Christians in SF


Speculations: The Feedback Zone: The Rumor Mill: Christians in SF

Now this is an odd topic. I have been blasted and forced to read atheist reason because I am a Christian writer. I have faith but according to many of the Aussie SF field, I have a problem, a deficit somewhere in my character and weakness that causes me to believe in God. Any thing I said was ridiculed as coming from the evil world of christians and that I must be ignored until I believed what they did. Not a nice experience actually and I am still undergoing a mild attack becuase I said we should be thankful at Christmas. (End the history lesson and reasons for the post)



Are most SF writers Atheists and am I the odd ball in this speculative field? Do other Christian writers get hounded by atheists because of what they believe?

Interesting subject but as always I've injected some controversy.

Rob Stephenson

Messages posted before #272 may be found in the Archives

Message #273 left by Robert Stephenson on Jan 3, 2001 at 1:43

Greg.
"Stop right there!"
"I gotta know right now"

"Before we go any further will you love. Will you love me forever. Will you need me, will you never leave me."

I goota fat gut
from grabbin your butt
and pushing me hips
into your crutch.
You gave it to me good
on the old chevy's hood
while singing the gutteral waltz
with a mouth full of food
Hey baby, cut it out
I'm not giving me tits to a scremin lout
with sh-- on it back
and not teeth in its mout'
Gimme a doctor, and knife
gimme some drugs and do the slice
when its done
gimme a ride home, be nice.
I ain't killing no kid
I'm just undoin' what's been did
its my body, my right
I need a drink, give me a quid.

Bad poem, bad hair day and a week of 30C can do strange things to you. I'm off to the library to look up Gregory Koster in the librarian historical figures of texts storrage and retieval systems.

BooH!


Message #274 left by TomW on Jan 3, 2001 at 6:43

Not having been through one, but I can't imagine that an abortion is painless -- emotionally or physically -- even for the so-called "young jet-setter".


Message #275 left by Gregory Koster on Jan 3, 2001 at 12:27

For Rob: Love that poem. You will find me in numerous criminal databases, no doubt. Hang through that 30C stuff, you'll make it.

For TomW: True. As always, the aftermath of abortion, no matter how performed, is all-but-certain to be different from what the mother thought it was going to be. Something I need to remember before I make my so-certain pronouncements, engraved on stone tablets.

Best regards,
Gregory Koster


Message #276 left by Miriam on Jan 3, 2001 at 18:10

Ray Van De Walker wrote:

>Also the modern pro-life and
>anti-euthanasia movements, which are about civil rights for
>fetuses and the sick and handicapped (There are no handicapped >people in Holland- which has euthanasia).

Ray, I think you're mixing up voluntary and involuntary euthanasia (and, possibly, the Netherlands and Nazi Germany). The Netherlands allow voluntary euthanasia; unless certain conditions are met, doctors (or other individuals) involved in the death of another are liable for up to 12 years' imprisonment. Conditions include: the request for euthanasia is made voluntarily, by the patient; it has been carefully considered by the patient and at least two doctors; the patient is considered to be "suffering unbearably", and the clinical course is described as "hopeless". Cases where these conditions are not met (for example, where there is no disease other than depression responsible for the patient's suffering) have gone to trial.

There are demonstrably handicapped/disabled people in the Netherlands - I'd include a link to the Netherlands Paralympic website, but I'm not sure how to do urls and it's all in Dutch anyway. Disability does not automatically equal unbearable suffering and hopeless outcome. No one there currently has the right to decide that someone else's life is worthless.

(caveat; I couldn't find any more recent source than the 1999 proposed legislation. At that time, there were ongoing arguments regarding the appropriateness of euthanasia in patients with dementia; currently illegal (as nonvoluntary), but some Dutch politicians were in favour).

As with Christians, not all atheists share the same views. Personally, I'm anti-legalised euthanasia; there are problems with the Dutch model (such as pressure from families, and patients who have depression as well as physical illness) and I'd rather see good quality palliative care.

