42. Why does God allow animals to suffer?

Cat eating birdThe Bible doesn’t have much to say about why God created animals, other than to say He did, and gave mankind dominion over them (Genesis 1:26). Whatever His reasons, God (or nature) has chosen not to spare many animals from experiencing pain and suffering. Why?

Human suffering vs. animal suffering

In many ways, the problem of animal suffering is even more problematic than the problem of human suffering, because the standard explanations for evil are worthless when applied to animals.

For example, Christianity teaches us “It’s our own fault we suffer, it is a consequence of sin and the fall of man, and we are all sinners like Adam.” But animals did not sin against God, and therefore should not be punished as equals. They seem to suffer only as collateral damage in a conflict between man and God.

Christianity also teaches us that “Humans must suffer in order to experience free will,” but what is free will to an animal?

Or Christianity reasons, “It’s okay that we suffer, because God will reward us eternally in heaven,” but these animals receive no such reward (more on this below).

And the overwhelming majority of this gratuitous suffering takes place completely outside the view of man. If an animal suffers and no one sees it, is there a good reason to allow it? If not, how shall we excuse our benevolent God from the unreasonable amount of suffering He created?

Do animals feel pain?

If innocent animals suffer, then God is not benevolent, for a benevolent God would seek to eliminate any suffering that wasn’t absolutely necessary. So the theologian is in the unenviable position of having to explain why a good God does bad things. One such explanation is to completely deny that animals feel pain.

17th-century Catholic philosopher René Descartes argued that animals were just like machines, and they could not feel pain because they did not have a spiritual mind (an idea that later became widely accepted).

Modern theistic philosophers like Michael Murray still argue that animals cannot feel pain at the same level humans do because they lack self-awareness (a highly controversial philosophy).

Dog

Professor Bernard Rollin disagrees with them, facetiously recommending that anyone who denies that animals can feel pain should test their hypothesis by using a pair of vice grips to squeeze the balls of a large doberman.

While animals can’t tell us directly that they feel pain, it can be logically inferred through their reactions to it. If you’ve ever accidentally stepped on a dog’s toes, you know they respond to pain. Animals vocalize their pain, withdraw from it, and will even change their behavior to avoid it. Animals can also experience the opposite of pain, like a dog who enjoys having his belly rubbed.

We can also infer that animals suffer pain because they share so much of the same anatomy and neurological makeup that we do, and they even respond positively to the same pain relievers we use. All these analogous behaviors and physical similarities make it obvious that animals feel pain. There are also numerous peer-reviewed studies supporting this conclusion.

Speaking from personal experience, I once witnessed a dog get run over by a car, and he yowled in agony for several minutes in much the same way a human would. I can’t look at that evidence and say, “That dog didn’t really experience pain because he has no soul,” or “That would’ve been significantly more painful if he was actually self-aware!” No matter the degree, this dog was clearly capable of experiencing a large amount of pain. And for all we know, not being self-aware (assuming they are not) may make pain even more confusing and stressful.

Is God guilty of animal cruelty?

Many diseases and defects are endemic to specific kinds of animals. It’s almost as if predation and accidents alone were not enough suffering, so God designed specialized bacteria, viruses, parasites and diseases to multiply the suffering of animals.

Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour DiseaseTake, for example, the Tasmanian Devil we discussed earlier. Even at birth, his odds of dying outnumber his odds of surviving. Those that do survive are more than likely to contract Devil Facial Tumour Disease, a fatal contagious cancer that causes large growths on the devil’s face, making it difficult for them to eat or see, and putting the entire species at risk of extinction.  

Why? Have they done something to offend God? Did they eat of the forbidden fruit? Does their suffering help increase their faith? Or help them to experience the full extent of free will?

And there are many other diseases and plagues that are endemic among specific birds, reptiles, mammals, insects, etc. If God crated this world for humans — as some sort of test or necessary experience — then why not just design diseases to target us? 

Can we trust a god who abuses animals?

The fact that innocent animals suffer through no fault of their own should be very disconcerting to the faithful, for if God is willing to allow innocence to suffer without cause or reward, why should we believe we are any different?

God is essentially saying, “Sure, I make other innocent things suffer for no reason, but not you! You are different! You may be guilty of sin, but you have a soul! You suffer for a purpose!” Lucky us!

To use a parable: A woman once began dating a handsome man, only to later find out he had a ferocious temper, and had beaten and killed several dogs. He tried to reassure her by saying, “Baby, those were just soulless dogs! I would never do that to you!” But in the end she left him, because even if he never laid a hand on her, she would always fear that he would, and did not want to be with someone who could justify cruelty to innocent creatures.

Do all dogs go to heaven?

We might be able to justify the suffering of animals if we suggest that these animals go to heaven, but most theologians have ruled out this possibility:

“Our souls are rational–theirs aren’t–and ours are rational because they’re spiritual, not material.”
Catholic.com

“…if the word ‘soul’ is used to refer to an immortal soul that one day will inhabit heaven or hell, then no, animals may not be said to possess a soul. This is the only conclusion that can be drawn, respecting the instruction on the subject found within the Word of God.”
ApologeticsPress.org

The Bible does seem to segregate men from the animals:

Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another.
1 Corinthians 15:39

But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.
2 Peter 2:12

So it doesn’t matter if a 40-year-old chimpanzee is much smarter and has suffered longer than a 3-day-old baby, if they both die, it’s the human that goes to heaven and the chimpanzee that “perishes.”

What if animals did go to heaven?

tumblr_kr2tk66FEH1qzmd3ao1_500_large

Just for kicks, let’s imagine that animals do go to heaven. This raises a lot of interesting questions, like: Would they all go to heaven? Elephants? Horses? Apes? Chimps? Dogs? Cats? Snakes? Rats? Birds? Mice? Mosquitoes? Ants? Gnats? Plants? Amoebas? Bacteria? Or does God draw the line somewhere?

If single celled organisms are allowed into heaven, do all the cells that make up my body go to heaven? Or just the soul they hosted? (Because they have served me well, and I think they deserve a vacation from all my abuse.)

If single celled organisms are not allowed into heaven, how many cells must an animal have before it does qualify for heaven? 10? 1000? 1,000,000?

Or perhaps it’s not a matter of cell count, but intelligence. If that’s the case, is that 40-year-old chimpanzee worth more to God than the 3-day-old baby?

AnglerfishAnd what about ocean life? Do whales and dolphins go to heaven? How about fish? Even ugly fish? Like the anglerfish? Or do ugly fish go to hell? Does heaven have an ocean for these occupants? Or do they just float around us in heaven? Even the ugly ones? Because I don’t want ugly fish floating around me in heaven.

Finally, what about extinct animals? Will heaven be filled with friendly t-rexs, pteradons and trilobites?

Allowing animals into heaven may help us feel better about their suffering, but it’s not very biblical, and it seems to raise more issues than it solves.

Is God obligated to show us grace?

One more explanation I ran across while researching this question was the Calvinistic idea that animals, like humans, are basically deprived creatures that should feel lucky that God shows them any grace at all. But I would argue that God’s benevolence obligates Him to extend grace to His innocent creations.

The argument of last resort

When all else fails, you can still reason that there is an answer, we just don’t know what it is. This reasoning sounds like this…

We do know that God is just and that when we get to heaven we will find ourselves in complete agreement with His decision on this issue, whatever it may be.
GotQuestions.org

This is like saying, “Never mind that God’s actions are nonsensical and cruel, just keep believing, and when you die, you’ll find there really was a good reason for all those animals to suffer, just as there really was a good reason for God to allow all those children to be raped and murdered! There’s no absurdity God can’t explain! It can all be rationalized and marginalized in the afterlife!”

Assuming we approve of the idea that all nonsense can be explained away in the hereafter, then all religions become equally viable, since all their absurdities (the reasons we object to them) can also be explained away in the afterlife. The reason we reject these other faiths is because we find something about them that we consider illogical, and we rule them out. Likewise, if we find something about Abraham’s God to be illogical, we should rule it (or Him) out.

Conclusion

I can only imagine three scenarios in which one might justify the suffering of animals:

1) Animals don’t actually suffer. They certainly appear to suffer, so if they don’t, we have been deceived.

2) Animals deserve to suffer. Since animals can’t intentionally do evil, the only plausible explanation is to suppose that before they were animals they had the mental capacity to sin. But if animals don’t have immortal souls, this doesn’t seem very likely (and most Christians don’t believe in reincarnation).

3) Animals are rewarded for their suffering. Most Christian theologians have ruled this out, but even if true, God is still evil for making innocent creatures suffer without cause.

Dead baby gorillaTherefore, if God exists, He appears to be a sadist, for He creates suffering because it brings Him pleasure. God was not forced to design animals, or to give them the capacity to suffer, or to design predation or specialized bacteria or viruses or parasites… but He did.

Still… we don’t know what we don’t know, and God may have a good explanation. Assuming He does, He is still guilty of placing us in a deceptive environment, one that leads us to conclude He is evil, for only evil creates innocence and leads it to suffer. We only know what we know, and what He has given us to know is a creation that seems to bare false witness against its good creator, which leads us to incorrect conclusions about imperative matters.

If there is no God, the fact that animals suffer as much as man is nature’s testimony to the fact that she does not distinguish between man and animal. Nature has no mind to respect one and curse the other, they are all the same.

Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals.
~Ecclesiastes 3:19

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198 Responses to 42. Why does God allow animals to suffer?

  1. cafeproz says:

    I think you could have gone directly to the argument of last resort for even in the case of humans, it is not clear that their suffering matters. I could cite any one of the 2 year old that were killed base on God’s order (Remember Saul tried to spare some animals and that did not go over well).

    There is a lot of evidence to suggest that killing the innocent is not a big problem for God: for example, there is an episode were the angel of god kills a whole bunch of people and the person who stops him is David… saying “I am the one who sinned, why are they made to suffer” (1 Chr 21:17).

    I don’t know… considering the suffering of animals is an interesting intellectual exercise but… given the lack of regard for the innocent or suffering… oh well…

    • MJR says:

      cafeproz… Why do atheist dictators like Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao, Ceausescu, Milosevic, Lenin, & Mussolini to name a few, kill rape and torture millions upon millions of, as you say, innocent people? Or what about the murders of unborn babies by abortion that is championed by those that don’t believe in God? Do you as an atheist have a problem with the “lack of regard for the innocent or suffering” there too?? You should!! That’s the real question you need to answer first.

      • rautakyy says:

        @MJR, cafeproz may have a better answer than mine, but I’d like to address this. First of all, those guys you mentioned were powerhungry dictators and you could continue that list with a good number of religious dictators and demagogues. For example, you mentioned Mussolini. As a young man he was against the chrurch, but when he became the dictator of Italy he was in league with the Church and as far as we know a devout Christian. Perhaps, Jesus even forgave him all his sins. Yes? No god saw it fit in all their divine powers to stop any of them from doing those horrid things they did. If I had the power to stop them, I certainly would have. Does that mean I have higher morals than any gods?

        To make this clear, for you to claim that abortion is “murder” you would have to first prove, that it actually is a murder. Murder, as far as I know, means the unwarranted and unjustified killing of a human person. Do you think we should keep on life support all the braindead people also, or are we conducting murders, by letting them go? The fetuses half way through pregnancy are not human persons and hence abortion is warranted by the law and medical expertise of most civilized nations. There are also a wide range of justifications for it, but let us not go so far off topic.

        Besides, your god, who alledgedly controls everything, that is not a result of human free will, performs continuously abortions, or what are miscarriages?

      • cafeproz says:

        MJR, I am starting to feel sorry took time answer you yesterday… this first set of question not only makes grotesque assumptions, but they make absolutely no sense. I cannot possibly entertain answers at that level. I just have to assume it is a mistake.

        I will say nonetheless that my position towards life is not predicated on the innocence of the subject.

  2. If I am not mistaken God commanded humans to rule over the animals with care as written in the book of Genesis. We can always look at the act of sacrifice to honor God. An innocent animal like a Lamb is offered and sacrificed. If there was no pain then there is no SACRIFICE.

    Your thesis is that GOD is unjust by allowing animals to suffer in pain for no apparent reason is baseless and a big fat lie.
    I would argue that GOD is just, for God designed a balance in nature so we can see that each time when an animal is eaten by another animal, is a sacrifice to give life to the other animal.

    Torture of animals is a different story. Balaam the prophet was beating the donkey
    Numbers 22:21-36 read it and see that God cares about animals and knows that they have pain.

    Just a Jesus has SACRIFICED his life for YOU to save you from hell.

    Yes the animal have pain and yes they suffer but GOD is so good that when the animals die their sacrifice is done. But you, when you die the story does not end because you have a soul that GOD loves and cares about. HE wants to save your soul from judgement.

    • cafeproz says:

      Could you please point out to the reference where God “God commanded humans to rule over the animals with care”? Thanks.

      • MJR says:

        Proverbs 12:10 “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal”

        • MJR says:

          Genesis 1:26-28
          “26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
          27 So God created mankind in his own image,
          in the image of God he created them;
          male and female he created them.
          28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

          The command of God in that scripture verse is for humans to rule over the animals with care just as the creator God who created them would when the phrase “in our image” is used in that scripture verse.

          • rautakyy says:

            @MJR, the proverbs quote is obviously concerning animal husbandry of the nomadic herder. It is an obvious conclusion, that if you do not care for your property, you will end up losing it. No divine revelation there.

            However, the genesis “contract” seems to imply, that human being is the master of all animal kingdom in the likeness of a god. So, does it also imply, that if a god may choose to let this, or that species to go into extinction, it is just as good and ethical for man to let some species fall into extinction, if it pleases us? Or could it be, that a god acted unethically letting some species go extinct? Or is it more likely, that when it happens naturally, it is the indifference of nature manifest, but when we as humans let it happen, or are the direct cause of it, it is indeed an unethical act by us?

            Does the genesis quote claim that since a god created nature and animals in such a fashion they constantly suffer, it does by no means matter, if we godlike humans let them suffer, or cause more suffering to them?

            • i believe animals are more sensitive then people. so it makes no sense that god created suffering and meanness its unusual and ungodly. I myself eat meat but ill never hurt an animal because unlike many, I am a nice person. if I was god, sorry goddess, may all the innocents come to me

    • Hi Fortunato,

      “We can always look at the act of sacrifice to honor God.”

      God may enjoy this kind of bloody sacrifice, but I’m sure the innocent animal being sacrificed finds it rather unpleasant.

      “I would argue that GOD is just, for God designed a balance in nature so we can see that each time when an animal is eaten by another animal, is a sacrifice to give life to the other animal.”

      But why design predation in the first place? Why not have animals subsist on a steady diet of water and dirt? And if the only sacrifice that is required of them is to die to feed others, why curse them with additional suffering? Like plagues, viruses, bacteria, cancer and parasites? Why not just have them die naturally before becoming food?

      “Torture of animals is a different story.”

      If humans were the sole reason animals suffered I might agree that humans are the problem, but most animal suffering is caused by design.

      “Just a Jesus has SACRIFICED his life for YOU to save you from hell.”

      If Jesus was innocent and allowed to suffer, I would also find this an egregious injustice. He did not deserve it, and should not have been made to suffer in someone else’s place. And if an eternal hell exists as judgement for finite crimes, this too is unjust.

      “GOD is so good that when the animals die their sacrifice is done.”

      If God was good, he wouldn’t have created them at all, or would’ve ended their lives after the fall, or wouldn’t have made them as food for one another, or designed additional ways for them to suffer.

      So I reassert that my thesis is correct. Not only is animal suffering cruel, but so is God’s treatment of Jesus and eternal punishment for temporal crimes.

      • Please dig up the definition of sacrifice and later dig up the concept or definition of justice.

        You are using your argument that GOD is unjust because sacrifice is meaningless.
        What is justice for you? and What is sacrifice for you?
        I guess you believe that your mortal brain is superior than God’s and you should thank yourself for your superiority.

        I can use the bible to define justice and sacrifice.
        But you would have a different basis for that I guess because for you the bible is wrong and you are correct? if that is the case we cannot argue because we have different basis.

