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Author Topic: Historical human and animal sacrifice  (Read 23503 times)
stephyjh
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« Reply #15: March 27, 2011, 01:39:45 am »

This is one aspect of paganism that I have a little bit of a hard time figuring out. Obviously, the vast majority of pagans in the modern world do not engage in any kind of murder or animal cruelty, and those that do are usually found to be mentally ill and drawn to these practices for that reason rather than for any particular religious reasons. What I'm curious about is how modern pagans reconcile their current religious practices with historical evidence of human and animal sacrifices, though.

I'm sorry, what?   While the gods I work with now don't ask me for blood sacrifices as they required in ancient times, I've worked in the past with deities who did, and I'm extremely offended at being called primitive or mentally ill as a result. Outrageous claims require overwhelming evidence; where are you getting your information?
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Shadoworker
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« Reply #16: March 27, 2011, 01:39:53 am »

That's fine of you believe it and I have no problem with that, but to call out someone's faith as "sick" as you put it, is religious flaming which is against the rules of this forum. I would ask that you cease making such offensive statements.
Well, then I guess I'll be banned. I find it sick.
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stephyjh
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« Reply #17: March 27, 2011, 01:48:05 am »

Well, then I guess I'll be banned. I find it sick.

If that's your opinion, more power to you, in your own personal practice. But who are you to dictate someone else's? You're not a god to say what the gods do or don't require.  It's not illegal, and by the moral codes of the religions that practice it, it's not unethical. So really, it's not your place to say what someone else's religious practices should be.
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« Reply #18: March 27, 2011, 01:52:15 am »

Well, then I guess I'll be banned. I find it sick.

I'm guessing you're confusing/conflating disturbed people edging toward the 'homicidal trio' (bed wetting, animal abuse, fire setting) with legitimate practitioners that do use blood / animal sacrifices in their religious acts. It should be noted that (afaik) such sacrifices are generally humanely conducted and in some cases have been authorized by local health depts/agencies. Before starting a flame war or continuing to abuse/insult board member perhaps you should clarify your stance?
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« Reply #19: March 27, 2011, 01:53:52 am »

If that's your opinion, more power to you, in your own personal practice. But who are you to dictate someone else's? You're not a god to say what the gods do or don't require.  It's not illegal, and by the moral codes of the religions that practice it, it's not unethical. So really, it's not your place to say what someone else's religious practices should be.
Well actually, animal cruelty is illegal. Sadly because of the nature of the act, most of the times it's not able to get reported. I'm not a god, I'm a human being, i don't need to be a god to know what's wrong and what's right. I'm sure Hitler was offended too when they called him a killer.
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« Reply #20: March 27, 2011, 01:54:13 am »

I personally believe anyone  who kills an animal for the pure purpose of an offering, and not consumption is sick. And while I preach religious freedom, i believe animal rights are more important.

That seems unreasonable. Domesticated animals are raised by us to be killed. The moment we raise them with the intent to butcher them, we are asserting that they are our food... and food and drink are typical offerings. If, and let me emphasize, *if* I were to sacrifice an animal however, I would try and purchase an animal that was already going to be butchered, and treat it as well as possible while raising it. Again, that's a big"if", since I lack the resources to do this, but I think in general, there would be a correct way to go about it. It would be difficult, but not impossible. As a matter of fact, this is legal for the freedom of religions such as Santeria.
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« Reply #21: March 27, 2011, 02:03:01 am »

As a matter of fact, this is legal for the freedom of religions such as Santeria.

Exactly and as I've stated most of the ritual animal sacrifices I am aware of are conducted in as humane a manner as possible and likely more humane than modern slaughterhouses. OP are you then a vegetarian to spare 'animal cruelty' in that sense? You are over generalizing at best.
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It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. - Thomas Jefferson
omoyemaya
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« Reply #22: March 27, 2011, 02:18:31 am »

Exactly and as I've stated most of the ritual animal sacrifices I am aware of are conducted in as humane a manner as possible and likely more humane than modern slaughterhouses. OP are you then a vegetarian to spare 'animal cruelty' in that sense? You are over generalizing at best.
Thanks, others, for saying some of the things I was going to say. I'm a santero and most of the animals sacrificed are those that were going to be sacrificed eaten anyway. Our Christmas pig is my most common example, and that pig lives quite a luxurious life until it is slaughtered and when it is, we try to make it as calm and stress reduced as possible. Even when what I'm sacrificing is feeder mice, the ones set aside to feed snakes and such, I find a way to make a recipe out of it. I find that pretty damn far from illegal animal cruelty.
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« Reply #23: March 27, 2011, 02:33:36 am »

That seems unreasonable. Domesticated animals are raised by us to be killed. The moment we raise them with the intent to butcher them, we are asserting that they are our food... and food and drink are typical offerings. If, and let me emphasize, *if* I were to sacrifice an animal however, I would try and purchase an animal that was already going to be butchered, and treat it as well as possible while raising it. Again, that's a big"if", since I lack the resources to do this, but I think in general, there would be a correct way to go about it. It would be difficult, but not impossible. As a matter of fact, this is legal for the freedom of religions such as Santeria.

Animals get killed everyday, we eat them, I get that. But leaving it as an 'offering' to me is pointless killing. Politically speaking Animal offering is very vague, and the laws vary according to city. a few years ago in my city for example, a lady was arrested because she was sacrificing  goats and leaving them to rot.
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stephyjh
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« Reply #24: March 27, 2011, 02:36:02 am »

Animals get killed everyday, we eat them, I get that. But leaving it as an 'offering' to me is pointless killing. Politically speaking Animal offering is very vague, and the laws vary according to city. a few years ago in my city for example, a lady was arrested because she was sacrificing  goats and leaving them to rot.

