Is Slavery Wrong?

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manored
 
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 12:47 pm
@Fido,
Fido;103034 wrote:
The cord, which as a bit of technology is perhaps as essential to human development as the wheel, made slavery possible, and as soon as people had cords they could bind their captives and drive them home... But it has been so with every eventful advance in technology, that it has been turned to the exploitation of people... The more weapons they have, the more satalites and secret cameras, and spy software the less people are able to contemplate freedom freely... When we can find a job we must work eight our while others languish... In that time we produce enough for profit, taxes, and the support of all prisoners, loafers, or unwillingly unemployed, and worst of all, war, and waste... We are not nearer to freedom, but are nearer a crusihing dark age of intimidation and fear... If this people, and the people of the world cannot free themselves soon they will ever be in the sight of the powerful and wealthy... Our lives now are worth little to the rich... If they kill us with work or at work they go one with impunity...But if the coercion of the rulers becomes too insidious to grasp who will stop them... No one can make a move as it is so the only way left to have change is to with draw our consent and participation, and who can say that in the future such people will not seem a burden to the state and expendable???Until all people are free and learn the methods of guarding that freedom all freedom is in doubt...If you want your freedom let me suggest that you give your boss less of your life because he is not paying for what he is taking... Every day, do something subversive no matter how mild... Resist...
Weapons work both ways.

A Crushing dark age of intimidation and fear? Isnt that what we just came out of? In the ancient and medieval ages your country could suddently be conquered and you and your family would be enslaved or killed. From the modern ages on worker protection, the number of slaves in the world, heathcare and the number of wars slowly evolved to what we have today, wich is the peak of all 4 of those.

Once again you see the world with an overly negativist view that sees conspiracies everwhere. I see something entirely different then I look at the world, so I suppose this discussion is pointless, since our bases are totally different to being with.
 
deepthot
 
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 08:18 pm
@prothero,
Both manored and Fido speak much truth.

I would like to remind us all that we have given up the practice of sacrificing a young maiden on an altar as a way of appeasing God. So we have made some progress.

As for eliminating exploitative child labor; white slavery; banning warfare; etc. we need teach the Family of Man only one principle, and it "can travel like wildfire" once people begin to catch on, and that is: We are to respect one another as the high values that we are; we are to regard one another as our brother and our sister; or as our own child if they are rather young.

Once we learn that every individual is precious we will realize that violence, and exploitation, and dissing, are self-defeating and counter-productive. We willl understand this. We will want to create wealth rather than just shuffling papers around, as we largely do now in the U.S. The philosopher Adam Smith showed us how.

He wrote, to the effect, that a branch lying on the ground is not wealth. But if a person comes along, picks it up, and by whittling it makes an ax-handle out of it, value has been created. It is now wealth. True wealth.

In other words we need to manufacture something of value -- again, in this country ...and every other. We will do this when we care about people, and matching them with meaningful, useful, jobs they might want to do, jobs which bring out the artist in them.

ADDING TRUE VALUE is what it's all about.

[Government is not the problem: government can help solve problems as was shown in the first 100 days of the regime of Franklin D. Roosevelt. For example, by creating the C.C.C. he not only beautified the National Parks but he put men and women to work.]

Yours for ethics,

deepthot

p.s. What do you think? How may I improve what I said so that it resonates more with you, and with the 'person in the street'?
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 09:42 pm
@prothero,
Most people have one god, and it is their bellies, and for that they will sacrifice anyone or enslave anyone...It seems that they trade what is maningful in life to have life without meaning...But what kind of person want to keep company with slaves???If you have a slave you need a slave and cannot face the day without him, so as you rob him of his labor he robs you of your humanity until you find that to have ease you have become the slave of your desires...We can live exloiting only the environment if we do not abuse it... But what is the point of our technology if we cannot deny others what they most need: Their freedom and the fruits of their labor...
 
manored
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 12:09 pm
@deepthot,
deepthot;103214 wrote:

As for eliminating exploitative child labor; white slavery; banning warfare; etc. we need teach the Family of Man only one principle, and it "can travel like wildfire" once people begin to catch on, and that is: We are to respect one another as the high values that we are; we are to regard one another as our brother and our sister; or as our own child if they are rather young.
I think that for that principle to work, though, we need to keep in mind the majority rather than everone. We cant help everone, and we cant help the majority if we are trying to help everone.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 12:26 pm
@manored,
manored;103331 wrote:
I think that for that principle to work, though, we need to keep in mind the majority rather than everone. We cant help everone, and we cant help the majority if we are trying to help everone.

