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Do animals have souls? Your thoughts!

Kuroserama

Just a fox.
A few weeks ago, my older dog gave me quite the scare, resulting in rushing him to the doggie emergency room in the middle of the night. While I sat in the parking lot for 6 hours waiting to for him to be okay, I saw two other people bring their pets in, only to have them returned to them in a box a short time later. To try and keep my mind off of this possibility, I found my way to googling “do animals have souls?”

I know what I believe but I wanted to see what other thoughts were and I found it really interesting. So I'm curious as to what you guys may believe. Feel free to post why / why nots or anything you want to add.


I'm Christian but I also take some of my beliefs from Shintoism and some Native American thoughts. I believe every living thing has a soul. And that those who cannot decide for themselves what they believe are automatically accepted into heaven. So I think they'll all be up there, hanging out. Yep, I know. En garde! Come at me!

Jokes aside, I'd love to have a discussion or just hear thoughts / opinions on what you may believe. No pressure to state your religion if you're not comfortable.
While I would like this to be a discussion, I do NOT want people fighting or degrading someone else's beliefs. The purpose of this is to expand yours and my thoughts on the subject, not to convince someone they're wrong.
 
D

Deleted member 134556

Guest
If you define a soul as having feelings, life, a role in the world, and a force inside them that makes them do whatever it can to survive, then yes. I might also call this a spirit.

My opinions on animals and nature though are rooted in emotional and personal feelings, rather than what some could say are logical, considering I've grown up with animal companions all my life, and I love learning about them.

I would disagree strongly with the idea that animals are not worth much compared to people, and if the argument that one would use to distinguish animals from people is that people have souls and animals don't, is something I can't wrap my head around so easily.
 

Kuroserama

Just a fox.
If you define a soul as having feelings, life, a role in the world, and a force inside them that makes them do whatever it can to survive, then yes. I might also call this a spirit.

My opinions on animals and nature though are rooted in emotional and personal feelings, rather than what some could say are logical, considering I've grown up with animal companions all my life, and I love learning about them.

I would disagree strongly with the idea that animals are not worth much compared to people, and if the argument that one would use to distinguish animals from people is that people have souls and animals don't, is something I can't wrap my head around so easily.
Ah, I do agree. I read the thoughts from a theological professor who said that animals do have souls but since they cannot choose to believe in God, that they would not go to heaven. I really had an issue with this from the simple fact of "what about human babies who die?"

Yes. I believe even trees do. I still chop them down, but I will apologize.
Ah, I'm so glad I'm not alone! I try to save/relocate plants but if I am unable, I feel rather guilty about it and give them my sincere apologies. I'm sure the powerline crews that come chop up my trees under the lines think I'm nuts.
 

Olivitree

Local Bizartist
I don't believe in the soul in the sense of an ethereal untouchable thing that is us.
As I see it, as best explained by science as possible, consciousness is just a bunch of electrical impulses that became so complex we developed thoughts and in that sense, animals are on a similar kind of level to that, they might not doubt their own existence yet but they can certainly think and feel.
I don't feel I need to believe more than science provides, we all have our time on this planet then our chemical components go back to being used in this incredible ecosystem and our electrical impulses fade away making room for the next being to exist.
 

The_biscuits_532

Sneaky rainforest kitty
Ah, I do agree. I read the thoughts from a theological professor who said that animals do have souls but since they cannot choose to believe in God, that they would not go to heaven. I really had an issue with this from the simple fact of "what about human babies who die?"


