Can Animals be Guilty of Sin?


The ability to think and reason.


We do not know if animals can.

Several species of mammals are indeed self aware.

We have no proof for or against that.

Quite true.


God, for some reason calls for blood sacrifices. He knows I have a problem w that. He’s Omniscient. Any way, Animals do not have souls. As an animal lover, what can I say…
A soul has intellect and free will. Animals can be taught things. But there is no self control. RE: a animal in heat. Dogs making love to our legs. Eating cat crap, paper towels… some trainable. But an animal in heat…
So, a dog can’t sin.
The bull is a sacrifice. Or doves, etc.
Later, God was fed up w us trying to get over on him. Bringing blind & lame animals.
Blood is a symbol of life.
In Christ’s Love


Animal indeed have souls!


Chihuahuas are wicked sinners!

Not all, mind you, but there have been some very bad ones in world history.


Not immortal souls, though. That’s the distinction. Inasmuch as the ‘soul’ is the substantial form of the material body, animals (and plants) have souls. However, they’re tied to the physical existence, and do not survive the death of the being.

Human souls, on the other hand, are immortal.

Do you know that animals ‘reason’? How can you distinguish that from ‘react’ or ‘interact with their environment’?


What is your proof to that? God loves all his creatures, He will care for them after they die. I know for certain that my pets that have passed away are with God. Why would God give some of His creatures immortal souls and other not?

If animals only react, them the same can be said of humans.


Bl sings,
It’s not my idea. It’s what our church teaches. I’m just putting out what I was taught.
Personally, I want my animals in heaven w me. OR an animal heaven w a rainbow bridge.
You can fight it all you want, but I see the INSTINCT vs INTELLIGENCE.
It’s their instinct to please us.
We’ll find out one day…
Don’t be mad at me.
In Christ’s love

P.S. I fudged and taught kids about the rainbow bridge and animal heaven.
I know how you feel.


You are right, we will find out someone day. My reasoning has lead me to believe that animals will be in heaven, but I understand that other may think differently. All’s good.


I understand. It saddens me. I had an acquaintance of a psychic. I just knew him.
I asked the question,” Where do animals go?”
His view point was that they are a gift to us for our pleasure. YEP! When they die, their spirits exist near us. As long as we speak of them and remember, their spirit exists. When we cease remembering… they dispersed into nothingness.
I have a pet cemetery in and around my house. I wonder how that counts.
All we can do is love them and appreciate the gift.
In Christ’s Love


The Bible. :wink:

Only humans were created in the “image and likeness of God”. God isn’t physical, so that description cannot mean anything about our physical bodies. Therefore, it must refer to our souls. Only humans have souls that, like God, are immortal.


If you say so.

Because that wasn’t His purpose for creating them, perhaps?

Right… so, we’re back to that notion: if you’re a behavioralist, then all you look at is the external actions, and therefore, you draw correspondences between human behavior and the behavior of other animals.


I always thought it meant physical as well as spiritual likeness
"Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness”

Even if it does mean spiritual likeness only, that could merely mean that we have an intellect higher than that of animals, one closer to God’s.

We can’t say for certain. Jesus said: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. …

This to me seems to say that God loves and cares about all His creations.

I think that if Humans are rational, and animals can reason like humans, then animals are also rational


Does God the Father have physical extension? If not, then ‘likeness’ can’t apply to physical nature… :wink:

IIRC, Aquinas would assert that ‘intellect’ is a characteristic of the human soul only. So… from a philosophical perspective, we wouldn’t hold that animals have ‘intellect’, per se.

Yes, God does care about all the creatures He created! However, that doesn’t support the position that they have immortal souls. :man_shrugging:

OK… we’re back to that assertion, then: do you know that “animals can reason like humans”? If not, then you can’t make the claim for rationality! :wink:


No, you may be right.

Aquinas was a wise theologian, but was not infallible. As with the notional of delayed ensoulment, modern learning can correct errors from the past.

We have no way of knowing for sure if animals have immortal souls. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.


I seriously don’t even know how to respond to this.
When you see even the highest level primate quote Shakespeare:
“to be or not to be, that is the question”,
then we might have something to talk about.

Animals simply do not have self awareness or question anything about the meaning of their lives, their purpose, their destiny, whether they exist and why.
This should be self evident.


What was not assumed was not redeemed.


Or perhaps it is we humans who do not fully understand creatures/species that have been on this planet for countless eons longer than us.

As an example, one could say that primates who have been taught sign language (e.g. the late “Coco”) may just be responding as sort of a ‘trick’ for humans, but I do not believe this is the case. If one examines some of Coco’s responses (dare I say ‘thoughts’) to the world around her, they definitely don’t scream ‘trick response’; they show independent thinking and self awareness as well as awareness of the world around her (? - I think ‘her’).

Communication is, of course, the main obstacle. Because a species does not communicate as we do does not mean they do not communicate, or that there is no self awareness, etc. An animal does not need to know geometry or quote Shakespeare; that’s a human thing. I’d be willing to bet that there are concepts of nature they understand that we can’t even begin to conceptualize, let alone try and understand. They may be as alien to us as our concepts are to them.

I dare say the average cat is more in tune with nature and the immediate world around them than we can ever hope to be.


Infallibility is over-rated. It’s called upon far too often as ‘proving’ or ‘disproving’ a point. The Church teaches authoritatively. That’s what’s important.

True. However, his issue there was an error of reproductive biology, not of theology. I guess you could make the point that his understanding of animal biology is off, but… this claim of his that we’re talking about is one that’s theological, not biological, right? I mean, it’s not based on any biological premises (other than the identification of the animal as non-human), right?

Well, we know (Scripturally) that humans do have immortal souls. We also know that animals are not “suitable help-mates” for humans – that’s the whole reason for the rationale (in Genesis 2) that humans are male and female, right? So, if that’s the case, then I think it’s not unreasonable to suggest that the theological impact of that narrative is that we’re more fundamentally different than mere physical differences.

So, if you’re willing to “disagree” with that, then have at it. I’m just not sure that it’s a theologically or philosophically tenable position to defend.

(I’d feel more comfortable suggesting that our animal friends will be re-created in the eschaton. You’d be able to get more traction out of that theory than the notion that animals have immortal souls… :wink: )


I don’t really disagree with anything you say here, but I would reiterate the distinctions I made in concordance with what you say here.


We may never know until Heaven. All debates of animal souls can’t prove anything.

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