Thursday, December 17, 2020

EU court rules authorities can ban kosher and halal slaughter in Belgian region

 European Jewish groups decry ruling, say it puts 'animal welfare above... freedom of religion'; Israel: Decision signals to Jewish communities that they aren’t wanted in Europe


In any humane society, animal welfare comes before religeon. To cause such terrible fear and suffering in animals is completely unacceptable. 

The European Court of Justice ruled Thursday that authorities can order that animals be stunned before slaughter in a case that Jewish and Muslim groups warned could curb religious freedom.

The court backed a regulation imposed in the Flemish region of Belgium to ban the slaughter of livestock that have not been stunned, on animal rights grounds

 The court concludes that the measures contained in the decree allow a fair balance to be struck between the importance attached to animal welfare and the freedom of Jewish and Muslim believers to manifest their religion,” the ruling said

Times of Israel. 


52 comments:

Marian Ruccius said...

Really just a racist anti-Muslim (and by extension anti-Jewish) ruling. It has nothing to do with animal rights. As if stunning makes killing animals more justifiable. Anybody who has actually been in a slaughter house would find the whole premise absurd. If we were really so concerned with animal welfare, all beef and porc production would have to be free range and organic. And, actually, we would all have to be vegetarians. I am no vegetarian, but the notion that industrial slaughter practices are better is absolute nonsense.

Marian Ruccius said...

Slaughter gun:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captive_bolt_pistol#

Marian Ruccius said...

The European Food Safety authority found in 2004 that the failure rate for the much-trumpeted penetrating captive bolt stunning in conventional mechanical slaughter may be as high as 6.6%, and up to 31% for non-penetrating captive bolt and electric stunning. This equates to millions of animals each year that experience incredible suffering. But the BVA has not mounted a campaign on this.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/06/jewish-muslim-slaughter-animal-welfare-humane

Peter Pan said...

Where does our disregard for animal life come from?

Andrew Anderson said...

Where does our disregard for animal life come from? Peter Pan

One might be tempted to say the Bible but actually animal life is ELEVATED in the Bible as sacrifices (though temporary) for man's sin. Of course Christ's sacrifice has made those sacrifices obsolete (cf. Book of Hebrews).

Peter Pan said...

Aren't religions the product of philosophical schools of thought?
That's what I'd be tempted to say.

Tom Hickey said...

Aren't religions the product of philosophical schools of thought? That's what I'd be tempted to say.

Neither historically nor logically.

Historically, religion as mythological or symbolic explanation is much more ancient than philosophy as intellectual or rational explanation. The historical sequence of explanation is religion, philosophy, and science, science adding a naturalistic criterion to philosophy.

In the earliest times, when the wise were the shamans, religion was largely synonymous with a culture. It incorporated everything. Now culture has separated from religion and a culture now plays the role that religion used to. The various religions and sects are now subcultures sociologically, as are humanism, scientism, etc.

Now explanation is a combination of the three as they developed together in the course of a historical dialectic that was often messy and people got hurt. For example, as they developed religions came to incorporate different schools of thought (theology and philosophy) that articulate the symbology of the religion rationally. These are often represented by sects within a religion. There were in-group and out-group conflicts about ideas but not only about ideas. Other factors, like power, were and are also involved.

Logically, religion is symbolic and heavily dependent on analogy, whereas philosophy is rational and aims at general description. Science also aims at general description with a naturalistic criterion, where as the criteria of philosophy are chiefly logical.

Peter Pan said...

So our treatment of animals, as practiced today, is a religious artifact?
Philosophy bears no responsibility for its existence today?

Peter Pan said...

In the earliest times, when the wise were the shamans, religion was largely synonymous with a culture.

Would those shamans not be the first philosophers?

Tom Hickey said...

Would those shamans not be the first philosophers?

That depends on how one defines "philosophy." The standard answer in the West is no. But that is because of the way "philosophy" is defined as is rational inquiry that is argued in writing based on arbitrary criteria reflecting Western bias.

