Re: “What St Paul actually said about eating meat”, Have Your Say, March 10.
I admire Ian Martin’s scholarship, but it would be helpful if he would cite more of his sources. In his latest letter, he fails to cite the source of his claim that many of Jesus’s followers were vegetarians, including Jesus’s brother James and the community he led. Where did Ian get this information?
At the end of his letter, he quotes what sounds like a badly constructed nursery rhyme that he attributes to Paul of Tarsus: “So then, if food makes a believer sin, / I will never eat meat again, / So as not to make a believer fall into sin.” Exactly where does that occur in Paul’s voluminous writings?
At the end of an earlier letter, “The Five Commandments of Thai Immigration”, March 6, Ian gave a mathematical equation by somebody named Euler that Ian claimed proves the existence of God. But he never bothered to explain what all the letters and numbers stood for, so we remain unenlightened.
In “Only one animal is truly intelligent”, on the same page, Egon seems to excuse the killing of animals on the grounds that they’re not intelligent. That’s not the issue, Egon. If intelligence were a prerequisite for continued existence, many of us would be long dead. The issue is whether animals suffer and have feelings. Anyone who has ever watched an animal struggling in its death throes will have to admit that they do. Here the Buddha’s advice is pertinent: “All tremble at punishment. All fear death. Comparing others with oneself, one should neither kill nor cause to kill.” (Dhammapada, Verse 129.) On this issue, as on so many others, the Golden Rule ought to be the primary guide: “Treat others the way you would want to be treated.”
There are several words that might be used to characterise those who admit that animals suffer but who eat them anyway because they like the taste. But out of politeness I’ll refrain from using them.
Ye Olde Pedant