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Do Animals go to Heaven?


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#106    Valdemar the Great

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:22 AM

It seems to me that the idea that Humans are different/above the Animals, and that Animals don't have souls comes from the same line of thought that interprets "having dominion over the earth" as being a license to  exploit the "animal kingdom" and the earth as a whole. An argument that has led to Human civilisation being woefully out of sympathy with the environment, and I'm afraid is yet another thing for which the blame has to be laid at the door of organised Religion.

Life is a hideous business, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous.

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#107    GreenmansGod

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:59 AM

I have to agree, Lord V.  We will doom ourselves with that arrogant line of thinking.

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#108    mysticwerewolf

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:07 PM

i can't remember my childhood church training but i vaguely  two items from the bible that might have bearings on the subject,

the first is something about a place where " the lion shall lie down with the lamb." this seems to indicate that there is a place for animals
and the second is
"as with man so it is with the beast,  from dust thou came to dust thou shalt return" this on the other hand indicates to me at least that there is no afterlife, for anything. Granted i haven't believed in any religeon or known Deity in over 35 years.


#109    Sakari

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:11 AM

View Postmysticwerewolf, on 22 January 2013 - 11:07 PM, said:

i can't remember my childhood church training but i vaguely  two items from the bible that might have bearings on the subject,

the first is something about a place where " the lion shall lie down with the lamb." this seems to indicate that there is a place for animals
and the second is
"as with man so it is with the beast,  from dust thou came to dust thou shalt return" this on the other hand indicates to me at least that there is no afterlife, for anything. Granted i haven't believed in any religeon or known Deity in over 35 years.




¶ The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.

Isaiah 11:6



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#110    Frank Merton

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:21 AM

View PostSakari, on 23 January 2013 - 02:11 AM, said:



and a little child shall lead them.

Isaiah 11:6

Thanks for providing that.

I think animals are different from human beings in some very obvious ways.  First, each species is different in its form and its behavior patterns and its environmental niche.  These are scientific things that are not really pertinent to the question here but need to be remembered.

Do humans have God-given dominance over the animals?  I think we have de-facto dominance, but the idea that we got this from God is a myth.  We have just assumed (usurped?) it.  With this dominance comes a huge responsibility that we seem often to try to avoid.

Do animals have souls?  Since I think the idea of a soul is an illusion, I would of course say no they do not, any more than we have souls.  What we identify as a soul is not a thing but a process -- like a wave on the water is a process (albeit a much simpler one).  That sensate animals would have a similar process going on seems reasonable, and reinforced by just watching them.  So, if that process somehow survives the death of the brain, it should to so likewise with animals.

Are humans spiritually or morally different?  This seems undeniable; we do not hold a dog responsible for its vicious attack on a rabbit, even if its done not out of hunger but just because of its instincts and the pleasure responses these instincts create.  Similar behavior by a person who has come to understand that it is wrong is held morally condemnable.  We too have such instincts, but we also have a moral compass.

Another way humans differ is in their ability to communicate with language at a level far exceeding the communication animals can achieve.  Still, in spite of this, our languages are inadequate to remove the isolation each of us has from everyone else.  We cannot share thoughts and emotions in any but the crudest ways.

One final difference, although there are no doubt many more: we have art and compassion and humor and religion and altruism, things that seem to appear here and there in limited ways in animals but for the most part seems limited to humans.

In short, I doubt that there is a qualitative difference between human and animal minds, but there are vast quantitative differences.


#111    Valdemar the Great

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:26 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 23 January 2013 - 08:21 AM, said:



One final difference, although there are no doubt many more: we have art and compassion and humor and religion and altruism, things that seem to appear here and there in limited ways in animals but for the most part seems limited to humans.

And, curiously enough, are almost totally absent from politicians. The only conclusion, I think, we can draw from that is that they are in fact not human.

Life is a hideous business, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous.

H. P. Lovecraft.


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#112    Frank Merton

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:48 AM

View PostLord Vetinari, on 23 January 2013 - 08:26 AM, said:

And, curiously enough, are almost totally absent from politicians. The only conclusion, I think, we can draw from that is that they are in fact not human.
No doubt so.

