I Refuse To Believe In A God With Such A Low Opinion Of Dogs

I just did a search of the Bible for occurences of the word “dog”, and was surprised that of the 40-some references in the entire Book, they were all used in a disparaging manner, either to insult someone by comparing them to a dog, or curse them with devouring by dogs or the like. Not one reference to the intelligence or loyalty of dogs, or of bring “man’s best friend” or of hunting dogs, or guard dogs, or any of the positive roles dogs have played in the history of man.

A few examples:

Jesus himself has only two thoughts about dogs, and both are derogatory:

I think this is a telling reflection on the Author of the Bible; if Divine, then He obviously lacks any appreciation the sublime nature of His own creation, and if from the hands of men, it surely was the work of craven, mean-spirited cynophobes.

I do not accept the argument that the Bible reflects a society-wide low opinion of dogs in those days. Dogs have been domesticated for over 12,000 years, with roles that were then much more integrated into survival than they are today. I simply do not believe that dogs were actually reviled with the bitterness reflected in the Bible.

Can anyone defend the Bible’s disdain for our canine friends, or is it indicative of the Deity that would have us believe that He is all about unconditional love, then scorns the one ideal example of that sentiment?

Realize that not all societies share the same opinion of dogs we in the United States do.

Even though dogs have been helping mankind for well over 10,000 years fido as a lapdog kept for pleasure alone is somewhat new. You only find the vast array of dogs you do today starting about 500 years ago. Dogs were there to work more than anything else. Even today if you go to some societies and started playing with their dogs they’d look at you like you were nuts. Much as if you went out and started frolicking with their oxen.

On top of that dogs were also considered a not so good thing. Wolves, jackals, foxes and so on were considered pests or worse to be killed when found.

Personally I share your love for dogs and it bothers me that they are considered to have no souls by the church. I personally believe they have deep, rich souls. Nevertheless don’t use your 21[sup]st[/sup] century American eyes to see this through. That view will mislead you today in some parts of the world not to mention the world of over a thousand years ago.

Is this the one about the dyslexic atheist?

Can anyone defend the Bible’s disdain for our canine friends, or is it indicative of the Deity that would have us believe that He is all about unconditional love, then scorns the one ideal example of that sentiment?
I just think it’s a doggone shame!!! Sorry. The Devil made me do it.

Interestingly enough, in Jewish tradition, dogs did the Jews a favor on the night of the Exodus

(Exodus 11:7)

Their reward for this was

Exodus 22:31

Zev Steinhardt

If you think that is bad consider that the bible does not mention domestic cats at all!

[sub]Being a cat person, I think finding about that when I was a kid could be the first reason why I began to doubt the bible :D[/sub]

Bah. Cats have intelligence. Dogs have souls.

So, would you agree that the Bible reflects the biases of men, and not divine wisdom? If the Bible is inspired by God, don’t you think it would transcend the narrow-minded prejudice of mortal men, and reveal the truth about dogs?

Thanks, Zev, I didn’t consider that interpretation until you pointed it out.

Yes, I would agree. I do not subscribe to the notion that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. Rather, I believe it was written by men who may or may not have been divinely inspired but regardless input their own spin and interpretation on what they wrote.

Theoretically mankind shoudl have no issue with any creature on this planet since they presumably were all created by God and are therefore worthwhile in God’s eyes. That would include such things as mosquitos, rats, tape worms, botulii bacteria and so on.

It may be worth noting that not all religions had as dim a view of dogs as the Bible seems to have had. I was always partial to the following Native American myth:

Jesus is a cat lover. :smiley:

*Originally posted by Fear Itself *
So, would you agree that the Bible reflects the biases of men, and not divine wisdom?

Nah. Neither.The Bible is propaganda leaflets dropped from the Cosmos by alien beings to beguile, befuddle, and bewilder the Human Race. It worked exceedingly well for 1200 years keeping us in the Dark and Middle Ages, until we started asking whyconcerning BAD (Bible Abuse of Dogs) and managed to muddle through into the light and truth of the Renaissance and the Age of Reason.

