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Your opinion: Do animals have souls?

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Tarlanc

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But until you can provide a rational counter-argument I'll continue to consider my morality inherent.
Thank you. That's settled, then.

Now we may return to the original question of the thread and turn our backs to ethics, I think.

The question of whether I belive in animals havin souls or not, I can only aswer with: 'I generally do not believe in such a thing as a soul'
I think that neither humans nor animals do have a soul.

The reasons für this conviction:
1) All decisions, actions and feelings a human or an animal is able to make or feel may be described biochemiacally without ever needing a soul.
2) The brain works by interactions of neurons. We may slow them down or accelerate them with drugs and even change the personality of people by medication or operations.
3) In all these biochemical reactions in our body and brain there is no need for a soul. They can be carried out without a soul in petri dishes and glass tubes.
4) I never came across any evidence for the existence of a soul.
5) If humans had a soul, animals should have a soul, too, because they are not that different from humans. Chimps, for example are so closely realted to humans, that it would be unlogical to state that humans do have a soul whereas chimps do not. But if chimps do had a soul, then gorillas would have a soul, too. And by continuing this game we would come to the dog, which should have a soul, the cows, chicken, and so on. Until we'd have to state that even Earthworms, mosquitos, zebrafishes and unicellular Organisms have a soul. There is no borderline. No frontier in the animal kingdom, where this would stop. And if we go down to unicellular organisms, the plants (which are quite more complex) should be thought of having souls, too.
Thus, if humans are thought of having a soul, then every living thing on earth should have one, too.

I know that with my opinion I offend all people that believe in any sort of god, rebirth or afterlife. But for me, the evidence is too hard against souls.
 

Thorin

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Tarlanc said:
If humans had a soul, animals should have a soul, too, because they are not that different from humans. Chimps, for example are so closely realted to humans, that it would be unlogical to state that humans do have a soul whereas chimps do not. But if chimps do had a soul, then gorillas would have a soul, too. And by continuing this game we would come to the dog, which should have a soul, the cows, chicken, and so on. Until we'd have to state that even Earthworms, mosquitos, zebrafishes and unicellular Organisms have a soul.....Thus, if humans are thought of having a soul, then every living thing on earth should have one, too.

I know that with my opinion I offend all people that believe in any sort of god, rebirth or afterlife. But for me, the evidence is too hard against souls.
No offense at all because you are right. The underlying problem (and where most of us get our view of the 'soul') is that the Bible states that a 'soul' simply means 'life' or 'a living being'. The Bible says that man BECAME a soul by the combination of body and breath. The expressions, 'Old King Cole was a merry old soul' and 'I didn't see a soul around' are reiterations of this concept. The soul is not immortal, nor is it some separate entity from the body. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that it is but rather states that 'the soul that sins shall die' (Ezekiel 18:20) or properly translated, 'The man that sins shall die'. A soul is a living being, not some ethereal ghost.

And your point on chimps is quite valid. This is where Theistic and deistic evolutionists have problems that cannot be explained properly (despite valiant efforts from our dear Eriol ;). If an immortal essence was given to man and man evolved from lower life forms then either God waited for a certain point in evolution to 'inject' this essence and make him in 'God's image' (at what stage of homo sapien evolution this occured cannot be comprehended), or that lower life form also had an immortal soul.
 

Tarlanc

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Thorin said:
And your point on chimps is quite valid. This is where Theistic and deistic evolutionists have problems that cannot be explained properly
Actually, it can be explained in biblical terms. God created the human and the animals. To the humans he gave a soul. Thus Chimps do not have a soul. They were created as animals.
But if you believe in evolution, it is IMO ridiculous to believe in a soul, too. Because this soul must have evolved, then.

And in the Bible (though I agree with your point on the word 'soul' in daily use) it is also used as an eternal being. It is given to the humans through the breath of God. And after death the soul rises and comes to God. And it will abide in the heavens until judgement day. It is not merely life, but a part of the human which came from God and will live forever.
 

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Tarlanc said:
In all these biochemical reactions in our body and brain there is no need for a soul. They can be carried out without a soul in petri dishes and glass tubes.
When a living organism, and then a living being, can be created in those vessels, from inanimate materials, then maybe the time will have come to consider rejecting the notion of the "soul".
 

