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Author Topic: Moby has his own weblog  (Read 22064 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ebor
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« Reply #135 on: June 19, 2005, 01:27:29 PM »

The Slave still has freedom of thought,

Free thoughts in a body in chains....  I wonder if a slave would agree that it was enough.

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In conclusion I would like to post a quote from Oscar Wilde's The Soul of Man Under Socialism

Oscar Wilde, a talented writer, but hardly close to chattel slavery. (a slave to fashion and notoriety maybe)
 And such ex-slaves as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Soujourner Truth did take action and did what they could to free others.  The words and deeds of those who suffered under slavery hold more weight.

http://www.frederickdouglass.org/douglass_bio.html
http://www.nyhistory.com/harriettubman/life.htm
http://www.lkwdpl.org/wihohio/trut-soj.htm

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In the context of our society, none are free, yes one is free to chose between selling his labour for money or being starved, humilitated, and degridated by society.

Life is not binary.  Nor is "society" a monolith.  And there are degrees of freedom.  To compare doing a job and recieving pay for it to chattel slavery is over simplistic. No-one told me what jobs I would seek. There is a wide zone between Total control and Utter Freedom (which might also be "Chaos".)

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..but the slave is free to labour for his master or submit to his master's whip...is the whip really that much more terrible a threat than the aforementioned threats our current society places upon lazy and disobedient slaves?

Or labour and still be whipped, used, sold.  Being under the total control of another human being is also to be humiliated adn denigrated and sometimes staved. 


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We have not abolished slavery, only altered the form slightly; we have eased our conscience by better entertaining the slaves, though have stopped far short of liberating them.

Slightly?  One may search for other work, one may move to other areas, one may choose a career or job with more freedom then a chattel slave. 

I don't know what "Society" you have lived in, but it isn't the same one I've been in all these years.

Ebor

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« Reply #136 on: June 19, 2005, 01:39:58 PM »

The mere fact that Slavery is distasteful does not make it immoral.

"Distasteful"?!?ÂÂ  

You would reduce the owning of Human Beings made in the image of God to being "distasteful"?ÂÂ  The abuse and buying and selling and using of another person as the owner wishes as "distasteful"?ÂÂ  The rape of slaves by owners as 'distasteful"?ÂÂ  Treating Human Beings like animals and selling off their children or their wife or husband as it suits the owner is "distasteful"?

1 : objectionable because offensive to one's personal taste : DISAGREEABLE

Personal taste,  that seems so "relative".   Somehow that word just doesn't seem to cover the situation.

Ebor



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« Reply #137 on: June 19, 2005, 04:24:31 PM »

That's what Jesus teaches.

I personally find manual labour of any type to be distasteful...therefore can we logically conclude that maintaining a society in which certain members will have to engage in manual labour inorder to sustain it is immoral? Furthermore, St. Paul wouldn't have agreed with you about the Teachings of Christ relative to the Institution of Slavery, for in I Timothy 6, as I have quoted before, he said:

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Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

I have given you biblical and patristic references, and I can give more if needed...you have yet to give me anything to support your posistions other than enlightenment notions of 'equality.' I am still awaiting support for your posistion.
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« Reply #138 on: June 19, 2005, 04:44:08 PM »

Free thoughts in a body in chains....ÂÂ  I wonder if a slave would agree that it was enough.

Many slaves in history would have, some even sold themselves into slavery inorder to insure that they would have a place to sleep and food to eat.

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Oscar Wilde, a talented writer, but hardly close to chattel slavery. (a slave to fashion and notoriety maybe)
 And such ex-slaves as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Soujourner Truth did take action and did what they could to free others.ÂÂ  The words and deeds of those who suffered under slavery hold more weight.

The point he made, however, was a valid one, that the street sweeper on the East End of London was no better off than many slaves. Furthermore, that many liberated Slaves had harder lives after there 'freedom' than while they were slaves, quotes from many slaves to this extent in the South after the War Between the States have been Recorded, even by certain ex slaves who were in the State Legislature during Reconstruction.

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Life is not binary.ÂÂ  Nor is "society" a monolith.ÂÂ  And there are degrees of freedom.ÂÂ  To compare doing a job and recieving pay for it to chattel slavery is over simplistic. No-one told me what jobs I would seek. There is a wide zone between Total control and Utter Freedom (which might also be "Chaos".)

Then what Patristic or Biblical evidence do you have for drawing the line of immoral/moral treatement of people at Slavery/Imprisonment of Criminals...or Slavery/Poverty?

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Or labour and still be whipped, used, sold.ÂÂ  Being under the total control of another human being is also to be humiliated adn denigrated and sometimes staved.ÂÂ  

The belief that slaves were badly abused is a myth, it simply doesnt make economic sense, considering a Slave could cost one as much as $5,000 in the 1850's. Furthermore, I have already addressed the issue of the separation of the Institution and Abuses.

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Slightly?ÂÂ  One may search for other work, one may move to other areas, one may choose a career or job with more freedom then a chattel slave.ÂÂ  

So now the slave gets to choose whether he wants to work in the Fields or in the House...what a great improvement...what of the supposedly free man who decides he simply does not want to work, or wants to dedicate his time to something more noble than economic pursuits? Is he free to make this Choice? Or will society punish him for it?

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I don't know what "Society" you have lived in, but it isn't the same one I've been in all these years.

Upper middle class America is the society I've lived in, though I cannot speak for you. I just don't believe the lies i'm told about freedom, democracy, equality and all that, or at least I haven't believed it since I started to think for myself around the age of 12.

You would reduce the owning of Human Beings made in the image of God to being "distasteful"?

Depending on the Situation and what it is compared to. One branch of my family was Irish, who came over here during the potato famine (some of the last in my family to come to the United States); frankly, relative to their standard of living in the cities and factories of the North, the Slavery in the south was far from 'distasteful'...such a standard of living was desirable. Furthermore, it's not like one can own their soul or conscience, they only owned their labour, and in exchange they were given their due wages, they were cared for...even when they were too old or sick to work, more than could be said for the factory workers of the North.

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The abuse and buying and selling and using of another person as the owner wishes as "distasteful"?  The rape of slaves by owners as 'distasteful"?  Treating Human Beings like animals and selling off their children or their wife or husband as it suits the owner is "distasteful"?

The ABUSES, are Immoral, but the Institution itself is not...please read St. Paul's instructions to Masters from Ephesians that I posted a little ways back.

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Personal taste, that seems so "relative". Somehow that word just doesn't seem to cover the situation.

But in large part, that is all it is. There was not this adamant objection to slavery prior to then Englightenment, it is a response of distaste from those who have been raised in a post-enlightenment culture, and essentially only members of such a culture who are unable to comprehend other Cultures, espeically those of the past, have these strong objections.
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« Reply #139 on: June 19, 2005, 06:27:27 PM »

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The belief that slaves were badly abused is a myth, it simply doesn't make economic sense, considering a Slave could cost one as much as $5,000 in the 1850's. Furthermore, I have already addressed the issue of the separation of the Institution and A

I have heard this also. There was a government study that took place in the early 1930's that interviewed the last remaining former slaves about the conditions they lived under. The majority of them reported that their masters treated them very good and that their living conditions were not as bad as everyone thought. This surprised allot of people when they were saying positive things about their situation. Many of the former slaves also did not flee north after they were free, but decided to continue to work on the same plantations. The slaves that were abused were the ones that would leave the plantation and flee north. It wouldn't make sense for any person at the time who had slaves to abuse them seeing that was their bread & butter.
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« Reply #140 on: June 19, 2005, 08:48:36 PM »

Oh come on, guys.

Still no takers?  If slavery is such a great institution how come nobody's wanting to be my slave?  You'd be well fed and I wouldn't sell your children to another family until they were, like, 13.
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« Reply #141 on: June 19, 2005, 10:08:03 PM »

I like his songs, but as I do not ask Bethoween or Vivaldi, Bono or O'Connor about my salvation, so I will not ask Moby.


As far as musicians are concerned, St. Romanos the Melodist and similar people have said enough about it, to believe some who CAN'T even CROSS themselves properly.
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« Reply #142 on: June 20, 2005, 07:41:09 AM »

I personally find manual labour of any type to be distasteful...therefore can we logically conclude that maintaining a society in which certain members will have to engage in manual labour inorder to sustain it is immoral?

OK-- first of all, I don't believe in Society, but only in the choices and agreements made by individuals. Second, it says in Genesis 3 that manual labor is the fate of mankind, because of sin. Therefore the resistance to doing same is sinful (and it is a sin I readily confess).

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Furthermore, St. Paul wouldn't have agreed with you about the Teachings of Christ relative to the Institution of Slavery[.]

You haven't listed any spot where Paul says straight out what you wish him to say. And if we are allowing private interpretation, I notice that the letter to Philemon is basically Paul trying to persuade Philemon to free Onesimus.

As far as the interpreting that is therefore required: your style of argument is Protestant. If your bishops say that slave-holding is immoral, then it is their interpretation which carries weight, and not yours. Furthermore, you exhibit the tell-tale marks of bad theology. Posturing about my "enlightenment notions" is just that: posturing. If "love your neighbor as yourself" was good enough for Jesus, then what of it if 18th century intellectuals said the same? (They got it from the bible, after all.) It is exalted as a moral principle, not devalued, when every tribe and faith on the earth can see it! But YOU: you go on these elaborate roundabouts to avoid having to face up to that principle. When real, proper theology does this, it avoids evasions and steps up to the ugly task of having to do casuistry, and thus choose the lesser sin.
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« Reply #143 on: June 20, 2005, 07:41:47 AM »

Oh come on, guys.

Still no takers?  If slavery is such a great institution how come nobody's wanting to be my slave?  You'd be well fed and I wouldn't sell your children to another family until they were, like, 13.

Perhaps the price is too low. I open bidding at a thousand quatloos!
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« Reply #144 on: June 20, 2005, 07:49:33 AM »

The belief that slaves were badly abused is a myth, it simply doesnt make economic sense, considering a Slave could cost one as much as $5,000 in the 1850's. Furthermore, I have already addressed the issue of the separation of the Institution and Abuses.

Humans are no more constrained to do what makes economic sense than they are to do what morality teaches them. And anyway, "love thy neighbor as thy horse" is obviously a step down. It directs one towards mistreatment. Finally, not being beaten is a pretty low standard to meet. Jesus demands more of us.

Nacho, I need a better citation than a vague "study in the 1930s". I might also postulate that slaves who survived into their 90s were among the better treated.
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« Reply #145 on: June 20, 2005, 01:10:04 PM »

That makes all police forces in the world inherently a great evil.


Obviously you haven't watched Cops, the ultimate racist, welfare hating crack hunt.
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« Reply #146 on: June 20, 2005, 01:47:23 PM »

As far as the interpreting that is therefore required: your style of argument is Protestant. If your bishops say that slave-holding is immoral, then it is their interpretation which carries weight, and not yours. Furthermore, you exhibit the tell-tale marks of bad theology. Posturing about my "enlightenment notions" is just that: posturing. If "love your neighbor as yourself" was good enough for Jesus, then what of it if 18th century intellectuals said the same? (They got it from the bible, after all.) It is exalted as a moral principle, not devalued, when every tribe and faith on the earth can see it! But YOU: you go on these elaborate roundabouts to avoid having to face up to that principle. When real, proper theology does this, it avoids evasions and steps up to the ugly task of having to do casuistry, and thus choose the lesser sin.

