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#61 Old 08-29-2016, 01:39 PM
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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
I confess, I haven't read Singer's works, but I have read some analysis of it. His approach seems to be, it is ethical to be ethical, when it is practical to be ethical, but when it becomes inconvenient to be ethical, then it is ethical to disregard ethics. His argument is as elliptical as some of those he would refute. The problem I have with Singer- and with Plato too- is both these men led privileged lives, and never knew the visceral consequences of poverty or personal deprivation. It was easy for them to be philosophical, because their philosophies had no direct effect on their own lives. They set themselves up as judges over other men, while staying safe from their own adjudications. It took an Aristotle to show that Plato was sometimes wrong. In a 2000 interview, Singer said his mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, might be euthanized, if it were left up to him. No doubt, this would be "ethically" practical for himself, but I have to question how the mother might feel about it? Likewise, he has argued that abortion is ethical, because a fetus cannot feel pain. Singer himself might have no personal memories of the womb, but is he qualified to speak for everybody else? Furthermore, he has argued that, even after birth, a child, until it develops a "personality," can be ethically put to death. I find this remarkable, considering his own grandparents died in the Nazi ovens. The mistake Singer makes is trying to apply logical assumptions to a subject that defies logic. He tries- like Plato- to make logic the authority on ethics, something it is not qualified to do. Right and wrong are spiritual considerations that cannot be measured and reduced to bits of mathematical data for analysis, as can some physical attributes of the universe. While ethics can be applied to the physical universe, it exists as a non-physical aspect of the human experience. This reinforces my belief that ethics, as it has historically been connected to religious inquiry, will remain so, for the foreseeable future.
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#62 Old 08-30-2016, 12:28 PM
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Every religion has something against killing animals. I don't really get non veg*n Christians. I mean, what happened to thou shalt not kill?
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#63 Old 08-30-2016, 04:40 PM
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The problem I have with Singer- and with Plato too- is both these men led privileged lives, and never knew the visceral consequences of poverty or personal deprivation.
Most religious leaders over the last 2000 years have certainly not known poverty/deprivation either. So your point is?

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The mistake Singer makes is trying to apply logical assumptions to a subject that defies logic.
But surely religions have to conform at least to their own internal logic? For example, if Jesus shows he cares about sparrows in one part of the Gospels but then puts a curse on the Gadarene swine in another part of the Gospels, then more people than just Singer are going to be confused about how much Jesus really cared about animals.

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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?
You do realise that for a large part of human history, people talking about morality (and many other subjects) outside an accepted religious framework, would be putting their lives in serious danger?

Just to show that religious bigotry is not just historical, I'm again posting the LINK leading 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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#64 Old 08-30-2016, 11:42 PM
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Most religious leaders over the last 2000 years have certainly not known poverty/deprivation either. So your point is?
I think the religions that have arisen in the last 2000-years are false religions. If we're talking history, we have to go farther back than that. 3000-years ago, Moses was exiled to a desert, where he almost died, before turning his attention to matters of ethics. Before that, Abraham started out homeless- a migrant- looking for a place to live. Earlier, Zarathustra (Zoroaster) was a common cobbler, not a man of substance, who worked for a living. The Jewish people endured centuries of enslavement, before their oral traditions were written down, and organized into a book. People who live comfortably are the least qualified to understand what is best for the majority. The comfortable may have intelligence, and be well-intentioned, but they understand little on a constitutional level- that is, in their guts- because they have never endured the evils that life can dole out. Ethics, to them, is just theory- a brain-teaser, if you will. I think the modern world is showing us that the best leaders come from the bottom up, not the other way around. I suspect it's always been so. People like, Lincoln, FDR (Roosevelt had money, but he also had polio, so he knew something of suffering,) Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela are a few examples. When a philosopher, like Singer, suggests it's okay to kill a new-born, because that baby hasn't been able to figure out its own identity yet, I question, not just his ideas of morality, but his sanity as well.

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#65 Old 08-31-2016, 12:52 AM
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But surely religions have to conform at least to their own internal logic? For example, if Jesus shows he cares about sparrows in one part of the Gospels but then puts a curse on the Gadarene swine in another part of the Gospels, then more people than just Singer are going to be confused about how much Jesus really cared about animals.
I regard Christianity to be one of those false religions I referred to in my previous post, full of contradictions. I was raised in that "faith," but when I started to think for myself, gave it up. What did Jesus mean, anyway, when he said, "I come not to send peace on earth, but a sword?" (I think that's in the book of Revelation.) It was not the sort of leadership I cared to follow.