If the question is how to reach that goal, I expect that you cannot get there from here.. Rather, we would stand a better chance if all people could rely on their communities for their rights, their morality, and their honor... As we can surmise of the past, people were often bound by a common oath, on their honor to behave themselves and keep the peace...Rather than being admitted to the family of man as individuals it would be so much better if all people came in under the protection of their groups who would stand for them and vouch for their good character... This would not necessarily save people from injustice...In the high lands of Africa where salt was rare and craved, a person might sell their brother for a bag of salt... Good bye, mate...Generally we have no better protection for rights than our communities, and until humanity can be made a community we have no choice but to keep what protection we have while trying to find better... It is this protection of rights that defines communities, and we know that from our use of their word, as when saying: the black community, or the gay community...You never hear of the rich community because their rights are defended against all of our rights...
 
hue-man
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 07:44 pm
@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 sentence that you quoted from Abraham Lincoln was his opinion. It seems that in his opinion, slavery was so unjust that if one held that it was right then one may as well believe that everything was right or permissible. The notion that slavery is wrong is indeed a modern social convention, but that doesn't invalidate the notion. There's a real utility to the notion that slavery is unjust and wrong.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 11:28 pm
@prothero,
One of the reasons we consider that slavery is wrong is that it is inefficient... It is more efficient to hire wage slaves who have more the freedom of choice, and can turn that to the advantage of the boss; and, it costs less to cut the wages down to the minimum that Marx suggested was that amount necessary to keep meat on bones, and cut the free people loose after eight hours to fend for themselves...

---------- Post added 11-14-2009 at 12:30 AM ----------

hue-man;103395 wrote:
The sentence that you quoted from Abraham Lincoln was his opinion. It seems that in his opinion, slavery was so unjust that if one held that it was right then one may as well believe that everything was right or permissible. The notion that slavery is wrong is indeed a modern social convention, but that doesn't invalidate the notion. There's a real utility to the notion that slavery is unjust and wrong.

It was the opinion of a very good and successful attorney.... He had the sense to realize that free people are the strength of a democracy... The South had a large population, but could only bring a fraction to bear against the armies of the North...
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 07:55 pm
@hue-man,
[QUOTE=hue-man;103395]The sentence that you quoted from Abraham Lincoln was his opinion. It seems that in his opinion, slavery was so unjust that if one held that it was right then one may as well believe that everything was right or permissible. The notion that slavery is wrong is indeed a modern social convention, but that doesn't invalidate the notion. There's a real utility to the notion that slavery is unjust and wrong.[/QUOTE]I guess I am after the notion that "slavery is wrong" is not mere opinion or social convention. I regard the elimination of slavery from the world (or at least the effort to eliminate it) as a form of "moral discovery" or the recognition of an "ethical truth". We make ethical and religious progress much as we make scientific progress but not using the same methods.

Moral or ethical relativism (even the weak form) and moral nihilism, I find very objectionable. In my view slavery was wrong, is wrong and always will be wrong. The fact that it was not regarded as such in much world in early history has the same status as the belief that the earth was flat. It was an incorrect, untrue ethical notion.

I do not think morals or ethics can be derived from reason and science alone. The basis of ethics is as Schopenhauer remarked compassion not reason. One can argue that ethics are derived from evolutionary behaviors which support social and culture progress. One can argue that ethics are really "enlightened self interest". One can argue that they derive primarily from emotional evolution or from the moral intuition within. One can argue ethics come from god or from evolution. It does not matter to me, since I am a naturalistic theist. The position that does not seem tenable to me is that ethics are the result of reason and science or that ethics are really just mere subjective opinion.

I started the thread to get a sense of how others felt about this. I used "slavery is wrong" because it is almost universally (at least in the modern age) regarded as such. I have the sense mine is a minority opinion but then as Thomas Jefferson remarked "I belong to a sect of one".
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 03:08 pm
@prothero,
prothero;103566 wrote:
I guess I am after the notion that "slavery is wrong" is not mere opinion or social convention. I regard the elimination of slavery from the world (or at least the effort to eliminate it) as a form of "moral discovery" or the recognition of an "ethical truth". We make ethical and religious progress much as we make scientific progress but not using the same methods.