Gregory: Stephen Lawhead promotes himself as a Christian sf/fantasy writer, but I haven't read enough of his stuff to comment on the quality of it. Brenda Clough's "How Like A God" had a major supporting character who was both Christian and a scientist, and the book itself is concerned with issues of godhood (largely Babylonian) and belief. I had some other problems with the book, but I thought the supporting character was an interesting change. And I have no idea of her personal views, but Connie Willis has a great short story (think it's in Firewatch, but I've blanked on the title) about the biblical end of the world, dealing mainly with the "and the lost shall be found" bit.

Miriam


Message #277 left by Robert Stephenson on Jan 3, 2001 at 22:12

When a prominent Australian Politician was asked" What are your opinions of euthanasia?"
She simply replied "Leave them there."

She has since fallen out of power and is probably back selling fish and chips.

I'm not sure on the debate over this issue, but I can see that something needs to be done for those patients where things are indeed hopless and life is little more than a day of blinding pain and soft hand pats. There, there.

Abortion, likewise has its problems and like the above the rpoblem actually comes when you try to legislate the practices. I'd prefer to see decriminalized status used with a set of guidelines in place that protect patients and doctors alike.

Treatment of the individual case is needed and legislation cannot do that. It will marginalise and also open up areas to abuse.

My real problem with each event are the extremists. They hurt poeple, both physically and emotionally. They hurt innocent women seeking help, advice and (yes purhaps even surgery). They hurt the illness sticken by letting them suffer for their cause. People who are not in pain, who are not slowly dying, who are of good health yelling in the streets that euthansia is wrong.

Level heads and not political jockying will eventually bring a calm solution to the individuals problems. Let us not add to the turmoil or anguish of others with our own little axes to grind. When we ourselves are in such positions let us hope dignity and respect prevail over rights/ wants and legislative retoric.

Robert N Stephenson

Hey Greg, do you know where the words of the song came from? (previous message from me.)


Message #278 left by DaveK on Jan 3, 2001 at 22:26

Robert: even if Greg doesn't, I do. "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" performed by Meatloaf in the Bat Out Of Hell album, a personal favorite of mine. I believe Jim Steinman wrote it.


Message #279 left by Gregory Koster on Jan 3, 2001 at 22:56

With my reactionary tastes in music (I consider George Gershwin a dangerous radical) I had no notion of where the words came from, so thank you, DaveK. Rob, I thought you composed them yourself.

Abortion: You are bang right about the extremists, Rob. Trouble is, they make their voices heard all too easily, and with such a persistent issue, they aren't likely to fade soon. So they must be fought, again and again and again.

Best regards,
Gregory Koster


Message #280 left by Rebecca Shelley on Jan 10, 2001 at 22:22

Maybe this is radical, but for me (personally) I see no rift between God and science or science fiction. Certainly everything science knows now, God knew before and a lot more of it. I think when scientists finally find all the answers, they will find God.

As for abortion and euthanasia, I believe there are a lot more right to lifers who are appalled at killing abortion doctors and harassing women then there are radicals. These people seek calm and legal means for ending abortion rather than violence. Christianity is not dead nor true Christian values of love and peace.


Message #281 left by Robert Stephenson on Jan 11, 2001 at 22:06

I think along the same line Rebecca. I have nade no divission between Science and Christianity (Maybe faith on the whole)
The greater the discoveries the great my wonder at the marvels of God.

As for abortion and euthinasia. Well I'm not really one any ones side in this but I do lean a little to the pro side. It ios a very emotionaly charged subject and one that is really best left to those who are in those situations.

I have a friend who just had an abortion. I was supportive of her when she told me she was pregnant and thought about having a baby and I was supportive of her when she made that decission to not have it. It was her choice and one she anguished over for some time.

I'll support he decission and respect her rights. I think that is my role as a Christian. It is not to tell people whatr to do.

Rob


Message #282 left by Rebecca Shelley on Jan 14, 2001 at 22:16

Even God protects everyone's right to chose what they do with their life. He also allows them to experience the consequences. I believe none of us has the right to judge eachother. You must be a very good friend, Rob.


Message #283 left by Ken Wharton on Jan 15, 2001 at 14:55

I think it would be great if there were no conflicts between religion and science, but I also think that's wishful thinking.

You can address any given question with one or the other, not both. You can't *both* answer a question with the scientific method and the faith that a given religion's answer to the question is correct. In order for science to work properly, the scientific method must use no faith at all; in order for faith to be absolute, you can't be willing to be disproved by an experiment.

The only hope for reconciling science and religion, in my view, is for every question to be assigned to one or the other. As long as a religion believes that it's best suited to answer the natural-science question of where humans came from, or scientists believe that they're best suited to answer moral and ethical dilemmas, this isn't going to happen. And there's always going to be a conflict of jurisdiction over certain questions (origins of the universe, what is consciousness, etc.).

Religions lock in the "truths" of the age in which they were first developed. (e.g. creationism, sun-orbits-the-earth, etc.) Science can't work with locked-in-truths; everything must be disprovable. Science evolves, religion is eternal. That's a fundamental conflict which doesn't have an easy resolution.


Message #284 left by Robert N Stephenson on Jan 16, 2001 at 2:20

Hi Ken: "In order for science to work properly, the scientific method must use no faith at all"

Science these days relies heavily of theoretical speculation (faith) even the explanation of the Big Bang is reliant on faith in what is speculated.

Now religeon (Christianity) has debunct many of its own faith delema over the last few years. So the modern Christian (Usually the one who doesn't throw rocks, march in protests or wave plackards) understands the science of their faith or the knowledge behind what their religion is based on. This number is growing but also is the blidfolded Christian as well, because that same knowledge frightens them, removes the security blanket that sets them apart from others. (The wrong way to believe).

Science can work quite well with Christian faith, it has for centuries. Einstein believed in God, but when ever this part of his life is mentioned the pundits suddenly say, 'Oh he went made toward the end of his life' yet it was faith that drove and the search for the truth in science.

Faith helps us accept the hard realities of science, the interation of the discovery and the society that must live with it. The Big Bang frieghtened a lot of people (debunct a religious myth and actually gave sense to the opening paragraphs of the bible "let there be light")

So you see the two need each other but on very different levels. Faith can't explain the intricacies of life, the universe and all in between but it does help us live with it. Science finds those answers, explains the deeper elements of how things work but it can't help people live with their discoveries. Science is too hard for that.

Scienec has a lot of faith involved and faith or religion does have a alot of science involved but its use is different, it hjas to be. One finds the truth and the other helps us live with it.

We do not have all the answers yet Ken, either in religion or in sceince and it will be a long time until we even get close. One last point:
"Religions lock in the "truths" of the age in which they were first developed"

Religion opened up the sciences beyond the myth and voodoo age. Astronomy was the biggest advance made and it was made by Christian fold searching for God. Open minded scientists in their truest form. Einstein wasn't locked in, Madam Curie (I spent that wrong) likewise. There is a long list Ken when people of faith performed wonders in science.

The division between the two areas still remains in the heads of those who want division, for those of us who see no division I belive we get a full picture of life, its meaning and the wonders we have yet to discover.

Robert N Stephenson


Message #285 left by Robert N Stephenson on Jan 16, 2001 at 2:20

Hi Ken: "In order for science to work properly, the scientific method must use no faith at all"

Science these days relies heavily of theoretical speculation (faith) even the explanation of the Big Bang is reliant on faith in what is speculated.

