May 17, 2023


by Interfaith

Discussion elsewhere caused me to look round a reason for the prohibition of pork and shellfish … the latter is, I think, debatable in Islam.

Having made only cursory searches, it seems there exists no ‘logical’ reason for the prohibition – pigs are often unfairly condemned as dirty animals – although a pig will eat pig …

I mean, if for example pigs are unclean, why did Noah simply not take them on the Ark?

But there is some debate as to whether these prohibitions arose as a means of distinguishing ‘us’ from ‘them’…

There is, from what I read, no evidence of farming pigs or hunting boar in Ancient Egypt.

There is some anthropological research that suggests circumcision among Sumerian and Semitic peoples, and Abraham might have mandated it as a mark of the covenant for himself and his household – his tribe – regardless of their origin.

Having looked again at Leviticus, it’s difficult to see why God would extend such a list of prohibitions – or why God ruled the birth of a female child to be twice as bad a s a male …


We surely have to acknowledge that in various cases traditional cultural practices have received a divine endorsement, or even that because a cultic practice is mentioned in Scripture, it becomes de facto law.

I am not arguing against kosher or halal practice … 

… just thinking aloud. If I’ve caused offence, I apologise without reserve, I have nothing invested in this discussion.

Thomas  13/05/2023

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