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Author Topic: Moby has his own weblog  (Read 20650 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #180 on: June 26, 2005, 03:11:31 AM »

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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.


Lord have mercy. This would only be true if submitting to everything our bishops taught was the distinctive mark of Orthodoxy, which it is not. You haven’t been listening to what GiC has said. I think, if I haven’t misread (and I must admit that much of what I read I did so cursorily), he has stated the true Orthodox opinion on several occasions. We aren’t puppets of our bishops. We must submit to them as long as it doesn’t compromise the integrity of the Church, but even this doesn’t mean we must blindly accept everything they say as truth. We must do what they say, but we can still have our own opinions.

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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.


Ok, well I’m always ready to be corrected when I’m wrong. So why don’t you show me how these passages should be interpreted and why you think your interpretation is better than mine or ours. All you’ve done so far is say, “You’re wrong in your interpretation.” Ok, so show me how you interpret them.

See, I don’t like this “It’s not Scripture and it’s not the Fathers, it’s just your interpretation” stuff. I hear this a lot from people 1) who don’t want to deal with what Scripture says or 2) want to dismiss Scripture as not significant enough because it’s too complicated. And to be honest, I hear these types of arguments mostly from Orthodox who want to hold onto certain non-Orthodox beliefs even though Scripture clearly contradicts them. See, Scripture says what it says, and it doesn’t require a secret decoder ring to understand. There are passages that are difficult, particularly if you have a preconceived view when you come to Scripture rather than simply let Scripture speak and put your own ideas aside, but if you come to Scripture honestly, read the whole thing and not just parts, and if you seek to let Scripture speak to you instead of trying to make it say what you want, then it becomes amazingly clear, even though there are always new depths in Scripture to be discovered.

Your argument is bogus because a man’s earthly status, i.e. whether he’s a slave or not, is completely irrelevant to his spiritual condition. God doesn’t care whether you’re a slave or a slave owner. This is all over Scripture, and this is why slavery, as an institution, can be nothing but morally neutral. What do you think it means when Paul tells slaves to treat their masters with respect, and masters to treat their slaves likewise? It isn’t important whether we’re slave or free. This is totally insignificant, and this is why it’s morally neutral. It doesn’t matter. What matters is how we treat each other, and whether we reflect the love of Christ. This is possible whether you own slaves or are a slave. Your arguments render our social status as somehow having some profound moral, and thus spiritual, significance, but this is false. Whether we’re slave or slave owner is completely irrelevant to our spiritual condition.

I find it interesting that the things the tradition of the Church, Scripture and the Fathers clearly declare to be immoral, e.g. divorce and homosexuality, the Anglican Church is ready to embrace with wide open arms, but if we talk about slavery, something the Bible, Church tradition and the fathers never once condemn, this is some great evil that can’t be tolerated even for a moment. You guys have elevated the self with its personal selfish desires above Scripture, the Fathers, and I would add God Himself.

You have been shown many bishops. Your argument that you want to know what we teach NOW is meaningless to us, because unlike Anglican teaching, ours doesn’t change. What Chrysostom said is every bit as valid today as it was when he was here on earth. Our teaching isn’t contextually relative. It is what it is and has always been. If a bishop today said something that contradicted what Chrysostom, Paul or any other ancient bishop wrote, it would not render Chrysostom’s, Paul’s or whatever other bishop’s opinion no longer relevant or valid. Your problem is that you have divorced yourself from the history of the Church, while we have not. Paul, Peter and every other bishop throughout history is every bit as much a part of the Church today and relevant to the Church today as he was in the year 100 AD, 400 AD, 800 AD, 1000 AD, etc.

You say “FIND ME A BISHOP.” Many have been found and shown to you. You don’t happen to like them because they aren’t alive now. Our response would be, “How is that relevant?” What makes you think a current bishop is more relevant than one from 1000 years ago? The only response you can give is if you think truth is relative, which, in my opinion, is heretical and completely outside the realm of Christian thought. But I think you’re church has gone there, and so I can see why this would be a problem for you. This is not intended to be "sniping" at your church, rather the simple recognition of the reason why our position is so hard for you to grasp. Chrysostom, Paul, Clement, Ignatius, Photius, etc. are no less relevant than +Kallistos Ware, Archbishop Demetrios, +Isaiah, +Maximos, etc. In fact, since many of the previous bishops are recognized as saints in the Church, their opinions are more relevant than those of current bishops who are not recognized as saints. So you have been given bishops, some of the greatest bishops with the greatest authority in our Church, bishops with far more authority than any current bishop.

And as GiC can attest, I’ve been called a Protestant many times. One of these days, I’ll stop banging my head against a door every time it happens. Wink

« Last Edit: June 26, 2005, 03:36:06 AM by SonofAslan » Logged
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« Reply #181 on: June 26, 2005, 03:23:59 AM »

Guess what CD I listened to a half-hour ago? Moby! Smiley
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« Reply #182 on: June 26, 2005, 08:51:47 AM »

I think, if I haven’t misread (and I must admit that much of what I read I did so cursorily), he has stated the true Orthodox opinion on several occasions. We aren’t puppets of our bishops. We must submit to them as long as it doesn’t compromise the integrity of the Church, but even this doesn’t mean we must blindly accept everything they say as truth. We must do what they say, but we can still have our own opinions.

Fine: it can be your own opinion. But I'm not convinced that it is the Church's.

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All you’ve done so far is say, “You’re wrong in your interpretation.” Ok, so show me how you interpret them.

I think you are wrong in your interpretation, that is true. And what the heck, I feel up to taking some potshots at your general principles:

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Your argument is bogus because a man’s earthly status, i.e. whether he’s a slave or not, is completely irrelevant to his spiritual condition.

And I don't agree, and the church doesn't agree either. Some states are indifferent, some are not; that is what The Church teaches. And it's really common sense.

I've already said it once: being a slave isn't an issue; taking and keeping slaves-- that is the issue.

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I find it interesting that the things the tradition of the Church, Scripture and the Fathers clearly declare to be immoral, e.g. divorce and homosexuality, the Anglican Church is ready to embrace with wide open arms, but if we talk about slavery, something the Bible, Church tradition and the fathers never once condemn, this is some great evil that can’t be tolerated even for a moment. You guys have elevated the self with its personal selfish desires above Scripture, the Fathers, and I would add God Himself.

You're making lots of errors here about Anglicanism, the chief of which is to imply that I am somehow more bound to follow my bishops than you are to follow yours. Please: this is just intellectual laziness on your part. The truth, I suspect, is that you would do a lot worse job of approaching Anglican moral thought than you're already doing with your own church.

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You have been shown many bishops.

What bishops I have been shown do not say directly what you claim.

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Your argument that you want to know what we teach NOW is meaningless to us, because unlike Anglican teaching, ours doesn’t change.

