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Author Topic:   Do animals have souls?
smak_84
Inactive Member


Message 61 of 303 (305754)
04-21-2006 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by New Cat's Eye
04-11-2006 10:36 AM


How about this?
Yes, most definitely, animals have souls, as do plants. "WHAAAT!" you say. This is because no one here has yet identified what a soul is. The Bible will give you an idea, but you have to explore what the Bible is talking about.
The soul (an immaterial substance - why ought matter to be the only substance existing?) is the first and most basic organizing principle of living beings. There is a difference between souls, however. The human soul is unique in the sense that it is persistant after death (the separation of the soul from the human body -- an unnatural state for it). Animal and plant souls, however, do not persist in existence, but undergo something like what decaying matter undergoes. They, as it is described, return to the "potency of matter (that is, the philisophical matter - which is close, but not quite what scientists mean by matter).
Further, the soul is the philosophical "form" of the human being (id est (i.e.) the determing element that enters into the basic physical makeup of all finite beings). This might help explain what the soul is.
This message has been edited by smak_84, 04-21-2006 05:56 PM

This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-11-2006 10:36 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-21-2006 8:14 PM smak_84 has replied

New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 62 of 303 (305785)
04-21-2006 8:14 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by smak_84
04-21-2006 5:55 PM


Re: How about this?
Yes, most definitely, animals have souls, as do plants.
My beliefs differ. I think that only humans have souls.
There is a difference between souls, however. The human soul is unique in the sense that it is persistant after death
Well, if the human soul is unique and different than the other souls, I would refer to the human soul as just 'soul' and all the others as non-souls (or some new word to discribe them).
Animal and plant souls, however, do not persist in existence, but undergo something like what decaying matter undergoes. They, as it is described, return to the "potency of matter (that is, the philisophical matter - which is close, but not quite what scientists mean by matter).
Further, the soul is the philosophical "form" of the human being (id est (i.e.) the determing element that enters into the basic physical makeup of all finite beings). This might help explain what the soul is.
Adding in all this extra stuff is unneccessary, to me, and makes the situation more confusing. I have no reason to believe that other animals have souls, so I don't.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by smak_84, posted 04-21-2006 5:55 PM smak_84 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by smak_84, posted 04-21-2006 8:29 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

smak_84
Inactive Member


Message 63 of 303 (305794)
04-21-2006 8:29 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by New Cat's Eye
04-21-2006 8:14 PM


Re: How about this?
I'm using philosophical language here. It can be a little dense, but so can Chemical Analysis papers. The more detailed you get, the more confusing it might be. I'm just trying to be precise.
This message has been edited by smak_84, 04-21-2006 08:29 PM

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-21-2006 8:14 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

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 Message 64 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-21-2006 9:05 PM smak_84 has not replied

New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 64 of 303 (305803)
04-21-2006 9:05 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by smak_84
04-21-2006 8:29 PM


Re: How about this?
I'm using philosophical language here.
Well, I guess I don't speak it.
The more detailed you get, the more confusing it might be. I'm just trying to be precise.
You were. It was just more detail than I've ever put into it. I haven't really thought about it that much. Maybe later.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by smak_84, posted 04-21-2006 8:29 PM smak_84 has not replied

kalimero
Member (Idle past 2521 days)
Posts: 251
From: Israel
Joined: 04-08-2006


Message 65 of 303 (305887)
04-22-2006 9:30 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by LudoRephaim
04-04-2006 6:14 PM


Plants i'm not so sure, since they dont have the "Breath of life" like humans and animals do, which is believed by some to be "soul"
What about marine moluscs such as hydrozoa and scyphozoa?
In hydrozoa the polyp (plant like) stage is dominant, but in scyphozoa the medusa (jellyfish) stage is dominant.
They both exhibit 'plant like' and 'animal like' behavior, so are they animals or plants? Do they have a soul?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by LudoRephaim, posted 04-04-2006 6:14 PM LudoRephaim has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by smak_84, posted 04-22-2006 11:59 AM kalimero has not replied

smak_84
Inactive Member


Message 66 of 303 (305912)
04-22-2006 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by kalimero
04-22-2006 9:30 AM


About hydrozoa and scyphozoa...
It doesn't necessarily matter if they're plants or animals (as far as souls are concerned) as both have souls - that most basic organizing principle that makes all living things to be that which it is - a plant, animal, or human being (humans just have a special kind of soul). I would say, if they exhibit animal-like behavior, they're probably animals with a dormant stage (like hibernation observed in mammals).

