I have recently had a conversation on facebook that left me truly flabbergasted. I think it qualifies as the most jaw-dropping conversation I have had. It was with someone whom I did teacher-training with (though who chose not to finish the course). Now I wouldn’t normally go into detail about personal matters when evaluating somebody’s claims and positions, but I think it explains so much in terms of cognitive dissonance, and is so relevant to the topic, that it does need mentioning. The person in question has certain tendencies which are deemed sinful to the Catholic Church. He lives in Brighton, ironically a city in Britain known for its diversity and sense of equality.
Since struggling with such ideas in life, which I don’t feel afraid to publicise since he has written about it in a ‘book’ on his blog, he seems to have moved further and further to the religious right. He even recognises his own sense of repression.
This person has written a piece against egalitarianism which is such a massive straw man of gargantuan proportions, I just had to post it. It is a philosophical suicide bomb. Here it is in its entirety, which I think is worth posting:
Equality is not a Right. It is a Superstition
‘Equality’ is not a true law, nor can it justly be called a right. It’s dominance of popular culture has rendered it worse than a myth. If people are caught up in the notion of equality today it is because man easily becomes caught up in superstition.
What has given the word ‘equality’ – a word that has never lost its emotive power since the dawn of the Enlightenment – the power and force that it has in today’s society?
We now hear this word, particularly in the realm of gender and sexuality so much and it so dominates the public forum that for anybody to contradict the very notion of equality is to have committed a formal and public act of heresy that warrants public exclusion, potential loss of employment and perhaps worse.
The fear and hatred generated against those who have contradicted the concept of equality is visceral and powerful. Why? What has made rejection of this belief so highly charged? The simple truth would appear to be that the concept of equality has, as if from nowhere, acquired magical power or connotations of divinity that it does not deserve. From out of nowhere, ‘Equality’ has become a god, or a goddess before which those who refuse to burn incense are deemed to be enemies of the State and the people.
What has given this concept such force that it now rivals the Christian Church itself as a belief that threatens to engulf and destroy it and, indeed, anybody else who dares to stand in its way?
Equality: The sky fairy myth of our age
I believe the answer can only lie in superstition. Of course, the reason that we can rank ardent promoters of ‘equality’ among the superstitious is because superstitions are things people subscribe to without really thinking about it. There is a common trend in Britain not to walk under ladders or to believe that seeing a black cat, or some magpies is in some sense fortuitous.
We call these things superstitions because they are common associations with something positive that are not grounded in truth or reality or even human experience. There is no reason to think that a black cat is a good omen, or a bad omen, but people do. There is no need to worry that on Friday 13th something bad might happen. But people do. There is no such thing as equality, it is obvious from sun rise, to sun set, yet people believe in it, without seeing any evidence of it.
Is the modern adoration of ‘equality’ like this? Do people really think about the concept of equality to which they so readily subscribe and so readily defend and promote as a force for universal good? Or do they subscribe to the belief because it is dangerous to think otherwise, for who could be against equality? Who would dare to confront this aging monarch that has ruled the British people and the other nations of the West?
I posit that the only people in Britain who could be against ‘equality’ are the honest – those who are able to see themselves and the world around them and report it honestly, to themselves, and to others. Of course, those most regularly charged with breaching the law on equality are the religious – those who are not so easily cajoled into superstition. Is this merely because they hold onto ‘bigoted views’, or is it because true religion can never subscribe to the concept of equality?
Surely, this is the case. For the Christian can never accept the concept of equality. The Christian knows that he is a creature – a creature – made by God in His image and likeness. There can never be worship of God when a creature looks at God as an equal, for God is greater than that which can be conceived. The outward act of kneeling in worship is a public and inward sign to him and to others of adoration of the Other who is All-Powerful, all-knowing, all mighty.
The concept of equality is put forward today as something terribly progressive, something so modern, so new, but already it is a false idol and one of great age, for there is nothing new under the sun. Equality was the battle cry of the French Revolutionaries.
It was the masonic battle cry of the Terror that saw thousands of aristocrats, priests, nuns and laity killed in France. It was the battle cry of the Russian Revolution a century or so later. It is the lie that keeps rearing its head, the head of a serpent that always needs to be crushed because it is only a word – a concept – a cause – a pathetic banner which is not, in any way, true.
