Is Slavery Wrong?

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deepthot
 
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 02:44 am
@prothero,
The question originally asked was "Is slavery wrong?"


If doing wrong means: doing what is bad or evil

and if evil means: violation of a human being

and if slavery is a violation of the dignity of a human being, as well as causing psycologiical harm, and using a person as one would use a thing

then slavery is wrong.

Q.E.D.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 04:52 am
@prothero,
prothero;107484 wrote:
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.


It's exactly what people will fight and die over that creates or destroys slavery, I suppose. I only object to the capital T when it's spent on something like objective reality. When it relates to freedom, love, honor -- that's something else, something alive.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 05:53 am
@prothero,
Slavery is a natural step up from cannibalism... It is not better than wage slavery, and wage slavery is not much of an improvement, and is not good in relation to freedom, but it is preferable to killing people, or killing people for food...

---------- Post added 12-15-2009 at 06:58 AM ----------

Reconstructo;111468 wrote:
It's exactly what people will fight and die over that creates or destroys slavery, I suppose. I only object to the capital T when it's spent on something like objective reality. When it relates to freedom, love, honor -- that's something else, something alive.


If you give a grade of A for misery, subjective truth rates a capital T...Like the Auto de Fe's that used to light up the Spanish night, it is what we believe and can never prove that most motivate us to unrestrained evil....
 
deepthot
 
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 05:07 pm
@prothero,
Not all of us are "motivated to unrestrained evil." I won't be sarcastic, and write: "Speak for yourself !!" because I believe you are a good man.

Yes, wage slavery is unjust. I don't think that was the kind of slavery Prothero had in mind when he posted the thread, but as long as people seek jobs there should be available at their companies or businesses unions they can freely join so as to protect them, and get them some decent working conditions, and a good pension when they retire IF the business doesn't already provide these.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 05:27 pm
@deepthot,
deepthot;111588 wrote:
Not all of us are "motivated to unrestrained evil." I won't be sarcastic, and write: "Speak for yourself !!" because I believe you are a good man.

Yes, wage slavery is unjust. I don't think that was the kind of slavery Prothero had in mind when he posted the thread, but as long as people seek jobs there should be available at their companies or businesses unions they can freely join so as to protect them, and get them some decent working conditions, and a good pension when they retire IF the business doesn't already provide these.

I have been a member of the union, and they are a part of the problem... For the most part they are powerless, and those people attracted to power postitions are as bad as the employers...It is an inevitable fact of social forms that even those set up to gain a particular advantage for all are turned to the advantage of a few...From my experience, those who seek power hold both work and workers in contempt... Why organize a union??? The aim of our constitution is clear, and no different from those of an ideal union... Why not demand that the government do what it was set up for rather than pay both taxes and union dues when neither union nor government will do as it should??? Every effective tool of labor to bring business to the bargaining table has been struck down by the Supreme court...Though the government will not do as it was formed to do, yet it is jealous of the power to seek justice outside of government...We have a union, the union of this people... There is no point in creating an organization to do as the government should do...If the government will not work, reform it or revolt it...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 04:28 am
@Fido,
Fido;111476 wrote:

If you give a grade of A for misery, subjective truth rates a capital T...Like the Auto de Fe's that used to light up the Spanish night, it is what we believe and can never prove that most motivate us to unrestrained evil....


True, but have you not suggested that moral forms cannot be shown in themselves? Objective science built gas chambers and atom bombs, as well a hospitals and granaries. Subjective truth motivates serial killers and saints -- and I'm talking about real saints, not wolves in sheep's clothing.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 05:40 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;111744 wrote:
True, but have you not suggested that moral forms cannot be shown in themselves? Objective science built gas chambers and atom bombs, as well a hospitals and granaries. Subjective truth motivates serial killers and saints -- and I'm talking about real saints, not wolves in sheep's clothing.

