The Instigator
Projectid
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points
The Contender
davidjohn1994
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The God of the Holy Bible endorses slavery today

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after 5 votes the winner is...
Projectid
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/23/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,061 times Debate No: 36967
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (5)

 

Projectid

Pro

Premise 1: The God of the Holy Bible states that it is permissible to own slaves. (Leviticus 25:44-46)
Premise 2: The God of the Holy Bible never changes. (Malachi 3:6)
Conclusion: Therefore it is still permissible by the God of the Holy Bible to own slaves today.

Leviticus 25:44-46
44 As for your male and female slaves whom you may have"you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. 45 Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have [l]produced in your land; they also may become your possession. 46 You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another. (NASB)

This passage proves my first premise that God endorses slavery.

I will define slave according to a standard dictionary and a Hebrew Lexicon.

Definition of SLAVE
1: a person held in servitude as the chattel of another
2: one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

#5650.
עֶבֶד
ebed (713d); from 5647; slave, servant:"
NASB - attendants(1), bondage(2), male(24), male servant(7), male servants(5), male slaves(1), officers(1), official(2), Servant(6), servant(332), servant's(4), servant*(1), servants(353), servants'(2), servants*(12), slave(25), slave's(1), slave*(4), slavery(11), slaves(19), slaves*(8).
"Brown-Driver-Briggs (Old Testament Hebrew-English Lexicon)

With understanding the context of these passages we see that God permits, allows, and instructs His people in buying, selling and owning slaves.

Premise Two: The God of the Holy Bible never changes. We read in Malachi 3:6 "For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. (NASB)

There are other passages that teach that God is unchanging, but I will only use one here. To change means: " to make different in some particular".
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Conclusion: God still permits slavery today.
The point of the conclusion is to show that the God of the Bible is not ethical, certainly not by today's standards, although people like Jefferson Davis who was a Christian during the civil war era said:"[Slavery] was established by decree of Almighty God...it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation...it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts."
~Davis
http://www.csapartisan.com...

People like Davis understood my conclusion. Thankfully we as a people knew better than God and stopped this terrible act of owning other human beings.

My opponent is required to prove that my premises are false. My opponent either needs to prove that God was against slavery or that God does indeed change.
davidjohn1994

Con

Thank you for the challenge, this should be a good one.

Now, I'm not much of a Christian. I don't go to church, I swear, I smoke, I would be a sinner in the eyes of the Bible. I'm saying this because I don't want the readers to geth the notion that I'm coming at this with a fundementally bias perspective.

My adversary says that the challenger must prove that his premises are false. While I can't say the Bible didn't endorse slavery. I can however say that the meaning of the word slavery has changed with time.

My opponent bases the definition on slavery on the Merriam-Webster Dictionarie's definition. If this definition of slavery is proved to be incorrect, then contention one is incorrect.

The modern meaning of slavery is very different from what it used to mean. I know when I think of slavery, I think of American ships carrying kidnapped Africans to be sold into forced labor, where they were abused and underfed, and overworked. However, this is not the slavery of old, infact the Bible says in Exodus 21:16 ""He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death."

Yes, the God of the Bible does outline laws pertaining to "slaves". HOWEVER, we must remember that these laws were to protect these individuals.

Now a big question is, how did these individuals become slaves? Well, unlike modern day slavery, people were not forced into slavery due to their ethnicity, nationality, ect. Slavery was voulentary. Someone would offer themselves as another's slave when they needed protection, or couldn't pay their debts, feed their families, ect. Their "owners" (employers would be a better word) would in exchange for their service or marriage, provide for the slave and his/her children. Slaves weren't seen as the lowest of social classes, they could infact gain social status. Slavery had the potential to be honorable.

So lets sum up what it meant to be a slave at this time. It was voulentary, respectable, and compensation would be a meal (a real meal, not the sorry excuse for a portion modern slaves receive), a bed to sleep in, and a possibly a man to marry for the "slaves" daughters.

In fact, I think the word servant, would be better suited.

Servant:
a person who performs duties for others, esp. a person employed in a house on domestic duties or as a personal attendant.

It isn't just I who sees Servant as a MUCH more accurate way of defining slavery in biblical days. Bibles are being adjusted to accomadate that this change in the English langauge.