You say that, but it isn't true. What bishop today would agree that the Orthodox cannot patronize Jewish doctors? It's right there in Trullo! And besides, your word isn't good enough. It's an empirical claim which needs to be demonstrated empirically. FIND ME A BISHOP or I shall continue to claim that the church no longer teaches this!

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What makes you think a current bishop is more relevant than one from 1000 years ago?

Because the living bishops can object to being misinterpreted, while the dead cannot. And because it's an utterly reasonable test.

FIND ME A BISHOP.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2005, 08:53:30 AM by Keble » Logged
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« Reply #183 on: June 29, 2005, 10:57:06 AM »

I lose my freedom many places.

I'm sorry, but you seem to be lumping any possible meaning of "freedom" into one mass and if you lack any one of them then you lack all.  You seem to be confusing "Omnipoteniality" with freedom. 

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In my genetics, when I am not born with the talent to pursue what i would like.

Talent?  Not everyone is a prodigy at 4.  Practice and work build talent.  Then there are talents that are discovered that we have as time passes.  It doesn't all happen at once.  And genetics?  Somethings are beyond the control of any Human Being. What does genetics have to do with freedom?  I haven't lost freedom by needing glasses. 

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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

Not *only*. there are many factors for not getting into things like colleges. However, it is one factor. Others might be that available slots are filled, lack of finances, or that you might just not be suited among other things.  It doesn't *have* to be due to malice on others' part.  To borrow a cliche, it's not all about you.  No one gets everything they want and not everything one *wants* is necessarily good.  As to opportunites, they don't just come to one on a silver plate.  There's work and seeking involved.  I gather that you are late teens or early 20's? 

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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.

If you don't like the work, seek other paths.  You are not helpless.  You *can* do things.  But freedom doesn't mean getting whatever we want when ever we want it.  It can take time and work.    And by making a choice between several things, you have the freedom to pick one, but by so doing you cannot then also have all the others.  Why should an employer be obliged to pay you if you do not fulfill your part of the job?  A person's actions *do* apply to what happens to them in many cases.

What does "freedom" mean to you beyond "Doing whatever I want."?


Ebor
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« Reply #184 on: June 29, 2005, 12:08:51 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. 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.

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.

I have waited for a week for any citations supporting these statements.  None has been forthcoming.  Reading *about* a work or study is not the same as reading the work itself.  Go to the Primary Source to find out what is really written or said.

I know about the 1930's government "study".  It was from the Folklore Project of the Federal Writers Project of the WPA, which can be looked up at the Library of Congress site:
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/wpaintro/wpahome.html
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/collections/voices/
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/snintro00.html


Over 2,300 former slaves were inteviewed.  These along with other interviews by such places as Fisk University were collected in a massive multi-volume work The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography edited by George Rawick, Greenwood Pub. 1972-1979  There is a set of this in the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore.  A good thing since even used each volume costs a good bit, so I do not have any in my own home library.

Some of the interviews can be seen on-line.  See here for the intro and then a sample
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/wpa/wpahome.html
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/wpa/technote.html
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/wpa/index.html

Actually photos of the typed pages from some of the interviews can be seen here:
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/snhome.html

for example:
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=mesn&fileName=100/mesn100.db&recNum=130&itemLink=r?ammem/mesnbib:@field(DOCID+@lit(mesn/100/131126))

is the text of an interview with Sarah Frances Shaw Graves age 87 who "Still carries scars from lashes"

A quote from Mary Reynolds, a very old woman and blind at the time of the inteview:

"Slavery was the worst days was ever seed in the world. They was things past tellin', but I got the scars on my old body to show to this day. I seed worse than what happened to me. I seed them put the men and women in the stock with they hands screwed down through holes in the board and they feets tied together and they naked behinds to the world. Solomon the the [sic] overseer beat them with a big whip and massa look on. The n**** better not stop in the fields when they hear them yellin'. They cut the flesh most to the bones and some they was when they taken them out of stock and put them on the beds, they never got up again. "

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/wpa/reynold1.html

There is much more. Not all slaves were abused so, but there is plenty to show that it was not a "myth"

More citations may be provided on request.

Ebor

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« Reply #185 on: June 29, 2005, 12:13:47 PM »

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.

"Need"?

I would suspect that your ancestors did not see any such "need" to be subjugated.  Such statements do not seem to me to show an understanding of other cultures and other times.  Who are you do decide that other people need to be subjugated? 

Ebor
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« Reply #186 on: June 29, 2005, 12:46:18 PM »

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

I am unaware that "Society" would offer famine or flood or drought or plague or other disasters that lead to desperate decisions.ÂÂ  It's not all "society".

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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?

I don't know.ÂÂ  Are you good at computer technology?ÂÂ  Did you major in Comp Sci or Engineering or Business or Law?ÂÂ  Do you really want to be the CEO of Microsoft?ÂÂ  Are you willing to work at it for years and years?ÂÂ  Things like that don't just come to most people on a silver plate.ÂÂ  Heck , it didn't come to Bill the Gates on a plate either.ÂÂ  

I'm under the impression that you went to Seminary.ÂÂ  Was that not of your choice?ÂÂ  Were you forced to go?ÂÂ  If you want to be CEO of Micro$soft, that is not the shortest or most liikely path to the goal, maybe.

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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.

Punished?ÂÂ  Is the only mark of value money?ÂÂ  I reject your premise that differences in pay are somehow "Punishment".ÂÂ  Also, there are people for whom having enough and not excess is just fine.

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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.

Patrons?ÂÂ  Captalist?ÂÂ  There are plenty of people who create art for the sheer creative urge or the love of the act. It's not always about money.ÂÂ  There are others who care for the sick or destitute because they want to help and not to get rich.ÂÂ  

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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.'

No, I don't think so. Not doing work that you have agreed to do for your employer (who did not buy nor chain you) and being reprimanded or firedÂÂ  is not the same thing as displeasing a master who then whips or deals out other forms of physical punishment.ÂÂ  If you were to be enslaved against your will, would you easily serve with "love and honour"?ÂÂ  

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I dont know that we have progressed substantially, perhaps we even regressed.

I don't know how old you are. I'm 49.  My parents are in their 80's.  ÃƒÆ’‚ There have been many changes in the last 80 years.  It doesn't all happen at once. Yes, we'd like a magic wand to make everything we don't like all better *now*.  But it doesn't work that way. There is still a way to go, and even then there'll probably be new bad things cropping up.  But you have to wait and work for things, sometimes.  

Ebor
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« Reply #187 on: June 30, 2005, 10:59:11 PM »

I have waited for a week for any citations supporting these statements.ÂÂ  None has been forthcoming.ÂÂ  Reading *about* a work or study is not the same as reading the work itself.ÂÂ  Go to the Primary Source to find out what is really written or said.

From this same report we also get these quotes:

Patsy Mitchner, age 84 when interviewed on July 2, 1937:

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Before two years had passed after the surrender, there was two out of every three slaves who wished they was back with their marsters. The marsters' kindness to the nigger after the war is the cause of the nigger having things today. There was a lot of love between marster and slave, and there is few of us that don't love the white folks today. . . . Slavery was better for us than things is now, in some cases. Niggers then didn't have no responsibility; just work, obey, and eat.

