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Sun Mar 28, 2021, 10:28 AM

Why does God condone slavery?

Last edited Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:08 AM - Edit history (1)

Why does the God of the Old and New Testament condone and at times endorse slavery?
Surely this is one of humanities great sins. Won't a loving and just God condemn one person taking all freedom from another? Shouldn't one of the Ten Commandments, the basis of all of God's laws, be a prohibition of slavery. After all the story of Exodus is all about the Hebrews getting their freedom from Egypt through God's actions. Shouldn't all people be free? But the Hebrews are explicitly allowed to have slaves, and even sell their children into slavery.
Could this not have been a commandment if God was just and good?
"Thou shall not have slaves, nor allow others to be made slaves"

It also belies the whole argument of free will. Slaves cannot exercise free will.

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Arrow 52 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why does God condone slavery? (Original post)
edhopper Mar 2021 OP
Eyeball_Kid Mar 2021 #1
edhopper Mar 2021 #4
brooklynite Mar 2021 #47
Thunderbeast Mar 2021 #2
edhopper Mar 2021 #7
Thunderbeast Mar 2021 #10
edhopper Mar 2021 #12
Shermann Mar 2021 #3
edhopper Mar 2021 #5
vlyons Mar 2021 #6
edhopper Mar 2021 #8
vlyons Mar 2021 #19
edhopper Mar 2021 #21
vlyons Mar 2021 #25
vlyons Mar 2021 #28
edhopper Mar 2021 #30
LakeArenal Mar 2021 #9
edhopper Mar 2021 #16
EarnestPutz Mar 2021 #20
Ferrets are Cool Mar 2021 #11
Girard442 Mar 2021 #13
edhopper Mar 2021 #15
Girard442 Mar 2021 #17
Dream Girl Mar 2021 #22
edhopper Mar 2021 #31
Dream Girl Mar 2021 #33
edhopper Mar 2021 #34
Dream Girl Mar 2021 #35
edhopper Mar 2021 #36
DEbluedude Mar 2021 #37
vlyons Mar 2021 #23
Prof. Toru Tanaka Mar 2021 #26
Under The Radar Mar 2021 #29
Under The Radar Mar 2021 #27
edhopper Mar 2021 #14
vlyons Mar 2021 #24
edhopper Mar 2021 #32
Voltaire2 Mar 2021 #43
sanatanadharma Mar 2021 #18
edhopper Mar 2021 #38
localroger Mar 2021 #39
edhopper Mar 2021 #40
localroger Mar 2021 #41
edhopper Mar 2021 #42
Voltaire2 Mar 2021 #44
ismnotwasm Mar 2021 #45
edhopper Mar 2021 #46
Steelrolled Mar 2021 #48
edhopper Mar 2021 #49
Steelrolled Mar 2021 #50
edhopper Mar 2021 #51
Iggo Apr 2021 #52

Response to edhopper (Original post)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 10:37 AM

1. The Bible was written by people. Writers/transcribers were elitists.

Those people accepted slavery as a societal fact in cultures where the vast majority of people were illiterate. The Bible wasn't written by slaves. Those writers of the Bible books were writing to an audience of those who could read and those who were powerful. So the Bible writers' blind spot was the immorality of slavery. They just viewed it as a given, that it wasn't a moral issue.

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Response to Eyeball_Kid (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:09 AM

4. This wopuld be a historical / atheist view

but if one believes in the God of the Bible, it does not answer the question.

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Response to Eyeball_Kid (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 10:40 AM

47. "They just viewed it as a given"

I suspect that violence and theft were also seen as "givens", but somehow they took time to add those to the "Thou shalt not" list...

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Response to edhopper (Original post)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 10:55 AM

2. Could it be

that the biblical god of the Bronze Age bible was invented by the wealthy and powerful...for whom slavery was critical to maintain both?

There is a straight line between the Old Testiment and the current "Prosperity Gospel" congregations where wealth is revered as evidence that those enjoying wealth and power deserve it by divine blessings.

The sheep of their flocks get the crumbs of the economy and a promise of a great afterlife. Slaves throughout history were co-opted and subjugated with the same mythology.

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Response to Thunderbeast (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:11 AM

7. That would be the historical/agnostic answer

What is the answer for those that believe in the Biblical God?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:15 AM

10. I find no obligation to provide an explanation to meet their delusions.

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Response to Thunderbeast (Reply #10)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:27 AM

12. Well played

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Response to edhopper (Original post)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:02 AM

3. The Bible is Morality version 1.0

We can (and should) draft an updated and improved version.

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Response to Shermann (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:10 AM

5. So

you are not an originalist?

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Response to edhopper (Original post)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:11 AM

6. There is no creator God

God is a concept, fabricated in the minds of people, and as such, completely subjective, because concepts are subjective. The gods described in religious scriptures were created by humans, who needed to justify slavery, which was a big lucrative business, and source of free labor and wealth.

Many Bible stories are good allegories, just not history.

