The Civil War Was About Slavery.
Confederate Leaders Were Totally Clear On This.
By Julia Craven
Symbols of the Confederacy are an inescapable fact of life in Southern states. The Confederate flag is displayed prominently near the South Carolina statehouse, evoked in multiple Southern state flags, flown in frontyards, on T-shirts and off pickup trucks. And those who fought during the Civil War to maintain antebellum “traditions” are glorified relentlessly. A few days after a white shooter murdered nine black people attending Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, apparently driven by the same sort of racial animus present in this history, the nation is having a conversation about how, or if, these Confederate tributes have a rightful place in society. This discussion has led some people to question if the Confederacy, and therefore the Civil War, was truly motivated by slavery. “But there are other difficult truths. Among them, when the war began, it was not explicitly a war to end slavery. … When hundreds of thousands of southern men took up arms (most of them non-slave-owning), many of them fought with the explicit belief that they were standing in the shoes of the Founding Fathers, men who’d exercised their own right of self-determination to separate from the mother Country,” wrote David French for National Review. “Others simply saw an invading army marching into their state — into their towns and across their farms — and chose to resist. And no one can doubt their valor.” Others have made similar attempts to explain away the significance of slavery to the war. But like accused shooter Dylann Roof, whose manifesto clearly outlined his hatred for black people and his desire to start a race war, Confederate states and leaders at the time unabashedly declared that the Civil War was about maintaining the institution of slavery and propping up a system of genocidal, white supremacist oppression. There’s nothing admirable about defending the Confederate legacy and its accompanying imagery. Yet many Americans are doing just that, often refusing to accept the role that Confederate pride and white hate played in the creation of these symbols (do a Twitter search and see for yourself). Let’s let the Southern states and their Civil War leaders speak for themselves. Ref
Many governments have been founded upon the principle of the subordination and serfdom of certain classes of the same race; such were and are in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of nature’s laws. With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material — the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the ordinance of the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of His ordinances, or to question them. For His own purposes, He has made one race to differ from another, as He has made “one star to differ from another star in glory. The great objects of humanity are best attained when there is conformity to His laws and decrees, in the formation of governments as well as in all things else. Our confederacy is founded upon principles in strict conformity with these laws.Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, cited slavery as the reason for going to war in 1861 and rallied in its defense until his death in 1889. His take on the Emancipation Proclamation, reiterated in his memoirs, is quite telling:
A proclamation, dated on January 1, 1863, signed and issued by the President of the United States, orders and declares all slaves within ten of the States of the Confederacy to be free, except such as are found in certain districts now occupied in part by the armed forces of the enemy. We may well leave it to the instinct of that common humanity, which a beneficent Creator has implanted in the breasts of our fellow-men of all countries, to pass judgment on a measure by which several millions of human beings of an inferior race — peaceful, contented laborers in their sphere — are doomed to extermination, while at the same time they are encouraged to a general assassination of their masters by the insidious recommendation “to abstain from violence, unless in necessary self-defense.”The Confederate leaders couldn’t have been clearer about what they were fighting for. But let’s not forget where “The Great Emancipator,” Abraham Lincoln, thought slavery fit into all this. Contrary to popular belief, he wasn’t an abolitionist, nor did he support social and political equality for black people. He voiced the primary goal of the war in a letter to abolitionist and publisher Horace Greeley. “I would save the Union,” Lincoln wrote. As for enslaved Africans, they were just pawns in his war strategy: “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it. … What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union.” Ref
“While some planters became convinced of Christianity as a type of social control, others welcomed ministers to the slave quarters and built plantation chapels out of genuine Christian impulses. Regardless of motives, however, slaveholders remained mindful of the potential subversiveness of religion among slaves.” ref
“Though Africans landed with few possessions, they carried their cultures, skills, and spiritual worldviews into the Americas. Wherever African religions took root in the New World, Africans and their descendants changed and adapted their belief systems to local circumstances and influences. Individual circumstances created variations in the way people practiced their faiths, what they believed, and what significance it held for their lives.” ref
“Throughout the Americas, religious beliefs emerged in distinct local forms: for example, Santería in Cuba, obeah and myalism in Jamaica, and voodoo in Saint-Domingue (Haiti). All—and there were many others—allowed Africans and their descendants a social space of their own. The continuation of the slave trade to Cuba and Brazil through the mid-nineteenth century consolidated and strengthened African religions in both countries. The best known perhaps is candomblé in Brazil. In both places, African deities and African religious customs survived in ways they did not elsewhere in the Americas. They also spawned secret societies which were important social institutions among local enslaved people and, again, often fomented unrest among the enslaved.” ref
“Though African religions were largely frowned upon by colonial authorities, they nonetheless survived and adapted, enabling enslaved practitioners to enjoy a degree of freedom in the way they conducted their social and private lives. For people whose lives were controlled by intrusive owners, it is hard to overestimate the importance of these religious practices.” ref
“Millions of Africans and their New World descendants became Christians, but there were marked differences between slave societies, notably in those dominated by the Catholic and Protestant churches. Catholics tended to welcome Africans, and to convert them simply and with little fuss. Protestant churches tended to insist on instruction and conversion before baptizing Africans into the church. In British colonies, the Anglican church was notoriously hesitant and reluctant to convert enslaved people, largely because of the opposition and hostility of powerful planters in the colonies.” ref
“However, the emergence of evangelical dissenting sects in the eighteenth century, especially Moravians, Baptists, and Methodists, saw a major transformation, notably in the English-speaking Americas. Throughout the Caribbean and in North America, slaves were drawn in ever greater numbers to dissenting churches and chapels, converted by evangelical, peripatetic preachers, sometimes by their own masters. Among these expanding armies of Christian slaves, the Bible, but especially the message, imagery, and the stories of the Old Testament, spoke to their enslaved condition, and nurtured their growing demands for freedom and equality.” ref
“By the early nineteenth century, increasing numbers of slaves demanded their freedom as Christians. This black Christian voice was heeded and supported by fellow Christian sympathizers in the U.S. North and in the centers of political power in Europe. Christianity was, eventually, to prove one of the major challenges to slavery itself.” ref
“Outsiders—Europeans and slave owners across the Americas—tended to dismiss African faiths and practices as mere superstitions. They overwhelmingly viewed African beliefs as idolatry and heathen that lacked the essential customary religions, including religious text. The exception was Islam. It was no accident that those Africans who tended to be spotted as exceptional came from the ranks of African laborers who were practicing Muslims: those who could read and/or write, and those with regular habits of worship, which Christians recognized as paralleling their own religious routines. The rest—many millions—arrived as they left Africa, mere heathens in the eyes of the people who bought and sold them. Indeed, Europeans used the concept of “paganism” to justify their enslavement of people in the first place. In European minds, New World slavery brought the Africans within reach of Christian conversion.” ref
“Muslim Africans were scattered through the slave colonies, though they arrived in especially large numbers in northeast Brazil in the early nineteenth century after being captured as victims of Africans wars and enduring the Middle Passage. These individuals were to prove to be a source of great discontent—and trouble—to their owners.” ref
Slavery and Religion?