Betty Cofer, age 81:

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The rest of the family was all fine folks and good to me, but I loved Miss Ella better'n anyone or anything else in the world. She was the best friend I ever had. If I ever wanted for anything, I just asked her and she give it to me or got it for me somehow. . . . I done lived to see three generations of my white folks come and go and they're the finest folks on earth.

Adeline Johnson, age 93:

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That was a happy time, with happy days. . . . I'll be satisfied to see my Savior that my old marster worshiped and my husband preach about. I wants to be in heaven with all my white folks, just to wait on them and love them, and serve them, sorta like I did in slavery time. That will be enough heaven for Adeline.

Mary Anderson, age 86:

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I think slavery was a mighty good thing for Mother, Father, me and the other members of the family, and I cannot say anything but good for my old marster and missus, but I can only speak for those whose conditions I have known during slavery and since. For myself and them, I will say again, slavery was a mighty good thing.

Simuel Riddick, age 95:

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My white folks were fine people. . . . I haven't anything to say against slavery. My old folks put my clothes on me when I was a boy. They gave me shoes and stockings and put them on me when I was a little boy. I loved them, and I can't go against them in anything. There were things I did not like about slavery on some plantations, whupping and selling parents and children from each other, but I haven't much to say. I was treated good.

Sylvia Cannon, age 85:

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Things sure better long time ago then they be now. I know it. Colored people never had no debt to pay in slavery time. Never hear tell about no colored people been put in jail before freedom. Had more to eat and more to wear then, and had good clothes all the time 'cause white folks furnish everything, everything. Had plenty peas, rice, hog meat, rabbit, fish, and such as that.

These quotes come from an American Philosophy Professor living in South Africa with a Pen Name of Gedahlia Braun, the article can be found at the following site.

 http://www.americancivilrightsreview.com/slavery-whatexslavessaid.htm

As I have not read the study, I cannot comment on it directly, but with that said, the author of the Said Article, who has spent time with the study has said that in spite of the Original Editor's Liberal Bias, it still ended up painting slavery in a relatively positive light.


I am unaware that "Society" would offer famine or flood or drought or plague or other disasters that lead to desperate decisions.  It's not all "society".

But an economic system that allows for distionction in wealth does allow for these natural events to effect disproportionately a certain segment of the population.

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I don't know.  Are you good at computer technology?  Did you major in Comp Sci or Engineering or Business or Law?  Do you really want to be the CEO of Microsoft?  Are you willing to work at it for years and years?  Things like that don't just come to most people on a silver plate.  Heck , it didn't come to Bill the Gates on a plate either. 

I'm under the impression that you went to Seminary.  Was that not of your choice?  Were you forced to go?  If you want to be CEO of Micro$soft, that is not the shortest or most liikely path to the goal, maybe.

I majored in Mathematics with a Minor in Computer Science. But if you're trying to tell me that would mean anything more than my degree from Holy Cross, they you're not being honest with me. Perhaps I should put it a different way that removes some of these variables that are irrelevant to the discussion...I'd like to be Bill Gates' (or any other Multi-Billionaire's) Heir, I dont really want the responsibility of the posistion itself.

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Punished?  Is the only mark of value money?  I reject your premise that differences in pay are somehow "Punishment".  Also, there are people for whom having enough and not excess is just fine.

But what about the person who absolutely loves serving the cash-register at McDonalds, yet would also like to be wealthy...why must he be deprived of one if be pursues the other...if he pursues one he is punished by being deprived the other, not because it is physically impossible to have both, but because it is economically impossible within our current system.

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Patrons?  Captalist?  There are plenty of people who create art for the sheer creative urge or the love of the act. It's not always about money.  There are others who care for the sick or destitute because they want to help and not to get rich. 

And many others who would like to dedicate their life to art and are unable to lest they starve...you're only free to dedicate your life to art if you can find others, with money, to support the endeavour.

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No, I don't think so. Not doing work that you have agreed to do for your employer (who did not buy nor chain you) and being reprimanded or fired  is not the same thing as displeasing a master who then whips or deals out other forms of physical punishment.  If you were to be enslaved against your will, would you easily serve with "love and honour"? 

My point is that I am required to make this 'agreement' with a master (employer), if I dont make this agreement I starve...so how can an agreement made under such conditions be valid? No court would uphold a contract that was signed at gunpoint...which is exactly what my taking a job I dont like is. Furthermore, I never said it would be 'easy' to serve your master with 'love and honour,' alot of things in the Christian life arn't 'easy,' but it is biblical and canonical.
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« Reply #188 on: July 01, 2005, 12:47:30 AM »

People who are held captive often sympathize with their captors. Was this the case with all of the above quotes? Probably not, but it probably was a factor in many.

At the same time, the shock of having a master-slave relationship uprooted and these people having to compete (unfairly) with whites probably contributed greatly to their nostalgia for slavery.ÂÂ  I think we can safely say that generally slavery was bad, and generally freedom is good, but that there were individual cases where persons for various motives would have preferred slavery, and that such instances do not disprove the general trend.

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« Reply #189 on: July 01, 2005, 12:52:46 AM »

People who are held captive often sympathize with their captors. Was this the case with all of the above quotes? Probably not, but it probably was a factor in many.

At the same time, the shock of having a master-slave relationship uprooted and these people having to compete (unfairly) with whites probably contributed greatly to their nostalgia for slavery.  I think we can safely say that generally slavery was bad, and generally freedom is good, but that there were individual cases where persons for various motives would have preferred slavery, and that such instances do not disprove the general trend.

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Is that Stockholm syndrome you are talking about?
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« Reply #190 on: July 01, 2005, 08:33:12 AM »

These quotes come from an American Philosophy Professor living in South Africa with a Pen Name of Gedahlia Braun, the article can be found at the following site.

 http://www.americancivilrightsreview.com/slavery-whatexslavessaid.htm

Perhaps you should read what you're citing more carefully. The work is not original to the site from which you quote it, but instead come from another site: a site which is the mouthpiece of one of the more genteel white supremacist groups.

Also, careful reading of the first part of the page shows that this guy is a tertiary source. He is citing (and it isn't clear how accurately) a book which is a digest of the real study to which you have been given a direct link.
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« Reply #191 on: July 01, 2005, 11:29:46 AM »

Perhaps you should read what you're citing more carefully. The work is not original to the site from which you quote it, but instead come from another site: a site which is the mouthpiece of one of the more genteel white supremacist groups.

At times groups with more radical agendas are necessary to present different opinions so that an issue can be considered with all the facts and not just selective or politically correct 'facts.' The fact that this group is more 'genteel' would probably make them a good candidate. I do not know the Original Source of the Article (the website of which you speak may have gotten it from somewhere else), but it presents an impression that I, and from what I hear others on this board, have heard before about this study from the 30's.

