Animal suffering is not comparable to human suffering

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Parent debateThis argument is used in the debate Does God exist?.
Argument againstThis argument is an objection to Animal suffering is unjust.
Keywords: God, Evil, Suffering[ edit ].


See Lewis, "The problem of evil": the case of animals, suffering without conscience.


“Now, if there's no reason to suppose that animals have a free will, what about their suffering? Animals endured suffering long before human beings appeared on Earth: as long as there have been conscious animals. The first thing to bear in mind is that if higher animals, say vertebrates in general, suffer, it's highly unlikely that their suffering will reach that of human beings. Since suffering depends directly on events in the brain (caused in turn by events in other parts of the body), since lower animals don't suffer at all and human beings suffer a lot, animals of intermediate complexity are likely to suffer to a moderate degree. Consequently, if we're looking for a theodicy to explain why God lets animals suffer, it needn't be as powerful as that required for human suffering. One only needs adequate reasons why God tolerates a much lower degree of suffering than animals.”

Richard Swinburne, Is there a God?, p.104-105, Ithaca, 2009.


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