“Historically, slavery has been regulated, supported, or opposed on religious grounds. In Judaism, slaves were given a range of treatments and protections. They were to be treated as an extended family with certain protections, and they could be freed. They were property but could also own material goods. Early Christian authors (except for Assyrian Christians who did not believe in slavery) maintained the spiritual equality of slaves and free persons while accepting slavery as an institution. Early modern papal decrees allowed the enslavement of the unbelievers, though popes denounced slavery from the fifteenth century onward. This denouncement of slavery did not discourage (for example) the diocese of the Anglican church from having an indirect involvement with the religious conversion of black slaves in Barbados, in which one of the main principles was the divine right of the master over the slave.” ref
“In the eighteenth century, the abolition movement took shape among Christians across the globe, but various denominations did not prohibit slavery among their members into the nineteenth century. Enslaved non-believers were sometimes converted to Christianity, but elements of their traditional beliefs merged with their Christian beliefs. Early Islamic texts encourage kindness towards slaves and manumission (legally freeing individual slaves), while recognizing slavery as an institution and permitting enslavement of non-Muslims imprisoned or bought beyond the borders of Islamic rule. Children born to slaves were also considered legally as slaves.” ref
“Slavery was customary in antiquity, and it is condoned by the Torah. The Bible uses the Hebrew term ebed to refer to slavery; however, ebed has a much wider meaning than the English term slavery, and in several circumstances it is more accurately translated into English as servant. It was seen as legitimate to enslave captives obtained through warfare, but not through kidnapping. Children could also be sold into debt bondage, which was sometimes ordered by a court of law.” ref
“As with the Hittite Laws and the Code of Hammurabi, the Bible does set minimum rules for the conditions under which slaves were to be kept. Slaves were to be treated as part of an extended family; they were allowed to celebrate the Sukkot festival, and expected to honor Shabbat. Israelite slaves could not be compelled to work with rigour, and debtors who sold themselves as slaves to their creditors had to be treated the same as a hired servant. If a master harmed a slave in one of the ways covered by the lex talionis, the slave was to be compensated by manumission; if the slave died within 24 to 48 hours, he or she was to be avenged (whether this refers to the death penalty or not is uncertain).” ref
“Israelite slaves were automatically manumitted after six years of work, and/or at the next Jubilee (occurring either every 49 or every 50 years, depending on interpretation), although the latter would not apply if the slave was owned by an Israelite and wasn’t in debt bondage. Slaves were released automatically in their 7th year of service, which did not include female slaves, or did, were to be given livestock, grain, and wine, as a parting gift (possibly hung around their necks). This 7th-year manumission could be voluntarily renounced, which would be signified, as in other Ancient Near Eastern nations, by the slave gaining a ritual ear piercing; after such renunciation, the individual was enslaved forever (and not released at the Jubilee). Non-Israelite slaves were always to be enslaved forever, and treated as inheritable property.” ref
“In New Testament books, including the First Epistle of Peter, slaves are admonished to obey their masters, as to the Lord, and not to men; and the Epistle to Philemon was used by both pro-slavery advocates as well as by abolitionists; in the epistle, Paul returns Onesimus, a fugitive slave, back to his master. Different forms of slavery existed for over 18 centuries within Christianity. Although in the early years of Christianity, freeing slaves was regarded as an act of charity, and the Christian view that all people were equal including slaves was a novel idea within the Roman Empire, the institution of slavery was rarely criticized. David Brion Davis writes that the “variations in early Christian opinion on servitude fit comfortably within a framework of thought that would exclude any attempt to abolish slavery as an institution.” ref
“Indeed, in 340, the local Synod of Gangra condemned the Manicheans for urging that slaves should liberate themselves; with one of the 20 canons of the Synod declaring: “If anyone shall teach a slave, under the pretext of piety, to despise his master and to run away from his service, and not to serve his own master with good-will and all honor, let him be anathema.” A variation of the Canon would be adopted as Orthodox Catholic Law, during the 451 AD, Council of Chalcedon, as: … Every monk must be subject to his bishop, and must not leave his house except at his suggestion. A slave, however, can not enter the monastic life without the consent of his master. Augustine of Hippo, who renounced his former Manicheanism, argued that slavery was part of the mechanism to preserve the natural order of things; John Chrysostom, who is regarded as a saint by Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, argued that slaves should be resigned to their fate, because by “obeying his master he is obeying God”. but he also stated that “Slavery is the fruit of covetousness, of extravagance, of insatiable greediness” in his Epist. ad Ephes.” ref
“As the Apostle Paul admonished the early Christians; “There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus”. And in fact, even some of the first popes were once slaves themselves. Pope Gelasius I, in 492 CE, sanctioned that heathens in Gaul could be enslaved, imported, and sold by Jews, in Rome. Though in the following centuries, Roman popes would ban the ownership of Christian slaves by Jews, Muslims, Heathens, and other Christians, while the Catholic Council of London in 1102, issued a local blanket decree, though not a Church canon: “Let no one dare hereafter to engage in the infamous business, prevalent in England, of selling men like animals.” ref
“In 1452 Pope Nicholas V issued the papal bull Dum Diversas, which granted Afonso V of Portugal the right to reduce any “Saracens, pagans and any other unbelievers” to hereditary slavery. The approval of slavery under these conditions was reaffirmed and extended in his Romanus Pontifex bull of 1455. (This papal bull was issued in response to the wars which were triggered by the Fall of Constantinople in 1453) In 1488 Pope Innocent VIII accepted the gift of 100 slaves from Ferdinand II of Aragon and distributed those slaves to his cardinals and the Roman nobility. Also, in 1639 Pope Urban VIII purchased slaves for himself from the Knights of Malta. In the 15th and 16th centuries, other popes denounced slavery as a great crime, including Pius II, Paul III, and Eugene IV. In 1639, Pope Urban VIII forbade slavery, as did Benedict XIV in 1741. In 1815, Pope Pius VII demanded that the Congress of Vienna suppress the slave trade, and Gregory XVI condemned it again in 1839.” ref
“In addition, the Dominican friars who arrived in the Spanish settlement of Santo Domingo in 1510 strongly denounced the enslavement of the local Indians. Along with other priests, they opposed the mistreatment of the Indians and denounced it as unjust and illegal in an audience with the Spanish king as well as in the subsequent royal commission. As a response to this position, the Spanish monarchy’s subsequent Requerimiento provided a religious justification for the enslavement of the local populations, on the pretext that they refused to convert to Roman Catholicism and therefore denied the authority of the pope.” ref
“Various interpretations of Christianity were also used to justify slavery. For example, some people believed that slavery was a punishment that was reserved for sinners. Some other Christian organizations were slaveholders. The eighteenth-century high-church Anglican Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts owned the Codrington Plantation, in Barbados, which contained several hundred slaves, who were branded on their chests with the word Society. George Whitefield, who is famed for his sparking of the so-called Great Awakening of American evangelicalism, overturned a province-wide ban against slavery, and went on to own several hundred slaves himself. Yet Whitefield is remembered as one of the first evangelists who preached to the enslaved.” ref
“At other times, Christian groups worked against slavery. The seventh-century Saint Eloi used his vast wealth to purchase British and Saxon slaves in groups of 50 to 100 in order to set them free. The Quakers in particular were early leaders of abolitionism, and in keeping with this tradition they denounced slavery at least as early as 1688. In 1787 the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade was formed, and 9 of its 12 founding members were Quakers; William Wilberforce, an early supporter of the society, went on to push through the 1807 Slave Trade Act, striking a major blow against the Atlantic slave trade. Leaders of Methodism and Presbyterianism also vehemently denounced human bondage, convincing their congregations to do likewise; Methodists and Presbyterians subsequently made the repudiation of slavery a condition of membership.” ref
“In the Southern United States, however, support for slavery was strong; anti-slavery literature was prevented from passing through the postal system, and even the transcripts of sermons, by the famed English preacher Charles Spurgeon, were burned due to their censure of slavery. When the American Civil War broke out, slavery became one of the issues which would be decided by its outcome; the southern defeat led to a constitutional ban on slavery. Despite the general emancipation of slaves, members of fringe white groups like the Christian Identity movement, and the Ku Klux Klan (a white supremacist group) see the enslavement of Africans as a positive aspect of American history.” ref
“In the United States, Christianity not only held views about slavery but also on how slaves practiced their own form of Christianity. Prior to the work of Melville Herskovits in 1941, it was widely believed that all elements of African culture were destroyed by the horrific experiences of Africans who had been forced to come to the United States of America. Since his groundbreaking work, scholarship has found that Slave Christianity existed as an extraordinarily creative patchwork of African and Christian religious traditions. The slaves brought a wide variety of religious traditions with them including tribal shamanism and Islam. Beyond that, tribal traditions could vary to a high degree across the African continent.” ref
“During the early eighteenth century, Anglican missionaries who attempted to bring Christianity to slaves in the Southern colonies often found themselves butting up against uncooperative masters and resistant slaves. An unquestionable obstacle to the acceptance of Christianity among slaves was their desire to continue to adhere to the religious beliefs and rituals of their African ancestors as much as possible. Missionaries who worked in the South were especially displeased with the slaves’ retention of African practices such as polygamy and what they called idolatrous dancing. In fact, even black people who embraced Christianity in America did not completely abandon the religion of the Old World.” ref
“Instead, they engaged in syncretism, blending Christian influences with traditional African rites and beliefs. Symbols and objects, such as crosses, were conflated with charms which were carried by Africans in order to ward off evil spirits. Christ was interpreted as a healer who was similar to the priests of Africa. In the New World, fusions of African spirituality and Christianity led to distinctly new practices within slave populations, including voodoo or vodun in Haiti and Spanish Louisiana. Although African religious influences were also important among Northern black people, the exposure to Old World religions was more intense in the South, where the density of the black population was higher.” ref
“There were, however, some commonalities across the majority of tribal traditions. Perhaps the primary understanding of tribal traditions was the commonly-held belief that there was no separation of the sacred and the secular. All life was sacred and the supernatural was present in every facet and focus of life. Most tribal traditions highlighted this experience of the supernatural in ecstatic experiences of the supernatural which were brought on by ritual song and dance. Repetitious music and dancing were often used to bring on these experiences through the use of drums and chanting. These experiences were realized in the “possession” of a worshipper in which one is not only taken over by the divine but actually becomes one with the divine.” ref
“Echoes of African tribal traditions can be seen in the Christianity that was practiced by slaves in the Americas. The songs, dances, and ecstatic experiences of traditional tribal religions were Christianized and practiced by slaves in what is called the “Ring Shout.” This practice was a major mark of African-American Christianity during the slavery period. Slaves were actually sold through the leaders of African tribes. Christianity came to the slaves of North America more slowly. Many colonial slaveholders feared that baptizing slaves would lead to emancipation because of vague laws that concerned the slave status of Christians under British colonial rule. Even after 1706, by which time many states had passed laws that stated that baptism would not alter a slave’s status, slaveholders continued to believe that the catechization of slaves wouldn’t be a wise economic choice. Slaves usually had one day off each week, usually Sunday. They used that time to grow their own crops, dance, and sing (doing such things on the Sabbath was frowned upon by most preachers), so there was little time for slaves to receive religious instruction.” ref
“During the antebellum period, slave preachers – enslaved or formerly enslaved evangelists – became instrumental in shaping slave Christianity. They preached a gospel which was radically different from the gospel which was preached by white preachers, who often used Christianity in an attempt to make slaves more complacent with their enslaved status. Instead of focusing on obedience, slave preachers placed a greater emphasis on the Old Testament, especially on the Book of Exodus. They likened the plight of the American slaves to the plight of the enslaved Hebrews of the Bible, instilling hope into the hearts of those who were enslaved. Slave preachers were instrumental in shaping the religious landscape of African Americans for decades to come.” ref
Islam and Slavery?
