Again, this fodder of this argument is a little samey: The God of the Bible is an arse. What’s up with that? Our atheist is pretty much unable to make any comments until the Christian has told us what indeed is up with that. And the Christian gets right to it on a common and infuriating misdirection: well there was this one abolitionist Christian who said…
This argument falls on deaf ears when you talk of a Christian who accepts evolution when you debate a Creationist, or who supports gay marriage. But now that it can be used to defend the Bible it’s simply the strongest argument in the arsenal. To be fair, I shouldn’t downplay this abolitionist Christian too much; he isn’t the only one and he did have some scripture on his side. But the Christian abolitionists didn’t have much scripture on their sides, and if you were to just weigh the pages that are accommodating to slavery against the ones that are hostile to it the scales literally tip on way.
Perhaps God was merely planting a seed in the slave owner’s idea. God is accommodating the idea now so that, over hundreds of years with thousands of people living their life in divinely accommodated servitude, God could corrode this idea. Slavery is not like working on the Sabbath or adultery. Oh no, slavery cannot just be mandated against with a strict “any person who buys, trades or else owns another person shall be put to death, they are an abomination” or even a “thou shalt not”. Slavery must be slowly eroded away from the inside. Mr Atheist dismisses this, equally, with a call for an actual command. Slave owners could defend their right to slaves better than abolitionists could defend their cause, if the Bible was the raw material.
Here the Christian gets a little desperate. I took some glee in the Christian desperately clawing at any counter-argument: what is it “that drives his condemnation of slavery?” Can’t answer the question of slaves? Make it a question about Divine Objective Morality. Douche move, and actually the first unforced error the Christian has made.