I agree, this seems to be a common form of appeasing the gods in many ancient religions, but by no means all of them; Buddhism and Jainism come to mind.
I agree again, the story of The Fall is another common concept in many religions, the proverbial separation of humanity with the rest of nature, perhaps it was an ancient attempt at explaining self-awareness.
Indeed, that is why on many Christian alters you will see engraved images of a sacrificial lamb, Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi.
I still don't understand how the ritual slaughter of a lamb can make oneself holy.
I dont think it makes you holy but it makes you clean. It is up to you to maintain your cleansliness which is as holy as anyone could try for I think. Clean because the animal died in exchange for you, plus is seen as an appeasment.
Edited by SpiritWriter, 10 July 2013 - 03:55 PM.