I'm not saying that the notion that slavery is wrong as a matter of modern social convention makes it illegitimate or meaningless. I'm just stating a descriptive fact of the matter. I agree that it was a moral discovery, but it has nothing to do with truth (objective evidence absent of subjective judgment). It was a moral discovery in the sense that we found it to be wrong by our own measure of wrongness.

prothero;103566 wrote:
Moral or ethical relativism (even the weak form) and moral nihilism, I find very objectionable. In my view slavery was wrong, is wrong and always will be wrong. The fact that it was not regarded as such in much world in early history has the same status as the belief that the earth was flat. It was an incorrect, untrue ethical notion.


My understanding of moral relativism is that it is descriptive. I do not believe in prescriptive moral relativism and I loathe moral nihilism. I agree that slavery was wrong, is wrong and will always be wrong. However, I disagree that it has the same truth status as the belief that the earth was flat. In fact, I disagree that notions of emotive and prescriptive value have any truth value, but that doesn't render such sentiments meaningless to me.

prothero;103566 wrote:
I do not think morals or ethics can be derived from reason and science alone. The basis of ethics is as Schopenhauer remarked compassion not reason. One can argue that ethics are derived from evolutionary behaviors which support social and culture progress. One can argue that ethics are really "enlightened self interest". One can argue that they derive primarily from emotional evolution or from the moral intuition within. One can argue ethics come from god or from evolution. It does not matter to me, since I am a naturalistic theist. The position that does not seem tenable to me is that ethics are the result of reason and science or that ethics are really just mere subjective opinion.


Morals cannot be derived from science or reason alone because moral sentiments have no truth value. Indeed compassion is instrumental to interpersonal moral judgments. There's no such thing as a naturalistic theist. That's an oxymoron. You are at best a deist, and even that is based on first cause supernaturalism.
 
prothero
 
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 04:56 pm
@hue-man,
[QUOTE=hue-man;103667]Morals cannot be derived from science or reason alone because moral sentiments have no truth value. Indeed compassion is instrumental to interpersonal moral judgments. There's no such thing as a naturalistic theist. That's an oxymoron. You are at best a deist, and even that is based on first cause supernaturalism.[/QUOTE]Well Kierkegaard spoke of subjective truth and rightly noted that subjective truth is "ultimate concern" for humans. It is subjective truths for which people fight, die and sacrifice (love, freedom, justice, etc). One can object to the term "truth" but as you know the definition of truth is a speculative philosophical topic. In any event people will fight and die for their notions of justice but not for varying theories about the nature of time.

One should be careful about telling other people what they are (naturalistic theism). A quick google search will yield several hits for "naturalistic theism". Basically it is the sense that god works through nature and natural process not by supernatural means. For a naturalistic theist nature has a goal the creation of value and evolution is a process with a purpose. Theism is the belief in a god or gods not necessarily belief in the supernatural omnipotent, omniscient deity of Christian medieval rationalists. The definition of deism is likewise controversial. Several founding fathers Jefferson, Washington, Franklin and later Lincoln all were labeled as such. All of these men believed in some form of deity and in divine providence. None of them evidenced the view that god played no role in the world or history. In any event this is not the thread or the place for that discussion.

Everyone who opposes slavery and considers it morally wrong is an ally. We do not necessarily have to agree on the nature or source of the ethical principle "slavery is wrong". Shared values are always more important than shared metaphysics.
 
Flamvell Rose
 
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 05:25 pm
@prothero,
The brutality and opression that individuals had to under go during thos times is something that no group of people should have to go through. Greed and the desire for power over others was the bringer of chaos in this ordeal. Yet slavery still exists in this society today, it may not be labled as such but I still see it as one in the same.
 
deepthot
 
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 08:25 pm
@prothero,
prothero;103566 wrote:
I guess I am after the notion that "slavery is wrong" is not mere opinion or social convention. I regard the elimination of slavery from the world (or at least the effort to eliminate it) as a form of "moral discovery" or the recognition of an "ethical truth". We make ethical and religious progress much as we make scientific progress but not using the same methods.


Why not by the same methods, i.e. scientific methods, modified to fit the discipline.
If even one more person becomes compassionate or empathic because he or she studied a specific body of knowledge, namely, Ethics, wasn't the enterprise (to accumulate this knowledge) all worth while?

I too, am a 'naturalist-theist, by your definition. Nature is full of miracles !
And I agree completely with Kierkegaard on the concept of subjective truth.

prothero;103566 wrote:
...slavery was wrong, is wrong and always will be wrong. The fact that it was not regarded as such in much world in early history has the same status as the belief that the earth was flat. It was an incorrect, untrue ethical notion.


