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Re: Does Hinduism require belief in God ?

In article <2tljrn$rqp@ucunix.san.uc.edu>,
Jayant Lulla <lulla@athena.mit.edu> wrote:
>No, that vegetarianism is higher than non-vegetarianism should not be a 
>"weak" reason for someone to be vegetarian.  Perhaps I should have spelled 
>it out.  Vegetarianism is higher for several reasons.  First, there is the 
>principle of the chain of life - animals are higher on the evolutionary scale
>than plants and therefore eating vegetarian foods can be regarded as more pure
>than eating non-vegetarian food.
>Second, there is the principle of taking life - non-veg requires the killing
>of animals whereas one can eat vegetarian food without necessarily killing the 
>plant / crop.  Third, there is the principle of energy.  Animals are higher
>on the energy pyramid (food-chain) than plants.  What this means is that 
>eating animals is less efficient from a nutrient / energy transformation 
>point-of-view because they are one step removed from the source.  Fourth, 
>vegetarianism is better from a Yoga standpoint - the Raja Yoga scriptures 
>state that one should follow a strict vegetarian diet until he has obtained 
>complete control of his nerves - then he may eat what he wants.  Gandhi made 
>his Satyagrahis follow a veg diet because he thought it would help them 
>maintain chastity.  Fifth, a veg diet is better from a medical standpoint 
>because it reduces the chances of cancer / heart attacks etc.

Most if not all the reasons you use to justify vegetarianism is higher than 
non-vege. is dependant on the food chain.  However, the food chain and its
hierarchy is created by us, won't you say.  So how can we use one of our 
judgements to justify something else, if you get my drift.  See, what you quote
as fact, that of taking life is bad and hence animals shouldn't be killed
is something which is based on a solid foundation.  And this means that one
should eat the fruits that the trees and plants provide us with not take the
life of the plant which is equally life and hence as precious as an animals
life.  Wouldn't you agree to that? I do.
>As you can see, vegetarianism has several arguments in its favor - ranging 
>from moral (the fact that it is wrong to take lives) to scientific.

However I am still not sure how to make a judgement that one thing is better
than another in this case vege. over non-vege.  How can one surely say that
there is anything better or worse, what are the STANDARDS for saying that?
Do you see what I am trying to question. Basically just following what the 
religious scriptures say be it the Gita, Bible, Koran or Torah etc.... they
were all written by humans and if we make our judgements based on that can
we be sure that one thing is better than the other?
Although this is going to detract into a different topic, I want to say this.
I don't think its enough to follow, there is an important aspect we miss out
when we do that which is Questioning...."Why" that we miss out on.
I can claim of having read the Bible and the Koran extensively and there are
things ofcourse which are similar and even the same to Gita. I mean a lot of
things not just now and then.  So I see no difference in any religions they
are just pathways to the same end, and just to follow a path is not enough
its questioning the reasons for their statements is important. 
Well please feel free to criticize. 

(... I, in this oyster shell, forever sing
     For a lonely diamond I search on still...)

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