
Posted by Ozzyhead 2 years ago
Ozzyhead
The bible talks about how you can own and who you can own. It also goes in to of how and when it's okay to whip and kill slaves. If a slave dies from injuries sustained with in a day or two, the owner is responsible. If the slave dies after 3 days after sustaining an injury, then it's not on the owner's hands. A common misconception is that slavery in biblical times was not as bad as slavery in the 19th century. This is false. It was bad. Whipping and beating is condoned. There is no special context other than straight forward in the bible unless other wise stated in some way. And even if that isn't the case, you can not say what the context is if you did not write the book.
Posted by Saska 2 years ago
Saska
So you want to make your definition of slavery so specific that the bible couldn't possibly relate to it in any way? You did not specify slavery from a specific time frame.

"When I say slavery, I'm talking about the outright ownership of another person, for no other reason but that a person paid to own them, or abducted them and held them as slaves."

This is what we are using as the definition. You don't get to change your mind and redefine it as you see fit to serve your argument. This debate has nothing to do with a specific period of slavery, nor the specific rights or feelings of slaves throughout various periods. We are debating whether or not the bible condones the outright ownership of another person, for no other reason but that a person paid to own them, or abducted them and held them as slaves.

Please proceed with your argument.
Posted by LittleBallofHATE 2 years ago
LittleBallofHATE
@Saska

When I say slavery, I mean the form of slavery practiced in the 19th century. Where the slave had no rights. Where their masters will was law. Where they were slaves for life, unless they were freed by their master, or by someone else, or just simply ran away. I made this clear when I mentioned 'owning' someone. They kind of go together.
Posted by Saska 2 years ago
Saska
Again you never said "who has no rights" before. I will debate based on the definition of slavery that you posted initially, not with the alterations you keep trying to add here. A slave does not lack all rights, nor do they lack any hope.

The definition is accepted as: "the outright ownership of another person, for no other reason but that a person paid to own them, or abducted them and held them as slaves."
Posted by LittleBallofHATE 2 years ago
LittleBallofHATE
I was perfectly clear. I'm referring to the outright ownership of a human being. The slavery, in the Bible, was something else entirely. It was indentured servitude used to pay a debt. There were even those, who had no means to support themselves, that indentured themselves to a master. This master would put them to work, and take care of their basic needs. The slavery then, was nothing like it was in modern times. Slavery isn't even the proper term for what it was. At least not the modern word we use.

So. This debate is about whether or not the Bible condones modern slavery. The ownership of another human being, who has no rights, and is subservient to his master in everything. Someone who basically has to do whatever their master decides, without limits on what the master can tell them to do.

Does that clear things up?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
LittleBallofHATESaskaTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con only really refuted the Bible condoning "modern" slavery, which should be self-evidence, but that is not what the debate is about. Pro provided more Biblical passages and proved that the Bible, as a whole, condones slavery. Fine debate.