Hopefully, it- and some of those other bogus teachings- will be gone soon.

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You do realise that for a large part of human history, people talking about morality (and many other subjects) outside an accepted religious framework, would be putting their lives in serious danger?

Just to show that religious bigotry is not just historical, I'm again posting the LINK leading 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.

Lv
I understand your complaint, but I think your complaint is more political in nature, than religious. Politicians can- and have- used every means at hand- including religion- to oppress their people, but their oppressions go far beyond just theology. The only answer I can give you is, there should be a complete separation between church and state. Religion should never be a basis for government. Until politicians can devise a way (which basically means a willingness) to provide for the needs of their people, both physical, and yes, spiritual- through freedom of thought and speech, etc.- so the people don't feel compelled to support a theology as a substitute, I worry that the oppression may continue. I think education is key here. People need to wake up to the idea that they possess the power, and begin to exercise it. Some are already awake, but not enough. It is my hope the internet, and social pages like this one, can help bring this about. It is my hope.

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#66 Old 08-31-2016, 04:36 PM
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Every religion has something against killing animals. I don't really get non veg*n Christians. I mean, what happened to thou shalt not kill?
I am familiar with some Biblical passages that indicate concern for animals (as well as quite a few that don't). But I've heard or read that the 5th commandment, translated accurately from the original text, reads: "Do not murder." Supposedly, most people of the time would not have taken it to forbid killing animals- or for that matter, the death penalty or warfare. Maybe I heard or read wrong, or those sources were incorrect.

ETA: to sort of answer the original question: I'm agnostic, but pray regularly. My general love of sentient beings leads me to seek out whoever gave them life, and praise/thank them.

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.

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#67 Old 08-31-2016, 06:34 PM
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Capstan, I have read Singer's Animal Liberation book and I found it very good and ahead of its time, especially given the book was published in the 1970s. It was a part of the decision to give up meat eating for me personally. A big chunk of the book is about Speciesism and the moral case for vegetarianism: in fact that is really the core message of the book.

For vegans and moral vegetarians Singer is your friend because he is much closer to your views than the general population and understands the species bias. While his objection to meat eating is apparently based on the inherent suffering of animals, and it's less clear in the book whether he has a fundamental opposition to killing them (he avoids the argument saying it's not necessary to make an argument for animal liberation, and just clouds the issue), and while in theory this is quite a deep difference between a fully vegan standpoint, in practice, as applied to the modern world, the difference is not so great and both things lead to pretty much the same abolitionist arguments.

I'd also encourage anyone to read about Singer's views on charity giving and how to maximise good. Or, just look at the website Give Well which has similar views. This is also a really important topic in the world today.

If everyone followed all of Singer's views, I think the world would be a better place overall.

I don't agree with all of Singer's views on abortion, the value of the life of children, or euthanasia, but I don't think they are so ridiculous as you make out. I haven't read his books in this area, but since he seems in his Animal Liberation book to believe that the value of life is determined by the amount of pleasure vs suffering in that life, he may feel that an awful life is worth than no life at all, and that this may justify ending the life of someone suffering terribly. I am not completely sure if that represents his views accurately or not, and it's debatable whether it's correct, but it's not a silly position.

The fact that he has stated that a newborn baby is worth less than an adult does not mean he has said it should be fine to kill one (!) or that such life has NO value, just less value. (Happy to be proved wrong if you've got an exact quote and a source.)

To your comment "a child, until it develops a "personality," can be ethically put to death" I am not convinced that that will prove to be a fair quoting of Singer, unless in the specific context of a very young child with a disability that is likely to suffer terribly in life. Would be interested to see any quote and source, again. If you don't have one, I suspect what would then be paraphrasing from memory has been slightly unfair in its tone.

I would also challenge this comment "His approach seems to be, it is ethical to be ethical, when it is practical to be ethical, but when it becomes inconvenient to be ethical, then it is ethical to disregard ethics." I don't see that as a fair summary of his approach at all, and I doubt you will be able to find any quotations or anything else that bears that out.

