[ExI] The Rationality of Belief is Relative

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Thu May 21 22:44:51 UTC 2009

Dan wrote:

> While for much of written history, the anti-slavery
 > view that now dominates the world, was a minority
> view, it's an exaggeration to say "vanishingly 
> few who looked at it as immoral."  In Ancient Rome, 
> e.g., there were public outcries against enslavement 
> so that eventually debt slavery was limited.  (Granted,
> this was not an attack on keeping current slaves enslaved,
> but just on enslaving free men -- and this is all based 
> on reading and interpeting the history.)

Do you know on what basis these outcries were
made? Similar to the outcries we would make?
I ask because there were and are very good
economic arguments against slavery, and it's
thought by many that slavery gravely weakened
the Roman Empire (perhaps the most direct way
being that slavery replaced the citizen-farmer-
soldiers that had been instrumental in defending
Rome in earlier times).

> But later on, 
> and still well before the modern period, Saint Patrick, 
> if Thomas Cahill is to be believed, was virulently 
> antislavery and condemned slavery.  (However, Cahill 
> is wrong on one point: Patrick was not the first person
> we know of to take a complete stance against slavery.
> That honor, at this point and as far as I know, goes to
> Alkidamas, a 4th Century BCE Greek thinker.)  You might
> think he was only one man, but I think this did go into
> shaping early Christian

So far as I know, Alcidamas thought the way some
other Greeks did: enslaving barbarians was fine,
but other Greeks should not be slaves.


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