Thorin

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Tarlanc said:
And in the Bible (though I agree with your point on the word 'soul' in daily use) it is also used as an eternal being. It is given to the humans through the breath of God. And after death the soul rises and comes to God. And it will abide in the heavens until judgement day. It is not merely life, but a part of the human which came from God and will live forever.
:confused: First of all, are you split personality because your previous quote says this:
Tarlanc said:
The question of whether I belive in animals havin souls or not, I can only aswer with: 'I generally do not believe in such a thing as a soul' I think that neither humans nor animals do have a soul.
Second, you are getting the words for 'soul' and 'spirit' mixed up. They are different in the Bible and neither is of an immortal essence. There is also no biblical evidence for that 'soul' abiding with God until judgement day or that the 'soul' is immortal. Rather the dead remain unconscious until resurrection day when God gives them the breath of life (spirit) again like He did at creation and man inherits eternal life. What God did at the beginning, he will do again, just like he did with Jesus. Jesus died remained in the grave unconscious, rose again with a new body and ascended to heaven. So it will be at the end of time (read 1 Corinthians 15)

This is probably more of a Private Message issue so if you are interested in learning the proper biblical truth on the nature of man, PM me and we can discuss. :)
 

Tarlanc

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Thorin said:
:confused: First of all, are you split personality
Not really :)
I do not believe the explanations on souls in the Bible. I just happen to know that they are there.
I especially refer to the statements that the mighty men will be servants in the heaven, that it is mor likely for a camel to get through a small hole ('Nadelöhr' in German) than for a rich man to go to heaven and so on. These statements indicate a Belief in an afterlife in heaven to me.

But thank you for the notion of this passage in the Corinthians. I will check it. Since I was not able to find any notion of sinners going to hell in the NT, I have become a little suspicious about the things I learned in the Bible course all the same :)

So not even the Bible teaches us to believe in souls? Surprising to me, but slightly amusing. There is one less counter-argument, then.
 

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Tarlanc said:
Thank you. That's settled, then.
Perhaps you misread my post. The statement that I made was "until you can provide a rational counter-argument I'll continue to consider my argument inherent." Since this is the very point you have contested (even though you haven't actually provided a rational counter-argument), I don't see why it is settled and I certainly don't see why you consider it settled. Why did you cut short our debate?
 

Tarlanc

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Helcaraxë said:
Perhaps you misread my post. The statement that I made was "until you can provide a rational counter-argument I'll continue to consider my argument inherent." Since this is the very point you have contested (even though you haven't actually provided a rational counter-argument), I don't see why it is settled and I certainly don't see why you consider it settled. Why did you cut short our debate?
I did not mesread your post. We could continue talking in differnt terms until the end of time. I could continue giving empiric evidence for my hypothesis that killing animals is not wrong, and you could continue giving rational proofs that lead to the conclusion that killing animals is wrong.
I can never give rational counter arguments in your system. With the premises you have made you can only come to the conclusion that killing animals is wrong. There is no room for debates there.
Zenon, an ancient greece philosopher, once rationally proved that the fastest runner could not overtake a turtle. And he even proved it impossible to shoot an arrow. It was an absolute logical conclusion and there is no way to give rational contuer-arguments. And even when people showed to him that they could shoot arrows and overtake any turtle, he was not contradicted. Because there was no error in his logic. And you can not falsify a rational conclusion by empiric science. Thus I will never be able to falsify your conclusion that killing animals is wrong.
But you finally said exactly what I always wanted you to state. I'll continue to consider my morality inherent.
I never wanted you to change your morality. All I wanted was, that you don't ask of others to share your morality. If you continue to consider your morality as inherent, I do not have a problem. But I will continue to consider it as but one of many moralities.

Thus our argument is settled. Or it will continue forever and never bear fruits.
 

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Tarlanc said:
I did not mesread your post. We could continue talking in differnt terms until the end of time. I could continue giving empiric evidence for my hypothesis that killing animals is not wrong, and you could continue giving rational proofs that lead to the conclusion that killing animals is wrong.
I can never give rational counter arguments in your system. With the premises you have made you can only come to the conclusion that killing animals is wrong. There is no room for debates there.
The empirical evidence you have given I have been able to refute.


Zenon, an ancient greece philosopher, once rationally proved that the fastest runner could not overtake a turtle. And he even proved it impossible to shoot an arrow. It was an absolute logical conclusion and there is no way to give rational contuer-arguments. And even when people showed to him that they could shoot arrows and overtake any turtle, he was not contradicted. Because there was no error in his logic. And you can not falsify a rational conclusion by empiric science.
There were flaws in Zeno's logic. For example, for the runner example to work the runner must be decreasing the distance he covers per stride or else, if his stride continues at a rate that is not decreasing in speed, he will pass the turtle. His proof regarding the impossibility of an arrow is also flawed. His argument was that at any given moment, an arrow is at rest because it is in a specific point. But the arrow is not at rest, because it can be at a specific point in a continuous motion because it is, even when at rest, occupying an infinite number of points. His proof for the impossibility of a line being composed by points only works if you divide the points in half, which is impossible.

