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#31 Old 08-05-2016, 01:44 PM
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Here's something that everyone already knows, but it bears repeating.


People embrace religion for strong, personal reasons. To debate their religion is to debate something that is central to their being. This debate can never be entirely "objective", because it questions the validity of that person's core personality. It never ends well.


If a person is being destructive in the name of religion, then criticism and intervention are needed. If a person's religion is causing no harm, I say leave it alone.


Our community tends to push away Christians, and I think we know it. In my part of California, there are at least a dozen vegetarian Meetup groups, with hundreds of members (one group even has over 1000 members). However, there is only 1 Christian vegetarian Meetup group near me, and it only has 55 members.


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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 08-05-2016 at 01:46 PM.
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#32 Old 08-05-2016, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Symondezyn View Post
I, too, have heard these somewhat canned and empty responses to the very difficult and profound questions we all have. I know what I say will likely have no bearing on your beliefs; I do not wish to downplay your experiences by arguing. I merely wish to offer another viewpoint on which you may choose (or not) to ponder. Please take it or leave it as you will

It is my belief that we were created with free will. This means that God, while he theoretically could interfere/intervene with our lives, chooses not to, so that we may live according to how we choose, and so that we can follow our own path to learning uninhibited. This means we are not controlled, governed or regulated by God, but it also means we must bear the earthly consequences of our actions... not only as individuals but as a people. I don't pretend to know why things like cancer and disease exist, but I suspect it has to do with the effects of development and technology, and the overpopulation of the earth on the environment.

I believe we are here to learn, and to learn how to love fully and unconditionally. I think we all make mistakes, and stumble along this path while we struggle for answers. Sometimes we hurt others - most of us unintentionally; some of us on purpose. I believe part of our learning is to help others who are hurting, to show them some comfort and compassion when they need it most.

I do not believe God punishes us on earth. I do believe, however, that at the end of the day, we will each have to answer for how we lived our lives, the decisions we made and the consequences of our actions. I have no proof for this, it just makes sense to me. I guess in a way, it's akin to karma. I don't believe evil goes unpunished. I can't believe that those who torture innocent animals or humans without conscience will simply carry on forever unaccountable. Neither do I believe that innocent animals or humans who have suffered great loss will not know equivalent comfort and joy.

Again, I only offer these personal viewpoints as a potential balance to some of the others you've heard. For what it's worth, I left the church many years ago, and while I believe it was intended to be a place of fellowship and comfort, it all too often ends up being a place of bigotry and holier-than-thou attitudes. I choose to keep the faith on a personal level. I do not have any tangible proof, other than a very difficult and sometimes traumatic 39 years of life experience <3
You/we are not arguing, we're discussing, so no worries on "downplaying". I hope I don't do the same.

I appreciate your viewpoints, but I've heard a lot of them. The ones I posted are examples. I don't like discussing religion, because people get too emotional.

It's good to see that we all have different perspectives. Mine is that there is no god. Paraphrasing Carl Sagan, but my belief on the "meaning of life" is: The significance of our lives is determined by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life's meaning. Thus, life is what you make it.

One of the best speeches I could find that portrays my own thoughts (and says it much more eloquently) is the YouTube video below of Carl Sagan entitled "Man in his Arrogance" (I actually think it's a compilation of different sections from his book/audiobook reading).

If people want to use religion for spiritual fulfillment to make it through the tough world we live in, I'm fine with that. I'd personally rather face the hard truth.

I have no issues with people believing in religion and god, as long as it isn't taught in science classrooms or used by politicians or judges. (I'm sure there are other ways in which religion shouldn't be used, but I'm not going to list them all.)