Ah, I'm so glad I'm not alone! I try to save/relocate plants but if I am unable, I feel rather guilty about it and give them my sincere apologies. I'm sure the powerline crews that come chop up my trees under the lines think I'm nuts.
I remember reading that children go to heaven automatically because innocence
 

Kuroserama

Just a fox.
I don't believe in the soul in the sense of an ethereal untouchable thing that is us.
As I see it, as best explained by science as possible, consciousness is just a bunch of electrical impulses that became so complex we developed thoughts and in that sense, animals are on a similar kind of level to that, they might not doubt their own existence yet but they can certainly think and feel.
I don't feel I need to believe more than science provides, we all have our time on this planet then our chemical components go back to being used in this incredible ecosystem and our electrical impulses fade away making room for the next being to exist.
Ah okay, interesting. So more of a one-and-done concept. It does make scientific sense and dare I say, at the very least it is exactly what happens. I'm just hoping there's something more after that.
What you said reminded me of my chemistry teacher who taught us that molecules are essentially all recycled so we may end up brushing our teeth with water that washed a dinosaur. I found that a very interesting thought.

I remember reading that children go to heaven automatically because innocence
That's what I remember being taught / having read as well. And so for me, it's a simple connection that if innocent human baby souls automatically get into heaven, and I believe animals have souls, they must be innocent, too, and therefore go to heaven.
 

Olivitree

Local Bizartist
Ah okay, interesting. So more of a one-and-done concept. It does make scientific sense and dare I say, at the very least it is exactly what happens. I'm just hoping there's something more after that.
What you said reminded me of my chemistry teacher who taught us that molecules are essentially all recycled so we may end up brushing our teeth with water that washed a dinosaur. I found that a very interesting thought.
I can understand why, the end is a very hard thing to come to terms with and that's ok and a perfectly normal and common trouble. We all find ways to deal with it, it would be great if there is something after, it isn't really what the universe tells us there is, but we're also not all comprehending, it would be arrogant to assume we knew all there was to know about the universe yet we're just a bunch of electrically charged chemicals that only really started to try to unpick the inner workings of the physical world a few hundred years ago XD
So who knows, maybe there is something next.

With my own view point on souls, when dealing with loss of my pets(and heck there is a lot when you rescue not very long lived animals like guinea pigs, but I love them no less than any other loved one), I try not to just think about them being gone and how miserable that is for me, I try to think about what a wonderful existence we shared together, that I did all I could in the end and they lived as long and as happy a life as they could and now that their time here with me has come to an end as it must do, I can rescue another being and provide them a comfortable and loving home as I did before.
Not as a replacement, but as another lost being who needs somewhere comfortable to live and I can provide that.
I wont say I don't miss them all dearly, but if this is all there is, I make the most of every moment and think back fondly of the good times rather than clinging to the grief.(although I absolutely still do, its human nature to grieve)
We all have to go some time and if there isn't anything after as I believe, then we sure as heck better make sure we've made the most out of the now!

I guess as you put it I'm very much a believer in the "recycle" of life and that we all go back into nature and the molecules just keep on going around, so in a sense, our physical pieces live on in one way or another even if our minds do not. Perhaps they do to an extent, energy cannot be destroyed only transferred or converted into another form, so even from my view point, what was "us" does go on in another form, whether that's a coherent thinking feeling form, who knows.
 

Telnac

Fundamentalist Heretic
My beliefs are complicated. I believe the physical and spiritual realms exist and I believed that even before I was a Christian. I believe that humans have a body, non-physical mind and a spirit. What I would call a soul is that non-physical mind, which I believe every thinking being is granted by God, be they human, animal or insect. The spirit is something unique to humans and it's through the spirit that humans can know God in a way that no animal can.

Now I stress that these are my beliefs and there are many Christians who would disagree with me on whether souls and spirits are fundamentally different or if they're one and the same and that's fine. The Bible could be interpreted through either viewpoint and I believe it doesn't affect the core teachings of sin, salvation and the like. If you disagree and want to debate me about these things, please do so in PM and don't disrupt this thread!

Now, back to the topic: as how this relates to the afterlife. The Bible is pretty clear that there will be animals on Earth after it's been restored to the state of Paradise. It doesn't say if God will resurrect previously deceased animals to populate Paradise but I don't see why He wouldn't so I choose to believe that He would because I believe He loves animals too and He wants us to be happy.

