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Author Topic: Human sacrifice  (Read 38658 times)
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ilaynay starcr
« Reply #16: August 25, 2010, 07:29:45 am »

the modern values I was raised with tell me that murder is wrong. Human life is sacred, and the act of killing should have very good justification behind it (for example, in self-defense of oneself or loved ones, or in capital punishment involving serial killers). To me, "because (I think that/my culture or religion tells me that) the gods want me to" isn't a nearly good enough excuse.

I have no idea where I'm even going with this, but this thought jumped out at me:  I find it interesting that you first acknowledge the role of cultural values in your own views on the situation, and then say that cultural values are not good enough justification for a particular action.  It seems a little contradictory to me.  If cultural values are a solid enough foundation for your position against human sacrifice, why would they not be a solid enough foundation to support a position that allows it?

There are a couple of other things about this that are nagging at me...  One is the distinction between murder and killing.  I don't know a lot about ancient human sacrifice practices, so I don't know if this applies, but--what if the sacrifice were willingly given?  Is it still murder then?  In addition, I wonder why you don't feel that "the gods want it", in the context of an ancient society, is good justification.  When you believe that the livelihood of your entire city rests on ensuring that the city is in the gods' good favor, what is better justification than ensuring the gods' good favor and thus the survival of your people?

I acknowledge that most of the gods we have written myths for were/are involved in some pretty terrible things, though I think that there's a deity, and then there's the deity as represented by a certain author, in a certain time period, writing with as much bias as an author today.

How do we know the difference, then?  When a relationship exists between a deity and a human, obviously that's one way of knowing, but not everyone has that.  Most people, in fact, do not, and those who do don't generally seem to have that kind of contact with every deity.  In the absence of firsthand experience, how do we tell what's the author's bias and what's an accurate depiction of the deity?

...Which, come to it, might be a good candidate for a new thread.

And with the relationships I've kindled over the years, I can't imagine ever being okay with the gods I know and love accepting a human sacrifice.

There are plenty of things I can't imagine people I know doing.  People have a way of surprising me in that regard, though, and I would be surprised if the Gods were not capable of doing the same.

(As I said, I have no idea where I'm going with this.  Just throwing out thoughts as they come...)

"The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced."
-- Aart Van Der Leeuw

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