This blog intends to provide some balance in the religious debate by providing a counterpoint to Billy Graham's religious advice. On his website http://www.billygraham.org/ he responds to readers' questions by quoting from the bible. I am attempting to respond to those same queries by resorting to reason and rationality.

I must acknowledge a debt here to Jeff Hope who started in this vein but who has unfortunately taken a hiatus. His blog is http://atheistsanswer.wordpress.com/. Jeff has inspired me to continue.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Treatment Of Animals

QUESTION: Today's comes from KH...
"Our daughter is very tender-hearted toward animals, and recently became a volunteer at our local animal shelter. We're glad she's found something that interests her, since many kids her age (she's 16) drift along without much purpose. She feels this is what God wants her to do with her life, but is God really interested in things like this?".

In caring for animals it's great that your daughter has found something that motivates her. It's intrinsic to human nature that people have empathy for other living things, some have it more so than others. Also some animals are cuter and friendlier than others, but they have the same intrinsic value as those that are not quite as loveable. Furthermore, it should not be overlooked that animals also serve mankind, by providing food, clothing, guide dogs, etc. In recent times civilised countries are becoming more conscious of the treatment of animals, and as a result farming has become more humane. This change has come about because society and the times we live in have changed. Agitation for better treatment for animals has not come from religion. In fact some religions still insist on animals being killed in a particular way, which has no correlation to the welfare of the animal. What's more the Christian bible has many references to the practice of sacrificing animals to satisfy god. The method to do so is clearly spelled out in several places. Bizarrely, Noah was so grateful with god for saving him from the flood that he constructed an altar and sacrificed many animals as a gesture of thanks. He only started with two of each so who knows how many species he made extinct!


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