Do Dogs Have Souls?

The night of December 9, 2008, I had dinner at the P.R. Grill in Pentagon City with Drs. K.H.K. and W.J.K., as well as with I.K.. Dinner was delicious — I ordered a spaghetti (okay, it was good, but perhaps it was still not quite as good as Ascione’s Spaghetti), while K.H.K. ordered an in-bone rib-eye steak done medium, and we split our dishes. An animated dinner conversation accompanied the good food. This post is a follow-up to one of the topics covered.

K.H.K. said no, arguing that the Bible gives no such indication.

Pope John Paul II said that animals have souls. A Google search indicates that another pope, Pope Pius IX, said animals did not have souls.

Here’s a classic quote by Will Rogers about dogs and the afterlife.

Not sure whether dogs have souls or not, but here’s one dog that certainly has spirit. When I first heard about this, I was skeptical. Maybe the so-called rescuer dog was hungry and just wanted to eat the other dog’s carcass. But after seeing the video, I’m convinced it’s a rescue operation.

This very interesting book makes a big distinction between soul and spirit. The author claims that many ancient peoples made this distinction (the Egyptians for example; see this NYT article). He further claims that a careful reading of the Bible shows that Biblical writers seem to use the words soul and spirit to mean different things. So, perhaps the initial question can be cleft into two: Do animals have souls? Do animals have spirit?

I’ll post more on the fascinating soul vs. spirit meme later. That’s a whole new thought chain.

Addendum (01/17/09): Here’s my post on the soul vs. spirit issue.

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Published in: on 12 December 2008 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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