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#33 Old 08-05-2016, 03:55 PM
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Everyone has his own experience in the world, and everyone's truth is not the same.
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#34 Old 08-05-2016, 05:42 PM
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Some religious organizations that strongly promote vegetarianism:

The Christian Order of the Cross (interviewed in the "Food for the Gods" book that I cited on page 1 of this thread): http://orderofthecross.org/about-us/...ion-statement/

The Christian Vegetarian Association: http://www.all-creatures.org/cva/default.htm

Animals in Islam: http://www.animalsinislam.com/

Jewish Veg: https://www.jewishveg.org/

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (the Hare Krishnas): http://www.iskcon.org/

Jainism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism . http://www.jainfoodie.com/

The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association (founders of the "Loving Hut" worldwide vegan restaurant chain): http://www.suprememastertv.com/bbs/b...t&goto_url=veg


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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 08-05-2016 at 06:33 PM.
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#35 Old 08-05-2016, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by David3 View Post
To debate their religion is to debate something that is central to their being. This debate can never be entirely "objective", because it questions the validity of that person's core personality. It never ends well.


If a person is being destructive in the name of religion, then criticism and intervention are needed. If a person's religion is causing no harm, I say leave it alone.

I disagree. Debating a religion is questioning an idea, not a person themselves. There is an important difference. Yes some people will take this personally, but it is not personal unless they start using Ad Hominem, which is attacking the character of the person, not the idea. It can end well. It's very healthy to discuss such issues even though it may make people uncomfortable. It can lead to people changing their minds on some matters. It can change peoples conceptions.


Most religions cause harm in some way. The concept of sin is particularly damaging. To teach a child they are bad through no fault of their own and they must pray and believe in a specific deity or face eternal torture, that is very wrong. There is also an 'in group' 'out group' mentality. Only believers will go to heaven and unbelievers will go to hell. This causes prejudice.
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#36 Old 08-06-2016, 03:17 AM
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shall we take this to the compost pile with more of a focus on a discussion of religion?
So far so good....
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#37 Old 08-06-2016, 10:19 AM
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Totally interesting article, from it: https://www.vegsoc.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=830

"Far from being a relatively new phenomenon, vegetarianism has enjoyed a long and diverse history and has been preserved in most cultures since the beginnings of time.

In antiquity, vegetarianism found favour with some of the great figures of the classical world, most notably Pythagoras (580 BCE). Well known for his contributions to mathematics, Pythagoras was an independent thinker, the first to admit women to his intellectual circle on equal terms and to argue that the world was a sphere. His teaching that all animals should be treated as kindred included the abstinence from meat. Pythagoras's ideas mirrored, in part, the traditions of much earlier civilisations including the Babylonians and ancient Egyptians. A vegetarian ideology was practised among religious groups in Egypt around 3,200BCE, with abstinence from flesh and the wearing of animal derived clothing based upon karmic beliefs in reincarnation."....

"...In Asia, abstention from meat was central to such early religious philosophies as Hinduism, Brahinanism, Zoroasterianism and Jainism. Vegetarianism was encouraged in the ancient verses of the 'Upanishads' and also mentioned in 'Rig Veda' -- the most sacred of ancient Hindu texts. Pivotal to such religions were doctrines of non-violence and respect for all life forms.

Vegetarianism has always been central to Buddhism, which enshrines compassion to all living creatures. Buddha and Pythagoras were almost exact contemporaries and it is possible that the Greek thinker was influenced by Indian mystical teachings.The Indian king Asoka (who reigned between 264~232 BC) converted to Buddhism, shocked by the horrors of battle. Animal sacrifices were ended as his kingdom became vegetarian."
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#38 Old 08-06-2016, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by knowledge is power View Post
I disagree. Debating a religion is questioning an idea, not a person themselves. There is an important difference. Yes some people will take this personally, but it is not personal unless they start using Ad Hominem, which is attacking the character of the person, not the idea. It can end well. It's very healthy to discuss such issues even though it may make people uncomfortable. It can lead to people changing their minds on some matters. It can change peoples conceptions.


Most religions cause harm in some way. The concept of sin is particularly damaging. To teach a child they are bad through no fault of their own and they must pray and believe in a specific deity or face eternal torture, that is very wrong. There is also an 'in group' 'out group' mentality. Only believers will go to heaven and unbelievers will go to hell. This causes prejudice.
Good post knowledge is power.