There is a movement now in the West and elsewhere to expand the view of philosophy to include "world philosophy" and also to loosen the criteria away from the restrictive view of rationality and inquiry as it developed in the West, leading to science, which is present as being proof of its superiority. Along with Western dominance.

I personally support this movement toward greater inclusiveness. I also moved considerably out of the Western-centric orbit as I dug deeper into philosophy. Of course Stone Age shamans were at least proto-philosophers. As more knowledge is gained and widely disseminated, this will eventually be recognized, I am sure.

The so-called liberal West is actually very illiberal in its attitudes and judgments that it justifies based on a rather narrow and exclusive worldview.

The strange thing is that Western thinkers trace their lineage to ancient Greece and the rationality they find in those writing. There is a lot more there, too, but contemporary academic Western thinkers dismiss it as primitive. But from a deeper perspective it is the West that is primitive.

Tom Hickey said...

So our treatment of animals, as practiced today, is a religious artifact?
Philosophy bears no responsibility for its existence today?


This is very interesting because the view of many people now is a rather modern notion that animals are just stimulus-response machines. Of course, that is pretty much the position of B. F. Skinner's behavioristic psychology, too, which is really a philosophy and a poor one at that.

Where did kosher and halal come from? Well, religion — which is not rational but shamanistic. The sages gave those rules as prophets speaking for the divinity in order to prevent animal cruelty. Where eating animals was permitted at all, mostly in the West, slaughtering animals had to be done with minimum infliction of suffering. This benefits not only the animals but also the humans slaughtering and consuming them owing to the law of action and consequence, as well as other more subtle aspects that the sages also were aware of.

The sages were dealing with people not accustomed to rational explanation so they used the communication devices most effect for influencing them. Now we might approach it differently, but the objective would be the same.

Andrew Anderson said...

Where eating animals was permitted at all, mostly in the West, slaughtering animals had to be done with minimum infliction of suffering. Tom Hickey

Thanks for pointing this out.

Dr Hugh Ross of reasons.org (old Earth creation site) posits that eating meat was allowed after the Flood to curb murder, the apparent cause* of God's regret for creating Man.

*Because, except for murder, Adam should have lived to see billions of descendants. But this was never true of the Middle East.

Peter Pan said...

That depends on how one defines "philosophy." The standard answer in the West is no. But that is because of the way "philosophy" is defined as is rational inquiry that is argued in writing based on arbitrary criteria reflecting Western bias.

How could religion be developed, if not for philosophy?
Religion is concerned with questions that don't have definitive answers.
I would assume that 'wisdom', whether shamanistic or perennial, began with a question.

If one wished to divorce religion from philosophy, I would expect it to be described in terms of ignorance, rather than wisdom.

Peter Pan said...

Where did kosher and halal come from? Well, religion — which is not rational but shamanistic. The sages gave those rules as prophets speaking for the divinity in order to prevent animal cruelty. Where eating animals was permitted at all, mostly in the West, slaughtering animals had to be done with minimum infliction of suffering. This benefits not only the animals but also the humans slaughtering and consuming them owing to the law of action and consequence, as well as other more subtle aspects that the sages also were aware of.

I'm unsure if that rationale is accurate, given the psychological phenomenon of desensitization.

In addition to the method of slaughter, religious belief may prescribe an appropriate frame of mind. For example, gratitude.

The sages were dealing with people not accustomed to rational explanation so they used the communication devices most effect for influencing them. Now we might approach it differently, but the objective would be the same.

Now it is framed as an ethical debate, which it always was.

Tom Hickey said...

How could religion be developed, if not for philosophy? Religion is concerned with questions that don't have definitive answers. I would assume that 'wisdom', whether shamanistic or perennial, began with a question. If one wished to divorce religion from philosophy, I would expect it to be described in terms of ignorance, rather than wisdom.

The fundamental question is: who am I, really? There are two ways of answering this.

