@king_saturn: Whoa whoa, I wasn't agreeing with any of what I said or saying that God mandated any of that. Heck, I was not even claiming anything I said was fact. I was just offering a perspective on some of the rules you had mentioned with a few bonus ones. I am just saying from a certain perspective, the reasoning I listed off could very well be why those rules were to be followed. Also remember that people have written, translated, and edited holy scripture for thousands of years. Who knows who imposed what and for what reason. The important thing to remember is that wrote, translated, and edited these writings. God didn't send the Quran, Torah, Vedas, or the bible via lightning bolt the way we see them today. Though this method would have probably ended with less faith-based bloodshed.
Also, a lot of what I listed off are just the greatest hits of what people use to discredit religious teachings and/or God. I know you didn't mention cattle or mediums, I was more or less piggybacking off your comment to talk about these subjects. Nothing personal, I just saw the subject matter and wished to build on top of it. Most of the reasoning for the rules in Leviticus are so the Israelites didn't conform to foreign cultures and practices, or mess up certain practices and get themselves killed. Or at least, that is what many bible historians and anthropologists believe according to research. Yeah it might suck from your perspective to not eat pork or shellfish, not wear mixed textiles, etc. But like I said, the rules were for survival and cultural preservation in their time. I certainly don't think those rules are needed now. And from what I can tell the sale of pork, lobster, and polyester are in no danger of going down anytime soon due to divine punishment. Also, I did say that the punishments were extreme because it increased the likelihood of people following the rules if the word of God was not good enough. I did not say that they were logical, let alone reasonable. In ancient times, you wanted people to follow a rule? You threaten life and limb.
And hey, I totally understand how you don't see God as merciful for letting his kid die or needing anybody killed to get a message across. I am not going to argue against you on it either because what I said is just my understanding. The great (possibly not so great) thing about religious teachings is that everyone can have their take on it. And like I said before, all that human intervention in the composition of many holy writings definitely plays into that. My main point in that paragraph was that tons of people embrace the message of that sacrifice, whether it was by understanding similar to mine or not. I could discuss it more by message if you wanted or continue here as well.
I also wanted to apologize if you saw my initial comment as combative or dismissive of what you said. I was honestly just adding to the discussion. Not seeking attention or argument. This thread is really cool to read through because of the multitude of stories and beliefs people have. I just wanted to add my take.