It is most interesting that you accuse my style of argument of being protestant, yet you are the one who puts the witness of Protestant Philosophers from the  18th-19th Centuries above the Witness of the Church. For 1800+ years the Church's practice demonstrated a belief in a Consonance between Slavery and the Golden Rule, yet on the word of a few protestant Philosophers of the last few hundred years, you dismiss the practice and history of the Church as Sinful and Immoral. Using YOUR Method of Argument, perhaps we could argue that Luther and Calvin were also Correct, they at least used far more of the Bible than these Deist Enlightenment Philosophers seem to follow, and since modern inventions hold as much weight as the Ancient Practice of the Church what advantage does Orthodox Theology have over Protestant Theology? Furthermore, though you have yet to demonstrate that any Synod of the Orthodox Church supports your posistion, the argument of 'well the bishop says this as his belief, therefore it must be true' may not be protestant, but nor is it Orthodox, it's distinctively Papist; it may be authoritive, but that doesn't make it true.

Finally, is the best defence you can present for your posistion to attack my style of argument? There may be some protestant stylistic elements to it, but that is because Abolitionism really only arose in Protestant Lands, and thus it was only Protestants who had to argue against these agents of revolution and evil; infact, the Enlightenment, and hence Abolitionism which arose from it, can be demonstrated to be a direct result of the Reformation. Notable abolitionist movements seem to be, interestingly enough, absent from Orthodox Lands; and where they did exist (e.g. the movement to end serfdom in Russia) their arguments and philosophies were clearly Western in origin, not Orthodox.

I'm still waiting for a real argument with some meat to it, not this half-hearted attack on my Style, and rather poor attempt to use Christ to justify Jacobism, which has been considered and refuted.
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« Reply #147 on: June 20, 2005, 02:27:16 PM »

I had a touch of the flu over the weekend, so don’t take my silence as some sort of capitulation.  GiC, there are so many problems with your arguments that I don't know where to begin.
 
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Considering Millenia of History are on my Side, and in support of your Ideals you can present little more than Enlightenment Philosophy, I would disagree and place the burden of proof on you who Challenge Nearly Every Society, Civilization, and Culture in the History of the World

The end product of millennia of human history and moral thought is on my side. Not only that, but your fobbing off of my point as “Enlightenment Philosophy” as if it then deserves no further consideration is a stupid rhetorical trick that seems to only work in online Orthodox fora.  Engage the idea head on.

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These elements of inequality are apparent in every society, even our own, though we are all equal in the eyes of God, we are not equal in the Eyes of Men, we never will be. Some will be born with the capacity of being Nobel Prize winning Physicists, others will never have the mental capacity to go beyond Secondary School, and few will not even have the mental capacity to read or write...are we to say that they are equal in our Society? Before God, yes, before the Law, yes, but their opportunities are far from equal. Let us now consider culture, Does one born in the Belgan Congo or Amazon Rainforests have the Same opportunity as one Born in the United States or Western Europe? No, they are naturally disadvantaged because of the culture and country they are born into, the person may be an absolute genius, but never have the opportunity to exploit it. As far as war, Europe fortunately developed a civlized approach to War, resulting in the Geneva Convention, but this is by no means Universal. War is ultimately forcing your will on another by force of arms, the goal of war is to become the master and make the other your slave, to bend them to your will, the enslavement of a vanquished foe is simply an extension of this natural reality.

No one doubts that there are inequalities between people.  My point is that slavery is always served by some criteria on who gets enslaved, why, and for how long.  This is where a great percentage of the sin enters into the picture. 
Also, to address some of the points that you made, someone who is brilliant and a native son of the Belgian Congo or the Amazon Rainforest could have wonderful opportunities within their own culture. It is only when you compare those achievements by Western criteria to Western material standards that they look poor.  How old are you, anyway?  The Belgian Congo hasn’t been named such for some time.  Also, some have made the argument that Orthodoxy supports a pacifist outlook.  I'm going to have to dig for that source though.  More later...

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And the Institution must be separated from its abuses. Eating is not sinful, but an abuse of it, gluttony, is. Wealth is not sinful, but an abuse of it is, for Scripture says that the Love of Money is the Root of All evil. Which brings us to Love, which is a Divine Characteristic, but even this can be abused and turned to Sin such as love of Money. St. Paul certainly envisioned the Institution separated form it's abuses in Ephesians vi 5-9 where he said,

Yes, I forgot, you live in abstract theory land.  Okay, even if I grant you that there is nothing sinful about slavery in and of itself, it would still carry with it what RC’s would call a great ‘occasion of sin.’   You still haven’t given a convincing argument here.  Also, I appreciate the point that was brought up (Keble?) that why —if it isn’t immoral--, how is it either distasteful or undesireable (except by economic standards.  But the discipline of economics is a byproduct of decadent Western civilization- as are all the social sciences).  By your own criteria, shouldn’t we still have this institution?  We can’t improve our lot, we can’t bring our institutions to a more perfect level.  We apparently can’t progress (since any notion of ‘progress’ is derived from that horrible Enlightenment philosophy. Oh my!). 

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Basically this is just an extension of the 'Do you want to be a slave?' Argument which I have already refuted. The fact that a social situation is undesirable does not inherently make its existance immoral.

Where have you refuted this?  Show me.  You have just proffered your opinion on something, with no patristic exegesis and flying in the face of educated opinion, and have pointed to it as if it has some authority.  You alone have no authority.
You say that our church tradition actively supports the fact that slavery is moral.  Please provide sources.  The scripture that we are bandying about can be interpreted in more than one way.

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Actually, it is a practical outcome of Enlightenment Philosophy which has little to do with the Christian faith. The reason that Christ did not condemn the slave owner is because it did not occur to him that the Relationship between the Centurion and his Slave was an immoral one...But fortunately as the Students of the Deists, we have grown in Wisdom beyond that of the Son of Man; we can now correct the Mistakes God made while he was on Earth.

You enjoy pandering to the rabble, don’t you?  I already addressed this cheap rhetorical trick above (re. ‘enlightenment thinking’).  I also pointed out your misuse of this piece of scripture.  Christ’s response was to the centurion’s statement of faith.  He said nothing concerning slavery itself- how you get a tacit approval of it as a social institution, I don’t know.  Look at the bigger picture. He didn’t physically, and coercively destroy our sinful world, either.  He always allows us the freedom to sin.  Also, a blanket ban on the institution would have created havoc in the Late Antique world.
I should add in here a fine distinction between slavery in the Roman period and that of the ante-bellum South.  In antiquity, one could sell himself into slavery and eventually work his way out.  One could also be born a slave, and then- through luck/hard work- climb their way upward through Roman society.  A black person born as a slave in the south was screwed.  They would always- by virtue of an external characteristic- be viewed as inferior.  They would most likely remain as property.  They would always be a ‘nigger.’  How is that not sinful?

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And slavery in the Old Testament upheld a similar world view, having far more limitations on the enslavement of Jews (generally not permanent and never inherited) than Gentiles (both permanent and inherited). Some of the attudes that arose from certain members of the Said society may have been sinful; however, the social institution was not...or no more so than that which Moses put forth in the Law (The Same Law that first taught us to Love God and our Neighbour)

Racialist/Racist views are sinful.  Social systems that need such views to remain tenable are sinful.  If you can’t see this, I don’t know what else to say.

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Thank you, I do what I can for God-Beloved Emperors and Empresses.

It’s over, man.  God let it happen, He punished you.  The Slavs inherited the mantle of Third Rome long ago.   Grin

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On top of codifying the Law, which was actually a rewriting of the laws, he also published many volumes of his Novels, written by himself to either amend or alter previous imperial law, which along with his Institutes, Codex, and Digests served as the Basis for Byzantine Law. Furthermore, these Novels and the Codification became the Basis for the Legal Systems throughout most of Europe.

How does this counter what I said?  He had the entire machinery of Late Roman Bureaucracy at his disposal.  He was as good as his support staff. 

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The Great Church of Christ would disagree with you, I believe it is on November 14th that Our Pious and God-Beloved Emperor and Empress St. Justinain most August and His wife St. Theodora most August are commemorated.

Most cases of sainthood are defined by a local cult that spreads and is then officially recognized.  How many churches have you seen dedicated to Saint Justinian the mighty and St Theodora the unrepentant trampy social climber?  How many icons? (Don’t cite the mosaics of San Vitale in Ravenna.  They aren’t devotional images.)

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But I did address it, it was a Glorious Victory for the Empire over a Rebel Army; a victory in which the insurrectionists reaped the fruits of their rebellion. They had retreated to the Hippodrome, but were unabel to hold it, the Leigons of Faithful Romans under command the Loyal Officers of Emperor assulted their Posistion, and neutralized the defenders. St. Theodora was probably the more influential and powerful Empress until St. Irene ascended the Throne upon the accidental death of her adulterous son, she was an asset to the Reign of St. Justinian and to the Empire as a whole. Modern Historians try to do anything they can to undermine the Eastern Roman Empire, and I have little faith in their assesments; St. Justinian reconquered many lands that the Empire had lost, subjugated the Barbarian Populations, and consolidated the Defences of Empire; as well as being a Great Builder and Lawgiver. Which is why most list him as the Second Greatest Emperor of Christian Rome after St. Constantine the Great.

You are a priggish anti-intellectual.  “Modern Historians…I have little faith in their assessments.”  How many have you read?  Procopius (whose info I have relied on) was a contemporary biographer of Justinian.  Many modern Byzantine historians, who are very favorable of Byzantium, point out Justinian’s triumphs.  I don’t deny he was a great emperor (read Norwich or Ostrogorsky). He simply wasn’t a moral exemplar.  He also was unpopular and fiscally unwise. 

Barbarians?  You are of barbarian stock, aren’t you?  You are a convert, correct?
That’s it…I’m coming to Brookline and enslaving you!!  I need a honkey to mow my lawn.  Hey, it’s moral right?
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« Reply #148 on: June 20, 2005, 03:26:37 PM »

For 1800+ years the Church's practice demonstrated a belief in a Consonance between Slavery and the Golden Rule[.]

But this claim is (as far as I can tell) incorrect. I don't feel I need to call up every Orthodox bishop in the world, nor contact every synod, to find out that they oppose slavery. It's also hard to believe that you aren't aware of such opposition. Indeed, what I see is that you are having to go around them and impose your own interpretation in order to reach the conclusions you wish to present. That simply isn't proper Orthodox theology. If you think you can go off in a corner by yourself and do theology in opposition to your bishops, you are wrong.

If you can find a modern bishop to agree with you, then name the man.
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« Reply #149 on: June 20, 2005, 05:38:24 PM »

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also suggesting that I shouldn't waste any more time arguing with you guys.


Hmmm, There was a man who had two sons. He told the first to go work in the field. the son said, "I will go", and didn't. He told the second son to go work in the field, and the son said, "I will not", but later did go. Which of the two sons obeyed his father?

You criticize me for not getting permission from my bishop (btw, the EP is not my Bishop), and yet disregard the directives of your own.

If they told you not to spend any more time arguing with us, then why are you posting?

Your claim that antiquity is no defense is certainly valid, but immaterial and beside the point, because no one has argued that it is morally neutral because it is old. It is morally neutral because the fathers, Scriptures and Church all allow it and justify it.



