Do animals have souls? - Stories that prove they have and share the same empathy we do (or should)

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posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 07:37 AM
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Even though I am an atheist I was always thaught to respect others' views, beliefs and opinions. Thus I have no problem with any religion, studied many of them during my multicultural studies (which is probably the best way to understand and tolerate them ) - still standing by opinion that world would be a better place without them.

There is however one thing that I can't stand no matter what - cruelty against animals.

Now, bare with me, I am in no way trying to point out that catholic teachings allow or encourage such doings, but...



Man was created different than the animals. He had the breath of life breathed into him from God (Gen. 2:7). The animals did not. Also Man was given dominion over the animals. Man can know God, worship Him, and love Him. Animals cannot.




Man is above the animals in "rational ability, moral awareness, pursuit of beauty, use of language, and spiritual awareness."


source: Christian Doctrine

So... do animals and our beloved pets go to heaven of any kind?



(...)according to the scripture, Heaven is the realm of those who made the choice to surrender to and worship the God of the universe. Heaven is the realm of those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior:

John 3:15-16
…everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life

John 5:24
I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.


source: Do Animals Have Souls

Hmm... seems a bit of a downer.


However...


Let me introduce you a few instances, a heartwarming stories, rich with pictures (hey, it's 2012 no 'wall-of-text' posts allowed) and articles I shall lead you to in order to ingnite a huge - as I hope - disscussion to answer this ultimate question:

Do animals have souls?

...or is it another 'ancient' aspect of religion that is in need of update by day-to-day practices and counciousness?

Let's check out some good stories first:

1. Koko the gorilla responds to a sad moment in her favorite film.






2. Cows have best friends and get stressed when they are separated.





According to scientist Krista McLennan, "When heifers have their preferred partner with them, their stress levels in terms of their heart rates are reduced compared with if they were with a random individual."


source


3. The two guide dogs who led their owners down 70 floors in the World Trade Center before the towers collapsed on September 11.





Guide dogs Salty and Roselle were awarded a joint Dickin Medal "For remaining loyally at the side of their blind owners, courageously leading them down more than 70 floors of the World Trade Center and to a place of safety following the terrorist attack on New York on 11 September 2001."


source


4. George, the Jack Russell Terrier who gave his life to rescue five children from wild dogs.






In 2007, five children were playing with George when they were attacked by pit bulls. "George tried to protect us by barking and rushing at them," said one of the children about the attack, "but they started to bite him - one on the head and the other on the back." His heroic intervention saved the children, though he later died from his injuries. George was posthumously awarded a medal for bravery.


source


5. The beluga whale who saved a free diver who had cramped up 20 feet below the surface.





When free-diver Yang Yun tried to return from the bottom of an arctic pool, she found that her legs had cramped up and she couldn't move. "I began to choke and sank even lower and I thought that was it for me – I was dead. Until I felt this incredible force under me driving me to the surface." A Beluga whale named Mila had seen what was happening and sprang into action, guiding Yun safely back to the top of the pool.


source


6. The Staffordshire bull terrier who protected her owner from a machete gang.






Patricia Adshead was making tea when three men wearing masks and wielding machetes broke into her home. Adshead's ex-husband rushed to help, but one of the assailants sliced through his hand with a machete. “I was trapped in the kitchen with Oi and one of the men. He raised the machete over my head," she said. "Oi jumped up and bit his hand. He brought the machete down on her head but she still chased him out of the house. If she hadn’t gone for him I would have been dead. She saved my life.”


source


7. The gorilla who remembered his old human friend.







8. The German Shepherd who has become a seeing eye dog for a blind spaniel friend.





When Ellie, a blind spaniel, was adopted by shelter manager Jean Spencer, she never expected that her other dog, Leo, would choose to become her very own seeing-eye dog. "I take them for walks in the park and Leo guides Ellie around," says Spencer. "He is so protective and herds the more boisterous dogs away from her."


source


9. The abused circus elephants who were reunited at an elephant sanctuary after 25 years apart.



source


10. The amazing story of Christian the lion.

My personal favourite, I strongly encourage you to see full documentary, google it.