“According to Bernard Lewis, slavery has been a part of Islam’s history from its beginning. The Quran like the Old and the New Testaments, states Lewis, “assumes the existence of slavery”. It attempts to regulate slavery and thereby implicitly accepts it. Muhammad and his Companions owned slaves, and some of them acquired slaves through conquests. During the beginnings of Islam, Classic slavery wasn’t forbidden, but the latter (Islam) encouraged the emancipation of slaves. In various verses, Quran refers to slaves as “necks” (raqabah) or “those whom your right hand possesses” (Ma malakat aymanukum). In addition to these terms for slaves, the Quran and early Islamic literature uses ‘Abd (male) and Amah (female) term for an enslaved and servile possession, as well as other terms. According to Brockopp, seven separate terms for slaves appear in the Quran, in at least twenty-nine Quranic verses.” ref
“The Quran assigns the same spiritual value to a slave as to a free man, and a believing slave is regarded as superior to a free pagan or idolator. The manumission of slaves is regarded as a meritorious act in the Quran, and is recommended either as an act of charity or as expiation for sins. While the spiritual value of a slave was the same as the freeman, states Forough Jahanbakhsh, in regards to earthly matters, a slave was not an equal to the freeman and relegated to an inferior status. In the Quran and for its many commentators, states Ennaji, there is a fundamental distinction between free Muslims and slaves, a basic constituent of its social organization, an irreparable dichotomy introduced by the existence of believers and infidels. The corpus of hadith attributed to Muhammad or his Companions contains a large store of reports enjoining kindness toward slaves. Chouki El Hamel has argued that the Quran recommends gradual abolition of slavery, and that some hadith are consistent with that message while others contradict it.” ref
“According to Dror Ze’evi, early Islamic dogma set out to improve conditions of human bondage. It forbade enslavement of free members of Islamic society, including non-Muslims (dhimmis) residing under Islamic rule. Islam also allowed the acquisition of lawful non-Muslim slaves who were imprisoned, slaves purchased from lands outside the Islamic state, as well as considered the boys or girls born to slaves as slaves. Islamic law treats a free man and a slave unequally in sentencing for an equivalent crime. For example, traditional Sunni jurisprudence, with the exception of Hanafi law, objects to putting a free man to death for killing a slave. A slave who commits a crime may receive the same punishment as a free man, a punishment half as severe, or the master may be responsible for paying the damages, depending on the crime. According to Ze’evi, Islam considered the master to own the slave’s labor, a slave to be his master’s property to be sold or bought at will, and that the master was entitled to women slave’s sexual submission.” ref
“The Islamic law (sharia) allows the taking of infidels (non-Muslims) as slaves, during religious wars also called holy wars or jihad. In the early Islamic communities, according to Kecia Ali, “both life and law were saturated with slaves and slavery”. War, tribute from vassal states, purchase and children who inherited their parent’s slavery were the sources of slaves in Islam. In Islam, according to Paul Lovejoy, “the religious requirement that new slaves be pagans and need for continued imports to maintain slave population made Africa an important source of slaves for the Islamic world.” Slavery of non-Muslims, followed by the structured process of converting them to Islam then encouraging the freeing of the converted slave, states Lovejoy helped the growth of Islam after its conquests.” ref
“According to Mohammed Ennaji, the ownership gave the master a right “to punish one’s slave”. In Islam, a child inherited slavery if he or she was born to a slave mother and slave father. However, if the child was born to a slave mother and her owner master, then the child was free. Slaves could be given as property (dower) during marriage. The text encourages Muslim men to take slave women as sexual partners (concubines), or marry them. Islam, states Lewis, did not permit Dhimmis (non-Muslims) “to own Muslim slaves; and if a slave owned by a dhimmi embraced Islam, his owner was legally obliged to free or sell him”. There was also a gradation in the status on the slave, and his descendants, after the slave converted to Islam.” ref
“Under Islamic law, in “what might be called civil matters”, a slave was “a chattel with no legal powers or rights whatsoever”, states Lewis. A slave could not own or inherit property or enter into a contract. However, he was better off in terms of rights than Greek or Roman slaves. According to Chirag Ali, the early Muslims misinterpreted the Quran as sanctioning “polygamy, arbitrary divorce, slavery, concubinage, and religious wars”, and he states that the Quranic injunctions are against all this. According to Ron Shaham and other scholars, the various jurisprudence systems on Sharia such as Maliki, Hanafi, Shafi’i, Hanbali, and others differ in their interpretation of the Islamic law on slaves.” ref
“Slaves were particularly numerous in Muslim armies. Slave armies were deployed by Sultans and Caliphs at various medieval era war fronts across the Islamic Empires, playing an important role in the expansion of Islam in Africa and elsewhere. Slavery of men and women in Islamic states such as the Ottoman Empire, states Ze’evi, continued through the early twentieth century. In the seventeenth century Celebes Island, a policy that prohibiting slavery of Muslims whose biological parents are not slave was issued by the Sultan of Bone, La Maddaremmeng. According to him, all Muslims are free men. However, it did not liberate the enslaved Muslims whose parents are slave or inherited slave. Nonetheless, La Maddaremmeng mandated that these slaves be treated with the same humanity as one would treat their own family.” ref
“Islamic Puritanism was allegedly the motivation behind La Maddaremeng’s policy towards the Muslim slavery. Apart from freeing slaves, La Maddaremeng also destroyed Idols and prohibited traditional ancestral beliefs that contradicted the teaching of Islam. His puritanical activities faced opposition coming from the people, the aristocrats, the neighboring kings, and even his own mother, We Tenrisoloreng Datu Pattiro. The Invasion of Bone by The Gowa Sultanate led him into his capture and deposition.” ref
Hinduism and Slavery?
“The term “dasa” (dāsa) in the Vedas is loosely translated as “slave.” However, the meaning of the term varied over time. R. S. Sharma, in his 1958 book, for example, states that the only word which could possibly mean slave in Rigveda is dāsa, and this sense of use is traceable to four later verses in Rigveda. The term dāsa in the Rigveda, has been also been translated as a servant or enemy, and the identity of this term remains unclear and disputed among scholars. The word dāsi is found in Rigveda and Atharvaveda, states R.S. Sharma, which he states represented “a small servile class of women slaves”. Slavery in the Vedic period, according to him, was mostly confined to women employed as domestic workers. He translates dāsi in a Vedic era Upanishad as “maid-servant”. Male slaves are rarely mentioned in the Vedic texts. The word dāsa occurs in the Hindu Sruti texts Aitareya and Gopatha Brahmanas, but not in the sense of a slave.” ref
“Towards the end of the Vedic period (600 BCE or around 2,600 years ago), a new system of varnas had appeared, with people called shudras replacing the erstwhile dasas. Some of the shudras were employed as laboring masses on farmland, much like “helots of Sparta“, even though they were not treated with the same degree of coercion and contempt. The term dasa was now employed to designate such enslaved people. Slavery arose out of debt, sale by parents or oneself (due to famines), judicial decree, or fear. While this could happen to a person of any varna, shudras were much more likely to be reduced to slavery. The Smriti contain classifications of slaves, and the slaves were differentiated by origin and different disabilities and rules for manumission applied.” ref
“Hindu Smritis are critical of slavery. Slaves could be given away as gifts along with the land, which came in for criticism from the religious texts Āśvalāyana and Kātyāyana Śrautasūtras. According to many Dharmasastras, release from slavery is an act of piety. Slavery was considered as a sign of backwardness by the Arthashastra author Kauṭilya, who provided slaves the right to property and abolished hereditary slavery, prohibiting the sale and pledge of children as slaves. The Arthashastra laid down norms for the State to resettle shudra cultivators into new villages and providing them with land, grain, cattle, and money. It also stated that aryas could not be subject to slavery and that the selling or mortgaging of a shudra was punishable unless he was a born slave. The Agni Purana forbids the enslavement of prisoners. The Apasthamba sutra discusses the emancipation of slaves. Bhakti movements from the early centuries of the common era, encouraged personal devotion to one divine being. They welcomed members from all backgrounds, and thus criticized slavery by implication.” ref
Buddhism and Slavery?