        You cannot judge God to be unjust if you have no clear definition of Justice and you are the judge for this matter. It makes me wonder if you are a just judge after all.
        If you are a better judge than than God then you must be GOD?

        Please excuse me. I think I should not enter into these details.

        • We do run into a problem here known as the euthyphro dilemma, one that I plan to cover in a future question: “Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?” (Or in our case, what is just?)

          If we define whatever comes out of God’s mouth as good and just, then you’re right, I can’t argue with that basis. If God orders you to kill your Philistine neighbors, then it is just! And if God sends people to rape your wife (Zechariah 14:2) then it is just! And if God orders you to commit infanticide with a smile on your face, this too is just! (“Happy is the one who takes your babies and smashes them against the rocks!” Psalm 137:9.)

          I have a difficult time embracing this definition for several reasons:
          1) We must first confirm the Bible is indeed the word of God.
          2) The Bible sometimes contradicts is own definition of justice; should we turn the other cheek or demand an eye for an eye? (Shouldn’t we require a slap in the cheek for a slap in the cheek?)
          3) The Bible’s requests often defy logic and reason, and we are asked to just accept it on faith and without explanation (God will explain in the afterlife).
          4) Any religion can claim that the desires of their particular god (or gods) are also good and just, and demand that their followers believe without reason. For example, when Joseph Smith told his wife Emma that God demand he take multiple wives, she just had to suck it up and accept it as God’s word. And when Warren Jeffs told his 12 year old wife that God wanted them to consummated their marriage, she too just had to accept it. Now, you might say, “That’s not fair, because OURS is actually the one TRUE religion!” But that’s what every religion says. The question then becomes “How do we know this is really a message from God?” Which is kinda the whole point of asking these questions.

          But I do like the definition of moral behavior given out by Jesus, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31, Matt 7:12), because it’s logical and reasonable. I don’t kill my neighbors because I do not want them to kill me; I don’t rape women because if I were a woman I would not want to be raped; I don’t smash babies on rocks because I would not want someone to smash my baby on a rock; I do not take multiple wives because if I were a wife, I would not want my husband to do so; and finally, I don’t invent ways for animals to suffer, because if I were an animal I would not to be eaten, preyed upon, or suffer various diseases. These are logical, natural, empathetic deductions that should come to anyone without the aid religion.

          Thanks,
          500Q

          • MJR says:

            The Euthyphro dilemma comes from Plato’s Euthyphro dialogue, which has had different forms over the centuries. Basically, it is “Are moral acts willed by God because they are good, or are they good because they are willed by God?” Another way of saying it is, does God say that things are moral because they are by nature moral, or do they become moral because God declares them to be?

            The dilemma is that if the acts are morally good because they are good by nature, then they are independent of God. These acts would already be good in themselves and God would have to appeal to them to “find out” what is good. On the other hand, if something is good because God commands that it is good, then goodness is arbitrary and God could have called murder good and honesty not good.

            The Euthyphro dilemma is actually a false dichotomy. That is, it proposes only two options when another is possible. The third option is that good is based on God’s nature. God appeals to nothing other than his own character for the standard of what is good, and then reveals what is good to us. It is wrong to lie because God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), not because God had to discover lying was wrong or that he arbitrarily declared it to be wrong. This means that God does not arbitrarily declare something to be good (ignoring his own nature) or say that something is good by nature (recognizing a standard outside of himself). Both of these situations ignore the biblical option that good is a revelation of God’s nature. In other words, God is good by nature and he reveals that nature to us. Therefore, for the Christian, there is no dilemma since neither position in Euthyphro’s dilemma represents Christian theology.

            http://carm.org/euthyphro-dilemma

            • rautakyy says:

              @MJR, then do you consider that by revealing his nature in, say, predation in the creation, the god of the Christians has revealed predation to be a good and moral thing? What about genoside? When the Abrahamic god demanded geneside of all the men, women, elderly and even little children of the Amalekites and all their lifestock did that reveal to us, that genoside is actually a good and moral thing? I am sorry, but the Euryphto dilemma applies to Christianity from where I look at it.

    • marcel says:

      Your Problem is that your talking and thinking what the priest have teached you…. Maybe you come by ur own one day on the “idea” that GOD wants to think deeper, much deeper as you can imagine..Not to follow blind some phrases from guys which know the same about like I do ( thats nothing) are you sure that Jesus did sacrifice his life for us to safe us from hell ? Are u really sure ? or did the priest tell u this…Jesus did teach clearly an important message …the message he did teach was the only important but the problem is it helps not to judge his messages like the church does coz you must find the right way by ur own to follow his way. Jesus dont want that , that his name gets till today abused by the church with wrong rituals and ignorance..they practice.. GOD is watching us maybe and shakes his imaginated head about us fuckin stupid creatures which cant follow a simple message. You dont need to citate a book which is written by humans ( the bible) the answer if an animal is maybe the same like we are is inside your “soul” what tells you your soul if i say to you , your eating with your daily meat the body of death? did jesus talk not like this ? Is it not correct ?? Do you need for this a priest who tells you ” No its all ok my son, daughter so long the church allows it god loves you” Understand it , this is not what god wants , a blind follower….I know less from god..but I know one thing…the life is a way to learn for your soul…it has a reason that we all are here..and the reason is maybe to come not again back here on earth…..

    • Marcus Hodges says:

      Yeah, typical apologetic smooth-over! That circular logic still doesn’t explain why animals HAVE to suffer, and explaining that “if there was no pain then there is no sacrifice” reasserts the cycle of suffering without reasoning out its origins. Torture of animals is worse than their natural suffering, but this is only an extrapolation of the divine suffering placed over their existence the origins and reasons for which still haven’t been addressed by your supposedly Christian explanation of things. And can’t animals be tortured by naturally occurring coincidences and lapses of fate? I’m not an animal activist nor an atheist but your logic is obviously axiomatic to the crucifixion at all costs to any refuting variables which, like any other Christian of this quality, makes you a good fundamentalist and a bigoted idiot. I’m ashamed of you! With the apologetic Christian, there is no “maybe”, no stone unturned, nothing unexplained. They will waterboard every situation until it screams the name of their God in agony, whether the confession is false or not! They have learned the cruelty of their God well, or perhaps their Lucifer!- as well as his self-appointment to irrefutable authority and arbitration. I grew up fundamentalist Christian and all of my family still remains that way, and the mendacious labyrinths of rectangular corridors and whitewashed walls there evidence an asylum for the insane more than any other reasonable conclusion about its nature. “What if this should become more and more incredible, if nothing should prove to be divine any more unless it were error, blindness, the lie—if God himself should prove to be our most enduring lie?” – Nietzsche. Does that mean God does not exist? No! But if he does, He would be something completely different than this self-congratulatory clubhouse of traditional Christians who may actually be the real atheists or Luciferians. And if I were God I would be highly p.o.’ed.

  3. Genesis 1:26, Proverbs 12:10, Exodus 23:4, Exodus 23:12 and the famous sabbath when Jesus said to go and save the animal even when it was a rest day. Luke 14:5

    • cafeproz says:

      Common be serious Luke 14:5 “Jesus said to go and save the animal even when it was a rest day”?? Gen 1:26 only gives dominion does not imply any *care*.

      Granted, proverb 12:10 does imply that taking care of one’s cattle is the opposite of being cruel… and Ex 23:12 Says that you give your cattle some rest

      To that extent one might imagine that the welfare of you cattle somehow is a worthy consideration…. but it hardly hardly a command to take care of animals in general, let alone nature.

  4. john zande says:

    Truly excellent post. Doesn’t say much for the “designer” (as theists would have you believe) when its greatest design, humanity, is an organic machine which requires protein. Every day 433,567, 899 cows, pigs, sheep, chickens and fish are slaughtered (World Bank, 2010) for human consumption. That’s an apocalypse every day.

    • Thanks John. I’d never really thought about it, but with 7 billion people who need to eat every day, I’m sure that number would be pretty large. Assuming that number is correct, that’s 158 billion animals per year.

      • john zande says:

        It seems incredible, doesn’t it. I searched and search for an accurate number a few days ago for a post i’m putting together and this one kept popping up. From what i can see its the World Banks own estimate.

        • cafeproz says:

          A bit off topic, but it did make me think of other types of suffering for example in the context of stoning. Not because it is a horrible death, but because of the participatory nature of the act. I cannot help thinking that people able to stone even dogs (or cows as in ex 21:28) have to be hardened.

          I cannot help thinking that a God who would ask people to do that would know the pyschological consequences on the perpetrators…

          • john zande says:

            Good point. I’ve seen a video of a stoning. A couple were killed. The woman first, then the man. I’m by no stretch of the imagination a morbid person but sometimes you have to force yourself to see something so to learn from it. It was bloody horrible, and slow. A real mob mentality. To think it still goes on today belies belief… not to mention the inane reason for why this couple were killed in the first place.

  5. David Salter says:

    Very well written discussion. The most obvious conclusion to a clear thinking person would be that all Gods are nothing more than the product of an immature human mind, because when you start to scrutinise the details, you tie yourself into knots of illogical nonsense.

    • Thanks David. I guess you could say the devil is in the details? ;-)

      • alan says:

        God exists its called quantum mechanics. up down left right bigger smaller. Animals don’t really suffer because they aren’t truly conscious and don’t know the difference between good and evil. Hence don’t have any emotions, purely programming. Souls are dark matter and dark energy, our bodies are the densist part of us. Adding enough density too an object will make it teleport through a worm hole and grow bigger. Go through whatever atom your inside and boom a larger dimension known as heaven. Watch out for alien greys angels can look scarier with there bodies on.

  6. rautakyy says:

    Great post. Once again. I agree wholeheartedly with David Salter. Religions reveal what their true cultural history is only after these simple questions, but it takes someone to pose the questions. And yet, if there is a god (any god) no answer ever appears to such honest questions.

    The Bible is perfectly representing the relationship of cattle to their iron age herders, but not much more, than a sense of superstitious fears these people had, that obviously were derived from their very limited amount of information about the world around them.

    I recall there was a part in the Bible, wich said something about the smoke of the sacrificial animals being a pleasing thing to the god of the ancient Hebrews. I dear anyone tell me, that is not a very, very primitive concept. The problem of the Bible is, that even if we could claim, that this stuff is so primitive and obscure because of the thinking model of the iron age herdersm who wrote all this stuff up, then howcome we modern people could be expected to take it on faith.

    Faith is a strange thing, that it is offered to us like it is a virtue, but all different religions demand faith on totally contradicting matters, so if there is no higher measure of ethics to tell wich one of all the many religions is the one true one? And if we indeed have a higher measure ethics to evaluate the different religious claims, then what is the purpose of faith?

    One of the Byzantine emperors asked the collected theologians of both of the Christian churches would his most beloved hound get to go to heaven. (In those days they basicly only had two sects, alltough there were heretical smaller groups, that got quickly slaughtered by the true believers, unless they were protected by some other religion, like the Kopti church by Islam in Egypt.) The answer was, that no dog may ever enter heaven since they have no soul. The emperor was miserable, because as he said the hound was his only trustfull companion. The only one who loved him regardless of the fact that he was an emperor. He said his hound was more valiant, trustworthy and honest than any man he had ever known, and that he did not understand how he could be happy for an eternity without this best of his friends. I would ask, if he indeed can be happy in the afterlife without his beloved dog, does that mean, that the existance in heaven is some form of delirium, in wich you no longer can remember what you truly cared for during your life, and if so are you truly yourself in such a state anymore?

    • What’s worse is all those family members who didn’t make it to heaven. Even if there is no hell, you’d still miss them. The whole idea of eternal bliss is another one of those things that doesn’t add up under closer inspection, but I’ll save that one for another post. :-)

  7. Daniela says:

    The question and conclusions made are the result of a confusion about the purpose and the existence of this natural life, of course. And with these confusions, we must contrive using intelligence and knowledge in order to have an intelligible summation. But with the lack of intelligence and knowledge in many people, the conclusion we assume can be anything but correct.

    Not at all that life forms were allowed to suffer but once man fell, everything that made to support man also fell. Once everything fell, the natural system takes over and one must die so that another can thrive. This must be done so that the system can continue until the objective is fullfiled. The physical and natural system is an imperfect system so it is unthinkable to assume that life must be perfect in order for god to be perfect as this natural world was made imperfect and temporarly. In the afterlife is where you will find perfection or complete chaos.

    • cafeproz says:

      @Daniela… so what is the purpose of this natural life? well forget about that…. what is the point of everything? Specifically regarding all the suffering that has been mentioned.
      What is the point of all the suffering that has ever taken place from the beginning time?

      • Exactly. Why not just place us here in spiritual bodies? If Satan sinned against God while in a spiritual body, then it stands to reason that we could’ve, too!

        If we go ahead and assume that everything was made to support man, as you’ve suggested, this still doesn’t explain why God would design animals to eat each other. We can’t just say “Because it’s natural,” because GOD defines what is natural. It’s just as easy for God to say, “It is natural for animals NOT to eat one another,” as it is to say, “Animals DO eat one another.” God could also declare, “It is natural for people to reproduce by cutting off a limb, and having that limb grow into a new person.” He can define nature anyway He wants, and He appears to want it with lots of blood.

        We can’t rightly call this world imperfect, because God created it. If God is perfect, He is, but definition, incapable of creating imperfection.

      • Daniela says:

        No one knows exactly the point of everything, but for our physical existence, most religous scholars would say “choice choice choices”; and everything else is just beauty and supports. Time limitation is initiated so that a choice can be made, and dying and suffering are part of that process and limitation.

        @ 500questions
        Man was actually made in to a spiritual body but man changed man in to a physical body. The question one should ask, however, is that why are we now in a physical body and for a very short time?
        “Perfection” has different interpretation and meaning to different people. Back in the old days GM may have intentionally made their cars to have average life expectancy of about a hundred thousand miles. And the fact that human may only live to one hundred years, was a design and not a flaw. So with that you’re free to call it “perfect” or “imperfect” from your own interpretation or perspective. The thing is… you could be wrong and you may never know it.

        • rautakyy says:

          @Daniela, these two last ones are the best you have sent to this blog. By my standards. Also by my standards, the natural world we live in is a curious, but most unlikely experience for me to come to the conclusion, that there actually is a god, that has created it and given us free will to choose to either believe in him and be given the eternal perfect life, or disbelieve in him and be lost.

          However, if I am wrong, then it indicates, that you were right all along when you (in earlier post commentaries) said that I have some sort of character flaw, wich prevents me from accepting the supernatural. In that case the character flaw was predestined on me by the alledged designer of all things. Never mind if it is the result of my uppringing, or if it was installed on my genes. I really never even had a choise in the matter and if I ever did I made the choise unintelligently by the wrong reasons. If the entire purpose of the natural world is for us to come to the conclusion, that we want to have faith in eternal salvation by a specific creator entity, then I suppose there would be no point in the process, if every human being qualified a free pass to the heavens. That is, if the natural world would actually tell us all equally, that there is infact a caring creator entity, that is supported by this one particular religion.

          The problem with this setup, though, is that that it is only applicable, if the creator entity is not “benevolent” at all. Such an entity is not showing any sort of alledged benevolence. The only way a god that designes humans in such a way that a majority will have a character flaw, that will send them into a hell, or to oblivion with animals after many of them have suffered in this life, is “benevolent”, is if that god gets to redefine the concept of benevolence to be anything that god does. That is similar circular logic as the one used by for example the Nazies.

          How would this situation be any different, if there was a god and you were right, or if there was no god and the god you believed in, was just invented by a bunch of ignorant but intelligent iron age people, who thought that benevolence of the ruler, or a deity manifests when that ruler, or deity only saves some guys from some terrible destiny designed by the very same ruler, or deity? Or to whom the animals were just property, of themselves, the ruler, or the deity, a bit like slaves, whose suffering did not really matter one bit? Wich is more likely and why?