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Also, careful reading of the first part of the page shows that this guy is a tertiary source. He is citing (and it isn't clear how accurately) a book which is a digest of the real study to which you have been given a direct link.

I see that looking at it again, but the fact that a 1990's digest of this study by (from what I can tell looking around online) a fairly liberal modern academic still has a tendency to portray slavery, in many cases, in a less than negative light is quite telling. The primary sources seem to say one thing in spite of the modern agendas that want them to say something else. Especially telling were the personal observations of those interviewed such as Patsy Mitchner, who observed that 'Before two years had passed after the surrender, there was two out of every three slaves who wished they was back with their marsters.' Statements like this, while far from a scientific survey, do tend to portray the general mindset and consensus of the time.
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« Reply #192 on: July 01, 2005, 12:50:29 PM »

Because with their masters, they were just being beaten, which is preferable to starving. When they had no recourse and no hope of future, of course the past looked rosy. How much would you like to be a slave under any conditions, right now? People who have experienced better things want no part of it. No one who was getting enough to eat would choose slavery.
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« Reply #193 on: July 01, 2005, 03:35:46 PM »

No one who was getting enough to eat would choose employment either. Big deal.

Stop with the "you wouldn't want to be one" arguments. They're irrelevant at best and disingenuous at worst.
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« Reply #194 on: July 01, 2005, 04:22:45 PM »

At times groups with more radical agendas are necessary to present different opinions so that an issue can be considered with all the facts and not just selective or politically correct 'facts.'

So you think that a white supremacist group doesn't have its own political correctness? I don't think so!

And are you seeking out unabashedly liberal views of the same study? Why not?

And are you reading the study itself? You don't have to rely on the word of others; you've been presented with a direct link to the original source!

My guess as to what you did was that you fished around until you found someone to support you, not bothering to check the provenance of the material.

While I'm at it: Find me a bishop.
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« Reply #195 on: July 01, 2005, 04:24:28 PM »

Stop with the "you wouldn't want to be one" arguments. They're irrelevant at best and disingenuous at worst.

A CHRISTIAN is saying this?
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« Reply #196 on: July 02, 2005, 11:12:03 AM »

YES HE IS
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« Reply #197 on: July 02, 2005, 02:41:11 PM »

Well, according to Jesus, he shouldn't be.
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« Reply #198 on: July 02, 2005, 02:46:53 PM »

Since the world doesn't operate according to relativism, thank goodness, not all opinions are equal. There comes a point where it is not only acceptable, but necessary, to throw aside an opinion as worthless, to cease to give creedence to it by treating it as a worthy opponent in argument. This just might be one of those times.
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« Reply #199 on: July 02, 2005, 03:08:24 PM »

This thread has turned into the battle of the egos.
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« Reply #200 on: July 02, 2005, 03:31:30 PM »

Lego my ego  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #201 on: July 02, 2005, 04:36:36 PM »

WOW
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« Reply #202 on: July 02, 2005, 05:51:07 PM »

I see this has turned into a SHOUTING match...lol.

I agree that it's probably time to put this to rest...especially as no one arguing that slavery is sinful, and that those who held slaves in the past should be condemned accordingly, has been able to present an argument beyond 'well...duh...do you want to be a slave?' Which has been dealt with time and time again. I dont expect them to admit that their posistion is not defendable, but that fact has been made fairly obvious.
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« Reply #203 on: July 02, 2005, 06:18:18 PM »

This thread has turned into the battle of the egos.

Not my ego. I'm still waiting for the evidence that the church currently teaches that slavery is morally neutral.
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« Reply #204 on: July 02, 2005, 06:21:04 PM »

Not my ego. I'm still waiting for the evidence that the church currently teaches that slavery is morally neutral.


Sorry, Keble, but your ego is just as large as GiC's, even if I do agree with your position on slavery.

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« Reply #205 on: July 03, 2005, 03:07:06 AM »

Sorry, Keble, but your ego is just as large as GiC's, even if I do agree with your position on slavery.

To quote the movie 'Patton:'

'Look Brad, I know I'm a prima donna. I admit it. My problem with Monty is that he won't admit it.'

Wink
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« Reply #206 on: July 03, 2005, 07:47:33 AM »

One of things one learns to do in the computer industry is not to worry about who is a prima donna and who isn't, as long as they can do the work. I seem to recall that Monty was a bit deficient in the latter area. And you, GiC, are still deficient in FINDING ME A BISHOP.
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« Reply #207 on: July 03, 2005, 10:10:40 AM »

No one who was getting enough to eat would choose employment either. Big deal.

And what would they do with their time?  I'm sorry, but the world does not fit your personal assertion.  How do *you* know what other people would do?  Perhaps *you* would not choose employment.  There are retired people who don't need to work who take a job to help others.  Or to get out and be part of the world.  There are people who are well off, who do things out of Noblesse Oblige. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, does television production work.  All of the males of the English royal house serve in the military.   

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Stop with the "you wouldn't want to be one" arguments. They're irrelevant at best and disingenuous at worst.

How is it "lacking in candor; also : giving a false appearance of simple frankness"  to attempt to bring in a sense of Compassion and Mercy?  To bring to recall the Second Great Commandment cited by Jesus:  "And the second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself." ? (Matthew 22:39 , Mark 12:31) and restated in the Epistles in Romans 13:9 , Galatians 5:14 and James 2:8.  Also in the Old Testament in Leviticus 19:18.

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« Reply #208 on: July 03, 2005, 10:51:57 AM »

These quotes come from an American Philosophy Professor living in South Africa with a Pen Name of Gedahlia Braun, the article can be found at the following site.

 http://www.americancivilrightsreview.com/slavery-whatexslavessaid.htm

As I have not read the study, I cannot comment on it directly, but with that said, the author of the Said Article, who has spent time with the study has said that in spite of the Original Editor's Liberal Bias, it still ended up painting slavery in a relatively positive light.

I also note from the page you linked to: "Someone named George P. Rawick has compiled these narratives " which might give an air of casting doubt on the compiler.  I can find out who George P.Rawick was (he's dead now): a scholar and professor at a number of universities:

http://www.umsl.edu/~muns/21st.century.library/rawick.htm

Just *who* "Gedahlia Braun" is and whether he or she is qualified is up to question. ÂÂ

I also note a second page on that site that purports to show that Slavery was egalitarian and easy and happy based on a Currier and Ives print!!
How is that an authoritative work?  I am reminded of the song "Sleigh Ride" by Mitchell Parish and Leroy Anderson:

"It'll nearly be like a picture print by Currier and Ives"

How is that picture somehow more "real" or factual then one showing slaves being auctioned and whipped?

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I majored in Mathematics with a Minor in Computer Science. But if you're trying to tell me that would mean anything more than my degree from Holy Cross, they you're not being honest with me.