“Slavery existed in ancient India and, according to Scott Levi, is was likely an established institution that was “widespread by the lifetime of the Buddha and perhaps even as far back as the Vedic period.” The topic of slavery and the mention of slaves, therefore, can be found in Buddhist history and texts. From a Buddhist perspective, according to Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, the laity and monastics of his following were advised to not partake in the slave trade:
These five trades, O monks, should not be taken up by a lay follower: trading with weapons, trading in living beings, trading in meat, trading in intoxicants, trading in poison. — Anguttara Nikaya V.177, Translated by Martine Batchelor” ref
“In Pali language Buddhist texts, Amaya-dasa has been translated by Davids and Stede in 1925, as a “slave by birth”, Kila-dasa translated as a “bought slave”, and Amata-dasa as “one who sees Amata (Sanskrit: Amrita, nectar of immortality) or Nibbana“. However, dasa in ancient texts can also mean “servant”. Words related to dasa are found in early Buddhist texts, such as dāso na pabbājetabbo, which Davids and Stede translate as “the slave cannot become a Bhikkhu”. This restriction on who could become a Buddhist monk is found in Vinaya Pitakam i.93, Digha Nikaya, Majjhima Nikāya, Tibetan Bhiksukarmavakya, and Upasampadajnapti. Schopen states that this translation of dasa as slave is disputed by scholars.” ref
“The term dāsa and dāsyu in Vedic and other ancient Indian literature has been interpreted by as “servant” or “slave”, but others have contested such meaning. The term dāsa in the Rigveda, has been also been translated as an enemy, but overall the identity of this term remains unclear and disputed among scholars. Early Buddhist texts in Pali, according to R. S. Sharma, mention dāsa and kammakaras, and they show that those who failed to pay their debts were enslaved, and Buddhism did not allow debtors and slaves to join their monasteries. The 3rd Century BCE Edicts of Ashoka identify obligations to slaves (Greek: δούλοις) and hired workers (Greek: μισθωτοῖς), and later prohibited the trading of slaves within the Maurya Empire. Medieval Buddhist states codified slavery, combining local customary practices with derivatives of the Vedic Manusmriti. The series of dhammathats (legal treatises) for states covering Burma and North West India observed the 14 kinds of slavery set out in the Wareru Dhammathat, while Slavery in Bhutan was regulated into the mid-twentieth century by a local derivation of the Tibetan Buddhism Tsa Yig Chenmo.” ref
christofascism (christian and fascism) as well as religiofascism (religion and fascism)
“Damien, I (christian) personally think Muslims should be eradicated for what they believe in.” – Challanger
My response, Defense is a reasonable justification for violence but violence not for defense is hardly ever reasonable. Your thinking about “eradicated people for what they believe in” is similar to the radicalized thinking of the terrorists you despise. Such errors in thinking are nothing new as the idea of “eradicating people for what they believe in” is by and large a constant recurring theme of religions. And this has been a favorite excuse for harming others religious thinkers run to. I think religions in general as all lies should be eradicated not people. There is equal threat in this country from the christian terrorists and right wing terrorists than islamic terrorists. I am against terrorists in general and the belief in or support for terrorism should be eradicated not people. Secular education with real histories, sciences and critical as well as analytical thinking is needed to amend the problem not just more violence.
Speaking of real histories “eradicated people for what they believe in” is similar to why millions of Native Peoples of the Americas were slaughtered. But some think even though sad at the harm experienced by American Indians still the colonization of Americas (and the ensuing slaughter of natives) was NOT religion based (it was a purely economic endeavor). To such thinking I disagree. From the beginning the Spanish, English, Dutch, and French all viewed Native Peoples of the Americas as Uneducated Pagans and all professed their desire to teach Native Americans the gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed, spreading Christianity to the benighted peoples of the New World was a prime rationale for European colonization. However, propagating the faith always took place within a broader cultural context peculiar to the nationality of the colonists involved. Both the Spanish and the English thought in terms of transforming the Indians’ way of life, but only the Spanish pursued that goal rigorously and made it the foundation upon which much of Spanish American culture was based. Of course it was arguably much more the result of European and Indian sexual intermingling than the monumental educational efforts jointly undertaken by the Catholic Church and the Spanish Crown. Moreover, in the borderlands of Florida, Texas, and New Mexico, Spanish success at acculturating the Indians was limited at best. The British too aimed at civilizing as well as Christianizing the Indians, but compared to the Spanish, whose mighty missionary efforts were driven by the powerful Catholic Church, the British commitment to propagating their faith and culture among Native Americans was desultory. Also bringing together the resources of their Catholic Church and Crown, the French missionary adventure in North America was extensively pursued through the Saint Lawrence River valley, the Illinois country, and down the Mississippi River valley to Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. Less intrusive and generally more accommodating than Spanish clerics, French priests nevertheless garnered thousands of converts and played a crucial role in forging a Franco-Indian alliance that dominated much of North America. The European missions to the Indians aside, the most fascinating educational story regarding the Indians concerned their adjustments to the European invasion of America that began with Columbus’s arrival in 1492. Ref
Even in the initial stages of contact between European Christians and Native Indian people the stage was set for ethnocentrism, and the Attitude towards the Indians was that of Christian superiority. The Indians were read a proclamation in Spanish which they had no hope of understanding, they had no hope of understanding the death sentence they were being read, and it went something like this: “We ask and require you to acknowledge the church as the ruler and Superior of the whole world and the high priest called pope and in his Name the king of Spain as lords of this land. If you submit we shall Receive you in all love and charity and shall leave you, your wives and Children and your lands free without servitude, but if you do not submit. We shall powerfully enter into your country and shall make war against You, we shall take you and your wives and your children and shall make Slaves of them and we shall take away your goods and shall do you all The harm and damage we can.” This proclamation was use standard until around 1860! Ref
Moreover, an article in 1839 not using the term “manifest destiny”, did predict a “divine destiny” for the United States and an article in 1845 issued an unmistakable call for American expansionism. Focusing mainly on bringing the Republic of Texas into the union, it declared that expansion represented “the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.” Thus a powerful American slogan was born. “Manifest Destiny” became first and foremost a call and justification for an American form of imperialism, and neatly summarized the goals of the Mexican War. It claimed that America had a destiny, manifest, i.e., self-evident, from God to occupy the North American continent south of Canada (it also claimed the right to the Oregon territory including the Canadian portion). “Manifest Destiny” was also clearly a racial doctrine of white supremacy that granted no native American or nonwhite claims to any permanent possession of the lands on the North American continent and justified white American expropriation of Indian lands. (“Manifest Destiny” was also a key slogan deployed in the United States’ imperial ventures in the 1890s and early years of the twentieth century that led to U.S. possession or control of Hawaii and the Philippine Islands.) But Manifest Destiny was not simply a cloak for American imperialism and a justification for America’s territorial ambitions. It also was firmly anchored in a long standing and deep sense of a special and unique American Destiny, the belief that in the words of historian Conrad Cherry, “America is a nation called to a special destiny by God.” Ref
When I was young I raged at the world for abuse I received from my parents. Then I developed some, so I held my parents accountable, raging at them and the world; as so much was out there, like them. Then I fully developed and became an atheist, thus I started to see my parents were two different versions of christofascism (christian and fascism), as well as I saw that relatively all religions in some way are part of religiofascism (religion and fascism) especially how they often force hereditary religion of children by cursive force or oppression and I became an antireligionist atheist raging against religion as well as the lies of gods.
Compare and Contrast (religious and non-religious)
The following is a poem from the book Taste Your Emotions that relates to this:
I rub my eyes, Is it true?
I am smiling
Giddy with joy
I look at myself in the mirror
It is like a new me, looking back.
Warm sun sits on my face
Blue skies float inside my eyes.
Happiness of my smile glitters like the stars
I feel new, the mountains of my life did not landslide.
For now, I stand here growing strong.
My life came from a hard seed of hate.
Now changed and strong, I spring forth into a sturdy tree of love.
As a religious believer, I was a far cry from the individual I am now. Almost a complete opposite juxtaposition can be seen in most areas. Some of my past fanaticism mirrors my family’s’ membership in a strict religious Christian cult called “The Local Church”. Theologically, the Local Church is considered by most Christian apologists and counter cult professionals to be a cult of Christianity. According to cult leader Witness Lee, all are evil, even others in Christianity are viewed as blind, fallen, poor, and degraded. Witness Lee calls all other Christian denominational groups harlot daughters of the whore of Babylon (Apologetics Index, 2009). I was also uncaring as a result of my parents’ sexual, physical, emotional, and mental abuse and living in a community of aggression and violence. This oppression and empathy robbing happened both in the home as well as from being from tough schools and neighborhoods in southern california which exposed me directly to seeking approval through acting out violently as well. The topics that will be analyzed are love, cohabitation, sexuality, gender, divorce, working women, marriage, extramarital affairs, child-rearing practices, homosexuality, war, America, politics, family, religion, society, media, racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, morals, and the American justice system.
