Is Slavery Wrong?

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Fido
 
Reply Sun 27 Sep, 2009 10:04 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;93991 wrote:
I think a lot of them came to terms with that, because almost none of them ever truly apologized after the war. They just lived their lives continuing to justify themselves or to deny responsibility (rather than insisting that they were right).

As Erhard Milch, fieldmarshall, and father of the Luftwaffa, and proponant of total war, and advocate of slave labor in the nazi purpose said during his trial: "I would like your Honours to accept that we in Germany were not all public torturers...I would say that the greater part of the German people were well intentioned and treated other people properly... Or you may think- and you are perfectly entitled to- that all Germans are crimminals... And then you must say that you are justified in hanging the lot...In which case you had better make a start with me..."
Perhaps it was this partial acceptence of responsibility that saved his life...They enslaved people, and often killed them for little or no reason, some time singling out people to be killed on the basis of education, saying their slaves need no knowledge beyond an elementary level to accept their masters, and their status as untermench, and do as they were told...The signs were everywhere...If the people did not realize what was going on, that starving people were driven to work with little food, or shelter, or clothing until they could be driven no more, and then executed, then it was because they wanted to not know...We do not want to know either... Most of us deny our own pain, and the injustice that causes it, and then turn around and pass it on, or see it passed on without reservation... I know it is simplistic, but that does not mean that it is not true: What comes around goes around...We start kicking, and the kick goes round the world and catches us from behind... Who hit me we cry... It was me who done the deed...Like Kirkaguard said: In relation to God man suffers as guilty... We never have to ask...We can always know... We deserve what we get...The children and others who are too stupid to know better exempted; but even they benefit from injustice, and it is their business to ask whose mouth their food came out of...

---------- Post added 09-28-2009 at 12:18 AM ----------

Aedes;93994 wrote:
I happen to hold Plato in great esteem as an intellectual and literary figure. I also happen to think that his forms / ideas are ludicrous. So if that's the basis of your argument, then I can't even step over the threshold with you.


---------- Post added 09-27-2009 at 11:43 PM ----------

Even if that is true, it's the basis of weighing one example of injustice against another and thus the basis of morality. To say they're the same because they share the word injustice is just a semantic smokescreen.

I agree that platonic forms are ludicrous... Still all knowledge is judgement, and all forms are identities, and are conservered...You cannot say that one example of a form is more of the form than another...One apple is not more an apple than another apple...One dog is not more a dog than another... We might judge one better or worse, but that is the subjective experience of the thing...As identities, all are equally that which the form defines...It is not semantics...It is actually the fashion in which a formal understanding allows us to judge and classify our reality...We cannot compare apples and oranges with any profit... We can only compare within the form... So, every meaningful comparison of anything follows the form... Dogs compared to dogs, not to see which is more a dog, because the notion is impossible; but to see which traits are more desirable...So we would say of injustice, that one example may be more or less desirable, and even there we speak falsely when we know our subject, because we cannot bear any injustice if we would have peace and be free...Their effect is cumulative because people suffering many small injustices may end up as dead as people suffering a great injustice, and worst of all, that people are themselves made unjust by the suffering of injustice... They go over to the dark side....
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sun 27 Sep, 2009 10:20 pm
@prothero,
Again, I do not accept the 'form' paradigm, because insofar as these are shared concepts between people, they inhere in the words we choose rather than the underlying concept. There are no linguistic continua of injustice that occur in a single word, so the word 'injustice' becomes a wastebasket rather than a form.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 28 Sep, 2009 03:01 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;94000 wrote:
Again, I do not accept the 'form' paradigm, because insofar as these are shared concepts between people, they inhere in the words we choose rather than the underlying concept. There are no linguistic continua of injustice that occur in a single word, so the word 'injustice' becomes a wastebasket rather than a form.

You should consider why forms, moral forms such as justice and liberty and truth are shared when they can never be shown.... It is not a matter of choice as you say, but because humanity has discovered that it cannot live without these moral forms as realities...People die without justice, liberty, or truth...No matter what distance we put between ourselves and them, we always find that we must return to them, and make them our own... We can have no lasting society, hardly even any successful breeding without some measure of virtue in our lives as these moral forms represent... For the want of them humanity dies....
Quite often our moral forms do become wastebaskets of sloppy thought... Very often we do let our ideas do our thinking for us rather than us using them to think...We should wade into those baskets of sloppy and stupid thought and clean out the garbage and save the gems; and to that end an accurate understanding of forms is essential...And you are correct that there is no continua to moral forms as there is to physical forms...It is humanity which finds meaning in them and which gives them meaning by agreement...And you must ask why concepts of a moral good, words like honor, virtue, truth, justice, liberty, trust, have survived intact for thousands of years extending beyond the murk of prehistory... These moral concepts as realities are found essential to our well being...
 
manored
 
Reply Mon 28 Sep, 2009 06:52 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;93814 wrote:
Can you give me an example? I don't think I've heard of such a thing. Something that must be imposed upon others? Do you mean must from a legal standpoint, like that murder is generally considered unlawful (a moral imposed, I guess)?

If not, what exactly do you mean?


