Is it instinct or a spiritual self that links an animal to its owner?
When your dog comes to lay its head in your lap when you're having a rough day, how does it know that's the right thing to do?
The question about how deeply animals feel or have a spiritual being is an interesting one in theology.
Some theologians say no, animals don't have souls because the Bible says man was created to rule over the animals.
Catholic theology says animals have souls in the sense that they have the principle of life, but animals don't have spiritual souls. Animals, in this view, can't make moral decisions. But in 1990, Pope John Paul II made a statement affirming "the animals possess a soul and men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren." He also said animals are "fruit of the creative action of the Holy Spirit and merit respect" and that they are "as near to God as men are."
Mormons believe in souls, an afterlife, salvation and resurrection for animals.
This is an interesting piece from a Muslim convert pondering that faith's view about animals and souls.
What do you believe? Do animals have souls?
Amanda Greene: 910-520-3958 or