Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Soul dog

  1. Dec 31, 2004 #1
    Soul dog !!!

    Do animals have their own souls or is it because we think they do ?
    What do teh philosophists call the people who believe that animals have souls ?
    I know a person who calls hmself souldog and uses that name wherever he goes just after his loved dog died of cancer. He once told me so.

    Thank for your answers...

    Souldina
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 31, 2004 #2

    ph

    User Avatar

    man is an animal too

    yes, i believe animals have souls. i'm not too sure about rodents, if a rodent is an animal then i suppose, what do you think?

    i even think rocks have "spirit" or whatever energy runs through them because you can feel it when it hits your big toe, or at least i can.

    reminds me of the other weekend ... tossing snowballs (frozen water?) and that for sure has soul/spirit/energy whatever they call it. :smile:
     
  4. Dec 31, 2004 #3

    ph

    User Avatar

    soul-c

    oops, AND cats for sure. I have a "wild" cat, they named him "boy" (cat), well he came to us hungry for ... and ... so he is now my Canadian cat, BC - Boy Cat...he keeps coming back! He loves it when i call him "BC" Sometimes he doesn't leave. He's got soul :devil:
     
  5. Dec 31, 2004 #4

    Kerrie

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    the fact that animals are able to sense natural disasters shortly before they happen is evidence enough for me to believe they are more conscious then we give them credit for.
     
  6. Dec 31, 2004 #5
    Animals are more in tune with the Earth,they can read subtle changes in weather,about soul thing I don't know nothing.
     
  7. Dec 31, 2004 #6

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I believe that all living things have souls. Humans evolved from primates, so if you believe that humans have a soul and animals don't, my question would be: where is the boundary in the evolutionary timeline that marks the first creature to possess a soul? That question always puzzled me. It seems only logical to me that if human beings have souls, then other living creatures must also.
    One of my favorite books on the subject is The Souls of Animals by Gary Kowalski, a Unitarian minister. I really liked what he had to say on the subject. You might enjoy reading that, and maybe your friend would find it comforting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2004
  8. Dec 31, 2004 #7
    If animals have soul, do they then have their animal God?
     
  9. Dec 31, 2004 #8

    Kerrie

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    what does having a sould have to do with having a god?
     
  10. Dec 31, 2004 #9
    But could you tell me
    we all usually say that animals are all lowlevel developed when compared to human beings, so how can they sense what'll happen on the Earth surface or how is the coming weather ?

    PS By teh way, I actually don't even know how to define what soul is but I am sure my soul dog is really good ! Its been nearly 2 years and what he did or said were all good for me... -lol--
     
  11. Dec 31, 2004 #10
    Kerrie, did you make a typo ?
     
  12. Dec 31, 2004 #11
    Wouldn't giving an animal a soul put it on the same level as a human being in essence? This is impossible because we know humans are on a higher life form than animals.
     
  13. Dec 31, 2004 #12
    Yes, but a lto of people lovetheir pets much and when their dogs die, they miss thim as if they miss their lovers


    Sould
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2004
  14. Dec 31, 2004 #13

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Could you explain what you mean by 'same level'? It sounds like your criteria for deciding whether or not a creature has a soul is based strictly on brain development. There are human beings who have limited brain function, such as those who were born mentally retarded, who have suffered a brain injury or Alzheimer's disease, but I don't think you would argue that these people don't have souls simply because of their brain impairment. Or would you? Just curious.
     
  15. Dec 31, 2004 #14

    loseyourname

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    More to the point, would you grant a person born without a brain a soul? What the heck is soul anyway? What exactly do you people mean when you use the word? I get the feeling it isn't very consistent from poster to poster.
     
  16. Dec 31, 2004 #15

    In religious terms God gave us soul, right? so, then if an animals have soul they could have a God.
    This soul thing is bunch of crap of course, but let's speculate.
     
  17. Dec 31, 2004 #16

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I agree with you that there are probably a variety of concepts for the word 'soul' between the posters to this thread. For many people I think it is a very personal concept, highly influenced by their religious upbringing (or lack of religious upbringing). I was curious what the dictionary definition of a 'soul' was, and if it was reasonably close to my own concept. I found the following on Dictionary.com:

    1. The animating and vital principle in humans, credited with the faculties of thought, action, and emotion and often conceived as an immaterial entity.

    2. The spiritual nature of humans, regarded as immortal, separable from the body at death, and susceptible to happiness or misery in a future state.

    I think this is pretty close to my own idea of the soul. I see it as the non-physical and immortal part of my consciousness. The roots of my concept about this formed from childhood (Christian) Sunday school lessons, but reading about other cultures' and religions' beliefs about the soul influenced my view, also.

    Actually, I believe the first stumbling block I hit with Christianity was when I was going to a Seventh Day Adventist church as a kid and one of the Bible lessons they gave us specifically said that animals did not have souls. I had a lot of trouble with that because I could not reason out why this would be. What kind of a heaven (and they did believe in heaven) would have no singing birds? Why would the pet cat who had given me so much unconditional love simply cease to exist while I would go on for eternity? It just did not seem logical.