Aedes;93869 wrote:
Well, this was in response to manored's post. Let's say absolutely justified by the will of god. Does "god says you must do X" equate to "god wants you to impel others to do X"? I don't believe that's true -- I mean who believes that you should force others to confess?
Hum, It was indeed a mistake to place the raw "must" there, "oftenly must" is more appropiate. What I meant is that if your morals are absolutely justificated, that not only means you have the base to impose it upon others, but, depending of their nature, also the obligation. An example: If to you people getting hurt is a bad thing and that is an absolute idea, then not only you will not hurt people, but you will also stop other people from hurting others under any circunstances. Off course, you dont need absolute justification to impose things, but, the more doubt you have, less likely you are to do so.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 05:28 am
@manored,
manored;94154 wrote:
Hum, It was indeed a mistake to place the raw "must" there, "oftenly must" is more appropiate. What I meant is that if your morals are absolutely justificated, that not only means you have the base to impose it upon others, but, depending of their nature, also the obligation. An example: If to you people getting hurt is a bad thing and that is an absolute idea, then not only you will not hurt people, but you will also stop other people from hurting others under any circunstances. Off course, you dont need absolute justification to impose things, but, the more doubt you have, less likely you are to do so.

Ones morals, ideals, or principals are no justification for injuring people... Morals are simply forms, and all forms are forms of relationship, and people must understand of all forms, that they only structure our relationships, and that it is the relationship which is essential, while the form is only an abstraction...

All through our lives we suffer forms that do not serve the relationship, and ultimately the frustration we suffer leads to ever greater pain... Just as our economy as a form does not satisfy us, it is not fixed here, but glorifiied and spread throughout the world until humanity suffers universally...If you consider the form of religion practiced by many who trafficed in African Slaves, you will see that it was larded with fate, and with justification for both human suffering, and support for capitalism... As bad as Catholicism was, the slaves in Catholic lands sooner reached freedom and were allowed more human conditions than in the American South...

The conception of the slave as less than human invited treatment that was less than humane... The belief in tangible justification shared alike by protestants and Jews can justify wealth for the wealthy, or poverty for the poor, or slavery for the slave... It is a one size fits all sort of form, but is easy enough to see through...
 
Doobah47
 
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 05:18 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;92923 wrote:
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?


Good point:
1. Economic slavery e.g. Migrant workers forced to pay off debts to agencies before passports/payments are returned/recieved.
2. Hypnosis e.g. musicians, films, artists, sex workers, police, religion...
3. The 'truth' as a dominant factor in many societies.
4. Child labour
5. Inductions or inducements practiced by thieves/nearly everybody e.g. abuse justified because the result is a productive, passionate, talented victim.

Probably more evidence to collect - ho hum.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 06:05 am
@Doobah47,
Doobah47;94553 wrote:
Good point:
1. Economic slavery e.g. Migrant workers forced to pay off debts to agencies before passports/payments are returned/recieved.
2. Hypnosis e.g. musicians, films, artists, sex workers, police, religion...
3. The 'truth' as a dominant factor in many societies.
4. Child labour
5. Inductions or inducements practiced by thieves/nearly everybody e.g. abuse justified because the result is a productive, passionate, talented victim.

Probably more evidence to collect - ho hum.

As Krumple says; and worse... Since we are not slaves of necessity, to our want of technology, or our ability to feed ouselves... Our slavery is insidious in that, unlike slaves in days past, we never have the option to accept sevice in trade for our lives... Our lives are spared for the moment, but there is no tit for tat, no agreement, no contract, and no relationship...They have the legal obligation to pay us so long as we work... There is no agreement that they will not trade our jobs for a higher profit, or mess with the money so that we will always lose...We are losers, which is a state worse than slavery, which is an honorable state...As much as serfs, our condition came on us gradually, and we have grown up with it, and so we do not question it, even while it grows more harsh before our eyes... The natural mental condition of humanity is hope while hope can be clutched, and after that, desparation... But whether we feel hope or not, no one is more hopeless than that slave thinking he is free...In fact, the great tragedy for humanity that cannot be lifted from it, nor ameliorated, results from the fact that in a slave society, all are slaves...Caesar was not less a slave than the Senate, not less than the citizens, nor the chattle slaves... As all suffered their society, they all accepted their condition, and no one could see through to a change in their form of relationship... We are all slaves to this moment... We are all slaves to our own excess, incontinence, and immorality... If we want no master we must first master our own selves, and recognize that no human can live, nor community exist without self control, and that without self control society divides into carnivors and meat, preditors and prey, leaders and led, owners and owned, exploiters and exploited, who in turn exploit others, and over exploit their environment which empoverishes and enslaves future generations worse over... Ultimately, those who destroy their environments, even their social and human environments have no sense of time, or of their place and object in time...

Slave societies are immoral, and they are the greatest victims of their immorality, and they always fall victim to moral communities who see in them both weakness and opportunity...History turns on the inability of a rotten society to defend itself from a living society, and yet, within conquest lies the seeds of future division and universal slavery... Slavery is a sign of conquest as much as wages...We see our part in the thing, every time we buy cheap and sell dear... What we are all blind to is the entire picture as it has often played out in time, sublimity leading to the ridiculous...
 
manored
 
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 04:46 pm
@Fido,
Fido;94223 wrote:
Ones morals, ideals, or principals are no justification for injuring people...
This is a moral judgment, if a person has not made or accepted this judgment, the "no" of the judgment can be eliminated: morals are the only limiters of humans, winhout morals, there is no reason to not harm people.