This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by kalimero, posted 04-22-2006 9:30 AM kalimero has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by crashfrog, posted 04-22-2006 12:26 PM smak_84 has replied

crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1543 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 67 of 303 (305919)
04-22-2006 12:26 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by smak_84
04-22-2006 11:59 AM


Re: About hydrozoa and scyphozoa...
It doesn't necessarily matter if they're plants or animals (as far as souls are concerned) as both have souls - that most basic organizing principle that makes all living things to be that which it is - a plant, animal, or human being
Plants are plants because their cells contain chloroplasts, not plant souls.
Species essentialism - the position you advance here, that an organism is held to be part of a given species because it contains within itself a "basic organizing principle" that makes it a part of a species, irrelevant of any physical or behavioral characteristic - has been discredited in science for over 100 years. Dogs are dogs because we choose to call them "dogs", not because they contain a unique dog-type "essence" or "soul."
And of course it's been discredited - species essentialism is disproven by the very simple observation that populations of one species often become a species of their own, over time.
This message has been edited by crashfrog, 04-22-2006 12:26 PM

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by smak_84, posted 04-22-2006 11:59 AM smak_84 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by smak_84, posted 04-22-2006 12:41 PM crashfrog has replied

smak_84
Inactive Member


Message 68 of 303 (305923)
04-22-2006 12:41 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by crashfrog
04-22-2006 12:26 PM


Re: About hydrozoa and scyphozoa...
There are bacteria that contain chloroplasts as well, just so you know (and they're not plants - so that doesn't make a plant a plant).
Further, only some branches of science have been closed to dualism. Gross materialism is a branch of Philosophical Monism which states that there is only material substance and denies the existence of immaterial substances. This position is absured and quite prideful as it asserts that science has conclusively determined that only physical substances exist.
Further, do you have any evidence to disprove the existence of immaterial forms? Again, by what properties do we determine what a dog is? Are four legs essential (what about a dog with an amputated leg? Is that animal no longer a dog)? We all seem to recognize dogs nonetheless.
This message has been edited by smak_84, 04-22-2006 11:42 AM
This message has been edited by smak_84, 04-22-2006 11:43 AM

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by crashfrog, posted 04-22-2006 12:26 PM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by crashfrog, posted 04-22-2006 1:20 PM smak_84 has replied

crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1543 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 69 of 303 (305929)
04-22-2006 1:20 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by smak_84
04-22-2006 12:41 PM


Re: About hydrozoa and scyphozoa...
There are bacteria that contain chloroplasts as well, just so you know (and they're not plants - so that doesn't make a plant a plant).
See, here you are with the species essentialism again. Because you can't seem to get this discredited idea out of your head, you assumed that I was referring to the presence of chloroplasts as an essential character - that is, that I was saying that anything that has chloroplasts is a plant, and that anything that is a plant has chloroplasts.
Clear your mind of species essentialism and read my post again.
You're actually wrong - there are no bacteria with chloroplasts. Bacteria are prokaryotic and as such, contain no membrane-bound organelles such as chloroplasts or mitochondria. While a group of photosythetic bacteria (called cyanobacteria) do exist, they perform photosythesis in their cytoplasm (along with all other cellular processes) and not within chloroplasts.
Further, do you have any evidence to disprove the existence of immaterial forms?
The observation that new species develop from old ones disproves the existence of immaterial, immutable essences that define species membership.
Again, by what properties do we determine what a dog is?
A consensus of taxonomists determine what species an organism is a member of. They may do this via observation of behavior, analysis of "key" physical characteristics, geographic proximity to other conspecifics, or even molecular keys to determine phylogeny. These determinations are always tentative and many are hotly disputed. While the biological concept of species seems rigorous, it doesn't lend itself to the development of practical surety about species identification. Species, like all taxonomic categories, is largely an artifical construct in the first place.
We all seem to recognize dogs nonetheless.
Do we? Is this organism a dog?
Regardless of your ability to recognize a chihuahua as a dog, organisms will always exist that aren't so easily recognized without training, and sometimes, not even then. And that doesn't even get into species identification of fossils.
The categories we impose on the world of living things are just that - impositions. They don't reflect a biological reality; they're not evidence that living things are actually divided into categories like "animal" or "plant" or "dog." They're just tools we use to make some sense out of the staggering diversity of natural form, and most of the time they do just that. But that utility should not be mistaken for reality.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by smak_84, posted 04-22-2006 12:41 PM smak_84 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by smak_84, posted 04-22-2006 2:08 PM crashfrog has replied

smak_84
Inactive Member


Message 70 of 303 (305945)
04-22-2006 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by crashfrog
04-22-2006 1:20 PM


