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#91 Old 09-14-2016, 11:06 AM
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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.
I think LV is talking about encouraging vegetarians to consider becoming vegan, not about messing with a person's personal theology.
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#92 Old 09-14-2016, 11:20 AM
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no need to be a good christian be jesus
dont try to be good muslim be mohammed
dont try to be good hindu be krishna.
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#93 Old 09-14-2016, 11:20 AM
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I think LV is talking about encouraging vegetarians to consider becoming vegan, not about messing with a person's personal theology.
Thank you, I was hoping that might be the case, but wasn't sure, given the context of the discussion In that case, I'm all for further education!
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#94 Old 09-15-2016, 02:46 AM
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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.
You don't think that both vegetarianism and religious observance may have a spritual/moral dimension that may be more difficult to find in gardening?

Anyway I must have met thousands of veg*ns in the UK over the last 30 years and the atheists, agnostics and others with less "conventional" religious beliefs eg pagans, buddhists etc, seemed much more willing to identify themselves than did the Christians/Jews/Muslims. Either veg*nism did not attract people from the "conventional" religions, or, for whatever reason such people were more reticent about divulging their religious persuasion.
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#95 Old 09-15-2016, 05:54 AM
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You don't think that both vegetarianism and religious observance may have a spritual/moral dimension that may be more difficult to find in gardening?

Anyway I must have met thousands of veg*ns in the UK over the last 30 years and the atheists, agnostics and others with less "conventional" religious beliefs eg pagans, buddhists etc, seemed much more willing to identify themselves than did the Christians/Jews/Muslims. Either veg*nism did not attract people from the "conventional" religions, or, for whatever reason such people were more reticent about divulging their religious persuasion.
Glad you made clear you're talking about folks in the UK. As you're probably aware, it's very different here, where church affiliation is often tied up with a person's sense of respectability and community. Even though here the fastest-growing religious preference is "none," we noners are still not considered a voting bloc worth courting. Americans are far more likely than the English to belong to a church and attend it regularly. Whether deeply held belief prompts their attendance or it's mostly from habit and family/peer pressure, many want their children to dress up once a week and learn how to experience boredom and discomfort without fidgeting, sleeping, or complaining. It's discipline; it helps prepare them for school. And that's just our mainstream, back-burner churchgoers, who wouldn't think twice about tying one on with barbarians. That's not even giving the nod to our millions of evangelicals, many of whom listen only to Christian music, read only Christian literature, vote only for Christian, pastor-approved political candidates, and hire only Christian electricians when the lights go out. So yes, if their Christian cardiologist told them to give up meat, milk, oil, sugar and eggs, they might prefer a Christian vegetarian group for their meetups.

That US/UK difference is why all of our politicians talk about faith all the time, while yours talk about faith only rarely, and at that mostly to contrast homegrown UK culture with Islamic immigrant culture. In the US, the open atheist is viewed with extreme distrust, virtually ineligible for public office and constantly bullied and witnessed to during military stints. All my UK friends are open atheists, and nearly all of them eat meat. Atheists, but culturally Anglican atheists.

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#96 Old 09-15-2016, 08:33 AM
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Thanks for the reminder of the day to day religious situation in the US, Joan. I mostly forget what's going on over there because tv documentaries shown over here tend to focus on the churches with more extreme views and practices eg churches where snakes are handled, the Westboro Baptist Church etc. Television news focuses on gun deaths, natural disasters and Donald Trump, also perceived as "a natural disaster"!

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#97 Old 09-15-2016, 12:02 PM
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This is certainly an interesting angle, regarding the perception of religion based on one's region - I have not experienced living in a culture which has a large percentage of Christians; in fact, I've noticed that the few Christians I know (including myself) tend to be hesitant to bring up their faith because they are often met with vehement hostility and anger (not unlike when you tell someone you're vegan, ironically). Eastern religions, agnostics, and pagans are met with curiosity and tolerance whereas Christians are met with resistance and suspicion. Interesting.

That said, I can understand to some degree, why people respond that way, when the Christians who end up in media are often complete whack jobs, bigoted, close minded, violent or intolerant. Again, ironically, not unlike the type of vegans who wind up in media focus LOL. It's often the minority or the extremists who get the attention because it's good for ratings... not all of us are like that, thankfully.
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#98 Old 09-15-2016, 12:26 PM
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This is certainly an interesting angle, regarding the perception of religion based on one's region - I have not experienced living in a culture which has a large percentage of Christians; in fact, I've noticed that the few Christians I know (including myself) tend to be hesitant to bring up their faith because they are often met with vehement hostility and anger (not unlike when you tell someone you're vegan, ironically). Eastern religions, agnostics, and pagans are met with curiosity and tolerance whereas Christians are met with resistance and suspicion. Interesting.