Leaving aside the "honest" remark.  It *does* make a difference.  It's the *qualifications* for a job.  Someone with degrees and experience in, for example, English Lit, is not going to have what's wanted to take a position in an engineering firm.  Someone training for the priesthood and focussing on theology is not going to be able to just walk into a technical or  scientific or other field/job unless they also have the qualifications to fit that position. ÂÂ

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Perhaps I should put it a different way that removes some of these variables that are irrelevant to the discussion...I'd like to be Bill Gates' (or any other Multi-Billionaire's) Heir, I dont really want the responsibility of the posistion itself.

If you don't want to work, that is your life. If you don't want responsibility but that wealth be handed to you with not obligations, I doubt that it will happen in this world.  Why should *you* be served so, when other people work for what they want?  Other people do not share your views.  Some people find work that they love and they do it.  Others do a job so that they can also do something they like or to provide for their families or other people.  Sometimes work is done with the end result of personal satisfaction at accomplishing something. ÂÂ

I know a man, the grandson of a dirt farmer, the son of a maliman and an LPN, who didn't go to Harvard or Yale or another "Big" school, who studied and worked his way up by dint of honesty and concentration and doing things to high levels in major corporations. He also studied in the field that the companies needed employees to know.  He could choose what he studied and where he would go.  No one forced him.  He does what he is very good at. ÂÂ

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My point is that I am required to make this 'agreement' with a master (employer), if I dont make this agreement I starve...so how can an agreement made under such conditions be valid? No court would uphold a contract that was signed at gunpoint...which is exactly what my taking a job I dont like is.

How are you forced to take a job that you don't like? Or is it that work in general is distasteful?  Could it be the employee who have unrealistic ideas of a job and not the employer, who may look on a situation as "I'm giving him pay and he gives little or nothing in return"?  If you are an adult making an agreement, why should you not be bound by your word to do as you have agreed?  If you don't like it, why do you not look for another position and give notice?  Who is forcing you to take a job you don't like?  Or could one job be a stepping stone to something better?     Free people have options and paths and choices that someone in chattel slavery does not.  Also there *is* a continuum of freedom, it is not binary so that if one option is lacking then one is a slave, just like someone in chains.

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Furthermore, I never said it would be 'easy' to serve your master with 'love and honour,' alot of things in the Christian life arn't 'easy,' but it is biblical and canonical.

Are you asking of another Human Being what you do not or could not do yourself?  Is this telling someone "You're a slave, so like it" when you have not felt the chains and the lash?  Compassion and Mercy and setting captives free are also Biblical.

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« Reply #209 on: July 03, 2005, 11:03:45 AM »

Because with their masters, they were just being beaten, which is preferable to starving. When they had no recourse and no hope of future, of course the past looked rosy. How much would you like to be a slave under any conditions, right now? People who have experienced better things want no part of it. No one who was getting enough to eat would choose slavery.

Exactly, Choirfiend, and such situations are also shown in the Bible with the Exodus 14:

11: and they said to Moses, "Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, in bringing us out of Egypt?


or Numbers 11

4: Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving; and the people of Israel also wept again, and said, "O that we had meat to eat!

5: We remember the fish we ate in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic;


The people complained and said that Slavery was better.  But God had other ideas it would seem.

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« Reply #210 on: July 03, 2005, 12:57:27 PM »

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The people complained and said that Slavery was better.ÂÂ  But God had other ideas it would seem.

Now there's a wonderful example of exegesis done to suit your own preconceived views. Yeah, He had other ideas. Like sending them into slavery to Babylon, Assyria, Rome....and like allowing the Jews to hold other nations as slaves. Yeah, God is so opposed to slavery in the Old Testament.


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And what would they do with their time?ÂÂ  I'm sorry, but the world does not fit your personal assertion.ÂÂ  How do *you* know what other people would do?ÂÂ  

You guys take the cake. You criticize me for claiming I know what others would do, and yet you yourself made that exact same assertion!! Hypocrite.ÂÂ  Grin So the world doesn't fit my personal assertion, but it fits yours?ÂÂ  If it works for you, it works for me.

There have also been people who chose to be slaves even when they did have enough to eat. This is why you have the provision in Scripture for those who don't want to leave their masters after their term of slavery has ended.

As for compassion and mercy. Lord have mercy do you guys pay attention? Go back and read 1) Scripture, 2) the Church's canons, 3) these posts. Slavery is neither inherently uncompassionate nor unmerciful. Geez.

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Compassion and Mercy and setting captives free are also Biblical.

Not when they slaves are not yours it's not. That would be both unscriptural and uncanonical. Forcably freeing others people slaves is condemned both in Scripture and in the canons. Explicitly.

But that wouldn't count as a bishop, would it Monty (aka Keble)? Just because an Ecumenical Council passed canons against something or just because Paul said something. Heaven knows, we're so much more enlightened nowadays than the likes of Paul or the Church Fathers. Why would anyone believe a word they say?


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Well, according to Jesus, he shouldn't be.

1) So Guess according to your interpretation of Jesus the fact that I don't want to work for an employer means I can't hire people to work for me. Hmmm, strange reading of the Golden Rule.


2) Who ever said I wanted to own slaves either? No one. The fcat that I think slavery is morally neutral makes no assertions whatsoever regarding my desire to own slaves. So again, your argument is irrelevant at best and disingenuous at worst.

Ok, Monty, I'll make a deal with you. I'll find you a bishop if you will go find out what the source of Church teaching in Orthodox theology is. Deal?
And since Orthodox teaching finds its sources in the Councils, not Bishops, I want you to go find me an Ecumenical Council that declares slavery to be immoral. Then you can actually prove your claim.

So Monty, FIND ME A COUNCIL![/b][/i][/glow][/size][/color]
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« Reply #211 on: July 05, 2005, 05:18:46 PM »

I'll find you a bishop if you will go find out what the source of Church teaching in Orthodox theology is. Deal?
And since Orthodox teaching finds its sources in the Councils, not Bishops, I want you to go find me an Ecumenical Council that declares slavery to be immoral. Then you can actually prove your claim.

And here I am, looking at the OCA website, and they've handily published there Hopko's little tracts on Orthodox faith, and I am not at all surprised to see that they present a position which is consonant with mine and in disagreement with what you say. For instance, in this one Hopko says:

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Some canons of a moral and ethical character also belong to those which cannot be changed. These are the moral canons whose meaning is absolute and eternal and whose violation can in no way be justified. The canons which forbid the sale of Church sacraments are of this kind.

