SermonDescartesí False Animal Philosophy
An all-creatures Bible Message

Descartesí False Animal Philosophy
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
9 September 2018
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Deuteronomy 25:4
Proverbs 12:10
James 2:1-17

Descartesí false animal philosophy was unfortunately picked up by the church and is preached as gospel, when it is really human doctrine and not a part of Godís heavenly will.
 
Descartes denied that animals had reason or intelligence, and we know as a fact that they do; it may not be like ours in every respect, but animals do make choices and learn, which humans also do, which is an indication of intelligence.
 
Descartes argued that animals did not lack sensations or perceptions, but these could be explained mechanistically. Whereas humans had a soul, or mind, and were able to feel pain and anxiety, animals by virtue of not having a soul could not feel pain or anxiety, which is absolutely untrue, as every person who truly cares and loves animals has observed.
 
If animals showed signs of distress, according to Descartes, then this was to protect the body from damage, but the innate state needed for them to suffer was absent, and again, we know that this is untrue just from our own observations.
 
Although Descartesí views were not universally accepted they became prominent in Europe and North America, including in the churches, allowing humans to treat animals with impunity. The view that animals were quite separate from humanity and merely machines allowed for the maltreatment of animals, and was sanctioned in law and societal norms until the middle of the 19th century, but a lot of church teachings continue to spew the lie to this very day.
 
The publications of Charles Darwin would eventually erode the Cartesian view of animals in secular society. Darwin argued that the continuity between humans and other species opened the possibilities that animals did not have dissimilar properties to suffer; however, the churches rejected Darwinís theory as being heretical, but continued to accept the even greater heretical Descartesí false animal philosophy.
 
And we strongly believe that this is the main reason that most people still have indifference to the suffering of animals to this very day.
 
Think about what we are told in Deuteronomy 25:4, which was written more than three thousand years before Descartes.

4. "You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.
NASB

Why would Moses write this or God say this, if the ox or any other animals would suffer if they couldnít eat when they were working and hungry?
 
This passage was written because the Lord created all the animals as living souls who feel pain and suffer just as we do.
 
And approximately 2500 years before Descartes the writer of Proverbs 12:10 penned this passage; he knew that animals suffer, because thatís the way God created them.

10. A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast,
But the compassion of the wicked is cruel.
NASB

This totally counters what Descartes wrote, and shows us that Descartes was wicked and ungodly, and he was very far from being righteous.
 
Descartes may have been a good mathematician, but he was also an evil ungodly person who the church never should have listened to, and because they did, they have become followers of the devil instead of God when it comes to the way we view and treat animals.
 
And the insidious problem with all of this is that it hardened the hearts of the people, which was not evident to most of the public because they were mostly the same; they had lost their God-given unconditional love, compassion, and empathy that extended to the whole of creation.
 
In James 2:1-17, he addresses another form of hardness of heart: that of the pride of life, and a lack of empathy.

1. My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.

This is when we look at ourselves as being more important than others, which is also what Descartes was doing; he said that humans were more important than animals and thus we could do anything we wanted to them, which is totally against the heavenly will of God.

2. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes,
 
3. and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,"
 
4. have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?

This is still happening to this day, but people are beginning to become aware of this happening not only between rich and poor, but with people of other cultures, religions, and skin color.
 
And this is no different than what most people are doing; they say that they love animals, but really mean that they love their companion animals, for they eat other animals.
 
This is a sure sign of the peopleís hardness of heart.
 
This is also why we are speaking out against Descartesí false animal philosophy and the hardness of heart it causes, and we strongly believe that this hardness of heart is the main cause of why millions of humans and billions of animals suffer and die all over the world each and every year.
 
We need to reverse and end this problem.

5. Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

This is true, but we can say the same about animals.
 
Did not God also create the animals to be our companions and to enjoy life just as we do? Of course He did.
 
So there really is no difference; we should never consider any other person or animal to be lower than ourselves; we need to treat all of them with equal respect and love.

6. But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?

And unfortunately today, all too many people consider killing them, and animals, to be the solution.

7. Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?

If we say we are Christians, and act like we are of the world, people will think that is the way Christ is; we need to live in the heavenly will of God here on earth as it is in heaven.

8. If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law, according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well.

And remember that animals are our neighbors, too.
 
When I go for an early morning walk, I often see deer and talk to them, and they donít run away; they seem to know that Iím not a threat to them, and it should be that way with every other human and every other animal in the world.

9. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

And we strongly believe that this must also include the animals.
 
The more that we learn to include everyone (human or animal) in our sphere of compassion and empathy, the sooner we are going to have real peace on earth.

10. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

This is also why we cannot follow the philosophies of people like Descartes; we are to follow the teachings of Jesus and the heavenly will of God.

11. For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not commit murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

And the warring madness in the world sure does murder millions of humans and billions of animals every year.

12. So speak and so act, as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.
 
13. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

Letís think about this in terms of ďDescartesí false animal philosophy.Ē
 
From what he wrote about animals and the way that the churches and people followed what he wrote, and hardened their hearts and souls to the point that humans killed an untold number of animals because of it, we strongly believe that Descartes lacked any true love, compassion, empathy or mercy, and was therefore following the devil instead of God.

14. What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
 
15. If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
 
16. and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
 
17. Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
NASB

The works that James is talking about are things that are done in the heavenly will of God, unlike Descartes, who did things in the corrupt and evil ways of the devil.
 
We are not to be like him, we are to do everything in the heavenly will of God, and help free creation from its present corruption.
 
We can do it if we want to.

We can!
 
Amen.

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