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Thread: Do animals have souls?

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    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Do animals have souls?

    Seeing the pet thread I made seems to be going strong, I thought I would ask about this. What does your religion say about animals and souls, if any? If not, what are your beliefs on the subject and more importantly WHY do you believe that? And is this belief based on fact/science/gut feeling/really really wanting it to be true?
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    Punishment Detail Watchful Wanderer's Avatar
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    Re: Do animals have souls?

    In my eyes, the answer would most certainly be "Yes". As there are many things other species do to suggest that they are far from what that fool Descartes thought.

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    One with the Force ChainLightning's Avatar
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    Re: Do animals have souls?

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    Seeing the pet thread I made seems to be going strong, I thought I would ask about this. What does your religion say about animals and souls, if any? If not, what are your beliefs on the subject and more importantly WHY do you believe that? And is this belief based on fact/science/gut feeling/really really wanting it to be true?
    Tough question.

    I want to believe that animals have souls, just as I wish to believe that people do. But the truth of the matter is that it's hard to reconcile certain facts and observations with that gut feeling, the *desire* to believe that kind of depth exists in others, both animals and humans.

    I mean, on one hand, science can measure cognizance and self awareness, at least on some level, but that doesn't indicate any existence of a soul, in anyone. Or anything. Yet, there *are* things abound that science has yet to explain, or otherwise prove the existence of. I can't assume that the known science is all there is, that science has reached its end, on the discovery pier. But I can't assume the opposite, either - that the discovery of [the existence of] souls, scientifically, is only a matter of time. So, science doesn't answer my dilemma.

    Religion doesn't do a fair job of mitigating that paradox for me, either, though. I suppose, if I had stayed in tune, so to speak, with a very strict system of beliefs, I wouldn't be left with this conundrum. It would be, most likely, a basic tenet of that narrow, focused path. I couldn't stay on such a defined and finite course, in terms of religion. Not with epiphanies that contradict long-held traditions or dogma. Not with differing understandings of some basic human principles that are specifically non-deity oriented. No, religion doesn't answer my dilemma, either.

    So, what I've done, as a sort of patchwork, is kind of assume that souls, like love, are definable but aren't prevalent. What I mean is that the idea of everyone having a soul is contradictory to what I know. Same with animals. Some do; some don't. And I could not tell you which was which. However, I just act like it's true with animals, and even a few of the people, that I am personally acquainted with.









    Or was that too vague?




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    Re: Do animals have souls?

    I'm not sure I believe in "souls" in any spiritual sense. Honestly not sure where I stand on that, so I guess I'll just have to go with maybe to that one.
    As it more or less answers your question sans the "soul" part, I consider other animals to be completely equal to humans in terms of rights. Just as I wouldn't kill a human under any ordinary circumstances, nor enslave one, nor keep one captive against their will, nor harm or mistreat one, I wouldn't with any non-human animal either.
    I don't consume animals as food, nor do I use products tested on them or made from them (to the best of my knowledge). I don't even kill bugs unless physically harmed by one.

    So if we just assume for the purposes of this thread that the human soul is real in the conventional sense, then yeah, animals would definitely have souls too.
    Yikes, all that cultural appropriation that used to be here tho

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    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: Do animals have souls?

    As noble as all that I don't kill things sounds. Then technically you are not a part of nature but apart from nature. You kill all day long. Sorry to burst your zen bubble
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    Re: Do animals have souls?

    I kill plants all the time. Gotta eat. And obviously there are things so small I can't see and so on.
    Yikes, all that cultural appropriation that used to be here tho

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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Do animals have souls?

    I have feelings about my dog, so, by doing that, I give it a soul.

    My dog returns the favor.

    Is this based on science, religion, gut feeling?

    No. It's part of a model for understanding and classifying relationships. A mental construct.
    Last edited by B. de Corbin; 07 Jul 2014 at 16:09. Reason: Clarity
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    Re: Do animals have souls?

    Short answer... yes. Long answer and comments on other answers will have to wait until after work 'coz I don't have the time right now.

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    Re: Do animals have souls?

    Yes. I think humans have souls and I'm not so arrogant to completely separate humans and animals.
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    Re: Do animals have souls?

    I believe in the existence of souls, and within my framework, animals have souls. They also have discernible emotions, self-awareness, and needs/wants beyond pure instinct.

    We humans continually want to place ourselves above & beyond all other life on the planet, & the belief that animals don't have souls or aren't capable of doing anything outside instinct is a pretty clear example of that. We ain't that special
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