Q:What About Slavery In The Bible?

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Q:What About Slavery In The Bible?

The argument can be summed up in this way, “does the bible endorse slavery? If so, isn’t that an indictment against God’s perfect moral character? Therefore, the God of the bible cannot both: endorse slavery and be moral.” Let’s see if the bible “endorses” slavery and what the bible means when using the term, “slavery.”

Isn’t All Slavery The Same

The slavery often pictured is antebellum (prewar) slavery, of which the American variation was the vilest. In the ancient world (and beyond), Chattel (or property) slavery had three characteristics:

  • A slave was property
  • The slave owner’s rights over the slave’s person and work were total and absolute.
  • The slave was stripped of his identity -racial, familial, social, material.1 2

Consider these two contemporary quotes that closely resemble this view of slavery:

“The legal power of the master amounts to an absolute despotism over body and soul.”3 -Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-96)

And

“No words, no tears, no prayers, from his gory victim, seemed to move his iron heart from its bloody purpose.”4 -Frederick Douglass (1817-95)

51Sm5VPT0CL__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_In his book, Is God a Moral Monster? Dr. Paul Copan addresses this mindset directly. He writes, “[a] mistake critics make is associating servanthood in the Old Testament with antebellum (prewar) slavery in the South-like the kind of scenario Douglass described.” Copan suggests that comparing “servanthood” to “slavery in the South” is a mistake. He goes on to say, “by contrast, Hebrew (debt) servanthood could be compared to similar conditions in the colonial America. Paying fares for passage to America was too costly for many individuals to afford. So they’d contract themselves out, working in household’s -often in apprentice-like positions-until they paid back their debts. One-half to two-thirds of white immigrants to Britain’s colonies were indentured servants.”5

Indentured Servants

The bible’s description of “slave” is far closer in comparison to indentured servants, than the raced based slavery of the South. The servant pays debt to a “boss” or “employer” (in Hebrew: ‘adon), master was too strong a term in this context. The worker (in Hebrew: ‘ebed) “servant” or “employee” shouldn’t be translated slave. The Hebrew term “‘ebed” is an honorable and dignified term.6

“Hebrew has no vocabulary of slavery, only of servanthood.”7 -J.A. Motyer

Servanthood wasn’t much different experientially from paid employment in a cash economy like ours.8 Voluntary service was a starvation-prevention measure; a person had no other collateral other than himself, which meant either service or death.9

Think of a sports player today who gets “traded” to another team, to which he “belongs.” Yes, teams have “owners,” but we’re hardly talking about slavery here!10 -Paul Copan

We can make the reasonable assertion -from the aforementioned- that the term “slavery” doesn’t necessarily have the vile connotation of antebellum slavery; rather, the way the bible describes “slaves” is closer to indentured servants.

Unique Features of Mosaic Law To Eliminate Poverty

Let’s consider what kind of servanthood was “endorsed” by looking at the Mosaic Law.

We should consider the restrictions in the Mosaic Law like, Leviticus 25: 53-54 (NIV), where indentured servants were to be “hired from year to year” and were not to be “rule[d] over… ruthlessly.”

Life long servitude was prohibited, unless someone loved the head of the household and wanted to attach himself to him as part of the family (Exod. 21:5). Good Name****

All debts were to be forgiven at the time of release (Deut. 15) and servants were to be released every seven years.11 The guaranteed release of servants within seven years was a control or regulation to prevent the abuse and institutionalizing of such positions.12

The Mosaic Law made provisions for the poor to glean food from farmers fields (Lev. 19:9-10; 23:22; Deut. 24:20-21) Israelites were encouraged to lend freely to the poor (Deut. 15:7-8) without interest (Exod. 22:25; Lev. 25:36-37). The end goal is to eliminate poverty (Deut. 15:1-18). When the time came for your servant to leave, a generous parting gift was expected.

Slaves were released if physically injured (Exod. 21:26-27) and if a slave died at the hand of the employer then he (the employer) would be punished -in the most severe way, by death (Exod. 21:20). Israel had first hand experience as slaves in Egypt and could sympathize with the servant’s perspective in their own communities. By contrast the surrounding Near Eastern communities were not as forgiving.

“Hammurabi’s Code permitted the master to cut off his disobedient slave’s ear.”13 -Laws of Hammurabi §282

In Near Eastern law codes the masters -not slaves- were financially compensated when they were released (bought out). If the slave died at the hand of the master in ancient Near Eastern, the master would not be held responsible for murder. Israel’s moral standards were unparalleled in other ancient Near Eastern codes.14

Kidnapping a person to sell them was punishable by death (Exod 21:16, Deut 24:7, 1 Tim 1:10). Copan elaborates by stating, “[t]his point is lost on, or ignored by, those who compare servanthood in Israel with slavery in the antebellum South, let alone the ancient Near East.”15

Israelites were commanded to harbor runaway slaves and not return them to their masters. This is directly opposed to Southern states Fugitive Slave laws and Near Eastern codes.16

Israel was a safe haven for runaway foreigners, aliens and sojourners: they could become full status citizens by working off their debts (Lev 25:47, 1 Chron. 2:34-35), they could be released back to their homelands after seven years (Exod 21:2), or they could willingly choose to stay with the family as a permanent servant (Deut 15:16-17). Most prisoners of war were treated in the same way.

I could go on about the nuanced particulars of each circumstance or verse -but for the sake of brevity I will refrain. What we have seen is that the biblical account does not promote “slavery” but merely acknowledges the presence of servanthood in society and attempts  to regulate it. Another way to think about it is that the bible describes servanthood (presence in society) but does not prescribe servanthood as the moral good to better society. Copan sums up this point best when he states, “[w]hen we compare Israel’s servant system with the ancient Near East in general, what we have is a fairly tame, and in many ways, very attractive arrangement for the impoverished Israelites. The servant laws aimed to benefit and protect the poor-that is those most likely to enter indentured service.”17

Christianity’s opposition to slavery

One final point of interest -worth discussing- is that it was the Christian conviction of equality that lead to the abolition of the slave trade in the West. Consider the following paraphrase of Eric Metaxas’ book, 7 Men: And The Secret Of Their Greatness.

On his deathbed, the great revivalist John Wesley wrote to William Wilberforce to encourage him -in his endeavors as an abolitionist- with a telling reference to the American slavery. Wesley writes, “O be not weary of well doing. Go on, in the name of God and in the power of His might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.”18 Wilberforce -as you may know- was a devoted Christian who had a public conversion while holding a prominent position in politics. As he wrestled with weather or not to remain in the dirty world of politics, after his “Great Change,” Wilberforce heeded the advice of an old friend (John Newton). It was shortly after this visit (less than 2 years) that Wilberforce wrote twenty words in his diary that would direct the course of the rest of his life. He wrote, “God Almighty has set before me two Great Objects: the suppression of the Slave Trade and the Reformation of Manners”19, 20

Wilberforce rose to the occasion -to abolish the slave trade- as Athanasius contra mundum [against the world] precisely because of his Christian convictions, not in spite of them.

Conclusion

As we have discussed, we have seen that the way the bible refers to “slavery” is actually closest in relation to an indentured servant. We have also seen that the bible describes the presence of “slavery” but does not prescribe “slavery” as the moral good to better society; rather, God sets perimeters to protect the poor and to combat the institutionalization of widespread human rights abuse. We have also seen that William Wilberforce persisted to abolish antebellum slavery because of his views regarding equality that were directly informed by his Christian convictions. All things considered, the Hebrews had a moral code superior to the surrounding Near Easter communities, and when we read the term “slavery” in the bible it is closer in comparison to indentured servanthood; therefore, because the bible mentions the term “slavery” it is not necessarily an indictment against God’s perfect moral character.


1 Peter Garnsey, Ideas of Slavery from Aristotle to Augustine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 1

2 Paul Copan, Is God a Moral Monster?, (Michigan: Baker Books, 2011), 127

3 Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-96), Uncle Tom’s Cabin, (Boston: John P. Jewett, 1853), 139

4 Frederick Douglass (1817-95), Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, (New York: Spark Publishing, 2005), 20

5 Paul Copan, Is God a Moral Monster?, (Michigan: Baker Books, 2011), 125

6 John Goldingay, Old Testament Theology: Israel’s Life, vol. 3 (Downer Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2009), 460.

7 J.A. Motyer, The Message of Exodus (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2005), 239

8 John Goldingay, Old Testament Theology: Israel’s Life, vol. 3 (Downer Grove, IL: Intervarsity, 2009), 461

9 Paul Copan, Is God a Moral Monster?, (Michigan: Baker Books, 2011), 125

10 Paul Copan, Is God a Moral Monster?, (Michigan: Baker Books, 2011), 125

11 Tikva Frymer-Kenski, “Anatolia and the Levant:Israel,” in A History of Ancient Near East Law, vol 2. ed. Raymond Westbrook (leiden: Brill, 2003)

12 Paul Copan, Is God a Moral Monster?, (Michigan: Baker Books, 2011), 126

13 Laws of Hammurabi §282. See also Elisabeth Meier Tetlow, Women, Crime, and Punishment in Ancient Law and Society, vol. 1, The Ancient Near East (New York: Continuum, 2004)

14 Christopher J.H. Wright, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004), 292.

15 Paul Copan, Is God a Moral Monster?, (Michigan: Baker Books, 2011), 131

16 Laws of Hammurabi §16

17 Paul Copan, Is God a Moral Monster?, (Michigan: Baker Books, 2011), 127

18 John Wesley, “Letter to William Wilberforce, London, February 24, 1791,” in Thomas Jackson, ed., The Works of John Wesley, 14 vols. (Franklin, TN: Providence House, 1994), CD-ROM, 13:153

19 William Wilberforce, “Journal, Sunday, October 28, 1787,” quoted in Wilberforce and Wilberforce, The Life of William Wilberforce, vol. 1, 149

20 Eric Metaxas, 7 Men: And The Secret Of Their Greatness, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2013), 42-47


10 Other Helpful Recourses On The Topic

Why Is the New Testament Silent on Slavery — or Is It? -Paul Copan

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171 thoughts on “Q:What About Slavery In The Bible?