Sure; we do build structual/physical forms, and social forms out of our moral forms... No one argues about the sun in the sky as an objective fact...Some may argue whether Hebrew heaven is Gentile hell... What was always at work in the death camps was a cruel economy... The SS calculated the value of a man's life down to the fat in his body...If the Roma were too expensive to keep because a knife always came out when they tried to separate the women from the men, then they could go take a shower with the women...Just as in old England where the church, the nobility, and the king all were a part of the ancient constitution, and all providing mutual support, it is common for social forms to stand in support of each other... Nazism could look to philosophy and science for support...It was their moral form, their formal view of tuth that helped to destroy them...In the first blush of victory they rounded up all their jewish engineers and scientists... Factory managers were saying: hold on...We may need those people...I think even Albert Speer talked about that, how to feed the fire the SS wanted people essential to war production right up to the end of the war...On the one hand it illustrates how the Jewish people cooperated in their own demise, and fed the beast that was killing those unable to defend themselves; and the way people can often ride an ideology, a moral form to their own destruction...

If philosophy has a purpose it is perspective, like history...Where the eye goes the mind follows... As in ancient India from which we get so much of our language, every God had his mountain, and the local god might only have a hill, but to meet that god was to take in his view, to meet him through the eyes...Jews and Nazis were like slave and master...Neither side though seeing its own suffering and hoplessness clearly could get the whole picture...We cannot but with pain look on the condition of mankind, but in truth, man suffers mankind, and it is through the medium of moral forms that people are most immoral...In this sense, knowledge is virtue, because when we are honest enough to admit we do not know truth, or virtue, we know we cannot kill for it... No one kills for the truth no one can possess... People kill out of certainty which any one can possess...
 
Deepeco
 
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2009 08:17 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?


I have to admit...
I am against slavery. But this is a subjective opinion. I don't believe in transcendental God-like ethical principles. I believe in my own ethical principles, and I would like that everyone has the same ethical principles as I have. Yes, I believe that my anti-slavery principle is better than someones pro-slavery principle.
As for the case of slavery, luckily most people are against it. And we can also argue why slavery is in conflict with ethical intuitions that most of us have. For exemple: most of have the intuition that we should treat others like we would like others to treat us. This is a rather universal intuition, as can be seen by looking at religions: nearly all religions have such a moral guideline. And it is also clear that most people don't want to be treated as slaves.
 
deepthot
 
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2010 01:57 am
@prothero,
Deepco writes that most people "have the intuition that we should treat others like we would like others to treat us. This is a rather universal intuition, as can be seen by looking at religions: nearly all religions have such a moral guideline. And it is also clear that most people don't want to be treated as slaves." This concept should be stressed. Here are my comments on it:

Once ancient man began to reason he was able to imagine how some other creature would feel in certain situations, he was able to "walk in another person's shoes," so to speak. In very ancient times we find precepts akin to what today is called the golden rule. Here are some 36 versions of it:

Versions of the Golden Rule in 21 world religions

Scroll down to the middle of the page in that link to read how the rule was phrased in Hindu teachings long before Socrates lived. Socrates had a version of this rule 500 years before Jesus alluded to it.


We want to be treated decently and as we evolved and gained the capacity to reason we concluded that we ought to treat others decently. We began to put ourselves in their place. Now, as deepco reminds us, it is built into our moral intuition. That is why, he writes, "As for the case of slavery, luckily most people are against it." In an earlier post in this thread I gave a logical proof as to why slavery is wrong based on the definitions of the relevant terms. The golden rule implies we should avoid holding slaves. Our moral intuition turns us against it. The unified Theory of Ethics, the outlines of which are hinted at in the manuscript linked to in my signature, derives such a conclusion, and our intuitions confirm it.. What more need be said? Yes, slavery is wrong; and most people today know it is wrong.
 
Jackofalltrades phil
 
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2010 04:21 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?


Hi

when prothero first posted this thread, i thought it will die a natural death. But alas, i now have woken to the fact that this thread is 20 pages old. What a shame! I normally do not express my indignation like this, but i can't help it be suppressed.

Lincoln was right.

I also now think, If this question is not wrong, no questions are ever wrong.

The death of values is evident in the question, so also is the natural death of God.
 
prothero
 
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2010 02:43 pm
@Jackofalltrades phil,
Jackofalltrades;120630 wrote:
Lincoln was right.
The death of values is evident in the question, so also is the natural death of God.
Well we probably could agree that Lincoln was right, but we might not agree on what makes him right.
If your values are not founded on some form of transcendent ethic or value, what makes Lincoln right? Majority opinion? Personal conviction?
Without some conception of god, ethics and morality encounters a void which has yet to be satisfactorily filled. I personally reject both the death of values and the death of god but that was the point of the question. If that value is not founded in god, in what? Lincoln was of course highly religious but not Christian orthodox.
 