In the West, people are being brainwashed into believing the fable, the myth, the superstition, that gender equality, for example, is something to be strived for, or that it even exists. Let us be frank. It does not exist. A man cannot give birth. A man cannot suckle children. A man cannot be a mother. A woman cannot be a father. There are things that men can do that the vast majority of women cannot do and there are things that women can do that men will never do.
If equality existed, there could be a Catholic Prime Minister…
A heterosexual relationship – or what we may have once been able to simply call a marriage, is in no way the same, but vastly different, to a sexual relationship between two persons of the same sex. What mental contortions does society have to perform, without thinking about it, in order to assert that they are?
How can it possibly be the same when in one of the relationships the protagonists are male and female – different in biology and different in other ways – and in the other the protagonists are the same.
Men and women are not the same, therefore they are not equal. If they were equal, they would be the same. The elderly and sick are not equal to the young and fit. They are equally worthy of love and protection, just as men and women are equally worthy of love and protection, but they are not the same, therefore we cannot call them equal.
And if we try, if we delude ourselves, that we can make all men and all women and all sexual relationships and all people equal, then as a society we have, whether we are religious or not, committed apostasy not just from what those who came before us believed, but from the truth. We have become a nation living a lie. We are a nation of people living in dreamland.
Do we really believe that Her Majesty the Queen is ‘equal’ to a man queuing up for his benefits cheque? Do we really believe that a gardener for an aristocrat is equal to the aristocrat? Do we believe that a Catholic layman can look at the Pope as his ‘equal’? Do we really believe that everyone is the same, even though everyone is different? Do we really believe that everyone can be an accomplished violinist, or a successful athlete? Do we really believe that women can run as fast as men? Do we really believe that the building trade is composed of a workforce split 50% between men and women?
Do we really believe that David Cameron, Nick Clegg or David Miliband understand for one moment what it feels like to live on a housing estate in Manchester and have to worry about knife crime, gang culture or where the next meal is coming from in their neighbourhood?
Do we really believe that from a homosexual relationship, by anal intercourse, two men can produce children and raise them as a mother and a father? Do we really believe that all relationships are equal and that this doctrine should be taught to little children in schools?
Christians – and others of other faiths – will face more and more pressure in the public sphere over their beliefs. They will be accused of blaspheming the sacred altar of the modern age, which is nothing but a relic of the 17th century that haunts the world to this day – the folly, the idiocy, the sheer lunacy of the continuation of an antique superstition from which the human race seems unable to be liberated. That all men and all women are equal.
Let us be frank. We are not equal. We were never intended to be equal. It is counter to our very happiness to desire to be equal. To desire equality is to fail to accept ourselves. We are who we are. We are all unique. We are all different. We all have a purpose. We all have a place on Earth, and if we desire it, a place in Heaven. We are all loved by God. If you are a man, you will never give birth. Please accept it. There is no ‘gender equality’. If you are a woman, you will never impregnate someone with your own seed. Please accept it. There is no ‘gender equality’. If your family has an income of £50,000 a year, it is incredibly unlikely that you will be investigated by social services for child neglect – even if you neglect your children.
But some people don’t believe in ‘gay marriage’. Get over it!
If you are a man who wants to be a woman, remember that you will never fully succeed because you are bioligically a man. Please accept it that you will never menstruate. If you are a dustman, please accept that you will probably never be Prime Minister and you will never sit in the House of Lords.
If you are a blogger, please accept that the likelihood of The Telegraph inviting you to be a Telegraph columnist, or The Guardian inviting you to be a Guardian columnist remains incredibly slim. Please accept that it may happen but it is not terribly likely because there is no such thing as equality even if you have talent. If you are deaf, you will, in this life, probably not hear. If you are blind, it is likely that, until the next life, you will not see. There is equality in this world, but only in the grave.
And if you think this is hate speech, I assure you that it is. You can prosecute me for this reason. I hate lies and I hate this particular lie. I and many others are dissenters from this political charade. This new religion. I do not hate those who have fallen for it, those who believe in this sorry superstition, but I hate the false god, the idol, the word that has miraculously accrued such divinity, the superstition that its adherents worship. As Lucifer knows only too well, an angel will never be Almighty God. He has his place. Don’t join him.
Whether you be great or small, whether you be rich or poor, whether you be wise or foolish, whether you be weak or strong, whether you be ‘gay’ or ‘straight’, male or female, whether you be virtuous or full of vice, you are what you are before God – that and nothing more. God has given all men and all women an equal dignity. That is a very different thing. He has not given us, nor will ever give us, equality.