Religious beliefs and practices should open for discussion.
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#39 Old 08-06-2016, 11:30 AM
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Most religions cause harm in some way. The concept of sin is particularly damaging. To teach a child they are bad through no fault of their own and they must pray and believe in a specific deity or face eternal torture, that is very wrong. There is also an 'in group' 'out group' mentality. Only believers will go to heaven and unbelievers will go to hell. This causes prejudice.

Valid points, but let me share an observation with you.

You began this thread by asking people about their religion, and whether their religion had influenced their vegetarianism. Now, in your same thread, you are saying that religion causes harm. Why would you invite people to share their religious beliefs, and then criticize those beliefs?

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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

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#40 Old 08-06-2016, 09:14 PM
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Valid points, but let me share an observation with you.

You began this thread by asking people about their religion, and whether their religion had influenced their vegetarianism. Now, in your same thread, you are saying that religion causes harm. Why would you invite people to share their religious beliefs, and then criticize those beliefs?

.
That was not my intention in my OP.


Religions do cause some harm in some ways but there are good aspects as well. You can't say any religion is without fault.
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#41 Old 08-06-2016, 09:32 PM
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That was not my intention in my OP.


Religions do cause some harm in some ways but there are good aspects as well. You can't say any religion is without fault.

Understood, and I agree 100%.

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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#42 Old 08-07-2016, 08:27 AM
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Some 7th Day Adventists are vegan, some of their companies make vegan food by default. I'm a Christian and I can tell you that in Genesis, Adam and Eve were originally only given plants to eat before the Fall, veganism is spreading in Israel, some people call it the new Kosher, the book of Daniel includes spiritual veganism and some Christians do a Daniel fast (a very restrictive whole foods no caffeine sort of short term thing), in Isaiah the lion lies down with the lamb and the child plays with a cobra (this implies all violence has disappeared in Paradise), and in Romans while Paul says religion doesn't come from food, if anything he eats causes his brother to stumble, he will never eat meat again. There's a lot that suggests vegetarianism is God's ideal, and the idea that animals were put here to serve us is a Western interpretation, other interpretations, is that we are put here as stewards to care for God's creation. There's even a donkey that God allows to speak in the Bible, because his idiot master is beating him.

Catholics are asked to reduce their meat consumption during Lent, and in Ladauto Si, Pope Francis asked the faithful to do so for reasons of environment and global starvation.
However, if you continue reading in Genesis (9:3) after the flood, God gave Noah and his family permission to eat meat. And in Isaiah 25:6, the Bible spams of the Lord's banquet: "The LORD who commands armies will hold a banquet for all the nations on this mountain. At this banquet there will be plenty of meat and aged wine – tender meat and choicest wine.”
I started eating vegan because of health reasons, not because I think there is something Scripturally against it. I do believe that our farm factory practices are against what God demands of Adam and Eve, to be good stewards.
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#43 Old 08-07-2016, 09:44 AM
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Lets face it, whatever action you want to do or condemn, you can probably find verses in the Bible to justify it either way. So why bother?

I go for compassion and humanism rather than getting tied in theological knots over issues such as "Why the children in Sodom and Gomorrah deserved to die."

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#44 Old 08-07-2016, 07:37 PM
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I found an article worth reading.



Unfortunately, I have too few posts to post links.


Just paste "vegetariansism hinduism today" into google and look for the article titled "Vegetarianism and Meat Eating in 8 Religions".


It is about all major religions' (not just Hinduism) position on vegetarianism.
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#45 Old 08-07-2016, 07:53 PM
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If the early vegetarians were Christians, is that just because they came from a Christian culture where many, even most, were Christians?


If anyone cares about my personal beliefs, I am agnostic, with a slight leaning to atheist.


It is tricky to convince someone of the merits of vegetarianism or veganism when they resort to a religious defence of meat eating. Not tricky in a sense of making a logical, rational argument but in awkwardness, emotions, sensitivity. However, I think I would carry on, at least in theory, depending on the case. This has not happened to me yet though.
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#46 Old 08-08-2016, 07:25 AM
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I am agnostic, with a slight leaning to atheist.

