But wait, there's more. You see, like Pat Buchanan, Vox heard about that scientist who said Africa's problems were caused by lower IQs, then retracted it when he realized how foolheaded that sounded. And, just like Pat Buchanan, Vox compares Dr. Watson's "recantation" to the persecution of Galileo. As opposed to, say, the Beastie Boys.
The funny thing is, this isn't the first time that Dr. Watson has come under fire for being a nut. But of course, the right doesn't care- and doesn't need to care- about Watson's Loose Double-Helix Screws. Watson is a useful example of supposed leftist censorship of scientists that don't play into their ideology. Never mind that at this point, there doesn't seem to be that much that people could threaten Watson with. A 79-year-old whose career accomplishments are mostly behind him and who apparently has a penchant for making undergrads feel creeped out? Exactly what was the scientific establishment supposedly going to do to him? Take his tenure? [Note: to be fair, Wikipedia seems to show that Watson, is, in fact, being cock-blocked from the scientific community. Readers can decide for themselves whether that makes him a scapegoat/martyr or not.]
Anyway, after his recent column on Watson, Vox was inspired to write again about race- this time, commenting on a NY Times piece that research into different racial characteristics have some scientists concerned about issues of racial equality. Vox used this as a springboard to say that science is anti-human equality, and that real equality is predicated on the existence of God. (Presumably, because all people are made in his image. Which is apparently a technicolor, all-gendered-inclusive, image.)
Well, a reader had an issue with this and correctly identified that saying that equality can only come from religion is fallacious, particularly since Judeo-Christianity (ugh, that cursed, cursed term) encouraged and perpetuated the institution of slavery.
Half-Sigma's actual error is the idea that equality before God somehow precludes slavery. That is a category error. God is no respecter of either persons or property; since He does not even acknowledge human ownership of material property, He cannot possibly respect human ownership of other humans for good or for ill. He can and does, on the other hand, condemn poor stewardship of every kind; which is why the slave owner who thinks he owns his slaves is charged with treating them well.
Funny thing, my Bible (also known as Google) points out a bunch of passages (including some in the New Testament) that demonstrate that God indeed does seem to endorse the whole slavery thing, to say nothing of property as a whole. There's Abraham buying land in Hebron, the conquests of Canaan and surrounding areas by Joshua, then David and Solomon, etc. Even the principle of leaving the corners of the land for beggars to pick up leavings of crops and of the land reverting to its original owners on the Jubilee years seems to point to a clarification, not negation, of the idea of personal property. Stewardship is all well and good, but saying "God doesn't acknowledge human ownership of property?" That seems to overlook a lot of that there Old Testament. What about all the references to the Promised Land being given to the Jews? That seems to suggest some ownership to me.
Don't get me wrong, Vox. I'm not pro-slavery. But if you have commandments in the Torah saying, "don't kill your slave," while not saying a single thing about, "oh, and don't have slaves," it's pretty hard to argue that the Torah's anti-slavery. At best, you have to admit that there's some conflict going on.
I left a comment asking for some scriptural references. The best the commenters could come up with was, "God owns everything, so we can't really own anything." And of course the particularly interesting, "how could it be right to enslave someone Christ died for?"
Also known as, "We got nothing."
I just finished A.J. Jacob's "Year of Living Biblically." Maybe it's appropriate that the first guys I encountered after reading it were the Voxians. I'd wager quite a few of them consider themselves Biblical literalists to at least some degree. And yet they seem pretty ignorant about exactly what the book says. Go figure.