Thursday, October 3, 2013

Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement

October 3, 2013

The issue with slavery was not the laws, but the more fundamental moral and ethical unfairness and dehumanization to anyone who believed in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or Mohammed, or Buddha, or any of the other great profits whose teachings all boiled down to what Christians call the "Golden Rule": "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  All of these great men, who were geniuses at observing and understanding human behavior, taught that following the Golden Rule was the only way our  species could live together peacefully.  It is an interesting historical note that the whole basis of the Abolition movement was hashed out over decades by a small group of friends in England, who met at a pub on a regular basis.  None of them were historical figures, just intelligent people who took life seriously, and saw an ethical flaw in the behavior of the governments of Western countries, which had been acceptable behavior since our species became organized beyond the small tribe.  This small group of men not only challenged the laws and attitudes of governments, but the behavior of our entire species.  Astonishingly, they were successful.  Now if that doesn't shake up the "there is nothing we can do about it (insert a major issue that causes human suffering)" crowd, I would say they are metaphorically made of wood.