My opponents second contention is correct, however the English language does change. Thus, slavery is not the correct term, as servant has a more accurate definition, thus, my opponents first contention is incorrect.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
Projectid

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for taking up the task of this debate.

My opponent states that the word "Slavery" is incorrect. So all I have to do is show that the slavery of the Bible is relative to the slavery of more recent times.

First lets start with what the CON says about slavery:
"The modern meaning of slavery is very different from what it used to mean. I know when I think of slavery, I think of American ships carrying kidnapped Africans to be sold into forced labor, where they were abused and underfed, and overworked. However, this is not the slavery of old, infact the Bible says in Exodus 21:16 ""He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death."

1. The CON defines slavery as: Kidnapped, forced labor, abusive, underfed, and over worked.
A. Kidnapping:
Judges 21:10-12
10 So the assembly sent twelve thousand fighting men with instructions to go to Jabesh Gilead and put to the sword those living there, including the women and children. 11 "This is what you are to do," they said. "Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin." 12 They found among the people living in Jabesh Gilead four hundred young women who had never slept with a man, and they took them to the camp at Shiloh in Canaan. (NIV)

The Bible says that they took the virgins for themselves. This follows in the lines of the definition of kidnapped. What were they going to do with the virgins? If someone came and killed your family and took you for sexual purposes would you not consider yourself a slave?

Abusive:

Exodus 21:7-11 NLT
When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.

This is straight up slavery for sex, which is also abuse. This is the buying and selling of human beings.

The CON: "Yes, the God of the Bible does outline laws pertaining to "slaves". HOWEVER, we must remember that these laws were to protect these individuals."

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. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

What does the Bible say about beating slaves? It says you can beat both male and female slaves with a rod so hard that as long as they don't die right away you are cleared of any wrong doing. This does not sound like protection for the slave, it sounds more like protection for the captor and his right to beat the slave to an inch of his life without any guilt or punishment. The biggest point here is the last part of the verse that says: "since the slave is his own property". So are these servants being beaten or are they slaves?

Secondly: The CON wants to substitute servant for slave.

The author Jason Long had this to say about the difference between servant and slave in Leviticus 25 in his book Biblical nonsense:

" A servant is someone who chooses to do work for another person, usually in exchange for compensation. Servants are free to depart as they please and aren't subject to the cruel treatment endured by slaves. Many Christians, at least the ones who take the time to read the Old Testament, honestly accept the KJV translation that leads them to believe that all instances of ebed refer to a servant or someone who volunteered to become a slave. First and foremost, no one volunteers to be treated like a slave. The other half of this hypothesis clearly doesn't hold water either when Leviticus 25:39-40 is considered. Within this passage, God informs the Israelites that there may come a time when one of their fellow compatriots will become indigent and have no possessions left to impound. If someone sells this hypothetical individual to pay his debts, the owner is not to treat him like an ebed, but as a "hired servant."
If all the references of ebed in the Old Testament refer to a servant, as the apologetic hypothesis maintains, the passage from Leviticus actually reads, "Don"t treat him like a servant, but as a hired servant." Why is there a distinction between the treatment of a servant and this hypothetical man, who the owner should treat as a hired servant? Since there"s no defining difference between a servant and a hired servant, the KJV translation and Christian interpretation are 100% redundant. On the other hand, there"s an enormous contrast between a slave and a hired servant. That must be the precise distinction attempted by the passage because its words could not possibly serve any other purpose. Slave owners treated their slaves differently from the way people treated common servants, and that"s the reason why these instructions were included. In short, God didn't want his chosen people treated like slaves."
http://www.biblicalnonsense.com...

Leviticus 25:39-40
39 "If a [a]countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave"s service. 40 He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee. (NASB)

Point: There is a distinction being made between servant and slave, although there is a distinction being made between servant and slave, God still permits both throughout the Holy Bible.

In concluding:

I have shown that people have been taken against their will, that the Bible allows the beating of slaves, the selling of daughters. This follows the definition of the CON'S points on slavery that the CON " thinks" of in their first argument.

I have shown you one example in my opening statement of a man named Jefferson Davis who advocated for slavery according to the Holy Bible during the Civil war era.

I have shown that slavery was not always voluntary.

Therefore the first premise still stands, and my opponent has not proved it wrong. Just because slavery ethics may be slightly different in time, does not negate the fact that slavery is permissible by God.