Darn it! I need to go to work and can't answer all this stuff.

Cinezec, you'r point has been dealt with. The fact I don't want to do it doesn't make it evil.

Personally, i tend to agree with GiC that the fact that your position is detrived from Enlightenment Philosophy makes it unworthy of giving credence too, but if you don't. Ok. just consider this, Nietzsche is the logical consequence of Enlightenment Philosophy. If you want extensive criticisms of freedom and equality as the highest values in a society, well they can be given. But they seem self-evident to me. But that is the basis of your argumehnt. It is wrong to deny someone their freedom. I would respond, it is impossible to deny people their freedom on an essential level, and denying them freedom of movement, labor etc. is incosequential, because everyone is denied that freedom. I can't choose what to do for a living. I can only accept what other people offer me. The fact that a slave had 2  options and I have 3 is irrelevant. Both deny my freedom to choose what I want to do. I can't go wherever I want, because I lack the funds and for other reasons. It is merely accidental that one lacks these freedom because he's "owned" by another human being and I lack these freedoms for different reasons. If the denial of freedom is the sin, then the basis of denying that freedom is inconsequential.

As for "opportunity to sin", hell, everything is that. That's not a good argument.

Darn. gotta go.
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« Reply #150 on: June 20, 2005, 06:54:31 PM »

SonofAslan,

In your response, you have offered rebuttals to more than one person.  You need to be a little clearer.  I haven't responded to posts yet...but I will. 

First, not every tangible product of Enlightenment thought is without merit or anti-Christian.  You live in a very American, black and white world, since it doesn’t all have to “end in Nietzsche” as you so glibly write.  You are selective in the fruits of Western civilization that you seek to use or extoll.  For an absurd (but logical) extension of your argument, you should quit using your computer, since one could argue that modern science, and the technology that it gave birth to, would never have been developed (or perhaps developed but delayed a millennia or two) by the Christian east and is a byproduct of that horrid “Enlightenment thought.”  Give me patristics on immunology and space travel!!  Face it, building, discovering and making things is not our strong suit.  Just look at the Yugo.  Anyway, that's a whole other conversation.

For the sake of this argument, let's say that the modern West is entirely wrong in considering slavery 'evil.'  You can throw out a couple of lines by Chrysostom, a little Augustine, and voila- you can feel justified in your Southern ancestors.  (Although if you use Augustine, I challenge you to explain his behavior of freeing slaves ‘unfairly’ enslaved by North African pirates).   

I'll retort, saying that - even if we can agree to some sort of morally-neutral ideal slavery that exists in some ideal world- that its practical application is almost always sinful.  I'll argue this with great vigor concerning slavery in the South.  Slavery is always upheld by some system that informs who can be enslaved, when, why, and for how long.  Most modern ideologies that can feed this are sinful.   We most frequently either get a racialist/racist ideology, or a cultural imperialist ideology.  In the latter camp, we Orthodox are at a disadvantage.  Many converts of the white, Anglo-Saxon, middle American variety don’t think about that, since they don’t usually have any deep personal/cultural memory of oppression.  Face it, Orthodox haven’t been major players on the world stage since the Russian Revolution.  Even then, we were looked on by the enlightened West (who are your ancestors, yes?) as a bunch of medieval bumpkins.

Getting back to the patristic quotes, though, one could also argue that neither Chrysostom, Paul, Augustine, etc. could have foreseen slavery as practiced in the South.  They spoke to the institution as practiced in their time.  Slavery of the late Roman Period was different, as I have previously shown you.  ,

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I can't choose what to do for a living. I can only accept what other people offer me. The fact that a slave had 2  options and I have 3 is irrelevant. Both deny my freedom to choose what I want to do. I can't go wherever I want, because I lack the funds and for other reasons. It is merely accidental that one lacks these freedom because he's "owned" by another human being and I lack these freedoms for different reasons.

This is an illustration of your very modern, American two-tone thinking.  Your situation in no way resembles that of a slave, to say so denies the nuances in human relationships.   Try again.


 
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« Reply #151 on: June 20, 2005, 07:49:15 PM »

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Ok. just consider this, Nietzsche is the logical consequence of Enlightenment Philosophy.

Wow.  Any (decently honest and read) student of Western philosophy will tell you that the Austrian School of economics does not inevitably end with Nietzsche's conclusions.  When we talk about Communism, that's where "enlightenment philosophy" ends.  Now that you (pl.) want to attack the opposite school you make the same argument.

Other than the fact that you just dismiss it because it is either (a) from Austria or (b) not from an Orthodox theologian, let me ask:  what about the economics of von Mises causes you to conclude that Nietzsche will follow and what, pray tell, is your view of economics.  I'm assuming that everyone here realizes that every government on the planet and in the histroy of mankind makes economic decisions based on some sort of economic theory.  On what economic theories should a government be making its decisions?
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« Reply #152 on: June 21, 2005, 12:19:38 AM »

It is most interesting that you accuse my style of argument of being protestant, yet you are the one who puts the witness of Protestant Philosophers from the  18th-19th Centuries above the Witness of the Church.

As I've said more than once, you are failing to convince me that your position is that of the church. I say that because every time I bring up a teaching from someone in authority in the present church, you dismiss it. Your interpretation in place of theirs is not acceptable.

I've presented a teaching from the EP, and I've presented a teaching from the OCA. If the latter isn't a good enough synod for you, what would be?

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[Y]et on the word of a few protestant Philosophers of the last few hundred years, you dismiss the practice and history of the Church as Sinful and Immoral.

You do not present the church's teaching, and anyway, I don't need no steeenking philosophers to tell me that I would prefer being free to being captive.

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Using YOUR Method of Argument, perhaps we could argue that Luther and Calvin were also Correct, they at least used far more of the Bible than these Deist Enlightenment Philosophers seem to follow, and since modern inventions hold as much weight as the Ancient Practice of the Church what advantage does Orthodox Theology have over Protestant Theology?

I do not think you are up to the task of executing "my" method of argument. I anm not practing guilt by association, and you are.

And again, you beg the question. Over and over I have shown evidence from authoritative sources as to what Orthodoxy teaches (notice the present tense). You are not an authoritative source-- you cannot be. Given a choice between believing your bishops and believing you, I'll take them.

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Furthermore, though you have yet to demonstrate that any Synod of the Orthodox Church supports your posistion[.]

You say that because you simply reject any material I present from a modern church authority. Tell you what: go to the OCA answer line and ask your question, as you want to ask it, and report back.

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Finally, is the best defence you can present for your posistion to attack my style of argument? There may be some protestant stylistic elements to it, but that is because Abolitionism really only arose in Protestant Lands, and thus it was only Protestants who had to argue against these agents of revolution and evil; infact, the Enlightenment, and hence Abolitionism which arose from it, can be demonstrated to be a direct result of the Reformation.

And if that is so, then I am honored to be numbered among them.
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« Reply #153 on: June 21, 2005, 07:47:00 AM »

Yeah.  I agree with Keble.

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« Reply #154 on: June 21, 2005, 04:43:14 PM »

Many slaves in history would have, some even sold themselves into slavery inorder to insure that they would have a place to sleep and food to eat.

Such were acts of desperation.ÂÂ  People who have things going tolerably well don't decide one day that life would be even better as a slave.ÂÂ  And there are the cases of people captured and sold by others against their will and choice.

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The belief that slaves were badly abused is a myth, it simply doesnt make economic sense, considering a Slave could cost one as much as $5,000 in the 1850's.

and your source for that knowledge is?ÂÂ  

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So now the slave gets to choose whether he wants to work in the Fields or in the House.

I was writing of people who are not slaves and have some choice in their path.

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what of the supposedly free man who decides he simply does not want to work, or wants to dedicate his time to something more noble than economic pursuits? Is he free to make this Choice? Or will society punish him for it?

Well, I don't know what circles you frequent, but people who have chosen to, for example, join the Peace Corps or other service organizations aren't in it for economic reasons and I haven't seen them being "punished" for it.ÂÂ  People have chosen to be artists or writers or other occupations and there isn't a general public scorn that I have seen.ÂÂ  But maybe things are different in Montana where I grew up and aslo my family encouraged us to find the path we liked or wanted.ÂÂ  

There is a difference between "not want to work" and "work in a noble pursuit".ÂÂ  And how is it "Punishment" if someone who *will* not work does not have things that someone who has worked does?ÂÂ  Consequences might be more the correct word.

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Upper middle class America is the society I've lived in, though I cannot speak for you. I just don't believe the lies i'm told about freedom, democracy, equality and all that, or at least I haven't believed it since I started to think for myself around the age of 12.

Lies? If that we've "Arrived" at an ideal, no, but there has been progress and there is still a ways to go.ÂÂ  Life is like that.

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Furthermore, it's not like one can own their soul or conscience, they only owned their labour, and in exchange they were given their due wages, they were cared for...even when they were too old or sick to work, more than could be said for the factory workers of the North.

wages?ÂÂ  Some may have gotten money, for others any money they made went to their masters.ÂÂ  Cared for?ÂÂ  Some were, some weren't.ÂÂ  Some were traded or sold when they were not useful any more.ÂÂ  The situation in the factories was bad too.ÂÂ  I don't think anyone here is claiming that it was, and such continues today with sweatshops and miserable conditions around the world. Ever heard of the "Triangle Shirtwaist Fire"?ÂÂ  That was a tiny tip of the miserable working conditions of thousands of people.ÂÂ  Then there are the coal mines and the Company Store.ÂÂ  None of these is treating other people the same as the Owners. That doesn't make it Right.ÂÂ  It is something that people tried to stop and are still trying to do.ÂÂ  .

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But in large part, that is all it is.

In your opinion.ÂÂ  

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There was not this adamant objection to slavery prior to then Englightenment, it is a response of distaste from those who have been raised in a post-enlightenment culture, and essentially only members of such a culture who are unable to comprehend other Cultures, espeically those of the past, have these strong objections.

It would seem that here is one of our points of disagreement.ÂÂ  Not everything that came from the "Enlightenment" is evil or wrong.ÂÂ  It's a rather broad area. How much of it have you actually read?ÂÂ  In primary sources?ÂÂ  

As to your assertion that only those who cannot comprehend other Cultures would do this, on what do you base this?  How is it not understanding another culture to prevent cruelty to another person?  ÃƒÆ’‚  What cultures and histories are you versed in? And what of Empathy with other Human Beings?  "Culture" has many facets and details.  No Culture is all good or all bad.   

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« Reply #155 on: June 21, 2005, 05:17:04 PM »

I have heard this also. There was a government study that took place in the early 1930's that interviewed the last remaining former slaves about the conditions they lived under.

May we have a citation, please?  Have you *read* this study?  or have your read a secondary or tertiary source that mentions it or interprets it?

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The majority of them reported that their masters treated them very good and that their living conditions were not as bad as everyone thought. surprised allot of people when they were saying positive things about their situation. Many of the former slaves also did not flee north after they were free, but decided to continue to work on the same plantations. The slaves that were abused were the ones that would leave the plantation and flee north. It wouldn't make sense for any person at the time who had slaves to abuse them seeing that was their bread & butter.

What have *you* read that says this?  What do you have to back up this assertion? 