Fido;94556 wrote:
As Krumple says; and worse... Since we are not slaves of necessity, to our want of technology, or our ability to feed ouselves... Our slavery is insidious in that, unlike slaves in days past, we never have the option to accept sevice in trade for our lives... Our lives are spared for the moment, but there is no tit for tat, no agreement, no contract, and no relationship...They have the legal obligation to pay us so long as we work... There is no agreement that they will not trade our jobs for a higher profit, or mess with the money so that we will always lose...We are losers, which is a state worse than slavery, which is an honorable state...As much as serfs, our condition came on us gradually, and we have grown up with it, and so we do not question it, even while it grows more harsh before our eyes... The natural mental condition of humanity is hope while hope can be clutched, and after that, desparation... But whether we feel hope or not, no one is more hopeless than that slave thinking he is free...In fact, the great tragedy for humanity that cannot be lifted from it, nor ameliorated, results from the fact that in a slave society, all are slaves...Caesar was not less a slave than the Senate, not less than the citizens, nor the chattle slaves... As all suffered their society, they all accepted their condition, and no one could see through to a change in their form of relationship... We are all slaves to this moment... We are all slaves to our own excess, incontinence, and immorality... If we want no master we must first master our own selves, and recognize that no human can live, nor community exist without self control, and that without self control society divides into carnivors and meat, preditors and prey, leaders and led, owners and owned, exploiters and exploited, who in turn exploit others, and over exploit their environment which empoverishes and enslaves future generations worse over... Ultimately, those who destroy their environments, even their social and human environments have no sense of time, or of their place and object in time...

Slave societies are immoral, and they are the greatest victims of their immorality, and they always fall victim to moral communities who see in them both weakness and opportunity...History turns on the inability of a rotten society to defend itself from a living society, and yet, within conquest lies the seeds of future division and universal slavery... Slavery is a sign of conquest as much as wages...We see our part in the thing, every time we buy cheap and sell dear... What we are all blind to is the entire picture as it has often played out in time, sublimity leading to the ridiculous...
Why should an industry owner be bound to his employes and not allowed to fire then if he so desires? Its his money that its being paid to then, its his industry that is affected by their performance.

I dont believe in villains, our society is as it is only because we want it so. But we are imperfect so it doesnt comes out as we want. For example: our society allows everone to be rich, but not at the same time, and then someone gets rich, someone else gets poor.

I dont think there was ever such a thing as a country that became a better place by being conquered by another. It doesnt matters if the society is destroyed but the people who make the new one are the same. "evil" comes from the makers of the society, not from the society.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 06:32 pm
@manored,
This is an interesting thread. As history buffs know, Lincoln wasn't so much concerned about the suffering of slaves as he was about the future of the vision of the free society. He saw slavery as a disease on that vision, threatening to extinguish its light, especially after the Dred Scott decision which allowed Americans to know that slavery was about to become a national institution.

Lincoln grew up in conditions he described as "very unpoetical." People just struggled to survive. But he learned to read and hung out at the court house where lawyers quoted from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Lincoln was set on fire by what these ideas meant. It meant that even though he came from a poor environment, he could be anything he wanted to be.

He believed that when people get used to someone else doing their work for them, they'll forget what it really means to be free. Master might be the preferred role in an unfree world, but it's not freedom. The Master is locked into his role just like the slave is. In this bondage, they both lose sight of the part of them that is free of any role.. free to chose the role. Lincoln came from a type of Christianity that teaches that you were born to do something... and you must look within and without to discern the will of God for you. This type of Christianity is Protestant, which emerged from the European merchant class, the members of which were the descendents of serfs... people who were bound to the land... restricted by custom and religion to a life of servitude. In this world, to question one's role in society was considered to be blasphemy... because it was questioning God's will. The merchant class view was that this can't be what God wants. If it was, then why would God gift the slaves with minds and hearts full of music and ideals? The merchant class saw it's rise as supported by the breath of God. That it found itself owning slaves in America was a tad ironic... and ultimately unsustainable and wrong. A good book about Lincoln is: With Malice Toward None... by ... I think the last name was Watts.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 09:50 pm
@manored,
Quote:
manored;94819 wrote:
This is a moral judgment, if a person has not made or accepted this judgment, the "no" of the judgment can be eliminated: morals are the only limiters of humans, winhout morals, there is no reason to not harm people.
Everything is a moral judgement...Putting on your pants is a moral judgement...Picking your nose or wasting your time are moral judgements... There is no point in equivocating... Everyone has their justification... All injustice is justified... Do you think people were not hanged at Nuremberg only because they did not accept the no of the judgement??? If you do not hold yourself to a moral standard you can bet others will, but the sad fact is that our general moral standard allows much that is absolutely immoral because it is unjust...

Quote:

Quote:
Why should an industry owner be bound to his employes and not allowed to fire then if he so desires? Its his money that its being paid to then, its his industry that is affected by their performance.
A job is a form of relationship, and so is money, and so is property and profit... If this is as I say, then one side cannot make the rules only to suit themselves, or they will soon have all, and the relationship ends... When that happen you have revolution... When so few people enjoyed feudal rights, feudal rights had no defense against the rising working and capitalist class...That is what Greenspan was trying to do, spread property ownership so that ownership would have some defense, but just as with the process of production, ownership through mortgage results in wide spread poverty... Everyone knows nobody gets rich working... It should not also be the direct path to poverty and ill health, and if it is then the relationship should be terminated... Does the employer have the right??? It is society which makes the laws and enforces the right, so if today the employer can whipsaw employees and then trash them when they grow jaded; then tomorrow he may be trashed...Societies survive on justice when everyone makes an issue of justice...If the society does not defend justice, then the people find they must, as a matter of necessity, and of life and death...
Quote:


I dont believe in villains, our society is as it is only because we want it so. But we are imperfect so it doesnt comes out as we want. For example: our society allows everone to be rich, but not at the same time, and then someone gets rich, someone else gets poor.