Singer is a utilitarian. Whether or not you agree with his views may depend on what you think of the basic principle of utilitarianism.

Also on the role that experience of poverty vs an easy life plays in developing ethics, I would argue that if you look around the world today you will generally find greater standards of morality in richer, privileged countries. And weaker in poorer countries. The amount of sexism, and homophobia (and freedom to express such views) for example tends to be higher in poorer countries. Richer countries like parts of the US and Europe are more the leaders on veganism and animal rights. Poorer people do damage the world less, but only as a consequence of lesser wealth, not better morality. Being rich gives you more free time to think about moral issues. Much easier to argue about carbon emissions or animal rights to a rich person. Try going into a very poor country and presenting such views and you probably don't get as far. Still, I am not sure whether my views in this paragraph are a contradiction of yours or not.

I do wonder whether if Singer were more politically astute, he might not have made some potentially controversial comments on some topics that in practice only affect a tiny portion of the population. He has two really powerful arguments about charity giving and animal rights and controversies around some of his other positions may in practice limit the amount that people will listen to him in the areas of animal rights and charitable giving, where his views can do a tremendous amount of good if people listen to them.
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#68 Old 08-31-2016, 06:41 PM
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Related to some of this, I love the idea (I can't remember where I first heard it) that you should first of all imagine that in your next life you are going to reincarnated and could be reincarnated as anybody, gay or straight or trans, male or female, black or white. You might start your next life in a refugee camp, in abject poverty in the third world, or whatever else. Further, you won't necessarily be human again but could be reincarnated as a pig, bird, insect, whatever. And then, once you've thought about this, develop your ethics and philisophical beliefs. Perhaps that's one thing Capstan we can agree on, even if we don't agree in other areas?
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#69 Old 08-31-2016, 07:28 PM
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I said I'd post my take on the Gaderean Swine story "tomorrow" ... like three weeks ago. My bad Blame it on Rio. Seriously, I was watching sports from 8 AM-11 PM during the Olympics. I'll still post that (I won't predict when). But first, a couple responses to things posted more recently:

Quote:
Capstan's comment about the relationship between religion and ethics, which I can't easily quote because it's on an earlier page
I mostly agree. Of the three major broad categories of ethical systems, deontology and arguably Virtue ethics are initially grounded in theological metaphysics. Utilitarianism seems to be secular from the ground up, but of course it was developed after the creation of the religious/secular binary as part of the "creation myth" of the modern liberal state, so it is the only one that could be. That being said, most ethical theory today seems to be mostly decoupled from explicit reference to theology.

One reason I hedge a bit on Virtue ethics is Confucian virtue ethics. Confucianism doesn't fit comfortably into Western concepts of what is and isn't religion. It's not, but it has theological origins, and in other respects it kinda sorta is, but then again not really. Another is Aristotelian virtue ethics. Aristotle had a concept of God very different from that of people today. He ties morality to this god, but his god isn't all that much like anything most today would recognize as god. Thomistic virtue ethics at least are undeniably centered in theology. (They are based on the writings of Thomas Aquinas after all.)

There's an article on religion and morality here.

Ahhh, I gotta book. More later. Same bat board, same bat thread. (That sounded better in my head)

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#70 Old 08-31-2016, 08:23 PM
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Related to some of this, I love the idea (I can't remember where I first heard it) that you should first of all imagine that in your next life you are going to reincarnated and could be reincarnated as anybody, gay or straight or trans, male or female, black or white.
That sounds a bit like Rawl's veil of ignorance.

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#71 Old 08-31-2016, 08:28 PM
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Related to some of this, I love the idea (I can't remember where I first heard it) that you should first of all imagine that in your next life you are going to reincarnated and could be reincarnated as anybody, gay or straight or trans, male or female, black or white. You might start your next life in a refugee camp, in abject poverty in the third world, or whatever else. Further, you won't necessarily be human again but could be reincarnated as a pig, bird, insect, whatever. And then, once you've thought about this, develop your ethics and philisophical beliefs. Perhaps that's one thing Capstan we can agree on, even if we don't agree in other areas?
To an extent. But I don't believe in reincarnation. I believe I had no previous life. My life- body and soul- began at conception, an act of original creation. Body and soul nurtured together for 9-months, then were born together into a life of independence on earth. At my death, my spirit will be freed- be "born again"- from the dying body, into a life of greater liberty, as an essentially non-physical being. There may be further rebirths, farther along the road. But it will still be "me." I believe I will retain all the memories this life gives me, and I will not forget.