          Is it really likely, that there actually is a book, wich represents the (quite feeble, but obviously deliberately so, because all the suffering of humans and animals would otherwise surmount to nothing because, if it was really convincing, all humans might be saved) communication attempt by the creator of galaxies to human beings? Or is it more likely and logical, that it is just a folktale by people to whom people who were not part of their tribe and did not pay tribute to their ruler, or deity were somewhat less people, almost as worthless as animals, that is, holding any value only as property? Can you answer this, or am I predestined to burn in hell, because I could not fathom the answer anyway? Is your god good? Good to you and your tribe of fellow believers, or good to everybody?

          • Daniela says:

            Consider yourself like a smoker who became addicted to some sort of belief. You would think it is easy to quit smoking but it is not. You seemed to have been brainwashed and conditioned to look at thing one way. You think you’re open-minded but that may just be an impression. The choice to step back and re-evaluate your mindset, stance and cure any disease, is yours.
            You have been sent to boot camp. Once your time is up, you’re either join society or remain separated and abandoned in to the dark world. The choice is yours.

            • rautakyy says:

              @Daniela, have you considered yourself as addicted to some sort of belief? If you did, how did you reason, that is not the case? Are you sure you have not been brainwashed and conditioned to look at the world one way? The only way to evaluate such a condition is reason and evidence, interpreted through the scientific method, that point out to me, that we live in a natural world, with indifferent natural causalities and nothing else and that the otherworldly explanations are merely folktales by ignorant people and anecdotal stories of personal altered experiences, that we know human brain often causes.

              You are awoiding my questions. Is it a benevolent god, that allows any person or animal for that matter to fall into eternal torture, or even oblivion if that deity has a perfect garden of happiness to offer. Based on good and reliable information about a choise between eternal oblivion and perfect garden of delights, no one would choose oblivion, let alone eternal torture. Hence, the entire idea that we are set here to choose between those two with this limited information, or noninformation (like the Bible) about the matter (that is being sold to us -at a high price- as if it was some sort of truth even when it is contradicting with the actual reality of indifferent nature we and the animals live in) is malicious. Is it not?

              Again. Wich do you think is more plausible, that there is a particular religion, that transmits the message of a benevolent god whose “benevolence” is by any reasonable standards malicious? Or, that the ancient dudes just came up with the idea just like other ancient dudes did with thousands of other similar, but contradicting god-ideas to explain stuff they were scared of, but had no way of actually understanding?

              • Daniela says:

                Do you want to know who you are? Let me tell you. You are an idiot, a brainwashed retarded idiot. That’s what you are. Your scientific method is called “medieval science”. You have better chance of understanding the real world if you have a glimpse of what the modern world of quantum mechanic is. God is malicious because you’re an idiot, that’s what it comes down to.

                • rautakyy says:

                  @ Daniela, good, very good. Now you are getting the hang of it. If I am to be punished for an eternity for being “an idiot” in this matter, your god can not possibly be “benevolent”, now can he? I mean, if he actually posesses the power to make me not be “an idiot”, or “a retard” So, either he is not “omnipotent”, or he is not “benevolent”. I may be “an idiot”, but I sure beat you to the punch in figuring that much out. ;)

                  Oh and the same goes for animals and their suffering, right?

                  You think there are spirits and ghosts about and that an allmighty god sets our destinies, but you dare call my view of science “medieval”. That is funny. Is it not? I hope it was meant as a joke. Was it?

                  Besides, you are still avoiding my questions. Did you notice?

                  • Daniela says:

                    You can’t blame any one for your ignorance. The bible gives you plenty of lessons and evidence; so as people in here. You have plenty of opportunity to evaluate and re-evaluate everything but instead you chose to ignore and pretend to know nothing. You turn your blind eyes on god and find excuses. Common, don’t you think he knows that?

                  • I n I says:

                    What a great conversation! Well done Rautakyy for calmly taking my sister Daniela to the edge of her “reasoning”. Facing the edge, she fell into name calling, judgement, and sin. Perhaps she doesnt understand that the answers to everything are not in her Bible, but in Jesus, who promised us the Holy Spirit, and not a Holy Book (John 5:39). @Daniela “I don’t know” is a good enough answer sometimes, because the atheist can also be taken to the edge of their reason as well. We are all hemmed in by irreducilbe complexities, uncertainty principles, and death. We are all subject to faith at some point.

                    • Daniela says:

                      @ I n I, may I ask where did you learn “John 5:39″ or “Jesus” besides the bible? From the Quran? Sorry son, “I don’t know” is for the little one. You like flower eh?

                  • cafeproz says:

                    @InI I have to say well put. “I don’t know” is a perfectly valid answer. God is too often the answer of first/last recourse when actually the situation is just a lack of knowledge, imagination or plain thoughtfulness.

                    @ Daniela. I am almost certain that except for the basic axioms that constitute the framework of your faith, you yourself use the scientific method( albeit in a rudimentary form). Truth is all humans use it, even babies, even…. animals. The scientific method as used in science is just extremely structured and exacting, whereas the rest of us simply balk at the level of proof and objectivity sought in science.

                    ====
                    Lastly, if God is omniscient and all powerful what ever suffering, has ever taken place in this world, the very least we can say is that he knew that this how it was going to turn out and he was OK with it (since he chose with his power to put thing in motion that way).

                    Now one might say, yeah but you will get some really good stuff in an afterlife…. does that make for a Good God? I just have to think of all these children dying 2 or 3 days after being born in horrible conditions…. Is the good stuff worth that amount of suffering? Does that make sense that a good God would have children ( or animals for that matter), suffer just so a couple of people can get the good stuff later?

                    • rautakyy says:

                      @Daniela, now you lost me again. How sad. Just when we had this big breakthrough of coming to the same conclusion. I am not blaming anyone of my “ignorance”. Because I am not ignorant. I have read the Bible. Have you? I have also read a plenty of other old books, that similarly I did not find convincing, or even very appealing. I do not think a god knows anything, because I think no such an entity even exists. Do you see, how you are just avoiding my questions? Those questions are not for my benefit, but for yours. I really honestly hope you will thank me for them later on when you have dared to ask them from yourself.

                      @I n I, I hope you can see, that by no means do I try to take anyone to “the edge”. In my opinion, that is usually not very constructive. Rather, it almost makes me sad, that so many religious people are so intertwined with their god (almost as if they could not separate their own persona from that of their god), that they take it as a personal offence and lash out, if anyone questions the “reasons and logic”, wich supposedly should expose these hiding invisible entities. But the many problems of this hide and seek game are obvious, just like cafeproz abowe here so neatly sums up.

                      I merely try to use the Socratic method of posing questions for people to submit their faith based beliefs to actual reasoning and logic instead of blind faith, that perverses peoples ability to handle reality and causes them to believe the utmost fallacies as long as these support their favourite deity. But you are absolutely right, “I dont know” is a perfectly good answer to many a question. The problem with that is, that not only does the Bible demand you Christians to be ready to answer all questions about your faith – it says so right there in the book, though I as an atheist do not find it a binding contract – but it would be good for you to understand on what it is, that you base your, rather wild, if I may say so, assumptions of the causality and universe. Not to speak about moral values, when the Bible you hold so dear, also holds so much, so very, very questionable ethics and concepts like the afterlife.

                      Oh, by the way, love your poetry. :)

                      @cafeproz, I really love how you put it together in your last paragraph!

                    • I n I says:

                      @cafeproz Thanks, and forgive me for replying after your post but Daniela may have inadvertantly disabled this function. @Daniela I am not ashamed to be a child before you. I learned about Jesus from my mother. She taught me many, many things about Jesus, before I read the Bible. She had limited Bible knowledge, but what she did have was love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Your responses bear witness that the written word is in your head, but The Living Word is not in your heart. Head knowledge makes the heart proud, and leaves no room for the Jesus that said, “Let the children come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of God.”

                • Anonymous says:

                  typical,Daniela has no intelligent,rational opinions to dispute the obvious using HER thoughts, not the bible’s crap, so she resorts to name calling.name calling,violence and killing unfortunately heavily used tactics of god worshipers on non or “different got from there’s” all through history,including the present.

          • Tine says:

            Exactly! If God is the all loving benevolent creator religion claims, why would “he” create a world so filled with struggle, strife, cruelty (natural or man made) leading ultimately to death and then only “reward” one set of believers with eternal bliss or salvation. If God created everything and is all knowing and all loving like I heard over and over in church growing up, how could he have created a world so imperfect and filled with so much sin. The original translation of sin means “to miss the mark” of God’s holy standard of righteousness. If what goes on in this world is God’s holy standard of righteousness then I can only hope he doesn’t exist. If that is the case I have no answer for what the afterlife might entail if there is one, but for me religion has yet to offer a single explanation that suffices for the horrors of this world. As someone earlier mentioned, unspeakable suffering, abuse, neglect and maltreatment happens everyday to animals in food production alone. Just think of the millions of other suffering beings in medical and scientific labs, at roadhouse “zoos”, dog pounds and puppy mills, private homes, 3rd world countries etc….. there is no justice for any of these beings whether animal or human. Just google any term related to animal or human abuse along with the word “video” and you will be sickened by what you find. Every day I struggle to keep finding moments of happiness and purpose amid the sea of sadness, indifference and ignorance that the human race is capable of. I try to remind myself of those who came before who tried to make a difference and counter the greed and bullshit that goes on. Gandhi and Mother Teresa come to mind. But for all they did, how has it really made a difference. India today hangs women and still the majority of that country lives in abject poverty and the caste system still operates (even if at a much less level than before), but they are free of British rule. I asked my mother if there was anything, no matter how terrible, that I could do that she would want to send me to hell for eternity. Her answer: no, there is nothing you could ever do that would make me do that.” So I asked why God would and all she could come up with was the Catholic party line about free will and choice. So I asked if she would never sentence one of her children to eternal damnation, didn’t she see that she was then more loving and forgiving than her own Catholic God…..needless to say, as always no answers that suffice or make sense.

        • Daniela says:

          @ cafeproz
          Of course we all use the “scientific” method to identify or determine things. The difference between some of us is that when someone sees a unfamiliar flying object they call it UFO or give an answer like “I don’t know”, and they will probably never know because proving it is a formidable or near impossible task, but some of us just don’t call it UFO because we know what they are.

          About God with regards to the suffering, you have to know who god and his position is before you can accuse him of anything. You would think that these UFOs (presumably alien) would come down and use their technology to cure our diseases but they are not coming down. This unfulfilled presupposition is a misconception of what reality is. The same goes with this suffering thing. Look at it this way. The US has the ability to stop any atrocity but it is not doing it, why?

          @rautakyy
          Look, we’ve been through this. If I toss a $100 bill at you and you toss it back and said I can keep my fake money, then only a doctor can fix you. But since you refused (your choice) to get yourself fixed, no one can help you; and there’s no need to have further discourse with you.

          • Arista says:

            But did you ever consider that the $100 bill actually might be fake? That has been the whole point all along. You ask people to consider that their thoughts and position might be wrong, just as an exercise to let go of preconceptions, etc. But when people ask you to do the same, you call them idiots and deficient.

            • Daniela says:

              The problem wasn’t that the $ bill might be fake, but everything you give him that he doesn’t believe, is automatic fake. Everyone else seems to have very good understanding when evidence is presented or idea expressed, except this guy.

              • rautakyy says:

                @ Daniela, yes we have been through your money analogy before. It did not really work then, did it? And it does not do you benefit now, does it? You really need to grow out of your schoolyard bully tactics. I do not know where you have learned such behaviour, but it really does not serve you here. There are both atheists and religious people reading this blog and we are trying to have a meaningfull discussion. Segragating me really does not prove your point of view. Does it? Nor does that funny money analogy actually answer any of my questions, now does it?

                If I play along with your analogy and admit I have such a defect, that I can not recognize actual “money” from false, is that defect really my fault and do I deserve to be punished for an eternity, for my defect? In not being able to recognize the “money” you offer to me, have I done harm to any one else exept myself? If that is so, would that not also show that my action in this situation was not in any way unethical? If so, then what am I being punished for? And if it is an inherent defect in me, is it not my “manufacturer” in effect a god (if you believe in such a thing as a creator entity) then not responsible for any “production defects”, or “design flaws” in my construction? If I actually had a choise not to be defected, why on earth would I have chosen to be defected, and if such a choise was inprinted in me, then was that not an obvious “design flaw” by the alledged creator?

                You often refer to the UFOs as you knew what such phenomenon actually is. Correct? What are they and how do you know what they are? Take it this way: We should really be getting back to the topic, but if our gracious host allows us to continue along these lines, you could explain your actual point. Very many (both atheists and religious) people would roll their eyes, when you make such assertions, and think you have lost your marbless, but since to me the alien abduction stories are just as implausible as the regular sermons from behind church pulpits, I will give you the benefit of the doubt. So, please do explain what you mean. It certainly would be more interresting, than any childish attempts to abuse my character.

      • MJR says:

        Cafeproz, you are asking what’s known as the classic “The Problem Of Evil” question> http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-problem-of-evil

        • rautakyy says:

          MRJ, again cafeproz may have a better answer than mine, but alas the point was that the atheist is fully capable of accepting that there sometimes is no explanation, or reason. Nature is indifferent and full of obscure random events. To define this the atheist only needs the facts that are known like that life exists, it is ever evolving and that it was very primitive at the early stages. An atheist does not require a god to explain any of that. A god is a poor explanation for any purpose or origins, because it really does not go very far for explaining those things. If everything exists because a god created it, then what was the purpose of this god. There is no explanation, and the god is added to the equation by pulling it from the hat. There are no facts that support the god and it is utterly arbitrary between accepting the we do not know part of the reason, or purpose for life. If your explanation is that a god created the universe so there could be humans to worship this god (like so many Christians seem to think), it is a bit of an ass hat, this god, is it not?

        • rautakyy says:

          @MJR, Some atheists disregard the question of evil all together, cafeproz may or may not do so, but I certainly do not. In your link William Lane Graig is once again full of it, by building a straight forward straw man arguments. He claims that for an atheist, a god and evil may not co-exist. This is of course a total fallacy and Graig feels himself vindicated by arguing against it. The question he fails to answer is this god “benevolent” and “loving” as suggested and if not, is there any reason to believe any other suggestions about this entity, like for example it acutually exists? If certain amount of evil is necessary that the “benevolence” may be demonstrated by this god, then what is the sufficient amount to make the message clear, and where does the benevolence manifest and how do we know that it is from this, or that particular god?

          Instead Graig succumbs to such circular reasoning as, since his god is good what he sees as fit amount of evil is also good and that proves there is a good god and since this god is good… etc. But that is presupposing a god and it is a logical fallacy to the extreme. We should not judge the reality according to a presupposition of an imaginary, invisible, inaudible, inactive character mentioned in some old book, but by what is manifest in reality. And what is manifested in reality, is the indifference of nature. That can then be compared to any claims made about invisible, inactive (in terms of taking action against any evil) suggestions of god(s).

          The problem of “evil” as manifested in the nature is one of the strongest arguments against any god hypothesis, not because why would a benevolent god allow such, but because it is more likely, that such fear causing events and phenomenon in nature were explained by god(s) in primitive cultures who had no way of knowing their causes, than that any of these catastrophies were, or are actually caused by any god(s). Therefore the big leap as described by Graig, should not at all be to disbelieve god, but to actually believe in any such suggestion of the supernatural. This is today when we actually know the causes of the natural catastrophies.

          To the ancient people who did not know, that for example the earthquakes were the natural result of tectonic movement, it was natural to assume it was some supernatural forces at play, and it was quite human of them to try to bargain with such powerful entities by sacrifices. Did the god(s) listen to them? Did the sacrificial smoke smell good to the god(s)? Perhaps, but would you not say it is quite a primitive suggestion? That it is quite unlikely any god(s) out there were actually interrested in preventing natural catastrophies, because some guys performed ritual killing of goats, or men?