My Views as a religious thinker
*Love: was a fantasy of the gullible few and what could be obtained was more akin to heavy liking than the conception of romantic love. This was also true with family or friends.
*Cohabitation: was okay, but not really what you should do because it was a sin.
*Sexuality: must be controlled, it was fun but if overt or out of the norm it was shameful or evil.
*Gender: was who we were supposed to be as designed by God and the bible’s understanding of gender told you how to correctly act.
*Divorce: was a sign of failure and showed you did not try. Marriage was to last forever till death do you part.
*Working women: should not have to work if they do not want to; unless it is required in order to earn the needed combined income to survive.
*Marriage: equals monogamy. It was meant to be forever good or bad and was between only one man and one woman.
*Extramarital affairs: sex outside marriage was totally wrong, sinful, demonstrated you did not love the other party, and if accrued will end a marriage.
*Child-rearing practices: I thought spanking should be limited due to his abuse by spanking.
*Homosexuality: I hated homosexuals; I thought being gay was totally wrong, sinful, and demonstrated perversion of the natural world.
*War: was a good means of bettering the world by killing all those who are against America or threaten democracy. I was all for war. I loved radical American nationalism and the thought of power through fear of war with America. In fact, I was so into war that when the first gulf war happened, he was thrilled and hoped the U.S. would bombed and killed the region back to the “Stone Age.” I almost joined the military just to have the opportunity to go to war, be masculine, and kill the enemy but was denied because he was too heavy.
*America: I thought America was the greatest country on earth, blessed by bible God and had a positive legacy of reason and justice; it was a spearhead of freedom for the world.
*Politics: I was a proud conservative republican and was active in politics. I felt it was a responsibility of every American to vote. At the age of 18, was the first time to vote, I was paid to serve in the voting booth operation. He served in the voting booth operation more than once and thought it was a demonstration of my staunch patriotism.
*Religion: I thought the only real true faith was Christianity and it should be pushed on others.
*Society: I thought society was a positive structure necessary to human advancement and god as well as religion were an important part.
*Media: was mostly helpful with a few negative themes.
*Racism: was not good but was mainly an issue of the past.
*Sexism: was mostly a man overexerting masculinity or women’s overreaction of men’s God given authority.
*Ethnocentrism: I saw it as cultural pride a positive love of one’s own kind.
*Morals/ethics: laws given by the Christian God.
*The American Justice system: could be totally trusted. It was simply one of the best judicial systems formed by man.
My Views as a non-religious thinker
*Love: is an amalgam of intertwined emotions and connectedness realized in expressiveness. It is not a one time event but a continually fluid reactional experiential relative multi-dimensional conception. Love can be experienced and shared by several different variations of women and men in any grouping they choose, be it homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, or group romantic partners. Love changed because I now have positive significant romantic relationships in my life which are different than those modeled by family in my past. Love is similar to maturity in that they do not simply reach some sort of plateau or final state; instead they are a lifetime process of becoming.
*Cohabitation: I think it is no different than not doing it. Cohabitation differs now from before because he has universal ethics, not morals.
*Sexuality: to me is now seen through universal ethics, thus is morally neutral. It should be openly expressed and experienced because it is a positive expression of life and holds no shame or negative orientations, if consenting and between adults. Sexuality differs now because I have universal ethics, not morals. Things like sex for fun, swinging, fetish, porn, prostitution, homosexuality, bisexuality, nudism, strip clubs, group sex, polyamory, polygamy, or polyandry, and even sex between consenting adult family members hold no preconceived negativity or innate wrongness. My universal ethics is a moral standard allowing sexual freedom up to the limit of coercive harm. Since universal ethics is independent of culture, societal standards, moral codes, religious laws, or personal ethical views “sex” or one’s sexual orientation and gender identity loses its right or wrong status; thus, it is morally neutral (Foldvary, 1980).
*Gender: to me is now is an oppressive somewhat invented categorization which forces a picking of one side instead of seeing all people having a varying expression of both masculinity and femininity and should not devalued those who do not fit a socially conceived ideal. Gender has changed because I learned it was not who we are, but who we are told to be. In acknowledging my true self, I realized I had both femininity and masculinity. I have a genderqueer identity; 40% female-typed and 60% male-typed, yet 100% straight.
*Divorce: to me is now is simply a separation that one chooses for personal reasons holding little ethical significance. Evolutionary psychologists contend that human beings are designed to fall in love but not stay in love (Crandell et al., 2009).
*Working women: to me is now are not different than other human beings in obtainment of rights. Thus, they should be wholeheartedly supported to work which includes childbearing without having to jeopardize their high-level career positions. Furthermore, women or the care giving spouse should not have to work if they do not want to unless it is required in order to earn the needed combined income to survive. High-level career positions are just as important for women to reach as men (Crandell et al., 2009).
*Marriage: my current marriage is defined under shared openness with my bisexual wife and their responsible non-monogamy. Thus, marriage is not so rigidly defined as in society. Marriage could involve monogamy or any other forms of chosen non-monogamy, it should also alough gay marriage as well as for all LGBTQI, I also support multiple marriage/poly marriage as long as it’s of free consent. If it is a committed partnership which could involve several different variations of women and men in any grouping they choose, be it homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, or group marriage. If adults wish to lawfully join no matter the grouping, they should be allowed to do so.
*Extramarital affairs: to me now may involve sex outside of agreed upon mutual relationship rules is not congruent with entered into marriage contract, though being that stringent monogamy is not suited to all, it is understandable even if not a highly valued practice buy some but I am in an open relationship practicing ethical nonmonogamy and have a happy marriage and life. Some adults do make distinctions in types or situations to either understand or justify infidelity which may include practicing ethical nonmonogamy.
*Child-rearing practices: I am anti-spanking and am against physical, psychological or emotional abuse of children. I have never had children and by choice had a vasectomy to never have them. Though he feels there should never be any form of physical violence done to a child of which spanking falls under that category.
*Homosexuality: to me is now is a healthy sexual form of desire expression and simply another category of normal sexuality. In addition, homosexuality is both common and natural being observed in close to 1500 animal species.
*War: to me is now is physical harm and killing, this killing is murder of which is mostly illegal and unethical in other circumstances, unless involved for protection or a (just) war that is restrained, humane, and ultimately directed towards the aim of establishing lasting peace and justice (Colero, n.d.). Though some killing in war is necessary it must not be taken lightly being that it is still murder. Just reasons to go to war could involve restricted reasons, self-defense, and the rescue of another from an aggressor. Likewise, self-defense may be broadened from defense against actual attack to defense against threats, or against perceived threats, and it may be permissible to make pre-emptive strikes. My feelings about just war mirror Just War Theory which embraces principles about the way war may be conducted, generally ruling out gratuitous violence, war against civilians and innocents (Rigstad, 2008). I am for non-aggression but believe it is justified in self-defence or other-defence.
*America: I believe America was founded on a subjected ideal of freedom and had an often shameful, unethical even unjust past. Is there justice in the system or is it just us in the system? Though America had some good ideals and principles, it mainly supported the few such as white affluent Judeo-Christian men and not for the ethnic minorities, children, women, homosexuals, and non-Christians. America was slow to start or just recently began employing reason and justice to fight against ageism, classism, racism, religious intolerance, reverse discrimination, sexism, homophobia, ethnocentrism, and xenophobia.
*Politics: I am a eclectic Liberal and Leftist mainly involve Libertarian Socialism, Anarcho-Collectivism, Anarcho-Mutualism, Natural Rights Libertarianism, Left-Libertarianism, Anarcho-Naturism, Green Anarchism, Dialectical Naturalism, Anti-capitalism, Progressive, Secularism, Democratic Socialism, Libertarian Municipalism, Radical Minarchism, and Anarcho-Mutualism Political Philosophies with Axiology.
*Religion: I does not believe in any gods nor do I feel favorable to any religion, as I am not just an atheist or even an anti-theist as I have stopped following or believing any religious mythologies. In fact, I am an anti-religionist. Not just Atheist, I am a proud anti-religionist. Religion is Conspiracy Theories of Reality, Not Worth Believing In. Those atheists who still like esoteric religions or religious philosophies that is not me at all. I reject it all, every religion or pseudo religion. Just so I am not misunderstood this includes buddhism, satanism, taoism, paganism, wicca, spiritualism, etc. Don’t get me wrong I am against ALL religion. I challenge your beliefs, because you won’t. To me, every religion was new at some point and had someone who made shit up, yes all of them, every religion. As an atheist, I am a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of god or gods. In my non-belief, I am also ignostic feeling that every theological position assumes too much about the concept of god(s). As an ignostic, I am a person who rationale no idea of anything from reality whatever to label as “a concept of god” thus I can say I have no idea of anything that can connect to the term god and no reason to think anyone else can either. As an anti-theist, I am a person who is active in opposition to theism: both the concepts of god(s) as well as the religions that support them. This is because theistic concepts and theistic religions are harmful and that even if theistic beliefs were true, they would be undesirable. As an anti-religionist, I am a person who can look at religion on the whole and see it is detrimental to the progress of humanity thus am in opposition to all and every religion, not even just opposition to organized religion. In case you were wondering, I am anti-pseudoscience, anti-supernatural, and anti-superstition as well. Yes, I am a proud anti-religionist not just atheist or even anti-theist. So, as as atheist, anti-theist, and anti-religionist; I am against flawed superstitious magical beliefs like god(s) and/or religion. However, I am not against people. I have many strong opinions and beliefs as well as challenge or am against many types of beliefs especially if they involve supernatural or superstitious. However, I am not against people nor am I against their free right to believe as they wish. To me everyone owns themselves and their beliefs are theirs as well. Thus, to me not I or anyone has the right to force people on what to believe.
