If you follow this blog, you know that one of my major focuses (some might say “obsessions”) it the phrase “man or other animals” (“MOOA”) as it appears in a number of state and federal laws. That phrase indicates that the government perceives us all as animals rather than “men made in in God’s image” (as per Genesis 1:26-28) and who are “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights” (as per the “Declaration of Independence”). (See Man or Other Animals #1 and the “Category” “Man or Other Animals” which lists all of my articles relevant to that concept.)
By defining us as “animals” the government has achieved what Dr. Moreau attempted with chemistry and genetics in the fiction entitled “The Island of Dr. Moreau”. By defining us as “animals,” the government has presumably stripped us of virtually all of our most meaningful rights, and relieved itself of the obligation “to secure these [God-given, unalienable] rights” to every man, woman and child (found in the third sentence of the “Declaration of Independence”).
More, as seen at item #3 in The 8 Stages of Genocide, defining the American people as animals is an act of genocide comparable to the A.D. 1935 Nuremburg Laws in which the Nazis declared the Jews to be “untermenschen” (sub-human, animals) and laid the legal foundation later arresting all Jews without warrants and legally exterminating men, women, children, non-combatants in concentration camps. As “animals,” the Jews had no right to “Life” and could therefore be “legally” exterminated like a hive of wasps or a nest of rats.
The earliest instance of “man or other animals” laws that I’ve found is the A.D. 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act which defined both “food” and “drugs” in terms or “man or other animals”. The entire Food and Drug Administration is based on the false and rebuttable presumption that you and I are merely “animals”.
For me, the implications of “man or other animals” are clear and chilling. But others who read this blog have some doubt. They point to verses in the Bible that might be interpreted to show that God regards us all as “animals”.
For example, one of my readers recently commented in another article that,
“Ecclesiastes 3:18 refers to men being beasts. Perhaps then there is a biblical basis for governments viewing man the same as an animal. What are your thoughts on Ecc 3:18 ?”
I hadn’t previously noticed that verse so I decided to take a look and see if it really described men as animals (actually, “beasts”).
Sure enough, as first glance, that verse did seem to equate men to beast:
“I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.” Ecc. 3:18, KJV
But what does that verse really mean? Does that verse tell us that men really are “beasts” and no longer made in God’s image and given special rights and duties in this life? If so, Ecclesiastes 3:18 would provide evidence to refute my MOOA theory and legal defense.
Or does that verse merely tell us that men should be made to see that they are acting like “beasts” and thereby subjecting themselves themselves to God’s unfavorable judgment?
• First, note that Ecclesiastes was apparently written by king Solomon who was alleged to be both the wisest and richest in all the world. I don’t doubt that Solomon may have been the world’s richest man, buy my understanding of his life leads me to regard Solomon as one of the world’s biggest, jerks, fools and malcontents. If Solomon is the wisest man that’s ever lived, mankind is in deep doo-doo.
According to 1 Kings 11:1-6,
“King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites,Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.”
Any man who thinks he can handle 1,000 wives is a freaking idiot. Not even the Muslims are crazy enough to want 1,000 wives. Having 1,000 wives may be an act of extraordinary vanity or extraordinary madness—but it’s surely not an act of exceptional wisdom.
There’s no way that even Solomon could remember the names of all of his wives, or the names of all of his children. And imagine the problems of remembering each wife’s birthday and anniversary—as well as the birthdays of each of his children. Solomon would need a staff of a dozen clerks just to keep up with buying the gifts and the anniversary and birthday cards for all of his dependents.
Can you imagine being the only man to walk into a harem of 1,000 over-sexed wives? You’d be lucky to get out alive.
What’s God’s purpose for marriage? To raise godly children. How does a man with 1,000 wives raise godly children when he probably doesn’t even recognize any of his children by name?
Any Old Testament Hebrew who thought he could ignore God’s law concerning marriage to foreign wives was a freaking idiot.
And then, according to 1 Kings 11:1-6, “and his wives led him astray. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods”. Bunk.
First, Solomon was not led astray by his 1,000 wives. He was led astray by his own ego and sexual appetites. He was fool enough to think he could handle 1,000 wives and that tells me is that this guy is a dummy.
Second, I’ll bet that when Solomon “grew old,” his wives didn’t turn his “heart” to other gods—they turned his “head” (his lower head, if you catch my drift) to other gods. Smart as he was, Solomon didn’t have brains enough to invent Viagra. Therefore (at his wives’ demand or perhaps taunting), in his hour of need (so to speak) Solomon started following other gods such as Ashtoreth and Molek in hopes that they’d give him the strength (so to speak) to service all of his wives. (It’s hard work tending to 1,000 wives.)