          If the “purpose of the world is not human happiness, but the knowledge of god” as Graig puts it, then god is making a pretty slob job of it. Since most people have not aquired that knowledge living all their lives in this world. Well, not only is this a nother srawman from Graig, but it is also quite sad and pointless argument against the alledged “benevolence” of his god. Those people who have lived very protected lives, but who are aware of all the evil in the world, this may be an appealing idea, but in their smuggness they seem to forget that there are people suffering at the moment, that have not chosen, do not even know about, or could not find it plausible because of their cultural heritage even if they heard about a particular divine salvation, that alledgedly makes all the suffering worth while.

          There is no room and I have not got the time to argue against all idiocies of Graig, because he builds fallacies upon fallacies in the article you linked here.

        • Anonymous says:

          isn’t William Lane Graig the idiot who believes animals don’t feel pain!

          • Tine says:

            He may be the one I called an idiot for the very same reasons earlier. I mean how delusional do you have to be to believe that animals don’t feel pain. I assume he has two eyes, two ears and a brain somewhere in there.

      • MJR says:

        Cafeproz…. http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-problem-of-evil

        Also keep in mind if you are an atheist asking what is the purpose of things that the theory of evolution that most atheists adhere to is purposeless random chance, so as a Christian I must then ask you the same question… explain purpose of life to me from an atheist and evolution perspective please.

        • rautakyy says:

          MRJ, again cafeproz may have a better answer than mine, but alas the point was that the atheist is fully capable of accepting that there sometimes is no explanation, or reason. Nature is indifferent and full of obscure random events. To define this the atheist only needs the facts that are known like that life exists, it is ever evolving and that it was very primitive at the early stages. An atheist does not require a god to explain any of that. A god is a poor explanation for any purpose or origins, because it really does not go very far for explaining those things. If everything exists because a god created it, then what was the purpose of this god. There is no explanation, and the god is added to the equation by pulling it from the hat. There are no facts that support the god and it is utterly arbitrary between accepting the we do not know part of the reason, or purpose for life. If your explanation is that a god created the universe so there could be humans to worship this god (like so many Christians seem to think), it is a bit of an ass hat, this god, is it not?

        • cafeproz says:

          Hi MJR,

          To start, I have to say that the article does not really apply to my quandary which I repeat is:
          If the suffering the world has seen is part of a plan to find the few who will deserve the “Good Stuff” then I cannot find a way to assimilate it to any type of Love. At least no love that I would care for. All that might be true, but my mind is not able to accept it as Love.

          Again my issue is that you cannot both say you care about people’s suffering in THIS life and create a world that what is now (please don’t tell me it is Satan’s fault). Either you care and you are powerless or you could but that’s the way you want things to happen at which point…

          Evolution or Science has absolutely nothing to do with is. Also I am not stating anything against for for the existence of God. I am just saying, I am not impressed.
          Basically just like Jesus said in Mathew 5:20, if God’s Justice is not greater than that of men… I don’t know.

          I have to address this: One of the points in the article is to claim that things are so beyond my comprehension that I just have to trust that is good for me. That might have been acceptable if god did spend so much time explaining his love. A nonsensical statement might have to be taken at face value without explanation. But a nonsensical explanation cannot.

          I won’t go into a point by point rebuttal of the article, I am not sure that is what you are looking for. Hopefully my point is clearer.

  8. Alpha says:

    Nice one 500Q! :) I hadn’t even really thought of this problem before I read your post. Personally, I can’t understand how anyone can look straight into the eyes of a dog or other animal and say that they don’t have the ability to feel pain.

    Also, on animals not being only creatures of instinct and born to be eaten, therefore not “intelligent”, I definitely beg to differ. Animals are driven by necessity to act cruelly, but they are innocent, intelligent and even possess some qualities humans gennerally don’t. Assuming God did create the world, I think He must be cruel to force them to suffer and eat one another. If Earth wasnt created to require predation these qualities would show more. Wolves are the most loyal creatures, and you can see this more clearly in their dog descendants; they are completely loyal and don’t judge, something that not even humans can always claim to do.

    Putting my best foot forward to explain eternal bliss, I think the idea is that you are meant to love God more than anything else, as in the Bible there are multpile verses that command this in no uncertain terms, also mentioning that love for your parents should be like hate when compared to love for God. So I’m guessing that you would feel sad for friends/family but value being with God much more.

  9. ibanezerscrooge says:

    How much more convincing the god hypothesis would be if only humans suffered disease and animals were perfectly healthy, never succumbing to any kind of malignancy with no apparent reason for that to be so? But then I guess that would destroy our free will.

  10. cafeproz says:

    @Daniela… I am not following too well the argument… but consider this much:
    1) Imagine you see several unfamiliar flying object how would you know which one is which?
    2) Assuming we are humans and fallible… wouldn’t we owe it to ourself to at least make sure we are not abusing ourselves? How would you go about that?

    Well if you do check yourself, no matter what you do, will be scientific method redux. Even the mere fact you can detect the flying object unfamiliarity depends on your pre-established ability to baseline, perform comparisons and draw conclusions… which is…. you know…

    Finally, I am not accusing God. I am only asking questions. If anything he *might* be accusing himself. Consider the episode in 1 Chronicles 21:16,17 it does seem like David has the same “Logic” I or most humans would have used… basically “God, Why are are you killing innocent people”? Somehow, at least in actions God concurred…. because he grieved and stopped.

    • Daniela says:

      1) The answer lies on the observer. Only the observer who has the knowledge knows which one is which. The rest need to be educated.
      2) Well, it’s in the NT for us to follow.

      In your episode sure, god did listened. Asking is the necessity part of us being human to do. And so look at this; before the fall of man, man is innocent until proven guilty. After the fall, man is guilty unless proven or showing innocent. Asking is the very way of arguing and showing your innocent. But even with that, we still don’t fully understand who or what god really is so we will just give our best estimation to answer the unanswered question. Hope that sheds some light to you concerns.

      • cafeproz says:

        2) What is in the NT for us to follow?

        • Daniela says:

          Read Mark 12:30-31 in the New Testament, “The two greatest commandments.”

          • cafeproz says:

            Why do you think what is in the NT matters?

            • Daniela says:

              Because it applies to us now and the future.

                • Daniela says:

                  That’s why you need to read it so you know what is in the New Testament.

                  • cafeproz says:

                    You are not answering my question… you are just telling me what to do. If I may insist please answer the actual question: How do you know, it (NT) is relevant to now and the future.

                    ———
                    Please don’t latch on the following anecdote instead of answering my question, but so far our exchange reminds of a conversation I had with my room mate who was a pot head. It went like this:
                    Him: I see things so much clearer when I smoke Pot (Plus food taste better), you should smoke some.
                    Me: Maybe Pot makes you think you see things clearer?
                    Him: You too many question. Smoke this and you’ll understand.

                    • Daniela says:

                      Because I read it and that’s how I see it. If you see anything else better, feel free to share it with me if you will.

          • David says:

            Why do you hang onto your book of myth and fiction? You obviously consider it an oracle of truth and knowledge, as Christians do. A collection of bronze age myth. It is contradictory, ambiguous, inconsistent and unreliable among other things. You would have contributed in a more balanced way if you had put aside your collection bronze age nonsense you call the Bible and engaged the rational thought process. Sorry, I don’t mean to be impolite.

            • Daniela says:

              By engaging in the Biblical ideology you’re actual engaging in critical thinking – a thinking rational people have hard time comprehending. Be careful, what you consider “rational” can be a “logical fallacy.”
              It’s not bronze-age myth, it’s bronze-age knowledge. In Isaiah 42:5, it says “God who created the heaven and stretched them out.” Only now science have observed the expansion of the universe. Science thinks dark energy is doing the expanding but what is dark energy? How does energy creates itself in an increasing incredible rate? The expansion is accelerating – not slowing down. Science is just catching up to the bronze-age knowledge.

  11. Daniela says:

    @ I n I,
    You’re doing just fine son. You listened to your mom and learn well. If you ask your mom where she learned about “Jesus”, she would tell you that He is in the Bible. Let me tell you son about the Bible. The Bible is the greatest book of all time and it is free. It is the source of intelligence and knowledge. It is the source that you can find the path to eternal salvation. Just in the mean time you can leave the argument to the one who’s seen the good, the bad and the ugly ok.

  12. rautakyy says:

    I am sorry, but me with all my defects, can not understand what does the New Testament teach about UFOs? And what does this have to do with the suffering of animals?

    @Daniela, how do you know the Bible is the greatest book of all time, or are you simply describing a matter of literary taste? What about the Mahabharata, the Iliad, the Kalevala, the Edda, the Gilgamesh and all those other (some even older than your Bible) books? They are great too. Yes? And we have a bunch of very good modern literature also.

    • Daniela says:

      Go see your doctor, he has the answer.

      • rautakyy says:

        @Daniela, hahaha. Funny. What sort of doctor would explain me this? A doctor of literature, perhaps? ;) Have you ever read any other books?

        • Alpha says:

          To add to your list, theres also the Aeneid, Book of the Dead, Odssey, Tao. ;) Actually i have read part of the Aeneid. Good epic. And the Tao. Pleasantly surprised that the book can fit lots of insight in just 81 verses.

          But since this is going a bit off topic, I thought I’d just attempt to bring it back a little by saying that regardless of whether or not rautakky is “defective”, it doesn’t change the fact that animals are innocent, suffering, and God hasn’t acted to stop it. Also personal attacks gets no one anywhere productive. If you’re Christian and trying to convert people, judging people as deluded doesn’t make the most appealing impression. And “love thy neighbour as thyself”? Something in the Bible I’m sure you’re familiar with.

          Going completely off topic again (sorry 500Q, but I sort of say things as I think of them, othwerise I forget hehe), I’m confused as to why Lucifer is associated with Satan, since Lucifer quite literally means light bearer. And I also heard in many places that Lucifer was never Satan at all, but just a confusion. Which definitely caused a confusion on my part. So when people say the name to refer to Satan they are in a way saying the opposite of what they mean…

    • Tine says:

      Yes I think the readers of, The Torah, Koran, Dhammapada, Upanishads, the Tao and the ones Rautakyy mentioned would definitely disagree with you. Even Christian theologians point out the numerous ways the bible was rewritten, interpreted and tinkered with over the centuries depending on the prevailing leanings of the ruler in power.

  13. Arista says:

    Daniela, how can you ask us to read Mark 12:30-31, because that contains the two most important commandments, while at the same time you demean rautakyy?

    Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.”

    How about you start to show some neighborly love then? Or do you not love yourself?

    • Daniela says:

      I don’t know about you but when I see some abnormal people, I tell them to have themselves checked out with the doctor. For you, you probably enjoying watching them suffering even if they’re dying.

  14. Arista says:

    And another demeaning slab in your last sentence. Are you sure you are a Christian?

    • Daniela says:

      I try to save people by offering advice so everyone is free of problem. This way they have the same potential and opportunity as I have. For you, helping them means demeaning them so you let them alone to whatever they are suffering. I can’t see you are any better than those diseases out there. You think about it.

      • I wanna be a Christian too! So I can claim to know better than everyone else and demean them until they conform, (but only because that’s what I’d want them to do to me). Religion is fun! :-)

        • Daniela says:

          I didn’t attack Arista, she attacked me first. Please be reasonable, logical and factual.

          • Come now, she merely asked why you were not treating rautakyy the way you would like to be treated, which is what the New Testament requests of you. But even if she DID attack you first, if she is not a Christian she is not obligated to turn the other cheek the way you are (Matthew 5:39). Perhaps YOU should read the New Testament, so you know what’s in it. ;-)

            • Daniela says:

              We know that Arista was sided with rautakyy so she would not have spoken from a neutral point of view. With this it was an attack on rautakyy’s behalf. With respect to matthew 5:39, you may be right. So then the US (a christian country) should invite Osama to nuke new york if that is what you believe. You should have realized that I had had enough of rautakyy but he kept coming. I have to try other methods.

  15. Arista says:

    You need to see a pastor quickly, sweetheart. You may hold the book, but Satan resides in your heart.

    • Daniela says:

      When you are sick you want to see the doctor but when someone else is sick you want to leave them alone suffering and you call that “love others as you’d love yourself?” Wow. Who is the satan when people like you like watching other people suffer?

  16. cafeproz says:

    @Daniela: i will try, just one more time:
    Somehow I imagine you read words in the NT that somehow made sense to you…. my simpler question is: How do you know you are not mistaken about your understanding of what you read?

    • Daniela says:

      The answer is you’re not sure until you are quite sure or know for sure. Sometimes you have to take the best route or the best interpretation. Sometimes you have to use Pascal wager’s or business approach. Nothing is easy. Only math is not required interpretation; almost everything else does. The hardest part of obtaining apprehension from what you read, as I’ve mentioned, is the interpretation part. Sometimes you need outside knowledge such as science and history to help make sense out of what you read. Consider every expert or doctor of every field out there whether it be scientist, philosopher, historian or theologist, they still can be wrong on some part of what they believe or even some part of what they know. So knowledge is not a simple thing to obtain. The best part of going about in gaining knowledge is education and an open mind to all possibilities including the impossible. The quantum world is strange, unpredictable and unknown much more with the spiritual world.

      • cafeproz says:

        You said “Sometimes you have to take the best route or the best interpretation” and hopefully you realize are you still not answering the question, because I would still have to ask you, how do you know it is the best interpretation…. that is all I am asking.

        So far in so many words you seem to be saying that you you don’t know that you are not mistaken, you are just convinced (somehow). Is that correct?

    • Daniela says:

      Much more strange but less known of the spiritual world, is what I meant to say.

  17. Alpha says:

    I have a Christian friend who was telling me about one of Jesus’s miracles, where he cast demons possessing a man into pigs and then drowned them. Which led me to ask, “He drowned the pigs?! (they were completely innocent!!)”, to which my friend shrugged and said matter of factly, “They’re just pigs.” And I can’t speak for everyone, but I have developed a very deep respect for animals, having much more depth than humans give them credit for. And apparently pigs were also considered unclean. I did a bit of research on why, and found this:

    “The Abomination of Leviticus” (Cultural Anthropology: A Perspective on the Human Condition, Emily Schultz, Robert Lavenda)
    “Prototypically “clean” land animals were supposed to have four legs and cloven hooves and to chew the cud; pigs were an “abomination” because they were four legged, cloven-hoofed beasts that did not chew the cud. “Clean” beasts of the air were supposed to have feathers and to fly with wings; therefore, hopping insects were “unclean” because they had six legs, neither walked nor flew, and lacked feathers. “Clean” water animals were supposed to have fins and scales; shrimp were forbidden because, although they lived in the sea, they lacked fins and scales.”

    So much for everything being created equally. And they don’t even get to go to heaven when they die.

    • If God didn’t want us to eat pigs and shrimp, he shouldn’t have made them so tasty! Ok, I’m already hating myself for that joke. I suppose I should probably become a vegetarian for moral reasons. I do love meat, but that part of my human nature does disgust me. :-/

      • Alpha says:

        Predation is one of the sad laws of survival, although it is possible for humans to be vegetarian. I also love meat – very true, it is tasty! – but more and more often now I find it preys on my conscience (no pun intended!) when I realise that what I’m eating was ALIVE, moving, breathing, feeling, sentient. This is a strange thought (and I would almost definitely get very weird looks from people if I say this, so I mostly don’t), but when you consider horrific nature of cannibalism, and then seriously consider that animals have generally similar cells, organs, anatomy etc. to humans.. it puts a completely different light on eating meat. Unfortunately I have been eating meat all my life and find it very hard to give up completely.

  18. rautakyy says:

    @Alpha, there is an alternate explanation as to why the shrimp and the pigs were abominations in the eyes of the Hebrew god and this includes the reason why other gods were abominations to that deity also.

    The reason is the same on both occasions and it is very simple. When the Hebrew laws were figured out by the elders of their tribes (who have a number of mythical names like Abraham, Moses and others, that most propably have their origins in actual people, but whose history has been obscured during the cultural tradition, before the hebrew started to write everything down), their main concern was how to prevent their tribes to accumulate too much of cultures of the other people living in Levant and be dispersed among them.