Ebor
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« Reply #156 on: June 21, 2005, 05:22:45 PM »

I can't choose what to do for a living. I can only accept what other people offer me. The fact that a slave had 2ÂÂ  options and I have 3 is irrelevant. Both deny my freedom to choose what I want to do. I can't go wherever I want, because I lack the funds and for other reasons. It is merely accidental that one lacks these freedom because he's "owned" by another human being and I lack these freedoms for different reasons. If the denial of freedom is the sin, then the basis of denying that freedom is inconsequential.

Accept?!? ÂÂ You have *no* say? No career or interests that you choose to follow? ÂÂ Where did you lose your freedom to choose? Who is dictating your life path for you? ÂÂ Are you in ill-health that prevents you? How old are you? ÂÂ  "merely accidental"? Slaves were owned not by accident but on purpose. ÂÂ Circumstances and causes matter. I was on the dole once. ÂÂ I found things to do that bit by bit got me up and out. ÂÂ It's not true that "You can do anything if you try." ÂÂ But one may do many things if one tries. ÂÂ Sometimes we don't try, but that is our choice or our fear or our reluctance to step out.

 Some things we can't have for unchangeable reasons. ÂÂ I wanted to be an astronaut or a pilot when I was a child, but my eyesight is too bad to pass the tests. There was still a myriad of things to learn or do or see if I was good at them. ÂÂ No one can do everything. ÂÂ But people have found ways in the past and they do so now. ÂÂ There are vast numbers of people in this world who try to improve their lives and strive under grim circumstances.

There is no binary between total subjection and total freedom. There is a spectrum.

Ebor
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« Reply #157 on: June 21, 2005, 06:00:08 PM »

The end product of millennia of human history and moral thought is on my side. Not only that, but your fobbing off of my point as “Enlightenment Philosophy” as if it then deserves no further consideration is a stupid rhetorical trick that seems to only work in online Orthodox fora. Engage the idea head on.

It works in Orthodox Circles in general because of the Importance of Tradition in the Orthodox Church, if a posistion can be demonstrated to only be a few hundred years old, by virtue of that fact it looses much credibility. The Reason it doesn't work in the West is because of their notion of development of Doctrine, that is to say the belief that we are more wise than the Fathers of the Church, the Apostles, and even Christ.

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No one doubts that there are inequalities between people. My point is that slavery is always served by some criteria on who gets enslaved, why, and for how long. This is where a great percentage of the sin enters into the picture.
Also, to address some of the points that you made, someone who is brilliant and a native son of the Belgian Congo or the Amazon Rainforest could have wonderful opportunities within their own culture. It is only when you compare those achievements by Western criteria to Western material standards that they look poor. How old are you, anyway? The Belgian Congo hasn’t been named such for some time. Also, some have made the argument that Orthodoxy supports a pacifist outlook. I'm going to have to dig for that source though. More later...

Are we to say that there is sin in the Law of Moses when criteria were established? Consider Leviticus xxv. 38-46, [emphasis added]

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I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God. And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile. And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return. For they are my servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondmen. Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God. Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

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Yes, I forgot, you live in abstract theory land. Okay, even if I grant you that there is nothing sinful about slavery in and of itself, it would still carry with it what RC’s would call a great ‘occasion of sin.’ You still haven’t given a convincing argument here. Also, I appreciate the point that was brought up (Keble?) that why —if it isn’t immoral--, how is it either distasteful or undesireable (except by economic standards. But the discipline of economics is a byproduct of decadent Western civilization- as are all the social sciences). By your own criteria, shouldn’t we still have this institution? We can’t improve our lot, we can’t bring our institutions to a more perfect level. We apparently can’t progress (since any notion of ‘progress’ is derived from that horrible Enlightenment philosophy. Oh my!).

As I have said earlier, even Love can offer a great 'occasion of sin,' everything is an occasion to sin, as one sin is overcome another stands before us.

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Where have you refuted this? Show me. You have just proffered your opinion on something, with no patristic exegesis and flying in the face of educated opinion, and have pointed to it as if it has some authority. You alone have no authority.
You say that our church tradition actively supports the fact that slavery is moral. Please provide sources. The scripture that we are bandying about can be interpreted in more than one way.

How about St. John Chrysostom, surely he is a moral authority, in his commentary on the I Corinthians vii. he says:

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"Let each man abide in that calling wherein he was called. Hast thou been called, having an unbelieving wife? Continue to have her. Cast not out thy wife for the faith's sake. Hast thou been called, being a slave? Care not for it. Continue to be a slave. Hast thou been called, being in uncircumcision? Remain uncircumcised. Being circumcised, didst thou become a believer? Continue circumcised. For this is the meaning of, "As God hath distributed unto each man." For these are no hindrances to piety. Thou art called, being a slave; another, with an unbelieving wife; another, being circumcised.

Astonishing! where has he put slavery? As circumcision profits not, and uncircumcision does no harm, so neither doth slavery, nor yet liberty. And that he might point out this with surpassing clearness, he says, "But even (All eikai dunasai) if thou canst become free, use it rather:" that is, rather continue a slave. Now upon what possible ground does he tell the person who might be set free to remain a slave? He means to point out that slavery is no harm but rather an advantage.

Now we are not ignorant that some say the words, "use it rather," are spoken with regard to liberty: interpreting it, "if thou canst become free, become free." But the expression would be very contrary to Paul's manner if he intended this. For he would not, when consoling the slave and signifying that he was in no respect injured, have told him to get free. Since perhaps someone might say, "What then, if I am not able? I am an injured and degraded person." This then is not what he says: but as I said, meaning to point out that a man gets nothing by being made free, he says, "Though thou hast it in thy power to be made free, remain rather in slavery."

Next he adds also the cause; "For he that was called in the Lord being a bondservant, is the Lord's free man: likewise he that was called, being free, is Christ's bondservant." "For," saith he, "in the things that relate to Christ, both are equal: and like as thou art the slave of Christ, so also is thy master. How then is the slave a free man? Because He has freed thee not only from sin, but also from outward slavery while continuing a slave. For he suffers not the slave to be a slave, not even though he be a man abiding in slavery: and this is the great wonder.

But how is the slave a free man while continuing a slave? When he is freed from passions and the diseases of the mind: when he looks down upon riches and wrath and all other the like passions.

Ver. 23. "Ye were bought with a price: become not bondservants of men." This saying is addressed not to slaves only but also to free men. For it is possible for one who is a slave not to be a slave; and for one who is a freeman to be a slave. "And how can one be a slave and not a slave?" When he doeth all for God: when he feigns nothing, and doeth nothing out of eye-service towards men: that is how one that is a slave to men can be free. Or again, how doth one that is free become a slave? When he serves men in any evil service, either for gluttony or desire of wealth or for office's sake. For such an one, though he be free, is more of a slave than any man.

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It’s over, man. God let it happen, He punished you. The Slavs inherited the mantle of Third Rome long ago. Grin

So long as the Patriarchate of Constantinople Exists, the Empire yet survives Wink

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Most cases of sainthood are defined by a local cult that spreads and is then officially recognized. How many churches have you seen dedicated to Saint Justinian the mighty and St Theodora the unrepentant trampy social climber? How many icons? (Don’t cite the mosaics of San Vitale in Ravenna. They aren’t devotional images.)

Looking through the Synaxarion I can find thousands of saints of whom I've never even seen an Ikon, though I have seen Ikons of St. Justinain and St. Theodora before (though I can't recall where, I'd have to look for a specific example)...the Fact that they are Listed in the Synaxarion of the Great Church is enough for me to regard them as Saints.

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You are a priggish anti-intellectual. “Modern Historians…I have little faith in their assessments.” How many have you read? Procopius (whose info I have relied on) was a contemporary biographer of Justinian. Many modern Byzantine historians, who are very favorable of Byzantium, point out Justinian’s triumphs. I don’t deny he was a great emperor (read Norwich or Ostrogorsky). He simply wasn’t a moral exemplar. He also was unpopular and fiscally unwise.

The west has always been Unfavourable to the Eastern Empire, generally even trying to deny it the title of Roman. Justinian did many great things for the Church and the Empire, and was spoken very highly of by many of those who Succeeded him...Justinian II summoned the Synod of Trullo in hopes of one day being remembered as Justinian I was, a Wise and Just Lawgiver and Emperor, the Herald of a Golden Age of Rome.

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Barbarians? You are of barbarian stock, aren’t you? You are a convert, correct?

Yes I am of barbarian stock, so what? During the Time of Sts. Justinain and Theodora, my ancestors need to be subjucated to Roman Law and civilized.

This is an illustration of your very modern, American two-tone thinking. Your situation in no way resembles that of a slave, to say so denies the nuances in human relationships. Try again.

Actually you are the one using 'two-tone thinking,' SonofAslan is simply saying that slavery is simply another form of our current social reality. Ultimately, there is no absolute freedom, even in anarchy you become subject to the Rule of the Mob, we must always be slaves to some degree, it is an element of nature. Your attempted black and white distinction between Slavery and our Current Situation is the only 'two-tone thinking' going on here.
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« Reply #158 on: June 21, 2005, 06:08:52 PM »

It works in Orthodox Circles in general because of the Importance of Tradition in the Orthodox Church, if a posistion can be demonstrated to only be a few hundred years old, by virtue of that fact it looses much credibility.

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« Reply #159 on: June 21, 2005, 07:31:36 PM »

As I've said more than once, you are failing to convince me that your position is that of the church. I say that because every time I bring up a teaching from someone in authority in the present church, you dismiss it. Your interpretation in place of theirs is not acceptable.

Seeing how Slavery is not a significant topic of discussion amongst our synods, your requests are unreasonable, most Bishops probably don't even have an informed opinion on the Subject, and certainly don't have an official statement. Furthermore, why do you insist on a sitting bishop? Were the past Bishops of the Church not Orthodox Enough for you? You're right, who would want to hear the St. John Chrysostom when they could hear the opinion the Bishop of [Insert some American city here]?...LOL Cheesy
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I've presented a teaching from the EP, and I've presented a teaching from the OCA. If the latter isn't a good enough synod for you, what would be?

You have presented an opinion of the Oecumenical Patriarchate that Slavery should not be promulgated into our age...which I have already said that I agree with, you have not presented an opinion that Condemned those who supported the Institution in the Past or Slave Owners of the Roman Empire. Concerning the OCA, first off you never did post what they said in full, you only paraphrased it. Secondly, it was the opinion of an individual priest not a formal episcopal decree on the issue. Finally, you are correct the latter is not a good enough synod for me, frankly I would prefer to hear from a Synod not made up of Americans who have been tainted by our cultural experience.

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You do not present the church's teaching, and anyway, I don't need no steeenking philosophers to tell me that I would prefer being free to being captive.

Please look at the Quote from St. John Chrysostom I just posted in response to SiviSokol...for not presenting the Church's teaching, I'm in pretty good company, company I don't mind sharing.

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And again, you beg the question. Over and over I have shown evidence from authoritative sources as to what Orthodoxy teaches (notice the present tense). You are not an authoritative source-- you cannot be. Given a choice between believing your bishops and believing you, I'll take them.

You say that because you simply reject any material I present from a modern church authority. Tell you what: go to the OCA answer line and ask your question, as you want to ask it, and report back.

Are you suggesting that the Morals and Doctrines of the Church Change with time? That is far more frightening than even your acceptance of Abolitionism...Perhaps all those prohibitions against Homosexuality are 'outdated' as well, if bishops start defending homosexuality does that mean that the Posistion of the Church is that it ceases to be a sin? Animal rights seem to be all the rage now, perhaps one day we'll condemn the consumption of Meat as immoral too...history, fathers, and councils be damned.

