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Do animals have souls? Your thoughts!

puffypawbs

Active Member
i consider myself an atheist, but even though i don't believe in "souls" per say, i broadly believe that animals are more intelligent/cognizant than we assume.

i watched videos of bunny the dog and billi the cat communicate with their owners via pressing labeled buttons to express their needs, desires, and feelings. i'm not a linguist or a zoologist, but i felt as though the both of them were able to communicate accurately through the buttons. even if i'm dead wrong about that, billi and bunny at the very least attempted to communicate with the buttons, and seemed to prefer communicating with the buttons over vocalizations or body language. perhaps they realized on some level that by using the buttons, they were more likely to be understood.

a more famous example of an animal learning a human language is Koko the gorilla, who was taught sign language from the age of one, and surprised her caregivers with her abilities to recognize herself in a mirror, to use sarcasm, and to express her own emotions through signing. but to be fair, i haven't read criticisms of the scientist's methods or her demonstrated abilities.

maybe i'm totally wrong, but i feel like earnest communication between at least some animals and humans is possible, and i think animals in general are more intelligent than we are aware.
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
i consider myself an atheist, but even though i don't believe in "souls" per say, i broadly believe that animals are more intelligent/cognizant than we assume.

i watched videos of bunny the dog and billi the cat communicate with their owners via pressing labeled buttons to express their needs, desires, and feelings. i'm not a linguist or a zoologist, but i felt as though the both of them were able to communicate accurately through the buttons. even if i'm dead wrong about that, billi and bunny at the very least attempted to communicate with the buttons, and seemed to prefer communicating with the buttons over vocalizations or body language. perhaps they realized on some level that by using the buttons, they were more likely to be understood.

a more famous example of an animal learning a human language is Koko the gorilla, who was taught sign language from the age of one, and surprised her caregivers with her abilities to recognize herself in a mirror, to use sarcasm, and to express her own emotions through signing. but to be fair, i haven't read criticisms of the scientist's methods or her demonstrated abilities.

maybe i'm totally wrong, but i feel like earnest communication between at least some animals and humans is possible, and i think animals in general are more intelligent than we are aware.
Most people automatically assume animals are all brainless, impulse-driven drones. Yet they can't even pull from human instances, where we literally LEARN to communicate with people that speak completely different languages and cultures from us!

"Oh yea, but it's because they were trained that way"
WE WERE TRAINED TOO, YA KNOW D8<

You can't just give a thumb-operated device to a dog and expect the same result! Give them a button to slap!
 

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
Most people automatically assume animals are all brainless, impulse-driven drones. Yet they can't even pull from human instances, where we literally LEARN to communicate with people that speak completely different languages and cultures from us!

"Oh yea, but it's because they were trained that way"
WE WERE TRAINED TOO, YA KNOW D8<

You can't just give a thumb-operated device to a dog and expect the same result! Give them a button to slap!

Along these lines, I recently learned that migratory geese have to learn to migrate from their parents. They aren't born with it; it's a goosey cultural tradition.
 

puffypawbs

Active Member
Along these lines, I recently learned that migratory geese have to learn to migrate from their parents. They aren't born with it; it's a goosey cultural tradition.
that's awesome! I bet there are way more behaviors that animals have learned from their parents/elders :D
 

Jaredthefox92

Banned
Banned
To put it short without getting into a big theological debate with edgy furries on Fur Affinities forums of all places, yes they do in my personal viewpoint.
 

Filter

ɹǝʇlᴉℲ
The way I see it, animals have souls. A cat has a cat soul, a dog has a dog soul, a bird has a bird soul, etc. They have an animating energy (nervous system), thoughts, feelings, and their essence continues in other ways when they die. We're all part of the same universe, and energy doesn't really go away. They're animated alongsaide us for a while in time... but what is time, really?

For what it's worth, I think it's possible to be an Atheist who thinks souls are real or a Theist who doesn't. This isn't a theological issue for me in the way that some like to define it. Without going into detail, I'm a panentheist. My main disagreement with most atheists and theists is their definitions of God. In a similar way, people can disagree about what truly defines a soul. Folks rarely budge from their strongest opinions without equally strong, personally convincing, reasons to do so. Myself included, and I'm not going to argue religion here. I'll just say that our opinions are shaped by our own unique experiences and how our minds frame things. It's possible to agree on the same facts, yet interpret them differently. Some are more willing to speculate on implications than others, resulting in things like faith and doubt. There's a time and a place for both. I think it's good to be skeptical, but I also think it's healthy to think we might see our old pets again someday.
 

the sleepiest kitty

(◡‿◡✿) ꪑꫀꪮ᭙
Honestly, I think they do. They're sentient and they have feelings, so why not?
 