11. The chimps who grieved for their dead friend.





At a Chimpanzee Rescue Center in Cameroon, a chimp named Dorothy died of heart failure. What happened next was amazing: Her fellow chimps hugged each other in solidarity and solemnly watched as their friend was laid to rest.


source

CONTINUATION BELOW




posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 07:38 AM
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Please, visit the following articles for more stories, some of which you

found above:

12 amazing stories of animals saving men
The emotional lives of animals
Top 10 Cases of Animals Saving Humans
14 Stories That Prove Animals Have Souls


I intend this post to be lighthearted and bright, so I won't share with you any graphic stories regarding animal cruelty around the world. About dogs being beaten or stabbed, kittens drowned, horses kept in such condotions they commit suicides or other animals mutilated, tortured or killed.

The law and mentality are the ones to be changed. In my country, where 99% people declare to be catholics animal cruelty is a massive problem and - especially in rural areas - something there is a peculiar kind of allowance for. Many claim that it all comes from cruel, stupid and simple minded people - hurting a creature without soul is no sin, thus it is allowed. When a group of drunk 'pranksters' in some small town tied a Husky to a car and pulled it with it till he died and his head was ripped off the highest verdict/sentence they were facing during the trial was 1,5 to 2 years of prison (and that was a suspended sentece, meaning they were to be set free after the trial). Huge internet campaign was started by some good people, a petition was made, and signed by hundreds of thousands of people via FB and other media. They were sentenced with 3yrs of prison. And many declared they shall wait when they come back. Just to make sure they understood.

So I suppose there is still some hope for us - generally - cruel by nature, humans.

But let's go back to the question being the most important:


Do animals have souls?


Does, in your opinion, religion play importnant part in the ways we, people, treat animals?

Share your opinions, love your pets and even though some clerics might not agree...




posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 07:53 AM
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S & F great thread. This just shows that every life has value and should be treated with love and respect. These Zoos need to be shut down its inhumane that they have to suffer just so we have a little entertainment.



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 07:55 AM
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I don't know if religion influences the way everyone interacts with animals. It might for some, not for others.

People tend to use religion to justify whatever they want to do, and will interpret it accordingly. Empathic people won't want to make another being suffer, and insensitive people might want to.

I cannot speak for others, I am sensitive, I feel naturally repulsed to suffering, be it my own, or another being. I don't need an ideology there.

Some people who are religious claim that we must have a clear set of moral law and ethics commanded by a religion, otherwise we would do things like torture and kill each other and all other beings for fun.
I once wanted to laugh at such a claim- that is against our nature, I experience. My instincts alone, with no thought or control keep me from doing that! It is a ridiculous and impossible idea!

But then-
we all tend to assume others are just like ourself.
So that makes me wonder- what if they are telling the truth? They are describing themselves ?!

What if they do not have that natural instinct which is repulsed to suffering automatically???
That is a part they are just missing and religion exists to replace that??

I don't know. It is a scary thought. But on the other hand,

Maybe religion just convinces people they are missing that,
Or causes them to lose it, (by not listenign to their inner instincts anymore)
In order to reproduce itself? Make itself seem necessary and needed?

Does it really matter to you whether animals have a soul or go to heaven?
If they didn't, would you go torture them then??
edit on 13-9-2012 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 07:56 AM
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Beautiful thread. I do not know if animals have souls, but I am positive they have hearts in the same way we do. They love and remember and grieve, just like we do.



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 07:58 AM
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Excellent thread, nice to see some positivity about the world we live in for a change.

Anyone who has had a pet, especially a cat or a dog, will know for certain that animals are intelligent. They think, they feel, they fear. They are just as alive as humans are. It is plain arrogance and ignorance to claim to be "above" the animals. We all come into the world the same way as other mammals, and we all exit the world the same way. The only real difference between humans and animals is the EGO, and even that is debatable as some animals clearly have one.
edit on 13-9-2012 by Firefly_ because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 08:06 AM
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I'm not convinced of the life-after-death kind of soul most people reference, but the kind of soul that is synonymous with a sense of self, an essence of identity, that kind I'm certain everyone, human or otherwise, definitely has. Anyone that dares to say no animal can have a sense of self like humans do is a fool. It's as stupid as saying they have no eyesight, no sense of smell or taste, sense of pain because it differs from our own parameters. Just because another creature isn't in the HSS category doesn't mean they don't live an a world all their own, much like we do limited by OUR perceptions, ingrained instincts, likes, devotions, habits, fears, et al.

