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Author Topic:   Do animals have souls?
Yaro
Member (Idle past 4603 days)
Posts: 1797
Joined: 07-12-2003


Message 1 of 303 (61046)
10-15-2003 5:02 PM


This is a bit of a spin off topic from the himan animal thread. I found this an interesting Idea because I myself have pondered it from time to time. Do animals have souls, or rather, the emotional compassionate capacity that we humans call 'soul'.

Case in point. A while back I saw a news article about this abandoned kitten on television. The kitten had taken up residence in this guys back yard, and the guy took notice of it when this black bird came down one day and brought the little kitty food.

The guy found it unusuall so he started videotaping it. Eventually he cronicled something quite amazing, the black bird was actually takeing care of the kitten! He would play with the cat, bring the cat food, groom it, and rest near by when the kitty sleped.

When the man would aproach the cat the black bird would get mad and posture agressively. Eventually the fellow took the cat into his care, and the black bird still came by periodicaly and playd around with the cat.

Now, were these two 'friends'?

On a more persenall note, at one point in time I had four rottweilers. Very sweet dogs, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Anyway, two of them were bassically husband and wife

One da I saw them laying next to each other as they allways do. And as tenderly as ever I saw the male put his paw on the girls. To be rewarded with a lick.

Now. I may not speak dog, cat, or bird. But I think I can recognize compassion, friendship, kindness, emotion, etc. When I see it.

So, if these are the traits assosiated with the soul, then shoulden't animals have a soul as well?


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Brian
Member (Idle past 3066 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 2 of 303 (61057)
10-15-2003 5:33 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Yaro
10-15-2003 5:02 PM


Hi Yaro,

I can give you the traditional Jewish answer to this question.

It seems that only mankind has a soul because only mankind is able to choose to do good and evil, below is a jpeg of a commentary on Genesis 1 and a Rabbi's remarks after it.

7: formed. The Heb. is vayyitzer from the same root, yatzar, as is used of the potter moulding clay into a vessel, possibly to remind us that man is " as clay in the hands of the Potter." The Rabbis point to the fact that in this verse the word for " formed " is written with two yods, whereas in v. 19 when relating the creation of animals, it has only one yod. Man alone, they declare, is endowed with both a Yetzer tob (a good inclination) and a Yetzer ra (an evil inclination); whereas animals have no moral discrimination or moral conflict. Another explanation is, man alone is a citizen of two worlds; he is both of earth and of heaven.

I hope this helps.

Brian.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 303 (61064)
10-15-2003 6:53 PM


Well, humans don't have souls, so why would animals?

I mean if we're going to talk about souls don't we need to know what they are first?


Replies to this message:
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some_guy
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 303 (61072)
10-15-2003 7:48 PM


some animals have souls(as in emotion), while humans have both souls and spirit. (meaning we go on into an afterlife)
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sidelined
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 303 (61075)
10-15-2003 8:02 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by some_guy
10-15-2003 7:48 PM


I assume that you are using the bible as your source therefore iwill ask you to explain the following phrase.

Ecc 3:21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

Now the question is how do you reconcile this with your statement?


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 303 (61081)
10-15-2003 8:33 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by some_guy
10-15-2003 7:48 PM


some animals have souls(as in emotion), while humans have both souls and spirit. (meaning we go on into an afterlife)

That's a lot of extra untestable assumptions. Why stop there? Why not have a kami which could be the part that lives on but doesn't go to the afterlife and haunts stuff? Why not have chi? Why not have ley lines that spirits use as highways?

In short if you're going to accept the existence of these extra spiritual aspects of humanity, for what reason do you not accept certain others?


This message is a reply to:
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Rei
Member (Idle past 5120 days)
Posts: 1546
From: Iowa City, IA
Joined: 09-03-2003


Message 7 of 303 (61085)
10-15-2003 8:40 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by sidelined
10-15-2003 8:02 PM


quote:
Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the Earth?

Sounds like a cross between Christianity and Final Fantasy VII.

------------------
"Illuminant light,
illuminate me."


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NeilUnreal
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 303 (61104)
10-15-2003 10:09 PM


Which brings up the equally important question: Do familiars in Neverwinter Nights have souls independent of the player character?

Only the programmers know for sure...

-Neil


LudoRephaim
Member (Idle past 3191 days)
Posts: 651
From: Jareth's labyrinth
Joined: 03-12-2006


Message 9 of 303 (294575)
03-12-2006 4:12 PM


Hello there :)

I definitely believe that animals have souls, not only from what the Bible says, but also from my connection to them and from what I have seen them do. I have a form of Autism called PDD, and some people who have this tend to have a special bond with animals. I love them dearly, and even though I am a born again Christian, I cant stand how many Christians keep teaching and saying the "animals-dont-have-souls" junk! Now if you are a non-Christian or non-Jew, and you have the belief that animals dont have souls (atheists, etc) then I have no beef with you. But the idea that animals dont have souls, let alone basing it on theology, is to me repugnant.