One of the common ways in which this plays out is when someone says that egalitarianism makes no sense because it is obvious that people have different levels of intelligence, different physical attributes, different abilities and specializations, and so on. In other words, egalitarians are characterized as proposing that everyone is inherently equal in such a literal sense. But, to my knowledge, no one actually claims this, and hence it is a gigantic straw man. So when egalitarianism is attacked as if it claims that there are no differences between individuals, the ideas of actual egalitarians haven’t been touched.
A related route that the opponent of egalitarianism may take is to act as if egalitarianism aims at making everyone equal in such a sense, that the elimination of natural differences between individuals is its prescriptive purpose. But perhaps with some rare exceptions on the fringes, this is also a straw man. Not even communists actually propose, for example, that everyone should have the exact same quantity of wealth. Feminists don’t generally advocate that we turn mankind into a unisexual species, anti-racists don’t generally advocate that we morph mankind into a single “race”. At best, these are bizarre exaggerations stemming from misunderstandings. At worst, it’s a scare tactic.
Of course, the opponent of egalitarianism usually ends up falling back on an equation between current conditions that egalitarians seek to address and an appeal to nature or meritocracy. For example, it is just taken for granted that someone is wealthy because they earned it on the basis of their merits or hard work, and hence the egalitarian is characterized as attacking merit. On the flip side, it is taken for granted that someone is poor or in negative economic conditions because they simply didn’t take advantage of their opportunities or they simply lack the merit necessary to produce and improve their condition. This is classic vulgar libertarianism, I.E. it ignores the systematic or social context in order to engage in status quo apologetics, as if the conditions in question must necessarily be a reflection of meritocratic forces.
But this is just the start. From now on, I will place by facebook comments after JP and his under CG (Catholic Guy) [I have compiled and edited some comments out for more brevity]:
CG: So you do you agree that the concept of equality is a fraud? Since what its adherents believe, it has no empirical basis or evidence in the world. Yet they believe in that which they cannot see! A sky fairy myth? There is no equality in Heaven. There God is King. I know you do not believe but equality really is a man made myth…
JP: so you would rather some people didn’t have access to healthcare/God’s love/happiness/quality of life/standard of life????? you want there to be inequality?
CG: Why would I want there to be equality? Why do you assert it is inherently good? Everybody is different, with different needs. I am not a communist. You sound like a utopian.
JP: you don’t wish the world was utopian? wow.
CG: Equality is a myth. treating people with dignity is much more important. Loving is more important than that. Equal access to healthcare. Fine. Is your local NHS hospital as pleasant as a private one? NO. See there is no equality. state schools churn out children who cannot read or write. private schools do not. but you can still claim we have educational equality all the same. Its a myth and I find it weird that someone as intelligent as you would believe in it [FWIW – I have never actually said I adhere to it as a philosophical worldview]
JP: Um, what the hell are you talking about? Where have I ever said that there IS equality? I rail against the fact that there isn’t. You seem, though, to wish there WAS inequality, which is a wholly different thing. This is the most bizzare straw man,
CG: “The poor you have with you always.” Our Lord to Judas Iscariot So why is equality good? For everyone to be equal. I am not thea same as you. I do not have the same income as you. I do not want what you have. I do not want the same income as you. Whenever the State runs things, there you will find a measure of equality. Everything is equally shit. May I suggest equality is the default religion on the atheist because even though he cannot bring himself to believe in Heaven, he cannot let it go, so to strive to bring it to earth is a good. Of course, as so many historical figures have shown us, Heaven without God is Hell. The Catholic Church states that man and woman and all people are equal in DIGNITY. That is very different to saying all people are EQUAL. Or that equality is something to be desired.
JP: you have a really naïve understanding of equality. it is about equal opportunities. Hence equal opportunities legislation.
CG: Equal opportunities? Are you veering off into another myth? Perhaps you can provide me with one aspect of equal opportunities that has improved people’s lives?
JP: no. that is what egalitarianism is about. Jeez – do you research a topic before you attack it? It becomes nothing but a straw man.
See also Rawl’s Second Principle of Justice.
You see, these things are highly complex philosophical ideals that have been kicking about philosophical circles for some time now. It it’s easy to write big rants against straw men. It takes a lot more to read into a subject to fully understand its complexities before journeying on to critique it.
http://www.cbeinternational.org/?q=content/our-mission-and-history [Christians for Biblical Equality – heh!]