Slavery still happens today, whether we want to admit it or not. Slaves today are not servants, just as slaves in biblical times were not all servants and the God of the Bible is okay with that. Whether the conditions of slavery are varied does not negate slavery in and of itself.

Thank you for this most engaging discussion.
davidjohn1994

Con

My adversary claims;

"I have shown that people have been taken against their will, that the Bible allows the beating of slaves, the selling of daughters. This follows the definition of the CON'S points on slavery that the CON " thinks" of in their first argument.

I have shown you one example in my opening statement of a man named Jefferson Davis who advocated for slavery according to the Holy Bible during the Civil war era.

I have shown that slavery was not always voluntary."

If I can prove these three contentions to be false, than it's reasonable to say that I have met my burden of proof. Thus, proving premise one false.

Contention A

"I have shown that people have been taken against their will, that the Bible allows the beating of slaves, the selling of daughters. This follows the definition of the CON'S points on slavery"

This would be all well and good, except this is not at all endorsed by the god of the Bible. It is infact, punishable by death to kidnap someone and keep them as slave. My adversary points to a story in the Bible and uses that as evidence of God's acceptance of slavery.

Notice in Judges 21:10-12, the story refers to "he" as the person saying these things. No where in this story, is it God giving commands to his people. This is a story of a tribe in Israel called Benjemin, it has nothing o do with slavery, thus rendering my adversaries argument irrelevant.

I would like to take a moment to counter my opponents argument, by reminding him of the Bible verse I layed out earlier which is directly contradictory to his first contention, and only five verses away from the set of rules for slaves he set up earlier.

"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

This, unlike the story my opponent gave, is the direct word of God according to the Bible.

Contention B

"I have shown you one example in my opening statement of a man named Jefferson Davis who advocated for slavery according to the Holy Bible during the Civil war era."

I really don't see what this has to do with what the Bible says. This is simply an examble of someone willfully misinterpreting the Bible for a political agenda. Until Jefferson Davis walks on water or turns water to whine, I don't think we should be using his opinion/political agenda alone as evidence of God's instructions. We need to dig deeper into the text of the Bible, not a politician from the civil war era, rendering this point invalid.

Contention C

"I have shown that slavery was not always voluntary."

Contention C goes back to Contetion A. To start, there was no kidnapping and stealing of another person to take as your own property as I alluded to in Exodus 21:16 "Slavery" WAS voulantary.


    1. Voluntary servitude by the sons of Israel (indentured servants)
      Those who needed assistance, could not pay their debts, or needed protection from another were allowed under Biblical law to become indentured servants (see Ex. 21:2-6; Deut. 15:12-18). They were dependent on their master instead of the state. This was a way to aid the poor and give them an opportunity to get back on their feet. It was not to be a permanent subsidy. Many early settlers to America came as indentured servants. These servants were well treated and when released, given generous pay.

    1. Voluntary permanent slaves
      If indentured servants so chose, they could remain a slave (Ex. 21:2-6; Deut.. 15:16-17). Their ear was pierced to indicate this permanent subjection. The law recognized that some people want the security of enslavement. Today, there are some people who would rather be dependent upon government to provide their needs (and with that provision accepting their commands) than do what is necessary to live free from its provision and direction. Some even act in a manner that puts them in jail, desiring the care and provision they get more than personal freedom.

    1. Thief or criminal making restitution
      A thief who could not, or did not, make restitution was sold as a slave: “If a man steals . . . he shall surely make restitution; if he owns nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft” (Ex. 22:1,3). The servitude ceased when enough work was done to pay for the amount due in restitution.

    1. Pagans could be permanent slaves Leviticus 25:44-46 states: As for your male and female slaves whom you may have - you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession. You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen [brother], the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another." http://www.wallbuilders.com...


My adversary claims that being a slave, you can't just get up and walk away. I encourage everyone to read over Deuteronomy 23:15-16 before accepting this as fact. Deuteronomy lays out that slaves were permitted to run away if neccessary. "You shall not hand over to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you. He shall live with you in your midst, in the place which he shall choose in one of your towns where it pleases him; you shall not mistreat him."