.
Just to clarify, gnosticism is about knowledge, agnosticism is a lack of knowledge. I am agnostic because I don't know if there is a god or not, I am also atheist which means lack of belief. I am both because they are different things.
I don't believe in god/s, but I don't claim to know if they exist or not.


Gnostic=knowledge
Agnostic=without knowledge
Theism=belief in god/s
Atheism=without belief in god/s
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#47 Old 08-08-2016, 03:43 PM
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This is a reply to Leeds (sorry, still learning this environment):
If the Bible is your infallible guide to life, then you will pay attention to what it says.
Peace.
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#48 Old 08-09-2016, 09:39 AM
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This is a reply to Leeds (sorry, still learning this environment):
If the Bible is your infallible guide to life, then you will pay attention to what it says.
Peace.
Hi Speli and welcome to the forum.

There are contradictions in the Bible so there is no possible way that I could imagine it as being an "infallible guide to life". For example in the New Testament, there are two different lines of ancestry leading to Jesus. They can't both be correct.

The Biblical stories were communicated/written down by people and people can be very "fallible". Which stories were incorporated into the Bible and which stories were left out eg the Apocrypha, was down to "fallible people". From the earliest versions, the Biblical stories have been translated by "fallible people".

In the New York Public Library, there is a copy of the "Wicked Bible" which contains the commandment "Thou shalt commit adultery". Not surprisingly, the "fallible printer" was fined £300 and lost his printer's licence for omitting the word "not" from the commandment!

Shalom.
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#49 Old 08-09-2016, 12:15 PM
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I'm Pagan and it's a bit of a 'bracket' term: but I take the Rede ""harm none", eating animals, harming them. It was a self reflection I had with myself, My God, and My Goddess. For me, I was guided towards The Rede, and reading it (at a very young age), I set down my own (which I felt was guided by the God and Goddess) "morals" from right and wrong. In my contentious it felt like eating animals where wrong.It leaves me a less guilty and clean feeling towards my faith.
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#50 Old 08-10-2016, 03:31 AM
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If the Bible is your infallible guide to life
You mean literally?
Bible hub-
King James Bible
For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.


No.
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#51 Old 08-10-2016, 02:06 PM
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Just as a matter of interest this LINK leads to a report from 2015 produced by the International Humanist and Ethical Union listing how each country of the world treats its humanist, atheist and non-religious citizens regarding rights, legal status and discrimination.

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#52 Old 08-10-2016, 06:12 PM
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I've seen this debate dozens of times. Here are the results:


1. People get angry
2. No one changes their mind


What's the point, exactly?
.

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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#53 Old 08-11-2016, 01:46 AM
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I've seen this debate dozens of times. Here are the results:


1. People get angry
2. No one changes their mind


What's the point, exactly?
.
Nobody getting angry here as far as I can tell.

Maybe the point is that people are learning to debate about religion without getting angry? If you check my link to the 2015 Humanist report, you'll see that trying to have discussions like this in quite a few countries in the world, could get people killed.

Anyway, how do you know that people do not change their views, even slightly?

The good news is that participation in this topic is not mandatory so anyone who doesn't see the point of it really doesn't have to join in.

Lv.
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#54 Old 08-11-2016, 02:52 AM
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I'm an American, and I get annoyed in these kinds of discussions how narrow the religion/spirituality focus is, Americans usually focusing on fundamentalist Christianity and its failings.

