Is Slavery Wrong?

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Reply Tue 22 Sep, 2009 11:56 pm
Abraham Lincoln said "If slavery is not wrong, then nothing is wrong"
Was Lincoln right? or
Is the notion that slavery is wrong just a modern social convention?
A subjectivie opinion?
Are there any transcendent eternal values?
Was Nietschze right about the death of God and values?
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 12:06 am
@prothero,
prothero;92900 wrote:
Abraham Lincoln said "If slavery is not wrong, then nothing is wrong"
Was Lincoln right? or
Is the notion that slavery is wrong just a modern social convention?
A subjectivie opinion?
Are there any transcendent eternal values?
Was Nietschze right about the death of God and values?


The reason Lincoln uttered this statement is because there were a heck of a lot of people in the U.S. who thought it was right. Lincoln was articulating his views but there were certainly large segments of the population that disagreed and if you were in such a place you would easily get a consensus that slavery was not only right but it was actually beneficial. So, human beings are able to rationalize anything.

Why do I believe slavery is wrong? How am I different than the slave owners? I can only say it does not come from the rational mind and I do not try to make a case. I can only say that: You gotta have heart. I am not sure where empathy comes from. I can guess and have my ideas. But clearly, I cannot bear the fact that a human (or even an animal) is not free to roam and explore. As you might guess, I have a tough time at zoos.

Rich
 
Krumple
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 02:28 am
@prothero,
Can I say that many of us are still slaves. Maybe not in the traditional sense but we are now under a newer, more sinister, well disguised version that is just as oppressive as ever. Is it only I who sees it?
 
urangutan
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 02:42 am
@prothero,
I guess slavery is a term that requires definition. I do not believe that it should exist simply to satiate ones appetite for greed, which includes our own enslavement to the rut of life that revolves around our own debt. Life is an important cycle of giving and sharing. Maybe you do not see what we have in Australia, where a person can rely on government assistance for all their requirements. Government meaning taxpayer. Should that person not be enslaved to repay the service. I do not believe slavery should be a life long acceptance of drudgery and deprivement but shouldn't all people be compelled to build and offer service to provide for others.

I do not stand behind those that demean the value of life, in any respect, though I am adament there is work enough for us all to participate.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 06:41 am
@urangutan,
Yea, it depends on the type and extent of enslavement; we've gotten into that before here. [INDENT]Applying the traditional/stereotypical definition of slavery; I'd say that no slavery is ethical since the extent to which it applies proportionately limits ones' ability to make their own decisions, exercise agency and ultimately; how they're able/allowed to live their own life. Yes, as stated above this is hard to make a case against in an objective form. But if we accept that making our own decisions and living our lives as we choose is any kind of "right", which I do, then slavery is - proportional to the extent, in that context - unethical and worthy of the title wrong.
[/INDENT]On Lincoln's quote, I'd say he was more expressing the strength of his conviction more than how it related to any other wrong - just my take.

Thanks
 
xris
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 07:08 am
@Khethil,
Its not an academic question when you consider how many millions find themselves in actual slavery. There are more slaves now than any other period of history. Those poor souls would dearly love the freedom we take for granted, your proposed ideas on slavery are mere restrictions in freedoms that could be overcome with just a bit of revolution, on our part.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 08:28 am
@xris,
Do bears shi ... uh ... defaecate in the woods?
 
NoOne phil
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 09:43 am
@prothero,
I am a slave so my answer is in danger of bias. However, One must define slavery and define man, enumerate all the possible areas of slavery, in order to start to understand the answer. There are seven basic forms of slavery-just as there are seven lights on a Menorah, or seven spirts of man. But what it all boils down to, since slavery is just another form of murder, and tossing in the fact of Reciprocity that language cannot exist without, what a simple minded question.

One must look at the question in its most general form, why may one word be or not be predicated of another? Why can I place one member in a class or not? Study Plato, Language, Study in Lucid dreaming.

What is predication? Is man yet literate enough to understand he is yet pre-literate?

At any rate, if you knew what good and evil were, what right and wrong were, then it would the definition of those that determined class membership--this is elementary math--there are two and only two methods of constructing a set, enumation and definition.

Since predication is the inverse function of abstraction, one must "know themselves" in order to start to comprehend the fundamentals of grammar, thus logic and judgment.

When one knows the foundation of judgment, one does not ask another man, or even a god, as to what is right or wrong, one asks the standard, the definition. Thus, if man knew the principles of judgment, one might see how radically different society, and human psychology must become in order for truth and understanding to exist on this earth. j.c.

P.S. What is a definition? How does it differ from a description? How many primitive categories of words are there? Which can be defined, and which not? Why? One should really study Plato and Euclid.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 10:18 am
@prothero,
prothero;92900 wrote:
Is the notion that slavery is wrong just a modern social convention?
Rephrased: "Is the notion that keeping innocent humans in bondage with physical and emotional hardship for their entire lives and deprived of any self-determination is wrong just a modern social convention?"

Slavery is a statement about how we value humanity as a whole. To accept slavery is an open admission that among humans there is no absolute value to human life. So it's a statement about one's self then too.

