Do animals fear their mortality like humans ?

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  • Do animals fear their mortality like humans ?
  • Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    yes, if it gives two very upset children something to comfort them at this point in time.

    derekfish
    Member

    GrahamS – Member
    They cannot cope with the concept of ‘never’, as in ‘will never see their mum again’.
    *gulp*

    Second hardest thing about being an atheist is facing the stark cold reality of believing that when you die, you’re gone.

    The hardest thing is explaining that to your kids.
    Atheists are worse than theists in that regard, what’s wrong with agnosticism ffs

    As to animal awareness, dogs are aware of my existence and that is all that is important to me, they do also exhibit all manner of emotional behaviour and have varying levels of intelligence and communication, to that end, as I would wish would happen to me, they need relieving of pain and suffering at the end, which can be almost on a par with losing a human relative, in fact I’d go further and say worse in the case of some relatives.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I hope never to be in such a position, but I think I’d probably go with some suitably vague platitude like “your mum will always be a part of you and she will always be with you. She lives in our hearts and our memories” rather than specifically going with the “your mum’s an invisible ghost who lives in the clouds”.

    But I can certainly see the temptation.

    andyl
    Member

    Am working from home today so decided to let the rabbit run around the kitchen while I work at the table. He just hopped up to the spaniel and give her a sniff on the nose.

    Not sure if that’s an indication of a fearless rabbit or an overly soft spaniel though.

    He’s now sat in the cats litter tray having a wee.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Atheists are worse than theists in that regard, what’s wrong with agnosticism ffs

    Rather depends how you define agnosticism and which branch of agnostic thought you follow.

    I don’t believe in a deity that created our Earth/Universe, who watches over us, answers prayers, smites enemies and looks after our dead etc. That makes me an atheist to most folk.

    I don’t think we are alone in the universe, and I’m comfortable with the thought that there may be some life/consciousness out there which is so far beyond our current understanding that it is “God-like”. Maybe it can even create entire planets and universes. Who knows. That makes me an agnostic to some folk.

    Take your pick.

    Any scientifically-minded atheist should be open to changing their opinion if suitable evidence is presented, so in that sense they are all a bit agnostic.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    In response to the OP, I’ve asked our cats and they said no.

    crikey
    Member

    Second hardest thing about being an atheist is facing the stark cold reality of believing that when you die, you’re gone.

    The hardest thing is explaining that to your kids

    What a load of old cobblers!

    Far and away the hardest thing about being an atheist is having people make assumptions about what the hardest thing for you is.

    …and when your kids get older, will they continue to believe some religious explanation, or will they work out that you told them lies?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Fair enough crikey, perhaps I should have prefixed that thought with “For me..”

    If you are entirely free from existential angst and an almost crushing sense of nihilistic ennui then more power to you.

    crikey
    Member

    If you are entirely free from existential angst and an almost crushing sense of nihilistic ennui then more power to you

    Hey wait a minute!

    You can’t claim those things all for yourself, and I can do existential angst as well as the next man. I might need a bit of time to work up to the full nihilistic ennui, but I can also do basic ennui-ing with aplomb.

    Bloody agnostics, coming here with their clever bet hedging….

    pondo
    Member

    The vast majority of animal species are more appropriately thought of as a sort of complicated machine that feels pain…

    Is that not fairly key? It all comes back to an instinctive, Darwinesque drive to survive – pain, environmental discomfort, hunger, aren’t they all just markers that we’ve evolved to respond to in order to avoid an early demise? If, say, you give a small dog a beating with a big stick, I’m pretty sure it will exhibit all signs of showing fear which, even if it hasn’t evolved a noggin big enough to grasp such a subjective concept as shuffling off this mortal coil, at least must suggest it doesn’t want to die.

    FeeFoo
    Member

    …and when your kids get older, will they continue to believe some religious explanation, or will they work out that you told them lies?

    I think using emotive terms like “told them lies” is stretching things a bit far.
    Most people wouldn’t grow up and think “what a **** liar my dad was!” They’d more likely think, “he did that to make things easier for me”

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Might they not also grow up bitterly resenting it?

    I can imagine that some children might. You’re basically saying to them: mum is now somewhere else having a really great time without them, and no, she won’t be back to visit, but don’t worry she’s looking forward to the day they die too.

    johndoh
    Member

    Most people wouldn’t grow up and think “what a **** liar my dad was!” They’d more likely think, “he did that to make things easier for me”

    Absolutely this.

    Although I have had to explain to my two kids why they go to a cemetery regularly (both my parents) but they can cope with that because they were too young to remember them, however if something was to happen to a living relative now, I would certainly consider letting them believe that there is a heaven of some kind to make things slightly easier to accept.

    After all, we tell them that Santa is real…

    crikey
    Member

    I think using emotive terms like “told them lies” is stretching things a bit far.

    I think we will have to differ in our assessment of how emotive my sentence was; I could have used a variety of terms, but the basic premise remains.

    We tell many, many lies to children, some based around belief, some based around convention, some based around social cohesion, but they remain lies.

    The crux of my question seems to have slipped under your radar; this is the important bit:

    will they continue to believe

    I suspect most grown ups really, actually, truthfully don’t believe the religious explanation, so using it is a way of putting off an awkward and emotionally difficult conversation. Not much wrong with that, but I think being open and honest is a far better way of approaching things.

    crikey
    Member

    …not to mention the pitfalls, particularly with precocious children…

    Is Granny in heaven?
    Is our dog in heaven?
    Are chickens dead?
    Are chickens in heaven?
    Why can’t we go to heaven to see Granny?
    Will she be eating the chickens?
    Do they go to heaven twice then?

    …and so on.

    FeeFoo
    Member

    will they continue to believe

    Probably not. Telling a child this lie isn’t likely to set them up for a life of religious belief.

    Obviously not all lies are bad. Anyone who thinks they are is a sociopath. (Not aimed at you Crikey! 🙂 )

    crikey
    Member

    Obviously not all lies are bad.

    I agree wholeheartedly, and ‘selective untruths’ are a major part of how we learn about more complex issues. I think I’ve read a book, maybe ‘The Science of Discworld’ series where ‘lies to children’ is a phrase used to explain this process better.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    …and so on.

    Is mum in heaven?
    Why can’t I see her?
    When will I see her again?
    But I want to see her now, not when I’m old and dead. I need her now when I’m a child. Why isn’t she here with me instead of having fun with angels and sky ghosts?

    FeeFoo
    Member

    Is mum in heaven?
    Why can’t I see her?
    When will I see her again?

    It’s a thorny one, I admit.

    In this case, I’d imagine that no matter what is said, the emotional damage is pretty big.

    I’d still be extremely wary of imagining that we could “relate” in any meaningful sense to a dolphin though.

    Some would disagree…

    unfitgeezer
    Member

    ooo it turned into a good thread lots of enjoyable stuff to read

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    ooo it turned into a good thread lots of enjoyable stuff to read

    Yep, just researching Dolphin sex now. So much I’ve been missing out on……

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    Right now on BBC2 – Inside the Animal Mind.

    Is this thread some subtle viral advertising?

    unfitgeezer
    Member

    Is this thread some subtle viral advertising?

    No but will watch it on repeat

Viewing 24 posts - 41 through 64 (of 64 total)

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