That said, I can understand to some degree, why people respond that way, when the Christians who end up in media are often complete whack jobs, bigoted, close minded, violent or intolerant. Again, ironically, not unlike the type of vegans who wind up in media focus LOL. It's often the minority or the extremists who get the attention because it's good for ratings... not all of us are like that, thankfully.
When I was growing up, people didn't call themselves Christians. They'd say they were Methodist, or Catholic, or Baptist, or Presbyterian or something, and it was matter-of-fact, and implicitly under the umbrella of Christianity. Being of a different sect of the Christian religion didn't mean social segregation then, especially among the Protestants; there was some self-segregation among Catholics, in that Catholic children and teens mostly went to Catholic schools. To encourage us to date and marry one another, which often had the opposite effect...

When people started referring to themselves as Christians, it could have been a more inclusive word but somehow it wasn't. It had a distinctly conservative tinge to it, for one thing. It seemed to me they were talking about being born-again Christians, baptized all over again, and reacting against the mainstream churches they'd grown up with. It became more front-burner and more in-your-face, and was associated with people wanting to Save you, as if only they had a handle on how the Big Guy expected people to live. Even now, when I hear Christian as a descriptor, I'm usually correct that the person is outside the mainstream and into something a bit more insular than the denominations that have been around longer. Now, even though I know many fine people who call themselves Christian and who put it at the very center of their identity, I also associate it with some of those goons who will aggressively yell "Merry Christmas!" in December whenever they see somebody wearing a burqa or a yarmulke. As if Christian means American and anything else means foreign. And of course, that American means good and that foreign means bad.

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#99 Old 09-16-2016, 10:03 AM
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When I was growing up, people didn't call themselves Christians. They'd say they were Methodist, or Catholic, or Baptist, or Presbyterian or something, and it was matter-of-fact, and implicitly under the umbrella of Christianity. Being of a different sect of the Christian religion didn't mean social segregation then, especially among the Protestants; there was some self-segregation among Catholics, in that Catholic children and teens mostly went to Catholic schools. To encourage us to date and marry one another, which often had the opposite effect...

When people started referring to themselves as Christians, it could have been a more inclusive word but somehow it wasn't. It had a distinctly conservative tinge to it, for one thing. It seemed to me they were talking about being born-again Christians, baptized all over again, and reacting against the mainstream churches they'd grown up with. It became more front-burner and more in-your-face, and was associated with people wanting to Save you, as if only they had a handle on how the Big Guy expected people to live. Even now, when I hear Christian as a descriptor, I'm usually correct that the person is outside the mainstream and into something a bit more insular than the denominations that have been around longer. Now, even though I know many fine people who call themselves Christian and who put it at the very center of their identity, I also associate it with some of those goons who will aggressively yell "Merry Christmas!" in December whenever they see somebody wearing a burqa or a yarmulke. As if Christian means American and anything else means foreign. And of course, that American means good and that foreign means bad.
Very interesting perspective!! I can totally understand why the perception is that way in America. While we are neighbours, Canadians seem to be far different in some ways, and it's always enlightening to learn firsthand why people think the way they do ^_^
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#100 Old 02-07-2017, 03:32 PM
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Is there any firm evidence that Jesus and James were raised as Ebonite Jews and so 'must have been vegetarians'[my precis]? I'm finding nothing on the internet to support this.

I've mentioned before that I lived for a couple of years on an Israeli kibbutz on the Sea of Galilee, under the Golan Heights. When I moved there in 1969, the kibbutz had pig-pens, but the pigs had recently left. I always wondered if they'd been the decendants of the Gadarene swine (although the traditional site of the town of Gadara was around 5 miles further south.)


How could Jews have pig pens? That doesn't make any sense. Jews are prohibited from eating pork aren't they?
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#101 Old 02-08-2017, 08:17 PM
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I am very "religious" but I have no religion. I cannot find one that does not contradict itself (and I've been looking for a long time) so I have none.

I think people should be able choose their own religion (or none) but should not use it as an excuse for harming any living creature.

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#102 Old 02-08-2017, 08:21 PM
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I am Christian and a believer in Ahimsa: harm none.