As for whether or not they're awake and alive in Heaven, I personally don't believe that because I believe that Heaven is exclusively the realm for spirits, and it's there that we can have spiritual fellowship with God no matter if we're alive or dead. I believe that we will be reunited with our pets when we're reunited with our bodies during the resurrection at the end of days.
 

Kuroserama

Just a fox.
I can understand why, the end is a very hard thing to come to terms with and that's ok and a perfectly normal and common trouble. We all find ways to deal with it, it would be great if there is something after, it isn't really what the universe tells us there is, but we're also not all comprehending, it would be arrogant to assume we knew all there was to know about the universe yet we're just a bunch of electrically charged chemicals that only really started to try to unpick the inner workings of the physical world a few hundred years ago XD
So who knows, maybe there is something next.

With my own view point on souls, when dealing with loss of my pets(and heck there is a lot when you rescue not very long lived animals like guinea pigs, but I love them no less than any other loved one), I try not to just think about them being gone and how miserable that is for me, I try to think about what a wonderful existence we shared together, that I did all I could in the end and they lived as long and as happy a life as they could and now that their time here with me has come to an end as it must do, I can rescue another being and provide them a comfortable and loving home as I did before.
Not as a replacement, but as another lost being who needs somewhere comfortable to live and I can provide that.
I wont say I don't miss them all dearly, but if this is all there is, I make the most of every moment and think back fondly of the good times rather than clinging to the grief.(although I absolutely still do, its human nature to grieve)
We all have to go some time and if there isn't anything after as I believe, then we sure as heck better make sure we've made the most out of the now!

I guess as you put it I'm very much a believer in the "recycle" of life and that we all go back into nature and the molecules just keep on going around, so in a sense, our physical pieces live on in one way or another even if our minds do not. Perhaps they do to an extent, energy cannot be destroyed only transferred or converted into another form, so even from my view point, what was "us" does go on in another form, whether that's a coherent thinking feeling form, who knows.

Aww..! So beautifully said! Made me all misty-eyed...
I can really relate to your sentiment. After my dog of 18 years passed, I really, really struggled. I couldn't imagine ever having another pet because the pain in the end was just so incredible. My grandmother kept reminding me of all the fun times we had together and although it hurts, that I had given him a very long and loving life that he may not have had with someone else.

I now try to remember to appreciate all those moments with my pets (and other loved ones) and take mental (and actual) snapshots of our happy times together.


Also.. You rescue guinea pigs? I really wanted to get a guinea pig but after extensive research on all small pets (rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, hamsters) I realized I would not be able to care for them to the extent I feel they should be cared for. As much as I want one! Those little faces... so I've settled for investing in outdoor bird houses and food to attract wild birds.
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.

Animals cry and yelp when in distress no differently than we did when we were still babies. They play. They hunt. The reproduce and care for their offspring. They remember their encounters and experiences and learn from them. Sometimes they make connections with other animals/humans just like we do with them. I believe animals have souls and while we have our vast differences, I see humans sitting in the same category.

I know the definition may vary from person to person, but I'm honestly wondering if the phrase 'animals have no soul' was used as a coping mechanism to deal with the grief/guilt of having to eat them.
 

Kuroserama

Just a fox.
My beliefs are complicated. I believe the physical and spiritual realms exist and I believed that even before I was a Christian. I believe that humans have a body, non-physical mind and a spirit. What I would call a soul is that non-physical mind, which I believe every thinking being is granted by God, be they human, animal or insect. The spirit is something unique to humans and it's through the spirit that humans can know God in a way that no animal can.

Now I stress that these are my beliefs and there are many Christians who would disagree with me on whether souls and spirits are fundamentally different or if they're one and the same and that's fine. The Bible could be interpreted through either viewpoint and I believe it doesn't affect the core teachings of sin, salvation and the like. If you disagree and want to debate me about these things, please do so in PM and don't disrupt this thread!

Now, back to the topic: as how this relates to the afterlife. The Bible is pretty clear that there will be animals on Earth after it's been restored to the state of Paradise. It doesn't say if God will resurrect previously deceased animals to populate Paradise but I don't see why He wouldn't so I choose to believe that He would because I believe He loves animals too and He wants us to be happy.