It is not a question of belief... There is an old movie called the Graduate, and the father of the Bride made a statement that for a businessman to survive he had to be part Gannif...That is a thief to anyone not a Hebrew..Dr. Franklin who was a pretty fair economist and proponant of the protestant ethic stripped of its religion said as much as well of commerce... That part alone does not mean much because if you believe Engalls, the modern state grew out of the plunder of chiefs... They took security and wealth from others, and necessitated security and wealth for their group... But; the difference is that primitive societies would not have accepted the exploitation of their own as we do... We have a nation in name only and under that name all are free to exploit and rob and enslave their neighbor either directly, or by the device of credit... Property was once to have supported this government, and people through taxes... When the income tax was accepted by the people, it only affected 11 to 13% of the population... The poor wanted to soak the rich, but income taxes have been used to soak them... And the need for money to pay taxes means the working people must work that much harder while property can be held off the market as never before, for speculation... To have property and property rights the people must borrow, and as with taxes, work three times for the same money... Why is property so dear??? When taxed, it had to make profit or be sold...It is because of little taxes on property that we got our bubble...It is because wages have been forced down ruthlessly that we had the bubble...This people have been robbed of all their wealth, so the game of property and wealth accumulation does not have the same lustre...The rich are killing the game...
Quote:
I dont think there was ever such a thing as a country that became a better place by being conquered by another. It doesnt matters if the society is destroyed but the people who make the new one are the same. "evil" comes from the makers of the society, not from the society.[/[/QUOTE]QUOTE]

All societies rot from the top down, but before they rot completely every person, man, woman and child is corrupted...When Carthage laid her own children on the alter so the gods would help them defeat the Romans, do you think their children did not understand???. Greece and Rome caved in from the lack of population... The poor as today, were denied children as the price of luxury...The slaves would not reproduce themselves, and male slaves were soon castrated if not castrated by their parents to make them fit for market... As Marx said long before our day: Children need protection from their parents... In his day unemployed and unemployable parents would sell their children into the factories for a share of the wages, and often they would feed their children into the maw of some great loom that would take and arm or a life with the same remorse...We do not sell them; We do not have them...Which was a choice for the Romans and Greeks too...But we still need our slaves, which we import, and we will find someday that they were always our enemy, and now they are the boss...

---------- Post added 10-02-2009 at 11:56 PM ----------

Arjuna;94836 wrote:
This is an interesting thread. As history buffs know, Lincoln wasn't so much concerned about the suffering of slaves as he was about the future of the vision of the free society. He saw slavery as a disease on that vision, threatening to extinguish its light, especially after the Dred Scott decision which allowed Americans to know that slavery was about to become a national institution.

Lincoln grew up in conditions he described as "very unpoetical." People just struggled to survive. But he learned to read and hung out at the court house where lawyers quoted from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Lincoln was set on fire by what these ideas meant. It meant that even though he came from a poor environment, he could be anything he wanted to be.

He believed that when people get used to someone else doing their work for them, they'll forget what it really means to be free. Master might be the preferred role in an unfree world, but it's not freedom. The Master is locked into his role just like the slave is. In this bondage, they both lose sight of the part of them that is free of any role.. free to chose the role. Lincoln came from a type of Christianity that teaches that you were born to do something... and you must look within and without to discern the will of God for you. This type of Christianity is Protestant, which emerged from the European merchant class, the members of which were the descendents of serfs... people who were bound to the land... restricted by custom and religion to a life of servitude. In this world, to question one's role in society was considered to be blasphemy... because it was questioning God's will. The merchant class view was that this can't be what God wants. If it was, then why would God gift the slaves with minds and hearts full of music and ideals? The merchant class saw it's rise as supported by the breath of God. That it found itself owning slaves in America was a tad ironic... and ultimately unsustainable and wrong. A good book about Lincoln is: With Malice Toward None... by ... I think the last name was Watts.

He knew exactly what was going on...He knew that the South was no place for a poor white man to remove to, but to remove from to use his words...Like many whigs and republicans he understood that the great curse of slavery is that it devalued free labor... Why should anyone work if work was the equivalent of slavery???Just as in Rome, though slavery in inefficient, it still drove free farmers from their fields, and built great estates over the graves of their ancestors... Look a Muritania... Only six great men owned the whole of it... There was no common to their commonwealth....
 
prothero
 
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 10:18 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;94836 wrote:
This is an interesting thread. As history buffs know, Lincoln wasn't so much concerned about the suffering of slaves as he was about the future of the vision of the free society. He saw slavery as a disease on that vision, threatening to extinguish its light, especially after the Dred Scott decision which allowed Americans to know that slavery was about to become a national institution.


1857 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Case of Dred Scott vs. Sanford The decision was 7 to 2.

In part from written opinion of the court

"Now, the following are truths which a knowledge of the history of the world, and particularly of that of our own country, compels us to know- that the African negro race never have been acknowledged as belonging to the family of nations; that as amongst them there never has been known or recognised by the inhabitants of other countries anything partaking of the character of nationality, or civil or political polity; that this race has been by all the nations of Europe regarded as subjects of capture or purchase; as subjects of commerce or traffic; and that the introduction of that race into every section of this country was not as members of civil or political society, but as slaves, as property in the strictest sense of the term.

