Exposition of Exodus 21:20-21: How Slave Beaters Are To Be Treated

20 “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • http://none Giancarlo

    Hello fella’s.
    First of all, Jesus said to love thy neighbor..this means all people, including African’s! It was the African people themselves who sold their own kind to the west as slaves for profit.
    It was NOT condoned in the NT. God is a just God. He does not have preferences based on skin color.


  • Daniel Fincke

    Actually, slavery IS condoned in the New Testament. Paul writes in Ephesians 6:5, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.”

    And even if the New Testament did not condone slavery, so what? That would not make the God of the Bible, who was also supposedly the same unchanging God in the Old Testament and the New Testament, a “just God” if he instituted slavery (as he explicitly did in the passage explicated above) in the Old Testament. The (imaginary) reversal you (falsely) claim is in the New Testament does not make the Old Testament any less wicked and the God attested to in that Old Testament any less wicked and unjust.

    And slavery is wrong even if it’s not based on “skin color”.

    And referring to the Africans as “selling their own kind” is really crude. We’re all the same kind, humankind.