The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
8 Points

Relaxing the anti-slavery laws would be both morally-sound and economically beneficial

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/5/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,561 times Debate No: 34545
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)




Slavery has received a lot of negative press over the years and the adverse public opinion that it generated has led to the trading and keeping of slaves being banned in most developed countries.

However, it's now time we asked ourselves if slavery really is such an immoral practice and, furthermore, consider what possible economic benefits the relaxation of anti-slavery laws could bring.


In the 17th Century the British led the way in giving the natives of West Africa the opportunity to escape the devastating famines, the incurable tropical diseases, the religious human sacrifices, the lack of sanitation, the scarcity of fresh water, the widespread tribal warfare and the ever-present danger of wild animals to start productive new lives, either in on one of Britain's paradise islands in the Caribbean or in one of her picturesque rural colonies in North America.

Once there, in return for an honest day's work, these former savages were provided with food and shelter as well as medical attention and religious instruction. Overall, life was good compared to their miserable existence in Africa, and they enjoyed much better health too - indeed, a child born to a slave in the Americas had a life expectancy 12 years longer than that of a child born to a working class family in Britain [1]. Slaves weren't paid, that is true, but as primitive hunter-gatherers they had no concept of currency so they would never have expected any monetary payment, or have known what to do with it if they had.

Some extreme left-wing, ultra-politically-correct historians have implied that the African slave trade was, in some respects, perhaps slightly racist but this assertion is wholly unfounded. The fact is that North America and the Caribbean were such attractive destinations that millions of white Europeans sold themselves into slavery to become indentured servants in the New World. Indeed, 80% of all the European emigrants who arrived in America prior to the American Revolutionary War came as indentured servants and, furthermore, before slave laws were passed black slaves were treated the same way as indentured servants, and blacks were given the same opportunities for freedom as whites [2].

From a religious perspective, people in Europe and North America have traditionally used the Bible as their moral compass and the Christian scriptures make numerous references to slavery which explicitly support the practice and gives instruction on how slaves should behave and how their masters should treat them. For example:

"As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you. You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their clans that are with you, who have been born in your land, and they may be your property. You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever." Leviticus 25:44-46

"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ." Ephesians 6:5

"When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money." Exodus 21:20-21

"Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust." Peter 2:18

"Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour." Titus 2:9-10

"And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating." Luke 12:47

So we can see that slavery was morally-sound in both historic and religious contexts.


Times have changed and it is no longer legal under international law to import slaves from Africa but there is no need to.

Most European and North American nations are awash with illegal immigrants that could be rounded up and sold as slaves.

In addition, millions of long-term unemployed people in Europe and North America rely on government handouts for their food, shelter, health-care needs and other living expenses. It is only fair to the taxpayer that these people are deemed to be the property of the state for a period of time equivalent to that which they have been in receipt of state benefits. So, for example, if someone has been unemployed for five years, they should be leased out to the highest bidder for five years, after which time they would have earned their freedom.

This would produce huge economic benefits to the country: in addition to the vast amount of money saved on welfare payments the receipts from the sale and lease of millions of slaves would be a huge boost for the economy. These savings and extra revenues would enable the government to wipe out any budget deficit and also cut taxes for businesses and hard-working individuals.

As well as ordinary citizens engaging the services of slaves to assist with domestic duties around the home, firms would be able to use slaves to compete more effectively in the international marketplace.

According to the International Labour Organisation at least 11.7 million are in forced labour in the Asia-Pacific region while paid workers receive a fraction of the pay of their counterparts in the West. [3} Slaves employed by European and American firms would help them sell their goods at similar prices to the cheap imports from China, India and other low wage economies.

In conclusion, relaxing the anti-slavery laws would be both morally-sound and economically beneficial.

Thank you.



Slavery has received a lot of negative press, but it has deserved every bit of that negative press. In this round I will do what my opponent did and talk about the morality and economics of slavery, but I will show why it is wrong.