As for whether or not they're awake and alive in Heaven, I personally don't believe that because I believe that Heaven is exclusively the realm for spirits, and it's there that we can have spiritual fellowship with God no matter if we're alive or dead. I believe that we will be reunited with our pets when we're reunited with our bodies during the resurrection at the end of days.
Oh, interesting! You raise some very thought-provoking points! I really appreciate you explaining your thoughts on this; you've opened my eyes to some other aspects and made me want to go read up on some (a lot of) scripture. Thank you for that! I look forward to getting to know you better / hearing more from you.


I know the definition may vary from person to person, but I'm honestly wondering if the phrase 'animals have no soul' was used as a coping mechanism to deal with the grief/guilt of having to eat them.
As someone who was a vegetarian for a whole 3 days, I very much have guilt when I'm eating a burger. I constantly feel very conflicted. If I had to kill and harvest a cow, I just simply would not be able to do so.



I'm so glad I posted this, I love hearing all the different points of view.
 

The_biscuits_532

Sneaky rainforest kitty
Animals cry and yelp when in distress no differently than we did when we were still babies. They play. They hunt. The reproduce and care for their offspring. They remember their encounters and experiences and learn from them. Sometimes they make connections with other animals/humans just like we do with them. I believe animals have souls and while we have our vast differences, I see humans sitting in the same category.

I know the definition may vary from person to person, but I'm honestly wondering if the phrase 'animals have no soul' was used as a coping mechanism to deal with the grief/guilt of having to eat them.
See this is my rational.

Animals like Sponges don't really need to make decisions or react in any way so I wouldn't say they'd have a soul or anything approximating them. They're completely immobile, feed through filtration and cause passive injury to anything that tries to eat them.

They just kinda, exist.
 
D

Deleted member 134556

Guest
I figured I'd share this in the thread because it's relevant to the topic. There is this incredible artist in Norway I follow who makes comics about animals after they've passed on, who are greeted by a compassionate and empathetic version of Death that comforts them. It can be both heartwarming and saddening. It's appealing to ones emotional and caring nature about our animal friends. The comics raise awareness on wild and domestic issues animals face, as well as comics that are meant to comfort people who have recently lost a beloved pet.
Jenny-Jinya (@JennyJinya) / Twitter
Loving Reaper
1616788895301.png
 

Kuroserama

Just a fox.
I figured I'd share this in the thread because it's relevant to the topic. There is this incredible artist in Norway I follow who makes comics about animals after they've passed on, who are greeted by a compassionate and empathetic version of Death that comforts them. It can be both heartwarming and saddening. It's appealing to ones emotional and caring nature about our animal friends. The comics raise awareness on wild and domestic issues animals face, as well as comics that are meant to comfort people who have recently lost a beloved pet.
Jenny-Jinya (@JennyJinya) / Twitter
Loving Reaper
View attachment 105765

So...............
I went to the link you provided and this was the first thing I saw:
Screenshot 2021-03-26 161147 sm.png

I instantly burst into tears. *frowns at you* so thanks for that...


I'm joking about being angry with you. (the tears were real, >.<) Thank you for sharing. I can really appreciate her art and using her skills for such good.

Gah, I read the comic again and started crying again!
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
See this is my rational.

Animals like Sponges don't really need to make decisions or react in any way so I wouldn't say they'd have a soul or anything approximating them. They're completely immobile, feed through filtration and cause passive injury to anything that tries to eat them.

They just kinda, exist.

I do believe plants are alive as well. They move, but it's subtle. They still react and respond. But how they 'feel' things like pain? I imagine it's probably different than us. Otherwise, it would suck bawls to be an immobile plant, waiting to be chomped or stepped on. :(
 

Kit H. Ruppell

Exterminieren! Exterminieren!
Souls do not exist, so no.
However, belief in them is not necessarily harmful so long as it isn't restricted to humans.
 