One is intellectual and the other is experiential. The former is philosophy in the sense of intellectual inquiry, while the latter is religion in the sense of spirituality. The experiences of the path are "mystical" in that they transcend ordinary experience. Hence, they are considered not to be naturalistic and are rule out by scientism. But they are indeed naturalistic if one loosens the criteria of naturalism beyond empiricism.

The answer of religion is embedded in mythology and theology. The task is to disentangle the answer from conceptual and emotional expressions, and make it experiential in a way that transcends sense experience.

One must realize who and what one really is. This can be pointed to, hinted at, elucidated but it cannot be captured in words or symbols that communication realization. There is processing involved and the wise set that forth. The process is not adding knowledge but removing ignorance by removing the causes of ignorance. The analogy is wiping the dust away from the mirror.

Henri Bergson pointed out in The Two Sources of Morality and Religion (1932) that this could be developed in two ways. One way is to provide answers to perplexing questions based on imagination and intellectual explanation. This is found in mythology, philosophy, literature, arts, and popular wisdom literature including scripture.

The other way is provision of answers by the wise, that is, those who know, in terms suitable for the level of intelligence of that audience. This is wisdom literature and religion. Both are true in a sense, but they are often limited and also misunderstood. Much of this is also difficult to puzzle out on one's own with out a wise person to explain it, although there are commentaries by the wise on wisdom literature in most wisdom traditions.

The wise also serve as criteria in their own right as knowers. There are three ways of gaining knowledge — experience, testimony of those with experience, and reasoning from experience. Cultures are socially reproduced based on transmission of knowledge based on experience, understanding, skill, and wisdom.

In the deepest sense, the second avenue of testimony and teaching of the wise (perennial wisdom) is the essence of religions. The wise also provide means for those (as yet) ignorant of who they really are to realize wisdom regarding their own nature experientially. "Spiritual" wisdom or gnosis is ultimately about realizing one's own nature experientially. This must be realized to be complete knowledge, rather than only understood or felt.

The means are many and varied, e.g., the ways of knowledge, the ways of love, the ways of action, and the ways of grace. These ways are complementary rather than mutually exclusive. This is the "core spirituality"that is embedded at the heart of the religions and wisdom traditions.

Peter Pan said...

If that is how religion started, why has the core of it been stripped away?

Today, we're left with rituals. When your local pastor is a dumb-ass, pursuit of spirituality is up to you. I can't speak to what religion provides for the average person in a typical congregation. Some have said the benefits are akin to being in a social club.

Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism come across as religions tailored for social groups.
The eastern religions appear to be more oriented towards practice by individuals.

Tom Hickey said...

If that is how religion started, why has the core of it been stripped away?


According to the wise, over time the spirit of a teaching diminishes and is replaced by the letter. Then people begin to associate the religion itself with that to which it points. Finally, a religion becomes mostly a cultural artifact. However, the kernel of the teaching remains and some are able to find and use it.

Moreover, wise people appear in every age and revitalize the teaching that exists or bring a new teaching suitable for the times. Presently this age is highly materialistic especially in the developed world where consumerism prevails and marketing and advertising manufacture wants. So the deeper values of life get overlooked for the most part, and people remain ignorant of their inherent potential for higher things as humans.

But it is there are there are resurgences periodically. In fact, this is a time of resurgence, even though the general atmosphere is bleak. But when things look bleak, then more people look for answers.

No matter, according to the wise. It's all part of a process in which everything is on schedule in a time frame that is cyclical rather than linear. We are now in a trough and starting to swing back up as individuals and also culturally.

So, "don't worry, be happy." Just do your best, that is, in terms of your capabilities, and assume all others are doing this too.

"Ask and you will receive; seeK and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." (Mt 7:78) But you have to know what to ask for and what you are seeking, and also where to knock. The first thing to ask for is that knowledge. It is the beginning of wisdom.

