gods, goddesses, and/or other dieties. However, many modern religions routinely advocate human sacrifice from their followers. Many religionists have to give up aspects of themselves in order to belong to their respective religions whether it is sexuality, dress, and other forms of enjoyment.
In essence, many religions are anti-life and anti-fun. They inculcate the premise that one must not be so involved in the world in varying degrees if he/she wants to be get to heaven. Some religions teach their followers to deny luxury and practice austerity and other forms of self-denial. If THAT is not human sacrifice, then WHAT is? Do you agree with this premise?
As an avid watcher of the series Vikings on The History Channel, this human sacrifice thing is fresh in my mind. Last night they sacrificed 9 strapping Viking men to the gods.
It was disturbing.
As for religions demanding personal sacrifice -- that's the whole basis of organized religion. You can't just do what you want when you want. If you do, you are a heathen and can't be a member.
You have to sacrifice in this life to be worthy to enter the next.
Some are more demanding and austere than others.
I believe ALL demand some form of personal denial.
But what's interesting is that from the outside, other people's religions seem to be stricter (or sillier) than one's own. Whereas from the inside, tithing 10% of your income to your church, or eschewing colorful clothing and riding in cars, or not eating certain foods or drinking alcohol, or not having sex before marriage (ha!) or praying 5x a day with your knees and head on a mat, seems perfectly normal and is not questioned.
Do you feel particularly deprived by your religion, if you have one?
Mine feels pretty reasonable, in the grand scheme of things.
The Dalai lama once said that smart people make terrible buddhists. I think he was probably being polite and leaving out the words people who think they are. I think that sentiment goes for most religions and spirituality.
Most of the more compelling points do recommend austerity. Referring to it as human sacrifice is a typical example of over thinking. Which is interesting because denying oneself what one perceives as pleasures was probably a great stride in spiritual thought. The heavens were not inhabited by untouchable gods. It wasn't separated from us by an iron curtain. Man didn't have to kill to appease these monsters who sat waiting on the aroma of burning flesh, or tapped a celestial toe waiting for our sacrifice.
The heavens were an integral part of reality, all we had to do was release our ego to become one. To feel the connection. Which entails weaning yourself from the things perceived on this level as compellingly pleasurable. Western religion attempts to move you away from this basic premise. One reason, I think, is that this philosophy and endeavor moves us away from group prosperity. If I practice austerity, you can're't flourish materially. I don't work to produce results in this reality, I work to touch another. This is very bad for a competitive society. So, religion waters it down, changes it to be future reward for current behavior. That way we can all produce and believe a future vacation in this part of reality is in our stars.
It's funny that we know sacrifice is necessary when we work toward a goal. Any goal. Why do we find the thought of sacrifice in the goal of spirituality so distasteful? If I deny myself pleasures this month, so that I can have more cash available next month on vacation, how is this different from denying a pleasure in order to spend time meditating? I am, in both examples, imaging my momentary existence elsewhere. Sacrificing in order to see something else?
Human sacrifice implies me pushing you to do something you wouldn't choose to do, it implies murder, so I think the term is ill suited to your question.
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