Pardon me please for getting pedantic over your perceptive comment, but I cannot restrain myself.  Politicians are self-appointed, just as are most professional people (people usually make these choices in college) and one must ask what is it that makes one want to be a politician?  A huge ego seems to be the only consistent characteristic.

Still, ego can be a good thing.  It can lead people to do, or at least try to do, great things.


#113    GreenmansGod

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:42 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 23 January 2013 - 08:48 AM, said:

No doubt so.

Pardon me please for getting pedantic over your perceptive comment, but I cannot restrain myself.  Politicians are self-appointed, just as are most professional people (people usually make these choices in college) and one must ask what is it that makes one want to be a politician?  A huge ego seems to be the only consistent characteristic.

Still, ego can be a good thing.  It can lead people to do, or at least try to do, great things.

I have met a lot of politicians in my life. The ones who seem to in it to for good reasons seem to never get elected and the ones in for self-serving greed get in on lies and deception. I blame it on laziness of the average voter.   One thing about my dog and cat is they don't lie to me and give me more than I can ever repay them.

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#114    Frank Merton

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:58 PM

View PostDarkwind, on 23 January 2013 - 02:42 PM, said:

I have met a lot of politicians in my life. The ones who seem to in it to for good reasons seem to never get elected and the ones in for self-serving greed get in on lies and deception. I blame it on laziness of the average voter.   One thing about my dog and cat is they don't lie to me and give me more than I can ever repay them.
I go by what I see in America and other democracies.  To be a "politician" in Vietnam one must apply and be accepted into the party, and nowadays that generally requires college and intelligence and, of course, ideological dependability.  What happens after that is not much discussed.  Competent people seem to be in the party, although there is some corruption, that happens everywhere.  I think nowadays the Leninist idea of an "elite" of party members running the country is pretty much, subject to human foibles, what you see.


#115    CrimsonKing

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:12 PM

Though i am not a believer in organized religeons,if there was a heaven or a hell i would want my dogs with me wherever i wound up

"If it is not advantageous,do not move.If objectives can not be attained,do not employ the army.Unless endangered do not engage in warfare.The ruler cannot mobilize the army out of personal anger.The general can not engage in battle because of personal frustration.When it is advantageous,move;when not advantageous,stop.Anger can revert to happiness,annoyance can revert to joy,but a vanquished state cannot be revived,the dead cannot be brought back to life." Sun-Tzu

#116    fullywired

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:08 PM

We know what we have to do if we want to go to Heaven but what does an animal have to do,assuming of course that they do get to go ??

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#117    GreenmansGod

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:45 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 23 January 2013 - 02:58 PM, said:

I go by what I see in America and other democracies.  To be a "politician" in Vietnam one must apply and be accepted into the party, and nowadays that generally requires college and intelligence and, of course, ideological dependability.  What happens after that is not much discussed.  Competent people seem to be in the party, although there is some corruption, that happens everywhere.  I think nowadays the Leninist idea of an "elite" of party members running the country is pretty much, subject to human foibles, what you see.

This is off topic so we have to end it, but I don't think either system works all that well.  Sometimes I think we would be better off to put everybody's name in a hat and draw lots. I read a science fiction story were they used that system.  I thought it might be a good idea.

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." Salman Rushdie

#118    Star of the Sea

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:50 PM

View PostSakari, on 23 January 2013 - 02:11 AM, said:



¶ The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.

Isaiah 11:6


Yup that's a nice one Sakari :tu:

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#119    Blueogre2

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:13 AM

Animals on the other side?  It's a sign of human egotism that not only do we somehow want to cheat death and continue on, but we want to bring our pets with us too! But as for the question no, I don't believe in pets going to heaven, mostly because I know animals are lower lifeforms that are incapable of higher thought and therefore there is nothing to pass on... heck I am not even certain we continue on after death... That may be an ability that a higher form of humanity will have in the future.


#120    Yinarchy

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:17 AM

My young son had a cat that only loved him. I didn't even like the cat. We lived  in a big house and one night, the cat came to me in a vision and told me it was dead and his body was in the basement, in the cistern. Then he rose and went into a brilliant light. Next day I told my oldest son to go and find the cat's body. Sure enough, there he was. I told my younger son, I knew for sure his cat had gone to heaven.





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