*Society: can be both positive and negative. Though most of its themes require those in it, to fit in and not be too different or risk condemnation. It can stifle out of the box thinking, values, or reasoning since it is by nature a box bound in group ideas.
*Media: is bias both somewhat positive and can be detrimentally negative. It cannot be trusted; it has many distribution channels though the most influential across the board has been television. We are constantly exposed to thousands of images of violence, sex, and Americanism, sexism, as well as mostly Judeo-Christian values. Television’s free unrestrained teacher is advertising, often expected to push ideas that are highly biased and without being challenged. There are about 40,000 ads a year. But who owns the media, which companies or people shape our values, beliefs and decisions. Basically only five major companies own 95% of all the media (Hubpages Inc., 2009).
*Racism: is an oppressive reality with a long history and sadly still lingering today in many forms.
*Sexism: is one of the last frontiers needing to be tackled and I feel a strong anger that this is not being changed. We cannot use aggressive words towards someone’s race without censure or outrage but put down a woman or use negativity about women towards men and it is either unnoticed or laughed about. Many in middle adult hood feel they have a personal responsibility to make the world a better place (Crandell et al., 2009).
*Ethnocentrism: I sees it as limiting the acceptance of others. Its negative exclusion tendencies surround believing that one’s ethnic, cultural group, language, behaviors, customs, or religion are better that all other groups which teeters on bigotry.
*Morals/Ethics: are not universally just to all, but the best we can have is universal ethics. Atheist Morality = Scientific Morality? Atheist Morality to me is generally somewhat like universal ethics whether they know it or express it as such. Some atheists don’t really address the philosophical arguments of atheistic anti-humanism from atheistic humanism. I am and was dissatisfied with what to me was a lack of scientific core in secular morality. Thus, looked for and found what I was hoping for in Formal Axiology (scientific value theory) which is a social science. I wish to promote common sense, thus challenge thinking that is flated or in error and bad behaviors as well as promote positive humanism and wish for human flourishing as people have dignity and what they may believe has no dignity. And, as far as what I want when it comes to beliefs, I wish to inspire the ethics of belief such as that which is needed in ones increased accuracy of beliefs. We should be thoughtful in belief acquisition, be open in our belief. maintenance, and intellectually honest in our belief relinquishment. This Guardian link is a interesting article close to the dissatisfied way I think some who are atheists seem to avoid or struggle in navigating the difference between anti-humanism and humanism. Which if not we’ll defined confuses the arguments especially in clearly relating atheistic morality in general. To me, it seems many atheists either somehow adopt quasi religious moral thinking try with little substance to core out a moral middle or reject morality entirely in either a relativistic or nihilism way. I reject that line of thinking and see morality as originating outside of religion, involving evolutionary scientific and objective and supported by Formal Axiology which has been proven empirically valid. I mainly hold to objective morality but I do believe morality at times is a blending of subjective and objective factors. This spectator link offers a very interesting critique that is not that different than I would make saying why atheism if it wants scientific morality must adopt axiology (philosophical value theory) or formal axiology (science of value) or something like it or have to give a valid way to account for or navigate its morality, I think that for many and why I think atheistic morality has not fully done more than either use some leftover religious thinking use of idealism and hope is they lack some grounding.
*Value theory (informal/philosophical axiology) encompasses a range of approaches to understanding how, why, and to what degree person’s value things; whether the object or subject of valuing is a person, idea, object, or anything else. This investigation began in ancient philosophy, where it is called axiology or ethics. Early philosophical investigations sought to understand good and evil and the concept of “the good”. Today, much of value theory aspires to the scientifically empirical, recording what people do value and attempting to understand why they value it in the context of psychology, sociology, and economics. At the general level, there is a difference between moral and natural goods. Moral goods are those that have to do with the conduct of persons, usually leading to praise or blame. Natural goods, on the other hand, have to do with objects, not persons. For example, the statement “Mary is a good person” represents a very different sense of the word ‘good’ than the statement “That was some good food”. Ethics is mainly focused on moral goods rather than natural goods, while economics has a concern in what is economically good for the society but not an individual person and is also interested in natural goods. However, both moral and natural goods are equally relevant to goodness and value theory, which is more general in scope. Ref *Formal axiology (science of value) is a foundation upon which a scientific revolution of scientific morality can be attained or at least furthered. To position humanism even secular humanism or to say there can be a scientific morality can come one day, is not an account of a current fact or a true justification of not just how one lives there life or even believes that life should be lived but what empirical or philosophical evidentiary validation is offered? If you want to read about “Formal Axiology” check out this link.
Formal Axiology, the science of value, has the distinctive difference of being based on deductive reasoning, a method by which concrete applications & interpretative detail are deduced from axioms, definitions and postulates. Hartman’s “Axiom of Value” provided us with a formal mathematical norm which can be applied to any field of study to structure the value parameters of that field, and then it weighs or measures individuals or teams against that scientific norm. Dr. Leon Pomeroy in his book, The New Science of Axiological Psychology (Pomeroy, 2005), has shown that formal axiology is also empirically valid. Value Science in a Nutshell: Science = Reason + Empiricism, “Formal Axiology” the science of value. Hartman was a philosopher who used the tools of reason, logic and mathematics to build his theory. He was not a committed empiricist and never tested the reliability and validity of his theory or the HVP. For this reason Dr. Leon Pomeroy had little interest in Hartman when Albert Ellis brought his work to my attention. Without plans or preparation, seven years later, fate intervened. Hartman’s friend, the Mexican psychiatrist Salvatore Roquet, M.D., demonstrated the HVP and convinced me to take another look at it and the theory behind it. The mathematical model Hartman used is “set theory.” Dr. Leon Pomeroy accepted it as a first approximation revealing the architecture of “value logic” or “value grammar” implicit in the mind’s native cognitive processing of values and valuations. Dr. Leon Pomeroy appreciated that this approach to values was an exploration of a world where no one had gone before. It was a creative frame of reference that struck me as “ripe” for empirical testing. Hartman called his theory “formal axiology.” This retained the old philosophical concept of “axiology.” Although understandable, Dr. Leon Pomeroy found it a bit confusing as a scientist. Because Hartman had developed a “new axiology,” he called his theory “formal” axiology to distinguish it from the philosophy of axiology. This invited more confusion among those who are not philosophers. No matter, the “new axiology” or “formal axiology,” is grounded in mathematics which distances it from the philosopher’s axiology. This precise construction of theory and HVP-testing inspired several Hartman students to become entrepreneurs marketing The Hartman Value Profile (HVP) to individuals and corporate clients. It also inspired them to view the theory in a way Dr. Leon Pomeroy found unacceptable. Ref
*My quick definition of Axiology? Axiology is a philosophy (value theory) and a social science/science of value (formal axiology) mainly involving the “what, why, and how” of “value” the way epistemology approaches “knowledge” as in what is of value/good/worth/beneficial/ or useful? Why is the thing in question of value/good/worth/beneficial/ or useful? How should the value/good/worth/beneficial/ or useful be interacted with? “Axiological Atheism Explained”
*The American Justice system: is often quite fallible which offers criminal more rights, justice, and protection than victims. Victims need more protection, justice, and dignity.
Apologetics Index. (2009). The local church. Retrieved October 8, 2009, from http://www.apologeticsindex.org/l40.html#overview
Bagemihl, B. (1999). Biological exuberance: Animal homosexuality and natural diversity. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.
Colero, L. (n.d.). A framework for universal principles of ethics. Retrieved October 8, 2009, from http://www.ethics.ubc.ca/papers/invited/colero.html
Crandell, T.L., Crandell, C.H., & Vander Zanden, J.W. (2009). Human development (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Foldvary, E.F. (1980). The soul of liberty: The universal ethic of freedom and human rights. San Francisco, CA: The Gutenberg Press.
Hubpages Inc. (2009). Mass media influence on society. Retrieved October 8, 2009, from http://hubpages.com/hub/Mass-Media-Influence-on-Society
Rigstad, M. (2008). Intro to just war theory. Retrieved October 8, 2009, from http://www.justwartheory.com/#INTRODUCTION
Virtue, Kindness, and Human flourishing?
