Friday, September 26, 2008

Reviving a lost cause


Wow! Thats a white guilt trip if I have ever heard one.

In relation to whom? To contemporary white Americans? No.

But some white Southerners like Thornwell and Dabney were guilty of defending an unjust system.

Funny....I always thought Dabney gave arguments in support of slavery, Southern or not, based on biblical exegesis.

Why did you always think that? In his Defense of Virginia he also deploys ethical (chap. 7) and economic (chap. 8) arguments.

Now, whether that exegesis was correct is an entirely different debate altogether. However, your statement implies Dabney is a fraud and intentionally disguised theological argumentation for a white supremacy agenda.

He was self-deluded.

It seems to me that if someone wants to argue against Dabney's defense of slavery, he/she would have to argue against the Bible's condoning it as an economic system, or at the very least argue aganist Dabney's exegesis.

I’m discussing his motives.

So then, are you saying that the only reason Dabney chose to defend slavery with Bilical arguments is because he is White?

Because he was a white Southerner who came of age during the antebellum period.

This seems to be fallicious.

I’m discussing psychology, not logicality.

Ethnicity often has quite a lot to do with one’s beliefs, viz. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Nazis.

I mean, how many Korean Nazis are there?

Am I citing social conditioning to disprove the position in question? No. But it’s obvious that race and ethnicity often select for certain beliefs.

And unless you believe that Dabney’s exegetical defense of Southern slavery was sound, you yourself have to explain why a brilliant man like Dabney would use fallacious arguments to defend his position. Why did he fail recognize his the fallacious nature of his reasoning?

Disproving his position is not one of my priorities. For purposes of my post, I took for granted that Thornwell and Dabney were wrong. I’m quite capable of demonstrating that point, but why should I? Are you defending Southern slavery?

Is it okay to defend predestination because you are a Calvinist, or do you defend it because you are white? No,it is in the Bible and your practicing of the Reformed faith is right. Therefore, Dabney's Biblical Southern worldview(and all that implies)is as debateable as your Calvinist worldview, and neither have a thing to do with race.

Speaking of fallacies, your argument from analogy is a textbook fallacy. Calvinism doesn’t say that one race is superior to another. Therefore, there is no incentive for any particular race to believe in Calvinism on racial grounds.

Where Southern slavery is concerned, racial motivations are central. One race enslaving another. One race enslaving another on the putative ground that one race is superior to another.

I find it odd that you praise the ingenious of their argumentation, but then dismiss its brilliance by implying that they only made those arguments because they were white and spiritually blind to their sin of slavery.

If the tables were turned and Southern blacks were enslaving Southern whites like you, I suspect that you would experience a sudden epiphany on the issue.

Maybe they made the argument because they had biblical grounds to do so, and felt compelled to explain their side of the story to their offspring brfore Yankee myth-makers had there way with text books.

Assuming they had biblical grounds to do so. Is that your position?

If not, then we have to explain why brilliant men like Thornwell and Dabney were using fallacious arguments to justify their position. What was the impediment that disabled their critical judgment at this juncture?

As for my sources,” let Thornwell and Dabney speak for themselves:

“We are not alarmists, but Slavery is implicated in every fibre of Southern society; it is with us a vital question…” The Collected Writings of James Henley Thornwell, 4:396.

Is that a “biblical” argument?

“If it appear that the Africans in these States were by recent descent pagans and barbarians, men in bodily strength and appetite, wit the reason and morals of children, constitutionally prone to improvidence, so that their possession of all the franchises of a free white citizen would make them a nuisance to society and early victims to their own degradation…His inferior character, ignorance, and moral irresponsibility, have extinguished his right to do them,” R. Dabney, A Defense of Virginia, 258,260.

Is that a “biblical” argument?

Or do you classify Thornwell and Dabney as “Yankee mythmakers”?

Come on Steve...tell me we just don't write people off because they love their race.

As a Christian, I don’t think that one race should love its own kind more than members of another race.

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