Vegan: because I'm being the change I wish to see in the world
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#103 Old 02-08-2017, 09:22 PM
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How could Jews have pig pens? That doesn't make any sense. Jews are prohibited from eating pork aren't they?
The town of Gadara was a Greek town. The author of the story was describing a region which would have had lots of Gentiles. One theory I ran across was that the pigs were being raised by/for Rome's Tenth Legion (the clue is in the name of the demoniacs - Legion).

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#104 Old 02-10-2017, 05:08 PM
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Is there any firm evidence that Jesus and James were raised as Ebonite Jews and so 'must have been vegetarians'[my precis]? I'm finding nothing on the internet to support this.

I've mentioned before that I lived for a couple of years on an Israeli kibbutz on the Sea of Galilee, under the Golan Heights. When I moved there in 1969, the kibbutz had pig-pens, but the pigs had recently left. I always wondered if they'd been the decendants of the Gadarene swine (although the traditional site of the town of Gadara was around 5 miles further south.)
I know practicing Jews who will tell you it's fish weed, not fish, so there is definitely evidence for it among people who actually study theology.

The problem with many American Evangelicals is their willful ignorance and neglect of theological study, so they are probably the most difficult Christians to discuss veganism, or vegetarianism, with. Christianity is politically used as a red herring by our Republican party and many of these people have very little idea what the Bible says, they think American traditions are "Christian." It's totally bizarre to me some of these people make it a habit to have brunch or lunch in restaurants after church, since it means they're making other people work on the Sabbath. It's very tiring to deal with.
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#105 Old 02-10-2017, 05:23 PM
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Speaking of veganism and religion...First of all, I can't take credit for this idea, but I thought it was fairly outstanding, at least in theory...anyway, someone who is a non-religious ethical vegan brought up this great point: that since even liberals and social justice warriors don't comprehend the connection between human and animal rights, they incorrectly place animal rights and ethical veganism below human rights (common among secular humanists, they kill me, and I'm technically a liberal) because they don't understand ahimsa, and are ignorant of the connection between animal product consumption and climate change...so in order to progress, we need to start up playing vegan rights, as in human vegan rights, when dealing with them legally and politically. To drive his point home, he mentioned how much more easily Muslims have acquired halal, than vegans acquiring more vegan options in places like schools or prisons.

So, we try to get legal status for vegans as a religion. Like scientologists, or Mormons, it's not like there are never new religions.

This might not sit well with some religious people, but I'm a Christian and it doesn't bother me at all. I think it's brilliant.

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#106 Old 02-10-2017, 06:46 PM
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Good post knowledge is power.

Religious beliefs and practices should open for discussion.
The problem is that people who do this are usually trying to apply inductive reasoning (most sciences) to deductive logic (religion, maths). When I was less educated I couldn't articulate why this is an exercise in absurdity, but now I can. Science and religion aren't mutually exclusive, and there are religious scientists and athiests who are scientists, and you can't apply inductive generalizations, supported by statements, to deductive logic, which operates on the basis of "these statements in this book are true, therefore."

The problem isn't religion but the way that some people practice it, and usually those people are either poorly educated or intentionally using religion to destructive ends.

Like my statement earlier, about it being unbelievable to me that American Evangelicals feel no shame BREAKING ONE OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, ON THE SABBATH, but then they turn around and cherry pick some scripture about homosexuals, or meat. It's outrageous. Because deductive logic says they should always reference the truth of theology before making judgments, rather than making judgements based on hypothetical observation of their individual culture or experience. Trying to apply bad inductive reasoning to deductive logic is just as ridiculous as atheists attempting to apply good inductive reasoning to someone else's deductive logic.

Simply put: if something isn't provable through testing and theory, no you can't apply inductive reasoning to it.

Besides, knowledge is power doesn't know apparently that the definition of sin is actually "mistake" not "unforgivable black mark on your soul." I see this kind of irritating whining from secular humanists, typically, who falsely believe children are born good. Science says children are neither good nor bad, so both extremes are absurd and harmful to society. Secular humanists have been just as damaging to humanity as any religion, as they have enabled overpopulation, and often enact laws which indirectly or directly lead to animal cruelty and environmental destruction over the sentimental idea of basic human goodness and superiority over other animals.

Also, though I like the idea of giving vegans religious status for legal reasons within our current framework, I don't think veganism is comparable to religion because it's based in science more so than religion. There's much more inductive reasoning applied to ethical veganism, though it does start with the deductive premise of truth that life of any kind is sacred.

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#107 Old 02-10-2017, 06:56 PM
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For me, it's strictly for health reasons although some other thoughts are beginning to creep into my mindset. I stumbled across Dr. Michael Greger on a youtube channel and his lectures heavily influenced me. Then I went to his website dedicated to nutrition facts and decided that this would be a good change for me.