    1. Hello Ark!
      It doesn’t appear that they are explicitly secular. To be considered as secular by definition the source would have to have no attitudes, opinions or beliefs about religious or spiritual matters. Thus, the fields to draw from would be limited to those that don’t have an opinion on the matter. Why do you ask?

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      1. Because biblical scholars by tradition have been, in the main, Christian and thus biased.
        A genuine historian would not hold to the superstitious beliefs that you might for example and thus their view would not be influenced by faith.

        One could compare the likes of Kitchen and Finkelstein for example. Both archaeologists, yet Kitchen is an evangelical Christian.
        His faith will, if push comes to shove, inevitably take precedence over science. ( It certainly has so far, at any rate)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. To claim that anyone should dismiss an outcome before looking at the evidence IS biased. Not only that, to fail to acknowledge where the evidence is pointing because of said a priori commitment to Scientific Naturalism is to forgo critical historical method for a perfidious half truth. Not only are you endorsing a bias but a possible LIE. That is simply an incredulous deception… IMHO 🙂

      What happened to following the evidence where it leads and selecting theories based on explanatory scope and power?

      Your definition of secular works just as well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Then can you answer the first question I asked. Are any of the links you referenced secular or are they all strictly biblical scholars who are also Christian?

        What happened to following the evidence where it leads and selecting theories based on explanatory scope and power?

        Are you sure you are up for exploring this agenda when it comes to your faith
        And I would think twice before you offer an answer.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. As I mentioned, I am not aware of any reference that explicitly claimed to be secular. As far as I know all are connected with spiritual or religious matters, but I could be wrong about that. It simply wasn’t the focus of my post, I chose to reference relevant material within the space and timeframe I was utilizing. There must be other opinions out there and I’d be open to them.

    Haha, your a smart guy I could probably learn a lot from you regarding the historical or archeological context. I would say this is an area I can grow because I’m simply a layman regarding the historicity of my faith, I make no claim to be an authority on the subject and that’s why I prefer to reference often in my blogs.

    Do you have faith Ark? How would I describe your beliefs about your position? Is faith, in your oppinio, a supernatural/superstitious thing? Or is there more to it? I’m curious as to what your response might be. 🙂

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          1. There are plenty of valid philosophical and scientific arguments that can be made for the existence of the uncaused first cause that transcends time, matter, space as well as a personal moral agent that is the paradigm of moral perfection and the best explanation for moral values and duties we experience intuitively. That is to say there is evidence that a necessary being exists because the universe is contingent. Now there arguments transcend humanity and I believe that if this being exist he would try to communicate with mankind, which I believe is exactly why Jesus walked the earth.

            But it appears that you have certain evidence that the God of the bible is man made so please provide sources for this claim.

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          1. oh, what a typical “christian” thing to say.
            Ark always makes me laugh, particularly when he rips apologists theories apart.
            i don’t care if any “christian” takes me seriously, because i don’t take you seriously.
            if you were my slave i would beat you, just like god says in the bible. EX 21:21

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  2. As for following the evidence.
    How do you react to the evidence that is now accepted that there was never an Exodus as described in the bible?
    Furthermore, there is evidence which shows that settlement of Canaan was internal and relatively peaceful.

    You are surely aware of this, yes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m aware of the limited historical evidence for the OT. I think we could have more artifacts and evidence to corroborate the OT. But I’m not placing my confidence in the OT based on the veracity of historical artifacts (however I think a strong case can be made , consider the dead Sea scrolls) I’m basing my confidence in the OT based on the confidence I have in the Deity of Christ and that he endorsed it and quoted it as truth. I can’t varify the OT with certainty, perhaps in the future someday after your conversion. 🙂 (No offense or malicious intent Ark.)

      To be honest it’s not a deal breaker for me, even if we cannot ever prove the OT to be historically reliable that doesn’t automatically make it false. There would have to be positive evidence that contradicts it in a major way, but historical silence is harmless.

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      1. But the OT has been thoroughly demonstrated to be little more than geo-political myth.
        And I would be interested if you accept the alternate history that has been shown to refute the Captivity, Exodus and Conquest stories of the bible, which is based on positive evidence.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I disagree, there are many themes that are central to the claims of the bible that we can see throughout the old testament into the new. To say they have been shown to be “thoroughly demonstrated” as myth is news to me. How do you define myth? Perhaps your position is based on mere semantics.

          What is this positive evidence that “refutes” the bible? Better not be an argument from ignorance.

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      2. Without positive evidence that God doesn’t exist your left with the confidence of atheism and not an irrefutable proof. Confidence in the Latin literally means with faith or trust. This is not a snare just a means to expose the fact that atheism isn’t neutral, it is a position. From that position (and any other worldview) one must account for all the questions of life like origins, meaning/value, morality and destiny. Then the inference with the greatest explanatory scope and power should be accepted until proven false or inadequate. IMHO

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  3. But your god is Yahweh, and I have already stated he was man-made; a former Canaanite deity who once had a consort who was adopted by the Israelites.
    You are aware of the Ugaric texts, yes?

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    1. Ugaric texts? Never heard of them, this is an opportunity to learn… see I knew you could help me. What sources do you recommend?

      To say the Israelites adopted their God from Canaan is quite the claim my friend!

      This should be very easy to see how the Ugaric texts refute the existence of God, given that you hold such a high standard for ancient texts that this really must be the most robust reliable text of antiquity if it will do what you think it is capable of. 😮

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      1. Sorry, typo again. I really must slow my fingers on the .

        The Ugaritic Texts.
        I suggest you just Google rather than let m lead you on, as it were.
        It will be an interesting read. Come back and let me know what you find.
        I would ask though that you treat any sites from ICR and their ilk with caution.

        Here’s an interesting blog to start you off…
        Try to keep an open mind and not immediately fall back on apologetics.

        http://somethingsurprising.blogspot.co.za/2011/07/ugaritic-texts.html

        http://somethingsurprising.blogspot.co.za/2011/07/asherah-wife-of-yahweh.html

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        1. This is honestly the first time I’ve heard of the Ugaritic texts and I do find the Ugaritic (RAS SHAMRA TABLETS) fascinating. I would grant that there appears to be some similarities in the text and that it appears to predate the OT texts. I would also grant that it can possibly shed some light regarding religious practices and rituals in the region. As for my position regarding the text, let me say that a simple blog will not be sufficient to dismantle my views but I will be mindful of these texts and look more closely into how they impact and inform our views regarding history and the OT. Thanks for sharing Ark! I’m sure we will be able to discuss this further sometime in the near future. 🙂

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          1. Now, for the very first time in your life you are aware that Yahweh was a Canaanite god and had a consort. Gives one pause for thought – even if just a tiny teeny bit.

            You see, the atheist can show the fundamentalist something after all.

            Don’t you wonder what else your fundamentalist ”teaching” has been kept hidden from you?

            You’ll get there if you are truly open to truth and honesty.
            🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I’m well aware that atheist’s (or anyone else) have a great deal of knowledge or insight, that I may not have, with respect to a vast array of topics. I hope I don’t come across as unteachable or closed minded, because if I profess to know everything then I would be god -in my own eyes- and I would have no need whatever, especially salvation. XD But, we could both agree that learning is a vital aspect of being human and thus we are disqualified from omniscience. Besides the purpose of dialogue or debate is communicating ideas, if your not willing to be informed then it’s not communication. IMHO.

              I wouldn’t say anyone has been actively keeping this information from the laity. That’s perhaps a little too divisive. The truth is not a lot of people are actually interested in history to give it much consideration. Christianity (as I have experienced it) has been very open to the truth. Paul even says in Timothy to “test all things and hold to what is true” this is why modern science was seen by many (not all) to be an act of discovering truth to the glory of God.

              One reservation I have before I accept the claims of this blog at face value as I’ve stated is to consider the evidence. I must say though that I don’t think these tablets are capable of doing what you think they are capable of, for the plain reason that the Israelites were constantly rejecting God and running to pagan gods or committing idolatry. That’s no surprise considering the close proximity of theres two cultures and that intermingling is natural. But this is a chicken and egg problem, and just because you find an older artifact doesn’t constitute that it is the origin of or cause of a belief. As I’m looking into it further I have also noted a lot of controversy about specific Psalms or texts that apparently point to a similar Ugaritic origin. IMHO, so far, I’m not convinced that it has the support to invalidate the OT.

              This does make me wonder, however, why on atheism should a person pursue truth? I don’t think truth is meaningless, I just think it lacks justification from an atheistic perspective. Care to comment, since if entertained all your red-herrings?

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                  1. Again this question seems ambiguous to me. Truth is truth.
                    For example: If the evidence shows that the Pentateuch is nothing but historical fiction then this is what it is. And that is the truth. Period.

                    If someone declares the world is flat and you and I dispute this claim then we proceed to sail around the earth, we have established a truth.
                    The earth is ’round’ not flat.
                    Or are you alluding to something else?

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  4. I have addressed your myth claims regarding the Exodus previously but, OK, lets say for argument sake that the OT is myth. That doesn’t change the fact that Jews were willing to renounce their traditions to follow Jesus who they believed was the unique son of God. That just makes it more plausible. The Exodus even as allegory is meaningful but that is not a devastating blow even if zero evidence surfaces.

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    1. You are still skirting the issue and I believe it s very important that this is cleared up and we establish a base line before we move on to other areas of this dialogue.

      The overwhelming consensus based on evidence is that the entire Captivity, Exodus and Conquest is simply geo-political myth.
      Those that disagree are obviously fundamentalists and particularly biblical literalists.

      So let us be clear. It did not happen and the evidence reveals a completely alternative history of Canaan and the Israelites than what is told in the Old Testament.
      Now, so we don’t stray off track.
      Do you accept the scientific consensus. Yes or no?