But even this is not really necessary according to the wise. In the long run, the process takes care of itself, so just trust the process. It got you this far after all. ☺

But once you start looking seriously for answers, there are clues all over the place. But that doesn't mean that one's way is necessarily direct. It's winding for most people and that implies interesting overall but sometimes frustrating.

So go with the flow but don't dig any holes for yourself or fall in any ditches if you can help it. The wise have raised a lot of red flags to help folks avoid that.

Tom Hickey said...

Today, we're left with rituals.

Normative, institutional religions emphasize doctrine, ritual and observances. These religions are the norm for the most part. They are schools from which one must graduate and move up to the next level. If one is not finding what one is looking in a situation, then that may be a signal to move on and upward.

There is a kernel of truth in doctrine but also a huge amount of misunderstanding, too. Rituals were established to sacralize important aspect of life but over time the purpose is lost and people perform them mechanically as a matter of cultural convention. Observances get reduced to convention, too, again because the purpose is forgotten over time.

But the spirit is always lively, even though it may be buried. It is a spark that always stays lit in the hearts of all. This spark can always be fanned into a flame.

In addition, there are guides. Some of them have left guidance in their writing and other works. Tradition is another repository. Most traditions get crusted over in the course of time, but gems are there anyway.

Tom Hickey said...

Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism come across as religions tailored for social groups.
The eastern religions appear to be more oriented towards practice by individuals.


Religions are social phenomena. Spirituality is personal. Spirituality is embedded in every religion and can be found in the testimony of mystics, the teaching of masters, the lives of saints and sages, and the messages of prophets. It's about personal revelation.

I would say this is true of all religions Eastern and Western. It may appear that Eastern religions are more open wrt to spirituality and to some extent that is the case.

But if one looks at the phenomenon of religion, all have an exoteric and an esoteric aspect, and most people are involved in the exoteric. This is the case with Eastern religions too.

But that still leaves millions of people in East and West involved in spirituality, and since spirituality is personal, one may not know the inner life of even intimate ones.

Marian Ruccius said...

I think an important point is that religions were never, until recently, separate from other social activity, but embedded in all aspects of it, and the reverse was true too. The transition from customary law to civil society (which involves precisely the hiving off of many aspects of life into civil law contracts, in which, for instance, the body as labour incarnate becomes an object to be sold by its owner) was traumatic. The treatment of animals similarly has involved their greater commodification under modern rule, and the replacement of customary law and practices. In this sense, BREXIT, since it will involve greater reach for British common law, is likely to bring some environmental benefits impossible under the more rigid and top-down EU continental body of law, especially for fish. On should see the Belgian anti-Muslim ruling as just another extension of EU intolerance.

Tom Hickey said...

@ Marian Ruccius

Yes.

Religion was the foundation of cultures before the rise of Western liberalism and modern science, which replaced religion as the foundation.

Some advantages resulted and some disadvantages with both systems.

However, now we have a hybrid system that is a combination of liberalism and traditionalism, with liberalism poised to replace traditionalism and traditionalisms resisting.

One disadvantage is the tension between liberalism and traditionalism, which is now paramount in the historical dialectic. Some of the paradoxes of liberalism are emerging and some of the baseness of traditionalism, e.g., religious fanaticism. But there is liberal fanaticism, too, and we are witnessing it run amock.

This will sort itself out but nothing under the sun is ever perfect. So, there will always be a historical dialectic driving history toward the horizon that is never reached. With ups and downs, since historical time is cyclical.

One example regarding animals is that under liberalism it is being recognized that animals have rights, too. This will be further expanded. Moreover, raising animals for consumption is being recognized as impractical given conditions in today's world. I've suggested before that insects will be increasingly used as a protein source that will substitute for animal production. Machines have already largely freed animals from slavery, too.

And there is much more to come.

Ahmed Fares said...

Spirituality is the journey of the mystic. Religion is the journey of the mystic, at a symbolic level.