There are, in addition, canons of a quite practical nature which may be changed and which, in fact, have been changed in the course of the life of the Church. There are also those which may be changed but which remain in force since the Church has shown the desire to retain them. An example of the former type is the canon which requires the priests of the church to be ordained to office only after reaching thirty years of age. It might be said that although this type of canon remains normative and does set a certain ideal which theoretically may still be of value, the needs of the Church have led to its violation in actual life. The canon which requires that the bishops of the Church be unmarried is of the latter type.

amd later:

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In the first place, the canons are "of the Church" and therefore cannot possibly be understood as "positive laws" in a juridical sense; secondly, the canons are certainly not exhaustive, and do not cover every possible aspect of Church faith and life; thirdly, the canons were produced for the most part in response to some particular dogmatic or moral question or deviation in the Church life and so usually bear the marks of some particular controversy in history which has conditioned not merely their particular formulation, but indeed their very existence.

Now, you may not like Hopko, but for the moment I feel safe in believing that the OCA trusts that he presents The Orthodox Church teaching in saying what I have quoted. So I am utterly confident that the way in which both you and GiC refer to the councils is unOrthodox. Indeed, the whole point of my incessant demand to find me a bishop is that the one thing that is clearly lacking from your presentation is anybody of any authority in the church to echo your position. An interpretation strained out of ancient documents isn't good enough, as it is you speaking and not the Church.

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« Reply #212 on: July 06, 2005, 04:00:47 AM »

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the one thing that is clearly lacking from your presentation is anybody of any authority in the church to echo your position

I'm really very sorry you don't consider Scripture, the Fathers or the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils authoritative. Each one of these is far more authoritative than any, certainly modern, Bishop who can be quoted. Which is why neither I nor GiC (I am presuming to speak for him here, which is dangerous, because he generally has his own motivations, but he would certainly not disagree with me) gives any credence to your incessant demand for a Bishop. What has already been quoted is far more authoritative.

As for your further incessant cry "that's your interpretation", I will repeat what I said earlier. I am always ready to be corrected if I have misread something, so why don't you show me how the quoted passages from Scripture, the Fathers and the Councils SHOULD be interpreted. If you think the problem is our interpretation, correct us. I don't think you can, because all of these sources are really pretty clear. They aren't ambiguous. They don't contain complicated thoughts which are hard to understand. And they don't contradict what has been said elsewhere. So the problem really is no more one of interpretation of Scripture, the Fathers, etc. than it is of interpreting the emails we are writing back and forth. If we can understand what we are saying to each other with full confidence that neither is misinterpreting the other, I don't see why the case should be different with the cited sources. the only problem is that you don't LIKE what the sources say. You don't WANT them to say what they say. You bring your own preconceived views on right and wrong to Scripture and try to force your ideas upon it. This is intellectually dishonest, prideful and doesn't work.

As for Hopko, I have no problem with him. But first, he is a lower authority in the Church than the ones which have been quoted. Second, he said nothing to contradict anything we have said. How in the world do you support your claim that he contradicts anything we or I said? No one ever said canons cannot be changed. But they are NEVER proven false. They can be relative to their time and circumstances, and this the purpose for them can cease to exist, but they are NEVER false. And this just supports our argument. If slavery was at one time ok, as the canons and other teachings of the Church make clear, then at worst it is, in its essence, morally neutral. Because these can never have been false. they can be contextual and relative to the contemporary situation, but not false. Now there can be certain types of slavery that are immoral or practices within slavery that can be immoral, but the institution itself, in its essence, must be morally neutral.
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« Reply #213 on: July 06, 2005, 12:18:47 PM »

I'm really very sorry you don't consider Scripture, the Fathers or the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils authoritative. Each one of these is far more authoritative than any, certainly modern, Bishop who can be quoted. Which is why neither I nor GiC (I am presuming to speak for him here, which is dangerous, because he generally has his own motivations, but he would certainly not disagree with me) gives any credence to your incessant demand for a Bishop. What has already been quoted is far more authoritative.

Now you've set yourself up as an authority on church authority.

This ought not to be all that difficult. To the question of "does the church teach that slavery is acceptable?" a call/e-mail to OCA headquarters ought to be an acceptable authority. I need a very strong argument for me to disregard them, and so far the best you've come up with are (a) they disagree with you, and (b) they might be wrong. Niether of these is persuasive; in the second case, I can live without infallibility, and in the first, I'll choose them over you in a heartbeat, all other things being equal.

After all, where does the authority of the councils come from? It comes from them being recognized as authoritative! And who is doing the recognizing? The church! And therefore who is providing the authoritative interpretation of the whole counciliar history? The church, and not you.

See, when you say "our interpretation"-- I don't acknowledge you as a representative of the church. If I want to be sure of the church's interpretation, I'll call upon people in positions of authority in the church, people who are explicitly authorized to state its positions. You are not one of those people. That's why, when you say that "[Hopko] is a lower authority in the Church than the ones which have been quoted", I cannot accept this claim. The councils are not making your argument; you are. And even then, following Hopko's analysis, the Church and its authorized representatives determine the applicability of the canons-- not you.

And furthermore, you should be able to find some modern person in authority who is willing to endorse your position as you state it. Your continued resistance to producing this person suggests that such a person does not exist. It reads to me as an implicit refusal to submit your opinions to the review of church authorities. The living church is, without question, in a position to teach you and to criticise your positions. Everything I see tells me that you have chosen an idiosyncratic position, and that you intend to maintain it against the teaching of living authorities in your church who are empowered to correct you and to speak for Orthodoxy as I do not recognize you as being empowered to speak.

Find me a bishop!
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« Reply #214 on: July 06, 2005, 01:42:46 PM »

Now you've set yourself up as an authority on church authority.

Actually you are setting yourself up as this Authority, for not only do you claim the right to present interpretations of the Councils (which I am willing to Grant you (though not to you alone), especially in the Context of Academic Debate); but to actually make Moral Decrees. No where in the History of the Church do we find any Council to even hint at your condemnation of slavery. We have canons and councils that condemn murder as immoral, as well as perjury, fasting on saturdays (except the one) and sunday, and even condemnations of those who teach slaves to dishonour their masters...but no where can I find this supposed condemnation of the Institution. Never in my reading of the Pedalion or the Syntagma have I come accross this condemnation (though I admit to still having MUCH more of the Syntagma to go through). Perhaps you could give me a hit of where I can find this Oecumenical Synod, Local Synod, Patriarchal Synod, Edict, Novel, or Father somewhere in the 2000 years of the History of the Church. My observation is that historically the Church tolerated the institution of slavery, and I can find no condemnations against it. To be honest the closest thing I've found to support your posistion is when St. Justinian in his Institutes says that by Nature men are Born Free, but by the Law of Nations slavery was instituted...however, as St. Justinain goes on to defend the institution, and as a literal application of the 'Law of Nature' (law that applies equally to men and animals) is anarchy, I do not see this as an argument for the immorality of slavery (for one would also be required to argue for the immorality of government by this reasoning).

You keep asking me to give you a bishop to support the Historical Norm...but the Epsicopacy seems to have remained silent on this issue, and I suspect that a synod woudl be unwilling to throw such a broad condemnations over nearly every society in the history of mankind. I ask you, give me some evidence why we should condemn all these people by institution a new moral standard ex post facto?