Slaves weren't to be treated like cattle, by any stretch of the imagination. According to modern interpretation, the God of the Bible knew that there will be people who do not have the means to live independantly. Thus, he laid out a way of life to ensure that his children wouldn't starve to death in the streets, and could provide for their family.

I see a similarity between the slavery of the Bible and modern day welfare. If someone just doesn't have the means to pay their bills, there needs to be another way for them to get by. And servitude was the answer given in the Bible, which especially makes scense considering that ancient cultures didn't have a welfare system.

Now I have wrapped up my argument with the three contentions my adversary has provided.

I have proved kidnapping was explicitly forbidden in the Bible.

I have shown the Jefferson Davis is irrelevant to this debate.

And I have shown that slavery was indeed voulentary.


My opponent leaves me with two other points which I must refute.
1. Slaves were abused
2. The Bible establishes a difference between a servant and a slave

1. Slaves were abused

I can't deny physical force was used as punishment. However, that was the way of the times. They didn't have the psychological insights we do today. Even with this in mind though, people were still told to treat their slaves justly. In response to Exodus 21:20, I would like to direct everyone's attention to Exodus 21:26-27 (just 6 verses away from the verse my adversary lays out), "If a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave, and destroys it, he shall let him go free on account of his eye. 27"And if he knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, he shall let him go free on account of his tooth.…"

These rules, along with Deut: 23:16-17, ensures protection of the slave from physical abuse.

And to finish up with point 1, the Bible does outline adultery to be sinful. I ask my adversary to prove that Exodus 21:7-11 permits sexual abuse of slaves. I think it's more reasonable to believe that the word "please" was used to mean satisfy. As in, "My boss is satisfied with my work performance."

2. Slaves vs Servants

I would like to point out that I never said servant was a perfect word to define servitude at the time. Only more accurate. The distinction between the two is far less perceptible as the two words are in the modern English language.

I have refuted my opponents contentions, as well as the other two lingering points. Thank you for reading. I await my opponents response.

Debate Round No. 2
Projectid

Pro

To further prove my first Premise I shall use the verses and the context that my opponent claims to disprove that God permits slavery.

Exodus Chapter 21:1-6

Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,' then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.

It is strange to me that people cannot see from this text that God permits slavery. Not only does God permit slavery, He instructs the method of branding the slave through mutilation. God said it was okay for the MASTER to keep is wife and children.

Exodus 21:7-11
7 "If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to [e]go free as the male slaves [f]do. 8 If she is [g]displeasing in the eyes of her master [h]who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his [i]unfairness to her. 9 If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. 10 If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her [j]food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights. 11 If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

It is strange that God at this point makes ordinances for selling your daughter. Later in the text (v.16) He condemns kidnapping, yet here He permits the selling of another human into slavery. Regardless of how you try to paint the picture, this is slavery, the selling and buying of human beings is slavery! There is a difference from someone willingly forfeiting themselves and selling someone else.

Exodus 21:16
16 "He who [l]kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his [m]possession, shall surely be put to death.

Here God does not permit the kidnapping, stealing of a man for the purpose of slavery, yet in verse 7 He gives the ordinances for selling your daughter in slavery. We must assume that the daughter is okay with this and doing this at her own will or else there is a conflict with God.

Exodus 21:20-21
20 "If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies [q]at his hand, he shall [r]be punished. 21 If, however, he [s]survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his [t]property.

Here we have God endorsing that if a master beats his slave to death the master shall be punish, although as long as the slave lives it is okay to do this because the master OWNS the slave. Here again God is permitting slavery. God has plenty of chances here to condemned slavery altogether, but does not.

We all know that slavery is an outrage and a moral abomination. As a result, slavery is now completely illegal throughout the developed world.

God states in Bible that slavery is perfectly acceptable. Beating your slaves is fine. Enslaving children is fine. Separating slave families is fine. According to the Bible, we should all be practicing slavery today. It is God's word given to man through inspiration, if you believe that, then you must believe that God still permits slavery.

Jesus is said to be God on earth, he had every chance as well to condemned slavery, but he did not. All the New Testament writers could have condemned slavery, but none of them did either.

Conclusion:
God permits slavery by setting guidelines to having slaves.
God permits slavery by NOT condemning it directly through His word to humans.
Regardless of how you define words or try to justify the means in which one becomes a slave, the point still stands, the owning of another person regardless of these things still makes it slavery. If someone owes me a large sum of money today do I have the right to ask that person to submit themselves to be my slave, according to the Bible I do?

