• Joel Evans
    23
    But God didn't create the conditions of pain. He merely gave us the capacity to feel pain. That's besides the point though. You and I have been talking past each other. I don't think the presence of pain is a bad thing, and you do. I think that the good of having a fully-formed nervous system (pain, pleasure, and all feelings included) is better than having no fully-formed nervous system and no pain.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.7k
    But God didn't create the conditions of pain. He merely gave us the capacity to feel pain.Joel Evans

    That's the same thing :lol:.

    That's besides the point though.Joel Evans

    NO its very much the point.

    You and I have been talking past each other. I don't think the presence of pain is a bad thing, and you do. I think that the good of having a fully-formed nervous system (pain, pleasure, and all feelings included) is better than having no fully-formed nervous system and no pain.Joel Evans

    Why? We are talking past each other. If God can make any type of universe he wants. He could have created a universe with no pain.
  • Joel Evans
    23
    That's the same thing :lol:.schopenhauer1

    Actually it's not. There is a difference between causing pain and giving one the capacity for pain. God (according to theism) gave us noses but that doesn't mean he directly causes us to smell things.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.7k
    There is a difference between causing pain and giving one the capacity for pain.Joel Evans

    I never said that. Pay attention. I said the conditions for pain.. which you are replacing with capacity. Same thing.

    God (according to theism) gave us noses but that doesn't mean he directly causes us to smell things.Joel Evans

    Whence noses then?
  • Joel Evans
    23
    Whence noses then?schopenhauer1

    This doesn't apply here but good try.

    I never said that. Pay attention. I said the conditions for pain.. which you are replacing with capacity. Same thing.schopenhauer1

    I still think my analysis applies, but let's say it doesn't. That still doesn't show that the conditions for pain are bad. I think that the natural use of pain (as a way of keeping an organism balanced and healthy) makes pain not an inherently bad thing.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.7k
    That still doesn't show that the conditions for pain are bad. I think that the natural use of pain (as a way of keeping an organism balanced and healthy) makes pain not an inherently bad thing.Joel Evans

    Again, if God is free to create any universe he wants, why create one with the capacity for pain or any negative experience?
  • Joel Evans
    23
    Because that pain serves a good purpose and isn't inherently bad.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.7k
    Because that pain serves a good purpose and isn't inherently bad.Joel Evans

    So we have to go through pain to overcome it? Why must anything be subject to pain in this scheme? That seems immoral to create a universe with the capacity for pain, whether to see them overcome it or any other reason.
  • Joel Evans
    23
    That seems immoral to create a universe with the capacity for pain, whether to see them overcome it or any other reason.schopenhauer1

    They are not overcoming pain, rather it is serving its natural function in their bodies. If I smell something disgusting, that is unpleasant, but it's serving a natural function in our body. If pain is serving a natural function, why is it immoral to create a universe with the capacity for pain?
  • schopenhauer1
    4.7k
    They are not overcoming pain, rather it is serving its natural function in their bodies. If I smell something disgusting, that is unpleasant, but it's serving a natural function in our body. If pain is serving a natural function, why is it immoral to create a universe with the capacity for pain?Joel Evans

    This makes no sense. This discussion is about a God right? One that created this universe, no? My question was regarding the counterfactual possibility that God could have created a universe where its nature was not to have the capacity for pain. So my questions still stand:

    So we have to go through pain to overcome it? Why must anything be subject to pain in this scheme? That seems immoral to create a universe with the capacity for pain, whether to see them overcome it or any other reason.schopenhauer1
  • Joel Evans
    23
    My question was regarding the counterfactual possibility that God could have created a universe where its nature was not to have the capacity for pain.schopenhauer1

    And yet my question still stands of why he would need to create a universe without the capacity for pain. What is wrong with pain when it serves its natural function? You could very well be right that it would be better to live in a world without pain, but you haven't shown me why.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.7k
    And yet my question still stands of why he would need to create a universe without the capacity for pain. What is wrong with pain when it serves its natural function?Joel Evans

    You are either not getting or are purpusefully dodging the question. This discussion is about God who created the natural world, correct? You make it seem as if a universe with pain is a necessity. This would contradict a God who is free to create any world. This world we live in now has pain that may "serve its natural function", but the point is there could have been a universe that does not have pain, and in fact has no need for pain to serve "its natural function".

