Why is eating beef prohibited in Hinduism?
#1
Up until recently, I was a theist Hindu who adhered to all aspects of our religion including not eating beef even though I ate the meat of lamb, goat, chicken and fish. I believed it was due to the thought that Sri Krishna was a cow herd and so we should have respect for cows.

Nowhere have I found a reasonable justification for banning of beef consumption as part of the Hindu way of life. I am posting this here so that I may obtain the views and findings of others more enlightened than me on why it is that Hindus do not eat beef.

As an atheist now I do not any longer feel the need for paying respects to a God such as Sri Krishna or any other God to whom this traditional custom is attributed. If Aghoris can eat human meat, and all things here are Brahman (Sarve Khalu Idam Brahma) we should not have any dietary restrictions. That is what atheistic advaita that I believe in says.

Any comments?
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#2
Beef eating was not taboo in ancient India. But somewhere down the line killing cows (and other animals) became taboo. It may have been due to the popularity of schools of thought like Buddhism which promoted non-violence. And over time the practice has accrued irrational baggage (like decreeing the cow as holy).

That said, eating beef is a personal choice. See the Vegetarianism & Irrationality thread for more on this.

BTW advaita maybe atheistic, but it is also irrational.
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#3
Thank you. I agree with you on beef consumption that Hinduism has picked up this 'cow is holy' aspect of thought from somewhere and it is most irrational. However, I think it is not strictly a matter of personal choice as there is a strong social taboo against it. If beef is not available in the market place because of this religious taboo how are people supposed to purchase it for consumption. There has to be a shift in religious attitudes and a change in social considerations that only Muslims and Christians eat beef.

Incidentaly, advaita has two types fundamentally: atheistic adviata and theistc advaita. In atheistic advaita all that exists is physical energy and one is at one with this Brahman.I do not see anything irrational about atheistic advaita. It is non duality of existence at its purest and absolute.
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#4
(14-Sep-2010, 10:43 PM)Shantanu Wrote: Incidentaly, advaita has two types fundamentally: atheistic adviata and theistc advaita. In atheistic advaita all that exists is physical energy and one is at one with this Brahman.I do not see anything irrational about atheistic advaita.

Except that it lumps reason with superstition by virtue of their categorization under a belief system that is religious in nature.

There certainly are atheist philosophies in ancient India. What is outrageous is that these atheist philosophies have been appropriated by the religious identity called 'Hinduism'. It is the ideas of the ancient atheists that are to be celebrated, not their categorization under a religious belief system. We must evaluate and understand ancient ideas using 21st century science, not the other way around.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#5
If there is no such thing as holiness, there is no holy cow and if there is no God in existence there is no reason to show reverence for it by abstaining from beef in ones diet. The only possible reason why beef should still be avoided by non-vegetarian Hindus is for the maintenance of family traditions, however irrational that may be as in this case. Hinduism is littered with such irrational beliefs, such as the caste system and astrology. There is a limit to how much one tries to maintain ones family traditions.
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#6
(18-Sep-2010, 12:36 AM)Shantanu Wrote: If there is no such thing as holiness, there is no holy cow and if there is no God in existence there is no reason to show reverence for it by abstaining from beef in ones diet. The only possible reason why beef should still be avoided by non-vegetarian Hindus is for the maintenance of family traditions, however irrational that may be as in this case. Hinduism is littered with such irrational beliefs, such as the caste system and astrology. There is a limit to how much one tries to maintain ones family traditions.

With their "contempt" consciousness aren't judiciary and legislatures/parliaments any less than holy cows?
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#7
(18-Sep-2010, 01:20 AM)emkay Wrote:
(18-Sep-2010, 12:36 AM)Shantanu Wrote: If there is no such thing as holiness, there is no holy cow and if there is no God in existence there is no reason to show reverence for it by abstaining from beef in ones diet. The only possible reason why beef should still be avoided by non-vegetarian Hindus is for the maintenance of family traditions, however irrational that may be as in this case. Hinduism is littered with such irrational beliefs, such as the caste system and astrology. There is a limit to how much one tries to maintain ones family traditions.

With their "contempt" consciousness aren't judiciary and legislatures/parliaments any less than holy cows?

The judiciary and legislatures/parliaments are society's way of regulating itself and provide economic progress and law and order. They are needed in society whereas holy cows serves no purpose (clog up roads) but serve those (eg Brahmins) who wish to hoodwink the people into religious indoctrination and subservience so that they can part with their money.
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#8
(18-Sep-2010, 01:31 AM)Shantanu Wrote:
(18-Sep-2010, 01:20 AM)emkay Wrote:
(18-Sep-2010, 12:36 AM)Shantanu Wrote: If there is no such thing as holiness, there is no holy cow and if there is no God in existence there is no reason to show reverence for it by abstaining from beef in ones diet. The only possible reason why beef should still be avoided by non-vegetarian Hindus is for the maintenance of family traditions, however irrational that may be as in this case. Hinduism is littered with such irrational beliefs, such as the caste system and astrology. There is a limit to how much one tries to maintain ones family traditions.

With their "contempt" consciousness aren't judiciary and legislatures/parliaments any less than holy cows?

The judiciary and legislatures/parliaments are society's way of regulating itself and provide economic progress and law and order.
That is exactly what religion started out to be.