If the CON cannot directly show that God condemns slavery then the CON must agree that God permits it. Therfore my first premise still stands as true.
THE CON HAS FAILED TO PROVE THAT GOD DOES NOT PERMIT SLAVERY.
It has been shown that God allows slavery throughout all of scripture, never speaking against it, instead He tells us how to manage those we buy.

Premise 1: The God of the Holy Bible states that it is permissible to own slaves. (Leviticus 25:44-46) TRUE
Premise 2: The God of the Holy Bible never changes. (Malachi 3:6) TRUE
Conclusion: Therefore it is still permissible by the God of the Holy Bible to own slaves today.TRUE

I would like to thank the CON for a stimulating debate, it has made me look at scripture even closer. I realize even more now why I do not believe in the Bible or the God of the Bible.
davidjohn1994

Con

Allow me to begin by pointing out the fallacy, which is the foundation of my opponents argument.

"If the CON cannot directly show that God condemns slavery then the CON must agree that God permits it."

This is a perfect example of the classic Either Or fallacy. Just because someone doesn't condemn something, doesn't mean the permit it. Keeping my interpretatio of what it meant to be a slave in the Bible, the Bible is consistent in regards to this issue.

Lets begin by showing a misrepresentations of the wording of the Bible, that my adversary presents.

To sell; Sure, I'll agree with my adversary that the Bible does instruct people on the selling of slaves. Absolutely. But we must remember, these servants (a much more accurate term) sold themselves into "slavery" for protection and the essential needs of life. But my true question is, why does that matter? How does selling someone's service, automatically make them your property? If I go mow someone's lawn (willfully I remind you) am I selling myself to that person as their possesion? No, I'm selling my service in exchange for capital. Whereas back then, they would sell their service in exchange for a bed to sleep on, and a hot meal. Now, if I'm mowing that person's lawn and they come up to me and say, "Hey, I don't need you to mow my lawn anymore. Steve needs his lawn mowed, you'll get the same compensation if you do his instead." Would it be reasonable for me to be outraged? No. So why is it reasonable for someone to "sell" their "slaves" at this time?


"Not only does God permit slavery, He instructs the method of branding the slave through mutilation."

I guess, if you use the word mutilation increadibly loosely you could make this case. People put gauges in their ear all the time, are they really mutilating themselves? This would seem to me to be a way the "slave" could show his eternal commitment to his master. People get tattoos of a lover's name all the time, it's more like that than mutilation. Besides, all this verse proves is that these "slaves" had many options in how they wanted to live their lives, and granting them freedom to choose to stay with their loved ones.

"He condemns kidnapping, yet here He permits the selling of another human into slavery." Reread my input on the word "sell" in the Bible. Also, consider the fact "selling" one's daughter into slavery is much like adoption. If people can't provide for their children, should they just let them starve to death. Would that be more humane than this thing my adversary is calling "slavery"?


"Here we have God endorsing that if a master beats his slave to death the master shall be punish, although as long as the slave lives it is okay to do this because the master OWNS the slave." I full heartedly agree with my adversary if he were to say physical punishment is morally reprehensible. Like I said earlier, I am no Christian, but this argument isn't about if the Bible is ethical. It also talks about striking women and striking children, the Bible permits violence as a means of punishment. What can I say? This is about what it meant to be a slave, not whether or not violence is good for punishment. Just as a side note, I'd like to remind the viewers that this is yet another law ordained by God to protect slaves. To make sure they were not unjustly treated. An easier way to explain what The God of the Bible is saying is, "Don't hit them that hard! Good god people. You don't want to kill them. If you kill them, you're going to be put to death for murder..." He's outlining the fact that these "slaves" are PEOPLE. When the Bible says property, he simply means money. People should not get vengence on the slave owner for POSSIBLY causing a death, because the loss of the slave owners "capital" is punishment enough given reasonable doubt.