I believe the body and the spirit are essentially opposites. The body grows and strengthens by taking from others, whether it's from other animals, plants, the oxygen we breathe, etc. But the spirit grows by giving. Nurturing others is what feeds and flexes our spiritual "muscles." The more I can nurture my own spirit in this life, by nurturing others, the healthier and stronger it will be, to begin the next phase of my life. So yes, altruistic behavior, whether it's motivated by concepts of reincarnation or otherwise, is beneficial to ourselves.

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#72 Old 08-31-2016, 08:50 PM
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On Singer, read this from the National Council on Disability.

There is a link to veganism here that's not entirely obvious. The author of this piece is AFAIK NDC's Public Affairs' Specialist Lawrence Carter-Long. I first met Lawrence in the mid-late 90s at an animal rights conference in New Jersey. Before Lawrence worked at NDC he worked at the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (or maybe NAVS, I forget). He's a vegan.

The number one barrier I have to talking to people in my social circles about veganism and animal issues is Peter Singer. I'm disabled, as are many of the people I know. We have this silly fantasy that we are as worthy of moral consideration as temporarily able-bodied folks.

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#73 Old 09-01-2016, 05:02 PM
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Your statement perhaps implies that you think Peter Singer thinks that disabled people in general are not as worthy of moral consideration. I think he is just arguing for things like not spending a fortune to keep someone on a life support machine who in any case would have a miserable life or isn't even conscious (e.g. looking at the link you sent). I give no opinion on whether that is correct or fair, but I think you exaggerate or misrepresent his views.

If you read his Animal Liberation book, he argues that some animals might be worth more than some humans in rare cases and he does use the example of brain damaged infant vs intelligent animal. In this case, he illustrates our speciesm in that humans would tend to choose to save the infant if they had to save one because of an illogical specieism even though the animal is more intelligent, more capable or suffering, and perhaps has dependent children etc. The argument of speciesism, once accepted however does seem to imply that if we can place a value on a creature irrespective of species then some humans are worth more than other humans. This is not a pleasing argument to our instincts, but it is probably true, at the very least in some very specific and unlikely cases. In fact many people will already agree that some humans are worth more than others if we consider the case of say having to save from death a repeat, violent sex offender vs another person.

Singer's main criteria for value of a life is ability to suffer and the extent of self awareness and in this context he might consider some people that are senile, in a coma etc as worth less than most other humans, but he does not appear to extend this to the disabled in general. Presumably he would value the person in a wheelchair but in no way mentally disabled as being of equal value as an able bodied person, all other things being equal.

Are you saying that people oppose veganism because of Singer's beliefs in other areas. That makes little sense to be frank. Would they opposing being nice to children if Peter Singer was in favour of it? If someone is opposing veganism and citing Singer's disabled beliefs, it sounds like they're just looking for any excuse to enjoy the aromas of bacon.
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#74 Old 09-01-2016, 06:24 PM
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This is why i stepped out of religious stuff right now because i am tired of the fights and arguments and stone throwing and all.. I am cross between a Christo-Pagan and Progressive Christian , I am my own boss when it comes too my spiritual life, i do whatever I feel is naturally pleasing and leading me.. I think Veganism is more important right now then religion because there is precious animals out there that is being under animal cruelty and all...
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#75 Old 09-02-2016, 01:04 PM
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I'm going to defer on talking more about Peter Singer, in the interest of keeping this thread on topic. I would like to point to the essay "What Happened to Peter Singer?" by United Poultry Concern's Karen Davis. It's an important read.

Quote:
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
That's the Euthyphro dilemma. It's more an idea about divine command ideas than a statement about the divine in general.Many trees have died providing paper for printing discussion of it. I'd be the first to admit that I'm not the best person to get in the weeds on the Euthyrpro dilemma. Anyone interested in the topic would be well served by a trip to the library to take a peek at what others have written about it. That is, if you can ever arrive there. Zeno's paradox suggests that contrary to appearances, forward motion is a logical impossibility.