CG: So, the benefits of equal opportunities are?
JP: justice and fairness. hence the theory of justice.
CG: Really? Where? I ask you to cite one example of how equal opportunities has brought fairness and justice.
JP: that a black person or a woman does not have equal access to a job opportunity based on the accident of their birth is fair how?
CG: That a white person should be denied a position because the company has to fulfil a ‘quota’ is fair how?
JP: just because a person was born into a black slave family and should have a life of exploitaiton, poverty and torture is fair how? i honestly cannot believe what you are saying here! This is literally the most incredibly morally proposterous position i have heard.
CG: Atheism relies on the State to replace God and laws to replace virtue.
JP: where did i mention positive descrimination or rooney’s law? another straw man. wow.
wow, how the catholic church can turn someone more and more right-wing and elitist!
CG: Personally, if I were an employer, I do not need the State to tell me that I cannot refuse a black man work because he is black. I don’t need the State to tell me to be just. My God tells me to be just.
JP: seriously, CG, I would read up on the subject a little
CG: I don’t need to ‘read up’ Johno, I have an opinion. I don’t need to be ‘enlightened’ by you.
JP: but your fellow believers used the Curse of Ham and biblical slavery countenance to perpetuate slavery and exploitation for high on 2000 yeears! no, really you do. you have incorrect straw man ideas of the theories and philosophy. so you are attacking positions which are not relevant or even valid and dressing that up as my position of that of an equal opportunist or egalitarian. i point this out and you seem not to pay attention
CG: Johno, slavery was not a Christian economic system. It was the economic system of the time. Don’t pin it on the Church. Just as the Church works within the economic system in place today, so the Church worked in the economic system of that day.
JP: Ooh, don’t get me on slavery. The Bible countenance it, not banning it, and provided laws which would be utterly outlawed in modern society. that is a bad argument. See (Christian) Thom Stark on that. http://thomstark.net/copan/stark_copan-review.pdf
utter destruction of Paul Copan’s attempts to salvage the Bible in light of criticisms of slavery and dubious morality. Marcion had a point, but he was deemed a heretic as a result! Shame, Christianity would be so much nicer it it ditched the OT. Here is a VERY pertinent quote from an article [I precede to give the above Defese of Egalitariansm quote]: … A gigantic straw man. in other words, please look up what egalitarians actually believe.
CG: So, you are now accusing the Jews for operating within an economic system? Or just the Christians?
JP: eh? I am accusing God of not adminstering fair and just rules! Are you aware of the Biblical rules for slavery? Are you aware of the evaluation of man against woman in the Levitican texts etc? Even down to a monetary value. the work of Hector Avalos is also worth looking into
CG: I am aware that slavery was widespread throughout the whole World, regardless of what religion we are discussing. Whether it was an economic system dreamt up by God is unlikely. The Jews were not the only people on Earth practising slavery were they Johno. Its practise is evident across the ancient world.
JP: ok, so some societies before Christianity outlawed slavery. And yet apparently God thought the paradigm shift was too great to integrate such rules. Apparently, he had to operate within human history rather than dictate rules to them. Oh, apart from the 613 mitzvot. so you can’t boil a goat in its mother’s milk, as according to a direct commandment, but you can beat a slave. nice.
20 “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.
God’s words, that.
44 ” ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
CG: I agree with you that these passages on slavery seem completely contrary to our understanding of justice, but I do think that you should place them in the context of the ancient world, in which slavery was not just a Jewish phenonenom, but something upon which the whole world’s trading system worked. The entire concept of people as property is abhorrent. But it was a major feature of the trading world and communities of the ancient (and not so ancient) world and God sanctioned it. In order to understand it, I think it would be necessary to have some kind of understanding of the Biblical concept of freedom, which was rooted in the worship of God. That’s the only thing I can say that gives it any context.
It is also true to say that slavery was also rooted in the idea of conquest. Nations battled other nations and took their citizens as slaves. It was, so to speak, the way things were. What this has to do with ‘equal opportunities’ I have no idea, but you went off on a tangent.
JP: You do realise that you have just argued for moral relativity? In fact, Justin Schieber has labelled this Inter Testamental Moral Relativty
CG: No, I have not.
JP: Er, you have. You are morally justifying an abhorrent action on account of its historico-cultural milieu. That is exactly what moral relativism does.
CG: I am not justifying it, I am trying to understand it.
JP: Sure. I understand it as that. Don’t worry, I am with you there.
