Breeding slaves

POI wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2024 6:01 pm I guess the Bible God is a-okay with both owning and breeding chattel slaves for their entire lives? Please see the OP here (viewtopic.php?f=8&t=40608)

Here’s the passages:

[Exo 21:2-4 KJV] 2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. 3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself.

[Exo 21:5-6 KJV] 5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: 6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.

First off, skeptics have no rational justification to make any objective moral judgments. So making any claims about God or the Bible being morally bad is only a personal opinion.

Secondly, I argue Exodus 21 is case laws. These are addressing specific situations on how to handle things if they come up. There’s no commandment like “thou shall breed chattel slaves”.

I believe it was trying to address actual situations that came up. So we have to look at what are the possible outcomes. If a male slave did have a child by a female slave that the master owned, what should happen to the child? Who should take custody of the child? So, the ruling according to Ex 21 is the slave master would take custody.

Third, in both cases, people are free to decide their fate. There’s no indication the debt slave must accept a wife that the master presents to him. And even if he does accept, there’s no indication they must procreate. And if a servant loves his master and decides he wants to be a slave forever, what’s wrong with that?

I guess one could argue the master could be a trickster and offer his servant a hot and sexy young lady that the slave would fall for and produce lots of permanent slaves. Or the master tricks the slave into believing the working conditions are favorable during the first six years and then work him to death after he becomes a permanent slave. But if the Bible were to try to cover every single possible case, then it’d be as big as the US tax code.

custody of the child? So, the ruling according to Ex 21 is the slave master would take custody.

The rule is hard and fast. If the male Hebrew slave is given a wife, and they have kids, the male Hebrew is NOT to take the children with him at year seven. No exception(s) are given. What did the child do to deserve this?

What do children do to deserve anything? It’s not even a relevant question.

What would be relevant are all the other possible scenarios. One possible scenario is the male slave takes the child when he is free after six years. However, how would the mother feel about being separated from her child?

Do you honestly think all volunteer slaves read all the fine print, or could even read the fine print? Most were illiterate.

The laws regarding slavery in the Bible is pretty much in line with all the other laws in the ANE. So your argument can also apply to everyone.

But the Jews were also commanded to keep the law, which meant the entire Torah. So, they all are expected to know what are the laws.

In this case, the Bible appears to be “sloppy and haphazard”.

I guess you must be a lawyer then that needs every possible scenario accounted for.

As I’ve stated before, the laws regarding slavery in the Bible is not much different than the laws in the other cultures at that time. If others don’t have massive volumes to handle every possible scenario, then why insist the Bible must?


POI wrote: Sat Feb 03, 2024 2:44 pm

(U) Are there any explicit statements regarding non-Hebrew slaves and breeding?

(POI) You are asking the wrong question here.

You were the one who brought up breeding and non-Hebrew slaves, “If you are a male Hebrew, you are not to be a lifetime chattel slave, unless you are duped into it as well. If you are not a male Hebrew, tough luck.”

The more pointed question becomes, can a Bible-God believer use the Bible to breed chattel slaves? The answer is yes.

Yes, it could be possible. But again if people willingly do it, then I don’t see it as morally wrong. How can it be morally wrong if people willingly do it and they knew the consequences?

(POI) Without sex for reproduction, the human race ends. How else were these folks reproducing? What was required for them to have legal sex? That’s right, marriage.

We’re talking about sex for an individual, not sex in general for humankind. An individual can live without having sex. Plus, at max it’s only six years of being abstinent.

My point being ignorance to the law does not absolve you from the law. It’s logical and reasonable to assume some male Hebrews, who opted to be a slave for 7 years were not aware of all of the law.

How did they know about being a slave for 7 years then if they did not not the laws? And it’s not like there’s a lot of case laws regarding slavery either, unlike buying a house or a car today.

(POI) It is so a relevant question. Did the offspring get to choose lifetime chattel slavery?

Offsprings don’t get to choose anything, so it’s irrelevant.

(U) One possible scenario is the male slave takes the child when he is free after six years. However, how would the mother feel about being separated from her child?

(POI) False. Exodus 21:4 states both the mother and the children remain with the slave master. Only the male Hebrew may go free.

Exactly. So there’s two possible scenarios. One is where the child remains with the master and mother. The other scenario is the child leaves with the father and is thus separated from the mother. The Bible sides with the first scenario.

(POI) It’s good to know the Bible is no better than any other book of laws. I would agree. It’s as unspecific, haphazard, and as sloppy as any other claimed authoritative ancient document of the time.

Why should your view of laws be the objective standard of how all laws in the ANE should be?