    You could very well be right that it would be better to live in a world without pain, but you haven't shown me why.Joel Evans

    Well, you are right that we cannot go any further if you think that causing conditions of pain for others is not immoral. If you believe that if there could have been an alternative scenario where you didn't provide the condition for pain to others, but you chose to cause the conditions for pain rather than the non-pain alternative, that this is acceptable good or not bad, we have nothing more to argue as we have different foundations for what we deem as moral.
  • Joel Evans
    23
    This world we live in now has pain that may "serve its natural function", but the point is there could have been a universe that does not have pain, and in fact has no need for pain to serve "its natural function".schopenhauer1

    Why is a universe without the capacity for pain fundamentally better than one with the capacity for pain?
  • schopenhauer1
    4.7k
    Why is a universe without the capacity for pain fundamentally better than one with the capacity for pain?Joel Evans

    To me, its foundational that pain, suffering, negative states are bad and causing conditions which inevitably will lead to them, is wrong if it can be avoided. To purposely create conditions for these negative conditions, when other alternatives can have been created etc..
  • Joel Evans
    23
    To me, its foundational that pain, suffering, negative states are bad and causing conditions which inevitably will lead to them, is wrong if it can be avoided. To purposely create conditions for these negative conditions, when other alternatives can have been created etc..schopenhauer1

    So pain is bad because pain is bad (foundationally). Makes sense, though I did offer an explanation of pain where is pain is not foundationally bad (when it is serving its natural function). Based on this, it seems that saying pain is bad foundationally faces problems from the natural-function argument.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.7k
    So pain is bad because pain is bad (foundationally). Makes sense, though I did offer an explanation of pain where is pain is not foundationally bad (when it is serving its natural function).Joel Evans

    No, you seem to go back to "natural" implying no creator that created these conditions that pain exists in the first place.
    Based on this, it seems that saying pain is bad foundationally faces problems from the natural-function argument.Joel Evans

    Pain is bad, even if it has a function to tell you that something is wrong. It can be both.
  • Isabel Hu
    5
    Firstly, let me lay out your argument as follows:
    1. If God exists, and he is omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent, then a world which animals suffer from human’s torture will not exist.
    2. A world which animals suffer from human’s torture does exist.
    3. Therefore, either God doesn’t exist, or he is not omniscient, omnipotent or benevolent.
    Generally speaking, I think my concerns have regards to the second premise which states that animals are suffering from human’s torture, as I don’t think it is the case, or I should say that I don’t completely agree that human are actually torturing animals in some ways. You have clarified that animals are innocent, they are not capable of doing true evil, they didn’t ask to exist and they are good because they naturally follow their natures. I assume that based on these points, you think that God should not let animals suffer especially from human’s torture because if God is omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent, then he will protect the innocent from pain. However, firstly, I don’t think the reasons stated above are credible enough to support that animals are innocent. If it is true that animals didn’t ask to exist, I should say that human didn’t ask to exist neither, for we don’t have any conscious before birth. It also seems not credible to say that animals are good because they naturally follow their natures; if it is the case, then humans are good as well because we naturally follow our nature, no matter what our nature is. If evil and torturing something is part of our nature and we didn’t ask for being born with this nature, and we just happened to have this nature, then it seems like that humans are also innocent, and we should be protected from pain as well. Secondly, I don’t think it is credible to assert that human is torturing animals. From theist’s perspective, I think they will agree and it is reasonable to refer to Genesis which God says that let human have power over the fish, the birds, and all animals. From atheist’s perspective, then it depends on personal beliefs, since there are lots of different attitudes towards this moral issue such as sentientism and biocentrism. Therefore, I keep skeptical about the question that whether human is torturing animals in a certain way or not. Above are my two main concerns about the second premise, and please let me know if you have any thoughts.
  • Joel Evans
    23
    Pain is bad, even if it has a function to tell you that something is wrong. It can be both.schopenhauer1

    It can be both. But a world with pain might be better than a world without pain, however, it the pain is necessary for some other good thing. For instance, if it is necessary to have pain to have a functioning nervous system that includes pleasure, then the good of having pleasure (even if it means one will experience pain) is better than the supposed good of no pain whatsoever.
  • Gregory
    1.9k
    The pain felt by the animals would have to be for THEIR good and there must have been NO other way to achieve this good without allowing the pain. Sorry Christians, but you are turning animals into humans. If God's nature is perfect, he can create perfection. A world without pain for animals would be perfect for them. You can feel smart by writing in premise style but your God does not exist. You need to switch the archetype structure in your minds
  • petrichor
    265
    good because they naturally follow their naturesGregory

    Something being good does not follow from it being natural.

    Consider a case of a male animal killing the young of a mate when the offspring are not his. I remember seeing a nature documentary where a male zebra stomped baby zebras to death that were not his own. This is common. Human males have done this on occasion as well. Humans often behave without much moral consciousness according to primitive instincts. It might be argued that this behavior is instinctual and therefore natural. But is it good?

    Goodness doesn't follow from naturalness. See the appeal to nature fallacy.

