Soul in every living breathing life form


#1

It is a Catholic view that anything that grows, lives, breaths… has a soul to make this happen. So a plant has a type of soul.

My challenge is if this is true, which I support, then is a Soul given to us by God?

Can we copy a soul, can man create a soul?

If you say no then you would have to explain how we can copy the dna of a cow and create the same cow, or is it actually different? Does this copied DNA cow have a soul too?

Lets say a scientist did this to create a man, does this science room created man have a soul?

I ask this becuase I support the soul theory by the philospphers of the Catholic Church, yet I also believe the soul can only be created by God and God alone.


#2

I could be wrong, but I don’t think that we should believe that any living thing other than humans have a soul. Animals don’t have souls and neither do plants
-Tamara


#3

[quote=Texan in DC]It is a Catholic view that anything that grows, lives, breaths… has a soul to make this happen. So a plant has a type of soul.

My challenge is if this is true, which I support, then is a Soul given to us by God?

Can we copy a soul, can man create a soul?

If you say no then you would have to explain how we can copy the dna of a cow and create the same cow, or is it actually different? Does this copied DNA cow have a soul too?

Lets say a scientist did this to create a man, does this science room created man have a soul?

I ask this becuase I support the soul theory by the philospphers of the Catholic Church, yet I also believe the soul can only be created by God and God alone.
[/quote]

The “soul” is only the principle that animates a living thing-- all living things have this principle of animation. The soul is inherent. It is generated at the same time that the being comes into existence.

Only humans have a soul that is also a spirit-- a rational, immortal being capable of intellect and will. God specially creates the human soul at conception-- regardless of how that conception occurs.

The Catechism has good information on this, and I also recommend the book Theology For Beginners by Frank Sheed.


#4

[quote=Texan in DC]It is a Catholic view that anything that grows, lives, breaths… has a soul to make this happen. So a plant has a type of soul.

My challenge is if this is true, which I support, then is a Soul given to us by God?

Can we copy a soul, can man create a soul?

If you say no then you would have to explain how we can copy the dna of a cow and create the same cow, or is it actually different? Does this copied DNA cow have a soul too?

Lets say a scientist did this to create a man, does this science room created man have a soul?

I ask this becuase I support the soul theory by the philospphers of the Catholic Church, yet I also believe the soul can only be created by God and God alone.
[/quote]

You seem to be trying to divide flesh from soul and make of them diametrically opposed things. This is not the case. The soul gives life to the flesh, but without the flesh the soul is only a disembodied spirit. If, as you propose, only God can give a soul to a person, then why bother with natural conception at all? Why not just expect God to ensoul an egg in the woman’s womb and wait for it to develop? But God doesn’t work that way. He uses flesh to produce a person, not just a body or a soul, but a fused being that would not be alive without either.

As to cloning, it is an unnatural way of conceiving a new human being. Since it is not the way God ordained, but is an attempt to manipulate nature in an unnatural way, it is wrong. Any person so conceived, however, would still have a soul, because without a soul such a person would not be alive. This is why the Church teaches that to use such persons as mere body parts is intrinsically evil.

Animals and plants have what is termed a “natural soul” which is not supernatural. So, when an animal or plant dies they just die. They don’t have a life beyond their physical existence. That sounds cold to those of us who love our pets, as I certainly do, but the way I’ve always expressed it is that whatever essence they possessed was given to them by God and so they return to God’s heart, which conceived of them and allowed them to be a part of our lives. It may not be brilliant theology, but it gives me comfort when I lose one of my little friends.


#5

Genesis, chapter 2:7
then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

God is portrayed as a potter molding man’s body out of clay. There is a play on words in Hebrew between adam (“man”) and adama (“ground”). Being: literally, “soul.”

Only Adam received “the breath of life” from God. God gave life to all plants and animals, but He only gave “the breath of life” to Adam. So only those that come from Adam have “the breath of life”, or “breath of eternal life”, or a “soul”.

Also remember when Jesus wanted his disciples to receive the Holy Spirit, what did he do?

**John Chapter 20:22-23: **
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”


#6

Thanks. You explained it very well.
-Tamara


#7

The book of Genesis tells us that animals, like humans, were created as nefesh chaya–living souls. (Genesis 1:29,30; 2:7,19) But unless you understand the Hebrew language, there is no way to know this. Those who translate the Bible have obscured the fact that animals, like men, have been endowed by their Creator with a soul.

Scholars have done this by translating the same Hebrew expression differently, depending on whether it refers to a human or an animal being. Genesis 2:7 reads "The Lord God formed the man of the dust of the ground…and man became a living soul. But when the Hebrew uses the exact same term in referring to animals, it is translated differently.