OK—I’m making fun of Solomon.
But Solomon really does impress me as one of the biggest, perhaps the biggest, fool to ever set foot in the Bible. He had looks, brains, his father’s money, political power, and 1,000 wives. He was the rock star of his age. Queens (Bathsheba?) came from foreign countries just to get a “piece of the rock”.
He was allegedly the world’s wisest man, but I suspect that title was bestowed on him because of his bank balance rather than his IQ. People tend to think that anyone who has money must be smart, so if Solomon had the most money, he must’ve been presumed to be the smartest guy around.
In truth, Solomon was the favorite son of a rich guy (David) and inherited all of his father’s wealth and political power with the old man died. For me, that’s an important point. Solomon never really worked or struggled to gain the wealth and power he enjoyed. Ohh, he was admittedly smart enough to hold and even increase the wealth he’d inherited, but he never had to struggle to gain that wealth and power in the first place. That kind of struggle teaches us values that a man who inherits at a young age is unlikely to ever truly understand.
And then, being the wealthiest (and allegedly wisest) man on earth, and having 1,000 wives and God only knows how many one-night stands, Solomon is still unhappy (he wrote “Lamentations”), extraordinally vain (“all is vanity”), unfaithful to God, and willing to engage in evil.
The man was a freakin’ moron. He was a spoiled rich kid. He had it all, and it still wasn’t enough.
Yes, he was wise enough to write a series of intelligent insights and observations about life et al—but he didn’t really live by his own wisdom. He was a “do as I say, not as I do,” kinda guy.
• My point (besides having a little fun) is that I don’t respect Solomon and I don’t automatically believe anything that he allegedly wrote—including Ecclesiastes 3:18.
So, even if Solomon (the world’s allegedly wisest man) had meant Ecclesiastes 3:18 to indicate that all men were, in fact, “beasts”—I’d just give him and that idea the Bronx cheer. If that were Solomon’s conclusion, I’d reject it as the work of a fool.
But, did Solomon actually mean to say that all men are “beasts” and thus no longer made in God’s image?
The question has been considered by a number of Bible analysts from the 18th and 19th centuries. I have access to some of their works by means of “e-Sword”—a really wonderful computer program for studying the Bible.
Here are some of the results that “e-Sword” made available to me:
• Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, Adam Clarke, LL.D., F.S.A., (A.D. 1715-1832):
Ecc 3:18: That they might see that they themselves are beasts – The author of Choheleth has given a correct view of this difficult verse, by a proper translation: “I said in my heart, reflecting on the state of the sons of men, O that God would enlighten them, and make them see that even they themselves are like beasts.” These words are to be referred to those in authority who abused their power; particularly to the corrupt magistrates mentioned above.”
We’re not the first generation to be perplexed by “this difficult verse” which, at first glance, seems to observe that all men are “beasts” rather than men made in God’s image.
Note that the verse reads, ““I said in my heart”. Thus, we are not listening to God’s word or the words of a prophet. We are only reading the personal opinion of some rich guy.
Adam Clarke concluded that this verse only applies to some men, especially those in positions of power, who abused their power and, in doing so, acted like “beasts”.
I agree with Adam Clarke’s analysis. I’d say further that the tendency of men in power to act like “beasts” is simply a variation on the expression that “all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Thus, to be “corrupt” is roughly synonymous with acting like a “beast” or animal.
To believe in “might makes right” and “survival of the fittest” are other expressions of man’s tendency to sometimes act as if he were a beast. Those statements are evidence of a kind of idolatry whereby some of us worship power (especially if we personally possess it) rather than a spiritual concept of right and wrong.
For me, a good example of a man who worships power rather than right and wrong is Barack H. Obama. His multitude of Executive Orders serves as evidence of his inclination to make whatever law he likes and enforce only those laws he fancies.
Obama’s appetite for “murder by drones” is another evidence of his love of personal power. Having the power of the presidency, Obama routinely violates the existing law, makes whatever laws he likes by means of Executive Orders, and even plays a dominant role in selecting those who are to be murdered by drones. Obama is a man who’s chosen to act like a “beast”.
Note that Adam Clarke did not say that all men were “beasts” and, by implication, were not made in God’s image.