"The difference between "symbol" and what nowadays is commonly called "allegory" is simple to grasp. An allegory remains on the same level of evidence and perception, whereas a symbol guarantees the correspondence between two universes belonging to different ontological levels: it is the means, and the only one, of penetrating into the invisible, into the world of mystery, into the esoteric dimension."
—Henri Corbin

Ahmed Fares said...

re: The Philosopher's Stone as it pertains to the Islamic tradition

The Sufi sheikh is the philosopher's stone, aka the red sulfur, the magical ingredient that effects the alchemical transmutation of base metals such as lead into gold. Without the Sufi sheikh, lead remains lead.

In the movie Star Wars, Yoda represents al-Khidr (Arabic: the green one), i.e., the philosopher's stone, Luke Skywalker is the lead, i.e., the spiritual neophyte, and Obi-Wan Kenobi represents the gold, i.e., the spiritual adept.

Yoda lives next to the Cave of Dagobah, an allusion to the title of the 18th Surah of the Qur'an called "The Cave", where the story of al-Khidr is found. The Surah is named after some young men, who, fleeing persecution, take refuge in a cave. Entering the cave is an allusion to the spiritual trials before enlightenment.

This from Star Wars:

>"That place… is strong with the dark side of the Force. A domain of evil it is. In you must go."

>"What's in there?"

>"Only what you take with you."


Yoda and Luke Skywalker

Also here:

>"Brought you here, the galaxy has. Your path, clearly, this is."

>"You know what I'm looking for."

>"Something lost. A part of yourself, perhaps. That which you seek, inside, you will find."


Galen Marek's clone met by Yoda at the entrance to the cave

Ahmed Fares said...

re: Yoda again

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a late 14th-century Middle English chivalric romance. It is one of the best known Arthurian stories, with its plot combining two types of folk motifs, the beheading game and the exchange of winnings.

It describes how Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur's Round Table, accepts a challenge from a mysterious "Green Knight" who dares any knight to strike him with his axe if he will take a return blow in a year and a day. Gawain accepts and beheads him with his blow, at which the Green Knight stands up, picks up his head and reminds Gawain of the appointed time. In his struggles to keep his bargain, Gawain demonstrates chivalry and loyalty until his honour is called into question by a test involving the lord and the lady of the castle where he is a guest.


The idea here of the Green Knight transcending death alludes to the philosopher's stone, which is the elixir of immortality.

Peter Pan said...

Wanting to live life in a certain way in order to win a ticket to Heaven, wasn't much of a spiritual journey. When I stopped believing in the afterlife, the Bible became just another book of stories. Without a reward, the task was pointless.

Nevertheless I remember what it felt like to have faith, and to see life as a test.

Once that faith was lost, my connection to religion was severed. My parents never made me attend church. We had CRI (Catholic Religious Instruction) at school, but I remember those lessons as merely a series of prayers and rituals. They represented no higher meaning.

I would continue to live life within bounds, because of culture. It's strange to think that elements of secular culture began as religion. If people aren't focused on God or studying holy texts, then it seems to me they're not practicing religion.

Morality and ethics are a part of religious practices, but not exclusively. Humanism appears to play a role in our treatment of animals and the natural world. Humanism and anti-natalism are presented as relatively modern developments in philosophy.

“I believe in the cosmos. All of us are linked to the cosmos. So nature is my god. To me, nature is sacred. Trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals. Being at one with nature.”

― Mikhail Gorbachev


I kept this quote after encountering it, since it sums up my version of spirituality. Most of the questions concerning the origin of the universe aren't important to me, since I don't find the answers inspiring or relevant. The origin of life in Earth is more significant, in terms of relevance. But it's really just a background for what I'm drawn towards, which is reverence for nature. Granted, it's an idealized version of nature.

Ahmed Fares said...

"We had CRI (Catholic Religious Instruction) at school..."

In Islam, Ash'arite theology is the only theology that safeguards both divine sovereignty and human responsibility. There are no human acts, only divine acts, which servants acquire in accordance with their nature. I see Ash'arite theology in the words of Thomas Aquinas as regards free will.

