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Re: Re: [humanism-174] Animal suffering

From: Mike
Sent on: Saturday, June 8, 2013 3:34 PM
We, as a species, are smarter and much more adept at technology than any form of life on earth.  We have developed a sophisticated and productive culture that has helped us grow as a population and spread all over the earth.  Call it ego if you will.  I call it self evident.  We may be unique, and, we are special regardless of any unsupported supernatural claims made by some of us.  Yes, on earth humanity rules, unless some microbe gets us!

Mike S


On Sat, Jun 8, 2013 at 2:22 PM, Tim Campbell <[address removed]> wrote:
It is all about ego. We want to see ourselves as unique and special. Reality interferes with that perception. Thus the resilience of religion.




-----Original Message-----
From: [address removed]
To: humanism-174
Sent: Sat, Jun 8,[masked]:58 am
Subject: Re: [humanism-174] Animal suffering

Similarly many Christians insist that we humans alone possess emotions and 
reasoning and the ability to do things like empathize and show fairness. These 
antiquated notions have been completely disproven by the work of scientists like 
Franz de Waal and others.

Chris


Sent from my ayayayphone

On Jun 8, 2013, at 11:52 AM, Glen <[address removed]> wrote:

> I appreciate Tim's points, but lions don't always kill their prey quickly 
either.  There are many documented cases (and web videos) showing them slowly 
eating warthogs, water buffalo, baby elephants, and other animals while still 
alive. For one graphic example see: 
> 
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxu8n2iSO58&list=PLB75BF0FD854C8568&index=2
> 
> It's also disturbing (to me at least) to hear some of the people you can hear 
in the background who are laughing and cracking jokes during the gruesome 
episode.  But Tim is right that hyenas and other animals routinely devour their 
prey while still alive. Sometimes they rip them apart without even eating them, 
like Killer Whales who toss seals around in their mouths, slap them with their 
tails, and then sometimes just abandon them. Some try to argue that there are 
adaptive reasons for these behaviors, since the unpleasant alternative is that 
animals sometimes just enjoy tormenting and killing other animals. But of course 
we know that that is the sad fact even with some humans.       
>     The reason I bring all this up is that I think an effective but seldom 
used argument against the existence God, or at least an "all-loving" God, is 
animal suffering. By all evidence, if God exists, he doesn't give a damn about 
animals. The Bible itself is filled with examples of God having no apparent 
regard for them, or even ordering their suffering and death. These include 
Noah's Flood which drowned millions of animals, countless animal sacrifices, 
plagues that killed whole populations of animals and people, and God's ordering 
the ham-hocking (a form of torture) horses while the Israelites were 
slaughtering their neighbors (also on God's orders). Moreover, I don't think 
there is a single Bible verse that depicts God showing any sympathy for the 
suffering of animals. There is a passage that says God knows about every sparrow 
falling to the ground.  But how is that any comfort, if he knows about it, but 
doesn't care?  Some apologists try to excuse
> God suffering by saying it will be made up for in heaven.  But this doesn't 
apply to animals (since even most Christians don't think they have souls or go 
to heaven), and is lame even as applied to humans. It's like saying it's OK if a 
parent abuses a child for years, as long as the child has a good life from then 
on. Nor do any of the other arguments for human suffering (like free will, or 
the consequence of sin), make any sense as applied to animals.
>    Many YECs try to rationalize animal suffering by claiming the "original 
creation" had no suffering or death, since "death" came after "The Fall." (They 
seem unable to accept the term "death" as spiritual here, even tho it is often 
used that way in many parts of the Bible). But the idea that all animals were 
vegetarians and immortal is absurd from several standpoints.  Many animals are 
clearly predators, while others clearly have adaptations to fend off or elude 
predators. Furthermore, without physical death, unchecked reproduction would 
soon create exponentially exploding populations, turning the "good" creation 
into a veritable Hell on earth. In my article at http://paleo.cc/ce/nodeath.htm 
(intended mainly for Christian and YEC readers) I explain still other reasons 
why the "no physical death before the Fall" claim makes no sense scientifically 
or theologically. But many YECs continue to make the claim, seemingly oblivious 
to the problems.
>    I recall C.S. Lewis writing in one of his books that while physical pain 
can be very unpleasant, it is a necessary part of life. After all, he wrote (I 
am paraphrasing, since I don't recall his exact words), God had to have an 
effective way to warm us of dangers, and if people and animals had say, flashing 
lights on their bodies when injured, that would look silly.  To which one of his 
critics replied, "Yeah, and they look lovely now, wreathing in agony."   
>   The following is a good article on this subject. At first I thought it would 
turn out to be another Christian article making excuses, but the author ends up 
concluding that animal suffering is indeed hard to reconcile with a merciful 
God.   
>   http://500questions.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/42-why-does-god-allow-animals-to-suffer/
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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