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    2. Apologies for jumping in here, but what Jews renounced their traditions to follow Jesus? Jesus was a Jew, and as far as I’m aware Israel is still very much Jewish. Christianity took root in Syria and Turkey, not Israel.

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        1. OK, that’s one Jew, Saul, but he never followed Jesus. He never met him, and he broke with what the actual Jews who knew the Jew, Jesus, were saying and doing. Saul created Christianity, not Jesus. Jesus lived and died a Jew. You claimed Jews shed their Judaism. They didn’t. Israel is still quite solidly Jewish. Christianity emerged in Syria and Turkey. You did know this, didn’t you?

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  5. “What justification do you have for the value of truth, from an atheist wordview?”
    ———–
    pardon the intrusion. atheism (not being quite atheist myself though) is not a worldview. it’s a position of non belief in the existence of god or gods. agnosticism is a position on knowledge god or gods exists.
    not sure of the meaning of your question. are you trying to ask how those who don’t believe in god justify the value of truth or truths? (which god of the thousands in human history by the way is a different part of your assumptions behind the question btw, but for a different comment perhaps)
    i think i understand this as a ‘backhanded’ assertion you are making saying atheists can’t have a meaningful justification for Truth (or is is absolute truth?) without an Authoritative Truth Giver… would I be correct that, like some arguments for Morality being only based in a Divine Law Giver, that this is what you are trying to convey with your rhetorical question?
    -KIA

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    1. Kia, not at all. My question simply wants to clarify why someone would want to change their views to align with truth, if, atheism is the product of unguided forces that are not goal directed or for a specific purpose and you are the product of your DNA -physical matter acting on physical matter. What makes you think you can change your mind? On atheism a mind doesn’t exist!

      The only way to make sence of your atheism is the assume that we are more than physical matter formed from unguided processes!

      Hope that helps.

      Btw if atheism is simply the ‘lack of belief’ then atheism can be true AND God can still exist…but that isn’t what atheists claim based on their Philosophical or Scientific Naturalism.

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      1. “On atheism a mind doesn’t exist! ”

        not sure what you mean by this. i think you don’t really understand or are just trying to misdefine atheism.
        “… you atheism…”
        btw, not atheist here, just to be clear. just not christian anymore.
        and… by definition, a-theism is a lack of belief in a god or gods, regardless how much you would like to ‘shift the burden of proof’ to require athiests to ‘prove the negative’ so you can avoid your own burden to prove your positive assertion that God exists.

        also, when you talk about god existing, which god of the thousands that have ‘existed’ thru human history? surely you are ‘atheist’ regarding the existence of Odin, Allah, Mithra, and many others.
        which specific god are you referring to ? i can assume the biblical god and jesus, but it would be nice to get beyond the nebulous and generic “God exists” to the more specific version of your positive claim, don’t you think?

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        1. Kia, I understand that you are not an athiest. My intention is not to ‘strawman’ you, but to be clear you did respond to my question regarding atheism. Regards, I appreciate that your willing to get involved my friend. 🙂 And I hope you will continue to be open minded on your journey to truth, even though you say you have walked away from Christianity. I know lots of people who have and though I’ve had my doubts, I just want to acknowledge your courage to follow the scientific and philosophical evidence. Never an easy or comfortable feat. 🙂 Respect.

          Now concerning the notion of God. I’m only making the case for a ‘Mere Christianity’, like Lewis wrote about. One of my favorite books! Also I’m only making a case for the NECESSARY being that best explains: 1) The universe ex nehilo. 2) Immaterial entities like numbers, sets, and laws of logic. 3) Objective moral duties and values. 4) and why anything at all exists rather than nothing. A God that is not contingent on anything but exists necessarily as the greatest conceivable being.

          Call him what you want, but, to me that’s God and that how I distinguish between the god of other religions and the greatest being possible. Only the greatest being is worthy of worship no doubt.

          Hope that illuminates my position for you.

          As for burden of proof, there is no such thing as a neutral position, all worldviews and religions need to account for life’s questions and we can evaluate the truth based on their explanatory scope and power. No one is exempt in claiming to be affiliated with a specific position from giving a reason for 1) origins 2) morality 3) meaning and 4) destiny, and the one closest to reality is true.

          This is clarification Kia, I haven’t said anything controversial yet. I hope you agree!

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          1. It is impossible answer such a malformed question as you posed. It rests on the faulty foundation of an incorrect and conflated premise that atheism is a worldview and that it is virtually synonymous with the theory of evolution.
            Atheism is not a positive claim thus doesn’t claim or assert as a claim that God does not exist. It bears no such burden to defend. It simply disbelieves the positive claim of theism which you as the theist bears the burden of proving… Not declaring and forcing atheists to prove the negative. This would be dishonest and would lack respect for those you communicate with.
            If you continue to push the idea, dishonestly so as I and others have informed you to the contrary, that atheism is a world view/religion and that it make s the positive claim that God does not exist, as I have informed you that it is only the position of disbelief rather than the assertion of ‘there is no god’, you will have proven to me what I suspected. That your question was in fact only rhetorical in nature and designed/nuanced in such a way as to only receive the answer you expected so you could spring the trap leading from your psudo philosophical ‘God of the gaps/philosophers’ to leap to Christianity.
            I cannot and will not be led into a manipulative trap by answering your malformed and obviously dishonest question.
            Try again with the correct understanding of atheism and it’s position.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. It’s telling that you feel threatened by such a fundamental question. My intention is not to trap but to gather information regarding Ark’s position (I’m just entertaining your conversation even though your not an atheist by your own assertion). I will gladly grant that atheism is a lack of belief. This view doesn’t bear any direct burden because it can only apply to your personal state of mind, as soon as you make that assertion or comment on a blog or voice any opinion then you are no longer neutral. With me so far? At this point atheism as you’ve defined it can still be true and God can exist. Think about it.
              However atheists will then move on to expose what lies behind their atheism and argue against someone else’s position, based on a materialism or Scientific Naturalism position.

              I recognize that I have clumped both views together and stamped it atheism. My apologies.

              So from a materialistic or naturalistic position (God, spirits and non-physical entities don’t exist) what justification is there that truth is valuable and worth aligning our current views to? 🙂

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              1. You are still framing your question as if non belief is a declaration of non existence and that that position is a world view. I’m sure you must be able to see your dilemma. It’s a malformed question

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              2. And I’m not threatened at all. Why would you inject the assertion that I’m frightened? Can you see into my soul or emotions? That was not kind. Appeals to emotion, even insinuating the emotionalism of others, in rejejection of a malformed question doesn’t do anything but insult the intelligence and integrity of the person you say you are trying to respectfully communicate with

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              1. your intention has been clear from the start. you continue to base your question on a flase misunderstanding of atheism as a world view/positive claim that god doesn’t exist. and when confronted on it and corrected, you refuse to correct your error. one can only infer it is for the purpose of ‘straw man’-ing the position of your opponent to manipulate the conclusion. you are not interested in honest conversation. you are interested in manuvering me into a position based on what has been shown to you is a false and misleading premise. this is dishonesty. delete away if you like. hide the evidence of your dishonesty if you like. i had thought you were not as insecure as that but it is your blog. i will not apologize for having a different opinion or disagreeing with you and to demand that i do says more about you and your ability to have an honest discussion than it does about me.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Kia is perfectly correct here. Atheism is content-free. Period. You are trying to create a cartoon “atheist” which makes you feel more comfortable, but I’m afraid to say, it’s a pantomime.

                  Liked by 3 people

                  1. his threat to delete my comment unless i apologize for calling him on his repeated attempts to strawman atheism as a world view/positive claim are odious and offensive to polite conversation and far below what others assure me his character to be.

                    Liked by 2 people

                2. Kia, I have apologized for the initial claim

                  “I recognize that I have clumped both views together and stamped it atheism. My apologies”

                  Now you continue to accuse me of a strawman fallacy which is either true or false.

                  Your have not provided evidence of a strawman thus it is either false or slander.

                  I’m not asking you to apologize for a difference in opinion, I’m asking you to clarify the fallacious reasoning or suffer the consequences of slander.

                  I’m not hiding anything, I think I have been forthcoming with you and so the consequences for your claims will be determined in your following post. You’ve vented but now you need to consider whether I am guilty of faulty logic.

                  I’m expecting either 1) evidence of straw man, 2) an apology because your intention is not to slander, 3) holding fast to your assertion and allow me to edit your comments.

                  What say you?

                  Like

                  1. “…allow me to edit your comments.”
                    ——————
                    it is your blog… editing my comments is the same as deleting them. it is dishonest and below the threshhold of integrity. do as you like. i have kept copies of my original comments, (as i anticipated the possible need)

                    Liked by 1 person

                  2. the straw man is not just the conflation of atheism with evolution or even naturalism, it’s that you repeatedly misrepresent atheism as a positive claim that god doesn’t exist even after my repeated attempts to correct your assertion. atheism makes not truth claims, no claims at all. it is a lack of belief in god or gods existing. that’s it. it has no all encompassing world view from which to judge truth or morality itself. it is simply an answer to one question “does god exist” and it’s answer is lack of belief.

                    Liked by 1 person

      2. ” if, atheism is the product of unguided forces that are not goal directed or for a specific purpose and you are the product of your DNA -physical matter acting on physical matter. ”
        ——-
        ah…i understand now. sorry. you are conflating atheism with the theory of evolution. they are not the same. btw, do you realize that many (if not the majority) of christians actually believe the theory of evolution? they are not mutually exclusive you know.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. atheism is not a worldview. it is simply the answer to one question… do you believe in god/gods. it is a lack of belief in god or gods, not a worldview or a truth or knowledge claim. -KIA

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello pk,
    I guess this passage –
    “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)” sounds much better when one uses the term ”indentured service women” than what the women really were – sex slaves.
    (nice family values thrown in there, eh?)

    Oh, and anyone who has read widely about the Civil War knows that both sides (for AND against slavery) used the Bible for justification of their views.
    One thing’s for certain. The Bible contains NO specific reference against slavery. . err. . indentured servitude. (You know, OWNING human beings).
    I think you are doing what many writers do. Using a euphemism.

    By the way, KIA is about the most diplomatic ex-Christian I’ve come across in cyber-space. And you’ve just asked him to apologize or his comment will be deleted? tut, tut.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “By the way, KIA is about the most diplomatic ex-Christian I’ve come across in cyber-space. ”
      ——–
      thank you for the ringing endorsement. i appreciate the compliment.
      -KIA

      Like

    2. Hello Carmen,
      Thank you for engaging with the actual topic of the blog! Much appreciated!

      I hope that your open to my responses regarding this passage (especially after the resent conflict with one of your friends). Let me also say that, when I first read this passage I found it very difficult to come to terms with. I was unsure what to think about the passage and I was emotionally upset by it. I say that only to relate to what you might be feeling, I needed clarification for myself too.

      Bear with me, I’m going to try and be as objective as I can and go through point by point. 🙂
      1) When the crops of a farmer failed (or the sheep of a shepherd died of disease) the family would become destitute. The family had a last resort, the daughter (especially if there were no sons) could be taken into another family which would afford the family to survive. She would be far more useful as a labourer than a “sex slave” to a farmer or shepherd because of the amount of work needed to survive in the desert.
      2) She was not to be released because she would then be destitute in a society that didn’t regard men and women as equals (not endorsing that, its just historical fact). This is for her protection.
      3) If she was lazy or causing strife in the family then someone else could buy her from that family as long as they were not foreigners (possibly because of idolatry or ethics to women like Islam today).
      4) Another reason they were not just “sex slaves” is because men and women didn’t mingle. A bad name in that culture could mean poverty also. For the woman’s protection she will receive full status of a wife if she becomes a wife to anyone in that family.
      5) Failing to sleep with her seems a little bizarre to mention, however, having offspring was a tremendous honour in that culture and to withhold that privilege from a woman was seen as denying her aid in her old age, one day.
      6) If he neglects her in any way she is free to leave, this gives her the opportunity for dignity and restoration and is great act of protection for the woman.

      I agree the word slave does sound way worse because our vision is tainted with oppressive antebellum-slavery of the South. But keep in mind this was written in Aramaic in a different time and place and a different cultural context. We must not interpret ancient ideas with modern lenses; no, we should consider what these words would have meant to the original hearers of the day, right.

      I’m aware that both sides of various debates use the bible to support their position and I’m appalled by it. Might I just say, though, that there are always exponentially more ways to get something wrong than there are to get it right. In the same way we can’t just dial any random number to phone a specific person, it takes intentionality to get it right. Back to your point, most people only intend to gain support and not to do whats right. That taints the bible. (let me just add also that I mess up all the time, that’s why I need to constantly introspect and ask forgiveness. I need Christ everyday and that’s the truth. My humanity poisons my religion, and not the other way around.)

      I would agree that there is no specific reference to abolish slavery (in the original meaning of the word), however, there are plenty of references to abolish our ideas of violent or degrading slavery, such as that from the south.

      Thanks again for engaging, and my apologies for the length of this reply. 🙂

      Like

      1. ” We must not interpret ancient ideas with modern lenses;” It seems to me that’s what clergy does every Sunday, eh?
        The point I was trying to make was that using a euphemism – ‘indentured servant’ – does not sugarcoat what actually happened. (Numbers 31 is another nice one) The fact is that the Bible does not condone slavery – as in owning other human beings. Full stop. You can try using the well-worn ‘taking things out of context’ all you want; some things are obvious.
        The other obvious thing (and it may take you awhile to reach this point) is that the reason you are having such a difficult time coming to terms with what’s written in the Bible is that you just haven’t realized what many of us have realized — that the Bible was written by men, FOR men. Your emotional upset is called cognitive dissonance; something many people struggle with until they finally realize that the world makes far better sense without god(s). 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s not cognitive dissonance. 🙂

          How would you support your claim that the world makes FAR better sense if God does not exist? How could you even make sence of an unguided random world?

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          1. Millions of unbelievers ‘makes sense’ every day, pk. We get along just fine. 🙂

            Oh, and the comment about murdering unborn children. I guess it was fine if (your) god did it, eh? (You know, the slaughter of women and children in many places in the Bible, the drowning of all those people -some of whom were no doubt pregnant women – and various passages which confirm that Yahweh was indeed pro-choice – Hosea 9, 11-14 for instance – and in Numbers 5 God actually mandates abortion when the fetus is a product of adultery)

            Please don’t try to paint your god as a righteous and just entity. As I’ve said several times to you already, it seem to me that YOU are probably a much better representation of good than your god.

            Like

            1. “Getting along just fine” might be seen as “making sense” in your view but my point is that materialists (Atheists) are hypocrites —they don’t live out what they believe.

              So based on the view that there is no moral authority outside of society, values and duties are arbitrary. The criminal doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong, so has he?

              In an unguided universe with no purpose we are cosmic accidents and life really has no purpose. Everything humanity is capable of creating or inventing is ultimately doomed to die a cosmic heat death and amount to nothing. Why do anything that doesn’t gratify your desires in that moment and get everything you can regardless of how others feel about it, enter -survival of the fittest and eugenics (privilege to those of noble birth).

              I could go on, but you get the point. Lastly though have you considered that if there is no Moral Standard of goodness then idea of evil just means you don’t LIKE something, it’s not your favourite. You might not like murder of women and children but there is no justification for calling it Evil. Evil is not an entity itself, it is the absence or distortion of Goodness that we expect to be present. In the absence of this goodness we call that evil. But if there is no objective standard of goodness then EVIL is meaningless. How OUGHT the world be different from how it IS, when there is no purpose or “way it was intended to be”?

              For the idea of evil to be meaningful you have to assume that Materialism (atheism) is FALSE.

              But yet atheist’s are the first to complain about God’s moral nature. Thats absurd! To live as an atheist you have to be a hypocrite.

              Like

              1. “To live as an atheist you have to be a hypocrite”.

                That statement is completely absurd. In fact, it’s meaningless coming from you, pk. But why don’t we cut right to the chase here? What you are trying to suggest (which is what most fundamentalists adhere to) is that only Christians can be the opposite – which is . . . WHAT, pk? Morally ‘fit’?

                You’re digging your hole deeper and deeper, pk. You’ve just written a blog post excusing your spiritual advisor from something most sensible people find abhorrent – slavery. You have no problem with Divine Command Theory (just like one of your mentors, WLC) yet you think atheists have no moral standard. I am shaking my head.
                Oh, and speaking of criminals the vast majority of them are Christian. And evil is a religious word that I do not use.

                Quit digging and start thinking.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. With this last comment PK has , like WLC, shown he is the typical face of indoctrination. Ironically, it is, in almost every sense the face of this ”evil” christians go on about.

                  Common sense has no place to lay its head at PK’s house, I’m afraid.
                  His is a classic case, seen over and over.
                  At the root I suspect some sort of emotionally charged peer induced conversion, induced through fear or guilt.

                  As any deconverted Christian regarding motivation.

                  And like almost every deconvert, only when the cognitive dissonance reaches a crescendo, hammering on the self-conscious is there a chance for inward reflection and then one might hear the little voice that says: ” Now, wait just a darn moment, here.”

                  In the meantime …. *Sigh*

                  Like

                  1. Let’s hope he does some reflection and logical analysis – I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility. He’s been given lots of food for thought here, Ark! 🙂

                    Pk – please consider why I am adamant about believing that you are far more moral then the god you worship. I – and I mean this sincerely – do not believe that you need your invisible friend. In fact, I think you’re far better off without it.

                    Of course, I know what you are thinking. “How could she know? – she’s a heathen!”. 🙂

                    Like

    3. Carmen, you really are the best. I love you so much.
      i’m so sick of these “christian” liars who desperately try to justify slavery in the bible.

      “When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)
      when is it ever ok to beat anyone with a rod? Anyone that tries to distort the TRUTH about what the bible actually says and make slavery seem justified, is a lying idiot. PMKLOPPER is a lying idiot!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Like

      1. Your entitled to your opinion but if you have evidence of lies then please present them so that I can have the opportunity to clarify or apologize. This will also give you the same opportunity.

        Think about your next response carefully.

        Like

        1. Pk,
          I’m butting in here but I think you need to realize that there are people who have been desperately hurt by Christians and Christianity – something many believers find difficult to comprehend. I’ve offered this link for many people, on many blogs but if you’d like to explore this idea, you might want to check out this site:
          https://homeschoolersanonymous.org .

          It will give you a first-hand look at the damage which has been done to many younger people in fundamentalist circles. I could also give you at least a dozen individuals’ blogs who would attest to the problems they experienced with Christianity; some of whom are still dealing with the negative effects of their religious conditioning. My friend Paul is one of those people, with his own story.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Like I said before, I’m not perfect like Jesus. I poison Christianity not the other way around.

            We can’t judge a worldview or religion by its ABUSE (and yes I’m very aware of this phenomenon and there will be justice one day for such abuse) we judge it by its proper use.

            Like

            1. Ahh, but I don’t see Jesus as having been perfect either. 🙂
              Nor do I see the point of you stating you poison Christianity. As I suggested to you above, you are like many of the religious — your self-berating only serves to lower your self concept. That, to me, is a pointless exercise. I think you no doubt possess many positive attributes. (whoa, got some alliteration going on there. . . )

              Liked by 1 person

        2. oooh, think about my next response carefully, oooh, i’m so scared, what you gonna do, pray for me?????? you gonna delete me like you did KIA????? oh, you big scary man of jesus. lol.

          here, let me repeat it again,
          “when is it ever ok to beat anyone with a rod? Anyone that tries to distort the TRUTH about what the bible actually says and make slavery seem justified, is a lying idiot. PMKLOPPER is a lying idiot!!!!!!!!!!!!”
          now, let me break it down for you, make it simple so you’ll understand. YOU are trying to distort what the bible actually says about slavery to make it seem like it was acceptable. it’s never acceptable to own anyone as property and beat them. during any time in history it is wrong. do you understand that? I doubt it. because not only are you a liar, you’re an idiot. there is no way you can clarify, I can read the bible, I know what it says. you cannot spin it. so go on with your apology. i’m asking for your apology and if you are any kind real follower of jesus you will give me what i ask for. luke 6:30

          Like

          1. SPG,

            I’m sorry you feel that I’m lying because I’m clarifying what the words ment to the original hears. If you have evidence of a moraly superior culture than the Hebrews in that time period then please inform me so that I too can know what standard your using to say they were immoral.

            You judge the culture of that day by it’s laws and yet today we are permitted by law in our culture to murder our unborn children. Something they would find abhorrent about our culture.

            What justification do you have for moral values and duties anyways?

            Ps. Try to engage respectfully, this is not a FB debate page so scrap the ad hominem attacks and try to be as objective as possible. This is your first warning.

            Like

              1. PK, you said:
                “If you have evidence of a moraly superior culture than the Hebrews in that time period then please inform me so that I too can know what standard your using to say they were immoral.”

                Easily. The first formal abolition of slavery was enacted in India, by Ashoka, emperor of the Maurya Dynasty, who abolished slavery in the 3rd Century BCE.

                In China, the Qin Dynasty eliminated slaves in the late 200’s BCE. When the Qin Dynasty fell, many of these laws were overturned, only to be abolished once again in 26 BCE by Wang Mang (Xin Dynasty) who abolished slavery altogether.

                There, two morally superior cultures.

                Liked by 2 people

                  1. I’ve had many a slavery debate.

                    PK is just ignorant. That’s not necessarily his fault, but if he continues arguing historical nonsense after learning some facts, then you have every right (and a duty) to e-slap him 🙂

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. well, John, I have learned enough to know when i’m arguing biblical slavery with someone that thinks it was a good thing, I would be better off just kicking them in the nuts.

                      like I said earlier, I so much admire you and your knowledge of the facts.

                      Liked by 1 person

              2. SaintPaulieGirrrll!
                You are unwelcome to share on this blog going forward.
                Due to offensive comments that exceed the “G” Rating, All comments will be approved before they appear on this public site. Effective immediately.

                Like

  8. I forgot to add something else, kp. I would say that you do not need forgiveness for being human; after all, we all make mistakes – it’s how we learn. I would also disagree with your statement that, “(Your) humanity poisons (your) religion”. It’s most definitely the other way ’round, and on display on many believers’ blogs. It’s unfortunate that KIA’s comment was deleted as it seems to illustrate that your beliefs are interfering with your ability to withstand valid criticism.

    As is so often the case, it is my observation that the people defending the Bible’s god, Yahweh, are often far more humanitarian than the capricious, malevolent, selfish, racist, misogynist bully they worship.

    Please do give these thoughts your consideration.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Is your view about KIA’s comment just your opinion or do you insist that it is a valid strawman fallacy?

      If it is the latter then please provide evidence where I have misreprented my interlocutor to make it easier to defeat their position. The strawman is part of the refutation not the clarification.

      I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Please explain yourself while you have my full attention.

      Like

      1. KIA is correct – atheism is not a worldview. It’s a disbelief in god(s). That’s it. I believe that’s the point he was trying to make.

        It’s worth noticing that you didn’t address my other points – perhaps they aren’t worthy of your attention? Or is it the cognitive dissonance (I know, it’s rather bothersome; I’ve been through it) I referred to?

        Something else that needs to be said here. KIA was in the same philosophical spot as you as you are now, not that long ago. His credibility is excellent. Me? Perhaps not so much, as I was what people refer to as a ‘social Christian’.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I have granted that atheism is not a worldview and then I re-stated the question with Materialism or Naturalism instead of atheism.

          If you have evidence of a strawman then please present it because I won’t tolerate slander or deceit. No one needs to be harassed unless there is good cause.

          What say you?

          Like

          1. I’m not sure how you got slander and deceit from my comments, pk. Please do elaborate.
            It seems to me that you are determined to establish yourself as the injured party here – are you anxious to project the ‘persecuted Christian’ complex? Hmmm. .

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Carmen, isn’t god great?
      just think, a couple of thousand years ago I could have bought you and knocked you up with both babies and a rod of iron and that would have given you an air of respectability and honor.
      Sorry you had to miss out on such a good time.

      Like

    2. oh, no.
      Carmen, stop persecuting the poor old man with your harassing slander and deceit.
      he’s a delicate christian and can’t take it.
      he would make a terrible slave,
      hit him once with your rod and he’ll be crying like a little punk ass bitch..

      Like

  9. @PK.

    …..this is not a FB debate page so scrap the ad hominem attacks and try to be as objective as possible.

    I believe that we should all try to be as objective as possible.

    And in the spirit of such objectivity will you finally provide a straightforward answer to my question regarding the Captivity, Exodus and Conquest of Canaan: Do you accept the overwhelming consensus of scholars scientist and
    archaeologists that this biblical tale and the characters involved is simply Historical Fiction?

    If you do not, then please provide evidence the refutes the science.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “If you have evidence of a moraly superior culture than the Hebrews in that time period then please inform me so that I too can know what standard your using to say they were immoral.”

    Easily. The first formal abolition of slavery was enacted in India, by Ashoka, emperor of the Maurya Dynasty, who abolished slavery in the 3rd Century BCE.

    In China, the Qin Dynasty eliminated slaves in the late 200’s BCE. When the Qin Dynasty fell, many of these laws were overturned, only to be abolished once again in 26 BCE by Wang Mang (Xin Dynasty) who abolished slavery altogether.

    There, two morally superior cultures.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. China and India weren’t thriving cultures in the Bronze Age? Please, don’t try and disguise your ignorance. It won’t work. And there’s no shame in admitting you were wrong. So you didn’t know. That’s not a crime.

        The fact is, both India and China abolished slavery while the Jews were not only still defending it, but participating in the slave trade right up until the American Civil War (see Friedman, Jews and the American Slave Trade, 1998). The Talmud goes into great detail concerning the ownership of human beings, elaborating and refining on the laws laid out in the Tanakh. For example, they threw out the old law that a Hebrew slave (males only, not women) could be freed after seven years. In its stead, an open-ended, perpetual state of slavery was enacted. In the Middle Ages, Pope Gregory the Great (590-604) complained bitterly about Jews keeping Christian slaves.

        So, unless you believe the owning and selling of human beings is morally acceptable, you have your examples of two morally superior cultures.

        Like

      2. And if you want another example of a morally superior culture, you need only look to the Persians, and in particular, Cyrus the Great, who enacted the first declaration of human rights, recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.

        From the United Nations:

        Known today as the Cyrus Cylinder (539 B.C.E), this ancient record has now been recognized as the world’s first charter of human rights. It is translated into all six official languages of the United Nations and its provisions parallel the first four Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

        From Babylon, the idea of human rights spread quickly to India, Greece and eventually Rome. There the concept of “natural law” arose, in observation of the fact that people tended to follow certain unwritten laws in the course of life, and Roman law was based on rational ideas derived from the nature of things.

        Documents asserting individual rights, such as the Magna Carta (1215), the Petition of Right (1628), the US Constitution (1787), the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789), and the US Bill of Rights (1791) are the written precursors to many of today’s human rights documents.

        I hope you agree, this demonstrates a culture far, far, far more morally superior to that of Hebrews.

        And perhaps you could also count the Indo-Iranians, who’s great prophet, Zoroaster, specifically denounced animal cruelty in sacrifices… while 500 years later the Hebrews just getting warmed up in their mass sacrificial slaughter fest.

        And what about the Buddhists and the Jane’s who practiced non-violence and forbade the harming of any animal. Wouldn’t you consider these to be morally superior cultures to the barbaric Hebrews?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The only comparable culture was the Hammurabi 3000 bce. As I quoted in the blog.
          “Israelites were commanded to harbor runaway slaves and not return them to their masters. This is directly opposed to Southern states Fugitive Slave laws and Near Eastern codes.16”

          Like

          1. I’m sorry, but what do you mean by “comparable culture”? And for you information, there was no Hammurabi culture. Hammurabi was a Babylonian King, 1754 BCE.

            And 3,000 BCE? Curious, where on earth are you getting that date from? The first evidence of Israelites being anywhere is 1,200 BCE, and that is questionable. More solid documentary evidence only appears in the Mesha Stele (840 BCE), Tel Dan Stele (late 9th century BCE), and The Kurkh Monoliths (c. 852 BCE & 879 BCE). The Settlement Period, however, produces physical evidence from 1100BCE onwards.

            And with all due respect, your particular example here is cherry-picked nonsense. It does not refer to slaves, but simply foreigners/travellers passing through and Hebrew slaves they might take.

            Abducting and selling non-Hebrews was not a problem (Deuteronomy 24:7), and slaves from surrounding countries could be kept as property forever (Leviticus 25:44-46). Indeed, the children of slaves were born into slavery (Exodus 21:4). And Deuteronomy 20:10-15/Judges 21:10-12 details how captives of war can be thrown into slavery, including all the women and children of the conquered.

            Kidnapping Hebrew women for forced marriage (slavery in all but name) was also allowed (Judges 21:20-23).

            PK, you’re in a no-win situation here. You simply cannot argue the Hebrew’s were somehow anti-slavery. The Tanakh is filled with the laws governing slavery, and Paul (Christianity) even given gives instructions as to how slaves should behave. And then you have the Talmud which not only emphasises the slave rules of the Tanakh, but elaborates on them.

            So, you asked for examples of morally superior cultures, and I have provided them. Taking your case study of slavery alone, the Chinese and the Indians abolished slavery, marking them out as morally superior. I’d further argue how a culture treats animals is a sign of their moral superiority, in which case we have the Indo-Iranians (Zoroastrians), Buddhists, and Janes.

            Or do you think animal sacrifice is morally fine?

            Like

            1. You raised some good points. Morality is built on more than one law or one topic. As far as I’m aware there is no other culture that has such a vast scope regarding their laws. The historical context might make provisions for what was common practice in that time period while emphasizing a the value and dignity of humans unparalleled by any other culture.

              As for the ethical treatment of animals. This is a moral component of stewardship regarding the environment but has overruled human value in our day and in our culture. Let me illustrate with a question, which will get you more jail time in the USA or Canada, breaking the eggs of a bald eagle or murdering an unborn human?

              When humans are nothing more than animals then ethics can get skewed, but when humans take responsibility for environmental stewardship that stabilizes the ethics again. IMHO.

              Like

              1. ”As far as I’m aware there is no other culture that has such a vast scope regarding their laws.”

                Yes you do, you’ve even identified one: the Babylonians and the Code of Hammurabi. The Egyptians had an extravagant legal system as far back as 2925 BCE. Indeed, the very word civilisation implies the existence of complex laws. The Chinese, Indians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Japanese, etc… they all had complex laws and legal systems.

                the value and dignity of humans unparalleled by any other culture

                Absolute nonsense. I’ve already shown you the first declaration of human rights was Persian. The Hebrew’s were a tiny package of barbarism who failed to create any notable physical civilisation or develop a unique legal or moral code. As Professor Finkelstein noted:

                “I don’t think there is any other place in the world where there was a city with such a wretched material infrastructure but which succeeded in creating such a sweeping movement in its favour as Jerusalem, which even in its time of greatness was a joke in comparison to the cities of Assyria, Babylon or Egypt. It was a typical mountain village.”

                PK, it seems you’ve created a historical pantomime. Here, I’m afraid to say, reality is not on your side.

                Like

              2. I am following this conversation and unless I have misread you seemed to have sidestepped the culture issue here that was what this thread between you and John was about.

                Do I take it you are conceding the point to John or have you any other example to qualify your stance on moral superiority?

                Thanks.

                Liked by 1 person

  11. @John.

    The difficulty any Christian is going to have assimilating this is the fact they believe Yahweh is the source of all ethical and moral behavior, thus if the Hebrews were keeping slaves and committing genocide it was at the behest and/or command of their god – who incidentally is merely Jesus in disguise/spirit, and thus it was Okey-Dokey
    The cognitive dissonance starts to kick in when it is pointed out that in the arena of ethical treatment of animals and fellow humans there are a number of cultures that got the drop on Yahweh’s chosen.
    And, I’ll take a flyer that 5 will get you 10, Petrus is a supporter of Divine Command Theory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If they’re honest, they’d just argue that slavery (and animal sacrifice) is morally fine and avoid this silly song and dance. I had an apologist the other day admit this, and I salute her honesty. She was, at the very least, being entirely true to the bible she believes in.

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      1. John, can you intervene regarding the Exodus, please?
        PK is under the impression that while it is still a possibility, credit has to be given to the biblical tale and not to do so means I am indulging in a fallacy..
        You have a much larger archaeological and scholarly data base than I do. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. PK, have you any rational, defendable reason to believe the Exodus narrative is historical?

          I’m asking because to hold the position which I think you are means you’re not only going against the rock solid archaeological consensus, but the consensus position of Jewish rabbis who openly concede today that the Exodus (and the Pentateuch as a whole) is a work of 7th Century BCE geopolitical fiction.

          As the great Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine stated in his book, A Provocative People:

          “The Jews did not emerge as a nation under the leadership of Moses. They were never rescued from slavery in Egypt. They never stopped at Sinai. Two Hebrew nations emerged in the highlands of Canaan. One was Israel; the other was Judah. The relationship of the two nations was often hostile. The Israelites were more powerful than the Judeans (Jews). Omri and Ahab were greater kings than David and Solomon. But Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians. Only the Jews survived.”

          So solid is the consensus, and so definitive the evidence supporting it, that in 1998, the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), the primary American professional body for archaeologists working in the Middle East, changed the name of its professional publication from Biblical Archaeologist to Near Eastern Archaeology simply because the bible had been determined to be (beyond all doubt) an entirely unreliable historical source to direct research into the early Jews, pre-Babylonian captivity. Indeed, in that same year, even Christianity Today’s Kevin D. Miller conceded: “The fact is that not one shred of direct archaeological evidence has been found for Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob or the 400-plus years the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt. The same is true for their miraculous exodus from slavery.”

          Or as Israel’s oldest daily Newspaper, Hareetz, announced a few years ago:

          Currently there is broad agreement among archaeologists and Bible scholars that there is no historical basis for the narratives of the Patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, and the conquest of Canaan, nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise.

          These are just the facts. They are not a secret. The information has been in the public domain for decades, so I’m just wondering what you are basing your position on.

          Like

    1. John, due to offensive content on a ‘G’ rated site I have no other option but to restrict what is published on this public site. I apologize for the inconvenience and I hope you’ll understand. I have tried the other way and it failed. I have no issues with a direct response or comment but disrespectful dialogue will not be published.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on sistersreachout and commented:
    I want to share this with you, my readers, as well. This man has great posts and quality information to boost your faith and help to guide you to Jesus if you are struggling. If you check out his website, I am sure you will find hours of answers to your many questions. God bless you all. Debbie 🙂

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  13. My question is: Why do atheists spend so much time at websites who write about a god that does not exist?
    The word slave is read out of context.. when the white man enslaved the African Americans, it was a crime.. Exodus 21:16
    When Hebrews owned slaves, it was today’s version of holding up a sign on Fifth Avenue”will work for food” the people who were self sustaining, had servants who were destitute.. after seven years you could resign..
    The Romans on the other hand.. captured able bodies and forced them to work and did not treat them well.. Not trying to sound like a parrot.. but why should a god who doesn’t exist, become the scapegoat for greedy white men who did take slaves, and used the Bible to profess their claim of an inferior race.. when it clearly states ALL men are created equal..

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    1. Thanks for engaging Marry Ann, you made some good points.

      Any notion of evil is meaningless from a philosophical naturalistic standpoint thus, for the atheism to claim something is immoral they actually have to appeal to a moral order and law giver to ground such claims, but that is who they are trying to disprove. So, the atheist is caught in his own quagmire.

      Unfortunately “slavery” is a buzz word that is full of imagery that should not be forced upon the original context of the writing. It’s clear that there are good reasons why slavery is mentioned and that the original hearers considered it a saving grace for the destitute.
      Thanks again!
      Petrus

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          1. Are you serious, Petrus? Are you completely unaware of the genocidal campaign against the Midianites for example and what happened to the women who had ”not known a man”.

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          2. Deuteronomy 20:10-15/Judges 21:10-12 details how captives of war can be thrown into slavery, including all the women and children of the conquered.

            See Deuteronomy 24:7 for abducting and selling non-Hebrews.
            Leviticus 25:44-46 says slaves from surrounding countries can be kept forever.

            Judges 21?20-23 speaks of kidnapping women and keeping them.

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            1. All of these have been addressed in the blog and in the book I cite. If this is an honest question you would be open to my responses. Now I’m still waiting for evidence that “soldiers obviously raped women”. If your unable to provide evidence then at least have the character to confess it (ARK and JOHN), because your freedoms to engage on this site depend on your honesty. Thanks

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                1. Take a look around John, when you interject with references that have nothing to do with Ark’s comments your guilty by association in your attempt to propagate lies. Now Retract your supposed references regarding Ark’s claim that “soldiers obviously raped women” or produce an accurate reference that explicitly states this “obvious” assumption.

                  If you’ve made a mistake then say so, I can understand that and let’s move on, but I’m not playing around this will potentially be the last time you engage on this site.

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                  1. You honestly think the command to seize the women from the field and take them for yourself doesn’t sanction rape?

                    Seriously?

                    Is that your position?

                    Okay. Please cite where the biblical command is to treat the captive women (virgins) kindly and with respect…

                    I will wait to read what you present.

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                    1. Without a direct quote from the text that plainly states that rape was sanctioned, your simply reading into the text something that isn’t there. You must bear the burden of proof for your own claims, or withdraw them. Those are your only options, trolling is not one of them.

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                  1. Generally does not equate to “obviously” in this context, without a direct quote your forced to retract your statement. You assume the families and Levites also mistreated the captives, wheres the proof?

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                    1. Proof?
                      Well,firstly, and it is crucial yu understand this point, we are arguing over something that is considered fiction, the genocidal campaigns of Joshua and Moses, two wholly fictitious characters, did not happen.
                      As long as you are perfectly clear on this point.

                      However, are you suggesting that such spoils of war would not have been made concubines or forced into marriage?
                      If they were then obviously this would have included a sexual component and that would constitute rape, and quite possibly an element of pedophilia.
                      Perhaps you need to be reminded, Petrus, that it wasn’t long ago that no charge could be brought against a husband for sexual assault against his wife.

                      So, not matter how you want to wing this to justify your theological bias, I stand by my assertion.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. If you cannot clearly state your reference then your trolling. That will not be tolerated I’m afraid. So if you stand by your numerous fallacious assertions then I’m afraid we have to part ways. Plain and simple.

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                    3. Here is the reference – the bible itself.

                      Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

                      What more do you require, Petrus?

                      Is your apologetic interpretation that strict that you refuse to acknowledge rape simply because the specific word is not mentioned?

                      Abortion is not mentioned either but every woman was slaughtered and this would have included any number of children still in the womb.
                      How does conscience deal with this?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. It’s not obvious is it? Read further, you assume the families and Levites also mistreated the captives, where’s the proof for such an audacious claim? Your obviously trolling!

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                    5. Are you being obtuse or disingenuous?
                      In any other situation spoils of war meant just that.
                      YOU tell me what YOU think happened to these women if they were not simply used or forced into marriage, or even sacrificed?
                      And you tell me how the soldiers who slaughtered every woman that had known a man could discern if some were pregnant or not.

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    2. My question is: Why do atheists spend so much time at websites who write about a god that does not exist?

      Excellent question and as an atheist I will try my very best to answer it for you.

      Imagine, if you will, you discovered a teacher at your child’s school indoctrinating him/her that Harry Potter was a real boy and the magic he performed was also real. That Hogwarts was an actual university and all the teachers and wizards were also genuine historical characters.

      You would be even more horrified if you caught your child trying to launch himself/herself out of an upstairs window on a broom he borrowed from your utility cupboard.

      In all likelihood you and every other parent whose children were subjected to this nonsense would be outraged; and rightly so! I would be as well, I can assure you.

      I venture you would all march on the school, demand an end to this nonsense and insist the teacher be suspended and for his/her own good be subject to some sort of psychological evaluation.
      And you would be correct on all counts and likely be hailed as a right-minded level headed person who truly cares for your child’s well-being.

      Now, re read the above passage and substitute every reference to Harry Potter and Wizards with Jesus of Nazareth and God.

      Only with the Harry Potter analogy, there is no reference to Original Sin, Hell and eternal torture for not believing and neither does anyone ever expect Harry Potter to answer prayers or perform miracles.

      And I hope that perhaps you will now be able to appreciate why atheists respond to such religious claims in the manner that they do?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. And I hope that perhaps you will now be able to appreciate why atheists respond to such religious claims in the manner that they do?

        This does actually illustrate a rather accurate point, Ark. That Atheists cannot be bothered by what christians actually believe. We have good evidence that Harry Potter is made up, and does not intentionally relate to reality but is a creative piece intended for entertainment only. This is categorically separate from the Christian truth claims regarding the first cause of all space, matter, information and time, which is supported be Cosmology, Quantum Physics and Philosophy as the explanation with the greatest explanatory scope and power. That means that the Christian religion is very likely true, as I believe it is, regardless of your opinion. This is miles away from your analogy which is universally accepted as FALSE. What you have illustrated is a deep vitriolic resentment towards God and your fervent ambition to suppress its truth claims. And Yet what better description of the obvious oversight on your part, other than Romans 1:18-20 (paraphrase) That they suppress the truth of God’s divine nature and eternal power as revealed through all that He has made.

        You have demonstrated by your argument that the only reason you can’t stop talking about God is because you want him out of your schools and out of public life. This is a vacuous response, void of any content. The questioner is seeking your justification for your obvious conflicting beliefs i.e., that God does not exist and that any mention of him should be attacked, rejected and criticized outright. It seems a little mentally unstable, wouldn’t you think, if you actually believed that God didn’t exist. Alas, any belief is scary for agnostics but not the atheist, they have to believe they are right. But any claim to knowledge has to be accompanied by a justified, true, belief. So if you claim to know something then justify it by your beliefs and by true reality, plz.

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        1. This does actually illustrate a rather accurate point, Ark. That Atheists cannot be bothered by what christians actually believe.

          Of course atheists are bothered. What an odd thing to say. Especially when one considers that an ever-growing number of atheists were once trapped in the fallacious doctrine of evangelical Christianity and similar hard-line sects and know their workings and machinations only too well.

          We have good evidence that Harry Potter is made up, and does not intentionally relate to reality but is a creative piece intended for entertainment only. This is categorically separate from the Christian truth claims regarding the first cause of all space, matter, information and time, which is supported be Cosmology, Quantum Physics and Philosophy as the explanation with the greatest explanatory scope and power. That means that the Christian religion is very likely true, as I believe it is, regardless of your opinion

          False: There is little difference between Christian claims of the divinity of the character Jesus of Nazareth than the magical claims of Harry Potter etc, and there is no evidence that can demonstrate otherwise.
          Furthermore, every single foundational tenet of the Christian religion is a Faith Claim.

          This is miles away from your analogy which is universally accepted as FALSE. What you have illustrated is a deep vitriolic resentment towards God and your fervent ambition to suppress its truth claims.

          I presume by ‘God’ you mean, Yahweh. Yahweh was a former minor Canaanite deity among a large pantheon of at least 70, who originally had a consort. He was adopted by the Israelites, who dumped the consort and elevated him above the other deities. Thus the beginnings of Jewish monotheism.
          I believe this covers the rest of your reply?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s telling that you target peaceful evangelicals in your lopsided humanitarian work Art. Of all the causes in the world why the drive and motivation for this sort of destruction? What is the greater good your accomplishing? Christians aren’t trapped at all, they are encouraged to think freely about the truth. If this was actually your drive why not target muslim women and do something good? Your simply showing your dark spiritual hand, my friend.

            “There is little difference between Christian claims of the divinity of the character Jesus of Nazareth than the magical claims of Harry Potter ”

            Well if its that obvious please draw some similarities between the two or retract your comment.

            The Israelites were known for their pagan worship why should you be bothered that Yahweh appears in a pagan culture? This analogy does not help your argument one iota. Besides your flirting with a genetic fallacy regarding this one.

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            1. It’s telling that you target peaceful evangelicals in your lopsided humanitarian work Art.

              Evangelicals generally believe in a literal hell and teach this to children.
              If you don’t then good for you. I salute you sir, that is highly commendable. Do you teach this too your kids or any kids?

              Would you teach it?

              Kids should be left completely molested regarding religion and especially</em< such vile fallacious doctrine as Hell.
              And perhaps you will go on record stating that you will do something to encourage other unenlightened evangelicals to stop this rather repugnant form of child abuse .

              Christians aren’t trapped at all, they are encouraged to think freely about the truth.

              Excellent! Then maybe if we are patient we can guide you toward the truth, with reason an open mind, science, genetics and archaeology.

              If this was actually your drive why not target muslim women and do something good?

              I never shy away when the opportunity avails itself, but like you, I have a Western background, generally do not come into contact with many Muslims on a day to day basis and thus I am much more familiar with Christianity .
              Surely you are not playing the hard done by victim card here, Petrus?
              Solidrockapologetics this site is called.
              I hope you aren’t afraid of answering a simple atheist?
              You have studied your religion from
              all sides I hope and aren;t simply going to throw ”faith” at me for goodness sake, are you?

              Well if its that obvious please draw some similarities between the two or retract your comment.

              Because Harry Potter and the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth are both fictitious and there is no evidence to support an historical claim for either of them.
              However, if you feel you have evidence for Jesus of Nazareth as depicted in the bible then produce it.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Interesting view but let me assure you that it’s not a morally neutral position because you would gladly force that view on children wouldn’t you?

                Children innately believe in God and require extensive indoctrination to become skeptical of God, consider this excerpt from the Telegraph:

                “Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind, claims that young people have a predisposition to believe in a supreme being because they assume that everything in the world was created with a purpose.
                He says that young children have faith even when they have not been taught about it by family or at school, and argues that even those raised alone on a desert island would come to believe in God.
                “The preponderance of scientific evidence for the past 10 years or so has shown that a lot more seems to be built into the natural development of children’s minds than we once thought, including a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.”

                AAAhhh your evidence cannot be a lack of evidence! Haha. Try again mate! What obvious similarities do they have? I’ve asked you to support your answer, that isn’t it. This is not an opinion piece sir.

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                1. Interesting view but let me assure you that it’s not a morally neutral position because you would gladly force that view on children wouldn’t you?

                  Morals are part of evolution.

                  I would not/have not ever forced anything on my kids.
                  I believe they should be exposed to all religion in a historical context, but never taught that one is superior to any other, that are are simply man mad constructs.
                  I believe teaching children critical thinking skills at an early age would, in a matter of a few generations, virtually rid society in general of dependence on religion.

                  Such predisposition is agency and no one who is not religious that I am aware of disputes this.

                  Kids assign agency all the time. Santa Claus anyone?

                  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/epiphenom/2009/01/childish-beliefs-of-dr-justin-barrett.html

                  This is the first link after Wiki I came across, but it’ll suffice.

                  There quote is from Wiki:

                  Barrett is described in the New York Times as a “prominent member of the byproduct camp” and “an observant Christian who believes in “an all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly good God who brought the universe into being,” [and] “that the purpose for people is to love God and love each other.” He considers that “Christian theology teaches that people were crafted by God to be in a loving relationship with him and other people, Why wouldn’t God, then, design us in such a way as to find belief in divinity quite natural?” Having a scientific explanation for mental phenomena does not mean we should stop believing in them. “Suppose science produces a convincing account for why I think my wife loves me — should I then stop believing that she does?”[3]

                  You don’t think he might be a little be biased based on his presuppositional views pertaining to christianity?

                  And what has this got to do with the nonsensical claim that the character Jesus of Nazareth being divine?

                  Also what has this got to do with the wholly manufactured doctrine of Hell?

                  If you are indoctrinating kids with the rubbish of Hell, no matter hw you tell it to them, it is nothing short of child abuse. Period

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Your avoiding the burden of proof to draw similarities to Harry Potter and Christian theism or retract your assertions because they are not evidential but rather opinions.
                    Morals are evolution based is a Red Herring, you haven’t even been able to define what definition of evolution your using.
                    Critical thinking is not only to be directed at religion, but all aspects of reality. Critical thinking is a key component of philosophy. One I would advocate you consider more closely given the numerous fallacies in your logic.
                    If agency is innate then you still need to be indoctrinated out of it. My point stands.

                    Regarding Barnett, this is a prime example of a Genetic fallacy. A persons view “x” is true or false independent of 1) their character or 2) the reasons they came to hold the views they do. Thus, I could be charitable and say he is biased and his views are true, just by following your reasoning.

                    Divinity of Christ is a red herring.

                    The doctrine of Hell is a core belief in orthodox Christianity. This is the way that God withdraws himself from those who do not want anything to do with him. It would be unjust to force anyone into his presence against their will. Hitchens said that heaven would be like hell to him, for this reason. A loving God respects your free choice to reject him. However, teaching children that there are no consequences for their actions is a failure as a parent.

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                    1. Your avoiding the burden of proof to draw similarities to Harry Potter and Christian theism or retract your assertions because they are not evidential but rather opinions.

                      Neither have any verifiable evidence to back the claims they make. What more would you like?

                      Morals are evolution based is a Red Herring, you haven’t even been able to define what definition of evolution your using.

                      Of course morals derive from evolution. The god claim is unsubstantiated so where else could they derive from?

                      Critical thinking is not only to be directed at religion, but all aspects of reality. Critical thinking is a key component of philosophy. One I would advocate you consider more closely given the numerous fallacies in your logic.

                      If you are unable to demonstrate the tenets of your religion then all you do is compartmentalize it and thus avoid cognitive dissonance – something a great many Christians do.

                      If agency is innate then you still need to be indoctrinated out of it. My point stands.

                      Children assign agency because of the examples they are shown/told, usually by their parents.
                      Nobody threatened a child with Hell for not believing in Santa Claus.

                      Regarding Barnett, this is a prime example of a Genetic fallacy. A persons view “x” is true or false independent of 1) their character or 2) the reasons they came to hold the views they do. Thus, I could be charitable and say he is biased and his views are true, just by following your reasoning.

                      You love your apologetic terminology, don’t you?
                      He is a Christian. His viewpoint is little different than any Christian. Faith first. Fact second.

                      Divinity of Christ is a red herring.

                      Oh, I agree with you 100% there, Petrus!

                      The doctrine of Hell is a core belief in orthodox Christianity. This is the way that God withdraws himself from those who do not want anything to do with him. It would be unjust to force anyone into his presence against their will. Hitchens said that heaven would be like hell to him, for this reason. A loving God respects your free choice to reject him. However, teaching children that there are no consequences for their actions is a failure as a parent.

                      The Christian doctrine of Hell is spurious. Jesus was a Jew. It does not feature in Judaism and the reference the character jesus made was to Gehenna. Learn your history.
                      Indoctrinating children with the Christian Hell is tantamount to child abuse.

                      Liked by 1 person

                2. PK,

                  Just wanted you to know that I have quite a few grandchildren who do not ‘inherently’ believe in a god. They are doing just fine without an invisible friend. Oh, and they get honest answers for questions such as, “Where do we come from?”, (we don’t know) and “Who made us?” (Mummy and Daddy)
                  Our favourite show is “The Wizard of Oz” and we’ve watched it together several times. When one asked me “Is there a god?”, I said, “Remember the wizard?”.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Cute analogy, however, it take more faith to believe that no-one and nothing made everything, than to think someone did. Atheism is worse than magic because you don’t have a magician, a spell or a hat, just rabbits popping into existence uncaused!… This is most unreasonable.

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      2. Arkenatan, I apologize if I have offended you, this was not my aim.. The problem we face is that no one can truly prove or disprove that God exists. It is a matter of personal journey to seek out the answer.
        Flavius Josephus, a Jewish Historian, was an unbiased reporter that Jesus did walk the earth. He did not believe Jesus was a god, but wrote of his good works, and miracles. I believe that Jesus of Nazareth must have proven his deity to the Apostles, and to the woman who followed him.. Job 2:4 said that man would give all they had just to live.. and if Jesus was just a man who walked the earth, and was crucified, they would not have risked their skin to speak of him, and tell others he was the Son of God. They witnessed Jesus come back from the dead, just as he said he would.. and they saw him ascend into heaven.. if they did not see it with their own eyes.. they would have just gone ahead with life as usual.. they faced being outcast’s, poverty, beatings, and death.. it takes more than a myth for mankind to give up a life of prosperity, and affluence.. I feel they had all the proof they needed to believe.. Many people share their beliefs.. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and those who worship aliens.. and Satanists, and Wickens.. do their beliefs sound strange also?
        Douglas Ell, Fay Weldon, and a number of sworn Atheists, have changed their stance simply by saying ” God, if your real, show me” and He did..

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            1. I named it: The testimonium flavianum. That is what the reference to Jesus is called.

              It’s a forgery, an interpolation more than likely inserted by Eusebius. We know this because no Christian father before Eusebius ever even mentions it, including Origen, whose copy of Antiquities (his library) was inherited by Eusebius.

              It is also held that the “christ” in the later referecne to Jesus brother of James was an interpolation, as well.

              Liked by 1 person

                  1. Regarding Josephus the TF may be authentic. The “Testimonium” is found in every copy of Josephus in existence. Second, Josephus mentions many other biblically-relevant occurrences that are not in dispute. This adds validity to the claim that Josephus knew about Jesus and wrote about Him, since he also wrote about other New Testament things. Nevertheless, though there may be some Christian insertions into the text, we can still reconstruct what may have been the original writing.

                    Are you familiar with Edwin Yamauchi and John P. Meier’s works?

                    It should also be noted that both the Greek and Arabic manuscripts are in agreement regarding Jesus existence, his crucifixion and his followers that were still alive at the time of the writings.

                    But what would I know? …

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                    1. No church father before Eusebius ever mentions it, not even Origen, whose copy of Antiquities was inherited by Eusebius.

                      The TF is a forgery.

                      Period.

                      This is common knowledge.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence, whether your claim is accurate or not, it doesn’t follow logically that TF is a forgery. And any other appeals to authority or majority will not advance your claim one nanometer.

                      It is clear your mind is made up. So let’s agree to disagree about the issue.

                      Like

                    3. Present then a logical explanation as to why every church father, including Origen, failed to mention the only reference to Jesus as a real historical character. Bear in mind, Origen wrote quite a lot about about Josephus, yet not a single mention of the TF.

                      I look forward to reading your explanation… An dplease be specific.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. You are the one going against the consensus position.

                      So, again, please present a coherent explanation for why every church father before Eusibius, including Origen who owned Antiquities, failed to mention the TF.

                      I look forward to reading your thoughts, and please don’t evade the request again…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. Yes, it does.

                      If you wish to challenge it, then present a logical, coherent, defendable explanation as to why every church father before Eusibius failed to mention the TF.

                      I remind you, you are contradicting the consensus position, so please justify yourself without any further diversion. Explain to me why the TF only first appears in church correspondence/thought/dialogue/apologia with (and after) Eusibius.

                      Until you do so, the consensus position stands. The TF is a forgery.

                      As it is a forgery, the question you have to ask yourself is this: Why would a church father (presumably Eusibius) deliberately construct this lie?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. Absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence, whether your claim is accurate or not, it doesn’t follow logically that TF is a forgery. Thus, your argument is a non sequitur.

                      Your appeal to the majority is a bandwagon fallacy, thus, regardless if everyone is in agreement it doesn’t prove it’s TRUE.

                      To assume TF is false a priori is an argument from ignorance.

                      Now, I’m not making any claims other than the POSSIBILITY that TF may be accurate (with or without the reconstruction) based on failed counter arguments.

                      The consensus hasn’t stood with any certainty, as I’ve demonstrated.

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        1. Arkenatan, I apologize if I have offended you, this was not my aim.. The problem we face is that no one can truly prove or disprove that God exists.

          I generally do not take offence at what religious people say to me personally. I often take offense at some of the vile things they say to children.
          I have never stated that we can prove or disprove a creator. When you say ‘God’ ( using the capital ‘G’) do you mean Yahweh? If so, we know this was originally a Canaanite deity. Have you investigated the Ugaratic texts? If not , perhaps you should. )

          I have little regard for the Testimonium Flavianum and it tells us little more other than Josephus mentions someone called Yeshua.
          Besides, Josephus certainly makes no attestation regarding the Biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth for whom there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever.

          They witnessed Jesus come back from the dead,

          No they did not. It is written in the bible, but NOT in the oldest gospel, Mark. The long ending is a Christian interpolation – a forgery. Why do you not know this?

          Irrespective, all we have is what is written in the bible. There is no contemporary corroborating evidence for this at all.

          Douglas Ell, Fay Weldon, and a number of sworn Atheists, have changed their stance simply by saying ” God, if your real, show me” and He did..

          Really? This sounds wonderful. And the evidence to support this is … what?
          What did your god show them, by the way?

          Do you also keep tabs on all the sworn Christians who deconvert?
          Would you like links to a few I communicate with?
          Are you aware how many young people are fleeing evangelical Christianity every year? Thousands, if such organisations as PEW are t be believed. I wonder why?

          Are you also aware of the Clergy project?
          You should check it out. You might be very surprised.
          http://clergyproject.org/

          Regards
          Ark

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Hi Ark,
            I am not aware of what is being taught to children. .my son was never taught Christianity in school.. I have heard that many are fleeing Christianity, but not aware of their reasons.. and the names of Atheists I spoke of finding God was simply their testimony.. I am not the average Christian that is detested in main stream.. I do not force my beliefs on others.. or stand outside the funerals of gay men protesting.. I just choose to believe that a higher power had to create the universe.. and I believe in Jesus Christ.. It is a known fact that multitudes do not share in that belief.. and they all have free will.. unlike other country’s where you are forced to follow their religion. I am not familiar with the Ugaratic texts, or that the book of Mark is a forgery.. I read the Bible, and other texts that have been written, the book of Enoch, and Jasher..

            Liked by 1 person

  14. @Pklopper.

    The consensus hasn’t stood with any certainty, as I’ve demonstrated

    If I may interject here.

    There are a myriad of other examples where scholarly and scientific consensus, where it pertains to the bible, do stand with certainty.
    By your own standards, and in the interests of honesty and integrity, do we assume, therefore that, you do accept the consensus in these cases?

    Liked by 1 person

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