I agree fully with this.



prothero;103566 wrote:
I do not think morals or ethics can be derived from reason and science alone. ...

One can argue that ethics are derived from evolutionary behaviors which support social and culture progress. One can argue that ethics are really "enlightened self interest". ... One can argue ethics come from god or from evolution. It does not matter to me, since I am a naturalistic theist.

The position that does not seem tenable to me is that ethics are the result of reason and science ...


You are right that Ethics are not the result of mere objective [sic.] or subjetive opinion. Ethics is not YET the result of science, for the science is only now gradually being built. Moral prescription as to the most valuable way to behave are, however, quite reasonable. Ethics is a result of reason, but not mere reason, "not reason alone" ...for the following reasons:.

This field of study can be derived from a good model (paradigm) which employs Logic, which when the model is applied, receives confirmation and thus gains in truth value. Each confirmatory experience strengthens its verification, makes it truer.


For truth, after all, like any other value, is a matter of degree. Systemic-thinkers believe it is black-or-white {only two-valued} They believe, mistakenly, that a proposition is either true or false. They see no shades of gray, no subtleties.

A hypothesis deduced from the model -- such as "Human being ought to have integrity" which means: if an individual has integrity it will prove to be in his or her self-interest , by some precise measure of the key terms (and as later agreed upon by the individual himself, and by fellow observers)-- can be confirmed by controlled experiences and indeed gain wide popular support among the world's ethicists, and eventually, when popularized in the daily media, by the majority of the world's people. Such a consensus makes a proposition "true" for all practical purposes.

I do argue, as a matter of fact, that ethical behavior is enlightened self-interest. Isn't my argument sound and reasonable?


prothero;103566 wrote:
I started the thread to get a sense of how others felt about this. I used "slavery is wrong" because it is almost universally (at least in the modern age) regarded as such. ...


The starting of this thread was a good thing to do. I am grateful to you for it.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 07:40 am
@prothero,
prothero;103679 wrote:
Well Kierkegaard spoke of subjective truth and rightly noted that subjective truth is "ultimate concern" for humans. It is subjective truths for which people fight, die and sacrifice (love, freedom, justice, etc). One can object to the term "truth" but as you know the definition of truth is a speculative philosophical topic. In any event people will fight and die for their notions of justice but not for varying theories about the nature of time.

One should be careful about telling other people what they are (naturalistic theism). A quick google search will yield several hits for "naturalistic theism". Basically it is the sense that god works through nature and natural process not by supernatural means. For a naturalistic theist nature has a goal the creation of value and evolution is a process with a purpose. Theism is the belief in a god or gods not necessarily belief in the supernatural omnipotent, omniscient deity of Christian medieval rationalists. The definition of deism is likewise controversial. Several founding fathers Jefferson, Washington, Franklin and later Lincoln all were labeled as such. All of these men believed in some form of deity and in divine providence. None of them evidenced the view that god played no role in the world or history. In any event this is not the thread or the place for that discussion.

Everyone who opposes slavery and considers it morally wrong is an ally. We do not necessarily have to agree on the nature or source of the ethical principle "slavery is wrong". Shared values are always more important than shared metaphysics.

The big K was correct... There is no objective truth; and slavery is just a form; but if it is morally wrong it is mostly because it does not work... Demeaning one person does not give another more meaning... Slavery only makes a slave society, a society that cannot deny its meaness, and its cruelty in the cause of luxury...Such socieites are one the decline whether they realize it or not...
 
hue-man
 
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 09:35 am
@prothero,
prothero;103679 wrote:
Well Kierkegaard spoke of subjective truth and rightly noted that subjective truth is "ultimate concern" for humans. It is subjective truths for which people fight, die and sacrifice (love, freedom, justice, etc). One can object to the term "truth" but as you know the definition of truth is a speculative philosophical topic. In any event people will fight and die for their notions of justice but not for varying theories about the nature of time.


There is no such thing as subjective truth. Truth is only a speculative topic because some people like to define things in their own way. What you call "subjective truth" is actually called opinion or beliefs. Whether or not such opinions are justified is another matter entirely. People will fight and die for values like love, freedom and justice because they are rooted in the emotions and the will of the human spirit.

prothero;103679 wrote:
One should be careful about telling other people what they are (naturalistic theism). A quick google search will yield several hits for "naturalistic theism". Basically it is the sense that god works through nature and natural process not by supernatural means. For a naturalistic theist nature has a goal the creation of value and evolution is a process with a purpose. Theism is the belief in a god or gods not necessarily belief in the supernatural omnipotent, omniscient deity of Christian medieval rationalists. The definition of deism is likewise controversial. Several founding fathers Jefferson, Washington, Franklin and later Lincoln all were labeled as such. All of these men believed in some form of deity and in divine providence. None of them evidenced the view that god played no role in the world or history. In any event this is not the thread or the place for that discussion.