    The Hebrew were originally a nomadic tribal culture, that travelled between, or rather on the fringes of the sedentaristic cultures in that area of the so called Fertile Cresent where farming had been adopted first in the world some 8000 years ago (so the farming cultures were thousands of years older than the Bible). The herdsmen can not move big images of the gods with them so they need an invisible god. Unlike other gods in polytheistic religions, the god of the nomads is not a sedentarist, but has to be everywhere just as the nomads are themselves. The same applies to all nomadic cultures. The Arabs and the Mongols also have this idea of heavenly god who is invisible, but everywhere.

    But in polytheistic cultures people worship the local gods, because they are most often recollections of ancestorworship of farmers and seen as very strong in the areas where they reside, and where their temples are built. To prevent the ancient Hebrew from merging with the sedentarists, it was necessary for the elders and theocratic rulers, in order for them and their family lines not to loose power, to segragate their people from all the other people. Simple propaganda to govern people is to make your people belive, that the customs of the other people are unclean. For example, it was easy to tell the nomads from the desert fringe, that such cattle, they would and could not as herdsmen keep, like pigs were dirty abominations. And the same applied to seacreatures such as shrimp. More importantly it was important to put this idea to their head in order for them not to settle in areas and in a lifestyle, that would allow those to be their livelyhood. And it was important to tell them that the local gods of the people who lived in those areas were abominations as with the story about the golden calf.

    To me it seems obvious that the relationship described between animals and men in the Bible is generally simply the description of the ownership of cattle and their owners and nothing more accurate than that. The division between clean and unclean animals is arbitrary, but follows the division of good animals being the ones nomads herd, and unclean animals as those that the sedentarists own.

    • Alpha says:

      Interesting, I’ve never thought of it that way before. That would mean all the texts written afterwards were just trying to justify something with a much simpler reason. “Ours, not theirs… or else!” idea. When you put it that way… it’s true religions tend to do that a lot. That’s some food for thought. (no pun intended. Really!)

      • rautakyy says:

        @Alpha, indeed. That is a very common denominator to religions and many philosophies (like nationalism) alike. It is basic tribal moralism. Religions are about power. Power through the supreme imaginable authority of a god, or several of them. There has allways been people who have claimed to know what god(s) want and who have gained power through that. Animals have played a very minor part in this game, but if not for anything else a means to segragate some people from others. Think about the Buraku in Japan where Bhuddism made the families wich livelyhood was being a butcher, or a tanner into pariahs.

        Years ago in archaelogical excavations in the ancient city site of Askhelon in modern day Israel heaps of pig bones were discovered. They were from the time when Askhelon was one of the five most important cities of the Philistines, or Phoiniceans as the ancient Greek called them (or perhaps we should call them Palestinians, if you will). The archaeologists also found a silvered statue of a calf there from that same strata. These were by no means revolutionary findings, because the Philistines used to eat pig and shrimp, for they were a sedentarist sea roaming people who worshipped their local bull headed Bel dieties. However, from the historical point of view, it tells us how the nomad Hebrew leaders had a direct need to make these people seem in all possible ways immoral. So, that their people while possibly setteling in the area, would not be inclined to leave the political sphere of the Hebrew elders and join the locals, but to remain segragated from them. By appealing to the highest imaginable authority of a god, they could claim that the Philistines were totally immoral by nature, because not only did they worship the wrong kind of god, but even what they ate was filthy. No, god ever appeared to deny these claims, and because of their cultural heritage of being a goat eating nomads, it was natural for the Hebrews to think that their god would agree upon the diet thing with them.

        Segragation is the one most terrible causes for evil humans have ever used and use their “free will” for even today. If any god was, or is part of such processes of segragation, it certainly is not “benevolent” by any measure.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Your argument is invalid , and how are you gonna put up some website talking about christianty and animals , and then tag a catholic website. Again your agrument is invalid, ill let my niggas knkow to say hi to you in hell , God bless you son.

    • I realize that Catholics don’t always believe the same way as Christians. I mentioned philosopher René Descartes primarily because he was the one who founded the idea that animals feel no pain, and his Catholic faith was of consequence. But others, like Michael Murray, still share a similar view (and I don’t believe he’s Catholic).

      If my argument is invalid, please explain why, so that I may change my mind. Simple fear fallacies won’t work here. (Muslims also tell me I’m going to hell for not believing in Muhammad. I don’t believe them, either.)

  20. Excellent post and discussion 500. With the advent of Quantum Mechanics, genographic, genetic and neurological advances, all (and others) of which represent the “within” of existence…and then, continued advances and discoveries of the cosmos, our solar system & planets, stars, black-holes, and all things non-geocentric, which represent the “without” of existence…and then advances in Paranormal science (e.g. psychics, mediums, ghosts, miracles, et al) which represents maybe the “in between” of existence…all intriguingly support (or perhaps lead to) a nice evolving Law of Conservation of Mass/Energy: that NOTHING can be destroyed or created. Life “is”. And is often beyond our temporary experience? Therefore, (after I take a LONG gasp after all that!) existence is simply and purely in constant transition, and pain & suffering eventually gives way to joy & bliss, and then repeat the cycle (all of it good & beneficial)…until our actions/manifestations modify or are modified, or both, for a new experience! And now there is smoke coming out of my over-worked brain! Yet, my heart & soul are now more animated! Woot woot! ;)

    Personally, I feel some questions of origin or existence, though stimulating, are in the end not so important as PRESENTLY helping mankind break the chains of elitism & exclusivity — as you have adequately pointed out 500 in some of your posts & comments — and be MORE connected to each other in humble, impious, understanding-embracing behaviors so that we as humans from planet Earth can better MANAGE this sometimes unforgiving yet sustaining planet, solar system & cosmos of which we are ALL a part.

    • cafeproz says:

      I agree with much of what Prof Taboo has written… I would like to add the often inexplicable fixation that some (many) christians have regarding creationism. It would seem to me that even from a purely christian perspective, one essential thing would be to notice that matter what our origins, the commands of christ remain the same. No information regarding our origins will ever our duties to our fellowmen and to ourself any different. You will still to love your neighbor, still have to pray or whatever it is that you understand is part of your christian life….

      • I must agree with you cafeproz despite my personal free-thinking humanism. Christ — if you mean specifically the man Jesus/Yeshua of Galilee and our western-hemisphere New Testament — along with many, many other iconic teachers & embracers of humanity (e.g. spending much of their ministries with the social outcasts) all coalesce a common theme: we need each other a LOT more than we need elite autonomy. Now….how are you/we going to accomplish that? By preaching incessantly John 14:6 and all the other biblical passages that correlate it? No. But if so, then you’ll probably have a very limited effect on global issues in an increasingly global culture. And I’m not singling out just Christianity. Peace and wisdom for all. :)

    • Thor says:

      I see a lot of gibberish as such “feel some questions … in the end not so important as presently helping” or “pain & suffering gives way to joy & bliss” or “nothing can be destroyed or created” I don’t know if this is the result of an over-worked brain or not. I feel like the wind just gave me a brief brush and then disappeared leaving no trace.

      • LOL…and your concise reply indirectly points out the “fluff” of discussing an existence based in theology and spiritual intangibles. Your point goes both ways (or 3-ways?) very well. I like it.

      • cafeproz says:

        Agree… except regarding “nothing can be destroyed or created”… I am not claiming to have the truth on that but have not observed anything in this world that does not follow some type of bubble and bust type of cycle….

        • Thor says:

          Yeah, regarding that quote, he seemed to be saying that the world was the same one million years ago and will be the same in the next million years. It sounds to me like he’s an aimless wanderer like the wind – no belief, no purpose and no point to convey.

          • cafeproz says:

            Well I’m not so sure…my understanding of what he said is basically the same as I think Lavoiser said: “Nothing is created, Nothing is lost, all is transformed”. This is a quasi truth for basic matter throughout the universe… Think of water boiling, evaporating then condensing… There are many hints that non physical phenomenon follow the same pattern… think of fashion fads, think of empires etc… it is not that the world is fixed… but as we casually the more things change the more they stay the same. I am amazed as to how similar our political quandaries resemble that those familiar to the peloponesian wars contemporaries…

            • Well stated cafeproz. Thank you for your assistance.

            • Thor says:

              Yeah, but it also mean that the earth was the same size billions years ago, the population was also the same a million years ago or the number of universe remain the same billions of years from now. This is why I said it’s gibberish.

              • If you’ve already read my comment below to cafeproz, then what may I help you with to clear-up the confusion? We’d need to probably carry it off this format so as not to ridiculously take all of this further than need be. If I am unable to help, perhaps cafeproz, 500Q, or scientists in the field of Quantum Mechanics can better clarify for you? Or watching all the episodes to “Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman”? That is an excellent basic introduction to connecting-the-dots to existence, both present and beyond the grave.

                • Thor says:

                  Sorry for bothering you. I just trying to understand the point you’re trying to make. The “wormhole” thing you mentioned is full of speculation but at least Morgan did presented some ideas or possibilities.

                  • No worries. Morgan Freeman was simply the narrator. Morgan did no speculating. The scientific content comes from the many scholars/experts in their respective fields, some (or a lot) of which are Nobel Prize winners. What impressed me about the episodes were the proofs, conclusions, and “speculations” based on many fields, (e.g. the Large Hadron Collider & “God particle(s)” to name just one) giving credence to new discoveries as well as revamping old theories and systems. It is well worth reading, watching, researching, learning…in my humble opinion.

                    • Thor says:

                      I didn’t say Morgan was speculating. The episode is worth listening to even though the content may not have any truth to reality.

                    • Hmm, well okay Thor. Sorry, I thought your reply said “Morgan did presented some ideas or possibilities.” There are currently 28 episodes over 3 seasons, not one, with 10 more episodes to come. I was unaware that Nobel Prize winning scientists were detached from truth & reality; including those who built & run the LHC in Europe & CERN outside Chicago, IL. But since I’m unable to extract any significant dialog as to your point-of-view other than vague disagreement or challenges, due maybe to time constraints(?), do you have a personal web blog that is more detailed & comprehensive that I may read? Or are we wasting each others time? And I’m not trying to bother you either; I just prefer good productive dialog because these subjects & other similar subjects I am using toward my thesis & Master’s degree. Thanks.

        • cafeproz…”bubble and bust” is one level of laws in cyclical nature, yes. But what I was poorly attempting to convey was that we are now understanding nature & existence on the atomic & sub-atomic levels, which STILL make-up macrosystems. Make sense?

          I didn’t want to go into a science that I assumed was learned in high school; so apologies for my assumption there. Therefore, I’ll clarify: (from Wikipedia & chemistry/physics classes) The law of conservation of mass, or principle of mass conservation, states that for any system closed to all transfers of matter and energy (both of which have mass), the mass of the system must remain constant over time, as system mass cannot change quantity if it is not added or removed. Hence, the quantity of mass is “conserved” over time. The law implies that mass can neither be created nor destroyed, although it may be rearranged in space, or the entities associated with it may be changed in form, as for example when light or physical work is transformed into particles that contribute the same mass to the system as the light or work had contributed. The law implies (requires) that during any chemical reaction, nuclear reaction, or radioactive decay in an isolated system, the mass of the reactants or starting material must equal the mass of the products.

          Regarding this post in the context of the web blog (i.e. religious inquiries), discussing current existence and after-life existence within the “closed system” of theology is too often futile because that tool is antiquated. But in my small humble opinion ultimately theology is a waste of time given more important needs this Earth and its inhabitants must resolve. In the system of atomic nature (i.e. Conservation of Mass), which isn’t visible to our naked-eye, yes…that atomic-world is the same as it was 1 million years ago and will be a million from now. But to our naked-eyes, Thors’ naked-eyes, and mine, of course the world isn’t anything like it was then.

          My point missed or not clearly conveyed: we live (past, present, & future) in a system constantly changing in outer form to our naked-eye, but in the ether-world/atomic world is always the same. Do you see how theology is severely limited in explaining or understanding life and nature?

          Not a “wander” at all, but proactively a Free-thinking Humanist for philanthropy and defender of a Humanist/Scientific greater good. And continually striving to improve my articulation. HAH! ;)

          • Daniela says:

            Hello, interesting comment here. I just want you to elaborate little more on the part that you said theology is futile and a waste of time. Don’t you think theology is sort of like theory and science is the process of verifying or proving that theory?

            Secondly, you said the atomic world is always the same, can you elaborate a little more? Because I see some part of its existence is the same but another part it is not.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I’ve noticed a blatant ignorance of stoic philosophy in the OP. Pain and suffering are not the same thing; it’s important to understand these terms before using them with authority. Pain is purely a physical phenomenon, a neurological transmission. Suffering is experiential and linked to consciousness.

    “No matter the degree, this dog was clearly capable of experiencing a large amount of pain. And for all we know, not being self-aware (assuming they are not) may make pain even more confusing and stressful.”

    Pure speculation.

    “3) Animals are rewarded for their suffering. Most Christian theologians have ruled this out, but even if true, God is still evil for making innocent creatures suffer without cause.”

    In the absence of God, and therefore a transcendent moral source, this is just your opinion. It holds no more objective value than that of a serial killer.

    • Thanks Anonymous,

      Point 1: Webster’s dictionary defines suffering as pain, though I would define suffering as the time spent enduring anything unpleasant. But more to the point, are you actually inferring that animals do NOT experience suffering because they lack “consciousness”? If so, how are you defining “consciousness”?

      Point 2: You are absolutely correct, this IS pure speculation, and it is in response to those who would speculate that animals cannot feel pain because animals are not self-aware. Either argument is useless speculation.

      Point 3: In the absence of God, there IS a moral source, called “empathy” (though it is not transcendent) and it is based on observation, logic and reason. I would define evil as bringing unnecessary harm to someone or some thing that I would not want done to myself if I were in their position. For example, I would not be a serial killer, because I would not want someone to kill me or my family. Likewise, God should not cause animals to suffer without good reason, because He too would (likely) not wish to suffer without reason. But just to be clear, I’m not the one who has claimed that a good and moral God exists.

    • Apologies. I had to read & reread, and then reread again to try and understand the 1st paragraph and the last paragraph…and how the middle joins the two. Perhaps I’ve had too much to drink and not enough sleep. ;)

      Nevertheless, regarding the first two paragraphs, as a 23+ year member of the BDSM community, your distinction between pain & suffering is correct and often hyper-sensitized and oversimplified. The human mind & body is capable of magnificent adaptability making it highly SUITABLE to this highly volatile experience we call life…if it is given a decent window of opportunity (fighting chance).

      Regarding the last paragraph, that is most valid if you/500Q are/is a serial killer, Einstein, Christ, or Gandhi…implying no one person has the deed, title, exclusive rights to all moral-source. That would be an unfair dictatorship. Fortunately though, there is a common, universal, democratic intuition of basic human rights and basic equality, right?

      Revelation and/or faith in its purest form are inclusive not exclusive. Orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth. Truth is the degree to which a statement corresponds with nature. And nature, as you pointed out, is sometimes oblivious to one, or a few.

      But I could be missing your whole point. If so, apologies. :)

  22. Thor says:

    @Professor Taboo
    If you’re going to write a long comment it’s better to introduce on a larger space like this.
    I did say “Morgan did presented some ideas” but “some” can mean anyone’s idea and not necessary his. Hope that clears up the confusion.
    I don’t mind having a blog or a productive dialog but the subject you cover is too wide and time consuming, not to mention knowledge or information can also limited for a meaningful conversation. I will check out other episodes when I am free.

    • Agreed on long comments; this format is awkward for concise thorough discussion, but I’ll adjust. Thank you.

      Agreed also that lengthy involved subjects are “too wide and time consuming” for this format; I’m not a big fan of modern social-media where topics are grossly oversimplified and overlooked. No surprise, right?