(It also should be noted that Plato himself suggests a connection between good and god. From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on religion and morality:
Quote:
Socrates's problem with the traditional stories about the gods gives rise to what is sometimes called ‘the Euthyphro dilemma’. If we try to define the holy as what is loved by all the gods (and goddesses), we will be faced with the question ‘Is the holy holy because it is loved by the gods, or do they love it because it is holy?’ (Euthyphro, 10a). Socrates makes it clear that his view is the second (though he does not argue for this conclusion in addressing this question, and he is probably relying on the earlier premise, at Euthyphro, 7c10f, that we love things because of the properties they have). (See Hare, Plato's Euthyphro, on this passage.) But his view is not an objection to tying morality and religion together. He hints at the end of the dialogue (Euthyphro, 13de) that the right way to link them is to see that when we do good we are serving the gods well. Plato probably does not intend for us to construe the dialogues together as a single philosophical system, and we must not erase the differences between them. But it is significant that in the Theaetetus (176b), Socrates says again that our goal is to be as like the god as possible, and since the god is in no way and in no manner unjust, but as just as it is possible to be, nothing is more like the god than the one among us who becomes correspondingly as just as possible. In several dialogues this thought is connected with a belief in the immortality of the soul; we become like the god by paying attention to the immortal and best part of ourselves (e.g., Symposium, 210A-212B). The doctrine of the immortality of the soul is also tied to the doctrine of the Forms, whereby things with characteristics that we experience in this life (e.g., beauty) are copies or imitations of the Forms (e.g., The Beautiful-Itself) that we see without the distraction of the body when our souls are separated at death. The Form of the Good, according to the Republic, is above all the other Forms and gives them their intelligibility (as, by analogy, the sun gives visibility), and is (in a pregnant phrase) ‘on the other side of being’ (Republic, 509b). Finally, in the Laws (716b), perhaps Plato's last work, the character called ‘the Athenian’ says that the god can serve for us in the highest degree as a measure of all things, and much more than any human can, whatever some people say; so people who are going to be friends with such a god must, as far as their powers allow, be like the gods themselves.

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#76 Old 09-02-2016, 01:58 PM
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What are the conflicts between vegetarianism and religion, that the two would be discussed together? I mean, besides so many vegans and vegetarians being atheist. I understand that there are Christian priests and ministers who are personally hostile to vegetarianism, let alone veganism, because they consider it a contamination of Christianity with a slopover from Buddhism or Hinduism. I know priests who tell their parishioners they should not do yoga or bid people "Namaste" because to do so is to adopt pagan practices. Which gets very close in their minds to worshipping the wrong god. I wonder if they're okay with eating hummus! Other ministers who revile meditation perhaps feel threatened by meditation's promise of putting people in charge of their own spiritual lives rather than have to take guidance from middlemen such as themselves. But I'm not aware of any official stance against any of these "exotic" practices in official writings of any mainstream Christian sect. Google it and you'll find opinions about it from Christian writers who hold stature within their churches. But that doesn't give them the authority to make these calls on behalf of all their members. Catholicism, as I understand it, is full of people who think you must never mix "pagan" elements into your life. But there are also Catholic priests who study, practice and write about Buddhism. So in a way, a person must follow the flavor of their religion that rings most true with them personally. Even if it is picking and choosing from among a blizzard of rules and guidelines. And now they have a pope who counsels his people to eat less meat.

Where it gets relevant to daily life is when a Christian gives up meat, or maybe all animal products, and starts receiving grief about it from members of their church. Has this been the experience of any Christian VB-ers reading this thread? How did you deal with it? If that was my situation and if I wanted to stay part of that church community, I guess I would tell people I wasn't doing it for religious reasons. Or if my religion encouraged people to give up things we liked, "offering it up," or "offering it back to God" as it were, I might explain my preference that way. Anything you give up for Lent, it's even better to give it up for good. Anyone could understand that.

