Monday, May 02, 2011

Conversation with madmanfred

Over at the Abolitionist Society blog.

Hi mmf,

Please allow me to respond to some of the things you've said here.

atheists generally don't have to be told to do more homework about Christianity when talking to Christians.

I'm not sure it's an issue of "missing" something; rather, ASO and John Wesley noticed (as did I) that your demonstrated knowledge of Christian doctrine was lacking. To fail to let you know about it would do you and others a disservice.

it isn't like we're unbelievers because we don't know enough.

Well, in your case, I'm sorry, but we can't know whether that is true. You clearly don't know enough to properly critique our position.

Nor do we have any idea what percentage of slaves were treated that well for how much time. The doctor and teachers you site might have lived hundreds of years apart.

Or they might not have. I think all sides need to recognise where there's ignorance, and to speak nondogmatically in those cases. That includes your own accusations.
OTOH, it's important to remember that you have 1) law, and 2) how people actually behave. OT slavery had a much better situation in the case of 1) than the antebellum South, but we abolitionists know all too well that 2) is going to often turn out badly b/c people are sinners.

Sorry, pre-civil war slavery was exactly like the institution practiced under Christianity for 1800 years. 

That's just an assertion w/o an argument, even though evidence has been presented to demonstrate this is untrue. Please interact with the arguments already given.

The quotes you cite are hardly call for a massive uprising to free the slaves.

Did an abolitionist claim that they did call for that?

Ah,so the price of freedom for a slave is his eye or a tooth, according to Exodus. In other words, you only have reason to free slaves if the master mutilates them

This is a tendentious mischaracterisation of the situation brought on by your neglect of the context.

I don't see the general call to equalize the classes based on it

1) Who said anything about "equalising the classes"?
2) You apparently don't see it b/c you haven't yet engaged the biblical evidence we've brought fwd. Until you do, this convo can't move fwd.

NONE of these quotes are antislavery.

Then why were they such a self-consciously integral part of the abolitionists' destruction of slavery?

they weren't fighting atheists, heathens or Jews, they fought other Christians,

1) Simply taking the name "Christian" doesn't make you a Christian any more than saying "Moo, I'm a cow" makes you a cow. 
2) Christians can be wrong about stuff. 
3) Non-Christians who fake the name of Christ can also be wrong about stuff.
You're criticising the PEOPLE, and nobody here would argue that ppl aren't sinful. What you need to show is that our POSITION is wrong.

God freed his “chosen people” from Egypt and then immediately allowed them to take slaves of their own...he also didn't demand that Pharaoh free all of Egypt's slaves of any nationality.

Yes, that is correct. You seem to evince a moral problem with that. May I ask what it is, and how you know that your moral position is better than someone else's, such that you feel freedom to tell us what to believe? That you get to correct others on issues of morality? Where's your badge?

atheists did well in a survey

I'm afraid I don't see why anyone should care about that. We're not talking to all atheists right now; we're talking to YOU. THe fact that you have demonstrated an insufficient knowledge of CHristianity is undeniable, so appealing to this survey doesn't help that.

No, the Trinity is not complex. It's fiction. 

Naked assertion.

I could explain it in one sentence: there are three Gods you worship, but you have to pretend you worship one because that one is the jealous God. 

Would you like it if we willfully mischaracterised your position as being alchemy? That you believe that values turn into their opposites, that nonmoral matter produced moral beings, that nothing produced everything when nothing acted upon nothing, that you evolved from a rock?

I don't have to study its apologists anymore. I think I can write their books for them.

You're way down the road on your ego trip at this point, but you're way off. It's sad, really - your hatred of Jesus is showing so remarkably clearly. You can't even bring yourself to engage the proper position. One can only guess as to why, but it's clear you're very emotionally invested.

Please cite examples of this Christian thought and writing anytime by anyone prominent in Christianity.

We already did so from the Bible and you summarily dismissed it without an argument. Why would we think the next example would be met with anything but the same reaction?

. God also commanded his people during war to take female slaves and do exactly what Jefferson did.

If you mean rape them, that is 100% false, and I challenge you to show me where God commanded it, to Abraham or anyone else.
If you mean marry them, that is true. Marriage is an honorable state, no matter whether you as Self-Proclaimed Pope of Morality condemn it.

Whereas I could disapprove of him because I don't subscribe to the Bible as a moral guide. 

On what basis, then, do you disapprove? What is your moral standard by which you think you can judge others?

. I agree, too. Murder is immoral.

That's what I mean. You're setting yourself up as an authority, judging those who commit murder.
I lack faith in your moral authority. Please give evidence that you indeed have it, and that it is correct.

Certainly you know the Bible doesn't explain this, doesn't mention fetus' at people

Yes, it does, in Psalm 139 and Luke 1, among other places.

Nice talking to you.


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