Concerning the Canons of the Church and the applicability in time; a wonderful phrase that is used in Canon law to describe the Holy Canons is that Canons are 'Temporal Manifestations of Eternal Truths.' All the Canons were directly applicable at the time they were implemented, though because of changing social and cultural conditions the direct application of some may become either irrelevant or possibly even incorrect, but the underlying principles remain valid. So are these canons regarding slavery still applicable, in our modern context? This could be a subject of debate, perhaps they are or perhaps they are not. But are they applicable in the context of the time and society in which they were instituted? Most certainly and without question. Thus, the Church would not say that these valid and applicable canons advocated or advanced immorality; yet they did advance the institution of slavery by giving canonical protection to masters from those who were essentially abolitionists (using the force of Anathema (Gangra), not merely excommunication, no less). This stands to reason that the institution of Slavery was not immoral, at least in that social context, which would imply that the institution is not inherently immoral, even if it can be deemed unacceptable in certain social and cultural contexts.

So Monty, as SonofAslan said,

Find me a Council
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« Reply #215 on: July 06, 2005, 03:50:14 PM »

Actually you are setting yourself up as this Authority, for not only do you claim the right to present interpretations of the Councils (which I am willing to Grant you (though not to you alone), especially in the Context of Academic Debate); but to actually make Moral Decrees.

I claim no authority within Orthodoxy to make moral decrees, as I am not Orthodox. As I've said before: argue morality on my (Anglican or ecumenical) turf, and appeals to councils and church fathers will not necessarily avail you.

This is all beside the point, and you are trying to change the subject. I do not believe that Orthodoxy teaches what you claim it teaches.That question remains, and my personal views as to morality are not relevant. I need not defend them to pursue that point.

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No where in the History of the Church do we find any Council to even hint at your condemnation of slavery. We have canons and councils that condemn murder as immoral, as well as perjury, fasting on saturdays (except the one) and sunday, and even condemnations of those who teach slaves to dishonour their masters...but no where can I find this supposed condemnation of the Institution.

Yes, you repeat this over and over, and it's not good enough evidence! Find me a bishop! Thus far, the only living Orthodox believers who hold to your position are you and SoA.

All this study which you appear to be making should be totally unnecessary; a call to your parish priest, your diocesan office, or your denominational office should suffice; at this point, I'm quite willing to take their word over yours without any further examination, because you evade confronting their positions.

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You keep asking me to give you a bishop to support the Historical Norm...but the Epsicopacy seems to have remained silent on this issue, and I suspect that a synod woudl be unwilling to throw such a broad condemnations over nearly every society in the history of mankind.

I dispute this. From what I can see, you hear silence from the living church because you specifically avoid listening to them, preferring dead sources who cannot argue back. ANd the following statement is very peculiar:

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I ask you, give me some evidence why we should condemn all these people by institution a new moral standard ex post facto?

Because their condemnation is utterly irrelevant! I forgive them if they have sinned on this subject. That's enough.

And while I'm at it: call me "Monty" again and there will be a complaint to a moderator.
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« Reply #216 on: July 06, 2005, 05:07:46 PM »

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All this study which you appear to be making should be totally unnecessary; a call to your parish priest, your diocesan office, or your denominational office should suffice; at this point, I'm quite willing to take their word over yours without any further examination, because you evade confronting their positions.

Lord have mercy!! Do you not listen? Why should we appeal to these persons when they are LESS authoritative than the sources you've been given? A parish priest, Bishop, diocesan officer, etc. can't overturn a Council, and neither can he set Church doctrine. The sources you've been given are greater than the ones you ask for, precisely because the Church has recognized them. The CHURCH. Not a single Bishop. Not a lone parish priest. Not even Hopko. But the CHURCH.

It would be the same as if I was arguing with you about Anglican teaching and you quoted a Bishop or some other high ranking Church official, and I said, "Yes, but I don't agree with your interpretation. Show me a laymen! If you can cite a layman, I'll concede you're right." Why? A layman has less authority than the Bishop. So why should we show you a bishop? They have less authority (and Hopko has less still than a Bishop) than the sources you've been given. Why sould I go through the trouble to annoy my Bishop just because you won't accept Scripture or the Fathers or the Councils as authoritative. I'm not going to do it, Because he would just get angry at me for disturbing him. He has far better things to do than make a statement just so some Anglican will finally accept Scripture or the Fathers or the Councils as authoritative. Paraphrasing what Abraham told the Rich Man, "If they won't believe Scripture, the Fathers or the Councils, they won't believe even if a Bishop tells them."

So again, I repeat. You say we've misinterpreted these sources. Fine. Again I say, FINE. Show me how they should be interpreted. Correct my misinterpretation. You apparently understand Scripture and the Fathers better than I do, since you know I have misinterpreted these passages. So enlighten me. Show me the correct interpretation of these sources. What is my error? How have I misinterpreted them?



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« Reply #217 on: July 06, 2005, 05:08:00 PM »

GiC's point is that you have given no evidence to suggest why all these historical saints in the Church who supported slavery should now be considered immoral in their view of slavery. It is a very serious thing to accuse a saint of immorality. The Church has recognized his/her life and teaching as worthy of emulation. Sometimes, there are saints whose teachings are questionable, but in those cases the Church generally makes that very clear. To accuse a saint of immoral beliefs simply because you disagree with them is quite a bold claim. And it is what you are doing by declaring slavery to be inherently immoral when these saints obviously (in my view at least) held the opposite.

As for relying on dead sources that can't argue back. Well, I can assure you that the saints who are "dead" have very persuasive means to argue back. But that's beside the point. The point is that no living authority is any more capable of arguing back. Because many of them can't be reached or don't speak English or just don't have the time for a stupid internet argument. So your argument is really rather fallacious. But what's worse about it is that it dismisses what the saints have said. I repeat. It wasn't written in a secret code. It isn't ambiguous or complicated. It says what it says. A far more persuasive argument from you would be to simply she us how we have misinterpreted these authorities. Just arguing "their dead" isn't persuasive. They left a witness behind. What makes you think they'd say anything different than what they in fact said? And if their writings are so incomprehensible that they require some complicated exegesis to understand, I don't really imagine anything they said would be less incomprehensible. Your argument is silly, because if they are incapable of expressing themselves clearly enough to be understood, then what makes you think they would be any better at it if they were alive? their writings are clear. they don't need to defend them, because their statements are on record. If you don't like the way we've interpreted them, you're welcome to offer up a better interpretation. In fact, I BEG you to do it. I have been imploring you for several messages now to do precisely that.

Ok, I'm sorry about the "Monty" comment. I won't say I didn't mean to offend, because I know myself better than that. But mostly I just thought it was funny. I apologize for any offense I've caused. In all seriousness.
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« Reply #218 on: July 06, 2005, 05:46:25 PM »

Lord have mercy!! Do you not listen? Why should we appeal to these persons when they are LESS authoritative than the sources you've been given?