      Yet, knowledge and wide-scoped experience can & does find truths & laws of the Universe/Multiverse and human existence if we have the patience, desire and determination. To be more specific, this post & web-blog will inherently delve into many “fields of discipline” or should. One of the mistakes of ‘seekers’ or students of life/existence can make would be to ignore all or some of the multiple well-established disciplines. Obviously on this blog that will include theology and apologetics — even though religious conservatives often refuse to open up those 2 disciplines to change — but also any applicable scientific disciplines or philosophies. My personal preference is to examine each & all disciplines, understanding their similarities & conflicts, and why? Why look at existence with one eye through one telescope or microscope? Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for you & others ;) ), it is often “too wide and time consuming” and at some point beyond this blog format. But I prefer not to let that stop me; unless 500Q asks me to stop. ;)

      My original point: because modern sciences are becoming increasingly interconnected due to an increased understanding of Quantum Mechanics as 1 example, “singular truths and laws” promoting impervious structure are antiquated.

      • Thor says:

        “it is often ‘too wide and time consuming’ and at some point beyond this blog format.”
        That’s right. I am with you on the part that we should expanding our knowledge to every field of science and theology. The thing is… even a library can’t hold them all. Knowledge is vast and complicated. It’s hard to spend lots of time especially when this blog is not the subject or place where one makes a living.

  23. @Daniela —
    I hope I can answer your requests adequately. Forgive me if not.

    On your first request/point, if ALL Christians believed theology was theory, or constructed within the guidelines of operational theory, then there would be a lot less hyper-tensions in the world between ultra-conservatives, conservatives and liberals. It is my understanding that Judaism, Judeo-Christianity, and Islam (planet’s 3 major religions) do not and will not allow their “holy scriptures” to be added to or subtracted from, or modified in any significant way. I believe it has been this way for many, many centuries. This stance does not allow for verification of theories that undermine traditions, ESPECIALLY those theories that might dismantle their religion completely. In scientific terms that is called an impervious “closed system”. Absolute measures can be very problematic. Science, on the other hand, is an array of open-systems AND closed-systems; e.g. Einstein’s theories of relativity/gravity modified and/or corrected centuries later Newton’s laws on gravity. I don’t see these 3 faiths allowing any significant modifications or corrections if those modifications or corrections proceed toward major restructuring, especially abandoning the religion say on the scale done with polytheism. Typically, they view those attempts as ‘works of the Devil’.

    On your 2nd request, yes, since 1869 Mendeleev’s Periodic Table of Elements, with all their 118 atomic numbers, represent all elements existing OUTSIDE man-made laboratories. The atomic-level world (of man’s Earth) and its atomic interactions are and always have been the same. This is known as classical physics. In the atomic world are all the ingredients making up our known physical world we observe and measure with any combination our five senses. The natural physical world to us the “observer” is always changing, but we are starting to increasingly understand the sub-atomic world (quantum physics-mechanics) which is a microsystem within the physical macrosystem. Your last sentence could embrace what is sometimes referred to as the MWI (Many Worlds Interpretation) of Quantum Mechanics or what I refer to as the Multiverse.

    Needless to say there are problems and debates between classical materialism (matter and knowledge by observers) and John von Neumann’s and Rudolf Peierls’ mathematical mechanics beyond matter and knowledge, i.e. a transcendental dimension outside of materialism, i.e. metaphysics where subatomic particles arguably do not have the same sort of individuality as the particulars with which philosophy has traditionally been concerned. HAH! What the hell did I just say!? ;)

    Aside from the fact I have many issues with theistic religions such as Judeo-Christianity, I guess my attempted brief last point here is that with the advent of modern paranormal-transcendental measuring and observations made with various scientific equipment (electromagnetic, infrared, etc.) we are finding that the unobservable world/Multiverse is not correlating with past or present mainstream theologies. Thus, I find theology antiquated.

    Have I successfully confused you? :)

    • Daniela says:

      Of course religion is not going to be replaced by science because of human limitation, but that’s not what I meant to suggest. Suppose religion says the world was once flooded, now it is science’s way of going about finding evidence to support or reject this claim. Therefore theology is not necessary futile and a waste of time. It is just that science is the human method of know-how.

      How do you conclude that the unobservable world is not correlating with theology? I am quite sure the technology we human have is inadequate when it comes to theology, don’t you think? For what I’ve seen, science is moving forward in finding evidence that may have correlation with theology. And who knows, theology might be the next big project for science to tackle.

      • Daniela…I think it appropriate to mention here upfront that I’ve read most of your comments on this web-blog and have noticed your stance/position that you argue from or base your a posteriori positions from. In other words, it appears to me you postulate from a Christian Apologist point-of-reference, despite not having experienced first-hand the life and teachings of “Christ” — unless you’ve had a similar revelation as Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. If that is your situation and you are seeking “converts”, then I’m obligated to tell you that I come from your position. And due to my “faith” then and now, following Jesus Christ as presented in the CANONICAL New Testament and modern mainstream Christian tenets, I feel now that such an extreme position based on “faith” alone is committing intellectual suicide. Just want you to know that so we don’t waste each other’s time. I will respect your individual point-of-view and move on. :)

        With that said, if you are truly open to possible discussion that leads to departing from the canonical New Testament’s proclamations and support of John 14:6, then I’m more than happy to spend time & effort in our dialog. There exists better more constructive fulfilling world-views for self and humanity than the antiquated Roman-Greco Christianity of Messiahship.

        And with that said, do you still wish to continue?

        • Daniela says:

          Just so you know, I am not an extremist and have no personal experience at all. Although I am leaning in the side of theology, I always look at thing from both perspectives. For example, science is suggesting that earth is 4.5 billion years old. For me, I look in to the interpretation of both versions and see which one may have misinterpreted it and find additional evidence to support it. But for what I understand from your comment, theology is irrelevant. I would rather have both systems going along side for comparison than just one.
          You don’t have to respond to the last post if you don’t feel like it and I will respect your stance.

  24. cafeproz says:

    @Daniela… sorry to interject and noted, we’ve been there before… I still have no idea what makes you think anything is relevant.
    A) I don’t mean just theological issues, but even scientific ones. Are you aware of what makes you think the 4.5 billion years claim is worth looking into? LIkewise, what other claims would you bother entertaining, on *what* basis???

    B) In your reply to Prof Taboo you mentioned comparing “Both” which begs questions like:
    – Are just 2 ways? What makes you think yes? WHat makes you think no?
    – What is the basis of comparison?
    – What makes any “way” valid in its own right…
    Questions in part B are not really questions…. I am just expressing how much it seems that you are “eye-balling” or “gut-feeling” issues. *** It is not a criticism***. Everybody has his/her own method.
    However, should my assessment be correct, it would help understand some of things you have written so far.

    • Daniela says:

      Yeah we’ve been there but I can just brush it up as things pop up.
      I look in to all kinds of claims. It’s for info and knowledge. But a claim that contradicts the other view is what makes it worth the effort and interesting.
      What you will consider in your part “B” questions are really come down to individual’s experience and expertise. You know, it’s like when you’re hungry you will know what and where you want to eat. Every case, every issue or every subject is different so, hope that help a little bit more.

      • cafeproz says:

        Yes it does help… and if I may continue the analogy related to food… if your goal is to just satisfy hunger, that might be a good enough approach, however if you want to make you are properly nourished then over time you will want to have some objective measure of what it is that you are eating and how it is that it contributes to your overall health (or not).

        You cannot do that by feeling your way… at least not within the context of our modern food supply chain and twisted food intake habits.

        • Daniela says:

          Exactly. In the world of existence we are engaged in finding the truth about our existence using all available and relevant information. In the world of healthy living we are also engage in finding the best solution for our health. We realize that our best choice is not necessary in the doctor’s office but what we eat and drink every day. More to that is our environment, activity and mindset we need to consider. With all of these you will realize that it is more than what a physician can do to your body to get you a healthy living.

  25. @Daniela —
    First, it is not my long-term intention to ‘turn the microscope’ on you. You have simply requested more clarification on some of my comments. That’s fair. We are talking about a subject(s) that has existed for centuries and millennia before both of us were born. Hence, it is a discussion about methods of understanding, not necessarily about who you are or who I am.

    It pleases me that you are not a “religious extremist” bent on ushering in hell and brimstone onto non-believers or non-conformists. After all, their stance is 100% of the time from no experience with Jesus; only an all-inclusive perception or revelation of the figure from two sources: 1) “holy” scriptures with plethoras of interpretations & interpolations by thousands of churches, and 2) some form of PERSONAL transcendent experience with “God” that can never be standardized — as the New Testament and other manuscripts teaches it. Paranormal experiences are extremely unique to that person and FORTUNATELY those type experiences are available to any human being regardless of their religious label, prior to or after the revelation/experience. I have no issues at all with that sort of independence and freedom.

    Not to reiterate here what I’ve already commented on about theology, but by its definition it presupposes (with what compelling evidence outside personal revelations?) a single God or Higher Being. To me that is like you and I discussing or debating what an extra-terrestrial’s skin feels like, UNLESS one of us has actually touched the skin. I fail to understand why E.T. skin-ners (if you will) insist on conformity to a standardized description of alien skin. ;) There are much more productive philanthropic needs on this harsh yet sustaining Earth with our fellow human beings without trying to rewire their hearts, minds, or souls. We have plenty of commonality to address more pressing issues!

    Hence, theology is ultimately unnecessary. There exists better tools/methods to interpret existence/nature that perpetually adapt to an ever changing Universe/Multiverse. Theology (or traditional theology) has reached its nadir, its end. Now, I want to throw a wrench in all of this. Personally I do feel and think there is an active after-life (around all of us) that operates in the “ether world” or the dimensions not often available to our sight and hearing. There is accumulating compelling scientific evidence it exists but apparently NOT exactly in forms described by traditional Judaism, Judeo-Christianity, and Islam. However, that’s for another time & discussion. :)

    • Daniela says:

      Good, now we got that cleared up, let’s just stay on the subject matter.
      Your alien-skin allegory is rather an intricate analogy. I don’t know how to relate that with the concept of god according to religion.
      “There are much more productive philanthropic needs”
      Certainly there are philanthropic needs in the world and I would not suggest replacing science with theology, but instead insist on using theology in assisting science in the process. If you would read Luke 9:25 you would understand.

      Ok, you believe an afterlife but not in the form described by religion. Actually this is the very point I would like you to elaborate on. You sounded definitive on your scientific evidence so if you don’t mind please share these evidence with us?

      • Before I share a ultra “condensed” version of what scientific evidence gives compelling evidence toward an afterlife and why, I recommend Daniela you first get briefly acquainted with 4 fields/theories of Quantum science:
        1 – Superposition
        2 – Entanglement
        3 – Zero-point Energy
        4 – Bose-Einstein Condensates

        Meanwhile, time permitting, I will attempt an oversimplified reply to your request. The facet that connects the afterlife to Quantum mechanics is that all things from inanimate objects and congealed organics (us in human form) and other macrosystems, to sub-atomic particles of microsystems, all have information (vibrations, waves) within which is passed between systems, even in vacuums. This is what psychics and mediums are able to tap into.

        I also recommend you do your own comprehensive research into Quantum Mechanics and not simply take my portrayals of it. Until later….

        • Daniela says:

          Great, I am quite aware of the quantum phenomena although not as good as you since it is your subject. Are you postulating that the ghostly-grow phenomena are the result of quantum effects at the microscopic scale? And you’re quite sure the sub-atomic microsystem is what psychic and medium have tapped onto? It sounds like someone with his mind, is able to tap onto a data signal and access its content. Go ahead.

  26. @Daniela —
    To your 1st point regarding my alien-skin analogy: God does not reveal himself here on Earth in any materialistic form in the same way you or I have not touched an alien’s skin. I can tell you what I feel (transcendentally) as an alien’s skin, but will you accept my description as the standard? If you tell me what you feel about the nature of a Judeo-Christian God, what basis are you sharing that feeling or experience? Your description of God will come from 1 of 2 sources; either from “holy” scriptures with a plethora of interpretations or interpolations, or from a very unique PERSONAL transcendental experience that religious followers often reference. The latter cannot be standardized. The former is a quagmire debated for millennia now. Hence, in my opinion, true spirituality is and always should be (right or wrong) a very individualized experience. Theology is too often an attempt at standardizing “God” and His nature toward mankind, which is ultimately impossible on a global scale. Thus, theology isn’t capable of “assisting science” because the material existence of “God” has NEVER been established. “Grand Design”, as 500Q has delved into, is an entirely different matter if you feel that demonstrates material existence of “God.”

    Regarding scientific evidence of an afterlife, I have written a 4-part web-blog series incorporating the subject with Quantum Mechanics and Connectivity, but for you here (and not to irritate 500Q) I’ll try to condense it as best I can.

    Aside from the fact that American law enforcement are increasingly using more psychics to assist detectives with cold cases with unparalleled accuracy, many of which are renown, high-tech digital cameras and recorders catch phenomena beyond human sight and hearing, as well as advanced and improving EMF detectors, thermal (infrared) scanners, and motion detectors recording paranormal activity…the science BEHIND the paranormal aether-world is progressively backed up by quantum science.

    Quantum physics/mechanics is increasingly showing that to understand existence you cannot exclude the consciousness of the observer, ever, in all “measuring circumstances.” Observers always play an unequivocal role of the subject matter. Since the late ’90s generalized theory of information and associated phenomena of non-locality, zero-point energy field, entanglement, and a quantum hologram if you will, has bridged and synthesized gaps of the physical world with the bizarre paranormal (spiritual) world, allowing for remarkable testing and validating. Quantum mechanics has already validated that the mind/soul and body are not two separate realms, but two faces of the same realm: energy. And energy is very well understood in science.

    For the sake of overview then, while sacrificing thoroughness, the 3 fields of Quantum science that are most closely related to the accumulating data recorded by the above paragraph list are Quantum Superposition, Quantum Entanglement, and Bose-Einstein Condensates; further understood through Antoine Lavoisier’s Conservation of Mass/Matter. Because these 3 fields go way beyond the capacity of 500Q’s comments section, I should recommend you do your own reading on them at your convenience. I would also recommend examining these fields from the mindset of evidence for an afterlife.

    Bringing this discussion to a close, my current evolving conclusion (or theory if you will) is that through the “bridge” of the Quantum sciences, the physical world joins the spiritual world; it is One as Heraclitus stated in c. 450 BCE. Hence, it CANNOT be as Galatians 1:9, Acts 10:44-45, Acts 11:1-3, or John 14:6 assert and more so theology based upon these passages. Those 4 passages CLOSE Christianity off to new evolving systems of existence/nature.

    • Daniela says:

      Sorry, haven’t had time to respond quickly.
      Here is what I think and know. The alien-skin analogy is quite off the mark because we don’t even know whether alien existed how can we suggest having a uniform alien-skin standard. With this said, theology only believe god exists and not quite meant to identify any physical mean that god may have. While science is largely depend on discovery for truth, I don’t believe it is close to finding the truth.

      “theology isn’t capable of “assisting science”” – Not in a way of what science expects but as you can see, many physicians believe using ritual a way of assisting the healing/curing process. And science is incapable of saving any one’s life. Science only delay death a little bit. On an important note, science makes determination in complete ignorance of theology and I believe in many aspect, it is a foolish thing.

      “Quantum mechanics has already validated that the mind/soul and body are not two separate realms,”
      I don’t know how you arrive at this conclusion. Quantum mechanics has not demonstrated any physical mean larger than an atom to have the observer’s effect at the same level. On the same token, science has evidence (http://www.near-death.com/evidence.html) demonstrating the body and the spirit do exist separately. If you would go to question 19 and look at my links you would see that these spirits do have minds and bodies capable of making decisions and using forces. With this, I believe you fall in the same logic/path as a biologist who makes conclusion from DNA. Similarly, while scientists using logic unanimously agreed the egg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2006/may/26/uknews) came before the chicken, they were also wrong.

  27. Anonymous says:

    cant remember how I found this page but really from what I read this was a pointless argument as the bible was written by humans. I am not saying there is or isn’t a God as there is no evidence to suggest there is or isn’t.. why do you think the world is in such turmoil? So many religions? Cant we just say know one knows? Your lying to yourself if you think you know the answer. So on that take what is written by humans with a pinch of salt.
    I could write a bible tomorrow and put what ever I want in it. People would either believe me or not.

