Author Topic: St. Thomas on the keenness of other animals senses  (Read 393 times)

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Offline Geremia

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St. Thomas on the keenness of other animals senses
« on: December 13, 2014, 10:25:23 PM »
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  • For example:
    Cats have a hearing range of 45-64,000 Hz, whereas humans' range is only 64-23,000 Hz.
    Dogs have a better sense of smell than humans do.

    Since many other animals have better senses than humans do, how is it that humans are of a specifically higher order than all the other animals, distinguished not by degree from them but in kind? St. Thomas et al. would say that it is because we have an intellect, and all the other animals do not (i.e., we are rational animals), but how does our possessing an intellect more than compensate for our not having as keen senses as many other animals do?
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    Offline Emitte Lucem Tuam

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    St. Thomas on the keenness of other animals senses
    « Reply #1 on: December 14, 2014, 12:35:26 PM »
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  • Quote from: Geremia
    For example:
    Cats have a hearing range of 45-64,000 Hz, whereas humans' range is only 64-23,000 Hz.
    Dogs have a better sense of smell than humans do.

    Since many other animals have better senses than humans do, how is it that humans are of a specifically higher order than all the other animals, distinguished not by degree from them but in kind? St. Thomas et al. would say that it is because we have an intellect, and all the other animals do not (i.e., we are rational animals), but how does our possessing an intellect more than compensate for our not having as keen senses as many other animals do?


    I take the Haydock commentary on Genesis 1 as my answer to the animal's souls and bodies vs man's immortal soul and body:

    Ver. 26. Let us make man to our image. This image of God in man, is not in the body, but in the soul; which is a spiritual substance, endued with understanding and free-will. God speaketh here in the plural number, to insinuate the plurality of persons in the Deity. (Challoner) --- Some of the ancient Jҽωs maintained that God here addressed his council, the Angels; but is it probable that he should communicate to them the title of Creator, and a perfect similitude with himself? (Calmet) --- Man is possessed of many prerogatives above all other creatures of this visible world: his soul gives him a sort of equality with the Angels; and though his body be taken from the earth, like the brutes, yet even here the beautiful construction, the head erect and looking towards heaven, &c. makes St. Augustine observe, an air of majesty in the human body, which raises man above all terrestrial animals, and brings him in some measure near to the Divinity. As Jesus assumed our human nature, we may assert, that we bear a resemblance to God both in soul and body. Tertullian (de Resur. 5.) says, "Thus that slime, putting on already the image of Christ, who would come in the flesh, was not only the work of God, but also a pledge." (Haydock) See St. Bernard on Psalm xcix. (Worthington).



     

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