Because, as I've already said a bunch of times now:

(a) The sources that you cite don't state your position.
(b) I don't and shouldn't accept your authority to tell me how these sources are to be used in interpretation, and official spokesmen for The Church agree that I shouldn't accept your authority, and that your interpretational framework is in fact wrong.

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It would be the same as if I was arguing with you about Anglican teaching and you quoted a Bishop or some other high ranking Church official, and I said, "Yes, but I don't agree with your interpretation. Show me a laymen! If you can cite a layman, I'll concede you're right." Why? A layman has less authority than the Bishop.

You don't understand how to do moral arguments in an Anglican framework. And anyway, the argument is yours, and not your sources. So your argument is the argument of a layman, and it surely has no more merit, and probably less, than bishops talking about the same sources in their arguments.

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So again, I repeat. You say we've misinterpreted these sources.

No, that's not my point. I can't really do that because I would have to slip into an Anglican framework to do so, and at that point the issue of authority is mooted.

My point is that it seems to me that your bishops say that you are misinterpreting these passages-- or more specifically, that you are trying to derive moral conclusions from them in a manner that the church does not accept. And I'm not saying that they are expressing particular objections to your interpretation, but that their expression of a contrary position implies that your interpretation is incorrect.

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GiC's point is that you have given no evidence to suggest why all these historical saints in the Church who supported slavery should now be considered immoral in their view of slavery. It is a very serious thing to accuse a saint of immorality.

No, I do not agree. We've been to this point before too. One hopes of the saints that, if they were to review the actual history of slavery through the ages, they would see what is right (whatever that is) and repent of erroneous moral tenets if they held them. I do not condemn them! You take umbrage when it is not right for you to do so, and when no attack upon their saintliness has been mounted by me. I do not permit you to put words of denegration into my mouth.

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As for relying on dead sources that can't argue back. Well, I can assure you that the saints who are "dead" have very persuasive means to argue back. But that's beside the point. The point is that no living authority is any more capable of arguing back. Because many of them can't be reached or don't speak English or just don't have the time for a stupid internet argument.

And what means do the saints have? Not yourself! You speak for yourself, and for you alone.

And of course plenty of living authorities are quite capable of arguing back. I've already given one: the OCA e-mail answer line. You can call your priest. You can talk to any number of persons about this issue, if you are willing to do so in a humble attitude of being instructed rather than an arrogant attitude of challenge. It is not arrogant for me to challenge you, because you are no authority.

It's not my place for me to offer you Orthodox interpretations; and were I to do so, I expect that eventually you would retreat into brushing me off as unchurched. On the other hand, I simply cannot see how it is so unreasonable for me to expect your opinions to be informed by the present teachings of your church. If you were confident of their endorsement, it wouldn't be that big a deal to obtain it-- contrary to what you've just said.
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« Reply #219 on: July 06, 2005, 06:44:49 PM »

You guys take the cake. You criticize me for claiming I know what others would do, and yet you yourself made that exact same assertion!! Hypocrite.ÂÂ  Grin So the world doesn't fit my personal assertion, but it fits yours?ÂÂ  If it works for you, it works for me.

I have not used any epithets in speaking of you, nor have I resorted to any name calling.  You offered a statement that was a assertion of something universal, to wit:

"No one who was getting enough to eat would choose employment either."

I offered counter examples with citations to real people like Prince Edward who disprove this assertion. These examples and others (people who have enough to eat, but work to have things like a computer or cable tv or a boat or to save money for college etc) show there are people in this world with enought to eat who *do* choose employment for a variety of reasons. 

How is it "hypocritical" to disprove by example?  I do not think that all humans act or think the same.  I've seen a lot of variety in human behaviour in 49 years.  I do not make universal assertions about what Human Beings think or want or do.  How am I then a "hypocrite"? 

Ebor
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« Reply #220 on: July 09, 2005, 06:46:16 PM »

Before I ask my question, I just want to pre-state that I do not support slavery.

If Slavery is such an abomination, like abortion, then why does Saint Paul call Phelemon, who is a slave master, "a fellow bondservant and laborer in the gospel"Huh Huh
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« Reply #221 on: July 09, 2005, 08:51:01 PM »

Before I ask my question, I just want to pre-state that I do not support slavery.

If Slavery is such an abomination, like abortion, then why does Saint Paul call Phelemon, who is a slave master, "a fellow bondservant and laborer in the gospel"Huh Huh

Because, Nacho, the whole point of the letter is to try to sweet-talk Philemon into freeing his slave!
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« Reply #222 on: July 09, 2005, 09:19:42 PM »

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Because, Nacho, the whole point of the letter is to try to sweet-talk Philemon into freeing his slave!

Sorry Keble, but I'm going to have to bust you on that whopper. First, how do you know that he had just one slave? He more than likely had many. Second, if slavery is on the same level of murder or abortion don't you find it weird that Paul calls him "a fellow bondservant and laborer in the gospel?" Your starting to sound like a protestant by applying motives to the Apostle Paul in trying to get Phelomen to free his slave. How do you know that's what Paul wanted? Can you point to any definitive source which states that was his motive?
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« Reply #223 on: July 10, 2005, 12:11:00 AM »

Sorry Keble, but I'm going to have to bust you on that whopper. First, how do you know that he had just one slave? He more than likely had many. Second, if slavery is on the same level of murder or abortion don't you find it weird that Paul calls him "a fellow bondservant and laborer in the gospel?" Your starting to sound like a protestant by applying motives to the Apostle Paul in trying to get Phelomen to free his slave. How do you know that's what Paul wanted? Can you point to any definitive source which states that was his motive?

Um, the letter itself? Why don't you try reading it as a letter from one man to another, rather than as merely a quarry for your theological edifice?

Also, besides the fact that you are trying to put words in my mouth (I never compared slavery to either abortion or murder), you're putting a higher moral value on expressing outrage than on effecting change. I don't agree with this, and in fact I hold that knowingly ineffectual expressions of outrage are essentially a form of self-righteousness.
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« Reply #224 on: July 11, 2005, 08:18:35 PM »

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Um, the letter itself? Why don't you try reading it as a letter from one man to another, rather than as merely a quarry for your theological edifice?

Also, besides the fact that you are trying to put words in my mouth (I never compared slavery to either abortion or murder), you're putting a higher moral value on expressing outrage than on effecting change. I don't agree with this, and in fact I hold that knowingly ineffectual expressions of outrage are essentially a form of self-righteousness.

Let me ask you keble, for the record, are you saying that 1. slavery is not evil like abortion or murder? 2. Is slavery as bad as practicing homosexuality or adultry?

If your answer is yes to either of those questions, why then does St. Paul call St. Philemon a fellow bondservant and laboror in the gospel???

If he is committing this abominable act, why does St. Paul not excommunicate him like he would an abortionist, murderer, adulterer, or practicing homosexsual???

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"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."--Mere Christianity
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