It's also not that modern in that abolition movements existed in Europe during the 18th century.

---------- Post added 09-23-2009 at 12:19 PM ----------

NoOne;93003 wrote:
I am a slave so my answer is in danger of bias.
My grandparents were slaves -- actual slaves. You are sitting at a computer and reading Euclid.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 10:23 am
@Aedes,
While I generally agree with you, Aedes, remember that slavery is not a ubiquitous institution. Slavery in many times and places has been contingent upon the choices of the slave - for example in Africa, certain sorts of theft could put a person in slavery for a few years. Of course, that variation on the practice was wildly different and far more humane than what developed across the Atlantic under European cultural and moral oversight...
 
Aedes
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 10:33 am
@prothero,
DT, the original post specifically mentions slavery as referenced by Abraham Lincoln.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 10:38 am
@Aedes,
And the Op also references several far flung ethical questions that can be asked in innumerable contexts - dude, I'm not defending slavery, I'm only bring up the fact that through history slavery is a broad set of practices.

And this has serious consequences - when African princes began selling "slaves" to whites, they were horribly mislead regarding the cultural differences. Later the system became clearly abusive on the side of those princes, but the trade was first legitimized on the grounds of the traditional African practice, which was a far cry from the European practice inherited fro Rome .
 
Aedes
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 10:44 am
@prothero,
The African relationship with the transatlantic slave trade was not as innocent as you portray. European slave traders created and armed puppet states in order to get slaves, such as the Ashanti kingdom and the Dahomey kingdom. It was a 16th century version of the same corrupt warlords you see today in eastern Congo -- they sold slaves to the Europeans because it kept them rich and powerful -- and that's again a statement about the valuation of humans.
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 11:10 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;93040 wrote:
and that's again a statement about the valuation of humans.


It is these kind of events that make me wonder why do some people value slavery (for whatever reason) and why some humans abhor it? This is the kind of question that makes me dig deeper into the nature of humans.

Rich
 
odenskrigare
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 11:29 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;93016 wrote:
My grandparents were slaves -- actual slaves. You are sitting at a computer and reading Euclid.


slaves? where? you mean in the Third Reich?
 
NoOne phil
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 11:47 am
@Didymos Thomas,
<Rephrased: "Is the notion that keeping innocent humans in bondage with physical and emotional hardship for their entire lives and deprived of any self-determination is wrong just a modern social convention?">

I am unaware of anything gained by the multiplication of words, and to such an extent as to add invalid adjectives.

1 Every organism lives by acquiring what it needs to survive from its environment.

2 An organisms environmental acquisition system is that system of an organism which must acquire something from the environment, process that which it has acquired for a product that sustains and promotes the life of that organism.

3 A human body acquisition system is that human body system which must acquire something from the environment, process that which it has acquired, for a product that sustains and promotes the life of that body.

1) Cardio-vascular system.
2) Ocular-system.
3) Vestibular-System.
4) Manipulative-system.
5) Digestive-System.
6) Procreative-System.
7) Judgmental-System.

One might note that these are naturally divided into two groups commensurate with what a thing is. Those systems that abstract a things material, and those systems that abstract a things forms, --- thus the theory of forms, which has to do with judgment.

So, a principle of judgment, since man is not different from man, can man ever legitamately rule over man such that that rule violates the definition of that very man? Lets have some real thinking here. j.c.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 12:13 pm
@odenskrigare,
odenskrigare;93056 wrote:
slaves? where? you mean in the Third Reich?
Yes. In Poland, Hungary, and Germany.
 
josh0335
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 12:16 pm
@NoOne phil,
NoOne;93059 wrote:
Those systems that abstract a things material, and those systems that abstract a things forms, --- thus the theory of forms, which has to do with judgment.

So, a principle of judgment, since man is not different from man, can man ever legitamately rule over man such that that rule violates the definition of that very man? Lets have some real thinking here. j.c.


If I understood that correctly (I most probably haven't) it would mean the one being ruled is no longer a man.

With the advances in technology, why would we need slavery anyway? Machines can do all the labour we can think of so what does that leave slaves to do?
 
NoOne phil
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 12:17 pm
@Aedes,
You forgot to mention every place on earth.

The United States is notorious for myself as it is here that I am forced to work out my life for nothing, while being called a free man.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 12:18 pm
@NoOne phil,
NoOne;93059 wrote:
So, a principle of judgment, since man is not different from man, can man ever legitamately rule over man such that that rule violates the definition of that very man? Lets have some real thinking here.
Let's talk empathy and not rote biology, because it's not the "thing" in us that makes us value right and wrong. I don't care if you have a dorsal fin or a flagellum, it's not a perfunctory list of organ systems that determines how we regard slavery.

---------- Post added 09-23-2009 at 02:20 PM ----------

NoOne;93066 wrote:
The United States is notorious for myself as it is here that I am forced to work out my life for nothing, while being called a free man.
So where on this earth could you go for some real freedom -- and why pray tell are you not there?
 
 

 
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