Re: About hydrozoa and scyphozoa...
Most certainly that animal pictured is a kind of dog. Why wouldn't it be?
My mistake, about the assertion of bacteria with chloroplasts, I wasn't aware of the depth of you knowledge of biology. I was using bacteria as a general term. Protists, then, have chloroplasts, and cyanobacteria in a sense (but not exactly) act as large chloroplasts (however the molecular pathways are different in cyanobacteria).
As far as essential characteristics to a species: what makes us human, and not an ape? I need a complete and comprehensive list that the taxonmists use to define human as opposed to ape. Why are they hotly disputed? Because no one can describe an immaterial form using material attributes. It's like trying to describe cement by using only things we observe about sound. The comparison is absurd.
How does that fact that new species devlop from old ones necessarily disprove the existence of forms? Why wouldn't it just necessarily be a different form that is created?
Further the fact that we can all recognize this diversity must mean that there is something that is signaling diversity, but what?
Do you, then assert that the existence of the soul is an absurd notion then?
Since what you label as "species essentialism" it is discredited by a philosophical monist (id est, only material substances exist) view that the physical sciences are restricted to, does this necessarily make the situation objectivly so? Or is it possible that forms exist? Is it possible that we can only observe their effects but we cannot directly detect them?
It's like gravity, you see, we can observe its effects and we can measure and predict how it will effect things. However, scientists have little idea about what it is (they have theories, but nothing definite).

This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by crashfrog, posted 04-22-2006 1:20 PM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by crashfrog, posted 04-22-2006 6:55 PM smak_84 has replied

crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1543 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 71 of 303 (306013)
04-22-2006 6:55 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by smak_84
04-22-2006 2:08 PM


Re: About hydrozoa and scyphozoa...
Most certainly that animal pictured is a kind of dog. Why wouldn't it be?
Because it's a wolf, maybe? I mean, how do we tell the difference between a wolf and a wolflike dog?
My mistake, about the assertion of bacteria with chloroplasts, I wasn't aware of the depth of you knowledge of biology.
Yeah, I mean, here I am, with 11 and a half thousand posts at a forum dedicated to debate about a theory in biology, using words like "chloroplasts" and "taxonomy". I'm not saying I have any expertise in the subject, but in the future you might consider that if you use scientific terms, people are going to read them according to their precise definitions and not according to your ideosyncratic usage.
I was using bacteria as a general term.
A general term for what? The term specifically refers to one class of prokaryotic single-celled lifeforms, which can't have chloroplasts by definition.
Nice, though. What is that, forum debating tactic #26? Turning your exposed ignorance into an attempt to portray yourself as the condescending expert?
I could go on all afternoon correcting your mistakes, but that's not much fun and I told my buddies I'd play World of Warcraft with them, so I must be brief.
As far as essential characteristics to a species: what makes us human, and not an ape?
What leads you to believe we're not both? No, seriously. The way that you ask this leads me to believe that you don't have much experience or knowledge about cladistics, or else you'd have known that Homo sapiens is a species in superfamily Hominoidea, the apes.
Why wouldn't it just necessarily be a different form that is created?
Created how? How does a physical process - reproduction and random mutation - create something immaterial?
Further the fact that we can all recognize this diversity must mean that there is something that is signaling diversity, but what?
I don't understand the question. The recognition of diversity comes from the observation that individuals vary and are not identical, not the recognition of "signals of diversity", whatever those are. Diversity need not be signaled. It's enough to look around you and realize that organisms are diverse.
Do you, then assert that the existence of the soul is an absurd notion then?
I assert that the existence of souls is not necessary, and that the invention of "souls" is not required to explain the history and diversity of life on Earth, or the behavior of living things.
Does that mean it's "absurd" to posit the existence of a "soul"? I don't know. Is it absurd to posit the existence of something that, as it is defined, cannot exist?
Is it possible that we can only observe their effects but we cannot directly detect them?
That would be a form of detection, so your question is tantamount to asking "can we detect the undetectable?" The answer to that is, of course, "no", provided that words have meaning. Something about your posts indicates to me that that's a position you're prepared to dispute...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by smak_84, posted 04-22-2006 2:08 PM smak_84 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by smak_84, posted 04-22-2006 11:29 PM crashfrog has replied

smak_84
Inactive Member


Message 72 of 303 (306040)
04-22-2006 11:29 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by crashfrog
04-22-2006 6:55 PM