I don't care what a Google search yields. A Google search will yield results for nearly anything no matter how nonsensical it is. Your notion of theism sounds confused. Theism is the belief in a personal God (or Gods) that created the universe and sometimes gets involved in human affairs. You sound more like a rationalist deist than a theist. Deism is the belief that a supernatural agent created the universe and lets its laws operate without interference. Both of these theories of reality are supernaturalist. One is just weaker than the other.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 09:02 pm
@Flamvell Rose,
Flamvell Rose;103680 wrote:
The brutality and opression that individuals had to under go during thos times is something that no group of people should have to go through. Greed and the desire for power over others was the bringer of chaos in this ordeal. Yet slavery still exists in this society today, it may not be labled as such but I still see it as one in the same.

Slavery is more insidious than ever... They still punish a few to keep the rest in fear; but where can we run to, and where can we hide...
 
Camerama
 
Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2009 05:11 pm
@prothero,
Advocating slavery fundamentally asserts that prenatal or congenital conditions are the standard of worth. The mind is the only barometer for human worth
 
IntoTheLight
 
Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2009 05:52 pm
@prothero,
prothero;92900 wrote:
Is the notion that slavery is wrong just a modern social convention?


I don't think so. As long as there have been slaves, there have also been slave revolts. The slaves, themselves, have always seemed to think it was wrong.

Quote:

A subjectivie opinion?


All opinions are subjective by their very nature.

Quote:

Are there any transcendent eternal values?


None that I can think of, honestly. Everything that is applicable to moral / ethical values has been condoned in one form or another throughout history.

Quote:

Was Nietschze right about the death of God and values?


That's a whole different discussion for another thread, IMHO. One thing at a time, please.

--IntoTheLight--
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 05:44 pm
@prothero,
Here we are again. Defining our terms as we argue. If "slavery" isn't enough of a challenge, "wrong" is perhaps even more difficult.

Is a wage-economy slavery when there is no more frontier, and education and capital are too expensive for the poor? Arguably.

Is wrongness a matter of taste? Arguably. And the ones who claim a view of universal wrongness find themselves forced to argue such a point. Not so universal after all. Or were they lucky enough to get a call from the TRUTH himself?
 
prothero
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 08:30 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;107396 wrote:
Is wrongness a matter of taste? Arguably. And the ones who claim a view of universal wrongness find themselves forced to argue such a point. Not so universal after all. Or were they lucky enough to get a call from the TRUTH himself?
You may be right, you may be wrong. but
As a pragmatic matter it is subjective notions of truth (freedom, justice, love, beauty and truth itself) that people are passionate about and fight and die over.
Objective truths rarely arouse such passions.
So in terms of passion and importance "subjective Truth" get the capital T.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 2 Dec, 2009 06:54 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;107396 wrote:
Here we are again. Defining our terms as we argue. If "slavery" isn't enough of a challenge, "wrong" is perhaps even more difficult.

Is a wage-economy slavery when there is no more frontier, and education and capital are too expensive for the poor? Arguably.

Is wrongness a matter of taste? Arguably. And the ones who claim a view of universal wrongness find themselves forced to argue such a point. Not so universal after all. Or were they lucky enough to get a call from the TRUTH himself?

What would be the difference between defining a term as we argue, or defining a term and then arguing about it???

Slavery is a failed form, and wage slavery is a failed form simply because the longer it is practiced the more it comes to resemble chattel slavery...
I prefer any form of relationship to no relationship...Before slavery captives were eaten or incorporated into the tribe...Slavery was, to a point,, democratic and cooperative...It was not an equal relationship as if there were such a thing...But, slavery, like wage slavery demeans people to a high degree, and yet slaves have the stuff of all meaning... Through creation they recreate themselves...Their existence depends upon themselves alone... For the owner who creates no vallue has no value, and he most of all must know it, so capriciousness and cruelty become his form of self expression...I think Spinoza wrote on this subject, but I have not read enough of him to be certain...
 
 

 
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