I don't think I would ever tell someone they should give up meat for religious reasons. There's nothing in any of the Christian or Jewish sacred texts that indicates God or Jesus wants their people to stop eating meat. Unless you are putting an unbelievably literal spin on your reading of Genesis. In those ancient texts when they want you to stop doing something, they spell it out quite clearly, even calling the practice an abomination. Nothing like that about meat, anywhere, except for those meats that were considered unclean. God accepted animal sacrifices and the early Christian writers have Jesus fishing, eating the Paschal Feast (featuring lamb) the night before he's killed, and mentioning meat as a good thing (like the fatted calf) repeatedly in his parables. So giving up meat isn't following their example. Maybe some Christians wonder why a vegetarian would worship a Being who wasn't vegetarian himself, and maybe that's where some of the questions and puzzlement come from. When you worship someone, you want to be more like them. It probably seems pretty cheeky to be trying to scoot out ahead of your own Lord and Savior by upping his righteous behavior with your even-more-righteous lifestyle. Maybe people think you mean to become a God yourself.

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#77 Old 09-02-2016, 03:35 PM
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I don't think I would exhort my fellow churchgoers to give up meat for religious reasons. There's nothing in any of the Christian or Jewish sacred texts that indicates God or Jesus wants their people to stop eating meat. Unless you're doing an unimaginably literal reading of Genesis. God accepted animal sacrifices and the early Christian writers have Jesus eating meat and mentioning meat as a good thing (like the fatted calf) repeatedly in his parables. So giving up meat isn't following their example. Maybe Christians wonder why a vegetarian would worship an entity who wasn't vegetarian himself, and maybe that's where some of the questions and puzzlement come from. When you worship someone you want to be more like them. It probably seems pretty cheeky to be trying to scoot out ahead of your own Lord and Savior by upping his righteous behavior with your even-more righteous practice. Maybe people think you mean to become a God yourself.
Love it!

I'm sure it's no coincidence that the founder of veganism, Donald Watson, was an agnostic.
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#78 Old 09-02-2016, 05:42 PM
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Dave in MPLS, thanks for the link about Singer. That is a good read indeed (albeit a bit long) but yes returning to the main topic...

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#79 Old 09-08-2016, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by leedsveg View Post
Love it!

I'm sure it's no coincidence that the founder of veganism, Donald Watson, was an agnostic.
I agree with Joan's post, too.

But, let's not make the mistake of alienating Christian and Jewish vegetarians. That won't help the animals, will it?

_________

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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#80 Old 09-09-2016, 06:36 AM
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(See my next post)

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#81 Old 09-09-2016, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by David3 View Post
But, let's not make the mistake of alienating Christian and Jewish vegetarians. That won't help the animals, will it?
I think that these vegetarian Christians and Jews by having gone vegetarian, are already on the "right path" to helping animals. In going against their religions 2000/3000 year old customs/traditions/norms regarding the treatment of animals, they may well also have some feelings of alienation.

If they wish to go beyond their vegetarianism, then let's help them.
If they say there's no need to go beyond vegetarianism, then let's help educate them.

Lv
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#82 Old 09-12-2016, 11:43 AM
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Vegan or not, I really appreciate religious people who work at not alienating the unreligious.

I would do my worst alienating with the false face and false voice I'd put on, if I tried to convince some Christian that Genesis shows God didn't intend for people to eat animals.

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#83 Old 09-12-2016, 01:39 PM
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Every religion has something against killing animals. I don't really get non veg*n Christians. I mean, what happened to thou shalt not kill?

I wish this were true. However, there are passages in the Torah (aka the Old Testament) that specify exactly how to prepare animal sacrifices
.

_________

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 silva; 09-12-2016 at 01:48 PM. Reason: censored
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#84 Old 09-12-2016, 03:08 PM
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Note: I do not post this to witness my faith to you. I only post all of this to show you a different culture, and explain my views. I intend to respect your disbelief. I can only tell you that it is scientifically impossible to take a child who never heard another language, and do whatever you want to that child, in order to make the child be so delusional as to hear words in languages that he never heard before.

I can try to explain the sacrifices and why the Bible went from pro-Vegan to Man vs Animal. When God said to not eat from this tree and man ate from that tree, what man did was called "sin". Because of sin, man was kicked out of the pro-vegan sanctuary and the world changed. Because Man sinned, God gave Man over to his sin and decided that man should have even more freewill. This Freewill is why Samson was Vegan and strong and most of society tossed their little noses up at being Vegan. Man was given over to his "sin".