  28. Adelina says:

    First, I haven’t the time to read each and everyone comments; I paused after reading the first 20 or so comments. However, I’m eager to know why a loving God allow innocent animals to continue such tremendous suffering at the hand of human? This suffering continues for so long; from ill treatment at farming, puppy mill, slaughter house, hunting, zoo, entertainment/ circus, sports, etc. The list can go further… I’m obviously not referring to animal suffering as a result of nature disaster, or in the wild if they encountered other animals. The untold crimes that humans continue to display to the animals are ones that I think as animals Holocaust and much worse. I simply cannot fathom a loving, just, all knowing, all caring, all hearing God would have created such madness creation and fate for the animals. I’d really want to understand, if that’s even a possible concept in this case.

    • Hi Adelina,

      For me personally, I can kinda “get” the human-caused suffering thing, because we can always reason that we humans are evil but God is good. Still… even if this were the ONLY suffering that animals endured, we might wonder why God created these animals in the first place, if he knew we were only going to abuse them. I’m sure we could survive without them — problem solved.

      But it’s really the natural abuse — the disease, animals consuming other animals, etc. — that bothers me, as it seems totally unnecessary for our salvation.

    • Daniela says:

      You won’t find perfection in this physical world. It’s not meant to be. You’re too sensitive to what is going on in every small thing. You need to look at the bigger picture. The question is – are you at where you need to be?

  29. thinkboy says:

    really interesting topic and I have the same mindset with whoever wrote this. One of the most interesting things I saw in the discussion was this impolite girl or woman Daniela. Woman have you ever read your own posts and do some self reflection? You’re preaching about this so called good god when you yourself say things like ‘idiot’ to insult and hurt other people feelings. Even IF they WERE actually idiots which clearly nobody here is, (though im having second thoughts about you but no you wouldnt fully classify) you would not say that out of respect at least for god’s creation. Clearly your good god designed your bitter limited mind with a defect which causes you to be impolite to poeple instead of showing good hearted patience and modesty. You are a shame to god woman. It hurts to anyone to call them an idiot which was not even their choice to be idiots in the first place – it was your freaking god’s choise. Who doesn’t want to be smart? You and your good god are pathetic hypocrites.

    • Daniela says:

      You should keep your mouth shut because you don’t know what’s going on for one thing. The other is that you could go see your doctor to fix any mental/physical problem you may have. And third, get yourself educated. American, a christian nation, does not turn the other cheek, just in case you don’t know.

  30. blackice713 says:

    Very good read, as a conservative christian with a huge love for animals, this hits to the core of the problem. Animal cruelty / suffering I find MUCH more problematic then human suffering. One of the only things that makes my blood boil is animal cruelty! Its so wrong! And yet my feline children also teach me so much about God’s love as well and how our relationship with Him should be.

  31. Zootie says:

    Everything made more sense when I imagined the Divine as a Goddess. Neither good or evil, gentle or cruel but both. Yin and Yang. Life and death intertwined. Gentle Demeter and Murderous Kali in one package. Evolution is driven by struggle and terrible suffering. The birth pangs of creation. A Goddess of life evolving from chaos, screaming in the agony of birth of the cosmos. And here we are, evolved from the raw red drama of tooth and claw, with the mental and emotional capacity to at last ask WHY? Is all of the suffering necessary? Can there be another way? Perhaps we are Her efforts to answer that question. Maybe heaven is not a place but a process. A universal consciousness shared by human, plant and animal forever seeking to question the chaos and pain and seek another way, a Divinity tied to her creation and together evolving from ferocity and death towards love and light. Finding an answer isn’t going to be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.

  32. “Maybe dog was person of sin years ago.

  33. Anonymous says:

    We should all be grateful for all we have been given, because we all have been given much. Our father in heaven, his son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are mindful of us, and care for us. Our Heavenly Father is mindful of all of his creations, and he cares for them. Why would he spend so much time creating these millions upon millions of spirits for no reason. I honestly believe that he loves them, and cares for them. We are, of course, his main focus, as his soul purpose is to watch over us, and bring us back to live with him. “And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon. (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi, Chapter 2 verse 14) Our father in heaven gave us his creations like cows, sheep, chickens, etc for our own good. It is us who watch and let them suffer. There is more that we could do. Our father loves us so much, that he gave his only begotten son to die for us on the cross, to atone for the sins of the world. If he gave his only begotten son, why wouldn’t he give us his animals. Animals do suffer, but they also provide us with entertainment and bring joy and happiness to our lives. If animals didn’t suffer nothing would be gained. We wouldn’t learn compassion, we wouldn’t advance technologically wise to save our fellow men. Heavenly Father is not evil. He is mindful of all his creations: humans, birds, rats, mice, sharks, wasps, spiders, mosquitoes, bees,whales, snakes, dogs, cats, trees, flowers, weeds, and bacteria good or bad.

    • “Our father in heaven, his son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are mindful of us, and care for us.”

      I’d argue the evidence suggests otherwise.

      “Why would he spend so much time creating these millions upon millions of spirits for no reason.”

      Exactly. There IS no reason. A natural explanation suggests that we must we must kill to survive, and this is what nature does. A good God wouldn’t create animals that needed to kill each other in order to survive.

      “I honestly believe that he loves them, and cares for them. We are, of course, his main focus, as his soul purpose is to watch over us, and bring us back to live with him.”

      So… tough luck animals. But thanks for suffering and dying for our salvation.

      Our father in heaven gave us his creations like cows, sheep, chickens, etc for our own good.

      And flesh eating bacteria… you know… for our own good.

      “Our father loves us so much, that he gave his only begotten son to die for us on the cross, to atone for the sins of the world.”

      With all due respect, the sum total of suffering endured by animals far exceeds what Jesus suffered, and many men have died for much less. Lots of us would be willing to die on a cross if it meant an end of hunger, or cancer, or some other evil. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the gesture, but it really doesn’t seem like a big deal, especially when you consider Jesus KNEW he’d alive again in three days, which is more than I can say for all the animals that have suffered.

      “If animals didn’t suffer nothing would be gained. We wouldn’t learn compassion, we wouldn’t advance technologically wise to save our fellow men.”

      Humans would know compassion in the complete absence of animals, we learn it from empathy.

      “Heavenly Father is not evil.”

      Just judging the tree by its fruit.

    • Adelina says:

      Thinking that you’re a “true” Christian and I totally respect that, but what you wrote is what I’ve heard, MANY hundreds of times, and it still does not ease the pain whenever I see/ hear/ read about animals suffering. It does not “answer” the question as to why there is so much suffering in the animals kingdom and the amount of suffering, pain, and agony these animals are going through is really incomprehensible to ALL of us.

  34. Maryann says:

    It is not God who inflicts suffering, it is Satan. People who are evil also inflict suffering on humans and animals. God created a perfect world which included animals of all species. When He created them He blessed them and said it was good. Blessed John Paul ll said animals all have souls, so when they die, they will go to heaven. God is perfection and is incapable of evil because He is all good. Look at all of His creation, all of His people and creatures, He is so good! Why do innocents suffer, like babies who are beaten by some parents who should care and love them, animals and all creatures marine life etc. who are innocent and suffer so much cruelty and abuse? I find it hard to understand why it continues over centuries and never seems to end, but I know there will be a new heaven and a new earth and I believe those animals who have lived and died over the centuries along with humans will have a place in heaven. In the bible it states, when God creates a new heaven and earth, the lion will lie down with the lamb. The earth will be like God wanted it to be when He created the world before humans were given a free will and Satan tempted man to sin.

    • Hi Maryann,

      “It is not God who inflicts suffering, it is Satan.”

      But it is God who creates Satan. So whether God inflicts the suffering directly, or creates someone to do it for him, it is still God who creates suffering.

  35. Ronald says:

    I am sorry but your argument only applies to theologies that posit several assumptions and the nature of the Creator, that are self contradictive and thus invalid and ultimately irrational. The first thing you have to do in order to address this and many other issues on suffering, its to get away from conventional Christian, Islamic and Jewish theology. Second, you have to address what is the true nature of reality or, rather, of what we perceive as reality.

    Many other religions, have historically taught that reality as we perceived it is false. A shadow reality, is the general consensus of these religions about our perceived reality, except the terminology varies from religion to religion, while the underlying meaning is the same or so close as to be the same for all purposes.

    In the West, we have been particularly influenced, of course, by the so called Abrahamic or CIJ (Christian/Islamic/Jewish) religions. Most atheists, agnostics and critics of these faiths have developed an, unfortunate, tendency to equate the theology normative in these religions with the nature of God/Creator/Absolute. They thus, in general, totally ignore that there are other theologies which do not lead to the same irrational conception of God.

    In most versions of Hinduism, for example, the Absolute which is above the gods is not responsible for the behavior of men or for the side effects of laws that were primarily designed or created to sustain life as we know it. Together with one version of Zoroastrianism these Hindu based religions picture god/s as creating this temporary reality, so that we can all advance spiritually towards union with the Absolute, or God likeness, or similar ideas, They also picture God as not violating Her/His own laws. For example if Gravity was designed , and I am simplifying a complex theology) to enable the Cosmos to exist, it is good both in its main intent and its conception. That in this temporal; shadow reality, gravity has contributory effects that cause pain, suffering and death, are but the unavoidable consequences of the temporal nature of this dimension of reality.

    Its like this, gravity keeps the earth together allowing life to exist. (Greater Good) Gravity is a force against which creatures must struggle all their lives, eventually, causing deterioration in the temporary structures of these temporal creatures resulting in pain and death (Bad). However the point is that, without gravity, life could not have even existed to begin with. So in the end these religions posit, a God/gods/Absolute/that is limited by His/Her/It’s own nature, ethically speaking.

    Now while, Science is not in the business of supporting or denying support to ‘religious’ truth and all attempts to use it to proof or disprove religions, are quixotic and doomed to fail because of the limitations of the Scientific Method and of spirituality. Science does speak to the nature of the reality that we perceive. Its verdict, so far because Science evolves as it acquires knowledge, seems to agree with the nature of perceived reality depicted by the religions mentioned above.

    The greatest physicists in history, giants like Einstein, Heidelberg, Planck, etc; were all lead by the implications of Relativity to Quantum Physics and Chaos and String Theory. In short Science, or at least cutting edge Science, has discarded the mechanistic Newtonian paradigm and has concluded that reality is not as we perceive it. That in fact we cannot process, grasp or comprehend, the true nature of reality and our brains have to create a particular three or four dimensional mental picture, which interprets that reality in terms that are intelligible and rational to us.

    In fact, for example, when we see a ‘chair’, we see feel touch and seat on a mental construct!!! The ‘chair’ is really a conglomeration of untold billions of sub-atomic particles separated from each other by proportionally astronomic distances and held together by an electron-magnetic force, which happens to be the one, that gives it is apparent solidity, consistency, shape, etc,

    Revisiting your question about animal suffering the conclusions are:

    SUFFERING EXISTS, AS AN INTRINSIC SIDE EFFECT OF OUR TEMPORAL NATURE AND OF THE INTERACTION OF THAT NATURE WITH THE PHYSICAL MENTAL AND ETHICAL LAWS THAT GOVERN , NURTURE AND PROMOTE ,NOT ONLY LIFE BUT, ALL EXISTENCE. IN ESSENCE, YOU CANNOT HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER.

    By the same token, God can be and most surely is, in my opinion, good,. Because the temporal suffering that we must ALL of us animals, plants et al, suffer, is just that temporal and we now know of the existence of other dimensions , where it could be theorized pain, suffering, and even death itself, may not exist. Now before you go and dismiss this as ‘having no proof’ may I point out, that the only method of absolute proof known to man, is the Scientific Method? May I, then also point out, that this tool of Science cannot be applied to well over 80 % ( and I being generous) of our lives because, it requires :
    A) Controlled conditions
    B) Repeatability under the same conditions
    C) Falsifiability

    I don’t know but, it seems to me, that for us to apply this method in every day life is an impossible task, way over 80 % of the time. Besides we all know that we must function in like, primarily, on the bases of:
    A) Circumstantial and anecdotal evidence
    B) Experience
    C) More or less informed opinions
    D) The much maligned and hardly accurate common sense

    So absolute proof of most anything will forever escape us, Living us with imperfect evidential methods, opinions, logic and validity. Under these conditions, I can rest comfortably assured that there is enough ‘proof’ to believe, Your conclusions might differ, but neither of us are about to proof anything that cannot be weighed, measured, controlled, repeated or falsified.

    Good Day
    Ron

  36. Isaiah 11:6-9 

    The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.
    I thought animal doesn’t have soul.
    Are they different kind of animal and happened that they are similar to ours?
    Or is there any other explanation about this?

  37. Randy Lyle says:

    God doe’s not give a damn about the beautiful animals or many good innocent people on this planet, free will my butt””” the animals do not ask to be tortured maimed or treated inhumanely or killed and neither do many human beings ask to die at the hand of another humans free will to kill.There is very little mankind left in this world,except for the goodness of some of our population, it is true that all animals are hurt by the hands of unkind ,uncaring humans,animals do not have a voice any more than they have a choice to live or die, it is a choice made by human beings, go figure.

  38. MontaukPoint says:

    Who is it that weighs whether or not these often angelic & loving beings are valid enough to enjoy an afterlife?? Of course animals have a soul! Spirit is what animates us and soul is what gives us a certain personality. How do animals know how to look us directly in the eye when communicating instead of simply looking at our hands that are what feeds them? – It’s because soul to soul contact is an intelligence greater than material. There are also many people who have been visited by their departed loved one, be it person or pet. In essence, those whom we’ve loved become part of us and we even fuel one another. These are facts. Animals are not toys whose battery simply runs out. As far as plants and insects, their intelligence is that of a collective function and when they leave their physical form, they collect into spirit. Souls are more distinct in the sense that they gain individual experience. Those who are capable of love are capable of thought and self realization. Whether or not that self realization fits our definition doesn’t disqualify the individual’s intelligence and ability to evolve spiritually.

  39. Dear author of 500 questions,

    Thanks for writing this article. I found it very interesting. It does leave me with some questions however.

    First off all, you’re using a combination of reason and biblical reference, as you should, but remember to be consistent. In other words, when you’re speaking of the God of the bible, make sure that the characteristics you ascribe to God are indeed biblical. It wouldn’t be just to do otherwise.

    You say God is benevolent. Where do you get this from? Does this mean in general or just to people? Or is God benevolent to all? Also, will you define benevolence? Because if the biblical God is benevolent, it must not contradict with God’s justice or sovereignty.

    You said that we (humans) may left deceived and that God is evil and guilty of leaving us in a deceptive environment, since it’s possible we can’t know the truth behind animals suffer. My question is this: what makes you think we humans are entitled to knowing anything? If we are, where does such entitlement come from and are there limits to this?

    What is evil, according to the bible? What is evil, according to you?

    Is suffering evil? Why?

    Is the bible even trustworthy?

    Peace,

    Tyler

    • Hi Tyler, I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

      “…make sure that the characteristics you ascribe to God are indeed biblical.”

      I try my best, though as you might imagine, not everyone agrees on the characteristics of God. Ignostics, for example, argue that God cannot be reasonably defined, so no meaningful conversations can be had about God. So often times I must go with the general consensus. For example, the majority of Christians would agree that God is benevolent, there’s not a lot of controversy here (at least among Christians). In order to have a meaningful conversation, we have to start somewhere.

      “You say God is benevolent. Where do you get this from?”

      There are many Bible verses that infer God ‘s benevolence (see Gen. 1:31, 1 Tim. 4:4, Psalm 136:1, Psalm 100:5, Galatians 5:22, and 1 John 4:8).

      “Does this mean in general or just to people? Or is God benevolent to all?”

      God is benevolent to all. Psalm 145:9 says: “The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.”

      “Also, will you define benevolence? Because if the biblical God is benevolent, it must not contradict with God’s justice or sovereignty.”

      Again, for the purpose of meaningful conversation, I would accept any standard dictionary definition of benevolence: e.g. “desire to do good to others; goodwill; charitableness.”

