Do animals have souls? - Page 2 - VeggieBoards
View Poll Results: Do animals have souls?
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#31 Old 05-29-2006, 10:18 AM
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"The question of the reality of the soul and its distinction from the body is among the most important problems of philosophy, for with it is bound up the doctrine of a future life. Various theories as to the nature of the soul have claimed to be reconcilable with the tenet of immortality, but it is a sure instinct that leads us to suspect every attack on the substantiality or spirituality of the soul as an assault on the belief in existence after death. The soul may be defined as the ultimate internal principle by which we think, feel, and will, and by which our bodies are animated. The term "mind" usually denotes this principle as the subject of our conscious states, while "soul" denotes the source of our vegetative activities as well. That our vital activities proceed from a principle capable of subsisting in itself, is the thesis of the substantiality of the soul: that this principle is not itself composite, extended, corporeal, or essentially and intrinsically dependent on the body, is the doctrine of spirituality. If there be a life after death, clearly the agent or subject of our vital activities must be capable of an existence separate from the body. The belief in an animating principle in some sense distinct from the body is an almost inevitable inference from the observed facts of life. Even most peoples arrive at the concept of the soul almost without reflection, certainly without any severe mental effort. The mysteries of birth and death, the lapse of conscious life during sleep and in swooning, even the commonest operations of imagination and memory, which abstract a man from his bodily presence even while awake-all such facts invincibly suggest the existence of something besides the visible organism, internal to it, but to a large extent independent of it, and leading a life of its own. In the psychology of the some nations, the soul is often represented as actually migrating to and fro during dreams and trances, and after death haunting the neighbourhood of its body. Nearly always it is figured as something extremely volatile, a perfume or a breath. Often, as among the Fijians, it is represented as a miniature replica of the body, so small as to be invisible. The Samoans have a name for the soul which means "that which comes and goes". Many peoples, such as the Dyaks and Sumatrans, bind various parts of the body with cords during sickness to prevent the escape of the soul. In short, all the evidence goes to show that Dualism, however uncritical and inconsistent, is the instinctive creed of "primitive" man".
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#32 Old 05-29-2006, 10:33 AM
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That was a very weird video. Were the random text comments just thrown up there for comic relief?



I found the video sad because it seemed that few of the people had actually ever thought of the question, however I don't know how his sampling of people compares to the overall population. Also, the comparisons thrown in between animals and humans were depressing. Given all this, I welcomed the comic relief and smiled.
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#33 Old 05-29-2006, 02:31 PM
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Okay, well then if you're just asking whether animals have breath... if that's how you're defining a soul now... then yes, animals breathe oxygen.
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#34 Old 05-30-2006, 08:07 AM
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Okay, well then if you're just asking whether animals have breath... if that's how you're defining a soul now... then yes, animals breathe oxygen.



I didn't actually define a soul, I just placed a quote similar to the one that another person placed. If the soul is a human construct or real, I think that 'the breath of life' is a fair description. I've read/heard 'the breath of life' as a description of the soul so frequently that I think it is really commonplace.



Whatever the case, wherever one believes the soul is derived, if indeed there is one, remains secondary to the question, 'Do animals have souls'. For the record, I consider myself Buddhist yet I respect vegan Christians among a slew of other vegans. It is interesting to hear others definition of a soul and where the soul is believed to come from.
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#35 Old 05-30-2006, 12:05 PM
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If humans do, animals do (and vice versa).
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#36 Old 05-30-2006, 12:25 PM
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... I think that 'the breath of life' is a fair description. I've read/heard 'the breath of life' as a description of the soul so frequently that I think it is really commonplace....



I can't say I agree - what I hear is that the soul is all that remains after life or "the breath of life" has left us.
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#37 Old 05-30-2006, 02:05 PM
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I am sure it is easy to just say animals don't have souls, if one doesn't really think much about them. But I am constantly fascinated by our dog. She will be three in June, and is the first dog our family has ever had. She has a distinct personality, feelings, and expressions to show them. She has interests and disinterests like we do, and has certain tastes. Sometimes she even seems to have a certain understanding beyond that which most people give dogs credit for. How could she not have a soul?
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#38 Old 05-30-2006, 03:15 PM
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It's also easy if you don't think souls exist. I'm quite willing to have someone show me a soul. I'll even settle for a photo.
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#39 Old 05-30-2006, 03:36 PM
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It's also easy if you don't think souls exist. I'm quite willing to have someone show me a soul. I'll even settle for a photo.



And I'd like for you to show me a photo of love.
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#40 Old 05-30-2006, 03:43 PM
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Fairly easy to find photos of people and animals exhibiting love.
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#41 Old 05-30-2006, 03:45 PM
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I said no, but I don't think humans have "souls", either.



I'm probably going to say no because of similar reasons.



Basically, if humans have souls so do animals, I'm just not quite sure how to define "soul."
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#42 Old 05-30-2006, 03:51 PM
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Fairly easy to find photos of people and animals exhibiting love.