Now religeon (Christianity) has debunct many of its own faith delema over the last few years. So the modern Christian (Usually the one who doesn't throw rocks, march in protests or wave plackards) understands the science of their faith or the knowledge behind what their religion is based on. This number is growing but also is the blidfolded Christian as well, because that same knowledge frightens them, removes the security blanket that sets them apart from others. (The wrong way to believe).

Science can work quite well with Christian faith, it has for centuries. Einstein believed in God, but when ever this part of his life is mentioned the pundits suddenly say, 'Oh he went made toward the end of his life' yet it was faith that drove and the search for the truth in science.

Faith helps us accept the hard realities of science, the interation of the discovery and the society that must live with it. The Big Bang frieghtened a lot of people (debunct a religious myth and actually gave sense to the opening paragraphs of the bible "let there be light")

So you see the two need each other but on very different levels. Faith can't explain the intricacies of life, the universe and all in between but it does help us live with it. Science finds those answers, explains the deeper elements of how things work but it can't help people live with their discoveries. Science is too hard for that.

Scienec has a lot of faith involved and faith or religion does have a alot of science involved but its use is different, it hjas to be. One finds the truth and the other helps us live with it.

We do not have all the answers yet Ken, either in religion or in sceince and it will be a long time until we even get close. One last point:
"Religions lock in the "truths" of the age in which they were first developed"

Religion opened up the sciences beyond the myth and voodoo age. Astronomy was the biggest advance made and it was made by Christian fold searching for God. Open minded scientists in their truest form. Einstein wasn't locked in, Madam Curie (I spent that wrong) likewise. There is a long list Ken when people of faith performed wonders in science.

The division between the two areas still remains in the heads of those who want division, for those of us who see no division I belive we get a full picture of life, its meaning and the wonders we have yet to discover.

Robert N Stephenson


Message #286 left by Robert N Stephenson on Jan 16, 2001 at 2:21

Hi Ken: "In order for science to work properly, the scientific method must use no faith at all"

Science these days relies heavily of theoretical speculation (faith) even the explanation of the Big Bang is reliant on faith in what is speculated.

Now religeon (Christianity) has debunct many of its own faith delema over the last few years. So the modern Christian (Usually the one who doesn't throw rocks, march in protests or wave plackards) understands the science of their faith or the knowledge behind what their religion is based on. This number is growing but also is the blidfolded Christian as well, because that same knowledge frightens them, removes the security blanket that sets them apart from others. (The wrong way to believe).

Science can work quite well with Christian faith, it has for centuries. Einstein believed in God, but when ever this part of his life is mentioned the pundits suddenly say, 'Oh he went made toward the end of his life' yet it was faith that drove and the search for the truth in science.

Faith helps us accept the hard realities of science, the interation of the discovery and the society that must live with it. The Big Bang frieghtened a lot of people (debunct a religious myth and actually gave sense to the opening paragraphs of the bible "let there be light")

So you see the two need each other but on very different levels. Faith can't explain the intricacies of life, the universe and all in between but it does help us live with it. Science finds those answers, explains the deeper elements of how things work but it can't help people live with their discoveries. Science is too hard for that.

Scienec has a lot of faith involved and faith or religion does have a alot of science involved but its use is different, it hjas to be. One finds the truth and the other helps us live with it.

We do not have all the answers yet Ken, either in religion or in sceince and it will be a long time until we even get close. One last point:
"Religions lock in the "truths" of the age in which they were first developed"

Religion opened up the sciences beyond the myth and voodoo age. Astronomy was the biggest advance made and it was made by Christian fold searching for God. Open minded scientists in their truest form. Einstein wasn't locked in, Madam Curie (I spent that wrong) likewise. There is a long list Ken when people of faith performed wonders in science.

The division between the two areas still remains in the heads of those who want division, for those of us who see no division I belive we get a full picture of life, its meaning and the wonders we have yet to discover.

Robert N Stephenson


Message #287 left by Robert Stephenson on Jan 16, 2001 at 2:28

sh-- happens!