AH, speaking of councils, they completely slipped my mind, Gangra (the one I was refering to in reference to eating meat) decrees in Canon 3:

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If anyone, on the pretext of godliness, teach a slave to scorn his master, and to leave his service, and not to afford his services to his own master with favor and all honor, let him be anathema.

And Apostles 82:

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We do not permit house servants to be ordained to the clergy without the consent of their masters, to the sorrow of the masters owning them. For such a thing causes an upheaval in the households. But if any house servant should appear to be worthy to be ordained to any rank, as our own Onesimus did, and their masters are willing to permit it, and grant them their freedom, and allow them to leave home, let him be so ordained.

Do you accept these as official teachings of the Church, seeing how Gangra and the Canons of the Apostles were eventually Ratified by Oecumenical Synods, a rejection of their authority would be tantamount to a Rejection of the Authority of the Oecumenical Synods.

Finally, as you mentioned Philemon earlier, I though you might want to know what St. John Chrysostom thought of it. He quite liked the book, and wrote three Homilies on the short book, but here I will quote from his argument as to why it should be included in the Canon of Scripture, the Saint is here telling his Audience what we learn from the book:

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But it is useful for you to learn that this Epistle was sent upon necessary matters. Observe therefore how many things are rectified thereby. We have this one thing first, that in all things it becomes one to be earnest. For if Paul bestows so much concern upon a runaway, a thief, and a robber, and does not refuse nor is ashamed to send him back with such commendations; much more does it become us not to be negligent in such matters. Secondly, that we ought not to abandon the race of slaves, even if they have proceeded to extreme wickedness. For if a thief and a runaway become so virtuous that Paul was willing to make him a companion, and says in this Epistle, "that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me" (v. 13), much more ought we not to abandon the free. Thirdly, that we ought not to withdraw slaves from the service of their masters. For if Paul, who had such confidence in Philemon, was unwilling to detain Onesimus, so useful and serviceable to minister to himself, without the consent of his master, much less ought we so to act. For if the servant is so excellent, he ought by all means to continue in that service, and to acknowledge the authority of his master, that he may be the occasion of benefit to all in that house. Why dost thou take the candle from the candlestick to place it in the bushel?

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« Reply #160 on: June 21, 2005, 07:37:18 PM »

Ebor,

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Such were acts of desperation.  People who have things going tolerably well don't decide one day that life would be even better as a slave.  And there are the cases of people captured and sold by others against their will and choice.

Acts of desperation that demonstrate that in the eyes of many slaves, slavery was a lesser evil than the alternative society offered them.

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I was writing of people who are not slaves and have some choice in their path.

I have yet to see how it is somehow immoral to deny someone the choice of their career, but with that said I may have some choice, but it is quite limited. Let's say I want to be the CEO of Microsoft...are you honestly going to tell me that it's a possibility?

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Well, I don't know what circles you frequent, but people who have chosen to, for example, join the Peace Corps or other service organizations aren't in it for economic reasons and I haven't seen them being "punished" for it.

Ah, but they are, they are punished by economic sanctions. They do not have the same opportunity at economic means that someone who dedicates himself to, say, business or economics has.

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People have chosen to be artists or writers or other occupations and there isn't a general public scorn that I have seen.  But maybe things are different in Montana where I grew up and aslo my family encouraged us to find the path we liked or wanted. 

There are varying degrees, this is true, but take the artist for example. If one desires to pursue an area of art for which he can find no patrons, which is often the case, he will find himself sanctioned economically by the capitalistic mechanisms of our society.

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There is a difference between "not want to work" and "work in a noble pursuit".  And how is it "Punishment" if someone who *will* not work does not have things that someone who has worked does?  Consequences might be more the correct word.

And perhaps the proper name for the penalities a slave endures for his failure to work faithfully for his master, and serve his master with love and honour are not 'punishments' but rather 'consequences.'

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Lies? If that we've "Arrived" at an ideal, no, but there has been progress and there is still a ways to go.  Life is like that.

I dont know that we have progressed substantially, perhaps we even regressed. The Ending of Serfdom in Russia was condemned by many socialist philosophers as a step backwards, because by better entertaining the serfs all that effectively happened was that the move towards revolution was temporally undermined. Improving things to make people happy without a Change at the most fundamental level is not necessarially progress.

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wages?  Some may have gotten money, for others any money they made went to their masters.  Cared for?  Some were, some weren't.  Some were traded or sold when they were not useful any more.  The situation in the factories was bad too.  I don't think anyone here is claiming that it was, and such continues today with sweatshops and miserable conditions around the world. Ever heard of the "Triangle Shirtwaist Fire"?  That was a tiny tip of the miserable working conditions of thousands of people.  Then there are the coal mines and the Company Store.  None of these is treating other people the same as the Owners. That doesn't make it Right.  It is something that people tried to stop and are still trying to do.  .

And the fundamental problems of greed, economic demand, and currency based capitalistic economies were never addressed. Things have not Fundamentally Changed as a result of emancipation.

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It would seem that here is one of our points of disagreement.  Not everything that came from the "Enlightenment" is evil or wrong.  It's a rather broad area. How much of it have you actually read?  In primary sources? 

Not everything from the Englightenment is bad, I actually agree with the premise that slavery should eliminated; however, the fact that I would prefer to see it eliminated does not mean that it was or even is sinful. Furthermore, I do find condemning the Practices of Ancient Christians based on enlightenment philosophy to be problematic at best.
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« Reply #161 on: June 21, 2005, 09:59:08 PM »

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No Culture is all good or all bad.   

I agree with this statement.

I find it interesting that the Yankees on the board here are unwilling/turn a blind eye to the atrocities of the Union. What were the people here in my home state of Missouri supposed to do when union troups come in on a regular basis and unjustly wreak havoc upon thousands of innocent people?? Do you think that Frank & Jessie James were fighting for slavery?? Was William Clark Quantrill fighting for the instituion of slavery? (was that their primary purpose in defending the south?)

I am amazed that anyone who seriously reads history actually believes that slavery was the primary purpouse of the war of northern aggression.

Also, doesn't it bother you yankee lovers that the north was coming from a secular humanist view point (just watch the movie "Gods and Generals" to see this in action).

If anyone here believes that the uncivil war was fought primarily about slavery, then I have some swamp land in florida to sell you.  Cheesy Cheesy

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God bless Dixieland and the Confederacy!!!!

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« Reply #162 on: June 22, 2005, 09:42:58 AM »

It works in Orthodox Circles in general because of the Importance of Tradition in the Orthodox Church, if a posistion can be demonstrated to only be a few hundred years old, by virtue of that fact it looses much credibility. The Reason it doesn't work in the West is because of their notion of development of Doctrine, that is to say the belief that we are more wise than the Fathers of the Church, the Apostles, and even Christ.

No, no, no. You don't get to do theology this way; as an Anglican, I can, but as an Orthodox Christian you are bound to what your bishops teach. And when you say

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Seeing how Slavery is not a significant topic of discussion amongst our synods, your requests are unreasonable, most Bishops probably don't even have an informed opinion on the Subject, and certainly don't have an official statement.

...you aren't even bothering to ask them, so how would you know? So far the score on current statements is 2-0 in my favor, and as for "informed opinion", that's a euphemism on your part for "accepting the arguments that I assert".

My insistence-- not request-- that you listen to your bishops is merely Orthodox. And it's far more likely that the reasons there isn't significant "discussion" of slavery are (a) that almost every country where there is a significant Orthodox presence has outlawed slavery, and (b) the teaching that it is immoral to hold slaves is so universally held that there is no need for further discussion.

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Are we to say that there is sin in the Law of Moses when criteria were established? Consider Leviticus xxv. 38-46[.]

Oh, please. I can quote Jesus on this one:

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They say to him: Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away? He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. Matt. 19: 7-8 (D-R)

And in looking at your citations of Chrysostom, I notice that the commentary on Philemon addresses a completely different point, and that on 1st Corinthians is addressing the issue of seeking freedom, not of holding slaves. I do not think it can be assumed that Chrysostom would have looked upon the institution of slavery in the USA with the same equanimity.

And then there's this:

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Are you suggesting that the Morals and Doctrines of the Church Change with time? That is far more frightening than even your acceptance of Abolitionism...Perhaps all those prohibitions against Homosexuality are 'outdated' as well, if bishops start defending homosexuality does that mean that the Posistion of the Church is that it ceases to be a sin? Animal rights seem to be all the rage now, perhaps one day we'll condemn the consumption of Meat as immoral too...history, fathers, and councils be damned.

Well, the doctrines of the church do change with time, at least as far as one age finds it necessary to condemn that which the previous did not condemn. The evidence for the doctrine of the Trinity was there from the beginning, but the doctrine was not formulated until Nicea. Likewise, the teaching that enslavement was immoral was implicit in the gospel from the beginning, but it waited until a late date to be expounded.

The rest of your posturing here is beside the point. Your bishops do not teach any of these other things, so making hypothetical and rhetorical questions about how one should act if they did is immaterial.

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« Reply #163 on: June 22, 2005, 10:26:44 AM »

I find it interesting that the Yankees on the board here are unwilling/turn a blind eye to the atrocities of the Union.

The fact is that atrocities are part of war, for war itself is, in the end, an atrocity. I do not turn a blind eye to them, but as far as we are arguing now, they are a distraction from the main point.

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I am amazed that anyone who seriously reads history actually believes that slavery was the primary purpouse of the war of northern aggression.

I didn't say that. What I would say instead is that slavery was the ultimate cause of the civil war.

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Also, doesn't it bother you yankee lovers that the north was coming from a secular humanist view point (just watch the movie "Gods and Generals" to see this in action).

First, I don't agree. Second, when it takes secular humanists to teach us what we should have already seen in our own scriptures, it does not reflect well on us.
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« Reply #164 on: June 22, 2005, 07:10:13 PM »

No, no, no. You don't get to do theology this way; as an Anglican, I can, but as an Orthodox Christian you are bound to what your bishops teach. And when you say

You're confusing Orthodoxy and Catholicism, perhaps you need to take a closer look at Orthodox Ecclesiology. We don't have infallible bishops, furthermore the authority of which you are Refering to is not the Authority of Individual Bishops, but the Authority of a Synod...If all the bishops of a synod independently put forward a posistion, it carries about as much authority as the opinion of an equal number of Theologians, if they then get together and formally declare it in synod, that's different. With this in mind, please give me a SYNOD which condemned Slavery as immoral and sinful...I have given you Two Synods, Gangra and the Synod in Trullo, the latter of which is an Oecumenical Synod, an authority that can ONLY be Contradicted or Overruled by another Oecumenical Synod (No Individual Bishops, Reigonal Synods, Patriarchal Synods, Endimousa Synods, or Pan-Orthodox Synods have this authority) which promulgated Canons protecting the Rights of Slave Owners and ANATHEMATIZING those who incited dissent, or even dishonouring of their masters, amongst slaves. I am curious as to the Synod which reversed these decrees.

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...you aren't even bothering to ask them, so how would you know? So far the score on current statements is 2-0 in my favor, and as for "informed opinion", that's a euphemism on your part for "accepting the arguments that I assert".