Quote:They are needed in society whereas holy cows serves no purpose (clog up roads) but serve those (eg Brahmins) who wish to hoodwink the people into religious indoctrination and subservience so that they can part with their money.
O! Is that all you refer to as a holy cow? That's relatively harmless.
The real holy cows in society (religious, legal, bureaucratic, legislative, medical, educational, military) are the dangerous ones. They cannot stand being questioned or even doubted.
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#9
(18-Sep-2010, 01:40 AM)emkay Wrote:
(18-Sep-2010, 01:31 AM)Shantanu Wrote:
(18-Sep-2010, 01:20 AM)emkay Wrote:
(18-Sep-2010, 12:36 AM)Shantanu Wrote: If there is no such thing as holiness, there is no holy cow and if there is no God in existence there is no reason to show reverence for it by abstaining from beef in ones diet. The only possible reason why beef should still be avoided by non-vegetarian Hindus is for the maintenance of family traditions, however irrational that may be as in this case. Hinduism is littered with such irrational beliefs, such as the caste system and astrology. There is a limit to how much one tries to maintain ones family traditions.

With their "contempt" consciousness aren't judiciary and legislatures/parliaments any less than holy cows?

The judiciary and legislatures/parliaments are society's way of regulating itself and provide economic progress and law and order.
That is exactly what religion started out to be.

Quote:They are needed in society whereas holy cows serves no purpose (clog up roads) but serve those (eg Brahmins) who wish to hoodwink the people into religious indoctrination and subservience so that they can part with their money.
O! Is that all you refer to as a holy cow? That's relatively harmless.
The real holy cows in society (religious, legal, bureaucratic, legislative, medical, educational, military) are the dangerous ones. They cannot stand being questioned or even doubted.

How does that address the question raised by this thread?
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#10
(18-Sep-2010, 02:31 AM)Shantanu Wrote: How does that address the question raised by this thread?

It started with your going off topic with
Quote:If there is no such thing as holiness, there is no holy cow and if there is no God in existence there is no reason to show reverence for it by abstaining from beef in ones diet.
This itself does not adhere to the subject of the thread and does not address the "Why" of it. In addition, it brings into discussion the phrase "holy cow" (which has a much wider meaning than "a cow is not holy" and has a sneer associated with it!) by asserting that there are no holy cows. I simply responded by showing that there are so many holy cows around whom we keep on serving.

But you are right. We should get back to the topic: Why is eating beef prohibited in Hinduism?
It, as rightly pointed out earlier, is not. Hinduism prohibits nothing. Caste customs, and traditions of specific sects, do prohibit it. But eaten or not, beaten or not, the cow is a holy animal to the Hindus. Why? It could be something as simple as a symbol of identity, just like why Nirmukta has a logo.
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#11
(18-Sep-2010, 07:52 AM)emkay Wrote:
(18-Sep-2010, 02:31 AM)Shantanu Wrote: How does that address the question raised by this thread?

It started with your going off topic with
Quote:If there is no such thing as holiness, there is no holy cow and if there is no God in existence there is no reason to show reverence for it by abstaining from beef in ones diet.
This itself does not adhere to the subject of the thread and does not address the "Why" of it. In addition, it brings into discussion the phrase "holy cow" (which has a much wider meaning than "a cow is not holy" and has a sneer associated with it!) by asserting that there are no holy cows. I simply responded by showing that there are so many holy cows around whom we keep on serving.

But you are right. We should get back to the topic: Why is eating beef prohibited in Hinduism?
It, as rightly pointed out earlier, is not. Hinduism prohibits nothing. Caste customs, and traditions of specific sects, do prohibit it. But eaten or not, beaten or not, the cow is a holy animal to the Hindus. Why? It could be something as simple as a symbol of identity, just like why Nirmukta has a logo.

The symbol that is widely used for the hindu label is the OM sign not the cow as emkay said. Symbol of identity...bah!

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#12
Emkay has been kicked out because of his antics on another thread, but I'm going to try and wade through some of the shit that he left piled up around here.

Quote:With their "contempt" consciousness aren't judiciary and legislatures/parliaments any less than holy cows?

No. Any person who cannot see the difference between a democratic political process and a silly superstition is a moron. Ad hominem intended.

But the larger pattern to be noted is Emkay's trolling here. See how he uses the metaphor of 'holy cow' to distract from the actual superstition of thinking that cows are holy? This is intentional. The same slippery antics that all religious apologists excel at.

In reference to Shantanu's defense of the democratic political process, he says
Quote:That is exactly what religion started out to be.

I have written about this plenty of times before. Religious people try their best to make their religions relevant to the modern world by equating them to social and political systems that our culture has developed due to reason-based thought. As I've written before, this is the last ditch effort by religionists to perpetuate their mind-virus on the sane reason-loving populace. No matter how religions started out, over the past few centuries we have employed reason to separate the useful aspects of cultural organization from the silly superstitions. Religion today is purely the domain of the latter.

Quote:But eaten or not, beaten or not, the cow is a holy animal to the Hindus. Why? It could be something as simple as a symbol of identity, just like why Nirmukta has a logo.

What a load of bullshit. Again, an attempt to play it off as though silly and primitive superstitions are equivalent to modern ideas. Of course, no one could really believe this nonsense. This just goes to show how religious believers, infected with the religion virus, will lie and deceive in order to infect others.



"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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