" I Refuse To Believe In A God With Such A Low Opinion Of Dogs"

What are you talking about!?! God loves dogs! He gave them the ability to lick thier own genitalia!

Fagjunk Theology: Not just for sodomite propagandists anymore.

Islam is not very sympathetic toward dogs either. Especially them little foofy dogs.

Dogs embody vitrues that every human should aspire to.

Dogs have no racism. Brown dogs, yellow dogs, black dogs and white dogs all get along, and show no predjudice against mulit-colored puppies.

Dogs have no snobbery. A dog with the longest pedigree will find love with a shaggy street mutt, occasionally resulting in some pretty funny-looking puppies. Dogs do not envy one another’s collars, or doghouses. They will happily chew off a leash whether it be cheap nylon, or tooled leather. They will eat Alpo as eagerly as filet mignon, and never complain. They think water from the toilet or a puddle is just fine. They let nothing go to waste: every minute scrap of food is licked from their bowl.

They have no vices. They neither smoke, nor drink, nor beat their mates. Their fights can be resolved when one participant shows his belly, and then all is forgotten. They have patience beyond our imagining. They will wait for hours by the door for the sound of their human’s footsteps. They are satisfied by life’s simplest pleasures: a nap, a pat, something to chew on. They do not care if your sofa came from the Salvation Army or Ethan Allen. They’ll sleep on both (whether you like it or not). As long as they have a warm place to sleep, a human who knows how to find that itchy spot behind the ears, and food in their bowls, all is right with the world.

Your dog loves you no matter how little money you make, or how beautiful/unnatractive you are. Your dog would live with you in a cardboard box, defending you and adoring you just the same as if you lived in a palace. All he asks is that you throw him the scraps of your dinner. Your dog would gladly die protecting you. They are infinately forgiving.

In short, dogs are wonderful people. Perhaps if people could be a bit more like dogs, this world would be a better place. God should have used them as an example of perfect love and perfect trust.

As someone once explained it to me, either your dog will be in heaven waiting for you, or you won’t miss it.

This was literal, and it happened just as was foretold (2 Kings 9:35-37). I don’t think this was a slam on dogs at all, just a description of what would (and eventually did) happen.

Dogs do this. I don’t know why, but they do. I have seen it. Heck, I have a dog that insists on getting into the cat’s litter box. That does not mean that dogs are not loyal, intelligent and wonderful creatures. It is just the nature of dogs to do these things. I don’t see this as a derogatory comment on dogs.

Can you tell us why you don’t accept the argument? I think the argument is true.

The Philisitines did not regard dogs highly, as is evidenced by Goliath’s comment to David in 1 Sam. 17:43:

He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

The Jews thought similarly, although when they wanted to really express contempt they made it a dead dog. David said to Saul:

“Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea?” (1 Sam. 24:14)

Or Abner (Saul’s general): “Am I a dog’s head-on Judah’s side?”

Or Mephibosheth (Saul’s grandson): “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

Or Abishai: “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head.”
A complete look at the contexts of the verses involving dogs show that most are references to wild, flesh eating dogs, not the tail-waggin’ friends we all know and love. The quotes by Jesus are using dogs metaphorically. Jesus often did this to paint word pictures that his listeners would understand. His use of dogs as examples was something that any Jew would have identified with. Today, a common pejorative term is “pig.” It is used to express distaste, but is not truly a commentary on the noble and intelligent animal that the term denotes. It is just a derogatory term that everyone understands. I think the use of dog in those days and times and cultures was the same.
So what does God really think of dogs? Well, we can surmise that dogs were created along with the other land dwelling animals, and his response to all of those creatures was that his creation was good. God disallowed the eating of animals with paws (including dogs) and he disdained the idea of sacrificing a dog.