However, when you have the supposed arbiter of morality decreeing x and y and the only explanation is that he had to do it within that context is a problem. it is either good or bad, on most understandings of Christian ethics.
CG: You know, Johno, that there are four sins crying out to Heaven for vengeance. 1. Sodomy, 2. Wilful murder, 3. Oppression of the Poor and 4. The denial of the worker his wages. 2. Wilful murder of the innocent.
JP: Also, if God is allowing bad things to happen to people in desire of a greater good, he is instrumentally using people, which is utilitarian ethics, which Christians have a distste for. The OT is rather against Kantian categorical imperatives as a moral value system.
CG: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace – St Francis of Assisi.
JP: In that case, morality is not grounded in God, but in the consequences of actions. ergo god is not necessary for morality. thanks for doing my job!
CG: I would also add that modern day slavery exists. So, I think, would you. For example, it is likely that my computer was made in China by a woman not allowed to have more than one child by the State, and that her and her husband have no working rights, are paid pittance and etc etc. It may as well be slavery.
JP: Exodus 21:20-21 permit slave owners to beat their slaves so that they are unconscious for 2-3 days
CG: So the economic system hasn’t change THAT much.
JP: That is a red herring, close to the tu quoque fallacy. If I murdered someone, I cannot justify it by saying that someone else murdered another.
CG: Its a red herring is it. Forced abortion and sterilisation in China and no workers rights – slavery. All overseen by the State and co-operated with by western companies.
JP: It is a red herring to the point at hand, That does not mean it is not important per se. Know your fallacies! Hmm, do we look at the Catholic Church’s involvement in Rwanda? Sex abuse?
CG: Do we look at the UN’s involvement in Rwanda?
JP: We look at everyone’s involvement.
CG: Okay, well I know nothing about the CC’s role in Rwanda.
[Check here for example]
JP: But this has little to do with slavery in the ANE and the countenance from God for its continuation. and whether slavery inherently goes against equal opportunity on moral grounds.
CG: And it still has nothing to do for ‘what equal opportunities brought the world’.
JP: yes it does. please follow the conversation.
1) you claim egalitarianism is bad based on a misunderstanding of the concept
2) I tell you a core value to it is equality of opportunity
3) you seem to argue that point on another straw man
4) I show that the badness of slavery, ,for eg, is based upon a violation of said concept
5) you agree slavery is bad, and seem to justify it on relativistic grounds.
6) you seem unable to admit that equality of opportunity would be good, and the concept would, by definition, defy slavery
7) you then talk about how modern slavery still exists and that that is bad
8) I agree it does and is, but it is a red herring to the previous 6 points.
CG: I don’t think so. Equal opportunity has brought fairness and justice to whom? The black guy? Really? Equal opportunity legislation has helped the black african communities? I agree slavery is bad, Johno, but I suggest that equal opportunities has done nothing for black people. Equal ‘opportunity’ sounds great, but it will never happen. What percentage of US prisoners are black again?
[I didn’t have the chance to totally slam this point, as I missed it – correlation fallacy which proves my point about desiring equal opportunity]
JP: and that is where we are.
it doesn’t matter whether it can never happen. you can never be perfect, but that should not stop you aspiring to be. Man, you are now denouncing aspiration.
CG: It does matter whether it can never happen because if it can never happen there is a good reason why it can never happen. It is utopian.
JP: dude, you have dug yourself about a thousand holes.
CG: That’s because, dear Johno, it is religion in reverse.
JP: wow wow wow wow
CG: No, you are misunderstanding me. God has created you to be a Saint. He has not created you for any other reason. If you die in mortal sin your life has been a tragedy. Not to be a Saint is the only tragedy. And only if you are a Saint, will you change the world and leave it behind better after you have died. It will not be through any other means.
JP: surely i should aspire to be a saint…? you really are creating some bad arguments here.
CG: I’m impressed by the strength of your arguments, but I am sure that you are missing something quite important concerning the rise of the State and the eclipse of God. Worth a read: http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1587
JP: Before I look at it, I can guess what the approavh will be (since it is the same with all harldine evangelistic/literalist apologists):
1) slavery was like bonservitude and was essentially not that bad
CG: No, I don’t think it is. I think its quite well reasoned
JP: 2) the lot of the slave was better than it would have been otherwise
3) the slavery conditions in ANE were better and more regulated than elsehwere in the ANE
CG: That’s not the main thrust.