Free will

Aquinas argues that there is no contradiction between God's providence and human free will:

... just as by moving natural causes [God] does not prevent their acts being natural, so by moving voluntary causes He does not deprive their actions of being voluntary: but rather is He the cause of this very thing in them; for He operates in each thing according to its own nature.
 Summa, I., Q.83, art.1.

Tom Hickey said...


Congratulations. You graduated.

Nature mysticism and the experience of the numinous were characteristic of religion in the Stone Age, from what anthropologists gather from Stone Age tribes today. While this is experienced as from without, like all experience it is within. In Kant's terminology, it is awe in the face of the sublime. The experience is of oneness and interdependence. This is the basis of harmlessness, for example, as the basis of ethics and morality.

This is the basis of the sacred world view versus the profane. See Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane.

For a first hand account by a Native American, see The soul of the Indian; an interpretation by Charles Alexander Eastman at archive.org. Good read.



Ahmed Fares said...

Further to my comment, here we see Ash'arite theology as regards acts in Hinduism, which predates Islam.

“It is Nature that causes all movement. Deluded by the ego, the fool harbors the perception that says "I did it".”

― Veda Vyasa, The Bhagavadgita or The Song Divine

Marian Ruccius said...

Ahmed Fares -- all very interesting. Also in line with what you have written above is Aquinas's point in the Summa Contra Gentiles that since God is infinite, and humans finite, humans each meet the infinite from their "poimt" finite-ness. I don't recall the exact language, but I recall it as a very strong statement about the pluralism and infinite diversity of individuals' experience of God.

Andrew Anderson said...

Hang in there Peter. Keep seeking and you'll find.

And no, you haven't "graduated" if your conclusion is there is no God, no afterlife and thus no hope.

And don't feel bad about dropping out of the RCC. I did too. In that sense, you have graduated - hopefully to reading the entire Bible yourself.

As for alleged conflicts between science and the Bible, if those concern you, Dr. Hugh Ross, with a Phd in Astrophysics is an old Earth Creationist who calls science the 67th book of the Bible. His site is www.reasons.org.

Peter Pan said...

Dear Andrew,
Nature is the answer to what I seek, which is sanctuary. I became someone who prefers solitude to such an extent, that it is categorized as a personality disorder. There are logical psychological reasons for why I'm drawn to nature. I can be alone. I can be in place where the sounds of human activity are inaudible. Sanctuary brings solace.

My mother was the person for whom religious belief was important - to a certain extent. She presented me with an illustrated children's Bible, and that is how I was introduced to the Judeo-Christian tradition. That was as far as she went in obliging me to learn what was important for her. There are many parents who are a lot more aggressive in passing on their beliefs.

I used to believe I was an atheist, but when I learned of 'strong' atheism, I concluded that type of assertion was unscientific. Strong atheists and theists are two sides of the same coin.

I don't perceive God interfering in my life, or to any extent in world events. Certainly not in the way He did according to the Bible.

I don't believe in the afterlife. This is not cause for hope or despair - it is simply a matter of acceptance.

I may be incapable of seeking anything. By my teens I realized I wasn't interested in relationships, or having a family. I was middle-aged before I realized there was no career or job that would interest me. I have no passion for anything. From my perspective, I see people pursuing their passions. That is why they are motivated to do the things they do, from hobbies to careers, to seeking intimacy and/or spirituality. By comparison, I'm merely an observer.

When an experience, or a piece of knowledge, evokes an emotional response, I take that as a sign of spirituality. Everything else is just trivia, not because it is trivial, but due to a lack of meaning for that individual. I have met people for whom religion is important to their being, or is nothing more than a fashion statement.

Peter Pan said...

For a first hand account by a Native American, see The soul of the Indian; an interpretation by Charles Alexander Eastman at archive.org. Good read.

That was a good read. I share the author's attitude towards the European destroyers and their hypocritical ways. I take from this short book that Native American spiritual beliefs were synonymous with their culture. There was no technology to abstract their daily lives away from the realities of nature. Would it have been logical for them to believe in mysteries unrelated to their experiences?

