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Old 05-10-2013, 06:31 PM
 
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If someone gives you a piece of meat and tells you it's human flesh and you eat it, does it morally matter if it was in fact human flesh or not, since your intention was cannibalism?

(Inspired by Catholicism)
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:01 PM
 
Location: NJ
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I'm missing how this relates to Atheists/Agnostics.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Space Coast
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I think the OP is referring to the sacrament. I think people know they aren't getting real flesh and therefore aren't cannibals. (though the idea behind it is pretty creepy, IMO.) If someone gives you wine and tells you that it's blood, does that make you a vampire?
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:54 PM
 
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Even when I was very little and believed God and Jesus were the "truth" this part of mass horrified me. I always felt like I must be a bad person to equate it to literally chomping on a person's arm or something. It wasn't until I got older that I discovered other people felt the same way.

Imagine a religion where you're made to believe you're a bad person for NOT wanting to eat another person and drink another person's blood...it's so surreal. To me. I know it's not that way for everyone.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:55 PM
 
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And yes, this probably belongs in the general Religion forum. I wouldn't recommend the Christianity forum as this WILL be extremely upsetting (and offensive) to many Christians, but I'm not a mod so I can't say for sure where this should go.

Probably not in the Atheism/Agnosticism forum.
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eresh View Post
I think the OP is referring to the sacrament. I think people know they aren't getting real flesh and therefore aren't cannibals. (though the idea behind it is pretty creepy, IMO.) If someone gives you wine and tells you that it's blood, does that make you a vampire?
They do believe it. It's easier and logical to assume that they know all the carry-on and palaver is just playacting. But no, they think it's real, white bearded dude on throne, transubstantiation, the lot of it.

And yes, I'm only interested in atheists opinions. Christians would be all "because Jesus!", they're not capable of working through a simple moral dilemma.
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Colonial Girl View Post
If someone gives you a piece of meat and tells you it's human flesh and you eat it, does it morally matter if it was in fact human flesh or not, since your intention was cannibalism?

(Inspired by Catholicism)
It would be cannibalism in principle if you actually believed it's human flesh and willingly partook of it. I don't think, in their heart of hearts, most Catholics believe it is. In fact IIRC the teaching on transubstantiation has some sort of tap dance that it's only true in a "spiritual" sense, as they have to explain why it doesn't look or taste like uncooked meat. I mean, the only choices I can think to explain that are either spiritualizing it or claiming it turns into real flesh only after you swallow it ;-)

Besides, Catholicism and its offshoots are all about heavy symbolism and I think that's one of the reasons for their success -- the human subconscious operates at a symbolic level, and they've figured out ways to bypass the intellect and speak directly to the subconscious. The symbolism of transubstantiation isn't about cannibalism, it's about the intimacy of your relationship to god (hence the term "communion"). It's almost like symbolically having sex with god, which to me is even creepier than eating literal flesh. I think eating god is symbolic of taking him into your innermost being or some such tripe. The imagery just facilitates that at a subconscious level.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:27 AM
 
Location: NJ
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Originally Posted by Wild Colonial Girl View Post
. Christians would be all "because Jesus!", they're not capable of working through a simple moral dilemma.
This is just a silly statement.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:24 PM
 
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Even if it's only figuratively eating a person, yes, the idea is creepy to me.

I have always felt repulsed by that idea. Even as a small child it frightened me. I could never reconcile it to the idea of a "good God."

As an adult (and a non-Christian) I can reconcile it even less. If God truly is capable of anything then to me, saying He must have people figuratively consume other people in order for them to be blessed/at one with Him is ridiculous....IMO.

You'd think if He were all-powerful He'd be able to circumvent the whole very classically-pagan (not that there's anything wrong with paganism) idea of having to eat/consume part of what's good in order to become good. That is a very, very, very old belief (there's circumstantial evidence of at least one Neanderthal having had his brain consumed by the rest of the group...so we're talking ooooooooooold here) belief that, as mordant stated above, hits directly in the psyche and for that reason is very powerful. But if there truly is one God and if He truly is all-powerful then such ideas, though effective in getting people to "believe," should be 100% unnecessary, not to mention vulgar.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Space Coast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Colonial Girl View Post
They do believe it. It's easier and logical to assume that they know all the carry-on and palaver is just playacting. But no, they think it's real, white bearded dude on throne, transubstantiation, the lot of it.

And yes, I'm only interested in atheists opinions. Christians would be all "because Jesus!", they're not capable of working through a simple moral dilemma.
Are you saying that when Catholics go up to the priest at the end of mass and he gives them that little wafer thing, that the people actually think it is really some piece of human meat that they chopped up in the back room somewhere? I know a lot of Catholics but not a one thinks it's actual meat. Do they believe the symbolism? of course. I don't think believing the symbolism makes one a true cannibal - just an average sheeple.
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