ANIMAL AND HUMAN COMPANIONS


#8

[quote=Texan in DC]It is a Catholic view that anything that grows, lives, breaths… has a soul to make this happen. So a plant has a type of soul. … can man create a soul?
[/quote]

Good question. Let us restrict the question to animal souls. In principle, could man create the soul of a new animal by mixing together a bunch of chemicals in a high tech laboratory?

What, exactly, is the soul of an animal? Is a dog nothing more than a furry sack of reacting organic chemicals with no conscious awareness of itself or its surroundings? Are the higher primates really nothing more than a machines made from meat? Or do the higher animals really know the difference between self and not-self?


#9

[quote=Matt16_18]Good question. Let us restrict the question to animal souls. In principle, could man create the soul of a new animal by mixing together a bunch of chemicals in a high tech laboratory?

What, exactly, is the soul of an animal? Is a dog nothing more than a furry sack of reacting organic chemicals with no conscious awareness of itself or its surroundings? Are the higher primates really nothing more than a machines made from meat? Or do the higher animals really know the difference between self and not-self?
[/quote]

From Frank Sheed’s book “Theology for Beginners” 1958, 1976, 1981 (Nihil Obstat, Imprimatur):

“This mingling of spirit and matter in human actions arises from a fact which distinguishes man’s spirit from all others. Ours is the only spirit which is also a soul–that is to say, the life principle in a body. God is a spirit, but has no body; the angels are spirits, but have no body. Only in man is spirit 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.” (pp. 10).

“The souls, the life principles, of plants and animals produce no vital activities which rise above matter. They are marvellous enough, they animate the body. The soul is not in space at all; it animates the body by superiority of energy. There, then, stands man. His soul, because it is a soul, animates his body, as the soul of a lower animal animates its; but because man’s soul is a spirit, it has faculties of intellect and will by which it knows and loves as the animal cannot. Animal knowledge is only a faint parody of human knowledge. And so, with all its pathos, is animal love.” (pp. 60-61).


#10

Here is what the CCC has to say:

CCC DEFINITION OF SOUL: The spiritual principle of human beings. The soul is the subject of human consciousness and freedom; soul and body together form one unique human nature. Each human soul is individual and immortal, immediately created by God. The soul does not die with the body, from which it is separated by death, and with which it will be reunited in the final resurrection (363, 366; cf. 1703).

II. "BODY AND SOUL BUT TRULY ONE"
362
The human person, created in the image of God, is a being at once corporeal and spiritual. The biblical account expresses this reality in symbolic language when it affirms that "then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.Man, whole and entire, is therefore willed by God.

**363 ** In Sacred Scripture the term “soul” often refers to human life or the entire human person. But “soul” also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him,231 that by which he is most especially in God’s image: “soul” signifies the spiritual principle in man.

364 The human body shares in the dignity of “the image of God”: it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ, a temple of the Spirit:
Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity. Through his very bodily condition he sums up in himself the elements of the material world. Through him they are thus brought to their highest perfection and can raise their voice in praise freely given to the Creator. For this reason man may not despise his bodily life. Rather he is obliged to regard his body as good and to hold it in honor since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day.

**365 ** The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the “form” of the body i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature.

366 The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God - it is not “produced” by the parents - and also that it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection.

367 Sometimes the soul is distinguished from the spirit: St. Paul for instance prays that God may sanctify his people “wholly”, with “spirit and soul and body” kept sound and blameless at the Lord’s coming. The Church teaches that this distinction does not introduce a duality into the soul. “Spirit” signifies that from creation man is ordered to a supernatural end and that his soul can gratuitously be raised beyond all it deserves to communion with God.

368 The spiritual tradition of the Church also emphasizes the heart, in the biblical sense of the depths of one’s being, where the person decides for or against God.


#11

[quote=Matt16_18]The book of Genesis tells us that animals, like humans, were created as nefesh chaya–living souls. (Genesis 1:29,30; 2:7,19) But unless you understand the Hebrew language, there is no way to know this. Those who translate the Bible have obscured the fact that animals, like men, have been endowed by their Creator with a soul.

Scholars have done this by translating the same Hebrew expression differently, depending on whether it refers to a human or an animal being. Genesis 2:7 reads "The Lord God formed the man of the dust of the ground…and man became a living soul. But when the Hebrew uses the exact same term in referring to animals, it is translated differently.