The point is that you can describe the material world using logic.

Thus I will never be able to falsify your conclusion that killing animals is wrong.
But you finally said exactly what I always wanted you to state. I'll continue to consider my morality inherent.
I never wanted you to change your morality. All I wanted was, that you don't ask of others to share your morality. If you continue to consider your morality as inherent, I do not have a problem. But I will continue to consider it as but one of many moralities.
I do want you to share my morality. Not doing so is immoral. And I think I understated myself--unless you provide a rational proof to counter it, it IS an inherent morality. It's not merely a consideration of mine. Rational proofs never are. You can continue to consider it one of many subjective moralities--and you will continue to be wrong. Unless you provide rational proof. Which you said that you cannot, so it must be concluded that you are wrong.
 

Tarlanc

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Helcaraxë said:
There were flaws in Zeno's logic. For example, for the runner example to work the runner must be decreasing the distance he covers per stride or else, if his stride continues at a rate that is not decreasing in speed, he will pass the turtle.
There is no flaw in his logic. It is a flawless rational proof. The runner will never overtake the turtle. You can even mathematically prove this. Was well as the arrow will never leave the bow. And the runner does not even have to become slower or make shorter steps. He wil just never overtake the turtle. No matter what he does he will always be behind.
The logic of Zenon is not debatable. But the premises are. If you drop the premise that the arrow will have to fly half the way first, before it may get to the aim, you will have an arrow that flies. But as long as you stick to this premise the arrow will not move.

I do want you to share my morality.
Whish for it at the next shooting-star :D
 

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There is no flaw in his logic. It is a flawless rational proof.
This would be true, except there were flaws. ;) I demonstrated them.

The runner will never overtake the turtle. You can even mathematically prove this. Was well as the arrow will never leave the bow. And the runner does not even have to become slower or make shorter steps. He wil just never overtake the turtle. No matter what he does he will always be behind.
The logic of Zenon is not debatable.
I'm afraid that's where you're wrong. Zeno disregarded speed and time when considering the runner. The proof is that when the runner is at the turtle's point the turtle will have gone farther. By the time the turtle will have gone that distance, the runner will have passed him. Thus he is disregarding speed and time. The arrow will leave the bow; occupying space does not mean it is at rest.

But the premises are. If you drop the premise that the arrow will have to fly half the way first, before it may get to the aim, you will have an arrow that flies. But as long as you stick to this premise the arrow will not move.
The laws of logic are present in the material, emprical world as well. If Zeno's logic was flawless, all change would be an illusion. Things move or appear to move because of these flaws.

Whish for it at the next shooting-star :D
Just remeber that your actions violate an absolute morality which you have not (and cannot, as you said) refute. :)
 

Tarlanc

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Helcaraxë said:
Just remeber that your actions violate an absolute morality which you have not (and cannot, as you said) refute. :)
Not only one. By not believing in God, eating cows, working seven days a week and mixing meat and milk I also violate the absolute moralities of Christians, Hindu and Jews. And By eating vegetables that were cut off living plants as well as dairy food I violate the vegan absolute morality. So, yours is not the only one that is violated by me ;)

We can discuss Zeno by PM
 

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Tarlanc said:
Not only one. By not believing in God, eating cows, working seven days a week and mixing meat and milk I also violate the absolute moralities of Christians, Hindu and Jews. And By eating vegetables that were cut off living plants as well as dairy food I violate the vegan absolute morality. So, yours is not the only one that is violated by me ;)
There are certain absolute moralities and certain subjective moralities. Some of those you mentioned are not absolute because they are based on unprovable proof. Absolute moralities are those which correspond to rights that have been rationally proven to be inherent.

By the way: when we say an animal is alive we are implicitly assuming the animal possess life. Otherwise it wouldn't be alive. Since any living thing is by defintion alive, it is injurious to an inherent possession of the animal and thus inherently wrong. The denial of a living thing's possession of its life is a contradiction.
 
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Tarlanc

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Helcaraxë said:
There are certain absolute moralities and certain subjective moralities.
And let me guess: You are the one that decides which is which ;)
 

Helcaraxë

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Tarlanc said:
And let me guess: You are the one that decides which is which ;)
Nope. We've been over this many times. No-one decides whether they are objective or subjective. Then they all would be subjective by defintion. Objective ones are discovered and proved through reason.
 
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