JP: 4) Jubilee laws for slaves were a greater provision than contemporary ANE cultures
CG: I think the thurst is that God permitted slavery. It was not His idea. Or rather His ideal. Remember, His ideal fell through – by the Fall – and sent His Son to redeem those ‘enslaved’ by sin.
JP: As a teacher I could allow child abuse in my class, even though it might have already been prevalent in my school before i worked there, and though it was someone else’s idea. if i was to introduce rules, it would be to outlaw a morally abhorrent notion. i would not start countenance it in nuanced ways.
CG: It is interesting. A point here: In the Old Testament God permtts divorce due to the ‘hardness of heart’ of the People of God. In the New Testament, Jesus says, ‘Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce, but I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.’ I’ve got to go. I’ll leave you with this: If you can guarantee me accommodation, food, drink and a wife and to have as many children as I want at your expense, I shall gladly be your slave. Because nothing is worse or more degrading than unemployment. I already have a fiance. God bless and good night. And only on the condition that you don’t rape me or my wife and that you only beat me a little bit if I do not cooperate or run away. Honestly, I am a good gardener. Do atheists hire Catholic slaves? I hope you don’t discriminate. I know that being your slave and making your garden nice would be far more dignified than a life on benefits watching Jeremy Kyle.
I think that, on reflection, biblical slavery is preferential to the modern welfare state, under which people lose the dignity both of working for long periods and of being able to provide for family – making them completely dependent on the state – which is a form of slavery. It is clear that in the OT God does permit slavery and gives it law, which affords measure of protection to slaves. In brighton I know several men who beg all day long.
I have no issue with begging, but the loss of a sense of purpose and place in society – as well as the stigma of begging is bad. It would be a lesser evil for the biblical laws on slavery to be in operation than destitution, unemployment etc.
Remember that a slave is simply one who works for no pay. It is not intrinsically evil. Today we call it ‘volunteering’. A kind, godly slave master would presumably have saw fit to provide the worker with accommodation, food, drink, they could marry and have children. Under Jewish law they could attend religious service together. Christians would attend Christian services with their slaves. Now today’s welfare state does not provide its recipients work, does not provide them, necessarily with accommodation, does not provide them with adequate money to raise children and work is absent from many of these households. Under biblical law, slavery was by no means lifelong servitude. It appears that it is permitted not as something to benefit the rich, but as a safety net for the poor. Have you ever heard of a charity called Emmaus. That is basically what they do. St Paul does not work for the immediate abolition of slavery, presumably because the practice of itself was not evil, at a time in which there was no ‘safety net’ for those who fall into bankruptcy or destitution.
Biblical slavery, in my honest opinion, was more just than the welfare state.
Which perpetuates a worse servitude of perpetual unemployment which is, in itself, undignfied. Mass unemployment is a worse social evil than slavery along those lines outlined in the Bible. With mass unemployment comes a host of other evils, such as crime, destitution, inability to provide for a family. It appears to me, from where I am standing, that to be able to offer yourself as a slave was the option of last resort for the Israelites, when complete poverty had hit. In this context, I can see why God permitted it. It is a case of a lesser evil because if a man does not work, he does not eat.
The welfare state of today on the other hand makes its recipients totally dependent upon the State, to the point that the State can, if it chooses, dictate to the poor how many children they can have – how many the State will support.
JP: I think your comments here are actually terrible and insulting. I think the notion that you would rather be a slave, an actual slave, going through the torment, mental and physical anguish, of losing your own freedom to self-determination, of being able to legally (on the rules of God) beaten to within an inch of your life, or be raped if you were a woman is FAR worse than living in or on the welfare state. You are twisted. This is so wrong, it makes me think this conversation is utterly pointless. You are off the scale here. Your moral system is so compromised by your religious adherence that you are warping everything. You are also not understanding the variety of different slaves in the ANE. As with so many apologists, you take the bondservant option and use that as representative, forgetting the foreigners, for example, and how badly they were treated (not least the women). Your cognitive dissonance is playing merry havoc with your ability to both rationalise and empathise. I suggest sitting back and really thinking about what you are saying. Perhaps you can bugger off to be a slave somewhere, and see whether living as a slave is better than living in Brighton in a welfare state.
And so on. Some incredible claims and positions. Well done if you got this far!
As this was a rushed facebook conversation, I was scant with my comments, in depth, but hopefully you can see that his points were roundly countered I am still amazed at some of the things he has said.