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Featured Do Animals Have Religion?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by The Hammer, May 13, 2022.

  1. The Hammer

    The Hammer Corporate Board Stooge
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    Well, do they? That's the question I am posing. Do Animals have Religion, of you think they do, tell me why that is.

    And if you think it's a load of rubbish, why not let me elicit your opinion?

    According to a blog that I will link to, although I'm posting the gist of it here, has this to say about animals and religious reverence.

    "Yes, they absolutely do. Let's begin with the elephant, which is one of the most intelligent non-human beings on the planet. The average person probably has no idea that these animals worship the moon, as they have been observed waving branches at the waxing cycle. They also take ritual baths in the moonlight when it's full, and they will bury their dead with food and flowers (a common practice among ancient humans to accompany the deceased into the afterlife). Not only that, but elephants also show additional veneration for the sun and stars. Chimps have been seen dancing at the onset of storms and at water sources, that can only be interpreted as ritualistic or religious behavior, and when a member of their community dies, their funerary customs are nearly identical to that of humans, which include silence, corpse preparation, and visitation. It appears that the more intelligent a species is, the more likely they are to believe in or venerate Higher Powers"

    Chris Aldridge's Blog and Website: Animals Do Have Religion
     
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  2. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Northern scum

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    I'd have to start off tedious and ask what is one meaning by "religion" ?
     
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  3. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Northern scum

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    Second off...

    Speculating about the internal life of other humans (based on behaviour) is fraught enough, so such speculation regarding other species sounds ....impossible?
     
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  4. The Hammer

    The Hammer Corporate Board Stooge
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    True, and it's an ill defined term for sure, as it's amorphous amongst groups. So I would say the "veneration/celebration/reverence for something greater then Oneself"
     
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  5. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Northern scum

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    Although one of our cats does get the devil in him sometimes.
     
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  6. The Hammer

    The Hammer Corporate Board Stooge
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    That's an argument he makes for it. Who is to say they don't? All we have are the outward signs of worship. Because we cannot read their minds anymore then most of us can read the minds of another human.

    So his conclusion is that we can't definitively say no, but the outward signs of a yes are there, tentatively.
     
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  7. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Northern scum

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    That seems rational then. Certainly non humans are the ones living in harmony with nature (jeez I sound like a bloody pagan) and yet for all the trappings of human religious behaviours it is humans that are violating nature.
     
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  8. Heyo

    Heyo Veteran Member

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    I was with him until this last sentence. It seems to be clear that some non human animals have rituals and ancestor worship. To jump to the conclusion that they "venerate Higher Powers" is not justified.
     
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  9. Viker

    Viker Spirit in Black

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    Animals are religion. :D
     
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  10. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    I have absolutely no idea how burial rites entail necessarily a religion. Nor how one is able to deduce that elephants worship the sun or the moon. Or how dancing at the onset of a storm must entail a religious ritual.
     
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  11. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Unknown Member
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    I don't know! Its possible. I think one could make an argument either way, but ultimately, agree with:

    I won't say yes or no definitely, because I don't see it as knowable at this time.
     
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  12. The Hammer

    The Hammer Corporate Board Stooge
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    My ancestors and rituals are "higher powers" imo. Things we see as greater then ourselves. Otherwise why engage in the behavior, imo.
     
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  13. The Hammer

    The Hammer Corporate Board Stooge
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    Valid assessment.

    I guess we all see things like "rituals and gods, and higher powers" a bit differently. :)
     
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  14. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Some animals have rituals, i really don't think they can be considered religion any more than washing the car on Saturday mornings.
     
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  15. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Doctor Science authoritatively weighed
    in on this question decades ago. Alas,
    he only addressed insect religions.
     
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  16. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Northern scum

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    Can a non human animal be an atheist?
     
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  17. Viker

    Viker Spirit in Black

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    Nonhuman animals don't believe in atheists. :D
     
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  18. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Meet my new buddy, no religion involved

    20220509_115827.jpg
     
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  19. Viker

    Viker Spirit in Black

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    I dunno. Looks like a praying mantis to me.
     
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  20. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Definitely a mantis but more interested in me then playing until a butterfly flew by. It's front arms shot out, it missed, it waggled them about a bit then turned back to look at me.

    Maybe it was deciding whether I was worth praying to. Or maybe thinking, i missed lunch and it's your fault for distracting me.
     
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