Friday, December 05, 2008

Do animals have souls?

In this podcast, psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz and neurosurgeon Michael Egnor (pictured here) discuss the question:

On this episode of ID the Future, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor and UCLA psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz join Casey Luskin for a discussion of materialism and its effect on modern science. Listen in to a conversation that begins with the question of whether animals have souls and turns to a lively discussion of Francis Crick and the way his materialist ideology blinded him to the implications of his own scientific discovery.
Christian apologist C. S. Lewis had an interesting take on the question of whether beloved pets would be found in heaven in The Great Divorce, wherein a lady who is great in heaven (though not on Earth) is surrounded by animals:

‘What are all these animals? A cat - two cats - dozens of cats. And all those dogs ... why, I can’t count them. And the birds. And the horses.’

‘They are her beasts.’

‘Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much.’

‘Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.’
Lewis's basic idea was that animals who get caught up in the human experience follow the people who loved them.

I hope that is good theology, because I have sometimes made use of it to comfort people who are broken up by the death of a beloved animal.

See also:

When pop science TV wants to hear only one side ...

These podcasts with Jeff Schwartz and Mike Egnor, on whether the mind is an illusion (science fiction alert).

Adopting a dog better for your health than pills?

Animal minds: How well can we understand a cat or a bat?