It may be assumed as a postulate, that to a slave, as such, there appertains and can appertain no relation, civil or political, with the State or the Government. He is himself strictly property, to be used in subserviency to the interests, the convenience, [60 U.S. 393, 476] or the will, of his owner; and to suppose, with respect to the former, the existence of any privilege or discretion, or of any obligation to others incompatible with the magisterial rights just defined, would be by implication, if not directly, to deny the relation of master and slave, since none can possess and enjoy, as his own, that which another has a paramount right and power to withhold. Hence it follows, necessarily, that a slave, the peculium or property of a master, and possessing within himself no civil nor political rights or capacities, cannot be a CITIZEN."

The decision represents the law of the land at the time.
Was the decision moral?
It was legal.
Is there a higher law than that of the nation and the courts?
How is the moral law to be determined?
Is there an intuitive moral sense to which one can appeal?
Are we becoming more moral over time ?
Do our moral intuitions improve over time and more closely approximate moral truth?
Is there a moral truth?

From Lincolns Second Inaugural Speech

"Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the seat of other men's faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged.

Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether."

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right"

Does Lincoln make a moral claim?
Without his faith in the justice of God to what could Lincoln have appealed?
If there are no transcendental values how can one refuse to obey the laws and customs of the country in which you reside?
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 3 Oct, 2009 06:08 am
@prothero,
prothero;94857 wrote:
1857 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Case of Dred Scott vs. Sanford The decision was 7 to 2.

In part from written opinion of the court

"Now, the following are truths which a knowledge of the history of the world, and particularly of that of our own country, compels us to know- that the African negro race never have been acknowledged as belonging to the family of nations; that as amongst them there never has been known or recognised by the inhabitants of other countries anything partaking of the character of nationality, or civil or political polity; that this race has been by all the nations of Europe regarded as subjects of capture or purchase; as subjects of commerce or traffic; and that the introduction of that race into every section of this country was not as members of civil or political society, but as slaves, as property in the strictest sense of the term.

There is no such thing as a moral law... Calling a law moral should be like calling a lake wet... Abalard said that Jus is the genus and lex is a species of it...If a law is not just, it is not law and is not moral...If every law is just as it needs to be to be law, then, it is moral...

It may be assumed as a postulate, that to a slave, as such, there appertains and can appertain no relation, civil or political, with the State or the Government. He is himself strictly property, to be used in subserviency to the interests, the convenience, [60 U.S. 393, 476] or the will, of his owner; and to suppose, with respect to the former, the existence of any privilege or discretion, or of any obligation to others incompatible with the magisterial rights just defined, would be by implication, if not directly, to deny the relation of master and slave, since none can possess and enjoy, as his own, that which another has a paramount right and power to withhold. Hence it follows, necessarily, that a slave, the peculium or property of a master, and possessing within himself no civil nor political rights or capacities, cannot be a CITIZEN."

The decision represents the law of the land at the time.
Was the decision moral?
It was legal.
Is there a higher law than that of the nation and the courts?
How is the moral law to be determined?
Is there an intuitive moral sense to which one can appeal?
Are we becoming more moral over time ?
Do our moral intuitions improve over time and more closely approximate moral truth?
Is there a moral truth?

From Lincolns Second Inaugural Speech

"Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the seat of other men's faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged.

Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether."

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right"

Does Lincoln make a moral claim?
Without his faith in the justice of God to what could Lincoln have appealed?
If there are no transcendental values how can one refuse to obey the laws and customs of the country in which you reside?

Considered in terms of property rights alone, the state cannot morally interfere...And in the case of Dred Scott, certainly, if one could move a bed or a buggy, one could move a slave without fear that it could be removed as property...
Now; one must wonder why the South with so much going for it did not marshall its resources and go or not go to war in a thoughtful fashion...It was not so long before that many in the North were considering secession, but as the power of the republicans grew, that idea was shelved...In any event, with Lincoln the attorney as president, there would have been no great attack on slavery; but what he represented to the South, or the building moral opposition to slavery, and limits on the spread of slavery, they could not take...By their very assault on the authority of the government they ruined their own authority...They had enough support to leave the union...They did not have anything approaching consensus on the subject of secession... To the end they were still trying to tax themselves for the support of their government....They still are...It is hard to imagine a people so stupid that they will not support a government which defends their rights, but they are doing it all again...
There is a fundamental conflict between the rights of property and human rights...And there is the difference, that human rights are directly essential to life, and only some property is essential... And a right can be considered as a property, of a person; but to the extent property carries rights with it, it creates inequalities which wreck the polical relationship....
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 3 Oct, 2009 12:07 pm
@Fido,
Fido;94883 wrote:
Considered in terms of property rights alone, the state cannot morally interfere...And in the case of Dred Scott, certainly, if one could move a bed or a buggy, one could move a slave without fear that it could be removed as property...
Now; one must wonder why the South with so much going for it did not marshall its resources and go or not go to war in a thoughtful fashion...It was not so long before that many in the North were considering secession, but as the power of the republicans grew, that idea was shelved...In any event, with Lincoln the attorney as president, there would have been no great attack on slavery; but what he represented to the South, or the building moral opposition to slavery, and limits on the spread of slavery, they could not take...By their very assault on the authority of the government they ruined their own authority...They had enough support to leave the union...They did not have anything approaching consensus on the subject of secession... To the end they were still trying to tax themselves for the support of their government....They still are...It is hard to imagine a people so stupid that they will not support a government which defends their rights, but they are doing it all again...
There is a fundamental conflict between the rights of property and human rights...And there is the difference, that human rights are directly essential to life, and only some property is essential... And a right can be considered as a property, of a person; but to the extent property carries rights with it, it creates inequalities which wreck the polical relationship....