Sorry, but that doesn't do it for me. Or would a photo of James Brown or Tom Waits satisfy your doubts about soul?
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#43 Old 05-30-2006, 03:55 PM
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Or would a photo of James Brown or Tom Waits satisfy your doubts about soul?

I hope you don't mean (by that comparison) that Waits is a soul artist

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#44 Old 05-30-2006, 04:01 PM
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Not in any Billboard chart or Virgin Records sort-of sense, necessarily, but his music certainly is "soulful" to me.



I know you're making fun - but I'm sure you fundamentally understand my point.
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#45 Old 05-30-2006, 06:29 PM
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I can't say I agree - what I hear is that the soul is all that remains after life or "the breath of life" has left us



I understand what you're saying, no conclusive connection between breath and soul. I think that people believe if you are alive it is because God has deemed it and that 'automatically' gives you a soul. I think the point of people using the 'breath of life' wording is to tell where they think the soul came from; simply, the act of being alive grants you a soul, or so I've heard many times. What you choose to do with your soul is left to free will, or so I've heard too many times.
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#46 Old 05-30-2006, 06:49 PM
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I think animals have souls, and that it's humans that don't have souls. The little text things in the video, I've always thought like that, and that's why I think that way. But, my idea of "soul" might be different than others'. I don't think a soul is a strictly religious thing, but more like, what's in your heart, who you are, what you're remembered for, like that.
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#47 Old 05-31-2006, 01:07 AM
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I do believe animals have souls. This was a thought that was not confirmed to me when His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, said when I was 10 years old that animals have souls. I did think that was a rather nice thing for him to point out, though. I say point out because it seems like a universal truth that some people are unable to accept. In fact, even then, I was suprised that more people - Catholics - didn't embrace this thought and become more compassionate to our simpler brothers and sisters. It continues to amaze me. A former co-worker of mine, also a Catholic, repeatedly says they don't. She cites the Bible, saying that animals were created for us to eat and, therefore, cannot have souls.

I disagree with her, as I have seen many times before soulful acts done by animals. (Though, as this movie points out in a rather, tounge-in-cheek manner, I have yet to see very many wicked or malicious acts done by beasts. Sometimes their survival is inconvenient to us, but its never wicked.)

That's just my two-cents.



It'd be interesting for me to see that passage where animals were created for us to eat. I guess she hasn't read Genesis where God created humans to be vegan -- a convenient oversight I guess.
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#48 Old 05-31-2006, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by madpoet View Post


Whatever the case, wherever one believes the soul is derived, if indeed there is one, remains secondary to the question, 'Do animals have souls'. For the record, I consider myself Buddhist yet I respect vegan Christians among a slew of other vegans. It is interesting to hear others definition of a soul and where the soul is believed to come from.



If souls don't exist what is it that eventually goes on to Nirvanna? I mean from the Buddhist perspective.



I think the Christian understanding is that God creates souls just as God creates everything else. Where do Buddhists think everything comes from?
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#49 Old 05-31-2006, 01:37 AM
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It'd be interesting for me to see that passage where animals were created for us to eat. I guess she hasn't read Genesis where God created humans to be vegan -- a convenient oversight I guess.



Well, it's pretty clear that it was ok to kill animals to wear their skins. In one case, God made the skin clothes for them!



Abel slew the first of his lot as a sacrifice - though back in those days God liked the smell of cooking meat, not necessarily the meat itself.
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#50 Old 05-31-2006, 02:17 AM
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I do believe animals have souls. This was a thought that was not confirmed to me when His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, said when I was 10 years old that animals have souls. I did think that was a rather nice thing for him to point out, though. I say point out because it seems like a universal truth that some people are unable to accept. In fact, even then, I was suprised that more people - Catholics - didn't embrace this thought and become more compassionate to our simpler brothers and sisters. It continues to amaze me. A former co-worker of mine, also a Catholic, repeatedly says they don't. She cites the Bible, saying that animals were created for us to eat and, therefore, cannot have souls.

I disagree with her, as I have seen many times before soulful acts done by animals. (Though, as this movie points out in a rather, tounge-in-cheek manner, I have yet to see very many wicked or malicious acts done by beasts. Sometimes their survival is inconvenient to us, but its never wicked.)

That's just my two-cents.



Worth much more than two cents. It is disappointing how many religious people conveniently dismiss the underlying theme of their bible: compassion. It seems you have a grasp on this concept. Perhaps your ex-coworker would have responded to some literature on the animal suffering behind factory farming, etc?



I find this an interesting article: (The Pope Has Said: "Animals Too Have Souls, Just Like Men") http://www.dreamshore.net/rococo/pope.html

I part understanding with 'Carlo Molari' when he references "According to Scripture the animal is destined to perish. It is mortal by definition, unlike man who continues his existence beyond earthly life".