The Hindus that I know (and I don't know a lot of them) are strictly vegan; completely plant based lifestyle.
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#108 Old 02-11-2017, 05:31 AM
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Veganism and religion

@Thalassa , what definition of secular humanism are you using? Nothing I've ever run across. How does deductive reasoning "prove" the existence of God?
I agree with giving vegan a religious title. We could be tax exempt and now endorse politicians
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#109 Old 02-11-2017, 10:35 AM
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@Thalassa, what pdefinition of secular humanism are you using? Nothing I've ever run across. How does deductive reasoning "prove" the existence of God?
I agree with giving vegan a religious title. We could be Trac exempt and now endorse politicians
Deductive logic doesn't prove the existence of God. But inductive reasoning can also not disprove it. To apply inductive reasoning, which answers the questions of who, what, when, where, BUT NOT WHY, to religion, is faulty thinking. Inductive reasoning doesn't answer why, which is part of the reasons many pure atheists believe everything is random, but that isn't good enough for some people, and it doesn't matter, because strictly speaking, being a scientist or employing scientific thought doesn't necessarily include ethics. Some scientists have been greedy, even sociopathic, caught torturing animals in labs and we all know the history of psychiatry...other scientists have ethics non-related to a diety, and still others are spiritual or religious. You can't prove or disprove "why" with inductive reasoning, and when I see atheists trying to, I generally assume they never really studied science, that they studied something like sociology or art or even law, but they actually don't understand that the scientific method can't be applied to religion. It's usually a feature of "evangelical athiesm". People who are so angry at their own anecdotal religious experience, or arrogant in their own stereotypes of religious people they've seen on TV, without actually studying those religious theologies, that they try to make religious people into athiests. It's neither scientific nor "vegan" to force athiesm on other people, anymore than it is to push religious beliefs on other people.

Religion is deductive logic because it starts with "the statements in this book are true, therefore" where as inductive reasoning starts with generalizations, which must be rigorously tested and peer reviewed for support and must be willing to change at any time. Many people with a more pedestrian understanding of science think it's "scientific" to stop at generalizations, and observations and the hypothesis stage, without the rigorous testing. Those generalizations can be made about anything, from people of color, to religion. To make generalizations about religion without studying theology is not science, and it doesn't disprove God. Science is the who, what, when, where, how.....religion or atheistic ethics are the "why" and are in a separate category. They're not mutually exclusive, they are two different ways of looking at the world.

Secular humanists tend to be guilty of speciesism, that's my point. Bring overly concerned with human health, happiness, and well being can lead people to a narrow focus on humans without considering animals or eco-systems, which is why even our liberals in the US don't seem concerned enough with animals or climate change as they should be. I think secular humanism is narrow and we need to keep moving past it. I often see secular humanists misunderstanding how resources work, because they're so overly concerned with other humans. It becomes counterproductive, in the bigger picture. Some also have a dangerous faith in humanity to "fix" everything, which is what I mean by they sentimentally presume humans are inherently "good" ...I think secular humanists have forgotten their place in the universe and the eco-system. That is my opinion.
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#110 Old 02-13-2017, 01:43 PM
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The problem is that people who do this are usually trying to apply inductive reasoning (most sciences) to deductive logic (religion, maths
I read what your second post and I think I know what you're getting at as for as deductive/inductive reasoning and science goes, but here you gloss over some very fundamental issues in the philosophy of science. Karl Popper was one of the most influential thinkers in the philosophy of science, and he REJECTED inductive reasoning. You're correct that the way most science gets done in the real world involves inductive arguments, but this is a pragmatic thing. Working scientists tend to be realists, From Wikipedia: "Scientific realists argue that we have good reasons to believe that our presently successful scientific theories are true or approximately true, where approximate truth means a theory is able to make novel predictions and that the central terms of such theories genuinely refer."

The problem is that most people misunderstand the nature of scientific proof. They think scientific 'proof' is Truth with a capital 'T'. More often than not, it isn't. Valid scientific proofs work well enough, but they aren't true in the same metaphysical sense as say, mathematical axioms. One reason people miss the necessarily approximate nature of scientific proofs is because the forces that dearly want science to be the absolute measure of absolute truth have been cramming nonsense down our throats for centuries.

This isn't to say anything goes or that science doesn't provide a valid and useful way to investigate the world. To the contrary, it is the most powerful vehicle to that ends WITHIN IT'S SPHERE, but it's a mistake to overextend it into other fields, like ethics or theology. People who do so do a disservice to science itself.

