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I remember reading once (in Sender Zeyv's novel Ten Lost), that some Jewish sources say that Amalekians don't have souls. Obviously, this might not be so reliable, coming from a work of fiction, so I'm asking here. Is there any source (I don't remember if the book quoted one or not) for the claim that members of Amalek don't have souls?

This assumes that gentiles in general have souls, as appears to be the consensus in this question:

(Tell me if I should make this a separate question). If the answer is yes, does that mean they are Philosophical zombies? What would a positive answer (no neshamos) imply about the following:

  • Amalekians having free will
  • Amalekians feeling pain
  • Their being some way to tell the difference (with a regular human) by their behavior
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Is your third question asking if they could pass a Turing test? Because I very much doubt you'll find a Jewish source answering that in the negative (likewise regarding your second question as to if they can feel pain). As far as your question about free will, see this question, which implies that they have free will. –  Fred May 12 at 19:30
    
@Fred Is free will necessary for sin? –  ike May 12 at 19:36
    
They might pass a Turing test while still having discernible differences. (For example, if they didn't feel pain or react to it, that would be one way to tell, unless they "fake" pain like some version of Philosophical zombies.) I just want to know what it would mean for them not to have a soul, if that is the case. –  ike May 12 at 19:38
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Yes, free will is necessary for sin. I'm not aware of a source indicating that they have no soul, though some kabbalistic books indicate that their souls are rooted in evil. They can still choose to change themselves for the better (at least according to some opinions), but this requires a transformation from the default. (Incidentally, this is different from the Christian notion of guilt via original sin. Amalek has an evil nature by default, but this does not make them guilty if they have never done anything wrong. Still, evil needs to be destroyed due to the spiritual danger it presents). –  Fred May 12 at 20:03
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if they did not have a soul they would not be able to speak intelligently. the onkelos on the chumash defines the soul as the ability to speak intelligently. apparently this is beyond the ability of any kind of purely physical machine (as explained here in more detail)

"...And Man became a living soul," (Genesis 2:7) is translated by Onkelos: "And Man became a speaking spirit."

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Can they speak intelligently? I suppose I can only think of one place an Amelikite ever speaks אכן סר מר המוות –  Double AA May 13 at 6:06
    
@DoubleAA they can speak and have free will just like me and you. otherwise they would not be liable for their actions. –  ray May 13 at 6:08
    
We don't really have evidence that they are liable for their actions. We don't have a Mitzva to kill them for violating Sheva Mitzvot Benei Noach. There is just a command to kill them, like a command to kill an unredeemed firstborn donkey. –  Double AA May 13 at 6:10
    
@DoubleAA nonjews have 7 mitzvot and will be judged in the future on whether they kept them as explained in tractate avodah zara. –  ray May 13 at 6:12
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Nowhere does it say donkeys are exempt from them either. The ability to convert though is the best point you've made thus far. –  Double AA May 13 at 13:04
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