God is Not Great - an Appraisal  - Chapter 3


This is the Chapter 3 Page for the appraisal of the contents

of Christopher Hitchens' book, God is Not Great.

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Chapter 3: A Short Digression on the Pig




Page Contents







Chapter Content


P.37 Fetishes of the East


P.38,39 In praise of pigs


P.39-41 Why the prohibition





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General Comment


This is an odd short chapter really. I'm not too sure why the author wrote it beyond the fact that he has come across the prohibition of pig meat by various religious groups and wonders why because it seems silly when you observe pigs.


There are, in fact, only two references to the prohibition on eating pigs in the Old Testament (Lev 11:7 & Deut 14:8). Because there are no dietary requirements in Christianity it was purely a Jewish prohibition that came about through the Law of Moses. The author doesn't seem to try to tie down any of his negative comments to any particular faith, just makes general comments about all the Eastern faiths that encompass this prohibition.


For the Jews, pig meat was just one of a number of prohibited foods called “unclean foods”. Because no reason beyond the fact that they were designated ‘unclean' was given, it is impossible to say of a certainty why this prohibition was included. As the author comments there have been some suggestions, but not wholly conclusive.


My own take on the whole situation of ‘clean' or ‘unclean' foods is that God is the Creator of the world and He knows what ‘works' and doesn't work. There has been research on various of the cleanliness rules and it has been shown that a number of them had clear health & hygiene reasons behind them. My suggestion is, that until it becomes obvious what the reason is, we would do well to keep quiet, lest we eventually show ourselves up to be foolish.


Beyond that, there is little to disagree with in this short chapter and we will limit comment to what we have said already.




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