This spiritual viewpoint continues today, but for a minority of folks. The relevance of nature has been eroded for most people living in cities. Technology shelters and distracts us from the harsher vagaries of the outdoors. Interest in animism and paganism is minute compared with the major religions. Culture now includes a secular sphere, for which religion plays no significant role. Depending on the person, secular may also be spiritually bereft.

Tom Hickey said...

@PP

I'm merely an observer.

Good experience, no worries. This is called witness consciousness.

It's not only a thing, it is a good thing.

Sounds like you were a yogi or some such in a previous life.

Everything is right on track.

You can enhance it by asking, who is this observer? or simply, who am I?

Andrew Anderson said...

I don't perceive God interfering in my life, or to any extent in world events. Certainly not in the way He did according to the Bible. Peter Pan

I've had countless miracles in my life (activated by merely thinking "The Lord is my Shepherd" when confronted with a problem) so the question is no longer do I believe in God ("even the demons do and shudder") but does He know me? (Matthew 7:21-23).

Anyway, I'm still alive and "For whoever is joined to all the living, there is hope; for better a live dog, than a dead lion." Ecclesiastes 9:4

Anyway, read and take the Bible seriously and you'll be amazed ...

jrbarch said...

@PP

"Wanting to live life in a certain way in order to win a ticket to Heaven, wasn't much of a spiritual journey."
Got a good laugh outta that one ... :-)!

"There are logical psychological reasons for why I'm drawn to nature. I can be alone".
Learn how to 'feel' - listen to you?

“The only source of knowledge is experience. [Albert Einstein]

Andrew Anderson said...

Sounds like you were a yogi or some such in a previous life. Tom Hickey

Unless you mean Yogi Bear, an animal, re-incarnation of humans is ruled out by And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, ... Hebrews 9:27

So perhaps all animals are reincarnated but once human it's pass-fail according to the Bible.

I really don't see the point of attempts at "Do it yourself salvation" except from ignorance of God's gracious provision.

Marian Ruccius said...

Andrew Anderson: except the author of Hebrews was not Jesus, who says nothing of reincarnation, and allows Lazarus to live and thus to die twice.

Reincarnation, while not of great interest to me, is also quite in line with Origen and Irenaean theodicy that the purpose of life is to build one's soul so that it can be closer to God. C.S. Lewis supports this view to an extent.

Andrew Anderson said...

The key is "and after this comes judgment"; i.e. those that were resurrected in the Bible had already passed judgement; e.g. Jesus especially loved ("Jesus wept") Lazarus so we may assume that Lazarus was elect. In other words, the 2nd death of Lazarus was without judgement since he had already been judged.

So if someone is counting on multiple chances to get it right as a human, he's dangerously deceiving himself.

As for Origen, Irenaean, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, C.S. Lewis, the Pope, etc. those are not authoritative; the Word of God is.

Greg said...

I don’t really see the point of using language like “salvation”. Saving us from what? The only thing we need saving from is other human actions designed to harm us. Seems to me that requires a very significant level of “do it yourself”. Believing you can do it all alone is quite ignorant which is why we are social animals and have many ways to cooperate to achieve “salvation” from those other humans who wish to harm us. Religion can be and has been in many ways a way to organize groups of people for positive ends but Christianity is far from the only one capable of doing so.

Peter Pan said...

You can enhance it by asking, who is this observer? or simply, who am I?

Who am I?
A hermit, an introvert, a misfit. Shrek.
A social worker once wrote that word, Shrek, on a piece of paper and taped it to my back. I had to guess the word from clues given to me by my partner. That social worker was quite perceptive!

I don't know who this observer is. I never thought of it as a role I'm playing.
Among people diagnosed with Schizoid PD, describing oneself as an observer rather than a participant, is common.

Peter Pan said...