Let’s face it. There is Lassie, and there is Cujo. Not all dogs are the embodiment of unconditional love. The case of the young woman (I think in San Francisco) who was killed by her neighbor’s dogs is proof of that. I think it was in Texas where a loyal, loving family dog that had never as much as snarled at anyone got into a bedroom and killed baby who was only several weeks old. As I was watching the news story, they interviewed a dog expert who pointed out that you couldn’t blame the dog, because it was after all, their nature.

I love dogs. I spend a lot of my time working with the local animal shelter to see to it that dogs are adopted. I have a house full of dogs, and would have more if my house and budget and local zoning would allow. I just don’t see that God doesn’t like them. I think he loves them. After all, he created them, and has given them to us as great gifts with which we can share life. I honestly believe that my dogs will be in heaven with me, as will my cats.

What a beautiful piece of writing. My sentiments exactly!!! I beg to differ on only one point: Why bring God into this? :slight_smile:

May I add that a dog is dependable, trusting and trustable, faithful, loving, stable…

A dog is not: crafty,cunning, foxy , insidious, sly, tricky, underhanded, duplicitous, guileful, indirect, shifty, sneaky, fawning, kowtowing, sycophantic, flunkyish, servile, ingratiating, flattering, mealy-mouthed, spineless, abject, ignoble, submissive, haughty, overbearing, proud, insulting, authoritative and many other human attributes that a dog is not.

Is it any wonder that for most dog owners it would be an easy decision if they had to choose between their dog and (fill in the blank) .

The status of dogs as pets in Islam is not so cut and dried as Jackmanii’s link suggests; there are diverse opinions on this issue. The Islamic law professor Khaled Abou El Fadl at UCLA has dogs for pets because his research showed that the negative attitudes against keeping dogs were unfounded in the sources of Islam. The Sufi leader Javad Nurbakhsh from Iran has emphasized love for dogs.

Also, the dog belonging to the Sleepers in the Cave was a pet. The Sleepers were presented in the Qur’an as a spiritual role model. The inclusion of their dog in the story was kind of cute. There’s nothing like that in the Bible.

An Islamic version of Jesus, cited by al-Ghazzali, has him saying something nice about a dog: The story goes that Jesus and his disciples were out for a walk and they saw a dead dog by the side of the road. The disciples said, “Eww, what a stink!” Jesus said, “What a beautiful white color its teeth are!” The point being that you should always try to find something nice to say about people, even if they seem repulsive. (Aside: There’s a book from Harvard University press titled The Muslim Jesus by Tarif Khalidi, with Sufi stories like this one. One of the Islamic Jesus’s sayings is inscribed in Persian on the Taj Mahal: “The world is a bridge. Pass over it but don’t build houses on it.”)

I’m totally a cat person, but I still found something nice to say about dogs.

That you believe it is fact does not address my point; that the Bible overwhelmingly characterizes the negative aspects of dogs, and does not say anything kind about them, which we know is not a true representation. My point is that, in doing so, the Bible reveals itself to be not the word of God, but the imperfect words of men.

Once again, you are making my point for me. It is not that the statements are not true; it is that they are expressed as the only aspects worth mentioning, giving the casual observer the innaccurate impression that dogs are evil, violent, disgusting creatures to be feared or reviled. The Bible is biased in this regard.

Certainly. Dogs have been domesticated for as much as 100,000 years (according to recent genetic studies), and have held an integral relationship with the survival and and expansion of humans around the globe. From finding of researchers at UCLA:

These writings from ancient Persia (circa 1400BC) paint a much different view of dogs than the Bible:

From ancient India

From The Odyssey by Homer, circa 800BC:

Shall I go on? There are many more examples of the true nature of the historical relationship between man and dog that has been evidenced for thousands of years.

Your references to the Bible as proof that society reviled dogs is self referencial, and also supports my position that the Bible represents a biased point of view. If you can produce Biblical scripture that praises dogs, then I will cede your point. But, absent any such scripture, the only conclusion is that the Bible is a biased document written by dog haters, and I don’t believe they represent the word of God…

they show to animals. I have a primal disdain for those cultures that eat dogs or cats.