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Alan McDougall

Do animals have immortal lives like humans?

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With the assumption that there is indeed an afterlife and heaven, I personally feel if my beloved animals simply cease to exist and we humans live on after death it is unfair.

When I look into the eyes of my beloved gently dogs, who love unconditionally, I see a soul looking back at me, and if they can not follow me into the afterlife, I don't think I want to go to such a cold place.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

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When I look into the eyes of my beloved gently dogs, who love unconditionally, I see a soul looking back at me, and if they can not follow me into the afterlife, I don't think I want to go to such a cold place.

If my dogs can't go to Heaven I'm not going either.

Mark Twain said something along the lines of (and I paraphrase): "Entry to Heaven must be by favour, because if it went by merit most people would be kept out and dogs would be allowed in".

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Is heaven also full of dinosaurs?

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People seem to conveniently forget that humans are also animals.

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When I get there I have a long belly rubbing session planned for a certain Beagle ...... she was a good dog (if not very bright) :)

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Is heaven also full of dinosaurs?

Only Barney.

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With the assumption that there is indeed an afterlife...

Okay, let's make the assumption of a "soul" - which allows the assumption of an afterlife to be true.

What is "soul"? Is "soul" created, or inherent?

If not created, then we do not need to envisage a concept of deity to create it. If we do not need to envisage a concept of deity, then we do not have to allow for "special creation". If no "special creation", then humans are animals like every other animal on the planet - so, if human animals have souls then why shouldn't any other animal?

The only reason people consider humans as the only animal on the planet to have souls, is that they believe the soul exists and is created by some deity which favours humans. It's pure egocentrism.

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Hopefully there is no afterlife, for humans or animals.

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...The only reason people consider humans as the only animal on the planet to have souls, is that they believe the soul exists and is created by some deity which favours humans. It's pure egocentrism.

If souls were handed out based on the inherent goodness of an animal...dogs would have them. I'm not too sure about most people.

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Do humans?

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Posted (edited)

Here is my take on it all. (pretending for the moment that souls even exist)

Either all creatures have a "soul" or none do. I do not go for this spiritual elitism where only certain beings have souls and the rest do not.

This mindset that only humans have souls seems to often be used to rationalize the cruelty we (collectively speaking) do to them because, after all, they're soulless bags of flesh.

Are souls personified like we are here? I sincerely doubt it. Is there a particular "frequency" that differentiates a cat from a horse or a human from a badger? Maybe.

I am sure christianity would tell its followers that animals don't have souls while other beliefs systems may say otherwise (such as shintoism) but no one really knows so why not ditch the preachy stuff and simply endeavor to treat all living things with some consideration, kindness and compassion. It costs nothing and the payback benefits us and others.

Edited by Ryu
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Posted (edited)

I hope quite the opposite. I would very much like to be in the presence of my deceased daughter, brother, parents, and dogs. I miss them all so very much.

The great irony for those who hate the idea of an afterlife is that if they are right, they'll never know it... :) If they are wrong, well, that's something else again. But I think if any creature on the planet deserves a life of joy and contentment it would be the poor animals who suffer so much hardship during their brief stay on this rock. Edited by and then
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Dogs in general deserve afterlife if there is such thing, that is if we compare them to humans. I remember all those stories about how dogs are empty beings, they can't dream...

Dogs have characters, they have moods, they have dreams, they care, they can get hurt emotionally... Long list. There is nothing special about humans.

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I love dogs as much as anyone, but I also hope cats go to heaven. I've had lots of cats in my life and I want to meet all of them again in an afterlife. I'm not so sure about all my dead relatives and 'friends', though.

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The original question is food for thought.

There's not a single person on earth qualified to answer it with authority.

just sayin

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With the assumption that there is indeed an afterlife and heaven, I personally feel if my beloved animals simply cease to exist and we humans live on after death it is unfair.

When I look into the eyes of my beloved gently dogs, who love unconditionally, I see a soul looking back at me, and if they can not follow me into the afterlife, I don't think I want to go to such a cold place.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Heaven must be a very big place if they do - trillions and trillions of formerly living creatures roaming around.

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Flies, stink bugs, maggots, mosquitos... If the OP's dog goes to heaven, what about these creatures? Bacteria? Or is it just animals us humans like that get there? Wild dogs? No? Perhaps animals that we humans attach to - still human-centric but possible. Though cows present difficulty, one Aussie comedian spoke of his milking cow, Betsy. Does she make it but the poor battery cow find its end in a McDonald's Big Mac (a fate none deserve).

Assuming the afterlife exists, and the OP did put that assumption there, there would have to be a selection criteria of some kind, and being self aware beings, we seem to be the judges here. I could perhaps see a loved family pet being there simply because it brings comfort to the one to which it is attached, but if an after life exists, it's human-centric.

Though if an afterlife didn't exist then the question is moot to begin with. Those are my thoughts :)

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It says in the Gospel, "Don't give what is holy unto the dogs."

Whichever way it is set up, I know God did it good, since he is good.

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From the 2nd Gospel of Star Trek;

S2:E9

Captain Phillipa Louvois: We have all been dancing around the basic issue: does Data have a soul? I don't know that he has. I don't know that I have.

