Slavery and religion

Yep, both Paul and Mohammed accepted slavery.

Accepting it as a human condition is pretty different from owning, buying, selling, and capturing of slaves.


ok fair enough and straight to the point.

“For perhaps he was for this reason separated from you for a while, that you would have him back forever, no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.” ([Phm 15–16]

So Paul says slavery is against the teachings of Christ, and orders Onesimus set free(as he says he has the authority to do).
Oh, wait, no he doesn’t. He orders Onesimus to return to slavery. Admittedly, he says Philemon should be nice to his slave. I’m nice to my dog- but it’s still my dog.
Paul, like Jesus, believed the end times were imminent, so questions of slavery weren’t important (they were both wrong). Otherwise he, Jesus, Peter, or some other person with authority could say slavery is forbidden. After all, they forbade other things that were common. Sexual misuse of slaves (paging Thomas Jefferson), female infanticide, homosexuality- but not slavery.

It was all about getting along with the prevailing society and its mores. Christianity had been too radical with its freedom in the very early years, getting a bad reputation. Now Paul was reining it in.

You have a problem with Paul, you have a problem with ancient Rome.

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Don’t twist it. He says clearly to treat him as your brother. Period. If you want to move onto another issue rather than slavery ok as this one is done and dusted.
Now if you as I predict bring up an alternative translation I’m all ears but until.them , nah.

He is uniformed about slavery and post 20 AD Rome.

It would have been nice to say something about slavery, huh? Instead of allowing people to proceed along with it at peace with themselves as if it was no big deal for century after century?

He did, he said (for the second time) "Treat him as your brother ". You really should move on or are you curious about becoming Christian ?

It’s ok being a slave, just treat him well, got it. I’ll move on when I like, no need for you to worry! I could be, why not

I didn’t say that.

Sorry, which bit?

Neither Jesus nor Paul were into social reform. They had bigger fish to fry.

Jesus actively resisted all efforts to drag him into (secular) politics. And Paul appeased the status quo to avoid being distracted from spiritual matters.

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That’s all possible, but recognize that their moral instruction was lacking. Not to say valueless, but certainly far from perfect or sufficient. Then we’ll have no argument. I suspect that you will not object.

Does Christianity forbid slavery and attempt to end it. No. It does not. So let’s get that out of the way. Its not a abolitionist movement.

Christianity is not about creating a perfect world on earth. It doesn’t guarantee you egalitarianism, a good life, a life without pain, suffering, and disease. Nor does it say you will be happy and free.

Christianity acknowledges the human condition as fallen. Which is the root cause of all of the above, even slavery in this life. It explains these short comings can only be redeemed through Christ. Who promises life beyond the material world that is fallen. If anything, Christianity says your life will be hard. Maybe even be a slave.

But there are plenty of moral guidance that would probably turn you away from the practice of slavery. I know there were definitely people who justified slavery because it was accepted as part of the human condition. But many abolitionist in the west who were also the first large scale movement anywhere to banish slavery where also Christians.

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That sounds weird and pretty improbable to me, but more power to you if you care to believe it. As I said above, my truck is with those who will try to say it’s the basis of some kind of irreplaceable morality or foundation.

Sure, but it was also very encouraging to those who practiced slavery, who were also Christians, and understandably so given a plain reading of the Bible. That is a problem, but again, I’m not saying that no valuable moral instruction can be found within.

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What is weird about seeing the human condition as being fallen. Perhaps I’m guilty of presuming you come from a Christian culture. Adam and Eve the fall of man…Yes you can think it’s utter hogwash but what’s weird ?
And you’re saying (please correct me) that Christianity was encouraging to those who practiced slavery or to the practice of slavery ?

I do, sure, I was brought up Catholic. Fallen… from what exactly? And why? Imperfect, flawed, human, sure. Fallen? I don’t even know what it means, much less why I should think it’s true. Objectively speaking. Naturally, I’m aware of the Christian view of it. It’s weird, alright. And some of those views get really, really weird and objectionable, but I don’t know exactly what view you hold to.

It certainly has been, as a matter of fact, in the United States at least, where that has been well established. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the same must have been true in other places. Again, that’s not to say it’s the only possible interpretation.

The point is to teleologically suspend the ethical.

From the early Christian point of view, anything that focuses on problems in this world is shortsighted. Morality is by nature a temporary measure for a temporary reality. It’s pointless to sweat the details. Just do what works and put in your time on this sorry planet.

Modern Christianity has lost track of this.