So then, why the sacrifice? Because man was not understanding that to sin against God is a killing of the soul. Its death. The sacrifice was supposed to get man to see that not sinning is best and that obeying causes life to happen and not obveying causes death. If man did not sin, then why would man need to sacrifice? Technically, he wouldn't.

However, God always had it in his plans to bring about a killing off of the killings. This means that the sacrifices were to end. How so? He brought Y'Shua to be the ultimate sacrifice. You can not kill a ghost or a spirit. Y'Shua came to earth as a spirit inside of the body of a man. We killed off skin and bones. We can not kill Y'Shua.
____ * _____

The bit where my note above applies:
Atheists will cry "Liar!" or "Delusional" to my life experiences. However, when I was 2 years, 4 months old, I can testify that I really did understand nothing anyone said to me. I heard scrambled sounds and those sounds were not necessarily the ones that were actually said. However, with the TV and Radio off, and only my mother and I at home, I heard a voice say that
Quote:
My name is a tetragrammaton YHVH. Some people call me Gospodyn, others called me Jesu but the Jews call me Y'shua.
Huge problem. Technically, Y'Shua was being used, but rarely. This was back in 1967 when the Messianic Jews were banned from being Jewish or saying "Y'Shua". In those days, Christians thought that Jews who became saved, should not be Jewish anymore or do anything Jewish, as they considered it "Pagan". Very ignorant thinking, as they read their Old Testament with very little understanding of the whys behind the traditions. The traditional Jews also thought it offensive if any former Jew said "Y'shua". They also banned their own kind, from doing anything Jewish if they converted to Christianity. Thus, both sides were banning the new believer from being Jewish.

Those who did use that term, only used it in private and secretly and were in Ohio and in Pennsylvania where I have never been. I never heard this term before. And I was never exposed to Russian. Plus, being American, my grandfather and my father never said Jesu. This is why I believe in my God.

I hope that I wrote this well enough for this forum and in a non-offensive manner. Again, I do not write this to witness to anyone. You go on, and keep your beliefs. I will also, not write the above again on this forum anywhere - even if requested to do so! And yes, I am almost completely Vegan. There is at least one book out there written by Vegan Christians that discusses the Garden of Eden, and is 100% Vegan. I just can not find the book online right now. We are still an extreme minority.

____ * _____

Singer - Just my opinion, but Singer sounds very scary to me. I believe that one should always follow their ethical beliefs and that the only exceptions would be for a greater good. For example, if it is impossible to save all lives except through sacrificing one life, then I will sacrifice my own life in order to save everyone elses life. However, as a Vegan, that bothers me and so I pray I never have to be in that situation as I believe that all lives matter. And if it is true, that we are all Animals, and it is true that I should be horrified at the thought of cannabalism, then I should equally want to be at a minimum, vegetarian, if not a complete Vegan. This is why I am Vegan as far as humanly possible given my health issues.


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#85 Old 09-13-2016, 03:45 PM
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But surely religions have to conform at least to their own internal logic? For example, if Jesus shows he cares about sparrows in one part of the Gospels but then puts a curse on the Gadarene swine in another part of the Gospels, then more people than just Singer are going to be confused about how much Jesus really cared about animals.
I'll respond about the sparrows first in this post, then follow up in another post with my long awaited thoughts on the Gadarene swine/Gadarene demonic (long delayed thoughts anyway )

The bible verses that inspired the hymn "His Eyes Are On The Sparrow" have long been used by animal advocates to demonstrate textual support for pro-animal ideas. In making their case they engage in prooftexting, a strategy using "isolated, out-of-context quotations from a document" to establish support for a proposition that may not (most often does not) match the position or intent of the author. So let's look at the verses in question and try to tease out some context and intent.

Quote:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:25-26 (NIV)
When you look at the entire thought, expanding beyond the over simplistic summary used historically in animal advocacy, it is very difficult to maintain that the author intended his readers to read it as a pro-animal statement. A more accurate summary would be "don't worry about food or shelter. Birds have little value compared to you, and God provides for them." So the verses do not in any way support the pro-animal attitude prooftexting projects on to them. There is no failure of internal logic. Restate it: "When talking about the sparrow the text maintains that sparrows have little value. The Gaderean swine are treated as if they have little value." So ... X=X? Sounds logical to me.