MaelstromEyre

Slippery When Wet
They do, but not in a traditional religious sense. I'm an atheist, I don't believe in heaven or hell or gods or demons or any of that, but I do think animals are often underestimated in their intelligence, and their capacity to learn. They act based on instinct, but also based on learned/trained behaviors.

I remember seeing a video about a pod of one species of dolphins that "adopted" a young dolphin of another species. That dolphin began showing the same behaviors as its adopted pod - something its own species never did. The other dolphins could have just left it to die because it wasn't like them. . .but they cared for it and accepted it as one of them.
 

puffypawbs

Active Member
They have an animating energy (nervous system), thoughts, feelings, and their essence continues in other ways when they die. We're all part of the same universe, and energy doesn't really go away.
just like the law of conservation of energy. i feel like whatever "i" was when i die will always remain in this world and that gives me some comfort about my mortality
 

Netanye Dakabi

people call me queen
Banned
my friend online says they can see souls and they say all the animals they've seen so far have them as well as mushrooms and coral but for some reason no other plants.
 

The_biscuits_532

Sneaky rainforest kitty
my friend online says they can see souls and they say all the animals they've seen so far have them as well as mushrooms and coral but for some reason no other plants.
Well, neither Mushrooms or Coral are plants so it looks like there's your dividing line.

Coral are Cnidarians, like Jellyfish
Mushrooms are Opisthokonts, alongside Animals.
 
D

Deleted member 93706

Guest
Biblically speaking, Psalm 36:6 and some other places refer to animals being saved or needing salvation (and/or having the capacity to commit sin). As a Christian (Free Baptist), I thus see animals as having souls. I held the same stance (animals have souls) before converting, and was very pleasantly surprised to find it in the Bible. Although I do not think that most Christians have the same understanding of the scriptures as I do, I was brought to this understanding by a few conservative individuals who have very deep understandings of the scriptures. I would be willing to say that Christians who do not believe that animals have souls have not read enough of their guiding doctrine.
 
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Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
Biblically speaking, Psalm 36:6 and some other places refer to animals being saved or needing salvation (and/or having the capacity to commit sin). As a Christian (Free Baptist), I thus see animals as having souls. I held the same stance (animals have souls) before converting, and was very surprised to find it in the Bible.

True, but Genesis 1;28 also says that the animals are put for humans (Adam/Eve) to do with as they please with impunity (dominion is the word they used).
So apparently the message is that they DO have souls, and officially their God could care less. Their words, not mine! Are souls ranked in the bible anywhere else?

Maybe that's why they loved animal sacrifices and scapegoats back when it was written...a free disposable soul to give up, instead of an important human ones. <eye roll>
 
D

Deleted member 93706

Guest
True, but Genesis 1;28 also says that the animals are put for humans (Adam/Eve) to do with as they please with impunity (dominion is the word they used).
So apparently the message is that they DO have souls, and officially their God could care less. Their words, not mine! Are souls ranked in the bible anywhere else?

Maybe that's why they loved animal sacrifices and scapegoats back when it was written...a free disposable soul to give up, instead of an important human ones. <eye roll>
Humans souls are worth more than animal souls. You don't need to be religious to agree with the notion that a human life is worth more than the life of an animal.
 
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Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
Humans souls are worth more than animal souls. You don't need to be religious to agree with the notion that a human life is worth more than the life of an animal.

Actually, I personally would disagree with that, but I really don't want to start a meaningless debate that's irrelevant, so I'm cool to drop it and agree to disagree.
We'll say you're right to make it go easier, sound good? <smile>

Though you raise an interesting point. If humans are sacrificing the animal to appease God/Satan, and the souls are worth less, then doesn't the deity feel ripped off? They were expecting a human soul and only got a "lesser" animal one! Seems self-defeating to me.
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
That's awfully condescending of you.

NO I mean it, really! I don't think it's worth debating, so I'm willing to say you're probably right. Just saving the debate totally. What's the alternative, me say you're wrong and start a stupid fight for literally no reason? Got better things to do and again, not worth debating over anyway.

Believe me, if I was condescending, I'd be much more creative with it. <giggle>
 

Frank Gulotta

Send us your floppy
NO I mean it, really! I don't think it's worth debating, so I'm willing to say you're probably right. Just saving the debate totally. What's the alternative, me say you're wrong and start a stupid fight for literally no reason? Got better things to do and again, not worth debating over anyway.