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Response to vlyons (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:12 AM

8. Sure

But for those who believe in the all-loving God, what is the answer to this?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #8)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 12:05 PM

19. You don"t have to believe in god to practice loving kindness

Belief in god is just that -- a belief, a concept. The Dalai Lama has said that his religion is very simple. It's the practice of loving kindness. If you want to believe in god, that's not a problem for me. If you want me to believe in your god, you'll be waiting a long long time for that to happen.

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Response to vlyons (Reply #19)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 12:07 PM

21. I would submit

that belief in God often results in the opposite of loving kindness.

But that is another discussion.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #21)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 12:26 PM

25. read Trungpa's "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism"

Many many so-call "religious people" use religion to enhance, extend, and glorify their egos. Religions are filled with con artists, grifters, false prophets and gurus. None of them will make you a wise and virtuous person, but they might teach you to not be a sucker.

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Response to vlyons (Reply #25)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 12:31 PM

28. Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.

ďDo not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.Ē

Buddha quotes (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)

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Response to vlyons (Reply #28)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 12:46 PM

30. That is a great quote

thanks.

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Response to edhopper (Original post)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:14 AM

9. Theoretically, there were for stones of rules.

One was destroyed by a pissed off Moses.

Maybe there were rules we missed.

Rules are only for those who obey them as we have seen recently by asswipes that yell Constitution Constitution while insurrecting.

However, if there was god, where is all the smiting. Fewer rules and more smiting!!!

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:37 AM

16. Ah!

That would be the Brooksian School of the Bible.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #16)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 12:05 PM

20. "Oy!" He says, when he drops the third tablet. Cracks me up every time.

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Response to edhopper (Original post)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:19 AM

11. Please don't try to make sense of that novel. It will make your head explode.

For example, try to explain why God sent bears into town to murder 42 children who made fun of Elisha.

"And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them." 2 Kings 2:24

What God would do that? Just for making fun of an old man?

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Response to edhopper (Original post)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:32 AM

13. I was raised Southern Baptist and you'd think that would give me some insight.

Not so much. At age thirteen I couldn't make head nor tail of the theological arguments. Fifty years later, still can't.

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Response to Girard442 (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:35 AM

15. I have had these discussions

about these unfathomable contradictions. And it always comes down to I am not wise enough to understand or God is too mysterious to understand.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #15)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:42 AM

17. Try reading Mark Twain's "The Mysterious Stranger" if you haven't already.

Biting. Really biting.

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Response to Girard442 (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 12:07 PM

22. Same for me. I never bought into any of it as a child. The Bible stories seems just like

Santa and the Easter bunny. Plus I nevergot how God could be so cruel as to let people burn in hell for all eternity. I was like WTF. That said, I have had several paranormal experiences starting at age four. I have seen ghosts. The last time was about 10 years when I saw a ghost at a trendy SOHO NY hotel. For me there is definitely some thing else but I sure donít know wat it is.

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Response to Dream Girl (Reply #22)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 12:48 PM

31. I saw a werewwolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic's

and his hair was perfect.


Sorry

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Response to edhopper (Reply #31)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 12:52 PM

33. Trader Vics? Pina Colada? What's that?

How old are you anyway? 90?

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Response to Dream Girl (Reply #33)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 01:05 PM

34. Old enough to be

a Warren Zevon fan.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #31)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 01:05 PM

35. I think some people are more attuned to spiritual presence. As I very young child I didn't find it

Scary. But these experiences were most definitely real . You certainly donít have to believe me, but knowing what I know, your snark just seems ignorant, intolerant and kinda dumb in an arrogant white male know-it-all kind of way.

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Response to Dream Girl (Reply #35)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 01:06 PM

36. It was a joke

sorry to kill your buzz.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #31)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 01:10 PM

37. Ahh Ouuuu!! n/t

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Response to Girard442 (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 12:15 PM

23. What I want to know

is how did 2 penguins from Antarctica, and 2 armadillos from Texas, and 2 of every kind of the hundreds of thousands of beetle species in the Amazon make it to Noah's arc.

Then I'd like to know if Jesus was born of a Virgin birth, where did he get his male chomazomes. Then explain please how he escaped earth's gravity to ascend into heaven without a rocket or an oxygen supply.

And where exactly is heaven? Google maps doesn't know either.

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Response to vlyons (Reply #23)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 12:30 PM

26. Those and


I never knew how an inorganic compound (water) was presto! change-o! converted into an organic compund (wine).

Or how God spoke to a prophet (Balaam) through the mouth of a jackass. Or how a burning shrub could speak.

And then there is Lazarus rising from the dead....

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Response to Prof. Toru Tanaka (Reply #26)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 12:35 PM

29. I remember some similar experiences in the '60's

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Response to vlyons (Reply #23)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 12:30 PM

27. Often wondered why Mary's father didn't beat the shit out of Joseph

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Response to edhopper (Original post)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:32 AM

14. I see your responses

and yet, we have millions of Jews celebrating this right now as if it happened and God actually chose them. I say this as one raised in the Jewish faith, and there was never a hint that this event was ahistorical and apocryphal. or that the meaning of freedom from slavery did not include anyone else.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #14)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 12:17 PM

24. Try to see the Bible stories as allegories

not as history.