I'll post this now and follow up with thoughts on the difficulty everyone probably notices up there. Did I really just argue that verses often used to prop up pro-animal ideas aren't all that pro-animal unless you misread them? Yes, yes I did. I also pointed to the problem with taking snippets of scripture out of context. The scriptural context, historical context, social context, literary context ... Don't worry, it all works out In the big picture faith and animal ethics are compatible. It's just going to take a few posts to get there.
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#86 Old 09-13-2016, 05:33 PM
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Thanks for your good work Dave. As has been said before, exegesis saves!

I'm now understanding that God valued neither the sparrows nor the swine! No wonder there is so little enthusiasm for veg*ism amongst Christians.

Lv
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#87 Old 09-14-2016, 04:47 AM
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Thought I'd add the following.

David 3 posted this (#31):

Quote:
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.
It seems hard to believe that Christians would have any less natural empathy and compassion towards animals than non-Christians but if that empathy and compassion are trumped by the guidance and commands of a god with an omnivorous "mindset" then maybe not too surprising?

Lv

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#88 Old 09-14-2016, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in MPLS View Post

Quote:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:25-26 (NIV)
When
I've always thought the "His eyes are on the sparrow" part was Matthew 10:29 — "Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will." Nothing in it about why we should be kind to animals, just a statement of God's omnipotence: that even a cheap, two-for-a-penny little sparrow won't fall unless God wants him to. Because God is involved in absolutely everything that happens. It's not really a pro-animal verse either. Even the "Good Shepherd" metaphors in the NT (risking his life to protect his sheep from predators, going the extra mile to bring back one that wanders off) seem more about a shepherd's loyalty to the sheep's owner than tenderness toward the animals themselves, especially as they're being raised for slaughter. As are we, in that metaphor, in that we're told our death comes when God wills it.

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#89 Old 09-14-2016, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by David3 View Post
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.

.
Dave, I would draw the exact opposite conclusion from your observation about meet up groups. In the dozens of vegetarian meet up groups with hundreds or even thousands of members, how do you know those groups aren't populated by quite a few Christians? That there is only the one Christian vegetarian meet up group, with only 55 members, might actually suggest that the other vegetarian groups are filling the social needs of church-going vegetarians in your part of California. If I were a serious gardener who also happened to belong to a Catholic or Protestant church, I wouldn't necessarily go looking for a Christian gardening meet up group. The one doesn't have so much to do with the other.

Or take a musician who is also a Lutheran. You wouldn't really call this person a Christian musician, even though he is both, unless he actually specializes in making Christian music. I expect Christian vegetarian meet up groups would be more for Christians who prefer to socialize mostly with other Christians. Maybe so as not to have to keep explaining and defending themselves to people hostile to Christianity. But it would seem that in your part of Cali there aren't very many of those vegetarians. This would further suggest that hostility toward the Christian religion isn't a major issue among vegetarians out there.

Maybe religion doesn't come up often at meet ups, and maybe the people involved deal with it in a friendly and respectful way when it does. Maybe there's no ministering or witnessing at vegetarian meet-ups, and maybe there's no ridiculing either.
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Last edited by Joan Kennedy; 09-14-2016 at 12:04 PM.
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#90 Old 09-14-2016, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by leedsveg View Post
I think that these vegetarian Christians and Jews by having gone vegetarian, are already on the "right path" to helping animals. In going against their religions 2000/3000 year old customs/traditions/norms regarding the treatment of animals, they may well also have some feelings of alienation.

If they wish to go beyond their vegetarianism, then let's help them.
If they say there's no need to go beyond vegetarianism, then let's help educate them.

Lv
I hope I'm reading you wrong here, but it feels like you're suggesting that those who have religious beliefs need the benefit of your enlightenment to continue to grow as a person.

I don't mind a healthy debate regarding theology, but I hope we can agree that spirituality is much more than the interpretations of the fine points of any religious texts, and is necessarily a very deeply individual and personal experience. Let's respect one another's personal beliefs by not suggesting that we are better than one another in any respect. We all deserve the freedom to believe what we want. As long as no one is harming animals here, isn't that what matters? My personal spiritual journey isn't up for debate, nor do I need someone to educate me otherwise.
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