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  #1  
Old Jul 8, '08, 8:54 pm
Lou F Lou F is offline
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Default Animals, love or instinct?

It is sad to say that some animals in the wild show more concern and give better care for their young than many parents in our day & age. If love is defined as more than a feeling, animals may have an edge by the way they physically care for and protect their young. I know many people say they love their pet & that their pets love them back, but do they? I know animals are very theraputic, and people definetly have good reasons why they bond so well with their pet. A lot of affection is involved.

However, no one can read the mind of an animal. Instinct and love seem to be compatable with liking and love. Liking is instinctive. People we say we like, like us also, that's easy. It is an instinctive reaction. Love, on the otherhand, goes deeper. Love reaches out to those they do not like, and breaks down the barriers that separate. Obviously, a dog likes his master because it's master takes care of the dog. Can it not therfore be true that such a relationship with a pet is no more than instinctive? How much is a pet owner going to continue to "love" that dog if that dog turns on him and starts biting him everyday? A pet owner would certainly not like that dog after a while.

Our relationship with animals cannot be love. A person loves those who don't love them back, just as a mother does toward her wayward son. A parent will die for their child. A person in a prison camp may die for another prisoner as in the case of St. Maximillian Kolbe. No greater love is there than to lay down one's life for his friends. How then can we say we "love" animals? Should we and would we die for an animal? Of course not.
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  #2  
Old Jul 8, '08, 9:54 pm
SirOscar SirOscar is offline
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Default Re: Animals, love or instinct?

I LOVE God, I love people, I love my family....

Some return my love, some do not, but I love regardless of the return.

I LOVE lots of things.......the sunrise on the lake, a cool evening by the fire, reading a book, singing, and lots more.....these things give give nothing back from their own accord, but I receive a relaxed soul and peace.

I LOVE my dog, I would like to think my dog loves me. I don't think he would become this twisted up, tail wagging psycho mess when I come home and greet him if he didn't feel something for me. Or when I am crying about something, he would come and sit next to me and lay his head in my lap as if to say "I'm here for you" Or if I am walking with him, stranger approaches me and he senses danger, he starts to growl & bark to protect me.

His actions speak love to me. You can call it instinct, but I will call it love.

If you equate laying down ones life as the demonstration of love, I can sure bet you are missing out on lots of it.
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  #3  
Old Jul 8, '08, 11:45 pm
strngrnrth strngrnrth is offline
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Default Re: Animals, love or instinct?

I have gotten a lot of affection from animals that I had never done anything for, and who had no reason to think I was about to. Mostly cats. I think humans and animals have different levels of love. There's immature, mature and spiritual love, in the nearest terms to hand. Immature love is child to parent, pet to owner, dependent to nurturer, a kind of attachment based on gratitude and survival drive. Mature love is parent to child, owner to pet, nurturer to dependent. It's an attachment that includes the willingness to sacrifice for someone else. Spiritual love is what Jesus commands; Love God with all your mind, heart, soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.
An animal can sometimes have mature love toward a human being. I've seen evidence of it. Like when they try to groom you. When they try to protect you. When they comfort you.
Spiritual love may or may not be just a human thing, I don't know, but we have every reason to think our pets can love us on the level of infants.
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Ár n-athair, atá ar neamh, Go naofar d'ainm. Go tdaga do riocht.Go ndéantar do thoil ar an talamh, Mar dhéantar ar neamh. Ár n-arán lathiúl tabhair dúinn inniú, Agus maith dúinn ár bhfiacha, Mar mhaithimid dár bhfeichiúnaithe féin. Agus n'a lig sinn I gcathú, ach saor sinn ó olc. Amen.
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  #4  
Old Jul 9, '08, 6:42 am
Lou F Lou F is offline
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Default Re: Animals, love or instinct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirOscar View Post
I LOVE God, I love people, I love my family....

Some return my love, some do not, but I love regardless of the return.

I LOVE lots of things.......the sunrise on the lake, a cool evening by the fire, reading a book, singing, and lots more.....these things give give nothing back from their own accord, but I receive a relaxed soul and peace.

I LOVE my dog, I would like to think my dog loves me. I don't think he would become this twisted up, tail wagging psycho mess when I come home and greet him if he didn't feel something for me. Or when I am crying about something, he would come and sit next to me and lay his head in my lap as if to say "I'm here for you" Or if I am walking with him, stranger approaches me and he senses danger, he starts to growl & bark to protect me.

His actions speak love to me. You can call it instinct, but I will call it love.

If you equate laying down ones life as the demonstration of love, I can sure bet you are missing out on lots of it.
Very well said. You & the response after you helped me to understand the different levels of love that are available to offer and to receive to/from man or animal. You both made me realize that if God made them, they must be able to love in return.

I apologize for posting the original thread in haste and with little prudence. I think I was writing it more out of instinct myself than love. I was angry when I heard that Paris Hilton gave billions of dollars for dogs. I guess I get a little predudice toward animals, especially when I see some people giving more concern to them than our fellow man who is more in need of love.
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  #5  
Old Jul 9, '08, 8:14 am
SirOscar SirOscar is offline
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Default Re: Animals, love or instinct?