    You might say that animals are not really morally conscious and that, knowing not what they do, and being slaves to instinct, they are blameless. But saying that they are good because they follow their instincts is a bad argument.

    They are not capable of doing true evil, they did not ask to exist, and they are good because they naturally follow their natures.

    It might be argued that if animals can be good, then surely they can also be evil, or that conversely, if they cannot be evil, they also cannot be good, as these are two sides of a coin. Both depend on the same moral capacity. I find it strange that right off the bat, you make them innocent of evil, and yet you credit them with goodness. Also, what does their not asking to exist have to do with it? We humans didn't ask to exist either! And any God or god, if such exist, surely also didn't ask to exist. It seems to me to be impossible to ask to exist, as you would then have to exist before you exist. If not asking to exist makes you innocent, then all are innocent. But I don't see how it follows.

    Regardless of my objections here, you could still probably reasonably argue that the world involves much suffering on the part of innocents, and that this suggests that God isn't perfectly good.

    One possible objection is that this is the best of all possible worlds. Maybe better worlds that we imagine actually couldn't work and would involve violations of the law of noncontradiction somewhere, or something of the sort. If the lives of animals were so different, it is easy to see that we wouldn't be as we are. Humans would be an impossible result of a world set up so differently early on. God would then have to "cheat", essentially to make the world a lie, in order to get what he wants without some of the negatives that might necessarily go with that.

    Maybe the world, even with its natural evils, overall has positive value.

    Here is another possibility. What if God isn't separate from the world, as in pantheism or panentheism or something like cosmopsychism? Maybe God is all that is. And so maybe God isn't causing any suffering to any another being. Maybe God does it all to himself for some purpose voluntarily. Maybe God is all the animals! Maybe those are even experiences he wants to have! What then?

    The distinction between a human and an animal is not as great for me than it is for a theist. Animals kill and eat each other. Therefore I believe we can do the same, although we are evolved enough to be capable of understanding that we should cause the least suffering we can for other speciesGregory

    This is another fallacious appeal to nature. Many of the worst things humans do could be argued to be instinctual or natural and to have some precedent in our pre-human past or in other animals. Take rape for example, or murder, or infanticide, or cannibalism, or war, or theft, or lying, and on and on. If it is okay to appeal to nature, you might argue that there is no such thing as non-nature, and that all human behavior is really natural or instinctual, and that all human actions are therefore okay. But are they? Aren't some actions to be preferred to others?

    What you are saying here sounds to me like we are not so different from sharks so it is therefore okay for us to behave like sharks.

    We are very different from sharks! We know what we are doing! Do sharks have any understanding that biting animals hurts them? We do. We full well know the horrors of meat production, and we eat it anyway. We, unlike the shark, systematically cause this suffering knowingly. I would suggest that this makes us far less innocent than the shark. I don't see why being atheist would get us off the moral hook here.
  • Gregory
    1.9k


    I see. You don't even know what an animal is. This is ridiculous! God if he is goodness-perfection itself would have, with almighty power, made learning and living a pleasant enjoyable experience for every animal, bug, and plant. Instead... Therefore your God exists only in you mind (poor guy). It makes no difference if God chooses to suffer with the animal. The animal shouldn't suffer at all. It didn't ask for this.
  • Wigi
    1

    Maybe pain can also be for the good of others or maybe it was designed as a negative experience that encourages humans to lean on God in our mechanic wish to avoid pain and suffering.
    Only humans seems to see pain as a negative thing because it generally comes with emotions such as mourning, grief ect we would like to avoid.
    It seems to me that you're arguing with the fantastic premise that animals are void of malice thus should not experience what is appreciated as a negative experience from a purely human perspective.

    I don't know what's so problematic with bugs, plants or even hyenas exprience today outside of human malevolence of course but as you said they are all innocent therefore the short suffering of some animals is also a pleasant and enjoyable experience for their predators who would like to have a good meal.
    A Christian could also argue that pain is a reminder that there could be a possiblity of a different world where none of that exist. Basically heaven.

    Creating the conditions for pain isn't immoral in itself. Some cure could cause pain but it doesnt mean it is immoral since it has a good purpose.
  • Gregory
    1.9k


    You, sir or mis, are clearly an immoral person
  • Gregory
    1.9k


    Maybe God is going to make heaven a torture chamber for Christians, where they will for all eternity offer up their suffering to his glory. How about that?
  • schopenhauer1
    4.7k
    Creating the conditions for pain isn't immoral in itself. Some cure could cause pain but it doesnt mean it is immoral since it has a good purpose.Wigi

    Setting up a game where people have to suffer to overcome it, when one could have set it up differently seems pretty immoral to me!
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