ANIMAL AND HUMAN COMPANIONS
[/quote]

Interesting site, although I hesitate to take theological advice from a bunch of hippies. Seriously, just take a look at their home page. Doesn’t that just creep you out? Anyways, the only point they really make is the “nefesh chaya” definition. As people like setter have pointed out, we already acknowledge that animals have souls, so there’s no problem. The difference is that our souls (life force) are also spirits (to avoid confusion, this is what most of us would have defined soul as without theological grounding). That the same phrase, nefesh chaya, is used doesn’t matter, simply because it shows something we already accept, namely that we are all living creatures. This is an uncontroversial as if the Bible had declared us to be physical bodies and then saying that animals were also physical bodies. Of course this is true. Equating equality/similarity in one aspect of being does not prove an overall equality.


#12

Humans are truly unique creations of God, in that we contain the qualities of angels and animals, sort of like having the best (and worst) of both worlds.

God created angels which have immortal souls but no physical bodies. Angels are able to worship God, think, reason, love ect… Since humans also have immortal souls we are able to do the same. However, this quality makes us feel like sojourners on this earth and allows for spiritual anguish.

God also created animals which have physical bodies but do not have immortal souls. Which is why animals are not able to worship God, think, reason, love ect… Since humans also have physical bodies we appear similar to the animals in many ways. However, this quality allows for physical suffering and temptations of the flesh.

Only in humans did God combine the qualities of both angels and animals and make us physical, yet immortal at the same time.

This way not only can we worship him spiritually (faith), but we can also worship him physically (works). Both of which are quite pleasing to the Lord since that’s how he created us, spiritual and physical.

This is why we are called sojourners on this earth, because we are of it physically, but not spiritually. Animals are totally of the earth and angels are totally not of the earth, we however, are both. God granted only us this special blessing.


#13

[quote=Aaron I.]Interesting site, although I hesitate to take theological advice from a bunch of hippies. … the only point they really make is the “nefesh chaya” definition.
[/quote]

Bunch of hippies, Lol! :smiley:

I did a google search on “nefesh chaya” for you, and turned up the following from Jewish websites:Hashem formed *Adam * {Man} from the dust of the adamah {earth} and breathed into his nostrils a *Nishmas Chaim * {Soul of Life}, and man became a *nefesh chaya * {living being}.

torah.org

The human being, upon creation, was invested with a “nishmas chaim,” whereupon, he became a “nefesh chaya”(Gen. 2,7), which Onkelos understands as meaning “a speaking being.”

Parshas Balak - V’Nahafokh Hu

In order to formulate an understanding of man’s creation as it is presented by the Torah we must first analyze the exact meaning of two passages in Bereshit that deal with this topic:[INDENT]1. “And G-d created Adam (4) in His image, in the image of God He created him” (Genesis 1:27)

  1. “And G-d formed man, dust from the earth, and He blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living creature” (Genesis 2:7).According to the definition of the Ramban (5), the root “barah” (“create”) refers to creation of something from nothing, ex nihilo. What exactly did this new creation entail? The passage says that Adam was created in G-d’s image; since G-d has no physical form this must be referring to the creation of the spirituality of man. Rambam in The Guide to the Perplexed differentiates between the word “tselem” (“form”), and the word “to’ar” (“appearance”): “In man the form is that constituent which gives him human perception; and on account of this intellectual perception the term… tselem can only concern the soul - the specific form of man, not the bodily properties and shape” (6).

Term

If man was created in the form of G-d, and this form can only be described spiritually, then how exactly can we define the Adam that was created here? Perhaps we can define that by first defining what it is which distinguishes man from all other creations.

Rambam explains: “Man’s distinction consists in a property which no other creature on earth possesses, viz., intellectual perception.” (7) This idea is proven further by the use of the words “nefesh chaya”, a term used in reference to the rest of the animals, to define man. Rashi explains this by saying: “Even animals are called ‘nefesh chaya’ but what is different with man is that he is the more complete animal because he received speech and intelligence additionally.” (8)
Radak explains “Man’s life force is the same as other animals’ and therefore it is written ‘l’nefesh chaya’”. (9)

OHR TORAH STONE[/INDENT]


#14

Rambam explains: “Man’s distinction consists in a property which no other creature on earth possesses, viz., intellectual perception.”

“Radak explains “Man’s **life force ** is the same as other animals’ and therefore it is written ‘l’nefesh chaya’”.

The above quote says that the “life force” in animals and man is the same, but that man is distinct from animals because man is “the more complete animal because he received speech and intelligence additionally”.

Hence the question, what is the “life force” in an animal? Could a scientist with a high tech chemical laboratory create a new animal with the “life force” in it?


closed #15

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