Next Time I'm sitting before the Patriarchal Throne at an Oecumenical Synod, and we run out of things to talk I'll bring the issue up. Heck, if this issue comes up before a mere Patriarchal Synod, I'll try and remember to bring the issue up to get their opinion, though, of course, that synod cannot change the Decrees of Trullo.

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My insistence-- not request-- that you listen to your bishops is merely Orthodox. And it's far more likely that the reasons there isn't significant "discussion" of slavery are (a) that almost every country where there is a significant Orthodox presence has outlawed slavery, and (b) the teaching that it is immoral to hold slaves is so universally held that there is no need for further discussion.

Perhaps you can find a Synod from while slavery was still popular condemning it? My guess is that if a Synod were to Rule on the Issue, the decision would be similar to how Rome condemned the Death Penalty (which is essentially what I am aruging). Being very careful not to condemn past people or societies for instituting it, yet arguing that it is inappropriate within our current social context. Though Personal opinions of a few Bishops on this topic may be rash, a synod would probably not be willing to try and decree such broad condemnation on our forefathers, thus the reason that Synods and not Individuals are invested with the authority you refer to.

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And in looking at your citations of Chrysostom, I notice that the commentary on Philemon addresses a completely different point, and that on 1st Corinthians is addressing the issue of seeking freedom, not of holding slaves. I do not think it can be assumed that Chrysostom would have looked upon the institution of slavery in the USA with the same equanimity.

Let me post again some brief quotes from the longer one of Chrysostom I first posted:

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"But even if thou canst become free, use it rather:" that is, rather continue a slave. Now upon what possible ground does he tell the person who might be set free to remain a slave? He means to point out that slavery is no harm but rather an advantage...

This then is not what he says: but as I said, meaning to point out that a man gets nothing by being made free, he says, "Though thou hast it in thy power to be made free, remain rather in slavery"...

Ver. 23. "Ye were bought with a price: become not bondservants of men." This saying is addressed not to slaves only but also to free men. For it is possible for one who is a slave not to be a slave; and for one who is a freeman to be a slave. "And how can one be a slave and not a slave?" When he doeth all for God: when he feigns nothing, and doeth nothing out of eye-service towards men: that is how one that is a slave to men can be free. Or again, how doth one that is free become a slave? When he serves men in any evil service, either for gluttony or desire of wealth or for office's sake. For such an one, though he be free, is more of a slave than any man.

I fear I missed the Part where slavery was a great evil...St. John Chrysostom even went as far as calling it an 'advantage.'

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Well, the doctrines of the church do change with time, at least as far as one age finds it necessary to condemn that which the previous did not condemn. The evidence for the doctrine of the Trinity was there from the beginning, but the doctrine was not formulated until Nicea. Likewise, the teaching that enslavement was immoral was implicit in the gospel from the beginning, but it waited until a late date to be expounded.

First of all, there is no synod which has condemned it, or at least if there is one, no one involved in this discussion has been able to find it, so it clearly was not a significant one. Furthermore, I question how any synod of lesser authority than an Oecumenical Synod could condemn the institution as immoral when the Apostolic Canons, as ratified by the Sixth Oecumenical Synod, protect the Rights of Slave Owners. And in it's ratification of Gangra, went even further in dealing with Abolitionists, who taught Slaves to have anything less than Love and Honour for their Masters, and Anathematized them as heretics, or perhaps I should say using the words of St. Paul, blasphemers. You are not suggesting that the Church address something that has thus far not been addressed, but rather that they overturn past decrees of both Scripture and an Oecumenical Synod.

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The rest of your posturing here is beside the point. Your bishops do not teach any of these other things, so making hypothetical and rhetorical questions about how one should act if they did is immaterial.

Ah yes, the decrees of the Oecumenical Synods, the only truly authoritive decrees we have on the Subject matter apart from Scripture are irrelevant (the decrees of Chrysostom carry Moral Authority, but not the Authority of the Synods)...you really need to get a grasp of Orthodox Ecclesiology.
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« Reply #165 on: June 22, 2005, 10:24:15 PM »

Accept?!?  You have *no* say? No career or interests that you choose to follow?  Where did you lose your freedom to choose? Who is dictating your life path for you?  Are you in ill-health that prevents you? How old are you?   "merely accidental"? Slaves were owned not by accident but on purpose.  Circumstances and causes matter. I was on the dole once.  I found things to do that bit by bit got me up and out.  It's not true that "You can do anything if you try."  But one may do many things if one tries.  Sometimes we don't try, but that is our choice or our fear or our reluctance to step out.

I lose my freedom many places. In my genetics, when I am not born with the talent to pursue what i would like. In society, if they are not interested in exchanging the things I need to live for the things I wish to pursue. In colleges that reject my application for whatever reason (and please, I know you're not so idealistic as to say that they are only rejected if my qualifications aren't good enough). And even if I get into a college, eventually, if I don't get into the right one, even opportunites in the field I have chosen may be seriously curtailed. I lose my freedom everywhere everyday. I also lose it at work where I have to do what my master tells me or else my food is taken away (that's essentially what happens if I get fired, isn't it). Your freedom is largely an illusion. You can choose what to think and how to respond to your surroundings, but what happens to you is largely out of your control.



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« Reply #166 on: June 22, 2005, 10:33:11 PM »

Sorry. Ok, I’ll try to be clearer (and use a spell check, but I don’t have one on my mother’s computer, and the one here, well, last time I used it it screwed up my whole posts).

Sivisokol said:
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it doesn’t all have to “end in Nietzsche” as you so glibly write

But it does have to end in Nietzsche. He is the logical consequence of a system of philosophy that had lost all transcendence because it was trapped in the subject. This is why Enlightenment philosophy is so humanistic, because it didn’t have anything outside of man to turn to. This was a result of Descartes’ “turn” from the object to the subject. The Enlightenment followed naturally from Descartes and Nietzsche followed necessarily. This is why freedom and equality are the lynchpins of our system of government, because where man is the measure of all things (there really is nothing new under the sun) one man can’t be better or worse than another (hence equality) and nothing outside of man can tell him what to do (hence freedom). But when you elevate these values above all others, which inheres in their very natures, i.e. the concept of freedom itself fights against any restriction from above or outside and the concept of equality against any hierarchy (including saint vs sinner), hence when you elevate these values to the highest values of a society, as America has done, then you can’t help but devolve into anarchy. It is a blatantly anti-Christian system of thought. You can see it in our society today. The problem with America isn’t that she isn’t living up to her values. The problem is that she finally is living up to them. Freedom and equality only work as any kind of value whatsoever if you have an over-arching ethic which contains and restricts them. America, by its very notion of separation of Church and State, has rendered any such over-arching ethic impotent. This is also inherent in Enlightenment philosophy with its humanistic focus, which also denies any over-arching ethic outside of man himself. This is why you got such weak attempts to overcome this problem as Social Contract theory, Utilitarianism, Enlightened Self-interest, etc. This is also why such claims as “equality of opportunity” or “freedom within limits” are untenable. These understandings of these concepts assume an over-arching ethic which limits equality to opportunity and limits freedom, the principles of Enlightenment philosophy and the principles of American Democracy themselves, deny any such over-arching ethic. They are claims to an understanding of equality and freedom not allowed either by the foundations of our Democracy nor its clearly stated principles. Even when America seeks to impose an over-arching ethic, as she does from time to time, she does so in contradiction to the principles she espouses. Even such attempts at an over-arching ethic as “as long as it doesn’t impinge on someone else’s freedom” is hypocritical in this way. If impinging on freedom is the great evil which must be avoided, then even impinging my freedom when it impinges on another’s freedom should be avoided? What principle allows you to choose which freedom to impinge in a system designed precisely to avoid impinging freedom?

Nietzsche is the logical and necessary conclusion to this line of thought, because he was the first to recognize and consistently and coherently deal with the lack of transcendence. Read his Madman epigram in The Gay Science (or joyful Wisdom, depending on the translation). It is a beautiful and completely accurate statement of the situations that we are in after Descartes.

This is why I say that you are arguing from a post-Enlightenment American mindset that has almost nothing in common with Christianity, and therefore renders your arguments, when based thereon, invalid. Especially when those ideas contradict the clear teaching of everything in our tradition.

The previous discussion should also reveal why your strange arguments against computers are not on point. The problem  lies in the values you are elevating as foundational too morality, i.e. freedom and equality.
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« Reply #167 on: June 24, 2005, 11:34:11 AM »

You're confusing Orthodoxy and Catholicism, perhaps you need to take a closer look at Orthodox Ecclesiology. We don't have infallible bishops, furthermore the authority of which you are Refering to is not the Authority of Individual Bishops, but the Authority of a Synod.

For the purposes of the current discussion I think a reply from the OCA spokeman is a good enough substitute for a synod. And you, after all, fail to provide me anything.

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I have given you Two Synods, Gangra and the Synod in Trullo, the latter of which is an Oecumenical Synod[.]

Trullo is not an ecumenical council. It has never been accepted in the west.

But be that as it way, the point is that you're picking and choosing. Your interpretation of these counciliar canons lacks the authority that even a single present day bishop carries. Given a choice between you and your bishops, I'll pick your bishops as interpreters.

FIND ME A BISHOP. So far you've failed to produce even one modern hierarchical exponent of your views.

FIND ME A BISHOP. Right now you're just an eastern Martin Luther.

FIND ME A BISHOP. If you can't, you're just another layman espousing a crackpot theology.

FIND ME A BISHOP!
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« Reply #168 on: June 24, 2005, 12:18:13 PM »

For the purposes of the current discussion I think a reply from the OCA spokeman is a good enough substitute for a synod. And you, after all, fail to provide me anything.

The OCA's Synod isn't even a good subsitute for a Synod, much less some OCA priest answering internet questions. Furthermore, there are no subsitutes for Synods, not even the Common Opinion of All the Bishops who are members of a synod making consonant private decrees.

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Trullo is not an ecumenical council. It has never been accepted in the west.

It's an extension of the Sixth Oecumenical Synod, and was regarded as that by the Fathers of the Seventh Oecumenical Synod. Thus it is Ratified by the Statement of Faith of Nicea II, Trullo's Canons are as Oecumenical as the Seventh Oecumenical Synod.

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But be that as it way, the point is that you're picking and choosing. Your interpretation of these counciliar canons lacks the authority that even a single present day bishop carries. Given a choice between you and your bishops, I'll pick your bishops as interpreters.

I've presented the Evidence for my side of the Argument. Now it's your turn. You go find the Synodal Decrees and Patristic and Scriptural references to support your side of the Argument...that is how these debates go. Perhaps you should look around the other discussions on this board, debates are not entirely accomplished by trying to get modern hierarchs on your team. Furthermore, the burden of Proof is on you, I'm arguing moral neutrality and the fact that no one can be condemned for what you claim to be a sin. If you're going to make an act that was traditionally not regarded as a sin into a sin, and condemn those engaged in the institution of slavery, you need to present some evidence that a Synod formally Changed the Church's posistion on the Issue.

So I ask you again, What SYNOD Supports your condemnation of the Fathers? Even a few patristic quotes would be nice to move this discussion along at this point.

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FIND ME A BISHOP. ...