Message #288 left by Rebecca Shelley on Jan 16, 2001 at 22:28

Right Robert. I'm glad you explained that, because I haven't the eloquence to say it so well.(Hold on, I'm looking up the spelling of eloquence. Hey I got it on the first guess!)

Ken, I like your point about religion needing faith. We do need faith to believe in God when so many people say it's crazy.


Message #289 left by Ken Wharton on Jan 18, 2001 at 15:35

Robert,

Science isn't reliant on faith; once it starts relying on faith it stops being good science and becomes dogma.

Theoretical speculation cannot be equated with faith. (Surely you wouldn't consider your faith in God mere speculation?)

The Big Bang model isn't widely believed simply because scientists have faith that the universe began that way. There are three very convincing pieces of evidence that don't seem to have any other plausible explanation (the expanding universe, the light element ratios, and the cosmic microwave background). Before the universe was found to be expanding, Einstein and many others had believed it to be static. As it turned out, they were wrong, and as soon as the evidence made this clear they abandoned the old views and took up the new ones. Fortunately they didn't stick with their original belief, despite the evidence; that would have been faith, not science. Similarly, a good scientist doesn't have any more "faith" in the Big Bang than the evidence allows; if a better model comes along, a good scientist would no longer believe in the Big Bang.

I take your point that science can be advanced by people who have faith in other things, but the fact remains that you can't make scientific advances if you already have faith that your research will find particular answers to particular questions. A good scientist has to be faithless in regards to their research, or else personal biases will creep into the results. Consider the importance of double-blind medical studies; the very purpose of such efforts is to remove personal faith from the research.

Einstein didn't believe in a personal God, so perhaps Newton would be a better example of a good scientist who had religious faith. But even Newton, despite his belief, knew enough to keep mention of God out of his research (and the Principia); perhaps his faith helped him come up with the concept of the scientific method, but once he came up with it there was no room left for faith in science. The scientific method served to make science objective, not faith-based.

Yes, faith has often driven people to make scientific discoveries. I'm not saying that a religious person can't do good science; I know many such people personally. But I am saying that in order to do good science, such a person must keep their faith separate from their research. You can answer a question with one or the other, not both.

I don't want a division, honest. But it's there all the same.


Message #290 left by Robert Stephenson on Jan 18, 2001 at 17:30

For you a division exists. I work with scientists daily and many have a religious faith, they also have faith that their research will be benificial to the world.

Separate all you like Ken, but in doing so you will always be missing something.

Scinec or as good scientists do not have closed minds, those who only see the science as hard facts close their minds to possibilities. Hawking has faith in his own discoveries, if he didn't he couldn't defend or support them.

Faith isn't an aspect of religion alone, it is an aspect of life.

Some scientists need the separation in order to further their own beliefs and that is all Ken. It is the same with religious orders which push away scientific evidence to further their own area of belief.

Again the separation is only in the mind. Both areas need each other to be whole. I think we can agree to disagree here otherwise the we could go on forever. And I realy don't want to get into sociology and psychology and its influence over scientific discovery.

Rob


Message #291 left by Steve on Feb 26, 2001 at 13:22

Ken, the scientific method can only flourish within the Judaeo-Christian worldview, once a naturalistic philosphy arises cutting off the practice of science from the methodology, science's days are numbered.


Message #292 left by Robert Stephenson on Feb 27, 2001 at 5:29

How many people know that the Big Bang was firts put forward by a Catholic Priest? Einstein said he was mad.

Some scientists never learn

Rob


Message #293 left by Jay Arr on Mar 1, 2001 at 15:28

Actually, the first reference to anything resembling the "Big Bang" theory can be found in the work of Edgar Poe. Yes, Poe gave us the Big Bang. (If scholars are right, that's more than he ever gave his wife, but that's another topic...)


Message #294 left by Ken Wharton on Mar 1, 2001 at 16:27


Jay Arr -- I didn't know that; I'd be interested to know where Poe wrote about it.

