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Evolution of Slavery in Justice Essay

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Slavery is immoral. Why? Because we hold this truth to be self-evident: that all men are created equal? Because life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness are unalienable rights endowed by our Creator? (“Declaration of Independence.” 1776.) Well, not all men are created equal. At least according to our Founding Fathers, African tribes, 18th century Europeans, the ancient Romans and Greeks, and … the Bible. As a matter of fact, slavery has not been immoral from humanity’s (also to be interpreted as America’s) standpoint but for only 150 years. Why then can we so firmly and undeniably declare that slavery is immoral? The answer lies in the writings of great political visionaries like Solon, Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Marx, and Lincoln.…show more content…
Acknowledging the sanctity of human life was the first step towards the abolition of slavery.
With the sanctity of human life comes Moses, Exodus, and the Ten Commandments. Moses delivered the Israelites from slavery and together they journeyed to Mount Sinai where God gave Moses the sacred stone tablets. These tablets were inscribed not only with the Ten Commandments, but also with new ethical laws that the Israelites were to obey. What tends to be lost in translation, however, is the specific laws regarding slavery. Hebrew men were allowed to purchase other Hebrew men as slaves, but they may only enslave them for a total of six years. The families belonging to the enslaved party will be handed over to the purchaser unless the slave was married beforehand. Men who bought Hebrew women as slaves did not have to release them after the six year period. Instead the man is only limited in the fact that he cannot sell her to foreigners. (Exodus 21:2-11 NLT.) Moses had seen the cruelties that befall slaves, so he attempted to define a more justifiable form of slavery. By freeing the Hebrew males after six years, Moses is acknowledging that there is a limit on how harsh the term of enslavement can be. In just three hundred years the morality of slavery has shifted from, “One man cannot harm another man’s slave,” to, “Slavery of certain people is only justifiable for a small number of years, and then they must be set free.”
The foundation laid by the Code of
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