Today we are continuing with our Richard Dawkins series. As we are preparing for this podcast, we acknowledge it’s a tough book to discuss because he keeps introducing individual hornets’ nests and then moving on to the next. This is going to take some focus and not drift on to other challenges he raises. Today we are talking about Chapter 6 of his book, Outgrowing God. This chapter (“How Do We Decide What Is Good?”) is mostly focused on the topic of slavery in the Bible. We’ll discuss slavery in the Bible through various passages and concepts. We’ll also listen to John Ferrer’s talk entitled, “Does the Bible Advocate Slavery?” to help us talk about this huge topic.

We hope you learned a little more about how to sift through ideas, accept the good, reject the bad, and now you can teach your kids to do the same. Do you have any questions, comments, or ideas for future episodes? Send us an email at

Main Points Covered:

  • Another example of the steamroller tactic is Richard’s inability to stay on a topic through an entire chapter.
  • Chapter Six focuses mainly on slavery in the Bible. Of it, Dawkins says, “Not surprisingly, since the Bible’s morality was of its time, slavery is not condemned there. Even the New Testament is full of exhortations like, ‘Slaves obey your earthly masters with respect and fear and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you but–like slaves of Christ–doing the will of God from your heart.’” (Ephesians 6:5).
  • He cites a number of places in the Bible (though not all of the places which talk about slavery).
  • Dawkins’s stance is that slavery is not condemned in the Bible. So, we are going to take another look at that because there are some verses, of course, which he does not cite. One of these verses is Exodus 1:16.
  • Excerpt from John Ferrer’s talk, “Does the Bible Advocate Slavery?” [Hillary and Amy chime in throughout with their thoughts.]
  • Literal interpretation. Context and history are important. Who was speaking and to whom were they speaking and what was the culture?
  • Enlightenment Bias
  • “We’re more ethical then they were back then.”
  • The 20th Century was the bloodiest, and that should have been the most enlightened.
  • Atheists don’t have a system that condemns slavery.
  • “If we’re going to have the moral high ground, we have to earn it, we can’t presume it.”
  • Closing Prayer by Amy

The Takeaways:

  • The question is, “Does the Bible advocate for the type of slavery that we choose in our heads?”
  • Change is easy to write out on paper but is a difficult process in real life. It takes a long time.
  • We can’t get “oughts” (meaning, this is what you should do) based on nature. You don’t get morals from nature, you get survival. And survival isn’t necessarily the same as “doing the right thing.”

Unfamiliar Vocab:

  • Proof-texting
  • Theocracy
  • Monarchy
  • Democracy
  • Special pleading
  • Cherry-picking
  • Confirmation Bias
  • Strawman Fallacy
  • False dichotomy
  • Hyper fundamentalism
  • Arguments from Silence
  • Hostile Reading
  • Enlightenment Bias
  • Humanist
  • Nihilism

Quotable Quotes:

If we’re going to have the moral high ground, we have to earn it, we can’t presume it. Click To Tweet You don’t get morals from nature. You get survival. And survival isn’t necessarily the same as doing the right thing. Click To Tweet Naturalism doesn’t produce moral facts. Click To Tweet


Resources Mentioned:

Outgrowing God by Richard Dawkins, Amazon

Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God by Paul Copan, Amazon

Does the Bible Advocate Slavery? John Ferrer, YouTube

Dr. John Ferrer – “Nature is a Jerk: a Critique of Naturalist Ethics,” YouTube

Mama Bear Apologetics: Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies, Amazon

Bible Passages Mentioned:

  • Ephesians 6:5
  • 1 Timothy 6:1-2
  • Exodus 1:16
  • Leviticus 25:47
  • Deuteronomy 23:15-16

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