Sam Harris on the Bible’s Morality

I’m on vacation today, so I’m left with few other options than to post a video.  It’s short, interesting, and once again touches on why the morality of the bible isn’t used as a template for modern life.

This entry was posted in Freedom from Religion, Religion and Public Life, Society Marches On and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sam Harris on the Bible’s Morality

  1. C8 says:

    Well, a very scewed and misunderstood view of the bible. The bible isn’t about ending slavery because it isn’t a book about slaves. It’s a book to slaves, slavers and regular people, and no matter how you look at it, we all fit in either of those catagories. The bible isn’t about slavery because it’s about God. And it doesn’t promote slavery either. It merely uses representation. There are two different types of slaves in the Old Testament and the New Testament in the Bible.

    There are Hebrew Slaves and Non-Hebrew Slaves. Hebrew Slaves where not kept in slavery. Infact, they chose to be slaves to pay off debts or because the individual had no where else to go. Non-Hebrew Slaves where slaves by prisoner of war. Those slaves where not released because they where not trusted until the slave was circumsised or became familiar with Hebrew law. And once said instructions occured, they could be released. It is also said that if a slave runs away, do not chase after, nor beat the slave, but welcome the slave back and return him or her to the duties assigned to the slave.

    • The bible is about the Israelites’ interpretation of God and his requirements on how to live their lives. True, it isn’t specifically about promoting or ending slavery. However, the fact that a detailed set of instructions exists on how to treat the people you own as property – including a specific set of laws regarding your limited culpability if you beat or rape them – clearly shows that slavery is condoned by God … or at least not a offense worthy of either acknowledgment or punishment. Sam’s argument is that because of this, abolitionists who wished to use the bible as a way to end slavery really didn’t have a leg to stand on.

      The other topics he discusses – like beating children or stoning a woman on her father’s porch if she is revealed to not be a virgin on her wedding night – are the same idea. Christians tell us that the bible is to be used as a cornerstone of morality because it’s given to us by God, but we conveniently ignore virtually all of the practices laid out in it because we now consider them barbaric and wrong in modern society.

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