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Featured Animals, spirit world in Baha'i

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Meandflower, Jan 23, 2021.

  1. Meandflower

    Meandflower Active Member

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    According to Baha'i faith do animals go to the spirit world after death?
     
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  2. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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  3. Meandflower

    Meandflower Active Member

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  4. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    I believe animals have a spirit but that is different from that of a human.

    Do you know what the Christian Bible has to say about animals having an afterlife?
     
  5. Regiomontanus

    Regiomontanus retired astronomer

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  6. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    I think in one of the earlier copies of Some Answered Questions it says (paraphrasing) that man was always essentially man and then compares this to how from the beginning of embryonic life man changes form in the womb but is always man right from the beginning. Of course now the Universal House of Justice (UHJ) has come out and said that Abdul-Baha was not denying evolution. So I guess Baha'is have no choice but to assume that Abdul-Baha meant that at some point during human evolution humanity became fit for receipt of a soul. :confused:
     
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  7. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    It is a good question. The short answer is the Baha'i writings don't specifically answer the question about Homo erectus. The distinction between humans and animals is an important one in the Baha'i writings. However it is clearly stated that humans have evolved through different forms.




    There are points of unequivocal agreement between Abdu’l-Baha and the science of evolution, such as the principle that humans, like all other species, have evolved over time:

    [M]an, in the beginning of his existence and in the womb of the earth, like the embryo in the womb of the mother, gradually grew and developed, and passed from one form to another, from one shape to another, until he appeared with this beauty and perfection, this force and this power…3

    Abdu’l-Baha asserts that life is “very ancient” and states that man emerged in a much more recent time frame:

    … we established before through rational arguments that life on this earth is very ancient — not one or two hundred thousand, or even one or two million years old: it is ancient indeed…4

    … man was produced ten or a hundred thousand years ago…5


    Perspectives on Evolution - Baha'i Blog
     
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  8. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I think it is possible that they do, we just cannot know for certain.
    But we cannot even know for certain that humans go to the spirit world, so......
     
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  9. Meandflower

    Meandflower Active Member

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    In what way is the spirit of animals different?

    I do not know what the christian Bible say about it. But I know many christians believe animals do have a afterlife
     
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  10. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I do not agree with Abdu'l-Baha and I think he should stick with spiritual subjects and not delve into scientific subjects of which he was ignorant.

    I know many Baha'is who believe that animals have an afterlife. One of them is a 6th generation Baha'i.
    My naturopath who was trained just as well as any MD was appalled at what Abdu'l-Baha said and she said no matter can ever be extinguished.
    Mt veterinarian who is a staunch Catholic believes that for certain animals have an afterlife.
     
    #10 Trailblazer, Jan 23, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
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  11. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    It is a Baha'i belief that animals have a spirit but not a rational soul like humans have.

    There is no reason to think that a spirit cannot live on in some form and I believe it does.

    A cat that had recently died visually appeared to a Baha'i friend I had and I have heard the same thing happening to other people.
     
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  12. JoshuaTree

    JoshuaTree Flowers are red?

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    Ecclesiastes 3:21
    New International Version

    21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”
     
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  13. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    Humans have the capacity to know and worship God. Humans can reflect all the attributes of God. We can turn to the light of His Revelation and have reflected from our innermost lives His Divine light. To the best of my very limited knowledge, animals have no such capacity.

    I’m not aware of any verses in the Bible that would support an afterlife for animals. I have no doubt some Christians believe animals have souls and ascend to the afterlife regardless. But how can they journey through the world’s of God if they are incapable of reflecting His light in this world?
     
  14. Meandflower

    Meandflower Active Member

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    What about:

    Paris Talks 5.12 says:

    “The superiority of man over the rest of the created world is seen again in this, that man has a soul in which the dwells the divine spirit; the souls of the lower creatures are inferior in their essence. ”

    What is written in above says that animals have a soul. So maybe animals don’t have a rational soul because their soul is different from ours. Also the animals don’t have an immortal soul like a man but has an immortal soul like an animal?
     
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  15. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    I used to believe in reincarnation and an afterlife for animals when I became a Baha’i and eventually let go of those beliefs after accepting I had no way of knowing for certain whether these beliefs were true or false. So I accept what ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says on faith. It does make a certain amount of sense that they don’t but who really knows for certain?
     
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  16. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    Its an interesting point for God's alleged word to contain. God presumably knows what happens to the human and animal spirits.
     
  17. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    Perhaps you are right. What do you make of this passage from Some Answered Questions:

    The animal spirit is the power of all the senses, which is realized from the composition and mingling of elements; when this composition decomposes, the power also perishes and becomes annihilated. It may be likened to this lamp: when the oil, wick and fire are combined, it is lighted; and when this combination is dissolved—that is to say, when the combined parts are separated from one another—the lamp also is extinguished.
     
  18. JoshuaTree

    JoshuaTree Flowers are red?

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    Solomon was just being pouty that God never told him which it was, being the wisest man and all. ;)

    1 Kings 4:30
    New International Version

    30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.
     
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  19. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    “The animal spirit is the power of all the senses, which is realized from the composition and mingling of elements; when this composition decomposes, the power also perishes and becomes annihilated. It may be likened to this lamp: when the oil, wick and fire are combined, it is lighted; and when this combination is dissolved—that is to say, when the combined parts are separated from one another—the lamp also is extinguished.” Some Answered Questions, p. 208

    First off, to say that “The animal spirit is the power of all the senses, which is realized from the composition and mingling of elements” as if that is all an animal is is not a scientific fact, it is a religious belief.

    Second off, it is a scientific fact that animals are a composition of elements (matter) and matter can never be destroyed, it only changes form. So there is no reason to thank that animals are extinguished just because their bodies decompose. Human bodies also decompose but humans have a soul that leaves the body. So there is no reason to believe that the same thing does not happen to the animal spirit after their body dies.

    “The first law of thermodynamics doesn't actually specify that matter can neither be created nor destroyed, but instead that the total amount of energy in a closed system cannot be created nor destroyed (though it can be changed from one form to another). It was after nuclear physics told us that mass and energy are essentially equivalent - this is what Einstein meant when he wrote E= mc^2 - that we realized the 1st law of thermodynamics also applied to mass. Mass became another form of energy that had to be included in a thorough thermodynamic treatment of a system. (For a very important note on the difference between matter and mass, see here: The Equivalence of Mass and Energy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)).”

    https://www.physicscentral.com/experiment/askaphysicist/physics-answer.cfm?uid=20120221015143
     
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I hope you realize there is no way you can know that anything that is in the Baha'i Writings about the soul or the afterlife is true or false. ;) It is a belief, no more and no less, and as such it can never be proven true or false.

    What Abdu'l-Baha says about animal spirits being extinguished makes no sense to me and he is not infallible so I do not have to accept what he said. Moreover, I do not distrust all the people that have communicated with animal spirits that have passed on anymore than I distrust those who have communicated with human spirits. Nor do I distrust people I know who have seen animal spirits appear to them after they died.

    But we all have a right to believe whatever we want to and only after we die will we really know what happens.
     
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