Clarke said that sometimes men act “like beasts”. The use of the word “like” in Ecclesiastes 3:18 makes clear that Solomon is making an analogy, a comparison, rather than a statement of fact. Clarke clearly implied that all men are made in God’s image but some nevertheless choose to succumb to the temptation of acting as if they were “beasts”/animals. This choice would constitute a sin.
Barack H. Obama has chosen to act like a “beast”. In doing so, he’s chosen to distance himself from God.
• In Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, the author (Albert Barnes, A.D. 1798-1870) said this about Ecclesiastes 3:18,
“literally, I said in my heart with regard to the sons of men, it is that God may prove them and show them that they are beasts, they themselves. ‘Showing’ is the reading of the Septuagint and Syriac: the present Hebrew text reads “seeing.” The meaning is that the long delay of God’s judgment Ecc 3:16-17 is calculated to show people that the brevity of their life renders them incapable of following out and understanding His distributive justice.
I disagree. Our lives are sufficiently long to understand God’s “distributive justice” if we choose to make the effort to understand and/or choose to explain God’s justice even to most of those whose intellect may be too limited to understand on their own.
Individual men may have certain limits that prevent them from understanding God’s “distributive justice,” but no such limit applies to mankind.
I’m surprised that Barnes seemingly implied that God: 1) wants us to learn to understand His “distributive justice,” but 2) doesn’t allow us to live long enough to do so.
Both statements can’t be true. If God wants us to understand, He would necessarily give us sufficient life expectancies to do achieve that understanding. If God won’t give us a sufficiently long life to understand “distributive justice,” then God cannot expect us to understand.
• In John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, Dr. John Gill (1690-1771) analyzed Ecclesiastes 3:18 as follows:
“Ecc 3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men,…. He thought of the condition of the children of men, their sinful and polluted state; he weighed and considered in his mind their actions, conversation, and course of life; and was concerned how it would go with them at the day of judgment on account of the same. Some render it, “I said in mine heart after the speech of the children of men”; speaking in their language, and representing the atheist and the epicure, as some think the wise man does in the following verses; though he rather speaks his own real sentiments concerning men, as they are in their present state, and as they will appear in the day of judgment; “
“that God might manifest them; or “separate them”; as the chaff from the wheat, and as goats from the sheep; as will be done at the day of judgment, Matt. 3:10; or “that they might clear God“; as they will, when he shall judge and condemn them; “
Solomon isn’t saying that men are beasts. Quite the contrary. He’s saying that because men are made in God’s image, we have certain duties and obligations that don’t apply to beasts/animals. However, whenever we choose to instead act like beasts, we violate our own godly nature and commit sin against ourselves and against God.. Solomon is he’s warning those of us who dare to act like beasts that we will one day be judged—and presumably condemned by God, Himself—for having made that choice and thereby turned our backs on our own godly nature and to God.
In the context of that judgment, we will be “separated” like the goats from the sheep. The goats will be damned to perdition. The sheep will be rewarded.
How many things of an animalistic nature do we figuratively “worship” in this society?
How many of us seek to find (or be) the man or woman who behaves like an “animal” when we fornicate?
How many of us of seek to be the man or woman who can fight like an animal in sports events or in our daily lives?
How many of us prefer to watch those TV and motion picture dramas which focus on gross violence of the police or criminals—or even the horrific violence perpetrated by demons or psychopaths?
What about the members of the military returning from Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.? Do we honor them for having risked their lives to fight for our government? Or do we honor them for having murdered some unknown number of “gooks” and “ragheads”?
How ‘bout our military-industrial complex where we invent and manufacture ever more effective weapons to ensure the deaths of our enemies?
What about those of us who use alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and other drugs to reduce our inhibitions (conscience) and thereby act as “beasts”?
How many of us have murder in our hearts whereby we are waiting, secretly hoping for some criminal or cop to invade our homes and give us an excuse to kill them?
What about our society’s tendency to embrace the “man of action”—when the ultimate “action” always involves murder or self-sacrifice?
There is something in our society that is almost as bloodthirsty as the Romans who once cheered for gladiators who murdered each other in the Coliseum.
Even if we haven’t personally perpetrated any act of violence against someone else (or ourselves), to what extent does our fascination and indirect support of even imaginary violence constitute evidence of our personal inclinations to behave like “beasts”?
Will we be one day judged negatively for not only our acts but also our inclinations? Or will we be judged positively for our ability to inhibit our violent inclinations?
