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Old 14 Dec 2010, 08:44 PM   #183739 / #1
Notta
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Default All dogs go to heaven

Remember the cartoon movie: All Dogs Go to Heaven? My daughter LOVED that movie when she was small and watched it endlessly.

Now there's a book about the evidence (from the Bible, you heathen unbelievers!!) that discusses the spirituality of animals. Called The Divine Life of Animals, it's written to help people answer the question: will my dog go to heaven?

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During his time writing for Guideposts, Tompkins told CNN, he received numerous letters from animal lovers who had asked their parish ministers similar questions after the death of a pet and received less-than-satisfying responses.

“They’re so heartbroken. They go to find out what happened to their poodle … and they say, ‘Am I going to see my dog again in heaven?’ and the pastor sort of scratches his head for a second and says, ‘No, you’re not. There are only people in heaven.’ ”

Tompkins' book is written for animal lovers who are dissatisfied by this response - and who are willing to take a leap of faith along with Tompkins as he searches for clues to animals’ divinity, piecing together spiritual arguments from primitive cultures as well as Christianity.

“If you look a little deeper in the Bible, you can find evidence that writers of the Bible actually did have a deeper respect for the spirituality of animal creation than appears to be on the surface,” Tompkins says.
I liked this comment from the readers:
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Cats spend eternity basking on a sunlit windowsill overlooking fields of migrating mice. Dogs can go directly to hell.
I can remember when our cat died and my children were little. They asked me if he was in heaven, and I gave the standard fundy Christian reply, "No, only people go to heaven." My kids were inconsolable. I wish I had invented something about animal heaven for them, since I was always pushing Jesus and God and heaven on them at the time.

I have relatives who have dug up their dead dog THREE TIMES and reburied here in a new yard because they can't bear to leave her behind when they move. The dog grew up with their kids and died over 20 years ago.
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Old 14 Dec 2010, 09:00 PM   #183744 / #2
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What unmitigated bollocks.

Tell me, what does a dog need to do to get to heaven? Does it have to accept Jesus as its Lord and Master? Is leg-humping a sin (it should be!), immediately committing said pooch to the fiery dog house?

And if dogs have souls, do birds? Do snakes? How about Escherichia coli? Or the Ebola virus?

Really, people. get a fucking grip.
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Old 14 Dec 2010, 09:13 PM   #183745 / #3
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I guess if you invest so much love in a pet, and expect to spend eternity in heaven, you'd like all your pets there right along beside you -- where you can pick up shit and get cat hair on your celestial robes for all eternity.

I wonder if cats get hair balls in heaven??
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Old 14 Dec 2010, 09:32 PM   #183751 / #4
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When I was little my grandmother had a really mean dog. It finally sniffed gas after biting a neighbor child to the point he needed stitches. He always got locked in another room when we came to visit. I remember my mom said he was in "doggie heaven" but I thought since he bit people he probably went to "doggie hell."
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Old 14 Dec 2010, 09:34 PM   #183754 / #5
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Also, would Cat Heaven be the same place as Bird Hell?
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Old 14 Dec 2010, 10:23 PM   #183763 / #6
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Funny. I loved my first pet, a Golden Cocker Spaniel, so much. He equally was devoted to me. Unfortunately for this idyllic picture, he developed a Dexter like curiosity about next door neighbour's chooks. End of idyllic picture. My father, who was a gentleman in all senses of the word, found me sobbing on my bed and there I stayed for a whole day, heartbroken.

Of course in my mind he , my dog of dogs, could not just cease to be!!!! So my father answered 'Yes' to my question 'Do Dogs go to Heaven?'...... IMO it's a natural need to believe that any loved creature continues to exist.
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Old 15 Dec 2010, 01:50 AM   #183827 / #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BioBeing View Post
What unmitigated bollocks.
Spoilsport. Particularly after

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notta View Post
Quote:
Cats spend eternity basking on a sunlit windowsill overlooking fields of migrating mice. Dogs can go directly to hell.
ETA: Really, though, I see what you mean, Notta; and I wouldn't see anything wrong with it if the time came when it was time to tell them, "OK, in the real world, there's no Santa, or Easter Bunny;" the problem is, they don't continue "...heaven, hell, Satan, or any of that other stuff. However, those things all taught you valuable lessons that you had to learn to get along in adult society, and those lessons are..."

I'd really have no problem with that. It's adults believing in jebus and not "believing in" AGW or the food groups or relativity or whatnot that pisses me off.
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Old 15 Dec 2010, 09:47 AM   #183914 / #8
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I love this question! It really puts believers on the spot and makes them to a degree confront the irrationality of their beliefs.

On the one hand, it's obvious that dogs have no souls. Why the RCC even allows for human evolution now, but insists that Adam and Eve were the first people to have souls and are thus special. So if even Adam's mother had no soul, how could a dog have one?
You'll never go to heaven without a soul,
'Cos the Lawd don't like you if you ain't whole.
On the other hand, for many people, heaven needs to offer a recognisable afterlife, much as it was imagined for the Egyptian pharaohs, with all the comforts of modern material life. And for dog-lovers, that would include dogs. With no dogs and singing hymns all day, heaven looks a bit unattractive, apart from watching the ultimate reality show: the torment of the damned.

Perhaps heavenly dogs could be mere accessories, like the virgins Muslim suicide bombers expect to get in their heaven. BTW, sorry for the derail, but WTF does heaven offer for Muslim women?
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Old 15 Dec 2010, 02:24 PM   #183979 / #9
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CS Lewis had some pets get dragged along into heaven in his The Great Divorce.

I can't remember anything in the Bible that hints of such a possibility, though.
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Old 15 Dec 2010, 03:41 PM   #183993 / #10
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Horrible film
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Old 15 Dec 2010, 04:29 PM   #184010 / #11
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CS Lewis had some pets get dragged along into heaven in his The Great Divorce.

I can't remember anything in the Bible that hints of such a possibility, though.
Animals go to heaven and hell in Lewis' last Narnia book too.
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Old 15 Dec 2010, 09:18 PM   #184082 / #12
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Thread split?
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Old 15 Dec 2010, 09:53 PM   #184098 / #13
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Fine with me.
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Old 15 Dec 2010, 11:59 PM   #184115 / #14
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Why isn't the answer "if you want you dog to come to heaven, then that's ok - god wouldn't keep you apart from a thing you love", they don't get in on their own merits, but because they are sponsored by a good xian...
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Old 16 Dec 2010, 09:59 PM   #184312 / #15
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If one believes in a wishful-thinking Heaven, then it's only natural to believe that one's pets will be there also. so I can't quarrel with the principle.

Since many of us have outlived many of our pets and gotten new ones, will that mean that the pet lovers among us will have lots of pets in the next world? That would be a sight to see.
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Old 17 Dec 2010, 01:16 AM   #184331 / #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by article
“Nature is resurrected too ... so if you’re a Christian and you’re interested in this kind of thinking, there's plenty of argument that suggests that all of nature is included in the idea of redemption, which is central to Christianity.”
Within the milieu of religion, this sounds like a plausible line of reasoning. Of course mainstream Christianity might say animals don't have souls, but I don't know of any scriptural basis for this belief. AFAIK the Bible is pretty quiet on this subject. The Bible does, however, say a lot of things about resurrection that mainstream Christianity discounts--for instance, that people will not only be resurrected to stand judgment, but that they (or at least the chosen) will stay embodied and live forever on the Earth. Obviously this doesn't gel with mainstream neoplatonic ideas about ephemeral matter and eternal souls, so most ignore it.

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Since many of us have outlived many of our pets and gotten new ones, will that mean that the pet lovers among us will have lots of pets in the next world? That would be a sight to see.
It's actually worse if you think about spouses instead of pets--when one or both spouses in a given marriage remarry, possibly multiple times. Imagine the tangle of relationships. Polygamy has nothing on this state of affairs.

Last edited by trendkill; 17 Dec 2010 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 17 Dec 2010, 03:29 PM   #184418 / #17
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I have to share a recent experience. First, I don't find the idea of dogs going to heaven a bit sillier than the idea of humans going to heaven. If I believed in heaven, it would not be heaven unless I had my dogs with me.

In early November, I had to make the difficult decision to have my vet euthanize my perfectly wonderful toy fox terrier. As I got ready to leave the vet's office, her assistant handed me a poem. It was about the Rainbow Bridge. I was ignorant of such a place. It seems the Rainbow Bridge is a place on the brink of heaven where former pets decide whether or not you should be allowed to enter into heaven. Once in, you are reunited with all of your former pets. Now, as a myth, I kind of life the idea. After all, who can better judge us than our former pets? Still, I was pretty amazed that people believe this stuff, until I got to thinking about all the people that believe they will enter into a literal heaven themselves. If they can go, why not Fido?


I think that pets, especially dogs, have become so much a part of our lives in the US, that it became too painful for a lot of believers to continue to believe they would enjoy an afterlife without their pets. Religion changes over time. It's time to include pets in the afterlife. Not such a bad idea to me.

I will only have memories of my late Maggie to comfort me, but since dogs are excellent therapists, my new baby girl Zoie, is helping me with the grieving process.
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Old 18 Dec 2010, 01:54 PM   #184614 / #18
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Sohy, have you seen the video made to go with the poem? Of course I don't believe in a heaven, but it still makes my eyes all leaky. I'm sappy.
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Old 18 Dec 2010, 03:38 PM   #184630 / #19
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Sohy, have you seen the video made to go with the poem? Of course I don't believe in a heaven, but it still makes my eyes all leaky. I'm sappy.
No, I haven't seen it. But since I like dogs better than I like most people, I can see how a cute myth like this one could make you a bit sappy.
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Old 22 Dec 2010, 02:23 PM   #185448 / #20
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I split the discussion of 'soul energy' to its own thread, here.
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Old 23 Dec 2010, 07:50 PM   #185858 / #21
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BTW, sorry for the derail, but WTF does heaven offer for Muslim women?
According to this, it's quite nice.
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