• Gregory
    1.9k
    So the first premise in this discussion is that animals are innocent. They are not capable of doing true evil, they did not ask to exist, and they are good because they naturally follow their natures.

    Now, it seems obvious that animals feel pain. If animals do not feel true pain then it would not be wrong to torture them.


    Therefore, either

    1) The world, which reflects God nature, proves that God is not all good. If it's not in God's nature to create a world and allow humans to sin all the while protecting the innocent from pain, then God's nature is imperfect or evil

    2) God doesn't exist


    I am a materialist nominalist (although I appreciate spirituality). 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 species

    Well there is a topic for conversation. I hope some people find this interesting
  • GTTRPNK
    34
    I would argue from an even broader position, personally. God cannot necessarily exist because of suffering in general. Every major religion has conflicting internal contradictions concerning the nature of its god, and one is that god is merciful, yet just. These are mutually exclusive. Therefore, god does not exist.

    As far as the morality aspect of cannibalism you touched on, I agree. Nothing is inherently bad, but we are intelligent enough to know that eating each other kills the species, killing the species isn't productive for human flourishing and we prefer to flourish. Unfortunately, not everyone cares enough for the coexistence of other species to help them flourish alongside us.

    Good thoughts.
  • batsushi7
    45
    Your premises are correct, but it doesn't change any religious person view, even if you are clearly right, and they wrong. But we can say religious beliefs are stronger than any philosophical arguments, for most religious people that are blinded by emotional forces. There is no way to change their worldview with rational arguments. Its like parasite planted in their head, that allow them to give non-rational explanations for themselves, and most religious people think that "explanations" are useless anyways, because only transcendental beings can understand them. Call them Dog, Dogmatics.
  • Outlander
    663
    Well if we're gonna be religious about it perhaps it's worth keeping in mind God had to "give dominion to man over animals". One could deduce many things from this.
  • Anaxagoras
    435
    I would argue from an even broader position, personally. God cannot necessarily exist because of suffering in general.GTTRPNK

    The above is best left to argue whether a personal or impersonal deity exists. In addition, we must consider the context to which we are discussing what type of suffering. For example: The difference between biochemical suffering, or suffering due to a socio-political phenomena, or suffering due to an indirect causal phenomenon.
  • David Mo
    897
    I am not only a materialist but also a social-hedonist. I think that so-called moral emotions are the basis of our moral feelings of solidarity. Since animals also suffer, I think the time has come to associate them with our moral feelings. The bet, if it is coherent, is strong. But I think that, also for the sake of coherence, we must begin to walk along this path.
  • Eremit
    18
    The thing that most of the people, and all atheists, don't understand is that only God which can be grasped by reason exists. And that God is not perfect. Perfection and wholeness is beyond existence. Existence is bounded by non-existence and the True God is Absolute. You cannot put it in a box of logic.

    Would you really call a God, an Ultimate reality, something smaller than yourself? Something you can catch, put in a laboratory and study it so you could later manipulate it?

    If only people understood that, there would be no need for discusions like this. There would be no need for theodicy. One problem less.
  • TheMadFool
    7.6k
    Nociception

    Pain appears to be intrinsically a good thing. If a threat is undetectable, then we become vulnerable to that threat - think stealth technology. God, in his infinite wisdom or perhaps as an oversight, designed us to be capable of detecting nocere/harm as pain in order that we may feel and avoid it - this is what we call pain and, by extension, suffering. Consider pain and suffering to be like burglar alarms - painfully loud but saves you from the dangerous intruder.

    It's worth mentioning that in the hands of humans this ingenious, actually protective mechanism has been used in macabre ways - torture. What was God supposed to do? Allow everyone to surely perish painlessly or permit the occasional excruciating pain/suffering?

    I don't know. Just saying...
  • DingoJones
    2k
    So the first premise in this discussion is that animals are innocent. They are not capable of doing true evil, they did not ask to exist, and they are good because they naturally follow their natures.Gregory

    I find it very difficult to associate innocence with creatures who eat their own children alive, specifically target the young and vulnerable to kill and eat or any of the other myriad of horrors that animals inflict and endure on a daily basis. Assigning innocence or lack thereof just doesnt make sense for animals. They are not moral agents, and those are human concepts we apply to other humans. It makes no sense to have animals in the moral landscape.
  • DingoJones
    2k


    Mercy and justice are only mutually exclusive in the same instance. One can still possess both attributes and use one or the other at different times (as dictated by whatever ethics the person might have) with no contradictions.
  • Naomi
    6
    It seems like your argument goes something like this:
    1. If animals are innocent and feel pain, it is wrong to cause pain to them.
    2. Animals are innocent and feel pain.
    3. It is wrong to cause pain to animals.
    4. If God exists, He created a world which causes pain to animals.
    5. If God exists, He did something that is wrong.
    6. If God did something that is wrong, then He is not omnibenevolent.
    7. Either God is not omnibenevolent or He did not create a world which causes pain to animals.
    8. Therefore, either God is not omnibenevolent or God does not exist.

    I would object to premise 3 though. While I don’t think that one should go around torturing animals, causing pain could mean either directly or indirectly causing pain. I think that if we are to attribute the pain of animals to God, He at most only indirectly caused them pain. I don’t think one should be held morally accountable for being an indirect cause of something though. It’s like when we give someone money as a gift. They are free to use the money as they please. If they buy something that causes them pain or causes someone else pain, we should not be held morally accountable for that.

    To use the Christian God as an example of how God can be omnibenevolent despite us living in a world with pain and suffering, if God created the world, He supposedly created a perfect world without any pain or suffering. A part of a perfect life is having free will. Humans then used that free will and brought pain and suffering into the world. God should not be held morally accountable for the pain that is caused to each animal then since He is not the one directly causing it. Supposedly, human beings knew that there would be consequences to their actions, and those consequences were allowing pain and suffering in the world. He had to have consequences because God is supposed to also be just, and I think being just can also fall under being omnibenevolent. You might wonder why the rest of us have to suffer if we were not the ones who brought pain and suffering into the world, but I think we all would’ve brought the consequences upon ourselves.
  • Gregory
    1.9k


    Animals feel pain. If reality reflects God's nature and yet innocent animals must feel pain than God's nature is imperfect. Is God not strong enough to protect the innocent? Yes
  • telex
    103


    1) The world, which reflects God nature, proves that God is not all good. If it's not in God's nature to create a world and allow humans to sin all the while protecting the innocent from pain, then God's nature is imperfect or evilGregory

    Theist may say that God's infinite mind is too complex to understand for one of us. Perhaps there is more to it, than this argument.

    The other possibility is that it is very likely that we are living in a simulation. And in a simulation, animals are very likely not real. What's the point of simulating animal minds? Perhaps in the real world, animals behave differently, who knows?
  • Gregory
    1.9k


    It's not about God's mind, but his nature. Reality reflects him yet he can't protect the innocent. That's absurd
  • telex
    103
    1) The world, which reflects God nature, proves that God is not all good. If it's not in God's nature to create a world and allow humans to sin all the while protecting the innocent from pain, then God's nature is imperfect or evilGregory

    I guess to add to this, one may say that animals are re-incarnations of evil doers, like Hitler or something. This way, the evil doers are imprisoned in the animal flesh of hell. A theist may say that God works in mysterious ways and this way pain is given to those who have seriously sinned. (I'd say this one is pretty creative lol)
  • telex
    103


    It's not about God's mind, but his nature. Reality reflects him yet he can't protect the innocent. That's absurdGregory

    Well God's nature is derived from God's mind. If we cannot understand the infinite mind of God, whose to say that we can understand his nature. We may see what we believe to be evil, but it could be something that we just can't comprehend.
  • Gregory
    1.9k
    Anything is possible with the exception of a theistic God. ANYTHING. It doesn't bother me. I live by morals. Your God actualizes everything right? So he actualized child rape, sick avatars that he is huh
  • telex
    103


    Anything is possible with the exception of a theistic God. ANYTHING. It doesn't bother me. I live by morals. Your God actualizes everything right? So he actualized child rape, sick avatars that he is huhGregory

    Well in the child rape case, a I guess a Theist could argue that for there to be good and evil, there ought to be a choice between committing good and evil. There wouldn't be point to Heaven and Hell, if one could not make a choice.

    I feel like there's another argument to the child rape case. Maybe it'll come to me later.

    And again, how can we understand the infinite mind of God. Perhaps the child who is being raped is secretly an angel who feels no pain, sent by God to show mankind the evils of carnal flesh.
  • Gregory
    1.9k


    Protecting the innocent is not important to your God. He could allow us to choose a sin but prevent us from carrying it out, right?
  • telex
    103
    That's a good point, why wouldn't God allow us to choose a sin, but prevent us from carrying it out. Maybe those who are sinned against are not real somehow, and God is showing us the evils of man.
  • Gregory
    1.9k
    That's an immoral position to take, but one the Israelites took in their geocide. Read the Old Testament for details
  • telex
    103
    Well a simulation hypothesis is not immoral. I'm sorry, but I cannot read the entire Old Testament based on a post from some guy name Greg. That just doesn't make any sense.
  • telex
    103
    Plus how do you know the Old Testament has anything relevant to say about God. Perhaps thats a misconstrued word of God. Gods mind is infinite, how could mere few hundred pages say anything about it? I just don't know.
  • Gregory
    1.9k


    I never said to read the whole thing. Denying the reality of other people is a sin though. Greed, lust, anger, pride, sloth, gluttony, and envy are sins. Saying other people are a simulation stems from one of those
  • telex
    103
    But which one does it stem from? Why is the simulation argument a product of greed, anger, pride, sloth, gluttony, or envy.

    What argument could we make here?

    Perhaps sloth? Are we too lazy to think that others are real? But couldn't we arrive to the simulation hypothesis for other reasons?
  • Gregory
    1.9k
    Or envious of people so you shut them out
  • telex
    103
    That's a good point as well. If I'm envious of people, then I believe they are a simulation. Although, I'm not sure that would work, because the pain of envy would still get to you, as it's probably not that easy to trick your mind solely for this purpose. Or maybe it is.

    But again, we can arrive to the simulation hypothesis for other reasons.
  • Gregory
    1.9k
    Unless someone is a drug user, I only see immorality in the simulation thesis. Biology is real
  • telex
    103
    I've never heard that it's immoral to believe in the simulation argument.

    I guess if you're trying to escape from something, then it is irrational and you should confront your fears and etc ...

    However, by itself, people like Nick Bostrom don't appear immoral to me.
  • Gregory
    1.9k


    If humans are believed to be software only, you either do drugs, are fascinated by drugs, or escaping an emotion
  • Gregory
    1.9k
    People can have wicked ideas without being wicked. Islam doesnt think so but they are wrong
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