Must we make it our business to pursue peace rather than war? Peace rather than violence against another? Peace even in our own hearts?
Must we even abandon our secret rage?
John Gill’s commentary continues:
“and that they might see that they themselves are beasts; as they are through the fall, and the corruption of nature, being born like the wild ass’s colt, stupid, senseless, and without understanding of spiritual things; nay, more brutish than the beasts themselves, than the horse and the mule that have no understanding, Psa 32:9; “mulo inscitior”, as is Plautus’s phrase; see Psa 49:12, Isa 1:3; this is now made manifest to the people of God by the word and Spirit; is seen, known, and acknowledged by them, Psa 73:21; and the wicked themselves will see, know, and own what beasts they are and have been, at the day of judgment; how they have lived and died like beasts; how like brute beasts they have corrupted themselves in things they knew naturally; and that as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, spoke evil of things they understood not, and perished in their own corruption, Jud 1:10, 2Pe 2:12; and that they have been beasts to themselves, as Jarchi renders and interprets it; made beasts of themselves by their brutish gratifications; have been cruel to themselves, ruining and destroying their own souls; or among themselves, and to one another, “homo lupus homini”; hence wicked men are compared to lions, foxes, evening wolves, vipers, and the like. So Mr. Broughton renders it, “how they are beasts, they to themselves.”
I realize that Mr. Gill’s text is over 250 years old. I realize his text is therefore a little hard to read. But—whoa!—if you will trouble to read it slowly and comprehend his meaning, I think you’ll find his meaning chilling.
Mr. Gill seems to imply that every time we choose to beat, bully, intimidate, rape, rob or kill another man or woman we are making beasts of ourselves and thereby choosing to turn our backs on our own spiritual natures, turn our backs to our Father YHWH ha Elohiym, and invite our own damnation.
All of a sudden, the words “shalom” and “peace” seem to make so much more sense to me. They carry a new weight I hadn’t previously understood. When I claim that “I come in peace,” my peaceful nature is not intended to protect the other guy from whatever violence I might otherwise perpetrate. Instead, my peaceful nature is intended to protect me from committing violence and thereby “making a beast” out of myself.
I don’t come in peace to protect you; I come in peace to protect me.
And who was the preeminent man of peace? The Christ.
With the one exception turning over the moneychangers’ tables and chasing them with a whip, the Christ remained peaceful even unto his own death. Rather than resort of violence in his own defense, even though he knew he was innocent of the charges against him, the Christ allowed himself to be arrested, tried, convicted, scourged and finally crucified.
Was the real point to the Christ’s crucifixion to prove that at least one man, somewhere, who was made in God’s image, could remain true to that “image” and resist the temptation to resort to violence and acting like a “beast” under even the most extraordinary circumstances? Did the Christ open the door to mankind’s salvation and even his own acceptance by God, by eschewing all violence and refusing to act like a beast?
• In Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Matthew Henry (1662 – 1714) commented on the seven verses of Ecclesiastes 3:16-22, which included Ecclesiastes 3:18. Mr. Henry’s English is 300 years older than our own. It takes effort to read, but the effort is absolutely worthwhile:
“Solomon is still showing that every thing in this world, without piety and the fear of God, is vanity. Take away religion, and there is nothing valuable among men, nothing for the sake of which a wise man would think it worthwhile to live in this world. In these verses he shows that power (than which there is nothing men are more ambitious of) and life itself (than which there is nothing men are more fond, more jealous of) are nothing without the fear of God.
“I. Here is the vanity of man as mighty, man in his best estate, man upon the throne, where his authority is submitted to, man upon the judgment-seat, where his wisdom and justice are appealed to, and where, if he be governed by the laws of religion, he is God’s viceregent; nay, he is of those to whom it is said, You are gods; but without the fear of God it is vanity, for, set that aside, and,
“1. The judge will not judge aright, will not use his power well, but will abuse it; instead of doing good with it he will do hurt with it, and then it is not only vanity, but a lie, a cheat to himself and to all about him, Ecc 3:16. Solomon perceived, by what he had read of former times, what he heard of other countries, and what he had seen in some corrupt judges, even in the land of Israel, notwithstanding all his care to prefer good men, that there was wickedness in the place of judgment. It is not so above the sun: far be it from God that he should do iniquity, or pervert justice. But under the sun it is often found that that which should be the refuge, proves the prison, of oppressed innocency. Man being in honour, and not understanding what he ought to do, becomes like the beasts that perish, like the beasts of prey, even the most ravenous, Psa 49:20. Not only from the persons that sat in judgment, but even in the places where judgment was, in pretence, administered, and righteousness was expected, there was iniquity; men met with the greatest wrongs in those courts to which they fled for justice. This is vanity and vexation; for, (1.) It would have been better for the people to have had no judges than to have had such. (2.) It would have been better for the judges to have had no power than to have had it and used it to such ill purposes; and so they will say another day.
