Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby meg » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:42 pm

my kitties aren't in heaven? :cry:
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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Jenner » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:56 pm

meg wrote:my kitties aren't in heaven? :cry:


No, ceiling cat does not exist. There is no place in the afterlife for your cats.
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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby GhaleonOne » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:27 pm

meg wrote:my kitties aren't in heaven? :cry:


Nope, only dogs go to heaven. :P
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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Werefrog » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:44 pm

GhaleonOne wrote:
meg wrote:my kitties aren't in heaven? :cry:


Nope, only dogs go to heaven. :P


All dogs go to heaven, but you can't infer from this statement that cats don't. Doing so would be a faulty syllogism. :P

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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Benevolent_Ghaleon » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:47 am

Jenner wrote:
meg wrote:my kitties aren't in heaven? :cry:


No, ceiling cat does not exist. There is no place in the afterlife for your cats.



You only say that so you can relax while you masturbate.

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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Jenner » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:02 am

Benevolent_Ghaleon wrote:
Jenner wrote:
meg wrote:my kitties aren't in heaven? :cry:


No, ceiling cat does not exist. There is no place in the afterlife for your cats.



You only say that so you can relax while you masturbate.


>.> ... ... ... I think you just killed this thread.
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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby meg » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:00 pm

i have a perfect response, but i'm not eager to get banned from l-net. this places censors swearing, i don't imagine they care for gross.
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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Ruby » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:26 pm

In all seriousness, animals not having souls and therefore not going to heaven was something that I was honestly taught at youth group, CCD, and religious retreats in the Catholic church in my youth and teen years. That always bothered me.
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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Kizyr » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:46 pm

What's a soul? KF
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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Jenner » Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:21 pm

Kizyr wrote:What's a soul? KF


You'll never learn, filthy, non-Jesus-worshiping, wrong-skin-toned, heathen.
>.> Wow, actually that is horrible. You know I don't mean it.
Acknowledging that you were really just voicing that question for comedic effect, at times I have wondered what a soul is. Like Ruby, I was taught that I have one, and everything else doesn't.

TL;DR BELOW:

I never did ask if Muslims believe in souls and an afterlife, I just always assumed they did since it's a basic premise of most faiths. In Christian Society, or, at least White Catholic Christian Society (Hereto refereed to as You're All Sinning So Give Us Money Corporation, or YASSGUM CORP) teaches impressionable young kids that they are dirty and wicked and that they will never do anything right.

It enforces the belief that anything not White and Catholic and Giving Them Money is not something they should be bothered with. Indoctrination is fun. One of the things you are taught is that the body is temporary. That we all live and work on this earth in service to God and Christ and that our souls reflect our works in His name. Basically our souls are like a massive sponge that you can't really wring out. (Well, I take that back. Some schools of Christianity believe that since Jesus died for our sins we're all safe from our wrong-doings as long as we pray to Jesus for forgiveness. Basically absolving us of responsibility for our actions. And some Catholic churches assure us that we can confess and make right for our sins to purge them in the light of Jesus/God's perfect love.)

So every "good thing" (like giving the church money, going to church every day to give the church more money, praying, and telling everyone else who doesn't believe like you do that they're wrong and going to hell) is absorbed up into the sponge. Likewise, every bad thing (like dating a minority, questioning authority, or really just questioning in general, and being anything other than heterosexual) is also absorbed and when you die you're judged based on the cleanliness of your sponge and on how much of your money you've donated to the church. Then you, as your soul, are sent to either heaven or hell.

Other people view the soul as the moral drive core of a person that powers all the mystical internal things with sentience as its co-pilot. Mystical internal things that don't normally come into play in other organic creatures without the levels of intellect/sentience that humanity has. Things like the knowledge of right/wrong, lying/honesty, loyalty/betrayal, ethics/corruption etc. Other organic creatures don't really have these concerns so we must have something that they do not.
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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Benevolent_Ghaleon » Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:38 am

meg wrote:i have a perfect response, but i'm not eager to get banned from l-net. this places censors swearing, i don't imagine they care for gross.


PM it to me.

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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Kizyr » Sat Sep 12, 2009 3:20 am

I wasn't asking that question for comedic effect. I was asking because many people go on about whether or not the soul exists, or who or what has a soul. But no one seems to have a consistent definition of what constitutes a "soul". KF
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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Aaron » Sat Sep 12, 2009 3:58 am

The soul is the part of you that makes you, you. It is eternal.

Hypothetically, if someone could take over your body and take your soul out and put theirs in, they would look like you. But they wouldn't be you. That part that isn't the body, is the soul.

Is it tangible? I don't think so.

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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Benevolent_Ghaleon » Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:31 am

Now we're getting into a religious discussion. That's the DEFINITIVE touchy subject. I like where this is going.

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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Sonic# » Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:59 pm

Kizyr wrote:I wasn't asking that question for comedic effect. I was asking because many people go on about whether or not the soul exists, or who or what has a soul. But no one seems to have a consistent definition of what constitutes a "soul". KF


The intangibles are difficult.

In most medieval Christian theology, the human is a binary, body and soul. The body is tied to the natural, degraded, post-fall world (nature is not a virtue here). Its senses are tied to natural perception, and its inclination is to natural wisdom. Both of these are distractions from God and heaven.

The soul is everything else. It's the immaterial part of the union, both part of mind and feeling, a will which is bound up in the degraded body. It has the greatest potential to incline towards God, and at death it separates from the body, until the events in Revelations, and goes to either Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory.

