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Heaven is real, says neurosurgeon who claims to have visited the afterlife
Yahoo News ^ | Eric Pfeiffer

Posted on 10/10/2012 2:42:35 AM PDT by Kartographer

Dr. Eben Alexander has taught at Harvard Medical School and has earned a strong reputation as a neurosurgeon. And while Alexander says he's long called himself a Christian, he never held deeply religious beliefs or a pronounced faith in the afterlife. But after a week in a coma during the fall of 2008, during which his neocortex ceased to function, Alexander claims he experienced a life-changing visit to the afterlife, specifically heaven.

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TOPICS: Religion; Science; Society
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To: James C. Bennett
Would their ability to dream imply that animals share something we do - an ability to imagine? Evolution supports this, while religion doesn't.

I'll admit my ignorance on this: I don't know of any doctrine of any religion concerning animals' ability to dream or imagine.

Nor do I know of any doctrine saying animals don't have souls.

I neither speak nor read Hebrew, so maybe somebody who does could correct or amplify this, but as I understand it, Judaism uses 5 different Hebrew words for soul:

Every time a person performs a mitzvot (commandment), her soul is connecting with God.

Therefore (as I understand it) animals have a "level" of soul (like, maybe, nefesh and ruach?) which coresponds to the Catholic/Aristotelian idea that animals have an "animative" soul --- including, I'm guessing, dreams, emotions, imagination --- but humans have a "rational" soul.

So Catholic teaching doesn't deny that animals have souls. And its stance needs to be clarified, according to:>

Pope John Paul II explains that animals have souls according to their nature (an animal nature.)

A righteous man knows the soul of his animal - Proverbs 12:10

This corresponds to the idea that animals do not have moral responsibility. You can't put an animal on trial for what it does or fails to do, because it lacks accountabilty; it's not "answerable" for what it has done.

Humans are "answerable" for their actions because they have the intellective capacity to deliberate and choose.

If you said animals had "rational" souls, you'd have to hold animals legally or juridically accountable for their choices. But they don't.

Does this make sense?

21 posted on 10/10/2012 1:11:07 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (I believe in that without which nothing is believable.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

From a cursory reading, yes, and thank you!

I’ll post questions if I have them, after poring through your reply in detail.

22 posted on 10/10/2012 5:17:12 PM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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