“2. The judge will himself be judged for not judging aright. When Solomon saw how judgment was perverted among men he looked up to God the Judge, and looked forward to the day of his judgment (Ecc 3:17): “I said in my heart that this unrighteous judgment is not so conclusive as both sides take it to be, for there will be a review of the judgment; God shall judge between the righteous and the wicked, shall judge for the righteous and plead their cause, though now it is run down, and judge against the wicked and reckon with them for all their unrighteous decrees and the grievousness which they have prescribed,” Isa 10:1. With an eye of faith we may see, not only the period, but the punishment of the pride and cruelty of oppressors (Psa 92:7), and it is an unspeakable comfort to the oppressed that their cause will be heard over again. Let them therefore wait with patience, for there is another Judge that stands before the door. And, though the day of affliction may last long, yet there is a time, a set time, for the examination of every purpose, and every work done under the sun. Men have their day now, but God’s day is coming, Psa 37:13. With God there is a time for the re-hearing of causes, redressing of grievances, and reversing of unjust decrees, though as yet we see it not here, Job 24:1.
“II. Here is the vanity of man as mortal. He now comes to speak more generally concerning the estate of the sons of men in this world, their life and being on earth, and shows that their reason, without religion and the fear of God, advances them but little above the beasts. Now observe,
“What he aims at in this account of man’s estate. (1.) That God may be honoured, may be justified, may be glorified – that they might clear God (so the margin reads it), that if men have an uneasy life in this world, full of vanity and vexation, they may thank themselves and lay no blame on God; let them clear him, and not say that he made this world to be man’s prison and life to be his penance; no, God made man, in respect both of honour and comfort, little lower than the angels; if he be mean and miserable, it is his own fault. Or, that God (that is, the world of God) might manifest them, and discover them to themselves, and so appear to be quick and powerful, and a judge of men’s characters; and we may be made sensible how open we lie to God’s knowledge and judgment. (2.) That men may be humbled, may be vilified, may be mortified – that they might see that they themselves are beasts. It is no easy matter to convince proud men that they are but men (Psa 9:20), much more to convince bad men that they are beasts, that, being destitute of religion, they are as the beasts that perish, as the horse and the mule that have no understanding. Proud oppressors are as beasts, as roaring lions and ranging bears. Nay, every man that minds his body only, and not his soul, makes himself no better than a brute, and must wish, at least, to die like one.”
Interesting. Blaming God is a kind of blasphemy that is, to some extent, behaving like a “beast”. We must therefore “clear God” of responsibility for our problems. We encounter our problems because, although we are men made in God’s image, we or our oppressors have nevertheless succumbed to the temptation to behave as beasts.
Perhaps, insofar as our government behaves as beasts, and therefore knows themselves to be beasts, they therefore define all others as also being “animals”. Insofar as you are deemed to be just another “animal” (like your oppressors) where is the crime or sin in depriving you of rights that only attach to men made in God’s image? Where’s the crime or sin in robbing your or even killing you if you are really nothing more than an “animal”—and a weak animal, at that. Should the cat be damned for killing mice? Or is it simply in the natural order of things that strong predators oppress, rob or kill the weaker prey?
If we live in a world where man is only an animal, then we live in a world where the only rule is “survival of the fittest”. If you lack the physical fitness required to survive, you are a free lunch for any predator with a club, gun, badge, or public office with no more right to petition for redress of grievances than a rabbit caught by a fox.
As usual, I’m trying to illustrate that government’s determination to treat you as an “animal” and your willingness to accept that classification, mean you’ll have no rights, little wealth, and little chance for a long life.
It’s no game when your government defines you as an “animal”. It’s not an accident. It’s not a triviality. It’s an act of spiritual warfare that threatens your human existence and your spiritual survival. This threat—perpetrated by your own government—is as big as it gets.
Matthew Henry continues:
“2. The manner in which he verifies this account. That which he undertakes to prove is that a worldly, carnal, earthly-minded man, has no preeminence above the beast, for all that which he sets his heart upon, places his confidence, and expects a happiness in, is vanity, Ecc 3:19. Some make this to be the language of an atheist, who justifies himself in his iniquity (Ecc 3:16) and evades the argument taken from the judgment to come (Ecc 3:17) by pleading that there is not another life after this, but that when man dies there is an end of him, and therefore while he lives he may live as he lists; but others rather think Solomon here speaks as he himself thinks, and that it is to be understood in the same sense with that of his father (Psa 49:14), Like sheep they are laid in the grave, and that he intends to show the vanity of this world’s wealth and honours “By the equal condition in mere outward respects (as bishop Reynolds expounds it) between men and beasts,” (1.) The events concerning both seem much alike (Ecc 3:19); That which befals the sons of men is no other than that which befals beasts; a great deal of knowledge of human bodies is gained by the anatomy of the bodies of brutes. When the deluge swept away the old world the beasts perished with mankind. Horses and men are killed in battle with the same weapons of war. (2.) The end of both, to an eye of sense, seems alike too: They have all one breath, and breathe in the same air, and it is the general description of both that in their nostrils is the breath of life (Gen 7:22), and therefore, as the one dies, so dies the other; in their expiring there is no visible difference, but death makes much the same change with a beast that it does with a man. [1.] As to their bodies, the change is altogether the same, except the different respects that are paid to them by the survivors. Let a man be buried with the burial of an ass (Jer 22:19) and what preëminence then has he above a beast? The touch of the dead body of a man, by the law of Moses, contracted a greater ceremonial pollution than the touch of the carcase even of an unclean beast or fowl. And Solomon here observes that all go unto one place; the dead bodies of men and beasts putrefy alike; all are of the dust, in their original, for we see all turn to dust again in their corruption. What little reason then have we to be proud of our bodies, or any bodily accomplishments, when they must not only be reduced to the earth very shortly, but must be so in common with the beasts, and we must mingle our dust with theirs! [2.] As to their spirits there is indeed a vast difference, but not a visible one, Ecc 3:21. It is certain that the spirit of the sons of men at death is ascending; it goes upwards to the Father of spirits, who made it, to the world of spirits to which it is allied; it dies not with the body, but is redeemed from the power of the grave, Psa 49:15. It goes upwards to be judged and determined to an unchangeable state. It is certain that the spirit of the beast goes downwards to the earth; it dies with the body; it perishes and is gone at death. The soul of a beast is, at death, like a candle blown out – there is an end of it; whereas the soul of a man is then like a candle taken out of a dark lantern, which leaves the lantern useless indeed, but does itself shine brighter. This great difference there is between the spirits of men and beasts; and a good reason it is why men should set their affections on things above, and lift up their souls to those things, not suffering them, as if they were the souls of brutes, to cleave to this earth. But who knows this difference? We cannot see the ascent of the one and the descent of the other with our bodily eyes; and therefore those that live by sense, as all carnal sensualists do, that walk in the sight of their eyes and will not admit any other discoveries, by their own rule of judgment have no preëminence above the beasts. Who knows, that is, who considers this? Isa 53:1. Very few. Were it better considered, the world would be every way better; but most men live as if they were to be here always, or as if when they die there were an end of them; and it is not strange that those live like beasts who think they shall die like beasts, but on such the noble faculties of reason are perfectly lost and thrown away.”
. . . .
Although these previous authorities do not expressly raise the issue of Genesis 1:26-28 (“On the sixth day, God created man in His image and gave man dominion over the animals.”), it seems apparent that they all agree that man is made in God’s image, is given dominion of the animals, and therefore cannot, in fact, be an animal. However, insofar as we act like animals—and perhaps, insofar as we allow ourselves to be labeled or treated as animals—we may expose our souls to damnation.
1) My argument that the government’s use of the phrase “man or other animals” means government presumes the people to be “animals” is valid;
2) By presuming man to be an animal, government thereby violates a fundamental principle of the Jewish and Christian faiths (that men are not animals);
3) Our right to rebut the false presumption that we are animals and therefore subject to laws that apply to animals is secured against the federal government by the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion in the federal Constitution and whatever section of our State constitutions also guarantee freedom of religion.
4) Ecclesiastes 3:18 does not equate men to animals in fact, but only in conduct.
I read Ecclesiastes 3:18 to be an expression of Solomon’s personal opinion that men who are made in God’s image should avoid “acting like beasts” less they ultimately be judged as “beasts” by our Father YHWH ha Elohiym.