By what authority do you claim that "human rights" trump "property rights"?
In what society has this been true?
Is not the right to acquire and dispose of property a "human right"?
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 3 Oct, 2009 12:17 pm
@prothero,
Am i wrong in understanding, Lincoln is not exactly a good example of moral high ground, when you consider his position on the American Indian and his laws forbidding freed slaves to colonise Indian lands in the west. Why is he a mythical figure to be venerated, for so many Americans.
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 3 Oct, 2009 05:53 pm
@xris,
xris;94917 wrote:
Am i wrong in understanding, Lincoln is not exactly a good example of moral high ground, when you consider his position on the American Indian and his laws forbidding freed slaves to colonise Indian lands in the west. Why is he a mythical figure to be venerated, for so many Americans.

No man viewed through the lens of history is without flaws
but
Lincoln saved the union, freed the slaves and gave us some of the most inspiring speeches in history, more than enough accomplishment for greatness.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Sat 3 Oct, 2009 06:23 pm
@xris,
xris;94917 wrote:
Am i wrong in understanding, Lincoln is not exactly a good example of moral high ground, when you consider his position on the American Indian and his laws forbidding freed slaves to colonise Indian lands in the west. Why is he a mythical figure to be venerated, for so many Americans.
Lincoln stands with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The veneration isn't so much for the actual men, but for what they symbolize.

prothero;94915 wrote:
By what authority do you claim that "human rights" trump "property rights"?
In what society has this been true?
Is not the right to acquire and dispose of property a "human right"?

The pre-USSR Russian peasant culture was one in which property rights did not exist. The "mir" was the name for a communal situation in which the resources available to the group were assumed to "belong" to the whole group and therefore were divided according to need without any strife. This attitude apparently still exists in Russia, which creates an obstruction to the adoption of capitalistic constructs. Russians traditionally liked to be far away from any interfering government, even if that made their well-being more precarious... in this way there tended to be a tribal aspect to their perspective.

I tend to look at morality as a relativist. Only occasionally do I switch into thinking in terms of absolutes. I notice that when I do make that switch, there's strong emotion involved. So usually, I think about the blind-folded woman with the scales in her hand. She's weighing the actuality against an image of the ideal.

The Supreme Court is this woman. For the Supreme Court, the ideal is described in the Constitution. So in regard to Dred Scott, I'd have to say whether the Supreme Court was functioning in line with the ideal at that point. It obviously wasn't, because the membership of the Court didn't reflect the division in the American society. This happened because Americans elected pro-slavery Presidents so many times in the decades prior. The reason for this was that the anti-slavery people were divided into about five different parties. They put their energy into fighting each other. The pro-slavery forces were united. So usually there was one guy running pro-slavery and five guys running anti-slavery. The anti-slavery forces had no coherent platform.. they agreed that the slaves should be freed and deported, but as of 1830, it was known that the funds weren't available to do that. In 1860 the slave population had grown about six times. Anti-slavery had no solution and wavered between apathy and resignation.

The Dred Scott decision was a signal that things were going to keep going the way they had been. The shock of it allowed Lincoln and others to gather all the anti-slavery groups into one party, which they called the Republicans. So basically, the American society was struggling with a problem which had no acceptable solution. Abolitionists, which made up about 5% of the white population saw no issue with having the US become a multiracial society. They were alone on that, though. The vast majority thought that going in that direction would tear the fabric of American society apart. Lincoln was sensitive to this idea. The American society was the new-world cradle of the vision of the free society. If that cradle was destroyed... the vision would disappear. On the other hand slavery was slowly killing it. Lincoln, who was sometimes so depressed that he couldn't get out of bed or speak, thought that maybe his job in life was to hold on the vision for the next generation. Maybe they would be able to solve the problems his generation couldn't. But he was pessimistic.

Then, abruptly, in 1859, the long standing situation changed: the Democratic party fell apart. The southern delegates at the Democratic National Convention stood up and walked out. Now there were two people running pro-slavery, and thanks to the Dred Scott decision: only one guy runnng anti-slavery: Lincoln. Next, the southerners completely freaked out when he was elected and succeeded. Lincoln now had constitutional war power.

Lincoln took carriage rides with Charles Sumner, an abolitionist. Sumner told Lincoln that if he didn't free the slaves and make them citizens, he was dooming future generations to return to the same struggle. I have no idea what went through Lincoln's mind at this point, but he chose to issue the Emancipation Proclamation... ostensibly as a strategic measure... but the truth is he was using the war power to make a social change that never would have been arrived at democratically. He knew that was a violation of the spirit of the Consitution. He had become a temporary dictator.

Toward the end of the war, Lincoln gathered a group of black people together and told them that when the war ended, black people would have to leave the US. He told them that the association of blacks and whites was detrimental to both. They agreed with him.. Subsequently Frederick Douglas came to the White House. He told Lincoln that if he was going to deport somebody, why not deport the slave owners. Black Americans had fought in the American Revolution, they were inheritors of the vision of the free society as much as white Americans... in other words: the former slaves were Americans.