Who are we to say whether or not they have an afterlife. We don't know that we have one. In my belief system the Universe recycles and all life returns. I don't believe I am above or more favored than any other being. I am a homo sapien just a tailless mutant ape. I am an animal like any other, we all eat and poop.

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What ever you believe will be so because you believed.

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The original question is food for thought.

There's not a single person on earth qualified to answer it with authority.

It's a loaded question.
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It says in the Gospel, "15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

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This is one of those questions that starts one way, but comes out different when you follow the logic train back around.

The short answer is no, animals don't have souls, nor do they go to heaven.

Sad, sad answer, but I've got a pre-veterinary degree in animal science and another in religious studies, so this is a pretty important question to me and I've been hammering out an answer for years now.

Heaven is its own place fully outside of our physical universe. My personal pet theory is that occupies an inter-spatial reality similar to how the Koran describes the abodes of Jinn to be in the "space between spaces," but theologically it is first and foremost the area immediately surrounding God, or at least His Throne. Heaven already has its own animals; the highest of highest tiers of angels are called the Chayot haQodesh, lit. the Holy Animals. Then there are plenty of other references to fantastic creatures in Abrahamic folklore, from draconian Sarafim to the equine Buraq. So why should Fifi, Max, and Fido be allowed in to an already crowded establishment? The answer is because they have as much to do with our human-ness as anything else.

Dogs are more than man's best friend. Evidence of religious burial practices has already been discovered in a number of higher hominids, but the thing that really makes humans human is the gift of domestication. Nearly every mythology describes humans as being made physically from earthly materials, but spiritually, being sojourners from some higher realm and descended from the Creator in some way. Domestication is the "proof" of our divine ancestry if ever there was any. By taking something that naturally occurs and taking control of its very DNA to make it better or more productive, humans, in a way not seen in any other creature, reshape and create things that previously were not there. This is also why I always find it funny when people get their hackles raised over genetically modified food; corn ears were originally and naturally the size of your pinky, genetic modification is what we do!

Archaeologically, we are always pushing the date of the original humans back further and further based really on two major things: evidence of the domestication and generation of fire, and the morphological changes in the shape of wolves' skulls and teeth towards becoming dogs. Fire speaks for itself really; we create a radiant and dancing cloud of pure, reactive energy that previously could only be created by a lightning strike from the heavens... That ****'s magical, don't bother trying to argue. Dog's didn't exist before people- canids did, but not dogs. They wouldn't exist without people. And with that said, humans can never truly call themselves their Creator's offspring until they have transfered a non-native spiritual species through dimensions to love, fear, and serve them. SO... dogs (read as: animals belonging to humans) go to heaven because it wouldn't be home without them.

This human interaction also explains why there are the sounds of phantom hoofbeats at Gettysburg or the darting shadows of black dogs at ancient English churches, but motorist on the American interstate system aren't overrun by a White Walker-esque army of vengeful, undead roadkill. Animals are native to this world and its local spiritual reality, no need for a distant light at the end of a long tunnel to guide them home. Just as their body decomposes back into the earth, their spirit is reintegrated into the spiritual fabric of this world to re-emerge in another form of life. *Cue Lion King music and James Earl Jones VO's.*

Now, dogs I've talked enough about, and when you use an animal like a horse literally as your legs, there's not much surprise that the mortar shell that blew you into the next world took your mount with you. But the third animal most discussed on the spooky side of things are, of course, cats. By definition, cats are not (technically) domestic animals as that requires animals that are naturally social and hierarchical so a human can take the alpha position in the pack/herd. Cats are also weird in that they are as widespread as dogs, but they only became the cats we know once around 8-10,000 years ago in Egypt. Meanwhile we kept the recipe for dogs and recreated them from wolves at least five times throughout the world, that's why Asiatic breeds of dogs like pugs and shi tzu have curly-que tails and European hounds don't.

So, why do cats seem to make as many if not more ghosts than our much older friend, the dog? Anyone's guess is as good as mine, but personally I chalk it up to the Egyptian goddess Bast and her back-and-forth's between the world of the living and dead, day and night. I personally consider myself pretty religious, and the first of the Ten Commandments is to have no other god before the Lord, which inherently requires the belief in the existence in other (lesser) gods out there in the great, wide world. Or maybe it could have something to do with Terry Pratchett's idea that gods gain strength from those who believe in them; Bast goes back to, what?, 3000BC and far enough into the common era to inspire that "hey diddle diddle, the cat n' the fiddle," rhyme. That's an awful long time for collective faith to sink into an idea as universally recognizable as a cat, and presumably long enough for it to behave in accordance with its mythos. And as an added bonus of creepy, for everyone out there with a cat, who knows when you could be looking into her eyes only to watch them flash and catch the light funny, only for a pre-Biblical goddess to now be looking out from behind them?

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Posted (edited)

All we can really be certain of is that we are alive, and are blessed to have the animals. How dull would life be without them i shiver to think. When i was young i hadnt heard of God or Noahs Ark, i believed in Tarzan and always wanted a baby elephant. Sigh.

"When a man has pity on all living creatures, then only is he noble"

Buddha quotes (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)

Edited by taniwha

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