"We must assume that the daughter is okay with this and doing this at her own will or else there is a conflict with God." Sure. much like we can assume children put up for adoption conscented to it. This entire argument revolves around a huge misconception, so allow to clarify one last time;

People sold themselves, or their children into servitude, if they could not be provided for. As in, if someone's option is either be a servant or die, we can easily compare this exchange to that of adoption and "selling" yourself into a homeless shelter. Except, instead of a homeless shelter, where everything is free, they are required to work and earn their stay. Same thing with daughters and sons, instead of a free stay paid by the federal government (as we know, welfare systems and foster home didn't exist back then) they had to work to compensate for the food and shelter they receive.


"We all know that slavery is an outrage and a moral abomination." And this is the true meat and bones of my argument. Yes, slavery is an outrage and a moral abomination. I believe my adversary and I agree whole heartadley on this. However, I have proved that the "slavery" of the Bible is not an outrage or a moral abomination. If we can agree that slavery is unpermissable, but what we see in the Bible is far, FAR, from the slavery we see as horrific, then that constitutes a different word.

So to wrap up my argument;

My opponent claimed if I can prove either premise incorrect, than I am the winner of the debate.
The premises:

Premise 1: The God of the Holy Bible states that it is permissible to own slaves. (Leviticus 25:44-46)
Premise 2: The God of the Holy Bible never changes. (Malachi 3:6)
Conclusion: Therefore it is still permissible by the God of the Holy Bible to own slaves today.

I have proved premise 1 to be incorrect, under the grounds that slavery is not the appropriate word for what was happening at this time. Thus, proving the conclusion to be unsatisfactory.

I would like to thank my opponent for the great debate, I had a really good time with this one. Thanks for putting in the effort to formulate well thought out arguments, as well as let few of my points go unrebbutalled.





Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
Thought provoking arguments. Since I have come to the conclusion that God is real and hates most people; endorsement of slavery would make sense.
Posted by davidjohn1994 4 years ago
davidjohn1994
Ehh, I don't know. This was a loosing side for me to take either way. It would be much easier to explain how slavery was different back then, and thus it would be unfair to call it slavery by the modern definition. I could have gone into the second premise, but "the nature of God" would be a much more vague and difficult to word. It's just too subjective. Granted, the definition of slavery is bordering on semantics. I really took this debate for fun, and learned quite a bit from it. But I think any person with experience in debating would be very difficult to beat given the parameters (not impossible, but difficult). Great debate though, I had fun. It was interesting taking the other side and really try to think like them.
Posted by Franciscanorder 4 years ago
Franciscanorder
"My opponent either needs to prove that God was against slavery or that God does indeed change."

If that is how you define the parameters of your defeat, I say that Con could have easily won.

Your first premise is the harder of the two to take down, though I think it could be done by disputing your use of the word "endorse". But I think Con should have focused on your second premise, that God does not change.

Secondly, God can and does change. True enough that Malachi says that the Lord doesn't change. However, Pro takes Malachi out of context and draws an erroneous conclusion. What that verse means is that God does not change in his nature. It does *not* mean that God does not change his mind or judgement about something.

"The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled." - Genesis 6:6

This verse is from the story of Noah and the flood, where God changed his mind about humanity. Scripture says that mankind had grown so evil that he was full of sorrow over it and actually "regretted" (or "repented" in some versions) having made man. That clearly shows a change of mind.

Another- "Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance for ever.'

Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened." -Exodus 32:13-14

God said he would bring disaster upon the Hebrews, and after they pleaded with him to forgive them, he changed his mind- and for no other reason than that they pleaded with him to do so.

Lastly, "Did he not fear the Lord and entreat the favor of the Lord, and the Lord changed His mind about the misfortune which He had pronounced against them?" - Jeremiah 26:19

There's more, but I'm running out of characters. Suffice it to say, Con could have won easily.
Posted by Solomon_Grim 4 years ago
Solomon_Grim
I feel the problem here is that you are missing the culture in the bible at that time. Those that were allowed to be taken into slavery were opposing nations. It would be like America taking war prisoners, except Israel had no way to keep them locked up. So you might as well use them as labor.

The only options are:
1. Let them go to rebuild their cities and later try to destroy Israel.
2. Kill all of them
3. Or keep them some how.

This was in a time when many nations opposed Israel. You don't want to release another enemy to deal later.
Posted by CalvinAndHobbes 4 years ago
CalvinAndHobbes
@autodidact

What is the god of the Bible's favorite type of cake?
"the correct answer is god doesn't exist."

That doesn't answer the question. That's like saying:

What is the god Zeus's weapon?
The correct answer is Zeus doesn't exist.