That's why so much about the American Civil War won't fit into any easy measure for morality. It was a profound idealogical crisis which permanently changed the way Americans think about the federal government. The European aristocracy had foretold that the merchant class couldn't rule itself because of its amorality. They foretold that the USA would fail. It did. The federal government rescued the Constitution by becoming the aristocracy. This was only the first step in a progression that has led to the situation we live in today...

By the way, the Dred Scott decision wasn't actually a decision. The Supreme Court refused to hear Dred Scott's case. What we call the "decision" is a collection of comments the justices made.. as if they had tried the case.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 3 Oct, 2009 09:22 pm
@prothero,
prothero;94915 wrote:
By what authority do you claim that "human rights" trump "property rights"?
In what society has this been true?
Is not the right to acquire and dispose of property a "human right"?

All of humanity came out of such societies... When people did not have technology, the means of accumulating excess or taking from others then their life was the life of society, and their only technology was social organization... What we call individual freedom is based upon high technology, and extreme exploitation of resources, even human resources... People die every day for property rights, though I think it is reasonable to conclude that without life, property is meaningless...Human rights, civil rights are those powers people cannot live without, and clearly since people die for want of wealth, they also die for want of rights since with rights, no want of wealth would kill them...

We do not think as primitive societies did, that we stand shoulder to shoulder with kin to protect our common life, our common genes...History can show many examples of primitive societies which began first to prey upon others, yet ended preying upon themselves, they neighbors, their wives, and their children until they were so divided that they could not offer a creditable defense to others...The Greeks had many slaves, but their common citizens were so mean that a law was made to ban the striking of slaves in the street who did not give way for fear that a fellow citizen dressed as poorly as a slave would be hit... And when it came time for the Greeks to be slaves of the Romans they all knew the rules, and submitted....

Slavery demeans free labor, and the competition of free men with slaves does not free the slave, but it does enslave the free... We might well say that our government should protect us from competition with slaves, as this is treason...For property rights, so the rich can have the conditions which made them wealthy, we must compete with slaves at home and around the world... Do we bring up their condition??? We bring up the potential of their condition, because when their lands are capitalized they can turn their industry to supplying their needs rather than using it for trade which only keeps them poor...

Property rights are very recent in origin, and they are being modified all the time... They are a form the owners of property would have you think eternal... Very few of them are eternal... The fast fish is behind them all...If you have it it is yours...

---------- Post added 10-03-2009 at 11:34 PM ----------

xris;94917 wrote:
Am i wrong in understanding, Lincoln is not exactly a good example of moral high ground, when you consider his position on the American Indian and his laws forbidding freed slaves to colonise Indian lands in the west. Why is he a mythical figure to be venerated, for so many Americans.

He was an intelligent man who had his finger on the pulse of his time...He understood the issues this country faced, and could see the contradictions in the pro slavery argument... There are individual examples of his standing up for the rights of black people, and he was from his youth opposed to slavery, even differing sharply with his friend Speed on the issue...While I have friends amoung the Native American community, and spend much time and money to buy and send them clothing; it must be said, that Lincoln may have done those people a favor... They hanged many, but it is possible they did not convict a single one but out of their own mouths... The people were incapable of lying, and were proud of their bloodshed...If those people who were admittedly guilty were not killed the population would have taken the matter into their own hands and the killing would have been indescriminate as it was often anyway... They guy, lincoln believed in law, not in preference to common sense, but as a good form for dealing with human differences and conflict...It is perhaps a good thing for his memory that he was killed...I am afraid he would always have sided with money in later days had he not died, as he often did in earlier times.. He did seem to recognize the essential role of labor in the country, but having grown up as a peasant farmer trying always to step up into the business class, or politics, it may be possible that he did not grasp what was becoming of labor in the hands of industry... A factory rat is not a sod buster...And he does not have near the hope in his life...

---------- Post added 10-03-2009 at 11:40 PM ----------

Arjuna;94953 wrote:
Lincoln stands with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The veneration isn't so much for the actual men, but for what they symbolize.


The pre-USSR Russian peasant culture was one in which property rights did not exist. The "mir" was the name for a communal situation in which the resources available to the group were assumed to "belong" to the whole group and therefore were divided according to need without any strife. This attitude apparently still exists in Russia, which creates an obstruction to the adoption of capitalistic constructs. Russians traditionally liked to be far away from any interfering government, even if that made their well-being more precarious... in this way there tended to be a tribal aspect to their perspective.

I tend to look at morality as a relativist. Only occasionally do I switch into thinking in terms of absolutes. I notice that when I do make that switch, there's strong emotion involved. So usually, I think about the blind-folded woman with the scales in her hand. She's weighing the actuality against an image of the ideal.

The Supreme Court is this woman. For the Supreme Court, the ideal is described in the Constitution. So in regard to Dred Scott, I'd have to say whether the Supreme Court was functioning in line with the ideal at that point. It obviously wasn't, because the membership of the Court didn't reflect the division in the American society. This happened because Americans elected pro-slavery Presidents so many times in the decades prior. The reason for this was that the anti-slavery people were divided into about five different parties. They put their energy into fighting each other. The pro-slavery forces were united. So usually there was one guy running pro-slavery and five guys running anti-slavery. The anti-slavery forces had no coherent platform.. they agreed that the slaves should be freed and deported, but as of 1830, it was known that the funds weren't available to do that. In 1860 the slave population had grown about six times. Anti-slavery had no solution and wavered between apathy and resignation.