Quote:
I apologize for posting the original thread in haste and with little prudence. I think I was writing it more out of instinct myself than love. I was angry when I heard that Paris Hilton gave billions of dollars for dogs. I guess I get a little predudice toward animals, especially when I see some people giving more concern to them than our fellow man who is more in need of love.
Now I understand the reason for your post!
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  #6  
Old Jul 9, '08, 8:35 am
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Rolltide Rolltide is offline
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Default Re: Animals, love or instinct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou F View Post
I was angry when I heard that Paris Hilton gave billions of dollars for dogs. I guess I get a little predudice toward animals, especially when I see some people giving more concern to them than our fellow man who is more in need of love.
It wasn't Paris Hilton, it was Leona Helmsley, in her will...
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  #7  
Old Jul 9, '08, 11:13 am
Hlafdige Hlafdige is offline
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Default Re: Animals, love or instinct?

Among the skeleton finds at the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, two stand out:

One is the remains of a female murder victim, clubbed over the head and thrown into the pit an estimated 10,000 years ago.

The other is that of a saber-toothed tiger with a broken and healed spinal column, apparently kept alive by its fellows during the long healing process.

Speaks volumes, doesn‘t it?
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  #8  
Old Jul 9, '08, 3:15 pm
SirOscar SirOscar is offline
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Default Re: Animals, love or instinct?

It speaks huge volumes!

I think there are lots of species in nature that exhibit some sort of love. It may be instinct, who knows really.

There is a species of bird that has a mourning and burial service for the one stricken with death. The living fly off and bring back sticks to cover their dead one. After it is all covered, they flock around it and start making all this noise similar to our crying. Once the service is finished, they all fly off together.

Is this a display of love & loss, or is this just an instinct?
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  #9  
Old Jul 9, '08, 3:24 pm
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Catitude Catitude is offline
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Wink Re: Animals, love or instinct?

I am a firm believer that people come first before animals. That being said, I am also a huge animal lover. I feel a sense of peace when they are around me and they keep me from becoming depressed. I do believe that animals love, in the true sense of the word, people. Not all animals may be capable of this emotion, but I believe some are. I'll give you an example:

My father hates animals and is literally cruel to them (doesn't think twice about hitting one just for it being in his way, yelling at it, and making it's life a living hell). I have a cat who I believe really shows what it means to love. If my father is yelling, she stays away from him. However, when he isn't yelling, she will ask to sit on his lap. It's as if she is forgiving him for how horrible he is, which is unconditional love.

However, I don't think that people should die for an animal, no matter how much we love them or they love us. They don't have eternal souls like we do.
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  #10  
Old Jul 9, '08, 3:34 pm
SirOscar SirOscar is offline
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Default Re: Animals, love or instinct?

Quote:
I do believe that animals love, in the true sense of the word, people. Not all animals may be capable of this emotion, but I believe some are. I'll give you an example:
Yes, I agree with you whole heartedly.

and Yes, we as human beings should never put animals before another human being.
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  #11  
Old Jul 10, '08, 12:37 am
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Kaninchen Kaninchen is offline
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Default Re: Animals, love or instinct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirOscar View Post
Yes, I agree with you whole heartedly.

and Yes, we as human beings should never put animals before another human being.
So, you're on a river bank, your cat/dog has fallen in, just a little along the bank Hitler (Stalin, Mao, Osama Bin Laden) has also fallen in. Who do you save?
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  #12  
Old Jul 10, '08, 8:00 am
lovesMary lovesMary is offline
 
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Default Re: Animals, love or instinct?

I believe that animals love one another and that our love for our pets is real.

Animals are God's creations and God is love. Love is ultimately the force that holds the universe together.
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  #13  
Old Jul 10, '08, 9:57 am
Caesar517 Caesar517 is offline
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Default Re: Animals, love or instinct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaninchen View Post
So, you're on a river bank, your cat/dog has fallen in, just a little along the bank Hitler (Stalin, Mao, Osama Bin Laden) has also fallen in. Who do you save?
Tough question! My inclination is to say that you could justify letting Hitler/Bin Laden drown because we are/were at war with them.
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  #14  
Old Jul 10, '08, 10:12 am
Caesar517 Caesar517 is offline
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Default Re: Animals, love or instinct?

I do not believe that animals love as we do. I think love can only be truly present in a rational being.

Because God is love, I believe God created animal instinct to replicate love in many circumstances. We see an animal defend her young not because she loves them, but because that's her instinct. Sometimes the male of a species will consume the young. I don't think it is lack of love or dislike that causes this, just instinct.

We also have a tendency to personify things in the world around us. I think this carries over towards us seeing animals "love" us or one another -- we can relate to love easier than pure instinct, so that is how we look at things.

Here's a question I want to raise: To be truly capable of love, don't you have to be capable of hate (love's opposite) as well?
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  #15  
Old Jul 10, '08, 10:34 am
lovesMary lovesMary is offline
 
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Default Re: Animals, love or instinct?

No, you don't need to be able to hate in order to love.
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