Man, that could have a lot longer, but I tried to at least touch on a few of the 'big' points. What might be missed is that I agree with the basic point you made (implicit in your post, explicit in the later part of mine) - multiple 'spheres' of knowledge with dissimilar concepts of truth. And we're in good company. To bring it back to the discussion we were having, Galileo (a scientist) and Augustine (a church father) agree. In different words, but agree.
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#111 Old 02-13-2017, 06:50 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.


.
As an ex Seventh-day Adventist Christian who were mostly taught by the Prophet Ellen White, to be vegetarian, my guess is that the Christian vegetarians prefer not to mix with all the 'heathens' ;-) They wouldn't say grace before they ate, they might say something inappropriate or suggest that something sinful was acceptable and it would just be all around uncomfortable for the Christian people. That's how I would have felt. Just like most of us feel if we get invited to a barbecue by a bunch of meat eaters and we were the only one there who believed that animal shouldn't have died.
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#112 Old 02-25-2017, 02:22 PM
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......... 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.

I used to be a Seventh Day Adventist, so slipping into vegetarianism for religious reasons was an easy transition and sort of a given. And as a SDA, I learned to take the Bible very literally.

My reading of Genesis 1:29 says that God gave all of His creation, only plants to eat. That was His intention. Isaiah 11:1-10 tells us that on the New Earth, 'a lion will lay down with the lamb and eat straw like the ox'. So between the stated beginning and the stated end, it's pretty obvious what a Creator God intended.

The Bible also makes a great point out of the fact that death entered that new and lovely Creation because of the sins of man. What Christians have done, is taken the middle part (sin,death, killing animals, sacrifice, blah, blah, blah) and run with the ball.....instead of looking at what the God that they worship INTENDED for them. And in the one place where veganism is mentioned in the Bible (Daniel and friends in the lions den and court of the king), God blessed their faithfulness with better health than all the meat eating courtiers and it was noted by the king.

When God allowed meat to be eaten, there was one reason basic reason and it was that it was supposed to be a lesson for futurity, that when you sin, death follows. Secondarily (if you accept the flood story), vegetation had been obliterated pretty much by the flood and the remaining people didn't have much to eat. Even the sacrifices that were instructed, were a lesson, an example again, of what happens because of sin. The lamb that was killed for Passover, was an example of the sacrifice that Christ was going to be/was. Even the fishing that Jesus did was an example that His disciples were to go out and be 'fishers of men', to cast their nets(speak about God/Christ) and gather 'people' in. All lessons and examples, not 'permission' per se.

That is what God obviously intended, so no cheekiness needed, just a willingness to live the way the Creator had planned. If I was a practising Christian, I'd be looking towards what God intended, not what He let me get away with.

As for becoming a God yourself, Jesus did say this: '... 32Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” 34Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? 35“If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),...' John 10:32-35

For anyone who is interested, I came across an interesting page that talks about the vegetarianism of the Bible and the link is here: http://thenazareneway.com/biblical_%...enis_giron.htm
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#113 Old 02-25-2017, 03:08 PM
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I never questioned why most Christians ate meat- because of the boldened part above.
The christian god creates being in his image, gives them free will, but when they don't choose as he demands he punishes them. Why wouldn't people treat those beneath themselves the same?

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#114 Old 02-26-2017, 07:29 AM
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I never questioned why most Christians ate meat- because of the boldened part above.
The christian god creates being in his image, gives them free will, but when they don't choose as he demands he punishes them. Why wouldn't people treat those beneath themselves the same?
But are you sure that what Christians, Muslims and Jews believe..........is really what a Creator being wanted or intended? Or are you simply accepting what has become 'accepted' understanding?

When I was an SDA, I believed in that punishment too, because that is what my church taught me. But I began to question the obvious inconsistencies (God is love, God loves His created children, God gave us free will vs. God punishes those who exercise the free will that He gave us (so what kind of free will is that, indeed what kind of love is that?) and I left the church.

Then as a result of a friends comments, I began to read about people who had died but then after minutes, sometimes longer, came back. The one major recurring theme, whether they were Christians, agnostics or atheists, was that they experienced feelings of such overwhelming Love (yes, with a capital 'L') and felt safe, embraced, accepted, joyful, jubilant....)that the vast majority had no wish to return to the lives and families that they'd left behind. None, they wanted to stay there where they felt bathed in a Love such as they'd never experienced before.