Slavery is not Morally acceptable when we look at the morals that the United States wrote down in the Declaration of Independence life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness (1), slavery does not follow these standards. If we just look at the second word in the phrase (life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness) liberty the definition of it is, "The quality or state of being free; the power to do as one pleases;freedom from arbitrary or despotic control."(2) Now if we compare that to the definition of being a slave "a person held in servitude as the chattel of another;one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence."(3) As you can see the definitions don't match so slavery is against the base principles the United States is built upon.

If definitions are not enough to convince you lets look at the hardships many slaves faced. Many Africans would be either sold into slavery because they were captured during war or would be kidnapped by traders. Those who were kidnapped were taken from friends and families against their will and the bible states in Exodus 21:16, "Anyone who kidnaps someone is to be put to death, whether the victim has been sold or is still in the kidnapper"s possession." So using my opponents logic of many people using the bible as a moral compass the idea of kidnapping someone goes against the bible. After these people were kidnapped they would be put onto the Middle Passage which is a trade route that slave trades would use. The conditions of the shipping boats were horrible, slaves were chained together and disease become rapid because of the human waste and rats, so such diseases as dysentery and even outbreaks of small pox would occur. The conditions were so horrible that the survival rate of the Middle Passage was around 50% that means half of the people who were kidnapped against their will died before being sold into slavery. Many slaves after the long trip would have mental problems that would make them go insane. Suicide is viewed as very mortally wrong, but the conditions in the middle passage were so horrible that many slaves turned to it as an escape from the hardships. The people running the middle passage would beat and even kill slaves that did not follow the rules. Slavery is wrong that anyone can see this. (4,5,6)


Slavery only helps the rich with free service. The gap between the rich and the poor is as large as it has ever been and slavery will only help with this. The rich in the last 50 years has seen a 62% increase in income while the poor has only seen a 28% increase in income (7). If slavery came back the 28% increase would soon turn downhill and become a decrease. Slavery has also become nearly useless because now does it takes as lest a high school diploma to get any work in the United States and slavery won't allow this to happen. Even if slaves become high school educated they would not get higher education thanks to the small to none pay. Machines have also made human labor not efficient as it once was.

Slavery is wrong and anyone who says otherwise is wrong as well.

Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank utahjoker for accepting this challenge and for his various rebuttals.


My opponent firstly quoted the United States Declaration of Independence which stated "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

This was written in 1766 but America didn't abolish slavery until 1865 when the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified [1] so, clearly, the Founding Fathers never intended these 'unalienable Rights' to be extended to black slaves; why they didn't write "all men are created equal except blacks" we will perhaps never know.

Of course, they should also have added "and criminals". Would my opponent argue that convicted felons should be released from jail so that they too can enjoy "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"?

Naturally I agree that kidnapping is morally wrong but when the anti-slavery laws are relaxed, the slaves would be either be illegal immigrants, the arrest and detention of whom by the appropriate law-enforcement agencies cannot be deemed 'kidnapping', the long-term unemployed who will be working off their debts to the taxpayer or, otherwise, young volunteers looking for valuable work experience.

And it is true that the journey across the Atlantic may have not have been like a luxury cruise: and anyone has travelled on the London Underground in rush hour on a hot summer's day would empathise with the passengers of those ships; but we have to remember that all trans-Atlantic crossings were dangerous and uncomfortable at that time, when typically only the captain had his own quarters, and food and water were strictly rationed and space on deck was very limited. But this isn't relative as I am suggesting that these days slaves can be sourced locally without the need to import them from overseas ,


I would hate to see the gap between rich and poor widen further but that is a natural function of supply-side capitalism where the wealth of those at the top trickles down through the rest of society. If someone is unhappy with that concept then I suggest they vote for a socialist candidate at the next election.

