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Negative remarks about having pets from Pope Francis
I normally avoid religious discussions, but this can't be ignored. The Pope was talking about having children and even adopting children. He then went on to say that
having pets instead of children is selfish and it takes away our humanity.

I will let you read it for yourself.

I am a little stunned that he would say these things. It is a narrow view of pets and their roles in our lives. Pets make us more human. They build us up, not diminish us. 

It is also a narrow view of why people are not having children. There are a lot of personal reasons. There economic reasons. There are health reasons.
Our population is putting a strain on the resources of the planet. We can't keep multiplying without heading for disaster. Perhaps the people who choose to not have children are the most unselfish of all.  

There is so much more that could be said about this. It is a complex issue.

One last thought, Pope Francis has neither pets nor children. What does he know about either of them?
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I couldn't agree more. I have two sons (now in their forties), but if I were young again, I would not consider having children in the current crisis. They could be entering an environmental nightmare. Plus the world is terribly overpopulated, with numbers increasing every single day. See here:

Each person has the liberty to decide whether to enter a relationship, whether to have children, etc. It is a personal choice and nothing to do with religion. As for the Pope's decision to comment on the "selfishness" of having companion animals instead of children, it is (appallingly) in line with the often mooted (but not universally held) Catholic position that only humans pass to the afterlife - which religious people call "heaven" - and animals do not. See, for example:

Such an arrogant "only humans are good enough to continue after death" attitude obviously carries through into other issues, such as the current pronouncement of the Pope about having animals instead of children being selfish. It might also explain why in Spain donkeys are thrown off church towers or have darts thrown at them on religious festivals.

Such attitudes are unfortunately still widespread and absolutely lamentable.
Quote:I couldn't agree more. I have two sons (now in their forties), but if I were young again, I would not consider having children in the current crisis. They could be entering an environmental nightmare. Plus the world is terribly overpopulated, with numbers increasing every single day.
There is no doubt that we are in an overpopulation crisis. The planet cannot carry the burden of our increasing demands on it. 
I think people who choose not to have children (or have one or two) are showing a responsibility towards the planet and their species. Some children need to be born to prevent a demographic shift towards an aging population. However if we don't control our population there will be consequences.

I wonder if this trend towards childlessness is some form of instinctive species response to overpopulation. It would make sense. The drive to produce offspring is higher when there are more resources. A reduced drive to have children would make sense when there are negative environmental pressures.

I find the article Do Animals Have Souls like Human Beings, to be very flawed in its thinking. It is also very arrogant.  
It states that animals don't have conceptual intelligence and can't conceive of the abstract notion of justice
I am not accepting that statement at all. Many animals are deeper than a lot of humans I know. 
The article claims animals don't love. The author has had little contact with animals or else has such a strong bias that he can only see animals the way he thinks they are. We have all witnessed animals that love deeply. They love the humans in their lives and they love other animals in their lives.

I have had dwarf hamsters die of grief when a beloved mate dies.

The article is so biased, but it does fit with what the pope is saying about having pets.
Having pets diminishes out humanity???  I don't think so. We all know that dogs make us better people. Dogs bring out the good in us. 
Dogs are willing to work to serve a human who needs them. Dogs will give up their lives to save someone they love.
Not all humans will do that.

I think having a pet would make someone a better parent. It certainly makes us more human and more caring.

The pope is working from a very outdated way of thinking. Just giving birth to many children is not some form of virtue or selflessness.
Having a responsibility towards the planet and the creatures that live on it is unselfish. It shows a deeper sense of responsibility.

Assuming that out of all life on the planet we are the only ones that matter is supreme arrogance. It is a position that has no trace of humility.

If we label animals as less than us we can justify any amount of horrible behavior towards animals and not feel the slightest guilt.
That explains religious festivals. They may be religious, but they are not spiritual.

Just a thought: the church has a history of treating indigenous peoples as less than human. The church has a history of outrageous behaviour towards indigenous peoples. The pope who thinks animals diminish our humanity, has refused to apologize for the church's role in the genocide against Indigenous people in Canada. I think he is unhappy that the truth has come out.

So I am considered to have a diminished humanity because of my relationship to animals. The pope does not see himself as having a diminished humanity even though his whole way of thinking is part of how the genocide was able to take place. If you label some beings as lesser then you can justify anything you do to them. That includes humans and animals.

It is a position that can no longer be justified. We know too much about animals now.
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