BTW: The King James translation of Ecclesiastes 3:21 (quoted above) is not the best rendition of that passage in Hebrew. It is better rendered "who knows if the spirit of a man goes upwards, and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the Earth" like the NIV and TNIV renders it, which reinforces the point that animals not only have a spirit, but also an afterlife as well. Remember, in this section of Ecclesiastes, Solomon is saying that man is but a beast and is no better off in death.

Even if the Bible didn't say or hinted that animals had souls, there is nothing in the Bible that says or hints that they dont.So it would be labeled a "secret thing", and "secret things" belong to the Lord, not man (deuteronomy 29:29) so we dont even have the right to say, teach or preach that animals dont have souls. But as we have seen, based on the Biblical text, they do.

BTW: sorry if I came off real rough. I just love animals, and take it personal when someone says they dont have souls, that's all.

This message has been edited by LudoRephaim, 03-12-2006 04:21 PM


"The Nephilim where in the Earth in those days..." Genesis 6:4
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 10 of 303 (294577)
03-12-2006 4:18 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by LudoRephaim
03-12-2006 4:12 PM


Better yet is Ecclesiastes 3:19 where the Preacher explicitly states:

For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals; for all is vanity.

(NRSV)


"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
This message is a reply to:
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LudoRephaim
Member (Idle past 3191 days)
Posts: 651
From: Jareth's labyrinth
Joined: 03-12-2006


Message 11 of 303 (294579)
03-12-2006 4:21 PM


Hey there :)

What kind of bat is on your picture or avatar? I cant seem to get mine to work :(


"The Nephilim where in the Earth in those days..." Genesis 6:4
Replies to this message:
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 12 of 303 (294584)
03-12-2006 4:35 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by LudoRephaim
03-12-2006 4:21 PM


Hello, and welcome to EvC. I hope to see you take part in the discussions here.

The picture in my avatar is from the UAF museum website. Nanonycteris veldkampi - Little flying cow -- I did a web search and this was the picture that I found that I liked (and didn't seem to be copyrighted).

Added by edit:

Also, I should say that I recall having some trouble getting my avatar to work to, when I joined two and a half years ago. I don't remember what I did to get it to work -- I kept trying, and it didn't work, then another day I tried again and it worked.

Another addition:

Oops. I now notice at the bottom of the page a notice that these images are copyrighted. But since I'm not using this for commercial purposes maybe it'll be alright.

This message has been edited by Chiroptera, 12-Mar-2006 09:40 PM


"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by LudoRephaim, posted 03-12-2006 4:21 PM LudoRephaim has not yet responded

AdminNWR
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 303 (294590)
03-12-2006 4:46 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by LudoRephaim
03-12-2006 4:21 PM


Welcome to EvCforum
Welcome, LudoRephaim. Were glad to have you join in.

I cant seem to get mine to work

Is there any particular problem you are having?

It looks to me as if you have not yet uploaded an avatar graphic. Click on the "Profile" link near the top left of most forum pages, and you should see how to upload your avatar.


To comment on moderation procedures or respond to admin messages:
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  • This message is a reply to:
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    Faith
    Inactive Member


    Message 14 of 303 (294593)
    03-12-2006 4:50 PM
    Reply to: Message 9 by LudoRephaim
    03-12-2006 4:12 PM


    I feel that animals have souls too because of my personal connection with some, and I hope they do, but scripture says somewhere that the spirit of man goes up to God while the spirit of animals goes down into the earth, which is at least one place I think the idea comes from that animals don't have souls. I can't find that quote though.
    This message is a reply to:
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    LudoRephaim
    Member (Idle past 3191 days)
    Posts: 651
    From: Jareth's labyrinth
    Joined: 03-12-2006


    Message 15 of 303 (294598)
    03-12-2006 5:00 PM


    to Faith:

    Hello :)

    The quote you are talking about is the one I quoted in my first post on this topic, and it does not say that an animal's spirit goes downward (save in the KJV, which was finished in 1611) the Hebrew is beter rendered "who knows IF the spirit of an animal goes into the Earth"

    The idea that animals dont have a soul is an ancient idea in Biblical theology, but it was more than likely based on tradition, not on what the Bible says.

    To administrator: Hello :) I did put the Avatar on my profile, but it didn't work. I'll try later.


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