OK. That’s not really the title to the book. It was Jon Stewart’s suggested title during his interview of Sam Harris on the Daily Show. But as Sam said, it would have made a good subtitle.
It’s time for us all (scientists and non-scientists) to get off our asses and get to work.
For too long the semi-official position among scientists and other otherwise reasonable people has been this with regard to morality: Science has nothing to say about it. But it does. In fact, it is the only way we have of getting our morals right.
Obi-Wan Kenobi isn’t our only hope. Science is.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
The God of Abraham gets slavery wrong. Slavery is probably the easiest moral question we’ve ever had to face. And if this book [the Bible] was written by an omniscient deity, the true source of moral wisdom in the universe, it should at least get the question of whether it’s right to own people and treat them like farm equipment right. It doesn’t get that question right. The God of Abraham clearly expects us to keep slaves.One of the reasons I haven't been posting much lately is that I've been harassing Doug Wilson at his blog. (The other is that I'm reading Sam Harris' new book.) I've especially been pestering him on the issue of slavery, which he used to call "a wonderful issue" about which "the Bible speaks most directly, again and again."
Here’s what he said in Southern Slavery As It Was.
The reason why many Christians will be tempted to dismiss the arguments presented in this booklet is that we will say (out loud) that a godly man could have been a slave owner. But this "inflammatory" position is the very point upon which the Bible speaks most directly, again and again. In other words, more people will struggle with what we are saying at the point where the Bible speaks most clearly. There is no exegetical vagueness here.I'm trying to find out if Mr. Wilson still believes that slavery is "wonderful issue." I'm guessing that he doesn't, since he no longer likes to talk (out loud) about it.
This entire issue of slavery is a wonderful issue upon which to practice. Our humanistic and democratic culture regards slavery in itself as a monstrous evil, and it acts as though this were self-evidently true. The Bible permits Christians to own slaves, provided they are treated well. You are a Christian. Whom do you believe?
I wonder if he agrees more now with the Bible or with Sam Harris?
I'll let you know if I get an answer.
(I recommend that you all visit Doug's blog. But if you do, be nice. Don't call the folks over there ignorant sluts. That really makes them mad.)
October 7th Update: Apparently Doug Wilson's view of slavery hasn't changed, at least it was the same in 2005 when he published Black and Tan. Here are some excepts.
The reason why many Christians will be tempted to dismiss the arguments presented here is that I am saying (out lout) that a godly man in 1850 could have been a slave owner. But this “inflammatory” position is the very point where the Bible speaks most directly, again and again. p.46So I guess Doug Wilson and I don't agree on everything anymore.
This entire issue of slavery is a wonderful issue upon which to practice. Our humanistic and democratic culture regards slavery in itself as a monstrous evil, malum in se, and it acts as though this were self-evidently true. The Bible permits Christians in slave-owning cultures to own slaves, provided they are treated well. You are a Christian. Whom do you believe? p.46
The radical abolitionist maintained that slave-owning was inherently evil under any circumstances. But in this matter, the Christians who owned slaves in the South were on firm scriptural ground. May a Christian own slaves, even when this makes him part of a larger pagan system which is not fully scriptural, or perhaps not scriptural at all? Provided he owns them in conformity to Christ’s laws governing such situations, the Bible is clear that under such conditions Christians may own slaves. p.51
The bible teaches that a man may be a faithful Christian and a slave-owner in a pagan slave system. p.52
As far as the apostle [Paul] was concerned, nothing can be plainer than the fact that a Christian could simultaneously be a slave owner and a member in good standing of the Christian church. p.52
But apart from the slave trade, in a slave-holding society owning slaves per se was not an abomination. The Bible does not condemn it outright, and those who believe the Bible are bound to refrain in the same way. p.55
It is time for us to stand and declare the truth about slavery and to expose the failures of the abolitionist worldview.p.58
When we set aside the teaching of Scripture on slavery, and begin to equivocate on what the Bible actually teaches, it was soon discovered that nonbelievers would not let us get away with it. It turns out that there are actual non-Christians out there who have read the Bible and who know what it says. p.62