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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Do animals have beliefs?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (24543points) November 29th, 2023

Like a dog thinking that you are a god?
Or anything interesting?

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19 Answers

SnipSnip's avatar

They can certainly believe that they can safely jump from the garage roof and be wrong.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I’ll say yes. When our dogs see us go to their food bowl, they believe they’re getting fed. Even goldfish do this.

RocketGuy's avatar

Pigeons started doing weird things when they were provided treats at random intervals. They started to believe that doing the weird thing was causing the treats to drop down. Makes you wonder about human’s superstitions.

Zaku's avatar

Of course they do.

filmfann's avatar

They might, but they’ve never come to my door with pamphlets.

gorillapaws's avatar

Yes. My dog is convinced there’s a monster in the vacuum extension pipe.

flutherother's avatar

Animals believe what they have personal experience of. Pets believe they will be fed and taken for a walk tomorrow because they are fed and taken for a walk every day. They believe that man is in their heaven and all’s right with the world because they never watch the news.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My pets believe I am their servant here only to feed, pet, brush or otherwise serve them.

kritiper's avatar

No. Animals are incapable of conscious thought. They react to instinct, hunger, thirst, etc. They have no concept of time or direction (North, South, East, West.)

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@kritiper I respectfully disagree.

kritiper's avatar

@Blackwater_Park Ask your dogs to explain.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@kritiper They don’t have to speak to tell me how they feel or what they’re thinking. Their language is not spoken. Other animals do have language, we just cannot decipher it, it is not for us. I have seen chickens with more sentience than some people I know.
Also birds do have a sense of direction. Apparently, they can even sense direction using magnetic fields.

filmfann's avatar

@kritiper No. Animals are incapable of conscious thought. They react to instinct, hunger, thirst, etc. They have no concept of time or direction (North, South, East, West.)

I disagree. Dogs are very attuned to the Northern direction. Bears and raccoons in my area know what day the garbage gets collected.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

My dog believes she should be fed a 6 PM, have a snack at 7 PM and dental chew at 8 PM.

smudges's avatar

^^ that’s so cuuute!

kritiper's avatar

Do dogs/animals know in what direction the sun comes up? Or sets?
Animals may be capable of certain very basic things but they have no sense of “I, me. my, you, mine, theirs, ours, etc.” If they were so capable of conscious thinking REASONING thought, they would wear clothes. And actually talk!
They have reactive, instinctive (subconscious) minds that don’t think in words like humans (in our conscious REASONING minds) do. We humans are of two minds (conscious and subconscious), animals are of one (subconscious.).

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Ever tried to take food from a dog? They’ll tell you quickly whose it is. Ever notice when a dog knows who is nice and who was mean to them, even years later? They may not be as smart, but they are capable of reasoning. I mean, we train them to do very complicated things that take coordination, forethought, and spatial awareness. They’re also clearly capable of complex emotions. I know plenty of humans who believe in sky gods, some of us apparently still believe the earth is flat.

smudges's avatar

It sounds like what we need to be discussing is the definition of “believe”. A belief in a god is not the same as a ‘belief’ a dog may have that his dinner is coming at 6pm. The dog’s ‘beliefs’ are based on experience and an attentive owner – stimulus/reward, 6pm/dinner.

One type of belief is based on faith. The other is based on experience. I don’t think, but don’t know, that animals have the first type of beliefs.

RocketGuy's avatar

A pigeon doing a funny dance in the lab is based on its faith that its earning a treat.

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