I did, St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople. I also found you SYNODS...Infinitely more important than Bishops. You have failed to find either to support your innovation.
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« Reply #169 on: June 24, 2005, 12:44:53 PM »

After going back and looking at the Source of the Quote you gave earlier on in the discussion from the Oecumenical Patriarch, I believe that could quite clearly be construed as a modern endorsement of my posistion. His All Holiness equated Slavery and War, yet did not condemn either, he established that Peace and Freedom as greater virtues, but did not go as far as you do to condemn War or Slavery but rather listed them as things that 'need to be kept under strict control.' St. Basil says that one who kills in war commits no sin, so though Peace may be the greater virtue, war is still not Sinful. Though Freedom may be a greater Virtue (which is more questionable than establishing peace as a greater virtue than war), Slavery is not sinful, and His All Holiness is careful and does not condemn it as such.

I fear the open condemnation that you want is not to be found, a preference for one over the other, yes...and on this I agree, but I, like the Oecumenical Patrairch, am Unwilling to condemn such a long maintained Institution that was condoned by the Fathers as sinful, the radicalism you advocate will rarely be found in the Church, and where it is found it is almost always a detriment.
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« Reply #170 on: June 24, 2005, 04:08:32 PM »

The OCA's Synod isn't even a good subsitute for a Synod, much less some OCA priest answering internet questions. Furthermore, there are no subsitutes for Synods, not even the Common Opinion of All the Bishops who are members of a synod making consonant private decrees.

You are not a substitute for such a synod either, but that's what you are trying to be here. The councils do not state your position; you interpret them as endorsing it. It is precisely this intepretation that is the probloem, because in your theology, you aren't a definitive source of such a statement. Your bishops (and especially your bishops in synod) are. An OCA priest speaking as a representative for his bishops is better than you, and your implication that the bishops themselves would, in synod, express a different position is outlandish to the point of near disingenuity.

FIND ME A BISHOP.

You have yet to come up with a single modern bishop to endorse-- not be misinterpreted as endorsing-- your position. It's reasonable to believe that every single Orthodox bishop out there-- yea, and with them every Anglican bishop, every Catholic bishop, every presbytery and every Methodist conference-- endorses my position and rejects yours. You are simply refusing instruction from your own church.

FIND ME A BISHOP.

As for Trullo:

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It's an extension of the Sixth Oecumenical Synod, and was regarded as that by the Fathers of the Seventh Oecumenical Synod. Thus it is Ratified by the Statement of Faith of Nicea II, Trullo's Canons are as Oecumenical as the Seventh Oecumenical Synod.

You can say that until the cows come home. Trullo was not so accepted in the West, and the West has always considered it a local, Eastern council and has always rejected some of its canons. It's not ecumenical, even if the present Orthodox churches accept it as binding.

That's all rather beside the point, as again you are having to interpret the council to get it to agree to your claim.

FIND ME A BISHOP. If you can't find one single modern bishop to defend your thesis-- not say things that you interpret as supporting it, but defend it outright-- then the evidence is that your interpretation of the fathers and of scripture is idiosycratic and doesn't represent the teaching of The Church. It's not good enough to find ancient sources that you can bend to your point; you have to find a current church authority who will agree to your interpretation as representing the teaching of The Church. I've presented at least some evidence in that regard (even if you dismiss it). You've presented NOTHING.

FIND ME A BISHOP. Surely you can find one who teaches as you would teach.

FIND ME A BISHOP.
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« Reply #171 on: June 24, 2005, 04:37:30 PM »

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Trullo was not so accepted in the West, and the West has always considered it a local, Eastern council and has always rejected some of its canons. It's not ecumenical, even if the present Orthodox churches accept it as binding.

You can't be serious here!! Trullo did one thing and one thing only. It made no dogmatic statement. It declared no faith issues. It passed canons. That’s all it did. It passed canons. It did so because no canons had been passed at the 6th EC. So Trullo met to pass canons. It did so and nothing more. Now, when the 7th EC met, every canon Trullo passed was also ratified by the 7th EC. So if you want to persist in asserting that Trullo is not ecumenical, fine. The 7th Council is, and everything Trullo was  was declared to be true by the 7th EC.

So GiC, next time, just tell him the 7th EC says it, and he can’t argue. The 7th EC repeats verbatim Trullo. And sincee everyone in the West accepts the 7th, except the Protestants, all this arguing is really pointless.

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« Reply #172 on: June 24, 2005, 05:49:45 PM »

You can't be serious here!! Trullo did one thing and one thing only. It made no dogmatic statement. It declared no faith issues. It passed canons. That’s all it did. It passed canons. It did so because no canons had been passed at the 6th EC. So Trullo met to pass canons. It did so and nothing more. Now, when the 7th EC met, every canon Trullo passed was also ratified by the 7th EC. So if you want to persist in asserting that Trullo is not ecumenical, fine. The 7th Council is, and everything Trullo wasÂÂ  was declared to be true by the 7th EC.

Prove it. The Catholic Encyclopedia says: "In fact, the West never recognized the 102 disciplinary canons of this council, in large measure reaffirmations of earlier canons."

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So GiC, next time, just tell him the 7th EC says it, and he can’t argue. The 7th EC repeats verbatim Trullo.

This claim is untrue. I have looked at the CCEL texts of both and they are profoundly different. The canons of the 7th EC are much less extensive and do not, for example, condemn the iconographical imagery of the "lamb of God", as Trullo does.
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« Reply #173 on: June 24, 2005, 06:49:51 PM »

Well, GiC, there you go.

I'm going to let GiC respond to your "prove it" claim, because he is much MUCH better at that sort of thing than I am. i'm sure he will enjoy immensely recounting the history of the canons to you.  Smiley
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« Reply #174 on: June 24, 2005, 08:54:42 PM »

You are not a substitute for such a synod either, but that's what you are trying to be here. The councils do not state your position; you interpret them as endorsing it. It is precisely this intepretation that is the probloem, because in your theology, you aren't a definitive source of such a statement.

No synod has definitively spoken on the Subject, we have no episcopal decrees on it. I have none that directly support my posistion (though as has been pointed out, some that indirectly support it) and you have none that directly support yours. You seem to be trying to compensate for you inability to argue your posistion by trying to place the burden of proof on me. First of all, you are the one arguing for people's condemnation, not I...it is you who should demonstrate that they are diserving of Condemnation for their actions...it is reasonable to assume one is Innocent until Guilt can be proven and established. You would have us assume guilt of wrong doing until innocence can be proven. Secondly, as no Synod has formally addressed the matter, neither opinion is 'fully endorsed' by the Church, thus it is subject to debate...which is exactly what I thought I was doing, but you seem to wish to simply harp on the fact that there are no Synodal Decrees on the issue, and thus somehow that automatically makes you right.

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Your bishops (and especially your bishops in synod) are. An OCA priest speaking as a representative for his bishops is better than you,

Since I dont have to go into what I think of the OCA's current situation right now, I wont...but don't cite some priest of theirs who has an internet advice column as authoritive. The GOA through Holy Cross has a similar programme, if I had so desired, last year I could have signed up for a class that would have allowed me to answer such questions proposed online...if that had happened, perhaps you would be citing my statements in your arguments...LOL.

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and your implication that the bishops themselves would, in synod, express a different position is outlandish to the point of near disingenuity.

This is not at all outlandish, as an example, in the recent Excommunication of Archbishop Christodolous (which, thanks be to God, has been resolved) I know of three Bishops of the Oecumenical Throne, for certain and off the Top of my Head though I'm sure there were many more, who privately supported Archbishop Christodolous, and some of whom had made public statements implying such support if not openly declaring it. But when the Synod met, and the Archbishops and Metropolitans of the Oecumenical Throne Summoned and Assembled, in spite of some disagreement in the debates, not one Failed to Sign the Document of Excommunication, and the Synod Spoke with One, Unified, Unanimous Voice...there was not a single dissenter. Those three bishops I mentioned, they Signed in spite of the Private Opinions they had previously made.

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You have yet to come up with a single modern bishop to endorse-- not be misinterpreted as endorsing-- your position. It's reasonable to believe that every single Orthodox bishop out there-- yea, and with them every Anglican bishop, every Catholic bishop, every presbytery and every Methodist conference-- endorses my position and rejects yours. You are simply refusing instruction from your own church.

I couldn't care less about the Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Methodist Hierarchy...but as far as the Orthodox Hierarchy, you have yet to find a Bishop to direclty Endorse your Posistion, in fact the one Quote you gave from a Bishop, the Oecumenical Patriarchate, on closer inspection seemed to support my posistion. So since the vast majority of Modern Bishops are Silent on the Issue (and I do not believe they would agree with you, most are not that rash when it comes to condemning people, espeically our Fathers and Past Orthodox for their Social Practices...Remember, the Church even supported the Tzar in Russia when Serfdom (which is essentially slavery) was the law of the land) perhaps you would care to actually DEBATE the issue rather than begging it.





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You can say that until the cows come home. Trullo was not so accepted in the West, and the West has always considered it a local, Eastern council and has always rejected some of its canons. It's not ecumenical, even if the present Orthodox churches accept it as binding.
...
Prove it.

Since the debate here is about what the Orthodox Posistion is, not the posistions of the Heresiarchs in the West, their Opinion about our Oecumenical Synods really isn't relevant. But with that Said, in defence of the Synod in Trullo Session 4 of the Seventh Oecumenical Synod states:

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There are certain affected with the sickness of ignorance who are scandalized by these canons [viz. of the Trullan Synod] and say, And do you really think they were adopted at the Sixth Synod? Now let all such know that the holy great Sixth Synod was assembled at Constantinople concerning those who said that there was but one energy and will in Christ. These anathematized the heretics, and having expounded the orthodox faith, they went to their homes in the fourteenth year of Constantine. But after four or five years the same fathers came together under Justinian, the son of Constantine, and set forth the before-mentioned canons. And let no one doubt concerning them. For they who subscribed under Constantine were the same as they who under Justinian signed the present chart, as can manifestly be established from the unchangeable similarity of their own handwriting. For it was right that they who had appeared at an ecumenical synod should also set forth ecclesiastical canons. They said that we should be led as (by the hand) by the venerable images to the recollection of the incarnation of Christ and of his saving death, and if by them we are led to the realization of the incarnation of Christ our God, what sort of an opinion shall we have of them who break down the venerable images?

And then in the first canon of the said Synod:

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Seeing these things are so, being thus well-testified unto us, we rejoice over them as he that hath found great spoil, and press to our bosom with gladness the divine canons, holding fast all the precepts of the same, complete and without change, whether they have been set forth by the holy trumpets of the Spirit, the renowned Apostles, or by the Six Ecumenical Councils, or by Councils locally assembled for promulgating the decrees of the said Ecumenical Councils, or by our holy Fathers.

In light of the Statement in Session 4, there is no way this could not be construed as a promulgation of the Canons of the Synod in Trullo. Thus we see, that Nicea II both Decrees the Synod in Trullo to be an Extension of the Sixth Oecumenical Synod, and then Promulgates the Canons in her Own Canons...Thus giving the Canons of Trullo the Same authority as the Canons of Nicea II...the Authority of Canons of an Oecumenical Synod.

Furthermore, though the Pope of Rome at the time of the Synod of Trullo did not sign the Canonical Decrees of the Sixth Oecumenical Synod, they were eventually accepted by Pope Hadrian I, demonstrating an eventual acceptance of the Canons in the West, for in writing to Oecumenical Patriarch Tenasius he says, 'All the holy six synods I receive with all their canons, which rightly and divinely were promulgated by them, among which is contained that in which reference is made to a Lamb being pointed to by the Precursor as being found in certain of the venerable images [Canon 82 of Trullo].'

quod erat demonstrandum





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That's all rather beside the point, as again you are having to interpret the council to get it to agree to your claim.

