Does a vegetable have a soul?


#1

In Frank Sheed’s book, Theology for Beginners, on page 10, he states, “Ours is the only spirit which is also a soul–that is to say, the life principle of the body…Only in man spirit is united with a body, animates the body, makes it to be a living body. Every living body–vegetable, lower animal, human–has a life-principle, a soul.” Please explain.


#2

Are you serious :confused:


#3

I am seriously asking the question, because of the quoted statement from a respected apologist that I simply do not understand


#4

That quote is self contradictory. Which is it: only humans have souls or everything alive has a soul?


#5

I quite agree. I just found hard to believe that something like that would be published by Mr. Sheed. I thought I must be missing something.


#6

This is my take on what he is saying:

Only human beings have a spirit. This is what makes us human, and our ability to think, love, etc etc.

Every living thing, however, has a soul, which is simply, for a lack of words (I’m no apologist), what makes us alive. So since a vegetable “lives” and grows and even reproduces, it has a “soul” but not a “spirit.”

Interesting choice of words he used, I must admit.


#7

Looking at it again, I think he might be trying to clarify a distinction between spirit and soul, equating the term “soul” with the animating principle distinct from the spiritual essence which is unique to humanity. It is an idea which can be found in the CCC:

363 In Sacred Scripture the term “soul” often refers to human life or the entire person. But “soul” also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him, that by which he is most especially in God’s image: “soul” signifies the spiritual principle in man.

All emphasis in original.

It is a fine distinction and the terminology can be confusing. He seems to be equating “soul” with the breath of life as distinct from “spirit.”


#8

I hope you’re not trying to start PETV…People for the Ethical Treatment of Vegetables.


#9

Humans are made in the image and likeness of God. Since God is eternal our souls are immortal. We have immortal souls. Plants and animals have natural souls. When their “bodies” die they cease to exist.

Yes, I’m afraid so, your pet won’t be in heaven with you. :crying:


#10

what about “soul food” down in the south??? huh?


#11

[quote=thechrismyster]what about “soul food” down in the south??? huh?
[/quote]

Yeah…no kidding blackeyed peas…red beans and rice…collard greens and ham hocks…I am down with you thechrismyster


#12

St. Thomas Aquinas takes for granted that animals have souls:

To seek the nature of the soul, we must premise that the soul is defined as the first principle of life of those things which live: for we call living things “animate,” , and those things which have no life, “inanimate.”(

All things with life have a principle of life that brings organic unity to a thing. If animals did not have souls, for example, their organ systems and tissues would not work in harmony. Even in plants, a soul must order all of its activities in a way that enables the plant to live. Take, for example, an animal. Even after an animal dies it may exhibit some of the functioning of a living thing for a while. Its heart may beat, parts of its nervous system may work, various cells in its bodies will still function. Why then is the animal dead? Because these various vital operations which may persist for a time after death no longer function in unison. There is no soul to bring organic unity to the thing and produce the conditions necessary for life. It just so happens that the human soul has the powers of intelligence and will, which are totally spiritual. Hence, only the souls of men subsist beyond physical death. The souls of plants and animals are so wholly bound up with their bodies that they do not persist beyond physical death. They corrupt upon the death of the physical body for plants and animals.


#13

Well according to Aristotle they do but not immortal. Only a human has a psyche (soul).


#14

[quote=K-McD]Humans are made in the image and likeness of God. Since God is eternal our souls are immortal. We have immortal souls. Plants and animals have natural souls. When their “bodies” die they cease to exist.

Yes, I’m afraid so, your pet won’t be in heaven with you. :crying:
[/quote]

I have often wondered about that. (Will my pet make it to Heaven)
I sure love my Weenie dog.


#15

Bob, Larry, Pa Grape, Jr Asparagus, les petite pois Francoise? of course they have souls.


#16

[quote=QUICUMQUE VULT]I have often wondered about that. (Will my pet make it to Heaven)
I sure love my Weenie dog.
[/quote]

Your doggie will be with you in heaven!


#17

**Has anyone seen “Notting Hill”?

One of the “nightmare” dates is a girl that not only does not eat meat, but does not eat vegetables. She only ate things (fruits mostly) that were already dead. Had already fallen off of the trees.
Yuck!**


#18

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