However, slavery could help young people from poorer backgrounds compete with the rich kids in the employment marketplace. You see, many firms offer young people unpaid internships whereby college-leavers work for free, like slaves, in order to gain work experience. But what happens if their parents can't afford to send their kids to a big city and pay for their food and accommodation whilst they are working as unpaid interns? If they can't find paid work those young people will have to either claim welfare or turn to a life of crime. The only alternative is to become homeless and beg for food from passers-by.

Surely, it would be better for a young job-seeker to volunteer to become a slave with the guarantee of food and shelter and something worthwhile to put on a resume at the end of the agreed period of enslavement?

Furthermore, the low-tax regime and availability of a low-cost labour force will attract wealth-creating businesses from around the world to invest in Western countries rather than outsource production to China, India et al, because not all tasks can be undertaken by machines and payroll costs are, typically, one of businesses largest costs.

This means overall tax receipts will increase paving for an overall reduction in levels of taxation for everybody.

In conclusion, relaxing the anti-slavery laws will be of enormous benefit to all hard-working, law-abiding citizens and I duly submit this proposal to the House.

Thank You.



I would also like to thank my opponent for posting a very interesting and debate worthy argument.


While it is true that the founding fathers wrote the United States Declaration of Independence back in 1766 and slaves/blacks were not really apart of the phrase ,Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, the founding fathers laid the foundation for 1865 when slavery was banished and now that it is 2013 Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness is now for any American no matter what they are.

The difference between criminals and slaves is very obvious. Criminals have been found guilty in a court of their peers and have lost there right to Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness until their sentence is over and even life in some cases because of their actions. Slaves on the other hand are not guilty of any crime the only thing they are guilty of his being African and catch-able that is a very said truth.

My opponent claims that kidnapping will no longer be apart of slavery instead it will be criminals that are in prison doing the slave work. The problem is that the 8th amendment of the United States Constitution does not allow it. The 8th amendment states- "nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted(1)," having someone do slave work is cruel if not unusual.

The difference between the London Underground and the Middle Passage is great. While the London Underground during a hot day is not convenient, the Middle Passage was inhumane. In the Middle Passage people where stacked one on another on shelves and were chained together they where more like meat in a supermarket than humans.


My opponent seems to have slavery and an unpaid internship mixed up. An unpaid internship is a contract made between two people in agreement that one won't be paid for their services instead will gain experience in the field, but the unpaid internship still has their liberty and their life.

Slavery is a whole different ball game. The definition of Slavery is- 'the condition of a slave; bondage(2)' being a slave is being someone's property. Which means that it is not a contract instead one person owns another and the person is forced to do another's biding until or if the owner grants the slave their freedom which is unlikely.

If taxes is the main force behind legalizing slavery then that is a very bad idea. Their are much easy ways to cut spending like cutting social programs or defense budget that is in the 800 billion dollar range. This is better than lowering moral for a few dollars if any cut.

In conclusion slavery is wrong and History shows why it is with poor treatment and killing people's rights.

Vote Con

Debate Round No. 2
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by brian_eggleston 5 years ago
Great job, utahjoker, thanks. Just to be clear, this was just an exercise in debating from me (check my profile). I hope, sincerely, that you win this one.
Posted by StevenDixon 5 years ago
Wow, I didn't know the new testament condones slavery also lol. Thanks.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Risen 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con made better arguments and outlined well that slavery is morally and economically wrong.
Vote Placed by Daktoria 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: "However, slavery could help young people from poorer backgrounds compete with the rich kids in the employment marketplace. You see, many firms offer young people unpaid internships whereby college-leavers work for free, like slaves, in order to gain work experience." This lost the debate for Pro. Slavery does not work because the enslaved become stuck working for free forever. The only way they ever break the cycle is if someone, somewhere, somehow fortunately liberates them. People from poorer backgrounds would be at the mercy of people from wealthier backgrounds, perpetually stuck behind the excuse of rugged individualism as a reason why they shouldn't get paid and should be grateful that they're not left to die or beaten.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Not only is Pro humorous and defends a difficult to defend position, he easily refutes many of Con's arguments such the life, liberty and happiness in the constitution.