Latest

27 Jan 2015 Articles No comments

Religious Liberty

Free will is at the very core of the message of the entire Bible. In my book, Behold Your Mother – A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrin…

Read more

29 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

Pope Francis met Argentine family who travelled 11,000 miles to Philadelphia

The Holy See press officer explained on Sunday that that morning Pope Francis had met with the Walkers, a family from Argentina who travelled in a VW camper van…

Read more

07 Dec 2014 Q&A No comments

When did the custom of canonizing saints start, and is it true that canonizations are infallible?

Full Question When did the custom of canonizing saints start, and is it true that canonizations are infallible? Answer Here are excerpts from two…

Read more

02 Sep 2015 Middle East - Africa News No comments

Why women are needed to help end violence in Africa

Women are the key to reconciliation in both the family and society. This was the message given to women from nearly twenty countries across Africa who conven…

Read more

09 Jun 2015 Articles Resources No comments

“The book which will help you to resist the Devil

Either Satan exists or he doesn’t. Either a malign demon is ceaselessly at work in the world to lead souls to eternal ruin (I don’t have any truck with talk of …

Read more

16 Nov 2014 Q&A No comments

When Jesus mentioned the "one flock, one shepherd," was he referring to the Catholic Church alone?

Full Question In John 10:16 Jesus says "I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must lead them too, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be …

Read more

05 Oct 2016 Middle East - Africa News USA Vatican Comments (2)

The ROSARY is defeating Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria

What is the most powerful weapon deployed against Boko Haram? Is it a smart bomb or a stealth drone? No. It turns out, the most feared weapon against Boko haram…

Read more

24 Jul 2015 Articles Q&A No comments

How can I overcome temptation?

Answer: The Scriptures tell us that we all face temptations. First Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man." Perh…

Read more

29 Jul 2016 Articles No comments

The story of Poland's majestic 'underground salt cathedral'

Located just southeast of Krakow, the Wieliczka salt mine is famous for many things – most notably its underground chapels, made entirely out of rock salt. I…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
«
»

Do animals have souls like human beings?

  • Written by:
  • 1 Reply

Full Question

Do animals have souls like human beings?

Answer

Animals have souls–and so do plants. Does this answer sound like something out of the New Age movement? Don’t worry–it isn’t. Rest assured we’re not saying animals and plants have souls like ours.

The soul is the principle of life. Since animals and plants are living things, they have souls, but not in the sense in which human beings have souls. Our souls are rational–theirs aren’t–and ours are rational because they’re spiritual, not material.

Animals and plants can’t do anything which transcends the limitations of matter. Although some animals seem clever, they don’t actually possess conceptional intelligence. They can’t, for instance, conceive of the abstract notion of justice.

Animals and plants also lack a moral sense. When you scold Spot for chewing the carpet and tell him what he did was “wrong,” you aren’t assigning guilt of sin to him, since he can’t commit a sin.

Animal and vegetable souls are dependent entirely on matter for their operation and being. They cease to exist at death. (There’s no “doggie heaven.”)

Human souls, by contrast, aren’t material. They’re spiritual. Only a spirit can know and love, a spirit’s two chief faculties being the intellect (which knows) and the will (which loves). We know human souls are spiritual since humans can know and love.

We also know human souls are immortal because spirits can’t decompose. They have no parts: Only a thing with parts can fall apart. A spirit is a unit. It has no top or bottom, no left or right, no inside or outside.

Every bit of matter, even the smallest, has parts. The human body can decompose–it’s made of matter, after all–but the human soul can’t. That’s why we say it’s immortal.

A good discussion of the differences between human beings and animals is available in Mortimer Adler’s The Difference of Man and the Difference it Makes.









wpsd_autopost:
1

1 comment

  1. Matt Reply

    Animals can’t know and love, just like humans? What really? They love too, right? Just because their soul is not spiritual so they can’t love?
    (See ending of the 4th last paragraph)

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories