The Logical Fallacy of Belief 6/5/2013 Dustin Cassell "A quest for knowledge is not a war with faith; spirituality

is not usually an infelicitous amalgam of superstition and philistinism; and more relativism, taken outside midfield, leads inexorably both to heresy and to secular wickedness, which are often identical.” – Conrad Black Reflecting upon the concept of evolution and religion, it becomes clear that the two absolutes—heaven and hell may not be very practical from the viewpoint of an omnipotent being. Given that evolution is true (and it is). At exactly what level of complexity or mutation would an omnipotent being finally decide life has become sufficiently self-aware to choose between good and evil? Are animals also judged? If not, what was the point of billions of years of evolution before the arrival of Homo sapiens? It’s nice to tell our children that one day perhaps, we will be reunited with our beloved pets. But is it true? And what of the cow that made up the hamburger we ate for dinner? Over 60 billion animals are slaughtered in the US every year for human consumption. One can only imagine a place populated with all the souls we slaughter, partly for our survival but mostly for enjoyment. So will the soul of the cow one day rejoice alongside of us and sing praises to the almighty? Also if animals go to heaven, then what of insects? If insects, then what of micro-organisms? Clearly we see how one can quickly slide down the slippery slope, but these are honest questions which few dare to raise either out of fear or because of biased beliefs. Logically examining beliefs is heresy and yet not examining beliefs should be considered silent blasphemy. If bacteria, mold, and viruses have souls, then clearly even heaven (or hell) would quickly become quite populated with non-human entities—leaving humans the blissful minority in an alien sea of infinite complexity. So let’s examine the question of whether animals have souls and if animals can go to heaven. The closest we get in the Bible is the following, Ecclesiastes 3:18-21

I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath[a]; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” Also, Isaiah 11:6-9

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. 7 The cow will feed with the bear,

their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. 9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. According the Bible, it is ambiguous as to whether or not animals go to heaven or even have souls. Clearly there are many animals of different intelligence, with different morals, and with different life expectancies. It would be silly to think that an ape would accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. From Hinduism, Reporter: How do you know that the animal has a soul? Srila Prabhupada: You can know, also. Here is the scientific proof… the animal is eating, you are eating; the animal is sleeping, you are sleeping; the animal is defending, you are defending; the animal is having sex, you are having sex; the animals have children, you have children; they have a living place, you have a living place. If the animal’s body is cut, there is blood; if your body is cut, there is blood. So, all these similarities are there. Now, why do you deny this one similarity, the presence of the soul? That is not logical. You have studied logic? In logic there is something called analogy. Analogy means drawing a conclusion by finding many points of similarity. If there are so many points of similarity between human beings and animals, why deny one similarity? That is not logic. That is not science. Islam pleads the fifth, And they ask you concerning the soul. Say: "The soul is one of the things, of which the knowledge is only with my Lord. And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little.” Al-Israa' 17:85 According to Jainism, “They believe that all human, animal and plant life has a soul and therefore all of these life forms must be treated equally and fairly.” So yes, no, maybe so. It appears that many religions are confused. But whatever the case, let’s look at an example. Most religions tell us traditionally that love is between a man and a woman. In modern society, these traditional and unnatural views are being challenged—and then overturned. No longer can love be between only a man and a women, but now two people of the same sex can openly love each other. It is interesting that one of the most peaceful subgroups of apes – the bonobo, have open sexual relations

within their respective communities. These sexual experiences are not just between two bonobos of the opposite sex, but are sometimes homosexual in nature. Humans of certain religious beliefs would be appalled by this behavior, and may even question why an omnipotent being would create such a lowly entity. Yet, clearly these are creatures of great intelligence, perhaps reviled only by humans. As such, some humans may condemn these bonobo for choosing to live in sin. But reasoning of this nature is like reasoning that all cats go to hell for having a plethora of mating partners. Bonobos unlike humans are extremely peaceful. Whereas human history is laced with wars, exploitation, and religious zealotry—bonobos continue to leave in peace and harmony, showing almost no signs of violent tendencies. “Make love, not war” would be the bonobo’s motto as documented by the famous scientist De Waal. So which species is truly more benevolent and more spiritual, humans or bonobos? We forgot a religion by the way—Catholicism, “Animal and vegetable souls are dependent entirely on matter for their operation and being. They cease to exist at death. (There's no "doggie heaven.") Human souls, by contrast, aren't material. They're spiritual. Only a spirit can know and love, a spirit's two chief faculties being the intellect (which knows) and the will (which loves). We know human souls are spiritual since humans can know and love.” Clearly this line of thought is completely bollocks. Religious zealotry at its finest and logic at its worst. It is the result of billions of years of evolution and the brain’s failure to grasp its own fate. This of course is not the view of all Catholics. There were billions of years of evolution and humans only make up a tiny spec on a seemingly ancient and eternal Mobius strip that we call the universe. From quark soup to dinosaurs, what is the point of it all? Will dinosaurs be in heaven? They made it to space but only by at the cost of their own destruction. If there is an omnipotent being, and if the omnipotent being had a plan that humans would be the pinnacle of all creation, then why such the detour? Will our fate by like that of the dinosaurs and will there be another species after us? We once went to space, gazed upon its immense beauty and pondered its deepest mysteries. Then we went back home, deciding it was not for us. The truth is, no one has answers to these questions. The fact is, human life is likely just a happenstance blunder. But that fact should not make human spirituality any less significant, and belief should not be the result of the ego’s failure or fear to let go. Belief should be a subjective construct used where facts and science do not apply. It should not be blind, it should not be ignorant, and it should not replace learning. With that said, belief can be great, it can be wonderful, and most importantly it can be enlightening. Learning can only take one to the apex of understanding, but it takes a leap of faith to go step further. This is where true miracles and discovery take place.

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