The Dred Scott decision was a signal that things were going to keep going the way they had been. The shock of it allowed Lincoln and others to gather all the anti-slavery groups into one party, which they called the Republicans. So basically, the American society was struggling with a problem which had no acceptable solution. Abolitionists, which made up about 5% of the white population saw no issue with having the US become a multiracial society. They were alone on that, though. The vast majority thought that going in that direction would tear the fabric of American society apart. Lincoln was sensitive to this idea. The American society was the new-world cradle of the vision of the free society. If that cradle was destroyed... the vision would disappear. On the other hand slavery was slowly killing it. Lincoln, who was sometimes so depressed that he couldn't get out of bed or speak, thought that maybe his job in life was to hold on the vision for the next generation. Maybe they would be able to solve the problems his generation couldn't. But he was pessimistic.

Then, abruptly, in 1859, the long standing situation changed: the Democratic party fell apart. The southern delegates at the Democratic National Convention stood up and walked out. Now there were two people running pro-slavery, and thanks to the Dred Scott decision: only one guy runnng anti-slavery: Lincoln. Next, the southerners completely freaked out when he was elected and succeeded. Lincoln now had constitutional war power.

Lincoln took carriage rides with Charles Sumner, an abolitionist. Sumner told Lincoln that if he didn't free the slaves and make them citizens, he was dooming future generations to return to the same struggle. I have no idea what went through Lincoln's mind at this point, but he chose to issue the Emancipation Proclamation... ostensibly as a strategic measure... but the truth is he was using the war power to make a social change that never would have been arrived at democratically. He knew that was a violation of the spirit of the Consitution. He had become a temporary dictator.

Toward the end of the war, Lincoln gathered a group of black people together and told them that when the war ended, black people would have to leave the US. He told them that the association of blacks and whites was detrimental to both. They agreed with him.. Subsequently Frederick Douglas came to the White House. He told Lincoln that if he was going to deport somebody, why not deport the slave owners. Black Americans had fought in the American Revolution, they were inheritors of the vision of the free society as much as white Americans... in other words: the former slaves were Americans.

That's why so much about the American Civil War won't fit into any easy measure for morality. It was a profound idealogical crisis which permanently changed the way Americans think about the federal government. The European aristocracy had foretold that the merchant class couldn't rule itself because of its amorality. They foretold that the USA would fail. It did. The federal government rescued the Constitution by becoming the aristocracy. This was only the first step in a progression that has led to the situation we live in today...

By the way, the Dred Scott decision wasn't actually a decision. The Supreme Court refused to hear Dred Scott's case. What we call the "decision" is a collection of comments the justices made.. as if they had tried the case.

What went through Lincolns mind on his ride with Sumner is this: Politics is snatching the possible out of the impossible... One does what one can...You see that war freed no one, not from prejudice, and not from slavery...The progress of the black people in this country to freedom and equality is slow and painful... Their demands for rights we see as counter to our own, paid for out of our share...In fact, if property did not have so many of our rights gratis, in that it pays for none of them, and cannot pay the ultimate price of life for them, then we would all have plenty of rights...
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 4 Oct, 2009 03:24 am
@Fido,
He may well have done good but its this mythological adoration of the man who appears to be worshipped like a an idol and his mistakes are excused with the ease of a political propagandist.

Allowing the assault on the American Indians lands with no compensation and the eventual destruction of a race of humans, is not exactly admirable.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 4 Oct, 2009 06:53 am
@xris,
xris;95015 wrote:
He may well have done good but its this mythological adoration of the man who appears to be worshipped like a an idol and his mistakes are excused with the ease of a political propagandist.

Allowing the assault on the American Indians lands with no compensation and the eventual destruction of a race of humans, is not exactly admirable.

What Lincoln allowed in regard to Indian lands he could hardly deny...European history already had several hundred years precident of closing the commons which stole the capital of centuries from its legitimate owners simply because a single individual could make more efficient use of them... As I said; Property rights are always being modified... All the building of the railroads through the North, the Great Northern was for little good... Most of the western high plane is simply desert... The natives were already making the best use of it...The land does not really support more people today..Consider that the great Anthropolgist, Morgan was writing at that time, and that people had every reason to understand something of the complex culture they were taking a skining knife to... That is what makes it a crime: knowledge, and intent... Ignorance does not make crime, and there was ignorance enough... There is always ignorance enough to explain any human misery...
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 4 Oct, 2009 07:13 am
@Fido,
Fido;95024 wrote:
What Lincoln allowed in regard to Indian lands he could hardly deny...European history already had several hundred years precident of closing the commons which stole the capital of centuries from its legitimate owners simply because a single individual could make more efficient use of them... As I said; Property rights are always being modified... All the building of the railroads through the North, the Great Northern was for little good... Most of the western high plane is simply desert... The natives were already making the best use of it...The land does not really support more people today..Consider that the great Anthropolgist, Morgan was writing at that time, and that people had every reason to understand something of the complex culture they were taking a skining knife to... That is what makes it a crime: knowledge, and intent... Ignorance does not make crime, and there was ignorance enough... There is always ignorance enough to explain any human misery...
I can understand that times dictate more than one man can object to, but you cant make one claim as wonderful when other decisions had such an adverse effect on so many innocent souls. A balanced view, not adoration of a man who signed the death warrant on thirty odd warriors who where defending their land and who did not even get a fair trial from the brutal soldiers who had murdered their families.
 
 

 
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 07/14/2020 at 02:17:27