"Existence is obvious; it's the perceptions of it that define the creatures within." (I can no longer remember the source)



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 08:09 AM
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Lovely post and thank you for it.

I have a major soft spot for animals and have often connected with them easier than with most humans. I know from my own experiences that animals feel and love and communicate with each other and with us. I know they have unique personalities. I've met animals before that seemed downright wise, like they knew more about life than I could hope to know. I believe animals are spirit.



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 08:21 AM
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reply to post by Miri08
 




I think this movie covers spirituality of animals in beautiful way - check this out if you haven't seen it.


also


thank you all for kind replies and beginning of an interesting debate.



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 08:22 AM
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We don't need images of animals acting anthropomorphically. We need humans to realise they are animals.

When we can come to the realisation that only ONE little thing separates us from animals, then we can understand what to do next.

Until then, we'll continue to consider all animals as our food, clothing, or labour, and we'll continue to treat ourselves as some sort of superior being given reign over this planet.

Yet every day the planet tells us how small we are.

We're such an arrogant lot.



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 08:26 AM
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reply to post by gigaherc
 


Humans are animals.

So when people claim that other animals do not have souls, is it because humans are intelligent enough to think of a "soul concept" therefore allowing them to have a soul?

The concept of soul is intertwined in the fabric of human nature. The Abrahamic religions should not be given any more credence than any other religion when talking about this concept.



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 08:29 AM
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yes they do. Why not!. They are better than the average person.



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 08:32 AM
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Emotions and souls aren't the same thing, we only know one of them exists, depending on how you define soul.



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 08:40 AM
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Yes, they are closer in spirit than we are!! Lol

They have a soul and they will still be a best friend in the after life.



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 08:43 AM
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Of course they do. They have an affinity for the natural world that we lost once we draped ourselves with blanket of civilization. I've seen behavior in my parents dogs that made my pause and say WTF? Did i just see that?

Just because they are wild and can't speak our language doesn't mean they don't know what's really good. The same machinery that powers animals also powers us. We are them and they are us.



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 08:47 AM
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I hope you don't mind me posting this here but it was funny, after reading this thread I went to my homepage and this story was right there lol www.clickorlando.com...

It's a local video of a cat that was a stray and adopted by a family and the cat is being credited with saving the mans life by alerting the mans wife that he was having a heart attack. Plus the cat is adorable but that's beside the point lol.

Oh and I will check out that movie, the trailer looks awesome



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 08:53 AM
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reply to post by gigaherc
 


Let's see here...An atheist inquires about whether animals have souls? lol. Makes no sense to me.

But, animals do display empathetic behaviour all the time, if that was one of your points.



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 08:58 AM
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Originally posted by trysts
reply to post by gigaherc
 


Let's see here...An atheist inquires about whether animals have souls? lol. Makes no sense to me.

But, animals do display empathetic behaviour all the time, if that was one of your points.


What does a soul necessarily have to do with a creator?
edit on 13-9-2012 by SpearMint because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 08:59 AM
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Originally posted by trysts
reply to post by gigaherc
 


Let's see here...An atheist inquires about whether animals have souls? lol. Makes no sense to me.

But, animals do display empathetic behaviour all the time, if that was one of your points.


Yup that was one of my points. I do not blatantly ASK whether or not they have souls, but majority of people believe in some kind of god and the concept of soul is close to them. What I want to know is how being a believer influence your stance toward animals in general.

Being an atheist it makes imo even more sense to ask, because if I were following one of the religions my conception and statement would be clear and formed in accordance of my religion's terms.



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 09:00 AM
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Originally posted by SpearMint

Originally posted by trysts
reply to post by gigaherc
 


Let's see here...An atheist inquires about whether animals have souls? lol. Makes no sense to me.

But, animals do display empathetic behaviour all the time, if that was one of your points.


What does a soul necessarily have to do with a creator?
edit on 13-9-2012 by SpearMint because: (no reason given)


The soul is a religious term.





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