Now, if you want a consistent definition of the soul, you might well be disappointed here. Outside of specific theological arguments, or outside of definitions so vague as to be ridiculous, you're not going to get one ("The soul is a life force;" "What is a life force?"). At best, like the distinction above, it will appear as a deconstructable binary.

The claim that all animals have souls has a long past. The first definitions of soul in the English language (according to the OED) encompassed both animal and human.
The principle of life in man or animals; animate existence.

Then the definition was tied up in thought and action in contrast with the body. Then, sometimes, it got bound up with the capacity for emotion, a shift that happened in medieval times but was really latched upon after 1600. By now it's gained connotations of all these previous aspects. If you want a crude test, then let's apply each to animals with advanced nervous systems (most vertebrates, mollusks, etc.).

1. Animate existence - yes! There is something that causes the animals to move beyond a mere reactionary state. In some cases (like migration) this can be hardwired in, while in others (like a squirrel getting food) it can be learned, adaptive, and apparently willed, much like a human.
2. Thought and action - yes, with a caveat. we assume thought as some sort of conscious meditation on a subject, but really most of the thought we do is not so high-ordered. They are quick estimations of when to cross the street, or all the mental gymnastics that go on after we've done something wrong. I'd argue this exists too, in that subconscious form. Have you ever watched a dog or cat moving around for a while? They look up at a table. Estimate the height, and whether they want to jump and can jump, and then choose whether to jump or not. When a dog is about to do something wrong, there's this clear hesitation. Then, if it still does it, it'll run around in a different manner for a few minutes. Which also leads us to...
3. Emotion - yes! If you can deny the other two, you can't deny this. Anyone who's had pets can't deny this one.

So I did that. And you can believe it if you want. But I don't think an animal has a soul like this. I don't think humans do either. Which is to say that... I think one can distinguish a soul culturally, and have it mean something, but it's not a transcendental truth.* The "soul" simply distinguishes that which we most value in ourselves, the part that cannot be reached or touched, including by those pretender animals that would feign having a soul.

So I prefer justifications for using animals that don't rest on extending soulhood or sentience to them, since we're already unsure of what those things mean for ourselves.

*To put an easier way, the soul is indistinguishable enough from bodily functions to make the body/soul division, on which the definition of soul rests, obsolete.
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"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Undine » Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:17 pm

This thread is going too off topic. I want to talk about kicking puppies.

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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Jenner » Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:33 pm

Undine wrote:This thread is going too off topic. I want to talk about kicking puppies.


Yeah, that's what this thread is about.
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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Benevolent_Ghaleon » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:27 am

Undine wrote:This thread is going too off topic. I want to talk about kicking puppies.


Sorry but the thread has been hijacked into a religion thread because this one fails to bring the butthurt of a touchy subject. There is ONE way to do this thread properly. Jenner and Meg know what that is, but G1 would lose his damn mind.

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Re: Animals are beasts wihtout souls or sentience. Let's use 'em

Postby Kizyr » Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:57 am

Sonic# wrote:...

Now that's the kind of discussion I was hoping for! Very enlightening.

There are a few things constant for folks who argue that there is a soul, as far as I've noticed. Namely:
- The soul is intangible
- The soul is not limited to the body or physical world
- The soul has some relationship to the good and evil that someone does
- Sentience is necessary to have a soul (although it may not be enough--see below)

There are a few things which crop up when you get deeper into discussion, though. One thing I find most enlightening is that last item on the relationship between sentience and a soul. So, is sentience a necessary and sufficient condition for a soul (i.e., does everything with self-awareness have a soul), or is sentience a necessary but not a sufficient condition for a soul (i.e., is it possible for something to be self-aware but still be soulless)?

Now, I do believe that animals have some level of sentience, although it may be rudimentary. I say this because some measure of sentience would help animals to make judgment calls, work with other animals, and learn from past mistakes. So, it seems only natural that it'd be an evolved trait in animals with higher thinking capabilities (cats, dogs, apes, dolphins, etc.)--this ties into the item Sonic# mentioned on "thought and action". But as I said, it could be a very rudimentary sentience, like that tiny bit of self-awareness you have while you're dreaming.

Sonic# wrote:I think one can distinguish a soul culturally, and have it mean something, but it's not a transcendental truth.*
*To put an easier way, the soul is indistinguishable enough from bodily functions to make the body/soul division, on which the definition of soul rests, obsolete.

Ok, I think I understood what you said better before the footnote. I thought you were saying that what we define as a "soul" is a subjective thing that differs from person to person, and even more widely from culture to culture, so there isn't a universal truth behind the concept. But your footnote confused me and made me not sure that's what you meant anymore...

Jenner wrote:I never did ask if Muslims believe in souls and an afterlife, I just always assumed they did since it's a basic premise of most faiths. In Christian Society, or, at least White Catholic Christian Society (Hereto refereed to as You're All Sinning So Give Us Money Corporation, or YASSGUM CORP) teaches impressionable young kids that they are dirty and wicked and that they will never do anything right.

Eh, on those rare occasions you ask me anything about my religious beliefs, you tend not to remember anything I say.

I believe in something that probably you could identify as a soul, and an afterlife. But I find the concept of "nafs" to be more important (the Wikipedia article offers some insight, but it's given from a Sufi point of view, which goes into way more detail than I think is necessary and isn't entirely reflective of mainstream thought). Nafs is tied closer to your psychological self, and hence the functions of your brain, than some people would consider your soul to be.

On that note, the more we find out about how the brain affects how we think, feel, and act, the closer the connection is between our physical being and our mind, and hence the more difficult it is to separate the concept of a "soul" from the physical self (since by default it seems to be closely linked to one's mental state). What do you think? KF
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