din ciclul „Vegetarieni faimosi” – Pitagora

Vegetarianism has been a religious lifestyle, particularly in the east, for thousands of years. But the first primarily ethical defense of abstention from food animals appears in the sixth century BCE with the philosopher Pythagoras. Even so, Pythagoras’s moral objections to flesh eating appear to be intimately tied to his religious conviction that human souls transmigrate, or reincarnate, after physical death. Consequently, Pythagoras warns, the consumption of a food animal may in fact be the devouring of a human soul. It’s for this reason, he concludes, that humans must regard all living things as kindred and bestow on them equal moral consideration. Failure to obey this principle results in actions that sully the moral purity of a person’s life and prevent him or her from realizing full spiritual potential. […]

Of all the pre-Socratic philosophers, none is more enigmatic, and few more influential, than Pythagoras (c. 570-490). Like Socrates, he appears to have written nothing. Consequently, his teachings come to us from his disciples and subsequent commentators. But in spite of the absence of primary texts, as well as the often sketchy nature of secondary ones, the outlines of the Pythagorean doctrine can be pieced together fairly well. A good synopsis is provided by Porphyry, a fourth-century (CE) follower: „What he said to his disciples no man can tell for certain, since they preserved such an exceptional silence. However, the following facts in particular became universally known: first, that he held the soul to be immortal, next that it migrates into other kinds of animals, further that past events repeat themselves in a cyclic process and nothing is new in an absolute sense, and finally that one must regard all living things as kindred. These are the beliefs which Pythagoras is said to have been the first to introduce into Greece.”

Walters, Kerry S., Ethical Vegetarianism: from Pythagoras to Peter Singer, State University of New York Press, NY, 1999, p.11, 13


~ de Alexandra pe Iunie 20, 2010.

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