Animals, Souls — A Note to Myself

Looks like its time for anoth­er jour­ney through the “ani­mals have feel­ings because they have a spir­it, not because they have a soul (which they lack)” lands again… It is an incred­i­bly easy area of the­ol­o­gy to grasp, yet high­ly intel­li­gent athi­ests, well-mean­ing Chris­tians, and most oth­er peo­ple just seem to mess it up reg­u­lar­ly… Hope­ful­ly I can get this worked up by the end of the month.

4 thoughts on “Animals, Souls — A Note to Myself”

  1. hi, stop­ping by and saw this.
    I just saw an ani­mal show the oth­er night on chimps in the wild.
    In the show, they showed an inci­dent, where it was obvi­ous that a chimp knew he was being bad. He was hid­ing an orange in the dirt from his bud­dies, then lat­er when they were sleep­ing, he snuck over to dig it out. He kept look­ing over his shoul­der to see if any­one was watching.
    So it occurred to me.…… (I’m sure every­one else already real­ized this).….… that maybe ani­mals have a conscience.
    If ani­mals have a con­science, then what does that mean?
    I don’t know, but am wondering.

  2. Yay, anoth­er comment!

    Peri,
    It is high­ly like­ly that ani­mals have con­sciences. Our dogs have learned what actions are “good” or “bad” based on our reac­tions to them. Even if the crime has­n’t been found out yet, they still act guilty.

    How­ev­er, this is not an aspect of the soul. The mind, our feel­ings, and who we are is embod­ied with­in the spir­it; the spir­it is influ­enced by the flesh and the soul. In humans, the soul is dead until regen­er­at­ed by the Lord Jesus Christ. There­fore, pri­or to the rebirth, our behav­ior is much like ani­mals, if not more sophisticated.

    Only in the regen­er­a­tion of the soul can humans live a whole life in com­mu­nion with the Lord. That’s why the soul was breathed into man by God–it was the breath of life, and it is what enables us to tap into the Life, Jesus Christ.

    Ani­mals were nev­er giv­en this. They were not cre­at­ed in the image of God, they were not made a liv­ing soul, nor do their spir­its even return to the Father upon death.

  3. It’s actu­al­ly deep­er than what I thought; I dou­ble-checked some of my facts, and ani­mals cer­tain­ly are alive, con­tain­ing the “breath of life.” And they have blood, which the life of the flesh is within.

    Inci­den­tal­ly, plants are nev­er said to have spir­it or soul, angels nev­er said to have souls, etc., etc. I could be wrong, but I’ve nev­er been shown oth­er­wise yet.

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Rick Beckman