    (p.s. Kerrie, I apologize if I spoke too much about religion here. I'll knock it off, and go ahead and delete anything you think might be inappropriate. Thanks.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2004
  18. Dec 31, 2004 #17

    Curious3141

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    The question is meaningless to one who does not believe in a soul (i.e. a materialist, like myself).

    Regarding these definitions :

    The first is flawed because people with damage to specific areas of the brain have rather strange side effects. Frontal lobe syndrome can cause marked changes in personality and affect while leaving superficial cognitive skills unaffected. FLS sufferers remain functional as humans, but essentially become "different people", alienated from those who used to know them. This shows that organic lesions in the brain can cause changes in those attributes that were assumed to be dictated by an immaterial 'soul'.

    The second "definition" is vague enough and is untestable enough to be pretty much always "valid" in the face of any criticism. It is a matter of simple faith, not a scientifically testable postulate.

    Short answer : dogs don't have 'souls'. But then neither do humans.
     
  19. Dec 31, 2004 #18

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I would think so. I am surprised you are entering this discussion. I would think you'd find it boring. :wink:
    I am not completely satisfied with this definition, either. But I think your rebuttal is equating the soul with the personality, and I don't think the two are synonymous.
    Agreed. in scientific terms, it does not hold much meaning, but we're talking about concepts outside the physical world and the scientifically-testable realm.
    I am going along similar lines of reasoning as you are here, but in a different direction. It's all or nothing. Either everything has a soul, or nothing has a soul. The problem I have is with some theologically-constructed dividing line between man and beast determining what species has achieved a high-enough evolutionary status to be considered 'soul-worthy'. If I were a creationist, I probably wouldn't take issue with this, but I am not.
     
  20. Dec 31, 2004 #19

    Curious3141

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Why would I find discussing things with an intelligent person or persons boring ? :biggrin:

    The definition you provided drew the comparison with the "faculties of thought, action, and emotion" bit. I merely rebutted it.

    I have only my sensory experience and my rational faculties to draw upon. In the course of my experience, I have not found any reason to bring in supernatural or spiritual explanations for phenomena I've personally experienced. Moreover, many subjective experiences related by others can be convincingly explained by elementary mistakes or assumptions in their perception or thought, or as glitches in neurochemistry. By Occam's parsimony, I adopt the simplest naturalistic explanations for these phenomena, and hence reject the existence of an immaterial soul. At least until fresh and convincing evidence is found to the contrary. I am open minded about this.

    Good, we're in agreement here. No arbitrary cut-offs between "man" and "beast". :smile:
     
  21. Jan 6, 2005 #20
    Animal spirit

    Native American religions believe spirit is in all things as does Hinduism. The rock band the Police say this in their song "King of Pain" You can see that Sting believes in some dort of unifying soul.


    There's a little black spot on the sun today
    It's the same old thing as yesterday
    There's a black hat caught in a high tree top
    There's a flag-pole rag and the wind won't stop

    I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
    With the world turning circles running 'round my brain
    I guess I'm always hoping that you'll end this reign
    But it's my destiny to be the king of pain
    There's a little black spot on the sun today
    That's my soul up there
    It's the same old thing as yesterday
    That's my soul up there
    There's a black hat caught in a high tree top
    That's my soul up there
    There's a flag-pole rag and the wind won't stop
    That's my soul up there
    I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
    With the world turning circles running 'round my brain
    I guess I'm always hoping that you'll end this reign
    But it's my destiny to be the king of pain
    There's a fossil that's trapped in a high cliff wall
    That's my soul up there
    There's a dead salmon frozen in a waterfall
    That's my soul up there
    There's a blue whale beached by a springtide's ebb
    That's my soul up there
    There's a butterfly trapped in a spider's web
    That's my soul up there
    I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
    With the world turning circles running 'round my brain
    I guess I'm always hoping that you'll end this reign
    But it's my destiny to be the king of pain
    There's a king on a throne with his eyes torn out
    There's a blind man looking for a shadow of doubt
    There's a rich man sleeping on a golden bed
    There's a skeleton choking on a crust of bread
    King of pain

    There's a red fox torn by a huntsman's pack
    That's my soul up there
    There's a black-winged gull with a broken back
    That's my soul up there
    There's a little black spot on the sun today
    It's the same old thing as yesterday

    I have stood here before in the pouring rain
    With the world turning circles running 'round my brain
    I guess I always thought you could end this reign
    But it's my destiny to be the king of pain
    King of pain
    King of pain
    King of pain
    I'll always be king of pain
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Soul dog
  1. The soul (Replies: 7)

  2. Free soul (Replies: 14)

  3. That's a soul? (Replies: 132)

  4. Soul-a matter (Replies: 5)

  5. Location of the Soul? (Replies: 22)

Loading...