In the same vein, the sciencey Oh Is There An Omnipotent Old Man in The Sky And Did Jesus Ride an Apatasaurus, hmmm? crowd is also often focused on the Every Word in the Bible Is Literally True And Applicable Today group. Yawnnnn
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#55 Old 08-11-2016, 05:37 PM
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However, if you continue reading in Genesis (9:3) after the flood, God gave Noah and his family permission to eat meat. And in Isaiah 25:6, the Bible spams of the Lord's banquet: "The LORD who commands armies will hold a banquet for all the nations on this mountain. At this banquet there will be plenty of meat and aged wine – tender meat and choicest wine.”
I started eating vegan because of health reasons, not because I think there is something Scripturally against it. I do believe that our farm factory practices are against what God demands of Adam and Eve, to be good stewards.
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God granting Noah's family permission to eat meat was circumstancial, due to the flood. If you are standing in the middle of a swampy wasteland and all of the agriculture has been wiped out, there might be an emergency situation. We know that the earth itself has been changed through man's sin, beginning with The Fall...before the Fall, everyone was vegan, even after meat was allowed part of kosher law is intended to prevent overt animal cruelty and waste/ingratitude, and so forth. There are great resources on this, notably ChristianVeg.com.

I do think it's scriptural to be good stewards of God's creation, and the consumption of animal products is out of control, leading to animal cruelty, starvation of the world's poorest, and environmental devastation. Even Pope Francis has called for the Catholic faithful to eat less meat because of global starvation and environmental impact, he also speaks against factory farming, though not about all consumption of meat.

Some people believe it's their obedience that leads them to refrain from animal products, in an attempt to balance the greed and gluttony currently plaguing the earth.

There are many reasons Christians may be vegan, and health is one of them, though it's certainly not the only one.

It's also interesting to me that when the Israelites wandered through the desert, their main daily sustainance was a vegetarian substance called mana, and possibly insects, and that the people had to cry out and whine for quail, which God granted but He also chastised their complaints. It appears from what I've observed that human weakness for violence, as well as greed, played into later allowances (ask and ye shall receive, etc). There's no way that the paradise in Isaiah described could involve any animal slaughter or exploitation, though I'm not sure about milk or honey, since these are things which could be obtained humanely and sustainably in a more perfect, earlier earth that doesn't have the destroyed environment, huge population, over development, and factory farms of today.

"Thinkers may prepare revolutions, but bandits must carry them out"~
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#56 Old 08-11-2016, 06:05 PM
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I, too, have heard these somewhat canned and empty responses to the very difficult and profound questions we all have. I know what I say will likely have no bearing on your beliefs; I do not wish to downplay your experiences by arguing. I merely wish to offer another viewpoint on which you may choose (or not) to ponder. Please take it or leave it as you will

It is my belief that we were created with free will. This means that God, while he theoretically could interfere/intervene with our lives, chooses not to, so that we may live according to how we choose, and so that we can follow our own path to learning uninhibited. This means we are not controlled, governed or regulated by God, but it also means we must bear the earthly consequences of our actions... not only as individuals but as a people. I don't pretend to know why things like cancer and disease exist, but I suspect it has to do with the effects of development and technology, and the overpopulation of the earth on the environment.

I believe we are here to learn, and to learn how to love fully and unconditionally. I think we all make mistakes, and stumble along this path while we struggle for answers. Sometimes we hurt others - most of us unintentionally; some of us on purpose. I believe part of our learning is to help others who are hurting, to show them some comfort and compassion when they need it most.

I do not believe God punishes us on earth. I do believe, however, that at the end of the day, we will each have to answer for how we lived our lives, the decisions we made and the consequences of our actions. I have no proof for this, it just makes sense to me. I guess in a way, it's akin to karma. I don't believe evil goes unpunished. I can't believe that those who torture innocent animals or humans without conscience will simply carry on forever unaccountable. Neither do I believe that innocent animals or humans who have suffered great loss will not know equivalent comfort and joy.

Again, I only offer these personal viewpoints as a potential balance to some of the others you've heard. For what it's worth, I left the church many years ago, and while I believe it was intended to be a place of fellowship and comfort, it all too often ends up being a place of bigotry and holier-than-thou attitudes. I choose to keep the faith on a personal level. I do not have any tangible proof, other than a very difficult and sometimes traumatic 39 years of life experience <3
I believe that instead of being punished for our sins, we are punished BY our sins, in accordance with God's Natural Law. For example, the world is now heating up and enormously polluted due to carnal sins like greed, gluttony and disobedience. The farming techniques which have raped the earth since the mid'20th century are out of line with Old Testament agricultural wisdom, so is corporate capitalism and a 24/7 world focused on money. Sin is its own punishment, the earth is designed with built in consequences. Cause and effect.

