Yesterday, my Introduction to Political Science class finished reading Plato’s Republic. A wonderful book with many different takes on the human condition, yet mostly about whether it is most profitable to be just or unjust.
So naturally, Plato goes into this whole long tangent about humanity, the types of governments, and the soul.
In the assumption the soul is real, our class discussed Plato’s own view
concerning animals. He says in the afterlife we are to choose our next life
(do note this is a Greek philosopher, so yeah–he doesn’t hold contemporary
views on this), with the option of a:
1. Tyrannical/Evil life (yes, think dictator)
2. Virtuous/Good life (think Mother Teresa)
3. Moderate/Normal/Middle of the Road life (Joe the Plummer. Ha.)
The first three are human lives. Now, we have animals and plants.
1. Any given animal, tamed or untamed
2. Any given plant
So now the question came up as: do DOGS HAVE SOULS?
(Our professor’s dog had passed away a few months ago, so he was hopeful)
Given that our class couldn’t even define a “soul”, we weren’t sure. I’m inclined to think animals do have souls.
Apparently though, Western culture seems to be in love with the idea of dogs, cats, and such to have souls, while cows and fish do not. Such makes it supposedly easy for us to eat the other animals, such as COWS. Yes, we talked about such.
Our professor then presented the myth of God and the Grand Canyon. Something like:
“God made a line down the middle of the canyon. Humanity was directed to one side (because they have souls) and animals to the other side (they have no souls). However at the last moment, the dog jumped to the other side.”
I don’t care though. How sad.
No one will take away my filet mignon.