Believe me, if I was condescending, I'd be much more creative with it. <giggle>
It's time for another
1619037119497.png

How to avoid arguing?
Good idea : not engage
Bad idea : "let's not argue, I would be insulting your simplistic mind so much if we were. Just thought I would let you know that for some counter-productive reason <giggle>"
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
Actually, I personally would disagree with that, but I really don't want to start a meaningless debate that's irrelevant, so I'm cool to drop it and agree to disagree.
We'll say you're right to make it go easier, sound good? <smile>

Though you raise an interesting point. If humans are sacrificing the animal to appease God/Satan, and the souls are worth less, then doesn't the deity feel ripped off? They were expecting a human soul and only got a "lesser" animal one! Seems self-defeating to me.

I mean, if that is the case, and the gods of old are real, no wonder they're pissed and trying to kill us all the time! XD

Still kinda shitty they would expect anyone to off themselves but yea. Interesting to imagine!
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
It's time for another View attachment 107882
How to avoid arguing?
Good idea : not engage
Bad idea : "let's not argue, I would be insulting your simplistic mind so much if we were. Just thought I would let you know that for some counter-productive reason <giggle>"

Your logic basically says "agree or ignore", as if the outcome matters.
I choose door #3, mention I disagree but ignore anyway.

So your bad idea is not what I said, all the snark was added by you, but I'll take the advice from the expert on avoiding online arguments!


(see "Mark", that's me being condescending! Much more apparent, eh? <laugh>)
 

Parabellum3

I'm not a furry if I have feathers.
The human soul is cursed by the devil when Adam and Eve were tricked into consuming the forbidden apple. Only animal souls are virtuous since they aren't under the influence of the devil and have no intentions to commit sins.
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
The short answer is yes, but how we define "soul" is key in finding the long answer.

I believe in reincarnation, and I have heavy elements of animalism and native american beliefs included into my eclectic spiritual makeup.
As such, I do not think animals have the same level of "conciousness" or "self awareness" that humans have, and if someone defined soul as that then yes, they likely wouldn't have a "soul". But, I define a soul as something beyond the boundaries of physical existence, and I believe that everyone is capable of living as anything they want without limits. Including animals. So, animals do have souls, and they are much akin to our own. I do not think they're any different than us, just living a different experience in their current life. An experience that limits self awareness and consciousness for the purpose of experiencing something entirely new; something primal, or perhaps, something unconditionally loving.

There's beauty in that.

If we are arguing whether animals can experience things in the same way a human can, then that is an entirely different argument. As said above, the ability to be self aware or conscious, the ability to exhibit complex thought and emotion, is not by any means proof of having (or not having) a soul. Not by my definition, anyhow. So, while I do not think an animal could love me as I love it or understand love as a concept, I do think they can get attached to those that look out for them, and build a bond of trust for both survival and familiarity purposes, and that bond can be equally gratifying even if it is not what we might consider a "caring" relationship between human and animal companion. They don't see us as their parents or anything that extreme, we're pack or clan or sometimes just a coexisting environmental factor.

Does that mean our bonds with them mean nothing? No.
Does that mean they don't have souls?? Absolutely not.

I think people get a bit nuanced in the debate of souls.
It is, and always will be, personal perspective and no debate can really prove or disprove otherwise.
 

Kuroserama

Just a fox.
I honestly like hearing all the different stances.

True, but Genesis 1;28 also says that the animals are put for humans (Adam/Eve) to do with as they please with impunity (dominion is the word they used).
So apparently the message is that they DO have souls, and officially their God could care less. Their words, not mine! Are souls ranked in the bible anywhere else?

Maybe that's why they loved animal sacrifices and scapegoats back when it was written...a free disposable soul to give up, instead of an important human ones. <eye roll>
Yeah, this is like my guilt about eating meat.
I took that part of the bible as it's mankind's job to care for, protect, and yes, utilize animals. (Although I greatly wish we would get away from utilizing them so abundantly. I'm on board with plant meat!) As far as animal sacrifices go, that's in the Old Testament. But then in the New Testament, God sends His son to be sacrificed for humanity and the animal sacrifices became a no-no. At least, that's how I understand it.

For the record, I don't like any kind of life-taking sacrifice. It always bothered me when I heard people say "I thank the cow who sacrificed its life for our dinner." To sacrifice, one would have to willingly give of themselves. I'm pretty sure that cow didn't agree to be slaughtered.
 
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