      Your second question is much more complicated. It’s true that God is said to be just, but his very nature is also described as love (1 John 4:8). If this is true, then I have to assume his interest in love supersedes his interest in justice. Eternal damnation for a temporal crime, for example, is in itself an injustice. A God who is more concerned with love would not allow for this kind of thing.

      “My question is this: what makes you think we humans are entitled to knowing anything?”

      If we believe the Bible, we are here to make a choice. If we are here to make a choice, then we are at least entitled receive enough information to be able to make that choice, and this information should not be misleading. If we are mislead by God into making the wrong choice (because the evidence pointed in the wrong direction), and we are then punished for making the wrong choice, then God is unfair and unjust.

      “What is evil, according to the bible? What is evil, according to you?”

      According to the Bible, evil is disobeying God. (But this begs the question: is evil what God decides it is? Or does evil exist outside of God, but he agrees with the definition?)

      According to me, evil is intentionally harming someone or something for no meaningful reason, especially when we can use reason and empathy to understand that this is not what that person or animal wants or needs. For example, if I were God, and I knew in advance that someone was going to spend an eternity in hell, I would not create that person (or hell), because doing so would make me evil.

      However, I don’t actually believe “evil” is a real thing, it’s just a word we use to describe something that we find extremely undesirable, unjustifiable, and/or unreasonable.

      “Is suffering evil? Why?”

      Using my definition, not always, only when the suffering is gratuitous or unnecessary. There are circumstances when suffering brings about more pleasure compared to no suffering at all (e.g. such as slapping a child’s hand so they know not to touch a hot stove.)

      “Is the bible even trustworthy?”

      Some parts yes, some parts no. It all depends on which part we’re talking about, and how we’re interpreting it.

      Have a good one,
      500Q

  40. rhianne says:

    AND AGAIN..

    There is suffering simply because of the reason the writer puts forward.. NATURE is unintelligent and uncaring. Its the only logical explanation for suffering but if we believe in everything the bible tells us, that god is a kind and loving and moral and CONSCIOUS god, then the only reason he could allow suffering of innocents FOR NO REASON is that hes been driven MAD somhow and believes that suffering should happen to his children. if this conscious moral god can allow such horrific things to happen to good people it must be because he is insane.

    Its unbelievable how people STILL take the wiritings in the bible word for word as unquestionable truth.. when are people going to realise the bible is just ridiculous stories made up to police the people of that time with fear of hell… even the POPE has come out and said that the bible is outdated and that the catholics no longer believe in a LITERAL hell.. so therefore they MUST not believe in a literal heaven either. ITS ALL MADE UP TO KEEP YOU IN PLACE THROUGH FEAR

  41. RationalThinker says:

    I am not arguing one way or another, but the author is verging on idiocy with this piece.

    At first he seems quite rational and intelligent, although his argument is weak by quoting priests and websites, as if they determine a religion’s facts/beliefs. He cherry picks bible quotes too, while being ignorant of others. However, none of this is needed anyway as the argument (questions) are solid and what a rational, intelligent person would ask as a result of intelligent contemplation.

    Unfortunately, it all stops there as his rational questions and great example of tazmanian tumors fall to the wayside as his obviohs extreme bias and thus irrational conclusions stampede forward.

    I mean…wtf? Only an idiot brings up a good thought and then discards the argument because “it makes things more complicated.

    “Allowing animals into heaven may help us feel better about their suffering, but… it seems to raise more issues than it solves.”

    So he discards the idea as if it isn’t a possible answer. How irrational… yet a common idiocy among people who are biased, trying to win am argument rather than find the actual truth, a real answer.

    This is not an isolated idiocy. This article is plagued with irrational conclusions. He is not objective. He clearly has a chosen side and wrote this to “win”. Only idiots choose self indulgent pride over rational thought amd intelligence.

    I came here cintemplating the question from an objective, unbiased, agnostic stance. Yet all that is he is an atheist as ignorant and irrational as his christian counterpart.

    • RationalThinker says:

      Sorry for typos, on my tablet.

      Cintemplating = contemplating

      Am = an

      Obviohs = obvious

    • Hi RationalThinker,

      Thank you for the criticism. I’m certainly open to criticism, but there are a number of sweeping generalizations here that are long on complaints but short on specifics, so I’m not sure what changes or corrections I should make to my thinking, if any. Please allow me to answer some of your objections.

      “…although his argument is weak by quoting priests and websites, as if they determine a religion’s facts/beliefs”

      One of the most difficult obstacles one faces when evaluating any Christian view is that there are usually many different views on every subject. I try to stick to the Bible whenever possible, but not everyone agrees on how to interpret every passage. In those cases, I try to stick to the most “mainstream” Christian views. However, if you have other quote that better represent ALL of Christianity’s beliefs on the subject of animal suffering, I would love to hear them.

      “He cherry picks bible quotes too, while being ignorant of others.”

      This one really surprises me, how many verses on the subject of animal souls do you think there are? I can assure you there’s not much to cherry pick from. Please LIST the verse(s) about the eternal fate of animals that run contrary to the ones I’ve “cherry picked.”

      “’Allowing animals into heaven may help us feel better about their suffering, but… it seems to raise more issues than it solves.’” So he discards the idea as if it isn’t a possible answer.

      To the contrary, I explore the problems with this possible answer under the section titled: “What if animals did go to heaven?” If you disagree with my conclusion, please answer the objections. Do YOU think all living things go to heaven? Single celled organisms? Multi-celled organisms? Does each living cell in an animal go to heaven? Or just a spirit that’s infused into the group? How many cells must an animal have before it is rewarded for its suffering?

      Again, I’m open to criticism, and no stranger to it, but please don’t just object without offering some quality contradicting evidence of your own.

      Peace,
      500Q

  42. RationalThinker says:

    Yet all that is HERE is an atheist as ignorant and irrational as his christian counterpart

  43. Jolene Clarke Craine says:

    I love all animals. I don’t want any of them to suffer. I have had many animals a lot smarter and re companate than many many people I know or know of im that have made the decision on there own to hend save people. I do wish anyone that purposely hurt animal should burn in hell the same as hurting people

  44. anon says:

    No animal deserves to suffer . And how do you know whether or not they do not go to heaven . there is no scientific proof anyway for your religion.

  45. lilbitdunn says:

    Enjoyed your post, though I do not agree that animal suffering is what you say it is. Satan is in charge of this world, not God. Animals will be a part of heaven, the bible is clear on that, though the fate of the souls of the animals we have known here is unclear, they may very well be redeemed along with humans. Christ died to redeem all things to Himself, including the animal kingdom, He died to restore the created order. Before the fall our job was to care for the animals and the earth, and probably to fight the evil that had previously ravaged this world, but we turned over the control to Satan, and now all of creation suffers. Christ’s death was an act of war first and foremost and then an atoning sacrifice; He came 1st to destroy the devils work and set the captives free (all of creation). Now our job is to live toward the goal of a once again restored creation, live as though we are fighting a war with love, and live as much as possible like the original created order that was intended (Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven). Animal suffering is horrific, and it is mankind’s fault that they suffer, and it is our job to care for them just as Christ cares for us. He gave us permission after the flood for them to be food for us in part because of “the evil in our hearts” and most likely because there was little vegetation and was probably meant to be temporary, but it came with a price and heavy rules of how they were to be treated. It appears very likely that eating animals was a concession. God loves the animal creation, and likely knew we would be the tyrants we’ve become, and this indeed makes Him very sad and angry – we have a responsibility to care for animals, Christ’s love is indivisible; as the stronger cares for the weaker, we are to care for His animal creation.

    God loves the animal creation. It is our job as His viceroys to care for them as Christ would. Encourage the readership to read the book “Dominion: The Power of Man, The Suffering of Animals, And The Call To Mercy” by Matthew Scully. Any of Andrew Linzey’s books are fantastic too. God never intended us to treat animals as we do today. It is a sad sad thing, the injustice we subject them to. Take a look at factory farming realities; take a look at fur farm realities; or any other issue facing them; if you haven’t – perhaps you have.

    There is a also a couple of blogs that have great resources about the issue of animal injustice: Not One Sparrow, Shepherding All God’s Creatures, Dominion In The Image Of God, to name 3.

    I don’t mean this in a derogatory or judgmental way; none are blameless as to what happens to animals in our commodity and consumerism driven world. But we are responsible to know what is happening and question whether this truly is what is pleasing to God, and as His followers, to live holy (set apart) from the rest of the world and it’s Satanic order. As Christians, we should know everything about where our food, packaging, and all the rest comes from and ask ourselves if this truly is in keeping with the values were are to hold as Christians. Animal factories, every one of them, are part of a world system full of systemic evil.

    Here is a website also highly recommended; it is Greg Boyd’s site (Theologian and Bible Scholar, pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St Paul MN): http://reknew.org/2014/06/what-is-the-warfare-worldview-2/. Satan is the author of evil. It was not devised by God, nor was it part of a wider plan of His. We as His followers are to revolt against evil just as the disciples did in their day. Greg’s books “God at War” and “Satan and the Problem of Evil” are also highly recommended reading.

    Thanks for reading and sorry for such a lengthy reply – animals have been on the margins and misunderstood for too long, and humans are their voice. They are sentient, they feel pain and suffer. The National Geographic Society, Channel 2’s Nature Program, and many others, along with many scientific studies have proven to us that animals are self aware, have their own languages, make friends with their own kind and other species; anyone who has a cat or dog know how smart they are, that they feel pain and suffer, and that we as those made in God’s Good Image, should care for them with loving, gentle merciful hands.

    In God’s love,
    Blessings,
    Kathy
    Author at Shepherding All God’s Creatures

    • Adelina says:

      Hi Kathy – I read the book by Matthew Scully and it was a very difficult read. Basically, the more I know about the fate of all animals, the less I have faith in humanity. Since then, I’ve been reading many books about animals (and currently, these are the only books that I’d like to spend time reading). Thanks for the comment!

      • lilbitdunn says:

        Adelina, thanks for your comment back. Glad you have read Scully’s book, you are well versed on what is going on. And I hear what you say about having less faith in humanity the more you know about the fate of animals.

        The thing is, we can’t give up. It isn’t people we have faith in, it is God. When I first came back to the Lord about 3 years ago or so, it was because of what I found out was happening to the animals. I was furious, and very upset at the lack of the voices of the church. But having done some reseach since then, I’ve come to understand the church a bit better, too. I’ve come to understand the kingdom of darkness (Satan, and the earth is his domain), and the Kingdom of Light (Yahweh the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit) better, as well. There is a spiritual war going on between God and Satan, and we are caught in the middle. We made choices back in the garden of eden; God warned us what would happen if we chose the choice He asked us not to make (I don’t take the Genesis fall story to necessarily be literal – it might be, but it also is much bigger than this spritually – can’t explain here, it would take too long). In essence, we made a choice to believe Satan’s lie over God’s truth, and in doing so, whether we knew what we were doing or not, we handed over the keys to our reign over the earth and animal kingdom to Satan. He is in charge here. What Christ did on the cross was 1st and foremost an act of war to ransom us back from Satan – he tricked Satan, if Satan would have known what would happen, He most likely would not have killed Jesus. Jesus was able to destroy the devils works by his death and resurrection. Also a subject there isn’t time to expound on. Ultimately, now, after the cross, we are to participate in bringing about God’s kingdom now on earth by of course first accepting Christ’s sacrifice and believing in Him, turning over our lives to Him to follow Him, and living our lives fighting the battle in partnership with God until He comes back to finish our redemption and put a final end to evil. Also no time to explain further.

        My biggest point in all this is to say, as I sort of did above (!), that our faith is in the God who redeemed us. He will come back again, He promises us, and that is part of our faith, to believe in Him. Second, the battle is not against people (flesh and blood); it is against “but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph 6:12). Satan has strongholds with people in large part because they do not realize this, even the church since the reformation period has been misled.

        The early church is our example, and of course our ultimate example, is Jesus Himself. In the words of Greg Boyd from his book “God at War”:

        ■(pages 254,255) This is our part in spiritual war. We proclaim Christ’s truth by praying it, speaking it and ….by demonstrating it. We are not to accept with serene pious resignation the evil aspects of our world as “coming from a father’s hand.” Rather, following the example of our Lord and Savior, and going forth with the confidence that he has in principle already defeated his (and our) foes, we are to revolt against the evil aspects of our world as coming from the devil’s hand. Our revolt is to be broad – as broad as the evil we seek to confront, and as broad as the work of the cross we seek to proclaim. Wherever there is destruction, hatred, apathy, injustice, pain or hopelessness, whether it concerns God’s creation (emphasis mine), a structural feature of society, or the physical, psychological or spiritual aspect of an individual, we are in word and deed to proclaim to the evil powers that be, “You are defeated.” As Jesus did, we proclaim this by demonstrating it.”

        To make this more personal, so that I felt like I am doing something to fight the fight with God, I started a blog (already mentioned it I think in the previous post ? – Shepherding All God’s Creatures) and am volunteering with HSUS Faith Outreach Program, reaching out to churches to start the conversation about animal welfare and their need to take up the call with the secular community (http://www.humanesociety.org/community/volunteers/volunteer-faith-outreach.html). We are at war with God against Satan and every good thing that happens is of the Kingdom of Light, push against Satan’s kingdom – an animal rescue, a person who sees the light – all is an act of war against Satan and his kingdom of darkness which is in control here. People are battle torn, led astray, never taught right from the start – the world has been deceived!

        I understand losing faith with humanity, but I pray you will not lose faith in God! And join the fight against Satan, the more of us there are and the more we fight evil with God, and with good, with love, the more we build the Kindgom Of God here on earth now, and the sooner He will come and redeem all creation the final time (2 Peter 3:12).

        • lilbitdunn says:

          Oh and one other thing Adelina – as God’s people, we need to pray – pray passionately and routinely, never stop praying in fact, for God’s people and for strongholds to be lifted, for people to see the Light of God, not the devil’s darkness in our world and all it’s systems which are full of the systemic evil of Satan – our world order is full of Satan’s rule – pray for people ……. we may have given up on humanity, but God hasn’t, or He would not have sent Jesus and we would not still be here fighting the fight! He has reasons……………..and if you read “God at War” you’ll see that His fight with Satan isn’t what Western churches have necessarily fed us. Great book, also Greg’s blog “ReKnew.org”. Thanks.

    • You are demented along with your loser ancient religion

  46. lilbitdunn says:

    One last thing……Regardless of where we fall theologically on the issue of animals, Psalms 24:1 tells us that “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains”; this is enough right there in and of itself to tell us we are to respect the creation as His – not ours – to ravage or destroy. We are in charge as the “grounds keepers.”

  47. why these fruitless debates..God does not exist…I take better care of my cat than this so clled god does of his children

  48. Ankara Ankara says:

    Our gods (i.e., what we believe in, worship, and value) are a reflection of who we are. Given that we worship an anthropomorphic god who, supposedly, favors us over the rest of creation, we are clearly a very self-centered people who believe that only we matter to the universe, and who value human lives over any other life. And, we’ve created an entire religion to justify that belief. If, like the Hindus or ancient Egyptians or other ancient cultures, some of our gods were either partly or entirely animal, we might have more respect for other creatures and for Nature as a whole. Frankly, the notion of heaven makes no sense to me without animals in it (and only a very selective and small number of people).

  49. Donna says:

    I was just questioning the same thing… Why does GOD allow animals to suffer ..it not right..how could he? It just don’t make sense…I’m very crushed right now. I recently lost my little Hampy…little teddy bear hamster… I can’t stop crying… Nobody would think it, but he was so loving and caring, and sweet… Yes I spoiled him. But my Hampy had a heart a mind and a soul… And he suffered before he died.. And that is something that still brings me to tears.. He didn’t deserve that. Just like all innocent in the world don’t deserve what happens to them…I always loved god, but since Hampy died and can’t stop questioning gods reasoning..I’m hoping he changed his mind and decided pets will be in heaven and no more suffering..angels is what they are..they’re so innocent… Well thanks for listening…I don’t think I’m gonna get over this ever….I would attach hampys pic. But there’s no way to do it here.

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