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Recent research seems to indicate that the religious sense is innate. If that

Recent research seems to indicate that the religious sense is innate. If that is so, wouldn't it be likely to be true of animals as well?

If having a religious sense is innate in humans (and see here for more discussion on the obscurities of this notion), it doesn't follow that it's innate for non-human animals. Perhaps some song repertoires are innate in birds — but don't ask me to sing them.

A discussion with a philosopher friend got me all bewildered. He claimed that we

A discussion with a philosopher friend got me all bewildered. He claimed that we cannot say that animals feel pain, because a mind is necessary to feel pain, and animals don't have a mind. My argument was twofold: 1. How do we know that animals don't have minds? 2. Pain is a result of stimulus to certain parts of the brain. If we assume that animals don't have minds, we can still see that their brains respond to pain stimuli the same way as ours. Even if they are unable to cognitively translate an external factor into a thought train like "I stuck my hand on a hot plate, it hurt, so I removed my hand from the hot plate", surely we can watch them pull back from things that we would experience as painful. I was wondering what your thoughts are on this subject. Thanks.

I know of no good argument for the conclusion that animals cannot feel pain, and given the behavioral and physiological similarities between us and some animals the evidence seems very strong that some do. A biologist friend of mine told me about an experiement with, yes, rats. These rats had severe arthritis, a condition very painful in humans. They were given a choice between plain water and water laced with a tasteless drug (tylenol, perhaps) that does nothing to improve the arthritis, but in humans reduces pain. The rats quickly came to prefer the water with the pain-killer. This is no proof that rats feel pain, but it is a telling argument. And remember that you have no proof, in the strong sense of that term, that people other than yourself feel pain either.

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