Why we do anything at all

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I was out with one of my friends recently getting something to eat, and she said she wouldn’t eat a particular dish because it had pork in it, and her religion (Islam) didn’t allow her to eat pork.

Aside from just feeling sorry for her (sausage rolls, scotch eggs, toad in the hole, pigs in blankets, spare ribs, sausages and mash, pork chops, YUMMY!) I was genuinely interested in why she wouldn’t allow herself the pleasure of a lovely bacon roll. Her response: ‘It’s my religion.’

‘Well,’ I said, ‘I know that, but why is it in your religion?’

Turns out she didn’t know, all she knew was that God would judge her if she ate pork. Seemed a bit weird.

Now, I’m pretty certain that Muslims in general do have a reason why they won’t eat pork, but I think I’d need to be convinced to intentionally avoid something that would be a nice experience. I don’t think I do anything just because ‘it’s my religion.’

Then again, I reckon this could be misused; I’m meant to start work at 9:30am each day but I don’t think anyone’s ever sat me down and explained why I must. I think I could produce the same quality of work if I took a shorter lunch break and started at 10am instead…but just because I don’t understand the reason why doesn’t mean I shouldn’t simply obey in this context.

Hmm…any thoughts?

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One Response to “Why we do anything at all”
  1. Muslims will usually offer up various health-related reasons (i.e. Pork contains more toxins, or the like), but it seems to me that it’s in the Koran because it’s in the OT, which was pretty much Muhammed’s source-text. It then because divorced from the intent of being a sign of covenant, and is therefore somewhat arbitrary, as far as I’m concerned.

    I suppose there’ll always be things we ‘just do’ out of habit, in church and in the workplace… I guess it’s when you claim that they affect your standing with God in some way that you need to think them through.

    I have a new post you might be interested in, btw.

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