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Response to vlyons (Reply #24)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 12:49 PM

32. I do

most believers do not.

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Response to vlyons (Reply #24)

Mon Mar 29, 2021, 08:29 AM

43. and what moral hidden meaning is one supposed to obtain

from the passover 'allegory' of an angry manipulative vindictive tribal god murdering all the first born sons of the egyptians?

Saying it's just 'allegories' is a cop-out.

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Response to edhopper (Original post)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 11:43 AM

18. Sadly, there is no answer satisfactory to the OP, but the believer does answer...

"God works in mysterious ways. Without the lenses of faith and belief there is no answer or understanding."

My answer is that all scripture (at best) is the overflowing absolute-infinite talking to small, limited minds of minuscule capacity to understand themselves; what to speak of understanding the answer to everything.

The Logical-positivists point out that a question to which no answer is ever possible is not a real question.
Questions like where is the universe located? In itself or in that which is outside of itself?
The Qanon phenomena is simply the newest mental-masturbation of mankind and mankind is rarely kind.

Or, God knows that flawed humanity can not, will not accept a universe of compassion and identity with others.
Why bother talking to the ten-fingered ones about an eleventh commandment?
Here and now in the human condition, answers must come. God is not relevant, as proved by her/is self-proclaimed followers.

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Response to sanatanadharma (Reply #18)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 01:23 PM

38. An understanding that cannot be explain

because it is not really an understanding, it is an acceptance based on faith alone. It is avoidance of understanding.

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Response to edhopper (Original post)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 06:08 PM

39. As a practical matter, civilization such as it was could not have existed without slavery

I have read that there were a couple of times when it was suggested to make Roman slaves wear an identifying mark or special clothing, but it was realized that there were so many slaves that if it became too easy for them to identify one another it would actually make rebellion easier. The invention of agriculture pretty much necessitated the co-invention of slavery, and while modern technology has finally made it theoretically possible to separate the threads of civilization and oppression the habit of oppression is now so ingrained that it has proven to be a hard one for humans to break, whether in the form of actual or de facto (e.g. wage) slavery.

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Response to localroger (Reply #39)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 06:15 PM

40. But as always

it could function as an equal collective. But instead it is always a hierarchy with those at the top reaping all the rewards.
Not to get to Marxian.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #40)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 09:29 PM

41. We are not too far from a situation where most human labor is really unnecessary

Whether we throw those would-be laborers away like trash or give them decent lives will define us as a species.

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Response to localroger (Reply #41)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 10:07 PM

42. I fear those who rule us

will choose the former.

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Response to localroger (Reply #41)

Mon Mar 29, 2021, 08:30 AM

44. oh we have already chosen the former.

That has been obvious for decades now.

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Response to edhopper (Original post)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 02:18 PM

45. Read "Answer to Job"

By Carl Jung. Basically says the God of the Old Testament was an immature child and Jesus was his softer, more adult aspect. Jung didnít write that until he was in his 70ís, or he didnít publish it anyway. Only Jung would have the gonads to psychoanalyze God

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #45)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 04:13 PM

46. A 13 billion year old diety

or older, goes from childhood to adulthood in 2000 years. That's a long childhood.

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Response to edhopper (Original post)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 11:02 AM

48. I think this is another form of the question

"Why does God allow pain and suffering in the world?"

A similar question was asked by a seven year old Japanese child to Pope Benedict. The gist of his answer was "we do not have the answer". People can speculate but I think that answer is most honest.

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Response to Steelrolled (Reply #48)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 11:46 AM

49. I disagree

pain and suffering come from many things in our life that are not controllable. Now we can ask why did God not create a paradise without pain and suffering, but that is more an argument about creationism.
But for slavery, we have several times where God prohibits things humans do, some bad, some more neutral. If he can prohibit pre-marital sex, eating shell fish and carving idols (the later so important, he made it a Commandment) he surely could have said slavery was evil. I am not asking why there wasn't divine intervention to stop slavery. Just an indication from the all loving God who made laws about everything to say "Don't do that". Instead he said it was A-OK with him.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #49)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 01:08 PM

50. As you say, he could have prohibited slavery

but didn't. He could have prohibited other bad things. He clearly didn't prohibit eating animals, which we are more-or-less OK with now, although it is possible that in the future, we will view that as pure evil. I don't know why slavery didn't make the cut, but it is an interesting question.

Somewhat related to this, I have heard historians discussing the nature of and attitudes toward slavery in Biblical times, as it is often spoken of very matter-of-factly.

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Response to Steelrolled (Reply #50)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 04:29 PM

51. intersesting fact

the last country to abolish slavery was Mauritania in 1981. Of course slavery still exists in other forms today.

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Response to edhopper (Original post)

Fri Apr 2, 2021, 10:53 PM

52. 'Cause the guys who wrote the book say he does. (n/t)

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