Jackofalltrades phil
 
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2010 11:15 pm
@prothero,
prothero;120690 wrote:
Well we probably could agree that Lincoln was right, but we might not agree on what makes him right.
If your values are not founded on some form of transcendent ethic or value, what makes Lincoln right? Majority opinion? Personal conviction?
......... Lincoln was of course highly religious but not Christian orthodox.


I should say you have very good philosophical questions.

Here's my take. For me, it does not matter 'what makes Lincoln 'right''.

'Lincoln is right', is all that matters.

Now, why is that so. Because, what makes Lincoln believe in what he believs in is not my concern. In the temporal sense. For example; whether his religion, his influences, his experiences that is basically his background is not the basis on which one thinking man deals with another thinking mans idea, proposition, theory or observation.

The factor of majority opinion may, very much play a role in an unthinking man, if you get what i mean. Can't disregard that.

Personal conviction, is always in a state of flux. A thinking man may not rely on this for support. Social reform movements have always changed personal convictions.


prothero;120690 wrote:
Without some conception of god, ethics and morality encounters a void which has yet to be satisfactorily filled. I personally reject both the death of values and the death of god but that was the point of the question. If that value is not founded in god, in what?


When you say values, i think you are refering to moral values, isn't it?

You raise some deep issues. I am frankly not clear, how to answer not only because that i have not fully understood or grasped your point, but even going by whatever i may have understood, more or less, I am unable to gather my thoughts to address the issue.

So, cautiosly, i think your question is rooted in the concept of morals, and foundation of morals in human thoughts.

God, is a representation of Reality..... the unknown reality.... the impercitable one......... Moral values are attributed to God because for humans it appears to be the source of all moral laws, compassion, love and other worthy emotions that hold society to gather. While the unworthy emotions, which is said to cause the breaking of society is attrivuted to the devil, in the christian/islamic view-point.

God is nothing but the moral sense of the Society. The Individual makes sense of Society through the means of God. And vice versa. This is a social theory. It was proposed a century ago by a social scientist whose name i can't remember. I hope this may help. Thanks
 
Brandon Norgaard
 
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2010 10:27 pm
@prothero,
prothero;120690 wrote:
Well we probably could agree that Lincoln was right, but we might not agree on what makes him right.
If your values are not founded on some form of transcendent ethic or value, what makes Lincoln right? Majority opinion? Personal conviction?
Without some conception of god, ethics and morality encounters a void which has yet to be satisfactorily filled. I personally reject both the death of values and the death of god but that was the point of the question. If that value is not founded in god, in what? Lincoln was of course highly religious but not Christian orthodox.

I do strongly agree that Lincoln was right that slavery is morally wrong. I believe that this is true on the basis of transcendent ethics, which is the only basis for which slavery can actually be wrong regardless of anyone's subjective opinion on the matter. These transcendent ethics do, however, derive from personal experience. What makes this different than mere subjective opinion is that all sufficiently intelligent sentient beings have some characteristics in common, including the ability to empathize with others. We all feel pain and happiness and we all have a natural desire for liberty.

I have concluded that there is an element to our personal feelings and freedom that transcends the physical universe. I have concluded this from personal experience and, by extension, I have concluded that other sentient beings have this experience as well.

I understand that not all sentient beings have the ability to empathize with others and to make moral choices from this, so I will only any conclusions I derive from this to those species that seem to have these cognitive abilities. For now, I will extend this to all humans but to no other species because no other species seems to have the necessary cognitive qualities.

Since happiness and liberty are natural preferences, and since neither of these are possible without life itself, unnecessarily hindering another person's life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness goes against nature itself. We can therefore say that all people have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It seems to me that this is the best definition of right and wrong, good and evil, moral and immoral: actions that are in concert with nature are good, right, moral...while those that run counter to nature are evil, wrong, immoral.

Now, I do personally believe in God, but I don't see how any of what I have said so far is actually dependent on God. It is only dependent on nature. A nature in which there are deterministic laws coexisting with the indeterminate will of conscious sentient beings who have natural preferences. I have more info on my website, please follow the link below to read more.
 
 

 
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