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The_biscuits_532

Sneaky rainforest kitty
I do believe plants are alive as well. They move, but it's subtle. They still react and respond. But how they 'feel' things like pain? I imagine it's probably different than us. Otherwise, it would suck bawls to be an immobile plant, waiting to be chomped or stepped on. :(
Yeah Sponges have actually evolved to be completely inedible to most animals. Most incorporate glass-like shards into their structure and some continually release toxic clouds.

Of course plants have too, to an extent, what with toxins and spices and whatnot, but they're much less effective.
 

JacobFloofWoof

Metal Misanthrope
Animals cry and yelp when in distress no differently than we did when we were still babies. They play. They hunt. The reproduce and care for their offspring. They remember their encounters and experiences and learn from them. Sometimes they make connections with other animals/humans just like we do with them. I believe animals have souls and while we have our vast differences, I see humans sitting in the same category.

I know the definition may vary from person to person, but I'm honestly wondering if the phrase 'animals have no soul' was used as a coping mechanism to deal with the grief/guilt of having to eat them.
I don't think there's truer love than that from a pet and/or animal that really enjoys being around you and your existence not knowing or even caring about how flawed you are. I feel like some animals are also better a reading humans vs other humans because they don't rely mostly on language, because thinking about, language is sometimes meaningless when making a connection, since words don't always translate directly or even mean anything sometimes, so other senses or ways that they bond and communicate with people are sort of enhanced on an emotional level rather than a linguistic one. To simplify with what I mean, since animals can't directly communicate with people, their ways of bonding with humans are not hindered by a language barrier.
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
I don't think there's truer love than that from a pet and/or animal that really enjoys being around you and your existence not knowing or even caring about how flawed you are. I feel like some animals are also better a reading humans vs other humans because they don't rely mostly on language, because thinking about, language is sometimes meaningless when making a connection, since words don't always translate directly or even mean anything sometimes, so other senses or ways that they bond and communicate with people are sort of enhanced on an emotional level rather than a linguistic one. To simplify with what I mean, since animals can't directly communicate with people, their ways of bonding with humans are not hindered by a language barrier.

Sometimes actions speak louder than words! But I do think Humans can be very irresponsible when it comes to projecting their own thoughts and emotions onto an animal. Like those old ladies that believe they're animal psychics. Or assuming a dog is only friendly/happy when it wags its tail.
 

TemetNosce88

So long, good luck, goodbye.
Sometimes actions speak louder than words! But I do think Humans can be very irresponsible when it comes to projecting their own thoughts and emotions onto an animal. Like those old ladies that believe they're animal psychics. Or assuming a dog is only friendly/happy when it wags its tail.
This. I've told my girlfriend on a few occasions, "If *I* think you're anthropomorphizing the the animals too much, you're *really* overdoing it."
 

AniwayasSong

Well-Known Member
A few weeks ago, my older dog gave me quite the scare, resulting in rushing him to the doggie emergency room in the middle of the night. While I sat in the parking lot for 6 hours waiting to for him to be okay, I saw two other people bring their pets in, only to have them returned to them in a box a short time later. To try and keep my mind off of this possibility, I found my way to googling “do animals have souls?”

I know what I believe but I wanted to see what other thoughts were and I found it really interesting. So I'm curious as to what you guys may believe. Feel free to post why / why nots or anything you want to add.


I'm Christian but I also take some of my beliefs from Shintoism and some Native American thoughts. I believe every living thing has a soul. And that those who cannot decide for themselves what they believe are automatically accepted into heaven. So I think they'll all be up there, hanging out. Yep, I know. En garde! Come at me!

Jokes aside, I'd love to have a discussion or just hear thoughts / opinions on what you may believe. No pressure to state your religion if you're not comfortable.
While I would like this to be a discussion, I do NOT want people fighting or degrading someone else's beliefs. The purpose of this is to expand yours and my thoughts on the subject, not to convince someone they're wrong.
Simple answer: Yes.
 
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