I have inadvertently found myself in a debate on Twitter about the differences of the term 'slavery' in the biblical sense and the way that we think of it today. Does anybody have any proof that this word has changed definitions over the past 2000 years? 

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My comment isn't on the entire conversation; it's on an single point.  To take the most lenient possible interpretation of 'Doulos' and subsequently render it the equivalent of military service -- which I took to include voluntary enlistment in modern military -- is equivocal.

Indentured servitude was voluntary, and the modern military is a perfect example. Once you've enlisted, can you say, "You know, I really don't want to do this anymore --" and walk away? Can you spell, "L-e-a-v-e-n-w-o-r-t-h"?

No, they still have different legal characteristics which can't simply be ignored because both things bear certain similarities.

I'm sure you wouldn't mind sharing those with us --

A contract with the military signifies your belonging in an institution and an agreement to adhere to its policies.  To the best of my knowledge, the military doesn't own that contract over you as a commodity they can sell or trade away.  There are also different limits on what the military tells you what you can and cannot do with your life.  Also, once of those things is more distinctly constitutionally banned than the other.

When this country was first settled, indentured servants were brought over from Europe, long before this country ever had a constitution, and constitutionality has no bearing on the definition, which involves voluntarily submitting to serve a specific period of time for agreed-upon compensation.

To the best of my knowledge, there was nothing about indentured servitude that involved buying and selling such contracts - if you have information that will support your claim, I would like to hear it.

I was drafted into military service - just because my involuntary servitude was "Constitutional" didn't make my time any more my own. I've had friends who were killed and somehow, the "Constitutionality" of their deaths didn't make them any less dead.

Normally, I ignore your posts Feenstra, but this time, I decided to go back and review a few of them, and the one thing the majority of them appear to have in common, regardless of the subject of the thread, is that they rarely contribute anything positive to the discussion at hand, but seem more inclined toward criticizing the posts of others. Possibly you have some issues you may need to resolve.

To the best of my knowledge, there was nothing about indentured servitude that involved buying and selling such contracts

That's the very nature of the indenture. The contract secures the right for the services of the servant.  The contract holder has the right to those services kind f like the deed to a house or distribution rights for a human worker.  Otherwise it would just be a normal labour contract.  If we consider every form of indentured servitude across all history, there are lots of variations in contract details and the rights and treatment of servants, I'm sure, but if, at this moment, we're talking about colonial America, then common practice was to indenture an individual to a ship's captain or an agent who would then take that servant to the new world and sell the indentured servant off.

From what I've read - and no, I can't cite sources, it was years ago - many of the colonists made their indenture agreements while still in Europe, before sailing to America, or made them through a broker afterward. I've read of no instances where servants were indentured to the ship's captain, who then sold their contracts.

Possibly you have more current sources?

Kris, military service is a sanitized form of indentured servitude.  It is modernized, just as labor laws have placed some limitations on what conditions laborers could work in, when they were not an aspect of original working conditions during the time of Upton Sinclair.

Modern forms of indentured servitude like military service have evolved, but the government still owns you.  It has restrictions as to what it can do with you and will technically deny you are owned, but it still owns you.  You still have to fulfill it's every demand just as a slave would.  The only difference is technicalities that do not change the essence of the relationship.  It can order you to die.

RE: "It can order you to die"

It tried; I declined.

This is what I am talking about Kris.  Points in conversations are often connected to previous points as thought progression occurs, that isn't something you would consider strange.  The discussion at the moment is a thought progression based on my first post.

But the "figured it all out" comment has to do with your employing the verb "to be" and so making a definitive statement.  That can only occur when someone thinks they have the conversation all figured out.  Otherwise they express less confidence.

It can be avoided though, if you just say "I haven't read everything here yet, but it doesn't make sense to me because slavery and indentured servitude seem very different from each other.

But if you had something that was true and it blew everything out of the water, I wouldn't be upset if you were overconfident either.  I just hate overconfidence if it becomes an interference to the absorption of accurate information for yourself or others.  But in this case I just have to redirect you to my first post.

Your first post doesn't address my point, which is actually very limited in scope and is not context sensitive.  It's really quite simple; I think you've gotten too loose with terminology over the course of the conversation, and I pointed out an instance of that.  Even phrasing it like that is almost too broad in scope from my original statement.  

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