Proud of Kindness and Caring
I am proud of a lot of achievements in my life but most of all of my acts of kindness and care. I realize that the wisest thing I have ever done was be kind. That said it is often a feat of bravery in a too often harsh and careless world. I feel for and am proud of all who are kind and care. Kindness is hard sometimes but it is never a waste, as it strengths humanity as a whole even if it seems squandered on some of its parts. Kindness has a universal value even if it can be often a trying or tiring endeavor at times it makes a better world.
Champion of Kindness
To be a champion of kindness with all the trying things or people in life can be quite heard at times. But the task of kindness is often self rewarding in how it is life enriching to others around you. Such recipients of acts of kindness are often motivated to themselves do similar acts of kindness, which can lessen the reaction to the noise of all the trying things or people in life.
Kindness is Good for You
“Mortality is delayed, depression is reduced and well-being and good fortune are increased. Committing acts of kindness lowers blood pressure. … Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the ‘love hormone’ which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health.” Ref
Are you a friend of kindness?
Let Kindness Reign
We my friend of kindness, can and will inspire the desire for goodness and while not always reached in everything, we will show the term doesn’t mean nothing. May I remember before anything I am or think myself to be, I am human, one of billions all over the earth just other humans like me. We need to see past what can separate us and see how we are all the same. A tree cannot grow healthy without enough water and light. Neither can humanity survive and flourish to greatness without kindness and love. Human beings need support and encouragement to grow healthy as well. We are not alone we are all connected in this life. May I set an example in my thoughts and actions which would even inspire me and empower me to not only champion human freedom but do it with the liberation of kindness.
Please, my fellow champions of humanism, let kindness reign.
Power, Knowledge, and Kindness
When I was young, I valued and longed for power, as I developed I saw the power in knowledge and longed for development of intelligence. Now that I have gained knowledge, I see with the value of wisdom and it is me that has developed for I understand that my greatest power is kindness.
Kindness is Valuing Human Worth
We are worth loving ourselves. Humanity is worth it, so I wish to inspire others to love themselves too. We are all we have in this life and in such a realization we can find and grow the acknowledgment of human worth in everyone around us as much as possible. Sometimes all it takes to start this is to use eyes of love and kindness. Love is the needed feeling when relating with others and kindness is a needed behavior to further human flourishing, such intentionally is valuing human worth.
Hopefully for a Brighter Humanity
I once saw a cool thing at the Denver Colorado airport. A mother was standing with a young child and he started screaming and crying seemingly for nothing she tried to talk to him but he only cried louder. Then the father grabbed his arm and I felt dread that they were going to hurt the child to make him stop but instead the father grabbed him and held him in his arms and only loved the child more and he stopped crying, it was beautiful. I told the father that was commendable as it is easy to get angry even aggressive and to show love and kindness instead was inspiring and made me feel hopefully for a brighter humanity.
Life is just too damn short to not be kind.
Effects of Compassion on the Brain
“Compassion Training Alters Altruism and Neural Responses to Suffering”
“Have you ever wondered if someone with even the hardest exterior could learn sensitivity and love? A new study shows that we can be trained to feel compassion for others just like we learn many other skills. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Madison discovered human kindness is teachable, and what’s more – it can change how the brain works, making acts of kindness in others and ourselves more commonplace. We’ve been told through the ages that we need to develop compassion for our fellow humans and other sentient creatures on this planet, but that emotional state has been difficult to pin down scientifically. Motivating altruistic behavior in people was a big puzzle – until now.” Ref
“Compassion is a key motivator of altruistic behavior, but little is known about individuals’ capacity to cultivate compassion through training. We examined whether compassion may be systematically trained by testing whether (a) short-term compassion training increases altruistic behavior and (b) individual differences in altruism are associated with training-induced changes in neural responses to suffering. In healthy adults, we found that compassion training increased altruistic redistribution of funds to a victim encountered outside of the training context. Furthermore, increased altruistic behavior after compassion training was associated with altered activation in brain regions implicated in social cognition and emotion regulation, including the inferior parietal cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and in DLPFC connectivity with the nucleus accumbens. These results suggest that compassion can be cultivated with training and that greater altruistic behavior may emerge from increased engagement of neural systems implicated in understanding the suffering of other people, executive and emotional control, and reward processing.” Ref
Kindness is also remembering we are: “Only Human”
I wish you all positive Human flourishing.
Attacking the Person?
I strive to attack thinking and not people but I sometimes may use dignity attacks or character attacks about behavior or thinking people are doing. I only say things they can quickly fix or change. Then I will pressure them to change it. My point in doing this is help mirror the bad or errored thinking or behavior so they can change if they wish I try to never do it to hurt anyone as I see this as not a productive and potentially abusive.
However, if I only spend my time pointing fingers have I not wasted times I could have also offered helping hands. Thus, even though somethings things need to be harshly pointed out so to is there a need to be involved in the benefit of helping where we can. May my drive to help not be somehow silenced just because there is a need to fight all that is wrong. I want to thank everyone throughout my life that have treated me with compassion and kindness. From something as simple as a smile or comforting word, to things that create impacts so big they were life altering; you have written with the pen of love across my heart and have helped me be a person who strives to also show and treat others with compassion as well as kindness. I do not respect faith, I respect people. I value the sanctity of “rights” of every person to self define their beliefs and do not attack people because of what they believe. I say, attack thinking not people. We who truly value ourselves and others can and do make a better world. May we together fill the world with this shining example of humanity.
*Axiological Dignity Being Theory*
An “Axiological assessment of human beings” shows with an axiological awareness a logic of values is clear which takes as its basic premise that “all persons always deserve positive regard regard.” – Progressive Logic by William J. Kelleher, Ph.D. And the reason why we should are is because we are Dignity Beings.
“Dignity is an internal state of peace that comes with the recognition and acceptance of the value and vulnerability of all living things.” – Donna Hicks (2011). Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict
I am inspired by philosophy, enlightened by archaeology and grounded by science that religious claims, on the whole, along with their magical gods, are but Dogmatic-Propaganda, myths and lies. Kindness beats prayers every time, even if you think prayer works, you know kindness works. Think otherwise, do both without telling people and see which one they notice. Aspire to master the heavens but don’t forget about the ones in need still here on earth. You can be kind and never love but you cannot love and never be kind. Therefore, it is this generosity of humanity, we need the most of. So, if you can be kind, as in the end some of the best we can be to others is to exchange kindness. For too long now we have allowed the dark shadow of hate to cloud our minds, while we wait in silence as if pondering if there is a need to commiserate. For too long little has been done and we too often have been part of this dark clouded shame of hate. Simply, so many humans now but sadly one is still left asking, where is the humanity?
Why Ought We Care?
Because kindness is like chicken soup to the essence of who we are, by validating the safety needs of our dignity. When the valuing of dignity is followed, a deep respect for one’s self and others as dignity beings has become one’s path. When we can see with the eyes of love and kindness, how well we finally see and understand what a demonstrates of a mature being of dignity when we value the human rights of others, as we now see others in the world as fellow beings of dignity. We need to understand what should be honored in others as fellow dignity beings and the realization of the value involved in that. As well as strive to understand how an attack to a person’s “human rights” is an attack to the value and worth of a dignity being. Yes, I want to see “you” that previous being of dignity worthy of high value and an honored moral weight to any violation of their self-ownership.
And this dignity being with self-ownership rights is here before you seeking connection. what will you do, here you are in the question ever present even if never said aloud, do you see me now or are you stuck in trying to evaluate my value and assess worth as a fellow being of dignity. A violation of one’s dignity (Which it the emotional, awareness or the emotional detection of the world) as a dignity being can be quite harmful, simply we must see how it can create some physiological disturbance in the dignity being its done to. I am a mutualistic thinker and to me we all are in this life together as fellow dignity beings. Therefore, I want my life to be of a benefit to others in the world. We are natural evolutionary derived dignity beings not supernatural magic derived soul/spirit beings.
Stopping lying about who we are, as your made-up magic about reality which is forced causing a problem event (misunderstanding of axiological valuations) to the natural wonder of reality. What equals a dignity worth being, it is the being whose species has cognitive awareness and the expense of pain. To make another dignity being feel pain is to do an attack to their dignity as well as your own. What equals a dignity worth being, it is the being whose species has cognitive awareness and the expense of pain. When I was younger I felt proud when I harmed those I did not like now I find it deserving even if doing it was seen as the only choice as I now see us for who we are valuable beings of dignity. I am not as worried about how I break the box you believe I need to fit as I am worried about the possibility of your confining hopes of hindering me with your limits, these life traps you have decided about and for me are as owning character attacks to my dignity’s needs which can be generalized as acceptance, understanding, and support.