Re: About hydrozoa and scyphozoa...
If you're going to use insulting remarks like:
"Nice, though. What is that, forum debating tactic #26? Turning your exposed ignorance into an attempt to portray yourself as the condescending expert?
I could go on all afternoon correcting your mistakes, but that's not much fun and I told my buddies I'd play World of Warcraft with them, so I must be brief."
I don't think I shall continue this discussion. Ad Hominem attacks on parties of a debate are completely unnecessary and do no work in advancing the discussion.
However to answer some of your questions:
Bacteria being the term how commercials on TV use it id est another term for microorganisms.
Is not a wolf a type of dog?
There's obviously a huge difference between us and apes. We have the ability for advanced intellectual capacities. Apes haven't demonstrated that ability yet.
Why wouldn't a physical happening create an immaterial thing? Read some philosophy to understand immaterial things.
There's something your mind picks up on that tells it that one thing is different from another, when it compiles the sense images. What is is picking up on? How does the mind know that the sense images for a tree make those sense images mean a tree and not a chair? This would be the recognition of the form.
Lastly, it seems we don't have some basic definitions down about philosophical concepts (I apologize for doing an inadequite job defining them) Read some philosophy -- some Plato, some Aristotle, some Aquinas, some Maimonidies, some Immanuel Kant and then we'll resume this discussion.
This message has been edited by smak_84, 04-23-2006 01:55 AM

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by crashfrog, posted 04-22-2006 6:55 PM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by Belfry, posted 04-23-2006 8:40 AM smak_84 has not replied
 Message 74 by crashfrog, posted 04-23-2006 10:51 AM smak_84 has replied
 Message 75 by Quetzal, posted 04-23-2006 12:33 PM smak_84 has replied

Belfry
Member (Idle past 5162 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 73 of 303 (306082)
04-23-2006 8:40 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by smak_84
04-22-2006 11:29 PM


Re: About hydrozoa and scyphozoa...
smak_84 writes:
Bacteria being the term how commercials on TV use it id est another term for microorganisms.
I have never observed this to be the case. Generally they use "germs" when they want a generic term. Remember that this is the science forum; if you use a biological term, expect it to be interpreted with the biological definition.
smak_84 writes:
There's obviously a huge difference between us and apes. We have the ability for advanced intellectual capacities. Apes haven't demonstrated that ability yet.
Can you define "advanced intellectual capacity," and give an example that demonstrates the "huge difference" between us and other apes in this regard?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by smak_84, posted 04-22-2006 11:29 PM smak_84 has not replied

crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1543 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 74 of 303 (306095)
04-23-2006 10:51 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by smak_84
04-22-2006 11:29 PM