Going by their experiences and the profound changes in the lives and philosophies of those people who've had a more 'first hand experience' with the other side, I believe that much of what is in the Bible is based on human traits and psychology. We are a vengeful species, we have it in us to be cruel beyond belief and we have the capacity to justify all of that......but we are also endowed with a creative ability to extend love (that comes from Whatever or Whomever it was, that makes all near death experiencers feel so loved and accepted).

Much of religion in my opinion originated as a means to control groups and nothing controls better than fear. Encourage your people to fear the Creator God and you can make them do your bidding. And that is a rule that we can see occurring every moment through history, whether it be organized church monoliths like the Catholic Church (think Spanish Inquisition) or today's ISIS terrorism and everything in between including cults like Scientology. Promises and threats of violence.

And remember too, that while we look at the common thread that runs through all the books of the Bible and say, 'there, that proves it's consistent and valid', at the same time, it's important to acknowledge that early church fathers, just men, decided which writings would be included in what we now know as the Bible. And in every instance, every written word, there is also the culture of the time that must be taken into consideration and the likelihood that 'inspiration' may have become intertwined with human perceptions and systems.

So again, if I was a practising and devout Christian, Jew or Muslim, I would be looking at what my God's intention was for me. And while I am not a member now of any faith organization, I do believe that this isn't all an accident but that there is some sort of Creative Power that caused this amazing and intricately balanced world and universe to come into being. Luckily for me, there are world renowned phycists who are beginning to venture that same opinion and when I take into consideration, the experiences of all those who've died and come back, the support for my 'faith' grows.

And by the way, just a point to note, I also have lifelong Christian family members (now in their 80's) who were respectively, a dairy man, pig farmer and a beef farmer. I did raise the points above once in my early years as a vegan with the uncle who was a pig farmer and instead of addressing the issues I mentioned, he quit talking to me for a time. I think that is because there is no feasible response that could justify Christians doing what they do to animals. I've also used the same arguments in talking online to folks who throw the Bible or the Koran or the Torah out there as a justification for mankind eating meat, and they also quit talking.

I think that the Christian, Muslim or Jew who becomes vegetarian or especially vegan, is becoming more like their God. Out of their Loving hearts, they extend that same Love and mercy to our fellow travellers upon this earth. And those who eat meat, are NOT like their God, no matter how many times they go to services.

Anyway, I don't know if that's the kind of response that you expected (I tend to get a little long winded sometimes so my apologies for that). Hope you have a nice day.

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#115 Old 02-28-2017, 09:21 AM
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I used to be a Seventh Day Adventist, so slipping into vegetarianism for religious reasons was an easy transition and sort of a given. And as a SDA, I learned to take the Bible very literally.

My reading of Genesis 1:29 says that God gave all of His creation, only plants to eat. That was His intention. Isaiah 11:1-10 tells us that on the New Earth, 'a lion will lay down with the lamb and eat straw like the ox'. So between the stated beginning and the stated end, it's pretty obvious what a Creator God intended.

The Bible also makes a great point out of the fact that death entered that new and lovely Creation because of the sins of man. What Christians have done, is taken the middle part (sin,death, killing animals, sacrifice, blah, blah, blah) and run with the ball.....instead of looking at what the God that they worship INTENDED for them. And in the one place where veganism is mentioned in the Bible (Daniel and friends in the lions den and court of the king), God blessed their faithfulness with better health than all the meat eating courtiers and it was noted by the king.

When God allowed meat to be eaten, there was one reason basic reason and it was that it was supposed to be a lesson for futurity, that when you sin, death follows. Secondarily (if you accept the flood story), vegetation had been obliterated pretty much by the flood and the remaining people didn't have much to eat. Even the sacrifices that were instructed, were a lesson, an example again, of what happens because of sin. The lamb that was killed for Passover, was an example of the sacrifice that Christ was going to be/was. Even the fishing that Jesus did was an example that His disciples were to go out and be 'fishers of men', to cast their nets(speak about God/Christ) and gather 'people' in. All lessons and examples, not 'permission' per se.



That is what God obviously intended, so no cheekiness needed, just a willingness to live the way the Creator had planned. If I was a practising Christian, I'd be looking towards what God intended, not what He let me get away with.

As for becoming a God yourself, Jesus did say this: '... 32Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” 34Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? 35“If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),...' John 10:32-35

For anyone who is interested, I came across an interesting page that talks about the vegetarianism of the Bible and the link is here: http://thenazareneway.com/biblical_%...enis_giron.htm
I don't think biblical texts have any useful ammunition in an argument on whether the God they worship would prefer us, now, in this century, to stop eating meat and stop using animals. Scripture is replete with instructions on what to do and what not to do. Leviticus is very familiar to anyone who came up with the Seventh Day Adventists, right? The meats that are okay to eat, and the meats that are not.