I'm a confirmed Catholic though I've chosen Buddhism as my present form of worship. One reason is because I can not understand why the catechism does not condemn the exploitation of animals: eating, experimenting, etc. Perhaps, in time, the catechism will again be revised to include our brothers in this fashion. I had hoped Pope John Paul II would make the revision before passing. Salute to Pope John Paul II for his exclamation of animals having souls. If you've never read his dream on a homeless cat, here it is: http://www.all-creatures.org/hr/hra-popecats.htm[/QUOTE]
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#51 Old 05-31-2006, 02:29 AM
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Madpoet - was there any point to having a questionnaire? It seems that you simply want to preach a sermon.



That's ok, but you should present it as such.
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#52 Old 05-31-2006, 02:37 AM
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Not in any Billboard chart or Virgin Records sort-of sense, necessarily, but his music certainly is "soulful" to me.

I consider it soulful too, but with that definition I think any very good music is soulful.

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#53 Old 05-31-2006, 03:10 AM
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Haven't read every post, but I think it depends whether you believe in souls in the first place. If you believe people have souls, than every living creature too must have a soul.. the nature of the beast (we are just beasts)
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#54 Old 05-31-2006, 03:32 AM
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If souls don't exist what is it that eventually goes on to Nirvanna? I mean from the Buddhist perspective.



I think the Christian understanding is that God creates souls just as God creates everything else. Where do Buddhists think everything comes from?



Many different answers to the same questions you asked can be found. For me, Buddhism is a journey of life so I tend to not worry so much on an afterlife/soul/where we came from. Not to deny my creator, I believe there is a creator, being given a life, I tend to focus on mostly that, what is given(life), and how to perfect it so that I would even be deemable to an afterlife.



I believe animals to be our superiors in this regard as I believe that by being given a life and by being animals, they are automatically granted an afterlife. I hope and tend to believe there is a soul, "our lasting essence", in the sense that we, humans, can also go to a better place. This should not be an impetus to strive to live a better life, imho.



The main tenet of Buddhism that I adhere to can be found in these direct words:

Mahakashyapa asked the Buddha, "Why is it that the Thus Come One does not allow eating meat?'

The Buddha replied, "It is because meat-eating cuts off the seeds of great compassion."



Buddhism is one of the most compassionate religions I've encountered and, if only for that reason, I tend to favor Buddhism as a form of worship.
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#55 Old 05-31-2006, 03:53 AM
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Madpoet - was there any point to having a questionnaire? It seems that you simply want to preach a sermon.



That's ok, but you should present it as such



Well, if there has to be a point, I'd now say that it is to point out that you missed the point. The original point, obviously, was to see the end result of the answers to the poll. I didn't ask anyone to comment, I did respond though. The discussions are relative discussions, not the poll or 'questionnaire'. The poll is about belief in animal souls. This discussion forum is not about me, it's about animals and people who want to comment, with or without the intent of other opinions. If you don't like my posts, don't read them.
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#56 Old 05-31-2006, 04:47 AM
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Madpoet, thank you for the links in post #51. I totally enjoyed reading both when I should, actually, be getting ready for work!
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#57 Old 05-31-2006, 08:14 AM
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Well, it's pretty clear that it was ok to kill animals to wear their skins. In one case, God made the skin clothes for them!



Abel slew the first of his lot as a sacrifice - though back in those days God liked the smell of cooking meat, not necessarily the meat itself.



That doesn't necessarily mean God killed the animals Himself and skinned them, then took the time to dry out the skin, etc. God gave them skins to wear. If He created the entire universe ex nihilo, He could have easily manifested for them skins to wear.



Back then, animal sacrifices were used. "Sacrifice" comes from Latin, meaning to do something Holy. I think they were a sacrifice to God, and not to be eaten afterwards anyway (but not sure).
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#58 Old 05-31-2006, 08:20 AM
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I believe animals have souls, I have 3 cat spirits living in my house

( alongside my 2 pet cats) and see them almost daily so I know they exist.



Have a good one :-)
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#59 Old 05-31-2006, 08:34 AM
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It's also easy if you don't think souls exist. I'm quite willing to have someone show me a soul. I'll even settle for a photo.



Does faith exist? Hope? Love, compassion, forgiveness? What do they look like?

Do people have minds? What does a mind look like? What does a person's consciousness look like? We do have consciousness don't we? I'd love to see a pic of that. No, strike that. Why have to see in order to believe?



All aside, my point was people have souls*, so why not animals? They are mentally and emotionally more capable than most people give them credit for.

*If it would make anyone feel better, insert an 'if' when reading. But I respectfully submit that it is against my beliefs to do so.
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#60 Old 05-31-2006, 03:20 PM
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People can believe in any kind of imaginary thing they want to. I think the only difference between people who believe in gods and souls and people who believe in santa and the tooth fairy is that the god people do a lot more damage.



I completely agree that people are animals and the same rules apply.
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