As I see it now, how odd I find it to have prejudice or bigotry against other humans who are intact previous fellow beings of dignity, we too often get blinded by the external packaging that holds a being of dignity internally. What I am saying don’t judge by the outside see the worth and human value they have as a dignity being. Why is it easier to see what is wrong then what is right? Why do I struggle in speaking what my heart loves as thorough and as passionate as what I dislike or hate? When you say “an act of mercy” the thing that is being appealed to or for is the proposal of or for the human quality of dignity. May my lips be sweetened with words of encouragement and compassion. May my Heart stay warm in the arms kindness. May my life be an expression of love to the world. Dignity arises in our emotional awareness depending on cognition. Our dignity is involved when you feel connected feelings with people, animals, plants, places, things, and ideas. Our dignity is involved when we feel an emotional bond “my family”, “my pet”, “my religion”, “my sport’s team” etc.
Because of the core sensitivity of our dignity, we feel that when we connect, then we are also acknowledging, understanding, and supporting a perceived sense of dignity. Even if it’s not actually a dignity being in the case of plants, places, things, and ideas; and is rightly interacting with a dignity being in people and animals. We are trying to project “dignity developing motivation” towards them somewhere near equally even though human and animals don’t have the same morality weight to them. I am anthropocentric (from Greek means “human being center”) as an Axiological Atheist. I see humans value as above all other life’s value. Some say well, we are animals so they disagree with my destination. But how do the facts play out? So, you don’t have any difference in value of life? Therefore, a bug is the same as a mouse, a mouse is the same as a dolphin, a dolphin is the same as a human, all to you have exactly the same value? You fight to protect the rights of each of them equally? And all killing of any of them is the same crime murder?
I know I am an animal but you also know that we do have the term humans which no other animal is classified. And we don’t take other animals to court as only humans and not any other animals are like us. We are also genetically connected to plants and stars and that still doesn’t remove the special class humans removed from all other animals. A society where you can kill a human as easily as a mosquito would simply just not work ethically to me and it should not to any reasonable person either. If you think humans and animals are of equal value, are you obviously for stronger punishment for all animals to the level of humans? If so we need tougher laws against all animals including divorce and spousal or child support and we will jail any animal parent (deadbeat animal) who does not adequately as we have been avoiding this for too long and thankfully now that in the future the ideas about animals being equal we had to create a new animal police force and animal court system, not to mention are new animal jails as we will not accept such open child abuse and disregard for responsibilities? As we don’t want to treat animals as that would be unjust to some humans, but how does this even make sense? To me it doesn’t make sense as humans a different from all other animals even though some are similar in some ways.
To further discuss my idea of *dignity developing motivation” can be seen in expressions like, I love you and I appreciate you. Or the behavior of living and appreciating. However, this is only true between higher cognitive aware beings as dignity and awareness of selfness is directly related to dignity awareness. The higher the dignity awareness the higher the moral weight of the dignity in the being’s dignity. What do you think are the best ways to cultivate dignity? Well, to me dignity is not a fixed thing and it feels honored or honoring others as well as help self-helping and other helping; like ones we love or those in need, just as our dignity is affected by the interactions with others. We can value our own dignity and we can and do grow this way, but as I see it because we are a social animals we can usually we cannot fully flourish with our dignity. Thus, dignity is emotionally needy for other dignity beings that is why I surmise at least a partially why we feel empathy and compassion or emotional bonds even with animals is a dignity awareness and response. Like when we say “my pet” cat one is acknowledging our increased personal and emotional connecting. So, when we exchange in experience with a pet animal what we have done is we raze their dignity. Our dignity flourishes with acceptance, understanding and support.
Our dignity withers with rejection, misunderstanding, and opposition. Dignity: is the emotional sensitivity of our sense of self or the emotional understanding about our sense of self. When you say, they have a right to what they believe, what I hear is you think I don’t have a right to comment on it. Dignity is the emotional sensitivity of our sense of self or the emotional understanding about our sense of self. To me when we say it’s wrong to kill a human, that person is appealing to our need to value the dignity of the person.’ The person with whom may possibly be killed has a life essence with an attached value and moral weight valuations. And moral weight,’ which is different depending on the value of the dignity being you are addressing understanding moral weight as a kind of liability, responsibility, or rights is actualized. So, it’s the dignity to which we are saying validates the right to life. But I believe all living things with cognitively aware have a dignity. As to me dignity is the name I home to the emotional experience, emotional expression, emotional intelligence or sensitivity at the very core of our sense of self the more aware the hire that dignity value and thus worth.
Dignity is often shredded similar to my thinking: “Moral, ethical, legal, and political discussions use the concept of dignity to express the idea that a being has an innate right to be valued, respected, and to receive ethical treatment. In the modern context dignity, can function as an extension of the Enlightenment-era concepts of inherent, inalienable rights. English-speakers often use the word “dignity” in prescriptive and cautionary ways: for example, in politics it can be used to critique the treatment of oppressed and vulnerable groups and peoples, but it has also been applied to cultures and sub-cultures, to religious beliefs and ideals, to animals used for food or research, and to plants. “Dignity” also has descriptive meanings pertaining to human worth.
In general, the term has various functions and meanings depending on how the term is used and on the context.” Dignity, authenticity and integrity are of the highest value to our experience, yet ones that we must define for ourselves. People of hurt and harm, you are not as free to attack other beings of dignity without any effect on you as you may think. So, I am sorry not sorry that there is no such thing in general, as hurting or harming other beings of dignity without psychological destruction to the dignity being in us. This is an understanding that once done hunts and harm of other beings of dignity emotionally/psychologically hurts and harms your life as an acceptance needy dignity being, as we commonly experience moral discuss involuntary as on our deepest level as dignity beings. Disgust is deeply related to our sense of morality.
Why Does Power Bring Responsibility?
Think, how often is it the powerless that start wars, oppress others, or commit genocide? So, I guess the question is to us all, to ask, how can power not carry responsibility in a humanity concept? I know I see the deep ethical responsibility that if there is power their must be a humanistic responsibility of ethical and empathic stewardship of that power. I once cared the world about what others thought then I started to realize I had forgotten about impressing the most important person, ME. Now I realize my power to be a shining life for goodness and kindness, thus create the world I want to in striving for flushing, which is not a place but a positive potential involvement and promotion; a life of humanist goal precision..
To master oneself also means mastering positive prosocial behaviors needed for human flourishing. I want to be so full of love, that the hate of others can no longer fit. I wish to live life as if it matters and strive to treat others as if they are someone. I wish to help where I can as I believe the biggest lie told to us is that we are no one, can do nothing, and make no difference. But I tell you the kindness of others inspires me to be that hope renewed and to become that someone better, won’t you join me? I hope for the flourishing of a better world for all and I wish to champion equality and human liberation. I fight not just for myself but for all people as to me everyone is part of my human family. Will I be brave enough to be kind? Will I possess enough courage to be compassionate?
Will my valor reached its height of empathy? I as everyone earns justified respect by our actions that are ethical, just, protecting, and kind. Do I have enough self respect to put my love for humanities flushing, over being brought down some of its bad actors? May we all be the ones doing good actions in the world, to help human flourishing. Don’t let anything hold you back, if you feel like you lost your humanity you can get it back. I know I did. We are the authors of our lives until we are gone, so don’t stop until you’re through. Show the world you can be your best no matter what. Don’t let others write your story for you, be your own champion, you’re worth it and others need you too. I need you.
“Life is too Short to Not be Kind”
Easy Definition of Humanism?
My core definition of humanism is that humans can solve human problems by human means. I am not saying other things can’t or shouldn’t be added to it but to me a definition of humanism must always contain something coherent to such a thinking or not contradict such as I have offered. Thus, why it is appropriate to say, “good without god” when one is a humanist.
Having Mental Health Issues Does Not Make You a Bad Person.
There is nothing wrong with having mental health issues it is normal in life. Some are born that way, some are made that way by others or by experiences. People can have mental health issues and can still be wonderful people. I am a mild sociopath do to extreme abuse as a child, thus it was done to me. I have gotten years of therapy and am a now a productive member of society even though empathy and pro social behavior are like a second language, I still function well.
Rationalism, Freethinker, Humanism & Secular humanism?
*Rationalism is a philosophy in which a high regard is given to reason (specifically logic) and to empirical observation.
*Freethinker a person who forms his or her own opinions about important subjects (such as religion and politics) instead of accepting what other people say.
*Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over established doctrine or faith (fideism).
*Secular humanism is a comprehensive, nonreligious life stance incorporating: A naturalistic philosophy. A cosmic outlook rooted in science. A consequentialist ethical system.
Who gives a fuck?
Small abused hand rising to become a fist, I grab the microphone. Well, me of course. I am brave enough to be kind. As all people of high honor do. How about you? You dare, ask me why I care? FUCK, someone goddamn, had to… Once, I was so foolish, value blind, I added harm, and now, how different I see things, with a value consciousness. I am among the treetops they can’t touch me now for I fly free. I love you all but I am just me.
Damien Marie AtHope (Said as “At” “Hope”)/(Autodidact Polymath but not good at math):
Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist, Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Jeweler, Poet, “autodidact” Philosopher, schooled in Psychology, and “autodidact” Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Pre-Historian (Knowledgeable in the range of: 1 million to 5,000/4,000 years ago). I am an anarchist socialist politically. Reasons for or Types of Atheism