If the God of the Bible wanted us to be vegan, he would have said so, the way he said not to kill or steal or pinch your neighbor's wife. Especially once agriculture made it possible to live off produce and grains. Meat was such a luxury in so many parts of the ancient world that it was consumed only on holy days and family celebrations, which would mean that for most people it was not a significant source of human nutrition. So that would have been a perfect opportunity to introduce meatlessness on principle to the People of God, had that been God's intent.

I feel it's highly disingenuous for non-Christians to try to convince Christians that God wants us to live as vegans. If we believe that's the right way to live we need to look elsewhere or inward, because Scripture doesn't indicate it. I mean, before the story of the Great Flood was the story of Cain and Abel. Abel was a herdsman. Humans hunted and killed animals for their meat looooong before learning how to domesticate them. Herding made meat easier to obtain, and Abel would kill and burn animals for sacrifice. Which God received favorably, which He wouldn't have, if He'd wanted us to live in a world where animals are left to their own destinies instead of being considered the property of the people who benefit from them. Are people to believe the herdsman and animal sacrificer Abel (traditionally depicted wearing animal skins) would not also have been a consumer of meat?

Not to mention that when God was booting Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, he handed them clothes to wear. And what were those clothes made from? Animal skins. It absolutely charms me that the tellers of the old tales were somehow aware that their ancient ancestors had once clothed themselves in animal skins. Which are traditionally obtained from skinning an animal that was raised and killed for its meat, if not hunted down for its meat.
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#116 Old 02-28-2017, 09:43 AM
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I don't think biblical texts have any useful ammunition in an argument on whether the God they worship would prefer us, now, in this century, to stop eating meat and stop using animals. Scripture is replete with instructions on what to do and what not to do etc
Quite so Joan. In the words of the blessed Simon & Garfunkel:


Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest.


I know I've posted this before and I'm sure I'll post it again.


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#117 Old 03-01-2017, 06:57 PM
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I don't think biblical texts have any useful ammunition in an argument on whether the God they worship would prefer us, now, in this century, to stop eating meat and stop using animals. Scripture is replete with instructions on what to do and what not to do. Leviticus is very familiar to anyone who came up with the Seventh Day Adventists, right? The meats that are okay to eat, and the meats that are not.

If the God of the Bible wanted us to be vegan, he would have said so, the way he said not to kill or steal or pinch your neighbor's wife. Especially once agriculture made it possible to live off produce and grains. Meat was such a luxury in so many parts of the ancient world that it was consumed only on holy days and family celebrations, which would mean that for most people it was not a significant source of human nutrition. So that would have been a perfect opportunity to introduce meatlessness on principle to the People of God, had that been God's intent.

I feel it's highly disingenuous for non-Christians to try to convince Christians that God wants us to live as vegans. If we believe that's the right way to live we need to look elsewhere or inward, because Scripture doesn't indicate it. I mean, before the story of the Great Flood was the story of Cain and Abel. Abel was a herdsman. Humans hunted and killed animals for their meat looooong before learning how to domesticate them. Herding made meat easier to obtain, and Abel would kill and burn animals for sacrifice. Which God received favorably, which He wouldn't have, if He'd wanted us to live in a world where animals are left to their own destinies instead of being considered the property of the people who benefit from them. Are people to believe the herdsman and animal sacrificer Abel (traditionally depicted wearing animal skins) would not also have been a consumer of meat?

Not to mention that when God was booting Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, he handed them clothes to wear. And what were those clothes made from? Animal skins. It absolutely charms me that the tellers of the old tales were somehow aware that their ancient ancestors had once clothed themselves in animal skins. Which are traditionally obtained from skinning an animal that was raised and killed for its meat, if not hunted down for its meat.
In the Adventist Church, no Biblical texts are ignored or considered 'un-useful'. They are considered relevant today and pretty much to be taken literally. Keep in mind that the Prophet, Ellen White declared that Bible believing Adventist Christians should be vegetarian. And while some denominations (most) do a bit of cherry picking on Scripture, there are also instances where they are willing to take the literal viewpoint on their reading and in those instances, to point to the Genesis instruction and the New Earth description in Isaiah is a legitimate use of Scripture in a bid to encourage mercy and compassion towards the creatures who share this planet with us by virtue of living in accordance with the will of God or according to God's intention.