And just as much interpreting is going on here about the words of current Bishops, as demonstrated by our debates about the Meaning of the Oecumenical Patriarch's speech that you brought up. But this is a significant part of DEBATE, I presented Canons and Patristic Quotes that Supported my Posistion. If you want to dismiss them, you should start my arguing how Canons protecting the Rights of Slave Owners or Anathematizing radical Abolitionists are consonant with your posistion, namely that Slavery is Sinful. Then I address your arguments, and so on and so forth, thus we make progress through Discussion...there's a little more to debate than defining Authority and Appealing to it...And when your definition of Authority excludes the Oecumenical Synods and Father of the Church, there's a whole new problem introduced. We dont have a theological or moral oracle that we ask questions and magically answers appear...Rome has tried to create that, but the Orthodox do not even want it; synods must take time and decide and even then, that often is not the end of it, other Synods will have to accept it as well as the Church as a whole, it's a slow and difficult process that includes much DEBATE...not nearly as clear cut as you'd like to make it out to be.

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Surely you can find one who teaches as you would teach.

Should be trivial considering the volumes that have been wirtten on the Subject by current Bishops. They probably consider it a non-issue, which it is until someone either tries to reinstitute it or tries to go back and Condemn Saints and Fathers of the Church thousands of years after their deaths; neither of which are significant concerns, except for on this thread. But as I've said before, you haven't presented any resounding defences of your posistions either. I'm still waiting for that Synod condemning the Fathers of the Church and the Oecumenical Synods to defend your seemingly infallible posistion.
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« Reply #175 on: June 24, 2005, 10:41:06 PM »

No synod has definitively spoken on the Subject, we have no episcopal decrees on it. I have none that directly support my posistion (though as has been pointed out, some that indirectly support it) and you have none that directly support yours.

Um, no. I don't I have "none"; it's just that you're twisting the EP's words, and you don't care for Matusiak as a spokesman for his, um, synod. And suppose I write back to Matusiak and he directs me to an official condemnation of slavery. Will that be good enough for you? RIght now, I doubt it. It's getting to the point where I'm less than willing to accept you as an authority on theological polity either.

Also, since the explanation doesn't seem to be sinking in: there's no "indirect support" in this context. You interpret these authorities as supporting you, but again I'm going to stick to preferring actual churches to you as an interpretive authority. I fail to see how this is an unreasonable standard, especially since you can't FIND ME A BISHOP.

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You seem to be trying to compensate for you inability to argue your posistion by trying to place the burden of proof on me.

It isn't going to work that way. I looked up a statement by a bishop (happened to be the EP); I asked someone representing the OCA. You've produced nothing beyond your spin of the fathers. It doesn't seem to me to be unreasonable to expect you to come up with some present-day authority besides just yourself.

"Innocent until proven guilty" is a category error. It is it is about whether someone has done something, not about the moral significance about what they are known to have done.

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Since I dont have to go into what I think of the OCA's current situation right now, I wont...but don't cite some priest of theirs who has an internet advice column as authoritive. The GOA through Holy Cross has a similar programme, if I had so desired, last year I could have signed up for a class that would have allowed me to answer such questions proposed online...if that had happened, perhaps you would be citing my statements in your arguments...LOL.

Or perhaps in that class they would have educated you as in how to answer the question properly. I dunno-- I'm tempted to seek out the GOARCH version just to see what answer I would get. I could call up the Matthewes-Greens too.

In any case, you are still anticipating that whomever I asked would give me an answer favorable to me and adverse to you. See, I am giving you a lower standard to meet, because you are saying that even if I found a bishop repeating exactly my position, you wouldn't accept him.

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[P]erhaps you would care to actually DEBATE the issue rather than begging it.

I've said I won't directly debate the morality of slavery.

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Since the debate here is about what the Orthodox Posistion is, not the posistions of the Heresiarchs in the West, their Opinion about our Oecumenical Synods really isn't relevant.

No, it isn't. To be ecumenical, it must be Catholic (that is, held in all times and places by all) and pre-schism rejection by the West means that it isn't so held. It's a bit of a pointless argument because, again, you're going to interpret Trullo's canons for me.

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But with that Said, in defence of the Synod in Trullo Session 4 of the Seventh Oecumenical Synod states:

And then in the first canon of the said Synod:

In light of the Statement in Session 4, there is no way this could not be construed as a promulgation of the Canons of the Synod in Trullo. Thus we see, that Nicea II both Decrees the Synod in Trullo to be an Extension of the Sixth Oecumenical Synod, and then Promulgates the Canons in her Own Canons...Thus giving the Canons of Trullo the Same authority as the Canons of Nicea II...the Authority of Canons of an Oecumenical Synod.

This passage is in no on-line copy of the session that I can see, and in fact seems to be a modern excursus. The actual text of the session that I see says something rather different.

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Furthermore, though the Pope of Rome at the time of the Synod of Trullo did not sign the Canonical Decrees of the Sixth Oecumenical Synod, they were eventually accepted by Pope Hadrian I, demonstrating an eventual acceptance of the Canons in the West, for in writing to Oecumenical Patriarch Tenasius he says, 'All the holy six synods I receive with all their canons, which rightly and divinely were promulgated by them, among which is contained that in which reference is made to a Lamb being pointed to by the Precursor as being found in certain of the venerable images [Canon 82 of Trullo].'

I will accept this correction as I can confirm this passage. Nonetheless Hadrian's acceptance does not seem to have signified any lasting acceptance, as far as I can tell.

Again, it's in the end a bit of a quibble.
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« Reply #176 on: June 25, 2005, 03:12:11 PM »

I've said I won't directly debate the morality of slavery.

Thank you, that is what I was getting at. I will accept that statement as a Capitualtion and an acquiescence of the Superority of the Arguments in Defence of Slavery. For this statement, which is essentially tantamount to an admission of your inability to defend your posistion, is as close as you will get to this truth.

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No, it isn't. To be ecumenical, it must be Catholic (that is, held in all times and places by all) and pre-schism rejection by the West means that it isn't so held. It's a bit of a pointless argument because, again, you're going to interpret Trullo's canons for me.

Then the 'pre-Schism' west was in Schism long before their formal removal from the Dyptics of the Great Church in the early 11th century...though from the quote of Pope Hadrian, I do not believe this to be entirely true...it just took the west a little longer to come around.

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This passage is in no on-line copy of the session that I can see, and in fact seems to be a modern excursus. The actual text of the session that I see says something rather different.

There are many good books out there that are not online...the fact that something is not on the Internet does not undermine its value, but with that said, I actually cut and pasted that passage from the Session 4 of Nicea II...because it was easier than typing it:

http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-14/Npnf2-14-161.htm#P10194_1923154

Roughly a third of the way down.
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« Reply #177 on: June 25, 2005, 05:15:30 PM »

Thank you, that is what I was getting at. I will accept that statement as a Capitualtion and an acquiescence of the Superority of the Arguments in Defence of Slavery. For this statement, which is essentially tantamount to an admission of your inability to defend your posistion, is as close as you will get to this truth.

There are two reason why I won't make such a defense. First, being an Anglican, I'm not going to cripple my arguments by staying within the lines of anyone's Orthodoxy. That's not how we do it, and since I'm dead certain you won't accept that high a standard, engagement is impossible.

Second, frankly, I believed when I originally said that-- about ten pages of postings back-- that anyone who would argue for the morality of slavery was pretty much beyond hope. You aren't changing my mind.

The only position I'm even vaguely is that Orthodoxy, NOW, teaches that slavery is wrong.

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Then the 'pre-Schism' west was in Schism long before their formal removal from the Dyptics of the Great Church in the early 11th century...though from the quote of Pope Hadrian, I do not believe this to be entirely true...it just took the west a little longer to come around.

Your opinion, for which I care not a fig.

I apologize for the mistake about search for the conciliar passage; I think I searched for something you wrote (which obviously wouldn't be there).

FIND ME A BISHOP.
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« Reply #178 on: June 25, 2005, 09:00:51 PM »

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being an Anglican, I'm not going to cripple my arguments by staying within the lines of anyone's Orthodoxy. That's not how we do it, and since I'm dead certain you won't accept that high a standard, engagement is impossible.



So what you're essentially saying is that you think your standards are higher than those of the Church? So you actually would assert that Scripture, the Councils and the opinions of men who were personally taught by Christ and walked with Christ every day are inferior to your "standards"? Is it any wonder the Anglican Church is as screwed up as it is? You allow heretics not only to stay in your Churches but to actually LEAD your Churches. And yet, Anglican standards are so supposedly high? Hmmm....... If by "high standards" you mean rejecting all moral concepts, tossing out 2 millennia of Church Tradition, rejecting the teachings of Christ and His apostles, and basically abandoning every teaching that defines Christianity, then you take the high road, and I'll take the low road, and I'll be in heaven before ye.

Sorry, just couldn't resist that. I'm not saying you won't be in heaven or that I will. It was just too good to pass up. The point is valid though. Exactly what is it, since Anglicans consider it acceptable to reject the notion of a personal God, the efficacy of prayer, Scripture as true, Christ as divine, the resurrection as real, etc., that Anglicans believe that allows them to still maintain that they should be considered part of the Christian family? And if you dispute that Anglicanism accepts these teachings as valid, I can quote one of your own Archbishops who asserts every single one of them. Was he excommunicated? No. Was he defrocked? No. Was he even censured? No. Did any Anglican authority ever once tell him, "John, these teachings are false and heretical and you can't teach them in the Church"? No.

So if this is what you mean by "high standards", I will happily "cripple my arguments" by staying within the confines of the Truth. And if engagement is impossible, because you won't accept those confines, so be it.


And stop shouting "FIND ME A BISHOP!". Our bishops aren't the final word on what is true and what isn't. But even so, many have already been found. All the bishops and several of the Councils, Paul, etc. The list could go on ad nauseum.
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« Reply #179 on: June 25, 2005, 10:06:34 PM »

So what you're essentially saying is that you think your standards are higher than those of the Church?

No. The point is that to engage in argument by authority (which is what both of you are trying to do) the authority has to be mutally accepted. If you are going to argue with me directly about slavery, I won't accept Orthodox sources alone as sufficent authorities, because for me, as an Anglican, they aren't good enough by themselves. "Higher" here is simply a measure of difficulty.

As I've said over and over again: it's not scripture and it's not the church fathers. It that you're interpreting, and by your own standards you aren't a legitimate authority to do so. By my standards, you're merely doing it badly, but that's another story.

The problem continues to be that neither of you is making any attempt at all to convince that the Orthodox churches teach now what you say they teach. Endless repetition of your interpretations isn't going to convince me that the church teaches it, because the one thing you aren't doing-- the only sufficient thing-- is to make a connection between current church teaching and your claims. They are still only your claims.

And sniping about the Anglicans is supremely pointless when you say that you "don't have infallible bishops", which essentially means that you feel free to toss aside what yours say as easily as I do in fact toss aside many of mine. Which means you're just another crypto-Protestant.

FIND ME A BISHOP. They may not be the "final word" but they have some semblance of status as official spokesman and you have none. If you can't find me a single bishop to express your position, the reasonable conclusion is that you express a private opinion and nothing more.
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