Do other animals have religion?


(RiderOnTheClouds) #1

Is there any evidence that other animals have a form of religion?

If so, does this mean that religion simply evolved naturalistic-ally, or could God communicate with all life?


#2

Not that I am aware of.

I think they do what they are biologically programmed to do. Much like a star doesn’t have a choice of what it does, it creates light and heat. Animals eat other animals, protect other animals, comfort others, incite fear in others. The animals and stars don’t have a choice, they do two things, what their biology tells them to do, or the will of God. I don’t think God told the lions to eat the others (after Daniel), just like God didn’t tell the fire to consume the others (after Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego). The lion or the fire, did what it was designed to do, but when God wanted it to not do that, it didn’t. God seems to stop, and release that stop of biological instincts, but doesn’t seem to force nature to do things.

Where as humans can do our design, to love and create, or we can do against our design, to hate and destroy. God can stop the outcome of our will, but He doesn’t seem to stop us from doing what we want done.

Like a lion was stopped from eating Daniel. I don’t think God would stop us from ‘eating’ one another, but sometimes will make the ‘preys’ skin as steel, so the teeth cannot penetrate it.

If religion is awareness or belief in something or control outside our selves, animals cannot have that, they can only do what they were created to do. At least in all the evidence I have seen them do.


(Matthew Pevarnik) #3

What do you mean or what could this look like? You mean things like this?

Or this?

These could be examples of reading too much into animal behavior but its certainly interesting!


(Ryan weatherly) #4

Do the stones ?
40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.


(Matthew Pevarnik) #5

Rocks do tend to arrange themselves spontaneously into religious formations:

Though some are more inconspicuous:


(George Brooks) #6

@pevaquark

It’s quite clear that they recognize that jumbled carcass as “Elephant!”


(Theophilus Book) #7

[quote=“Reggie_O_Donoghue, post:1, topic:38627, full:true”]
Is there any evidence that other animals have a form of religion?

If so, does this mean that religion simply evolved naturalistic-ally, or could God communicate with all life?[/quote]

My dog worships me!


(John Dalton) #8

It is. Magpies are smart little guys. Unfortunately one of their other rituals is attacking my head during my morning walks :slight_smile: Once I was watching a pair mess around down by a riverbank. Having seen me, one flew up to a railing about 3 feet away from me. He gave me a good looking over for about 30 seconds before flying off


(Edward Miller) #9

I am not sure if animals have any understanding of God; however, dogs and cats have brains that operate between the eight to ten year old of the human child’s level. They may not practice organized religion; however, I truly believe in a primitive way they know that something is beyond their world. Does that go for all animals? I doubt it.


#10

I think we would ahve to consider that was meant by religion. Perceptions of the divine may need a certain level of intelligence. We normally associate some kind of ritual acts with religion and there is not evidence for his in anything other than humans.

In some species (such as elephants) they appear to have a concern for a dead member of the herd, or member of their family. Don’t think we can count that as religion.

What may be more important here is the evidence of certain homo fossils prior to modern man that had certain sculptures and vessels found with them that indicate some sort of belief in dieties.


(Ryan weatherly) #11

I have been thinking on this since it was posted …
According to scripture , mankind (homosapien sapiens at least ) ate of the tree of knowledge ( good/evil) and our eyes were opened . Presumably by our action and result (knowing )we became aware
Of disobedience .
This seems to imply, prior to that, we were as the other animals (ignorant /innocent)
Did we not know God ?

I think it unfair to assume that animals don’t know God in some fashion , but perhaps they simply obey what God designed them to be ( didn’t partake of the tree )
In other words , they simply are as they were intended to be , because they are innocent of disobedience , they have remained faithfull.
Perhaps their service is being what they are .

They don’t know law ( &sin) because they didn’t need it or ask for it .

Perhaps their “religion” IS being as they are without constant complaining, questioning ,and doubt .

Just some thoughts I have had on the topic .


(John Dalton) #12

An interesting concept :peace_symbol:


(Manuel) #13


I think that at least, they understand the concept to talk about it. As a Human, I think we should not monopolize Religion. This only creates a barier to difficult to cross. In reference to Evolution or God Comunicación simply the same evolutionary processes is the way God communicate with all off us. (By giving us enough understanding to understand him)

(Jay Johnson) #14

Religion is a product of human culture. Among its prerequisites are symbolic thought, social learning, and cultural transmission. So that’s a pretty firm “no” on animals having a form of religion. Do they have some sort of innate spiritual sense? Who knows? God did not choose to reveal that information to us, and the animals cannot explain their thoughts to us.


(Larry Bunce) #15

(I apologize in advance for this.)
My dad thought skunks had religion. Their favorite saying is, “Let us spray.”


(Mervin Bitikofer) #16

Boooo! [your apology accepted!]

That’s as bad as children thinking that the hymn they’re singing is;

“Gladly, the cross-eyed bear”.


(Jay Johnson) #17

Bringing in the cheese
Bringing in the cheese
We will go rejoicing
Bringing in the cheese!

Edit: Forgot to mention Round John Virgin …


(Randy) #18

My mom thought that her mom, Shirley, would follow her with goodness and mercy…all the days of her life…


(Phil) #19

A half-feral cat that hangs around the house had kittens yesterday on our porch. First time mother. It is interesting how much of the mothering behavior is innate, as this is a kitten that has been around the house since her mother was killed, and has never seen or been around another mother cat. She is protective, is nursing, carried the kittens to a secluded place, etc.
Makes you wonder how the gap is bridged between DNA and complex behavior, and what that means for having religion. Perhaps there is a “God shaped hole” in our hearts after all. And perhaps it has its remnants in the hearts of animals.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #20

Since we’ve gone off just a bit into humor here, it made me wonder if humans are the only animals that laugh or appreciate humor. There are animals that make “laughing-like” sounds to us, but it probably doesn’t correspond to what we think of as humor. In fact do humor and human share a same root word? We can observe playfulness in animals --that’s about as close as I can imagine them coming to fun or laughter.

Language seems to be key here. I don’t think any humans are worried about animals “stealing” our religion, any more than we are worried about them stealing our language. In fact we try quite hard to see if they can learn. It seems to me (from within our limited human outlook, anyway) as if language, humor, religion, indeed - thought itself all seem to come as a packaged deal with language being the prerequisite for the whole lot.

And yet … in the face of our own silent refusal, even the rocks cry out!