And you can feel whatever you like, I happen to think and did when I was a practising Christian, that seeking to understand God's wishes for my life (the lives of all His Creation for that matter) is paramount. In fact, I would say today that the same philosophy as 'suggested' by that understanding motivates my veganism. To live with an attitude of love and mercy for all Creation, for we are all one, all part of that same Great Source. The alternative is a free for all where everyone makes it up as they go and cherry picks Scripture according to what they want to get away with. Ignoring the original command to eat plants and hopping straight to Leviticus would be an example of that. And I not disingenuous about that at all, believing it wholeheartedly.

I also believe that that argument is legitimate when talking with a Jew or a Muslim as the three great religions all have a common beginning.

And what would you say to the idea that God didn't appreciate the sacrifices even though He allowed them. The following verses cast a very negative light on the subject:

Hosea 6:6, God said "What I want is mercy, not sacrifice."

Isaiah 1:11-16
"The multitude of your sacrifices-- what are they to me?" says the LORD. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations-- I cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong!

God also allowed divorce for a time because of the hardness of man's heart. And He said that a man should cleave only to his wife (and not commit adultery). What makes you think the killing and bloodshed was any different? That first death at God's hand was to be an example of what happens when we sin. Through sin, death comes. The blood of the lamb, a picture of the death of Christ which happened because of sin.

God's intention for all His Creation is very clear, His intention for the New Earth is likewise very clear. And in my opinion, the TRUE believer would look always at what God's intention was for his life. The problem is, that humanity and the churches have become so habituated to meat consumption and animal abuse and having someone else think for them, that they fail to see it for themselves and if veganism by itself is suggested to them, they are unaware or have not actually thought through the ramifications of that earliest instruction or the description of the New Earth to come and their relevance to the encouragement to chose a vegan lifestyle. And if they do 'notice' them, prefer to assume the former was some beautiful but long gone and to be mourned pre-existence and assign the latter to some future, magical kind of time when they no longer have to work at being good people because then it will come naturally because Jesus has taken them home.

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#118 Old 03-02-2017, 02:29 PM
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DebraH, You might still be a practicing Christian, even if you've moved on from the religion of your raising. Since dietary restrictions are part of that religion, and since up to about half of Adventists are practicing vegetarians, I’d guess Scripture is used often in intra-Adventist debates about what God would rather you did and didn’t eat. But outside that circle, not so much. A non-Adventist Christian might listen politely to your quotes, but if any of it sounded reasonable, they’d take it right back to their own pastor or study group leader, who’d bark it down because he eats meat himself and will tell you that Jesus did too, and that meat is a gift from God. I stopped looking to others to interpret what I could read with my own eyes, at some point soon after being no longer Catholic and soon before being no longer Christian. Those ancient texts are filled with wisdom, but they're extremely difficult to pin down on specifics because you can find a quote to argue your case as easily as another quote to help you argue the opposite case.

For me, Genesis got a lot more interesting and a lot less didactic once I noticed it had God basically lying to Adam and the serpent telling Eve the truth, about what would happen to them if they ate the forbidden fruit. And I took it as inspired comedy that the first “evil” they noticed and reacted to was their own nudity. Unfortunately, they had no lawyer who could have argued their case to their Creator. Someone who might have pointed out that they shouldn’t be banished from Eden because their transgression had occurred before they knew any better, before they knew right from wrong. Morally, it sounded like they were about two years old: The age where you do things not just that your parents would rather you didn't, but because you know your parents would rather you didn't. Because knowing that makes you want to do it more.

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#119 Old 03-02-2017, 02:52 PM
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A non-Adventist Christian might listen politely to your quotes, but if any of it sounded reasonable, they’d take it right back to their own pastor or study group leader, who’d bark it down because he eats meat himself and will tell you that Jesus did too, and that meat is a gift from God. I stopped looking to others to interpret what I could read with my own eyes, at some point soon after being no longer Catholic and soon before being no longer Christian. Those ancient texts are filled with wisdom, but they're extremely difficult to pin down on specifics because you can find a quote to argue your case as easily as another quote to help you argue the opposite case.
Well as Brian said to the crowd "You're all individuals. You've got to think for yourselves. You're all different."

Wise words.

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#120 Old 03-02-2017, 08:33 PM
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Well as Brian said to the crowd "You're all individuals. You've got to think for yourselves. You're all different."

Wise words.

Lv



"Aaaand always look on the bright side of life *whistle*"


.
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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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