It seems to me that "leaving them...is a pointless killing" is a pretty big leap, as many if not most traditions in which animals are sacrificed, both in ancient and modern times, involve eating the animal.
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Dragondaughter
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« Reply #25: March 27, 2011, 02:38:09 am »

Well actually, animal cruelty is illegal. Sadly because of the nature of the act, most of the times it's not able to get reported. I'm not a god, I'm a human being, i don't need to be a god to know what's wrong and what's right. I'm sure Hitler was offended too when they called him a killer.

I would suggest that you actually do some research on the subject, and not be influenced by the sensationalized twist that media always puts on this.

Those that I know who sacrifice animals in their practices treat the animals much better than slaughter lots. The animal is killed cleanly and humanely and not allowed to suffer, and as Stephy said, consumed by the community.

Right and wrong are subjective, up to the individual to define them for themselves, and your comparison of a person who sacrifices an animal to benefit their community to Hitler is repulsive.
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« Reply #26: March 27, 2011, 02:40:39 am »

your comparison of a person who sacrifices an animal to benefit their community to Hitler is repulsive.
They're both killing in the name of 'religion'.
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Asch
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« Reply #27: March 27, 2011, 02:47:10 am »

They're both killing for the sake of 'religion'.

What? Seriously, what? I am so confused and repulsed by that statement, please elaborate.

And *again* most persons consume or dispose of the sacrifice appropriately as was often (but, again, not always) done in antiquity. Meat was an incredibly expensive product and often a luxury. The only time a normal person could have some guarantee of meat was when excess livestock were killed in the fall to cull the herd and provide food for winter and extend the available fodder for the remaining animals. Thus, generally leaving a sacrifice to rot was a waste. There are as always exceptions to this but no modern legitimate practitioners that I am aware of leave rotting carcasses as a form of worship.
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It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. - Thomas Jefferson
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« Reply #28: March 27, 2011, 02:52:52 am »

What? Seriously, what? I am so confused and repulsed by that statement, please elaborate.

And *again* most persons consume or dispose of the sacrifice appropriately as was often (but, again, not always) done in antiquity. Meat was an incredibly expensive product and often a luxury. The only time a normal person could have some guarantee of meat was when excess livestock were killed in the fall to cull the herd and provide food for winter and extend the available fodder for the remaining animals. Thus, generally leaving a sacrifice to rot was a waste. There are as always exceptions to this but no modern legitimate practitioners that I am aware of leave rotting carcasses as a form of worship.
Even if you still consume the animal this all just come from my personal morality that no spirituality should call for killing. The hilter analogy was just to empathize that. Other than that the cruelty part is not comparable.
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Gwiwer
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« Reply #29: March 27, 2011, 03:03:45 am »

I find these statements of yours rather offensive and, in fact, fringing (if not breaking) the sites rules on flaming other people's religious beliefs. What evidence are you drawing these conclusions  that people who practice religious systems that currently engage in sacrifice are mentally ill or are drawn to those systems primarily because of that component?

I also find it pretty presumptuous of you to make such a generalized statement of sacrifice being a primitive idea to be replaced with progressive ideas as if this is a concept we all should and do adopt.

You claim that you have done your research, but it seems pretty clear to me that your research is faulting on modern religions that practice animal sacrifice.

I'm sorry if it appears as if I am attacking you, but I really can't stand being judged (or statements that result in my being judged) because my practices are different from what some consider to be the norm. This is a pagan forum after all. I thought anti-norm was kind of mainstream around here.

You will notice RandallS has responded to this thread without making any comment about it "fringing (if not breaking) the sites rules". I would assume that, if indeed there were such problems in this thread, I would have been politely reprimanded for it by now. It might also be worth pointing out that attempts by regular users to become backseat moderators and attempt to moderate other users IS in fact a clear violation of the rules of the site.

With that being said, if you read the full thread you will see that I have already conceded in my discussion with Darkhawk that "making use to the sacrificed animal for food and whatnot is considerably less problematic. I wouldn't care if my neighbor was sacrificing chickens or something as long as they were treating them humanely before hand, killing them in a way that minimized cruelty, pain, and suffering, and making use of all of the meat afterwards, but this very often wasn't the case in the ancient world. "

In my original post, I was exclusively talking about religions of Europe and the near-east and made no reference to Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Brazilian, or other religions based upon indigenous African belief systems. When I say small P "pagan", I am always referring to European and near-eastern, including Egyptian, traditions unless I specifically specify otherwise. In that context, I completely stand by my comments. In recent years there have been individuals arrested for crimes ranging from cruelty to animals to murder who have tried to claim that they were following European or near-eastern religions like Wicca, Satanism, Germanic paganism, traditional witchcraft and so forth. Nearly every time, those individuals have been found to be suffering from mental illnesses to varying degrees. Perhaps this wasn't completely clear from my first post, but you could have asked me to clarify before lashing out at me and accusing me and others of being intolerant and violating the site's rules.

Of religions like Santeria, I have no real opinion one way or the other. I do not like the fact that they conduct sacrifices in general, but I don't make a big deal out of it because I assume those sacrifices are generally humanely done and the remnants of the sacrifice is used for food and other practical purposes. It's worth pointing out that not everyone feels this way and there has been some controversy over these practices from various people and groups. I have no opinion one way or the other about these controversies, though I would have an issue with someone if it was made known that they were treating animals or other human beings cruelly. Otherwise, it's none of my business and I don't get involved.
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