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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 replies on “Animals, Souls — A Note to Myself”

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.

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.

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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