I've had countless miracles in my life (activated by merely thinking "The Lord is my Shepherd" when confronted with a problem) so the question is no longer do I believe in God ("even the demons do and shudder") but does He know me? (Matthew 7:21-23).

I was 9-10 years old when I had faith. I didn't face problems that would require intervention. When I did face a serious problem, I called the suicide phone line and entered the psychiatric process.

As long as I believed in the afterlife, I was ready to take the Bible seriously. It was a challenge and faith gave me a feeling of certainty, purpose, and strength.

Peter Pan said...

Learn how to 'feel' - listen to you?

Have to opportunity to feel things I like. I dislike noise and ruckus; nature is peaceful.

I'm always listening to my thoughts, except when I'm reading a book. A quiet spot in nature is a great place to bring a book, so that I may listen to the thoughts of another, without distraction.

Peter Pan said...

Unless you mean Yogi Bear, an animal, re-incarnation of humans is ruled out by And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, ... Hebrews 9:27

A Lynx?
I'm a reincarnation of a Lynx or perhaps that is my spirit animal?

Peter Pan said...

Is astrology a valid aspect of spiritual cultivation?
John Michael Greer applies it and he's very much into esoterics, spirituality and philosophy.

Peter Pan said...

What are your thoughts regarding this video?
https://youtu.be/ioMosPT-urw

Andrew Anderson said...

Sounds good.

And you might note that knowledge of the Old Testament makes accepting the New Testament a natural.

Tom Hickey said...

Who am I?

That which does not change.

The world changes as perceptions of phenomena change. The mind changes as thoughts, feelings, moods, desires, etc. come and go.

The witness never changes.

That which changes has no permanent reality. That which doesn't change does.

Find that.

Peter Pan said...

My preference for solitude has never changed.
My contentment with solitude has never changed.

jrbarch said...

To put it in words is quite simple. I like the Hindu version.

Mahamâyâ is everything that veils Brahma.

Mahamâyâ includes the universe(s), 'Brahma:the creator', beings the creator makes: and in the human realm esotericism, mysticism, intellect and folklore (including religion).

Brahma (Sk.): "The student must distinguish between Brahma the neuter,and Brahma, the male creator of the Indian Pantheon. The former, Brahma or Brahman, is the impersonal, supreme and uncognizable Principle of the Universe from the essence of which all emanates, and into which all returns, which is incorporeal, immaterial, unborn, eternal, beginningless and endless. It is all-pervading, animating the highest god as well as the smallest mineral atom. Brahma, on the other hand, the male and the alleged Creator, exists periodically in his manifestation only, and then again goes into pralaya, i.e., disappears and is annihilated."

A human being is a door. On one side of that door is the experience of Brahma; on the other side is mind and ego. This is the difference between believing and knowing. We can wander around outside our door having faith, hope and belief - or not - all are in the same boat. We come into this world alone and leave alone. We do well communicating honestly with each other. We are NOT a 'herd' even though that is the way society treats us. Humans get lost in mind; and ego becomes a cancer.

A teacher is someone who holds a Key they can give you, to the door that is you. They are also a mirror.

We are not here on this earth to unpack Mahamâyâ. The next universe may be different altogether?

No one knows if the 'idea' of a 'thread soul' with 'personality beads' strung on it is true or not: unless you have experienced it for yourself? If you have, I would like to listen (very respectfully) to your story. We do know the entire personality is destroyed at death and is never coming back. Each, are unique! We have about seventy laps around the sun to work it out.

jrbarch said...

'World-leaders' are not the brightest bulbs on humanity's Christmas tree.

Andrew Anderson said...

Except explain the unprecedented miracles Jesus performed in a Book that absolutely condemns liars?

You're overthinking this.

And what was India before the West conquered it?

Sheesh! God has made it simple enough. And if you can't believe, the solution is simple: Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God (Romans 10:17) i.e. by reading the Bible.

Or does eternal life require a PHD in nonsense?

Peter Pan said...

A kindred soul?
https://youtu.be/l3_Lr0y4qKM