669. The practice of offering human sacrifices dates back to antiquity. How could humankind ever think that God would appreciate this?
“First, they did not understand that God is the source of all goodness. Among primitive populations, matter outweighs the spirit. Due to the undeveloped state of their moral qualities, they surrendered to their animal instincts and that is why they were generally so cruel to their instincts of brutality. Second, the humans of prehistoric periods naturally considered a living creature to be much more valuable in God’s eyes than any material object. This led them to offer sacrifices to their gods, first animals and then humans, because they thought that the value of a sacrifice was proportionate to the significance of the victim. When purchasing a gift for someone, you choose something with a cost or worth that is proportionate to how much love, respect or thought you would like to convey to the recipient. It was only natural for primitive human beings who were unaware of the nature of the Supreme Being to do the same.”
a) Did the sacrificing of animals precede that of human beings?
“There is no doubt about it.”
b) According to this explanation, the practice of sacrificing human beings did not originate simply out of cruelty.
“No, it originated from a false idea as to what would be pleasing to God. For instance, look at the story of Abraham. In later times, humans have further corrupted this false idea by killing their enemies, the objects of their personal hostility. God has never carried out sacrifices of any kind, neither animals nor human beings. God would find no honor in the useless destruction of creation.”