That's starting to sound like a story idea...


Message #295 left by Johnny Lightning on Mar 14, 2001 at 12:14

That makes sense about Poe. He's not only credited with inventing the detective story, he's also credited with inventing the modern science fiction story.


Message #296 left by Jay Arr on Mar 15, 2001 at 4:45

It's been a long time, but if I remember correctly, the part about the "Big Bang" is in his long poem *Endymion.* I was at one time something of a Poe scholar, but I've forgotten so much. That reminds me, I wrote a humorous biographical sketch of Poe that ran to about five thousand words total. I can't imagine where you'd publish such a thing, though, even if I had the energy to find it.

There have been a few short stories that featured Poe as protagonist, but there's lots of room for more and I'd certainly want to read any new ones that appear in the marketplace.


Message #297 left by Anonymous on Jun 1, 2001 at 1:36

These conversations always surprise me by their sameness, particularly the evergreen argument that science is just another kind of faith. I think some Christians are hankering for the lost world of fifteenth-century Christianity, in which there was no conflict between religion and science, or if there was, the offending philosophers could always be persuaded to recant.


Message #298 left by Robert N Stephenson on Jun 1, 2001 at 6:12

At least most of us can put our names to comments. You, unfortunately are part of the same old same old. Pretty mindless and shallow to boot.

Rob


Message #299 left by damon knight on Jun 1, 2001 at 22:42

Ack, I was sure I had filled out all the boxes when I posted msg 297. Just to make sure, I'll put my name here: Damon Knight.


Message #300 left by Robert N Stephenson on Jun 5, 2001 at 0:34

Thanks Damon, now I can address this to you and no some entity who could be anything. Put in enough ignorance and anything can become a religius dictonomy.

Science can become a religion, and is to some individuals, if they ignore the outer world entirely and put faith only in the hardness of scientific discovery. It happens and those who have put their faith in it have come undone later in life.

Albert Einstein was one of those. It took a Catholic Priest to convince him of the Big Bang Theory that slept in his E=MC2.

It will take many others to challenge the faith of scientsist who hold out on quantum theory, much like it will take well meaning Christians a long time to undo the work of the fundamentalists and the even stranger sects that spring up around the world.

This isn't the same old argument, it can't be, unless you are going to use the same old throw away lines of science or religion and close your mind to possibilities and learning.

Rob


Message #301 left by Lenora Rose on Jun 6, 2001 at 10:56

Actually, I think the biggest same old is the dismissive condescension of someone who doesn't listen.

I'm not Christian, but I AM religious. Believing the things I believe does not contradict any science I know IF YOU TAKE THE RELIGIOUS TEACHINGS AS WHAT THEY ARE; that is, stories based on history but meant to teach a particular moral and a particular world-view. But most of all, stories. MUch as it would be nice to think that somewhere, there is the word of GOd, unfiltered, one has to remember that all religious writing comes through the mind of a human being with an agenda. It doesn't mean people won't believe it - I know someone who believes in the word of Nietsche, who was definitely a flawed human and didn't pretend otherwise - but it does mean that one can and should temper faith with a certain amount of sense. The Orthodox Jew "do not eat meat and milk in one meal" came from living in a desert environment with primitive technology (Salmonella anyone?). Common sense says it can be done now due to our awareness of bacteria, the advent of refrigeration, and the fact that many Jews are NOT living in a desert. Some still press the rule; others do not. I respect both in different ways.


Message #302 left by Lee on Jun 6, 2001 at 18:48

why worry about it all


Message #303 left by Lenora Rose on Jun 7, 2001 at 10:39

Worry? I don't worry about it. But we were having a conversation / debate. I'll talk about why worry when it turns into an angry kerfuffle.


Message #304 left by Patrice on Jun 7, 2001 at 11:54

Actually, the Jewish dietary laws don't come from a need to keep the food from spoiling even though that's what common wisdom says. I thought so too until a Jewish friend enlightened me.