I'm sure you can see the fallacy from here.
Posted by Projectid 4 years ago
Projectid
In response to autodidact: First off, I am an atheist, secondly the existence of God debates are fine but I choose to debate the issues that show the Bible as being unethical and unreasonable. This in turn shows the God of the Bible to be either a monster or non existent being to those who believe in such things.
Posted by autodidact 4 years ago
autodidact
and atheist could have beat pro easily.

its like asking what is the god of the bible's favorite type of cake?
the correct answer is god doesn't exist.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
Projectiddavidjohn1994Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: As I read this I began to imagine certain replies from con that would beat down pro's argument; thus before finishing the reading I am opting to not score any points due to bias... ARGUMENT: con began with a smart tactic of shifting words (at some harm to conduct, since definition changes should be arranged prior to clicking accept); however that risks hitting the wall of are many people in the USA slaves today? He lost points on presentation due to the font size issues in R2. Pro's case heavily cites the bible, yet much of that book is historical accounts of people; only key bits are God passing down laws (such as the tablets to Moses, and him telling the Jews he'd punish them if they did not change their ways; shortly before the abominations with the raping in R2). SOURCES: Both used the same source, when either of them probably should have looked up outside interpretations and explanations of the text; perhaps confirmed historical cases of the bible's role for and against slavery.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
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Reasons for voting decision: The question for this debate is whether its true, as Con claims, what "we see in the Bible is far, FAR, from the slavery we see as horrific," so the modern word for "slavery" doesn't apply. Nowadays, people voluntarily take a job and when it turns out to involve unpleasant work, they declare themselves "wage slaves." I think that the defining characteristic of slavery is not how well a slave is treated, it is whether the person can quit. In the times of American slavery, some slaves were treated quite well and they probably would have fared worse had they taken an option to leave. Nonetheless, they were still slaves, because they couldn't elect an alternative. The Bible endorses such practices. Note that the US Constitution prohibited indentured servitude from the outset, while permitting slavery. There is an equivalence. Good debate by both sides --useful info and thought-provoking arguments.
Vote Placed by newbiehere 4 years ago
newbiehere
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Reasons for voting decision: Regardless of whether or not slavery was truly voluntary and the conditions slaves were kept in (I don't know the facts and Con didn't cite any sources), they were still slaves by Pro's definition. I don't see Con's arguments as demonstrations of the "slaves" not being slaves--I just see them as arguments for slaves having it better back then than the slaves we imagine today. They still went into slavery for different reasons, sure, but it still wasn't perfectly voluntary in a true sense; they HAD to for protection or because they had to pay off debts. It wasn't like they said, "Well, I could become a carpenter or a merchant, but I'm going to be a slave instead because that just seems awesome." Con conceded Pro's second half of the argument "God never changes," so that sticks as well. Grammar-wise, Con glued more words together and had other mistakes that stood out. (Example: "infact" is not a word.)
Vote Placed by Orangatang 4 years ago
Orangatang
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Reasons for voting decision: It is quite obvious that the Bible endorses slavery, and that Pro did correctly point out that in many cases it is involuntary. Con's tried to change the definition of slave but his argument was not at all compelling. Pro is right to point out that Christians around the world used the Bible to defend their right to own slaves. I would just give Pro the convincing argument point, but seeing that CalvinAndHobbes gave extra points in a countervote, I am forced to do so as well.
Vote Placed by Juan_Pablo 4 years ago
Juan_Pablo
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Reasons for voting decision: Con argued that old testament slavery was voluntary. Actually most of it was not. Some slaves were voluntary jews, who would automatically win their freedom after a given period. Most slaves were in fact "spoils of war"; they and their children were slaves for life. These slaves had neither cultural or religious freedom, and could be killed for rejecting the Jewish God. Pro addressed the fact that they were allowed to be beaten at the Master's discretion. Also, the Apostle Paul in the New Testament justified slavery, and tells christian slaves to fear and serve their masters, as if they were serving God himself. Historically scripture has often been used to justify the practice of slavery. Slavery is one item that has consistently shined a bad light on the Bible. Ultimately I sided with Pro. (By the way, I do believe in the God that has been revealed through the Bible. However, I do not believe the Bible is infallible or that its writers were even free of prejudices.)