Otherwise I agree with a lot of your beliefs.
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#57 Old 08-23-2016, 06:16 AM
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The relation for me is quite obvious. Vegans abstain themselves from drinking one drop of milk like Muslims abstain themselves from drinking one drop of beer. They don't measure the quantities and their impacts, they simply adopt the radical binary on/off behavioural approach regardless of the impacts. In that sense Veganism is clearly a Religion. Kindly please read: veraveritas.eu/2016/08/veganism-is-like-religion.html

The big and major difference though, is that religion comes from Latin, "religare", which means "reconnect" [with God or gods], so in that sense you might have an atheist vegan, and hence no religion approach might be applicable. But the deeds are very similar: abstinence from certain actions and consumptions, which are morally incorrect; transmitting the ideals to other in the sense of "conversion" of the non-believers, not having a capitalist or materialist approach to the cause, but simply passionately defending a noble idealistic cause, etc.

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#58 Old 08-28-2016, 04:51 PM
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Religion is the human endeavor that, historically, has most commonly- perhaps exclusively- addressed issues of moral behavior. Where, but in religion, has morality been discussed? And do not all discussions of morality ultimately find their roots in theology? Even the laws enacted by governments, in my opinion, are based on religious concepts, such as, "Thou shalt not kill," "Thou shalt not steal," "Thou shalt not tell lies," etc.- and no, I'm not trying to necessarily promote Judaism, but cite it merely as an historic example. These moral concepts, religious in origin, were in play long before the development of today's political societies. It's the nature of men to trace their ideas to a source, to understand where their ideas "are coming from." In cases of morality, these ideas seem inevitably tethered to past spiritual investigations, which must necessarily be defined as religious in nature.

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
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#59 Old 08-28-2016, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Capstan View Post
Religion is the human endeavor that, historically, has most commonly- perhaps exclusively- addressed issues of moral behavior. Where, but in religion, has morality been discussed? And do not all discussions of morality ultimately find their roots in theology? Even the laws enacted by governments, in my opinion, are based on religious concepts, such as, "Thou shalt not kill," "Thou shalt not steal," "Thou shalt not tell lies," etc.- and no, I'm not trying to necessarily promote Judaism, but cite it merely as an historic example. These moral concepts, religious in origin, were in play long before the development of today's political societies. It's the nature of men to trace their ideas to a source, to understand where their ideas "are coming from." In cases of morality, these ideas seem inevitably tethered to past spiritual investigations, which must necessarily be defined as religious in nature.
Different cultures sometimes have similar ethical laws, because certain behaviors just cause trouble (no matter where you live).

The Five Precepts of Buddhism seem similar to Commandments 6-10 from the Old Testament.

1. Do not commit harm to sentient beings

2. Do not take what is not given

3. Do not commit sexual misconduct

4. Abstain from false speech

5. Do not use intoxicants

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#60 Old 08-29-2016, 06:23 AM
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"Some theists say that ethics cannot do without religion because the very meaning of 'good' is nothing other than 'what God approves'. Plato refuted a similar claim more than two thousand years ago by arguing that if the gods approve of some actions it must be because those actions are good, in which case it cannot be the gods' approval that makes them good. The alternative view makes divine approval entirely arbitrary: if the gods had happened to approve of torture and disapprove of helping our neighbors, torture would have been good and helping our neighbors bad. Some modern theists have attempted to extricate themselves from this type of dilemma by maintaining that God is good and so could not possibly approve of torture; but these theists are caught in a trap of their own making, for what can they possibly mean by the assertion that God is good? That God is approved of by God?"

Peter Singer: Practical Ethics
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