Re: About hydrozoa and scyphozoa...
If you're going to use insulting remarks like:
If you don't like the way your behavior is described, change your behavior. We were on perfectly civil terms until you chose to respond to the correction of your mistake by becoming condecending.
Bacteria being the term how commercials on TV use it id est another term for microorganisms.
I've never seen a TV commercial that used the word "bacteria" in such an imprecise manner. I believe the word you're looking for is "germ."
Is not a wolf a type of dog?
No, it's not. Canis lupis is a different species than Canis familiaris.
There's obviously a huge difference between us and apes.
Yes, there's a huge difference between us and the other species in superfamily Hominoidea. There's a huge difference between chimpanzees and the other species in superfamily Hominoidea. There's a huge difference between the gorillas and the other species in superfamily Hominoidea.
Superfamily Hominoidea does indeed encompass a considerable range of species diversity. So what? From the genetic information we know that humans belong to superfamily Hominoidea. Look, you can look it up if you don't believe me. What, you didn't think humans appeared in the taxonomy? Maybe you don't think we're mammals, either? Or vertebrates?
Why wouldn't a physical happening create an immaterial thing?
How would it?
Read some philosophy to understand immaterial things.
Which philosophy do you recommend? Be specific. I need authors and titles, please.
There's something your mind picks up on that tells it that one thing is different from another, when it compiles the sense images. What is is picking up on?
Information from the senses, of course. We recognize chairs because they look like things we've been told are "chairs." Sometimes you can construct a chair, though, that people don't immediately recognize as a chair. Sometimes you can see a tree that you don't immediately recognize as a tree. The fact that our detection of objects can be fooled proves that we're merely just visually recognizing the shapes of objects and not detecting their inner essence through some kind of mind-power.
Read some philosophy -- some Plato, some Aristotle, some Aquinas, some Maimonidies, some Immanuel Kant and then we'll resume this discussion.
This is a science forum, not a philosophy forum. You're required here to defend your arguments with evidence, not with reading assignments. If it helps you, pretend that I've actually read the major works of those philosophers and rejected their arguments as unsound and contradicted by the facts. Now, can the discussion continue? It's incumbent on you to defend your own arguments, not enlist a cadre of musty old codgers to do it for you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by smak_84, posted 04-22-2006 11:29 PM smak_84 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by smak_84, posted 04-23-2006 12:57 PM crashfrog has replied
 Message 82 by 1.61803, posted 04-23-2006 9:26 PM crashfrog has not replied

Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5949 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 75 of 303 (306128)
04-23-2006 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by smak_84
04-22-2006 11:29 PM


Wolves and Trees
Is not a wolf a type of dog?
Well, no, actually. If anything, a dog is a type of wolf. In spite of Crash’s answer to this bit, I think you’ll find that many ecologists/biologists (including me) would argue that Canis familiaris is really merely a sub-species of Canis lupus. The reasoning includes the facts that F1 hybrids of the two species are fertile, and that F2 and subsequent generations tend to “back-breed” to something that closely resembles the original C. lupus ancestor - although containing genetic markers showing more “dog-like” traits. Moreover, a third species, Canis rufus, is also problematic for many of the same reasons. In other words, the soul or essence or whatever else it is that you think determines “wolf” or “dog” simply doesn’t exist.
There's something your mind picks up on that tells it that one thing is different from another, when it compiles the sense images. What is is picking up on? How does the mind know that the sense images for a tree make those sense images mean a tree and not a chair? This would be the recognition of the form.
It’s entirely possible to argue that the canids mentioned above contain some kind of essence of “wolf-ness” or whatever. In fact, that could be a strong piece of evidence you could use with people who don’t know any better if you ever need to use this line of argument again somewhere else. However, once you get into “tree-ness”, the essentialist argument falls utterly flat.
When is a tree not a tree? How about when it is actually a daisy? The family Compositae (daisies) is notorious for developing forms that appear to be something other small flowering plants we think of when we talk about daisies. The black cabbage tree (Melanodendron integrifolium) or the gumwood tree (Commidendrum robustum) are both “daisies” that have decided to become “trees”. They look (sense image - your term) like trees, they fill the “tree niche” in an area where no real trees exist, they have woody stems, etc etc. They are, however, not trees in the sense that you mean the term. They’re daisies with delusions of grandeur.
Worse, how does “essence” explain plants that, depending on habitat, would either be called “shrub” or “tree”? The New Zealand manuka “tree” (Leptospermum scoparium) is either a woody shrub Ficus species (such as F. tuerckheimii or F. hartwegii, etc) that, at different stages of their lifecycle, have the “form” of (or would be called) variously an epiphyte, a vine, or a tree. What is the “real” essence here? Are these plants trees? Are they vines? Are they something else? Inquiring minds want to know.
In short, although superficially it’s easy to claim that organism A has some kind of outward form that reflects some kind of inner essence, once you get into the details of what nature throws up for our confusion the entire concept of essence falls in tatters. Our generic, common terms for different things (such as “dog” or “tree”) simply don’t reflect the underlying reality of what the thing “is”.
Although you recommended to Crash that he pick up a philosophy book or two, my recommendation to you would be to pick up a couple of good biology or ecology books. Maybe start with Wilson’s Diversity of Life and Mayr’s Evolution and the Diversity of Life. You might find them interesting.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by smak_84, posted 04-22-2006 11:29 PM smak_84 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by smak_84, posted 04-23-2006 1:48 PM Quetzal has replied

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