The laws go so far beyond the well-known meat and milk restriction that if you read all of them you can see that it's much much deeper than just a health consideration.

Just a minor clarification. Carry on.


Message #305 left by RHole on Jun 7, 2001 at 13:43

Patrice,
I'll beg to differ, with kindness. The basis of old testament dietary restrictions is health concern, at least in major part. Yes, it's true that there are a couple of cultural patterns too ('the "heathens" eat this, so we "chosen" can't' sort of thing), but they are relatively minor.

But if someone has an example, please show me I'm wrong - I'd rather learn than be right!

-Robert


Message #306 left by Patrice on Jun 7, 2001 at 13:58

Hmmm. As I said, I used to think it was a health concern too, until my friend, who just converted and took all kinds of Jewish studies classes and stuff, told me otherwise. If she gave me a supporting argument I don't remember it. So I can't really defend my own point!

Any rabbis on board?


Message #307 left by damon knight on Jun 7, 2001 at 21:45

Leviticus 11 specifically forbids the eating of camels, coneys, hares, swine, eagles, ossifrages, ospreys, vultures, kites, ravens, owls, night hawks, cuckoos, hawks, cormorants, swans, pelicans, storks, herons, lapwings, bats, weasels, mice, tortoises, ferrets, chameleons, snails, and moles. (Partial list.) Locusts, beetles and grasshoppers are okay.


Message #308 left by Fredrick Obermeyer on Jun 7, 2001 at 22:03

The above list of restricted food sounds like what they put in an average hamburger nowadays. But then, I'm not sure I'd want to eat a beetle burger. :)


Message #309 left by Jay Arr on Jun 13, 2001 at 14:18

So turtle soup is right out, damon?


Message #310 left by Lenora Rose on Jun 13, 2001 at 16:24

Hmm. It mentions tortoises, but not turtles. You might be okay.

I only see three things on there that I might eat in an "Other than survival" situation. (In a survival situation, I'd rapidly become less picky.)

It's NOT the three permitted.

I do think that some of it did come about as health. The rest came about as tradition, or as rejection of "other" tradition, probably a little as the personal taste of a leader becomes word of law, and one because somebody ate it and got struck by lightning, and since it's all gotten mixed up and lumped together by the time it's put on paper, nobody can be entirely sure what started as what. If someone can come up with Patrice's support, I'll concede.

How's this for a law. "If it tastes awful or makes you sick after, it should not be eaten?" AS mentioned in post 308, a lot of modern food does violate this rule...


Message #311 left by RHole on Jun 13, 2001 at 17:43

Hmmm. I can come up for some plausable (maybe not correct, but possible) health concern for all but the first three in the list provided by Damon in #307 - camel, coney (rabbit) and hare.

Camels are likely an economic thing (would you have your transportation for dinner?). Rabbits and hares I dunno about off the top of my head.

I'm going to have to do some more digging on this. It's an interesting question.

And insects are a fantastic source of protein, and regularly eaten by many people. Though many of the beetles taste nasty.


Message #312 left by RHole on Jun 13, 2001 at 17:59

Okay, according to http://www.jewfaq.org/kashrut.htm,

"... health is not the only reason for Jewish dietary laws. Many of the laws of kashrut have no known connection with health. To the best of our modern scientific knowledge, there is no reason why camel or rabbit meat (both treyf) is any less healthy than cow or goat meat."

And it may be a test of faith, in some instances (similar in origin, (my) perhaps, to 'they eat it so we can't.' Interesting.

However, as to the above lists, there's apparently a translation problem somewhere along the way, because the same site says:

"Of the "winged swarming things" (winged insects), a few are specifically permitted (Lev. 11:22), but the Sages are no longer certain which ones they are, so all have been forbidden."

So, chocolate covered grasshoppers cannot be kosher.

There's a lot of other interesting information on that page about keeping kosher.

-Robert