The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Do animals have souls?  (Read 3063 times)

Offline Ian Scott

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 101
    • View Profile
Do animals have souls?
« on: 23/07/2008 10:03:44 »
Do animals have souls?

I am curious partly because I don't believe in souls as a scientific concept but also if we assume they inhabit us as a theory then why not all life forms equally?

Can we test a soul?

Can me weigh a soul?

Does a soul influence behavior in a discernible way?

Or is a soul vacuum?

Admittedly I like cats and I see them as intelligent. I also see they have a sense of humor.

What makes a soul then? If at all?

Mod edit - formatted the subject as a question.  Please try to do this to help keep the forum tidy and easy to navigate - thanks!
« Last Edit: 23/07/2008 13:01:43 by BenV »


 

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
Do animals have souls?
« Reply #1 on: 23/07/2008 19:23:17 »
I guess the closest thing I would say a soul is, is a person's essence and that would be the sum of their personality, experiences and memories. Because we are still figuring out how our brains work and, as far as I'm concerned the soul must lie in the brain, it would be difficult to answer the rest of the questions.
Once someone dies the soul no longer exists because the brain no longer works. I love the sc-fi programmes where the mad professor wires up his brain to a machine so that he can live after he dies. I reckon that if you could do that a persons soul could survive the death of the body. However I reckon the soul would change under these circumstances as feelings of self would change.
 

blakestyger

  • Guest
Do animals have souls?
« Reply #2 on: 23/07/2008 21:35:48 »
I do know that some Victorians devised one or two very elaborate experiments involving a person on his deathbed which in turn was mounted on a relatively delicate weighing device.

The plan was to note any change in weight at the time of death and this was deemed to be the soul's weight. As far as I know nothing came of it - due mainly to the inbuilt inaccuracies of the weigher. [xx(]

I can't remember whether the premise was 'here is a soul and we'll weigh it' or 'there isn't a soul and we'll prove it'.

What this does rather well is underline the extent to which the Victorians went to in their obsession with the bizarre.
 

Offline annie123

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 252
    • View Profile
Do animals have souls?
« Reply #3 on: 26/07/2008 19:23:14 »
this could turn into a religion/philosophy thread - but I'll ask anyway what the question means in terms of what is a soul?
If it's someones 'essence' - again, some problem with definition  - as something that exists apart from the material body, then how does one explain the changes in a person's personality/essence etc. when a portion of the material brain is damaged or removed or chemically altered? And how can one discern the soul of a mentally challenged or autistic  person...or know if they, or a child, or a baby has any awareness of itself beyond physical sensation? Or do any of us really have awareness of ourselves beyond this level . . .nothing that can be really measured with current intruments - who knows in the future?
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Do animals have souls?
« Reply #3 on: 26/07/2008 19:23:14 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums