42. Why does God allow animals to suffer?

Cat eating birdThe Bible doesn’t say too much about why God created animals, other than to say he did, and gave mankind dominion over them (Genesis 1:26). Whatever his reasons, God obviously chose not to spare animals from 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 many of the standard explanations offered for why humans suffer are worthless when applied to animals.

For example, Christians often say that humans suffer as a consequence of sin, and because we are all sinners. But the animals never sinned against God, and thus they should not be punished as if they share our guilt. They seem to suffer only as collateral damage in a conflict between man and God.

Other Christians say suffering must exist in order for humans to experience the full extent of free will, but what is free will to an animal?

And still other Christians reason that it’s okay that humans suffer, because God will reward us eternally in heaven, but what eternal reward awaits animals?

Is God guilty of animal cruelty?

What is perhaps most alarming about animal suffering is just how many diseases and defects are endemic to specific kinds of animals. It’s as if predation and accidents alone were not enough suffering, so God had to design specialized bacteria, viruses, parasites, and diseases to multiply the suffering of animals.

Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour DiseaseTake, for example, the Tasmanian Devil discussed earlier. Even at birth, poor design ensures that his odds of dying outnumber his odds of surviving. But 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? What his this innocent animal done to offend God? Did its ancestors partake of the forbidden fruit? Does its suffering help to increase its faith? Or help it to experience the full extent of free will?

If God created this world for humans, why include the animals in our suffering?

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 the innocent to suffer, why should we believe he will reward the guilty?

If the innocent are made to suffer without cause, then God cannot be benevolent, because a benevolent God would never allow suffering that wasn’t absolutely necessary. The believer is in the unenviable position of having to explain why a good God has chosen to extend human suffering to innocent animals, and believers have come up with several justifications.

“Animals don’t feel pain!”

17th-century Catholic philosopher René Descartes once argued that animals were just like machines, that did 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).


Professor Bernard Rollin disagrees, and facetiously recommends that anyone who denies animals 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 inferred by their similar reactions to it. If you’ve ever accidentally stepped on a dog’s toes or tail, you know they respond to pain. Animals vocalize their pain, they withdraw from it, and they 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 much of the same anatomy and neurological makeup as humans, and they even respond positively to the same pain relievers we use. These similarities make it obvious that animals do feel pain, and there are numerous peer-reviewed studies that have reached the same conclusion.

Speaking from personal experience, I once witnessed a dog get run over by a car. He laid there in the street, yowling in agony for several minutes (in much the same way a human would). I can’t imagine looking at this dog and saying, “That dog didn’t really experience pain because he has no soul!” or “That would’ve been significantly more painful had he been self-aware!” No matter the degree, that dog was clearly capable of suffering. And for all we know, not being self-aware may even make pain more confusing and stressful.

“Maybe animals go to heaven.”

Many Christian theologians have already ruled out this possibility:

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

“…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.”

And 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 seem to matter that 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.”

But what if animals did go to heaven?


Just for kicks, let’s imagine that’ the case. This raises a lot of interesting questions, like: Do all animals 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.

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

And finally, even if all animals did go to heaven, no amount of heavenly reparations could ever change the fact that what God did to them was wrong. If a man murders a child, no amount of apologies or reparations will ever justify his murder, the act will always be wrong. Even if we come to forgive the murderer, that doesn’t mean we think murdering children is okay — his actions were still wrong, and they forever will be. Likewise, even if all the animals forgive God for torturing them when they were not guilty, it will always be wrong for God to have done so.

Allowing animals into heaven may help us feel better about their suffering, but it’s not Biblical, and it seems to raise more issues than it solves. And even if God did allow animals into heaven, it doesn’t change the fact that what God did was wrong.

“Humans need animals.”

The majority of animals don’t need to exist to ensure human survival. If life was perfect for animals in Eden, God could’ve left most of them there after evicting Adam.

But even assuming humans can’t exist without animals (and God was unable to design any other alternative), this still doesn’t explain why God didn’t just design all animals as herbivores, to limit their suffering (and constant fear of being hunted). It also doesn’t explain why he would choose to inflict additional kinds of diseases upon them.

“Animals should just be grateful that God didn’t make things worse.”

There is a 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, especially to his innocent creations.

The argument of last resort

Finally, when all else fails, the believer can still claim there is an explanation, even if we 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.

This is like saying, “Never mind that God’s actions seem 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 children to be raped and murdered! There’s no absurdity God can’t explain away!”

As I’ve said before, if we accept that all nonsense can be explained away in the afterlife, then all religions become equally viable, since all their absurdities (the reasons we have come to denounce them) can also be explained away in the afterlife.


I can only imagine a couple scenarios in which one might justify the suffering of animals, but both are problematic.

1) Animals don’t actually suffer. If animal suffering is an illusion, then God has mislead us with a deception. And why would God deceive us?

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).

Dead baby gorillaIf God exists, he appears to be a sadist, for he creates suffering for no other reason than 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 an evil creator would torture the innocent. We only know what we know, and what God has given us to know is a creation that that bares false witness against its “benevolent” creator, which again would lead us to conclude that God is malevolent.

If there is no God, the fact that animals suffer is nature’s testimony to the fact that nature does not distinguish between humans 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

This entry was posted in God's Behavior, Intelligent Design? and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. Anonymous says:

    There is no god.

    • Charles McGrath says:

      Then you must be a god to know such a thing.

      • There is no Tooth Fairy.

        • Charles McGrath says:

          What’s that got to do with the reliability of the bible as God’s revelation of Himself through redemptive history for those who really want to know Him?

          • Hi Charles,

            There is no way to disprove the existence of the tooth fairy, just as there is no way to disprove the existence of God. But just as you can reasonably deduce there is no tooth fairy (without being a god), you can do likewise for God.

            How? Well, for starters, we know that humans have a long history of inventing gods to explain various events. Humans write fantastic stories about these gods, and these stories have the power to compel millions to believe in made-up gods.

            If this is the NORM, we should assume the Jewish God is no different. He too was forged through storytelling, and defended with excuses (like being invisible, or having an irrational need for his followers to believe without any evidence).

            We can also look at all the contrary evidence, such as the unnecessary cruelty played out upon innocent people an animals, and assume that this God must not exist, or he is not as described.

            That said, if you want to believe the tooth fairy is real, I mean, if you REALLY believe, you will see signs and find reasons to support your belief (e.g. https://www.quora.com/Tooth-Fairy-Does-the-tooth-fairy-exist). But that doesn’t make it true, it just makes you a believer.


            • Charles McGrath says:

              Whether you can “reasonably” deduce anything depends on the universal assumptions on which your deductions are based. Often reasons that sound good aren’t good sound reasons. We both have the difficulty that our world view skews how good reasons sound and therefore how much weight we put on them. This would probably be very evident when we examine the evidence for the resurrection of Christ.

              You are correct that humans have invented gods and used god to explain gaps in the unknown and to justify many unjust wars and other manipulative power plays. The bible often speaks of false gods and gods many. Martin Luther said we are idol factories. The existence of man-made false gods does nothing to prove or disprove whether there is a true God revealing in the Bible.

              I’m not interested in using the behaviors of humans or human likes and dislikes to determine whether God has used the Bible to reveal Himself and his plans for His Creation. As Norm Geisler once said when asked about the Crusades, “Christendom refers to a bunch of dumb Christians, but Christianity is about Christ.” Would Jesus lead the Crusades? What humans do in the name of anything does not prove or disprove whether a transcendent God has broken through the barrier between the physical and metaphysical to reveal as much of Himself as we need and are able and willing to comprehend.

              Pain and suffering are not evil just because you don’t like it. Only if the agent causing the suffering has moral culpability and evil intent can any effect be called “evil.”
              So to determine if something is “evil” you need an objective moral standard and also to prove malicious intent. With God’s revealed character and desires as the standard, a mother causing pain by removing an embedded splinter has no evil intent and done no evil. The bible says God’s intentions are always good.

              Apparently you think God should stop the things you don’t like in this sinful, corrupt, temporarily partially-judged world awaiting final judgment and restoration.

              • “The existence of man-made false gods does nothing to prove or disprove whether there is a true God revealing in the Bible.”

                Likewise, the existence of man-made false gods does not disprove the existence of Zeus.

                If an individual had a long history of telling tall tales, you would question his next story. It might actually be a true tall tale, but you’d have good reason to question it.

                If it is the very nature of man to make up stories, and for others to believe in them, we must ask ourselves if we too have unwittingly fallen into the same trap.

                “The bible says God’s intentions are always good.”

                The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster says the FSM’s intentions are always good. Anyone can write anything, it doesn’t make it true.

                “Only if the agent causing the suffering has moral culpability and evil intent can any effect be called ‘evil.'”

                In other words, “Unless you’re God, you can’t PROVE that all the horrible things that happen aren’t good! The raping and killing of children, the suffering of innocent animals and children, the genocide of various populations, animals eating one another, disease, viruses, famine — all good! You just don’t understand why!” It’s easy to say “God has a good reason,” when you never have to give one.

                While we can never prove God WON’T give us his good reasons after we die, I think we have plenty of reasons to be skeptical. There are lots of evils in this world that would seem to defy any future explanation. Why cause an innocent child to suffer and then take it’s life? Why curse animals with diseases, custom made for them? Why have animals eat each other, when they could all be herbivores? Why strike people with diseases, and then allow us to cure them? If a disease is necessary for God’s plan, it should remain. If it’s not, he should prevent us from ever curing it.

                While one can never PROVE that God does not exist, or that he ISN’T allowing evil for good reasons, there is evidence to the contrary.

                “Apparently you think God should stop the things you don’t like in this sinful, corrupt, temporarily partially-judged world awaiting final judgment and restoration.”

                Actually, I don’t think God is likely to exist, and the whole thing about sin and judgement was just made up. But if God DID exist, and he was perfectly good, I imagine he wouldn’t create us at all (to avoid producing something less than perfectly good). And if evil were necessary, I imagine we’d live in a paradise where the only evil was that which was perpetrated by men. Men would kill, and steal, and rape, but no children or animals would ever suffer from disease, nor would animals consume one and other. It would be clear that it was man that was the problem. There would be no need for the innocent to suffer.


                • Charles McGrath says:

                  Apparently you didn’t read my separate (longer) post that sets the groundwork to counter many of your objections. Not sure why it was never posted. I will just leave it that I think the Christian world view best explains the world as it actually is. It’s not about my or your likes, dislikes or thinking God should have displayed all His attributes (including justice, holiness and wrath) to mankind differently in redemptive history.

                • Andy Rhodes says:

                  I think these are very important points to make, ones that very few believers or unbelievers hear about:

                  “While we can never prove God WON’T give us his good reasons after we die, I think we have plenty of reasons to be skeptical. There are lots of evils in this world that would seem to defy any future explanation. Why cause an innocent child to suffer and then take it’s life? Why curse animals with diseases, custom made for them? Why have animals eat each other, when they could all be herbivores? Why strike people with diseases, and then allow us to cure them? If the disease is a necessary for God’s plan, it should remain. If it’s not, he should prevent us from curing it. And why not make the ONLY evil that exists, evil that is perpetrated by man? So we know it is man that is evil, and not God?…Actually, I don’t think God is likely to exist, and the whole thing about sin and judgement was just made up (to give God something to save us from).”

                  It took me a very long time of struggle before I could feel free enough to ask those kinds of questions and reason in a different way than I had been thoroughly conditioned to do.

                  I’ve been reading about Voltaire lately and Enlightenment thinkers in general. I’ve been in a book for 7 years that reads about these kinds of things. Here are some relevant Voltaire quotes I found in Will Durant’s very interesting book from 1926, “The Story of Philosophy”, which provides a biographical sketch of many leading Western philosophers and overview of their main contributions:

                  “Men…made you superstitious not that you might fear God but that you might fear them.”

                  “If God did not exist it would be necessary to invent him.”

                  “Christianity must be divine, since it has lasted 1,700 years despite the fact that it is so full of villany and nonsense.”

                  I recommend to everyone out there to read the thinkers from the 1600s-1700s, the later century particularly. They were remarkably insightful and courageous, setting the foundation for modern society with a new value system, through much debate, invention and disagreement. Of course, it was not a monolithic groups of ideas or writers, but there were some positive themes among several key philosophers that helped to remake the world in better directions. Humanism that allowed for reforms like the abolition of slavery and judicial torture and new organizations like the United Nations and new agreements like the Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and new government documents like the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Many of the Enlightenment philosophers largely improved earlier ideas and traditions through hard work and careful innovation.

                • Andy Rhodes says:

                  Some other things I’ve learned about the Enlightenment’s relationship to modern critiques of Christianity………..

                  Voltaire’s poem about the devastating 1755 Lisbon earthquake is an impressive model for the kind of counter-apologetic that you and I are putting forward. It challenges Leibniz’s “best of all possible worlds” theory with heartfelt frustration and sadness at the massive scale of inherent suffering in the world for all sentient beings. It could easily have been written in this or the last century, by its modern style:


                  The response to the poem that Rousseau sent Voltaire inspired the latter’s famous work, “Candide”, which went further in breaking down the “best of all possible worlds” model:



                  Here are what I think are some of the most powerful and illuminating excerpts from the poem:


                  “All is well,” you say, “and all is necessary.”
                  What! Do you think this universe would be worse
                  Without the pit that swallowed Lisbon?
                  Are you sure that the great eternal cause,
                  The creator and knower of all things,
                  Could not have thrown us into this miserable world
                  Without forming volcanoes seething under our feet?
                  Do you set this limit for the supreme power?
                  Would you forbid him from exercising mercy?
                  Doesn’t the eternal craftsman have Infinite means available for his handiwork? 

                  Without offense to my master, I humbly wish
                  Only that the pit of fire and sulphur had erupted,
                  Spewing its fires in the desert wastes.
                  I respect my God, but I love the universe.
                  When one dares to moan of a terrible scourge,
                  It’s not arrogance; alas, it’s sensitivity!

                  In the midst of their torments, would it comfort
                  The sad inhabitants of these desolate shores
                  If someone said to them: “Fall, die in peace; Your homes are destroyed for the good of the world;
                  Other hands will rebuild your ruined palaces;
                  Other people will be born from the rubble of your walls;
                  The North will grow rich from your terrible loss.
                  To the universal law, all your troubles are for the best.
                  To God, you are the same as the vile worms
                  Waiting for you at the bottom of your graves”?
                  What a horrible speech to the unfortunate!
                  Do not add such cruelty to their pain.


                  This is the knot that needs untying.
                  Does denying our ills, cure them?
                  All peoples, trembling at the divine hand,
                  Have sought the origin of evil.
                  The eternal law moves all things.
                  The rocks, dropped by the power of the wind,
                  And the sturdy oak, destroyed by lightning,
                  Do not feel the crushing blows,
                  But I live and feel.
                  My oppressed heart Appeals to the heavens for relief.
                  As children of the Almighty, born in misery,
                  We extend our hands to our Father.

                  The vessel does not say to the potter,
                  “Why am I so vile, coarse, and frail?”
                  It lacks speech and has no thought.
                  When this urn breaks, it is nothing,
                  For the potter formed it no heart
                  That could desire good and feel misery.
                  “Yet, this misfortune,” you say, “is another’s good.”
                  Yes, from my corpse a thousand insects will be born.
                  When death ends my pain,
                  What a relief to be eaten!

                  Sad calculators of human misery,
                  You do not console me, but embitter me.
                  In you, I mark the useless effort
                  That masks its fear with false happiness.
                  I am a small part of the great whole.
                  But all the animals, all sentient beings,
                  Born under the same law, are condemned
                  To live in pain and die just like me.

                  The fierce vulture grasps its timid prey,
                  Feeding with great joy on its bloody limbs.
                  All’s well, or so it seems to him, until
                  He is devoured by a sharp-beaked eagle.
                  The proud eagle is, then, felled by a man’s rifle.
                  Then, the man, in the dust of the battlefield,
                  Dying among the fallen soldiers,
                  Serves as terrible food for the ravenous birds.
                  And thus, all the world groans—
                  We torment and are tormented by each other!
                  In this horrific chaos, you would say,
                  “The misfortunes of each make up the good of all!”
                  What happiness! Mortal, weak, and miserable.
                  You shout, “All is well”—O lamentable voice—
                  The universe contradicts you, and your heart
                  Refutes your mind’s error a hundred times over.

                  Everything is at war: the elements, animals, and man.
                  We must confess: there’s evil on earth.
                  Its source remains unknown to us.
                  Could evil spring from the author of all good?
                  Is it the black Typhon or barbarous Ahriman (5)
                  Who condemn us to suffer under their tyrannical law?
                  My mind rejects these heinous monsters
                  The trembling world made into gods.

                  How should we think of God, goodness itself,
                  Who lavishes gifts upon the children he loves,
                  While still pouring abundant pain upon them?
                  What eye may perceive the purpose of his designs?
                  From the perfect Being, no evil could arise,
                  But there’s no other principle. God alone is master,
                  Yet evil exists. O sad truth!
                  O dumbfounding contradictions!
                  God came to console our distressed race;
                  He visited the world and changed nothing!
                  An arrogant sophist says he could not
                  “He could,” another claims, “but didn’t want to.
                  In time, he will, no doubt.” Meanwhile, The subterranean thunder engulfs Lisbon
                  And thirty cities are reduced to ruins
                  From the banks of the Tagus to the Sea of Cadiz.

                  (5) Typhon was the Egyptian’s principle of evil; Ahriman, the Persian’s.


                  No doubt, whatever course we take, we must tremble.
                  We know nothing and fear everything.
                  Nature is silent—we appeal to her in vain.
                  We need a god who can speak to humanity,
                  Only he can explain his works to us,
                  Consoling the weak and enlightening the wise.
                  Without him, we’re abandoned to doubt and error,
                  Seeking in vain some reed to prop ourselves up.
                  Leibniz (6) taught me neither by what invisible knots,
                  In this best of all possible worlds,
                  This endless disorder—a chaos of misfortunes—
                  Ties our little pleasures to such pain,
                  Nor why the innocent and guilty
                  Both suffer the same under this necessary evil.
                  I can’t conceive any better how all is well.
                  I am like a doctor—Alas, I know nothing!

                  (6) Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) famously argues, “This is the best of all possible worlds.” Voltaire uses Pangloss in Candide to caricature Leibniz and his philosophy of optimism.


                  Man is a stranger to himself.
                  He wonders: “What am I? Where am I going? Where am I from?”
                  We are atoms tormented in this murky soup,
                  Swallowed by death like the playthings of fate.
                  With eyes to see and guided by thought,
                  We thinking atoms have measured the heavens.
                  We rush toward the infinite,
                  Though we neither see nor know ourselves.
                  This world, this theater of pride and error
                  Is full of unfortunates who speak of happiness.
                  They complain while seeking well-being;
                  None of them wants to die or to be reborn.
                  Sometimes, in our lives consecrated to pain,
                  The hand of pleasure wipes away our tears,
                  But the pleasure flies, passing like a shadow.
                  Our sorrows, regrets, and losses are without number.
                  For us, the past is a sad memory
                  And the present awful if there’s no future
                  And the sleep of the grave takes every thinking being.

                  One day, all will be well—this is our hope.
                  All is well today—that is the illusion.
                  The wise deceived me;
                  God alone has reason.
                  Humble in my sighs, submitting in my suffering,
                  I do not raise myself against Providence.
                  In a less melancholy voice, I once sang
                  Of the sweet pleasure of the charming laws of nature.

                  Yet, with manners taught by old age,
                  Sharing in the frailty of humanity,
                  In the midst of the dark night while seeking clarity,
                  I know only suffering, but I won’t complain.

                  Once a caliph, in his last hour,
                  Prayed to God, whom he loved:
                  “I bring thee, O only and almighty king,
                  That, which in your immensity, you lack—
                  Faults, regrets, pain, and ignorance.”
                  But he could have added—hope. (12)

                  (12) [Voltaire] Most human beings have this hope, even before revelation came to their aid. The hope of surviving after death is based on love for living this life and the probability that what thinks will continue to think. It’s not supported by any proof because to demonstrate the opposite of something requires self-contradiction, and once a truth has been demonstrated that ends all argument about it. Lucretius, to destroy this hope, gives a set of arguments so strong they give pain. However, he only makes plausible arguments that he sets against other more plausible ones. Many Romans thought as Lucretius did and they cried out in the Roman theatre: “There is nothing after death!” But instinct, reason, the need to be comforted, and the good of society prevailed and human beings have always hoped for a life to come—a hope, to be honest, often accompanied by doubt. Revelation destroys this doubt and replaces it with certainty. But it’s awful to have to argue about revelation all the time. Awful to see unsociable Christian society divided into a hundred sects over revelation—to slander, to persecute, and to destroy for revelation. Awful that revelation led to St. Bartholomew [St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, 1572], to the assassination of Henry III and Henry IV, to the beheading of Charles I, and to dragging a king of Poland bloody through the streets. All for revelation! O God, reveal yourself, for we need to become humane and tolerant!

                  • Beautiful and poignant, even today.

                    “Are you sure that the great eternal cause,
                    The creator and knower of all things,
                    Could not have thrown us into this miserable world
                    Without forming volcanoes seething under our feet?”

                    “From the perfect Being, no evil could arise,
                    But there’s no other principle. God alone is master,
                    Yet evil exists. O sad truth!
                    O dumbfounding contradictions!”


              • Andy Rhodes says:


                As someone who was an evangelical Christian for their first 29 years and worked as a research/teaching intern with two leading apologetics ministries (rzim.org and probe.org), I can understand generally where you’re coming from.

                You asked, “Would Jesus lead the Crusades?”

                The conquest of the Promised Land includes several genocides commanded by the Trinity. How is Jesus’ morality superior to the Crusaders? They, along with Luther, Calvin and the Nazis, were applying that biblical precedent in straightforward ways – mass murder to cleanse the land of paganism or toxic peoples.

                The Bible teaches that Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit drowned millions of humans (children and babies included) and trillions of sentient nonhuman animals to prove a point or pass judgment and not to solve a problem – since human sinful nature continued just as before through Noah’s descendants. Where is there wise planning, justice and love in this radical action by God?

                Hell was created by Jesus and the rest of Trinity: torture forever based on a finite lifetime that included some or a lot of rebellion by individuals. The Bible says that we are born damned already, so why praise a God that created such a frail system that infects the whole Earth just because of two people’s bad and ignorant decision – Adam and Eve?

                It’s very difficult for a believer in objective transcendent morals to make a solid case to an unbeliever for the existence of binding principles like that, aside from speculation, wishful thinking or a particular type of intuition that many people have. Those three foundations are subjective.

                Another question is, why would we need objective morality? Especially given that it’s so hard to establish which alleged objective moral system is correct and secular humanism has provided an increasingly beneficial, productive and peaceful result in advanced Western society (which has affected the rest of the world gradually as well). For a lot of evidence to support this claim, see an article that I wrote that explain how interdisciplinary academic and government data shows that we’re living in the most peaceful time in human history – every area of physical violence has been sloping downward overall during past 300 years:


                This was accomplished partly by adapting the best aspects of Judeo-Christianity and ancient Greece and Rome, while trying to diminish or ignore the inhumane aspects of those traditions.

                I think at a particular point, for many questioners, the biblical God becomes too unethical to accept. Of course, a believer can respond that God is perfectly holy and sets the definitions of morality for us. We are expected to follow our humanistic conscience only so far. We are not supposed to challenge God’s omnibenevolence. But, how can a Christian explain what I regretfully and long hesitatingly called “Christ’s Numerous Moral Failings” as the title for an article I wrote?:


                Here is an excerpt:


                God in Jesus Christ (“on his own” during his human incarnation, at least apparently, or by means of his interdependent harmony with the Father and Holy Spirit), throughout the Old and New Testaments to varying degrees, commanded or supported these terrible things directly or indirectly (mostly directly): eternal hell based on a short earthly life, genocide, misogyny, slavery, polygamy, seasonal and colonial warfare, theocracy, capital punishments for moderate sins (such as a female lying about her virginity — which modern science has shown to be impossible to prove medically, or cursing one’s parents, or working on the Sabbath, or not keeping a known dangerous bull locked up if the bull later kills a person — but if a slave is killed the owner only has to pay a fine, or being the victim of rape if one is an engaged woman and the rape occurs in a city), animal sacrifice, excessive judgment on the vast majority of humans who did not have biblical revelation until the last few hundred years, and many other things.

                These are things that Jesus never challenged because, as the New Testament and history of orthodox theology repeatedly states, he was the God of the Old Testament. Even if a believer takes a more liberal viewpoint and downplays or denies the divinity of Jesus, the same basic argument remains in tact. This teacher from ancient Galilee supports in full the God and writings of the Old Testament. He innovates on the earlier scriptures, but doesn’t contradict them. In fact, he says that he has come to fulfill the law, not abolish it.

                See Matthew 5:17-19:

                “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

                These kinds of primitive values must be cast aside or humanity will forever be lost in a method of problem-solving that far too readily chooses violence instead of the harder road of intelligent and compassionate understanding and the construction of better, more effective cultural values and social structures.


                For references of these scriptural precedents, see:




    • Victoria says:

      How are you breathing then? How is your heart beating with that perfection? Or how are every organ of your body performing with that perfectIon? Who is making those flowers bloom? Who’s moving those atoms, electrons, protons? Who is doing all that???

  2. Anonymous says:

    First let me say I love animals. Any type of abuse, suffering ect., that they go through breaks my heart. I just lost my best friend, who suffered terribly. He was a boxer, and unfortunately came from a puppy mill so he was never very healthy, and health problems worsened as time went by. He was 5 when he died. I’ll say this and I’d bet every cent I have on that I truly believe animals have souls. My Rocky had a beautiful soul. (And animals feel pain, as well as loneness, joy, fear, and a ton of other physical and emotional feelings.) God doesn’t cause pain on animals humans do. In one way or another a human being or a group of human beings are responsible for any illness or what ever horrific situation an animal is in. We will never get the answer that we are looking for because Our brains are not capable of understanding. God intelligence level is so much higher the ours therefore we are not capable of understanding. God is loving and merciful. I pray for you to let go of all this, and open you heart up and let your Heavenly Father in.

    • Pebble says:

      I’ll admit that in some ways, God is a “loving and merciful God”. However, “letting go” the fact that billions of animals are suffering everyday isn’t something a group of us can easily do – much easier said, than done. We can rely on God to heal and ease our pain somewhat, sometimes. However, we’re made to feel pain when there’s injustice done and we will toss at night thinking and knowing there isn’t much we can do, except to hope for the mass public to be educated and to grant compassion to ALL non-human beings.

    • Jay Cer says:

      How ridiculous is this comment?
      So by your assumption, God just watches the animals suffer,because men are the ones that do it? It is the same issue when a child is molested, since it’s the free will of men, so God is ok with it. He is suppose to be our father, if a father sits by while his child is molested, you would think the father is a piece of garbage, yet God gets a pass. Religion is so ridiculous.

      • Andy Rhodes says:

        And God built in horrendous suffering to animal life, far apart from anything humans can do.

        For 300+ million years, literally trillions of sentient being suffered starvation, terror, being eaten alive, etc. By design.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What a crock of shit. There is no god if he allows innocent animals to suffer. And of course they feel pain, physically proven, and no they don’t deserve to suffer. No thanks, not interest in a god like that.

    • Anonymous says:

      But your argument is out of ignorance. Imagine in 500,000 years from now when you are in heaven where there are no tears, no suffering no death and you gave it all up for a mere 80 years or less on earth because you had rebellious thoughts towards God who created all things including yourself.

      By making your statements and like others on this blog, you place flesh over the laws and will of God and become rebellious against him. You place death and suffering a temporary thing greater than all the peace and joy of eternity.

      Your mind has become so flesh and blood orientated that you can not even grasp spiritual truth.

      Job 38:41 Who provides for the raven his food? when his young ones cry to God, they wander for lack of meat

      When Job complained that God had mistreated him, God pointed to creation to help Job understand his sovereignty. God reminded Job that it is he who provides for the animals (Job 38:39-41). He appointed them their place in creation (Job 39:6). God also pointed out that he is more powerful than the feared Behemoth and Leviathan by the very fact that he is their creator (Job 40:19; 41:10).

      It is God who holds all life in his hands, He holds the breath of every living creature in his

      hand. Job 12:10: In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

      It is him who called the animals to gather in the ark. With Elijah, God commanded ravens to bring him food while he was there, and they did (1 Kings 17:4-6).

      You also must understand that what is flesh is flesh but what is born of spirit is an entire new creature. Animals are not part of this spiritual reality. You must make this distinction because it is the order of Gods creation.

      Genesis 1:21
      So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
      And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

      Remember all life and creation are under the Lords control. It he who created them, and it is he who holds them.

      Job 12:10 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

      God has revealed to himself that he is a holy God and because of this he created us to worship him. Because of the free choice of Adam and Eve to listen to themselves over God the whole earth was cursed and this is the root of our problems.

      God is the creator of all animals, and they bring glory to himself alone. Are you able to call God evil because you limit his control over his own creation? Do you see the arrogance in your position?

      Will you take it upon yourself to use your own mind and free choices to disobey the Lord God? The very sin which caused animals pain IN THE FIRST PLACE.

      Knowing this you will repeat this all over again instead of trusting in the grace of Jesus who will restore all things as he had intended in the first place.

      Did you consider that when those animals feel pain it is God himself who feels pain because it is him who brought them forth, and it is them who fulfills his purpose. For all things in existence and created by God and FOR God.

      Colossians 1:16:For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

      John 1:3 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made.

      Job 12:10 -Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this, 10 In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?

      When God has dialog with Job he frequently uses examples of animals to show his sovereignty and power.

      God reminded Job that it is he who provides for the animals (Job 38:39-41). He appointed them their place in creation (Job 39:6). God also pointed out that he is more powerful than the feared Behemoth and Leviathan by the very fact that he is their creator (Job 40:19; 41:10)

      God made animals distinct from humans, he made them without the ability to reason, they live by their instincts, but they are also under the sovereignty of God. They do not have free will.

      This earth is a temporary place. It’s passing away and everything in it. All life dies, all life goes back to dust from where in came and God gave breath to all life, everything in existence. How can you judge the suffering of an animal in such a short time, when in the grand scheme of things you could be in peace for eternity. Imagine the length of time of eternity compared to our short lives, this is nothing at all and is in Gods hands.

      Ecclesiastes 3:19-20
      For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.
      Ecclesiastes 3:21
      Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?
      Ecclesiastes 12:7
      then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

      Also you claim animals are completely innocent but is one who kills truly innocent? Did you forget that many animals kill innocent children and baby’s as well?

      Genesis 9:5
      And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.

      Adam and Eve were tasked with the care of animals, to name them, to live in peace with them and God gave us dominion over all the animals on earth and in the sea. When they sinned they suffered death, and all the animals as well which were under them. If you want to blame anyone for the animals suffering then blame Adam and Eve not God. God’s nature requires there be consequences in this age of sovereign choice. Do you understand the nature of God and where he comes and goes?

      You don’t understand the spiritual order of things, or what is not seen. You only understand the natural order. If you could even for a moment see the spiritual side of things you would not be making such statements towards your God. Remember every knee shall bow before God. Do you also think you will stand up to him face to face and pronounce your rebellion against him? Will you be the only one standing against God on judgment day bringing your case against God that he is not in control of all creation including animals?

      Gods plan is to reconcile all things to their original intention. Will you not wait but a short time for this?

      Colossians 1:20
      and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through the blood of His cross.

      2 Corinthians 4:18
      So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

  4. Maryann says:

    Evil came into the world because Adam and Eve disobeyed God. God created all animals and other creatures before He created humans and I believe He loves them very much and have given Him great joy. I have thought of this a long time, animals and other creatures like sea creatures etc. have never sinned against God so why is suffering allowed on them? I can answer that creatures do have a soul. How do I know this? Because our good God let me know, and this is what happened to me. In Aug.2012, my cat Sen Sen died at 18 years old natural causes. She died at 10:00 AM and at around 8:00 pm my husband and I heard her meow in the sunroom where she died and knew it was her because there are no other cats that lived with us. Now, the same year in Sept. our yellow lab died at 15 years old of epilepsy which she had all her life. With these two animals that I loved so much crushed my heart that I cannot put into words, but God was good and let me know that their souls were in heaven. After grieving every day for 3 months, one morning at 5:30am, I heard her bark loudly in the foyer and then one minute later, she was barking out on the porch which is outside our foyer. The following year in Dec 2013 we had a feral cat that was a barn cat named Tiggy. When she became sick, 3 months before of kidney problems which the vet diagnosed, we brought her in our house and nursed her with homeopathic medicines but her time came and she passed away, That same month, I felt her also jump on my bed and I knew also her soul was free and with our Lord and happy. I believe there is suffering because no creature or human is as innocent as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who suffered like nobody else has suffered so we can all be saved from everlasting death. So, do animals have a soul? yes they do and all go to heaven because they are free of sin.

    • Hi Maryann,

      So sorry for the loss of your beloved pets, they can become a very special part of our lives.

      “…no creature or human is as innocent as our Lord … So, do animals have a soul? yes they do and all go to heaven because they are free of sin.”

      So… all animals must suffer because they are not innocent… yet, they go to heaven… because they are free of sin. I’m confused. Are they innocent or not?

      If they are guilty, what sin are they guilty of committing? They can no more contemplate the morality of their actions than an infant.


    • Razman says:

      hmn….. I love people who are caring to others, your feelings towards your late pets shows how caring you are, your care to Human may be greater…..

    • Anonymous says:

      colossians 1:16 – For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him….
      Nothing Enters Into This Universe Without God’s Doing.
      God Created Evil
      Hence Proved

    • marion says:

      animals do not have a soul once they die they’re gone people have souls that’s why we should love them while they’re alive and take care of these animals that God gave us to enjoy. animals have a living soul not Everlasting once the new world comes under Jesus Christ direction we will have all the animals in the world to enjoy which will be in a piece like state the scriptures state A young child will lie next to a lion. until then unfortunately we have to be disturbed with the goings-on of the animal abuse I’m overwhelmed by people that would take an innocent creature no harm done to them yet they have abuse them. I always think to myself what’s the purpose why do that and I come up with zero answers so until then I just have to face the fact that this world has horrible people in it no caring and no love in their hearts.

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe your story and am so glad you were able to experience what you did.

  5. Dr Datye says:

    The quantum of pain humans inflict on self, on fellow human beings, and on animals and plants in general relying on antiquated ideas written in religious scriptures by who knows whom, is really appalling. Humans killed animals for food. Beyond that it is plain cruelty in the garb of hunting, shooting, maiming, experimenting without any remorse. Christianity talks about evil – left center right without ever understanding that Human is the devil/evil incarnate. It is time to leave religion behind and walk on righteous path of self realisation.

    • Karla Sanchez says:

      I completely agree. Animals are such innocent creatures and the human race has been abusing them for thousands of years and most of the times just for fun. The only evil creature in this world is the human being. I have started losing my faith after all the cruelty and sadism inflected on those poor innocent souls. They are the one who should go straight to heaven.

  6. Desiree says:

    I really think you have the wrong idea about God. First off God is loving forgiving and just, He doesn’t cause pain. The world we live in has suffering and pain because of Man that’s why God gave us Heaven to go to. We just have to choose him and honor him to get there. Animals are capable of Love and anything that can Love is from God which has a soul. Otherwise animals wouldn’t be capable of love towards each other or humans. They also wouldn’t have personalities which distinguishes them as an individual not a mass production. I also want to mention the lamb was considered a sacrifice in the Bible. If animals meant nothing to God it wouldn’t be a sacrifice which means to give up something that is very dear to you. He also wouldn’t send his Son if he didn’t feel the need to end it and show his love and sacrifice in return. He sent Noah to save two animal of each kind so there would still be animals after the flood, He obviously cared for them. The sufferings of this world are from Man and everything we reap we sew. Unfortunately animals have done nothing to deserve this but are in the cross fire. But if we didn’t suffer here Heaven wouldn’t be such a prized reward. It’s that simple people.

    • Natalie Wells says:

      Who would want to go to Heaven if it involved the torment and suffering of the innocent? I couldn/t be happy in a Heaven like that. Could you? Yes, I know Jesus was innocent and paid for our sins, so if we accept Him, we go to Heaven on that account, His blood, His grace. But would you want to be a part of Paradise that relied on the suffering and torment of those who gave their lives/ or more likely, their lives were taken from them, would that be an enjoyable state, for you? For anyone?

    • “I really think you have the wrong idea about God. First off God is loving forgiving and just, He doesn’t cause pain.”

      “The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish.” — Deuteronomy 28:22

      “The world we live in has suffering and pain because of Man that’s why God gave us Heaven to go to.”

      The world we live in has suffering, because God created Satan, and man, knowing the majority would be sent to hell… yet he chose to create them anyway. Why not just create us in heaven? That way no one has to suffer.

      “Animals are capable of Love and anything that can Love is from God which has a soul.”

      Animals are also capable of eating one another, is this also from God?

      “If animals meant nothing to God it wouldn’t be a sacrifice which means to give up something that is very dear to you.”

      If animals meant anything to God, he wouldn’t have designed them to eat one another, nor would he have subjected them to a world of sin for crimes they did not commit.

      “He also wouldn’t send his Son if he didn’t feel the need to end it and show his love and sacrifice in return.”

      Why send his son to end all the pain and suffering? Again, he didn’t have to create us at all. You might say creation was an act of love, but if the majority of those he creates suffer here on earth, and then go to hell… the real act of love would’ve been to create nothing at all. If I knew my own children might suffer forever, I never would’ve have them!

      “He sent Noah to save two animal of each kind so there would still be animals after the flood, He obviously cared for them.”

      Well… except for the 99.99 he sentenced to drown. Can you imagine? All those poor animals, even baby animals… swimming for dear life? “Mamma? Mamma? Where are you? What did we do to deserve this?” *glub glub glub* God is love!

      “The sufferings of this world are from Man and everything we reap we sew. Unfortunately animals have done nothing to deserve this but are in the cross fire.”

      Then… you agree … these animals do not deserve to suffer, that’s all I’m saying.

      “But if we didn’t suffer here Heaven wouldn’t be such a prized reward.”

      First, this has nothing to do with the animals. We can suffer just fine without them eating one another.

      Second, do you really want to argue that pain and suffering are required to appreciate the lack thereof? Should I beat my children, so that when I’m not beating them, they will be much happier? Or should starve them, so that food will taste much better?

      If the only way to experience pleasure is to experience its opposite, then pleasure is not truly pleasure, it’s just relief from pain. This would mean the angels do not enjoy heaven, or God’s love, for they have never known anything else. And it would mean Adam and Eve could not truly enjoy the Garden of Eden. And it would also likely mean that there WOULD need to be tears in heaven, in order for us to continue to appreciate it.


    • craig says:

      NOBODY IS EXPLAINING WHY SOME ANIMALS ARE STRICTLY PREDATORS, SUCH AS, THE ALLIGATOR ~ also, why do Lions eat other animals while they are still alive and breathing and choking them to death??????

    • Andy Rhodes says:

      Hi Desiree,

      I’m trying understand your statements in light of how nature functions and what Scripture says.

      You wrote, “The world we live in has suffering and pain because of Man that’s why God gave us Heaven to go to.”

      How is that true when disease, pain, terror, earthquakes, death, floods, droughts, etc., that nonhuman animals had to face daily, were all built into nature long before humanity existed on Earth?

  7. Our Father Who Art On Earth says:

    If there were a god who allowed animals to suffer as they do, then it is evil incarnate. Just the same as a factory farm worker who ignores co-workers torturing or raping or beating animals in their control. Just the same as people who turn their attention elsewhere when hearing a child crying muffled in the next house over.

    It is more plausible that there is no god, or that it is evolving out of the chaos of the cosmos. And it’s going to have a lot to answer for. I believe that the Big Bang was the result of god finally coming into being then realizing the hell it had unleashed on creatures in the cosmos, and it blew apart. Over and over this will continue. Until we find a way to free the evolving god from its own insanity.

    I stopped believing in god when I was 7. I asked my parents why, when Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple, he didn’t free the little lambs and doves imprisoned there to be burned to death. The idea of that tormented me. My mother made up a bunch of nonsense. But later my father pulled me aside and spoke to me with a True Father’s love. He was kind to all little animals, and to children, as well as very strong. We would find sad little city birds and care for them. He was so kind and loving that I didn’t want any parts of a “god” or “savior” that wasn’t at least as much so.

    My father used Socratic Method to ask me what I thought, and he comforted me as I struggled with questions. I am a better woman as a result.

    I am of Nordic and Sami ancestry. I instinctively rejected worship of imaginary fathers for striving to honor my living actual father and be worthy of his unconditional love. I guess if people didn’t know that kind of fatherly love they might believe in pie in the sky stories. But any man who claims animals don’t suffer is a psychopath and should be made Outlaw, as in the Havamal.

  8. Anonymous says:


  9. Jon says:

    I would like to think we grow into what we are by starting off at the very bottom. From the smallest form of life we live and die only to live again as something else and mature our soul into what we are and what awaits.

    I believe in a God and a heaven but I don’t believe it is eternal. As I don’t believe the worst human being will suffor for eternity either. I feel karma is a strange but real thing. But how can we blame evil if evil is all a person knows. Is evil a chemical imbalance in the brain or is it an emotional decision based only from experience and external inpact of what you’ve experienced in life.

    I strive to be an honest person who can change the world for the better and minimize suffering if animals as they’re are truly innocent creatures.

    I can’t put my figure on what it was that made me this way. Maybe it was my family dog who I bonded with as a child and view all animals similarly as many pets are only taught to be mean and are not that easy by nature. Maybe it’s a mix of being raised a Catholic and going to a Catholic school until fourth grade but then transitioning back to a public school. I believe in God and heaven but with a scientific mind. I don’t follow much of the Catholic religion other than lent and a few other things.

    I can’t truly explain in my head why people are evil but I do feel it is the people who can’t find a balance between religion and science, or the people who lack self education of life, whether it is understanding the world and life lessons through education or teachings of religion are who the ones who lack compassion for all living things and lack the ability to empathize/sympothize with them. This leads ultimately to greed, selfishness, and everything the nagatives of this world consists of.

    Maybe at some point are mature souls will be able to bring heaven to earth.

  10. Anonymous says:

    God is not loving if he permits innocent living things to suffer. Such as babies and animals😦

  11. melissa says:

    VERY well said, and i so often come to the identical conclusion. And this is coming from one who has been saved. Although I’m a “christian”, I STILL have questions and issues with the God I professed a faith in. The truth of the matter in my opinion is this: The amount of Godly presence in ones life depends on that person. We all have a certain level of relation to God just because of who He is. At large, the majority of mankind pays no mind to the principles of God, much less centering their life around them as well as their childrens lives, grandchildren and on and on. Again, if mankind was appointed to hold dominion over all animals on earth as stated in Genesis 1:26 , I view this as being more of a spiritual dominion or leadership that mankind has over all other forms of flesh on earth. In other words, the moral depravity of man and disobedience to God in the garden of Eden is what brought the flesh to evolving to what it is today. No one is living in the spirit as first intended by God, as stated in Romans Therefore, we lost the ability to depend solely on God and God alone for our needs which would explain why he rendered the remainder of creation to be at our disposal for food, as well as other comforts and needs related to the flesh. Once sin entered our DNA, basically ALL flesh became doomed to fend for himself, due to the wedge of sin now placed between God and his creation. Essentially, a pact was made with the prince of lies by not obeying God and we are paying the price for it as are the animals in which we have dominion over because they bear the brunt spiritually for our lack of dependence and rejection of God. . Their suffering is just the remnant of our spiritual condition , which completely lacks Gods direction for most. So, the short answer would be; upon our submission to sin, we were put on our own but with an option of being redeemed which very few have chosen to take. Thus, leaving our animals to suffer for our spiritual condition.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for writing this article. I’ve been struggling with this and it has tested everything I used to feel so secure in believing. I have lost my faith because I don’t believe that any feeling entity, call it god, if you will, could intentionally allow innocent beings to suffer. I cannot believe in a cruel god and I will not follow the teachings of a cruel god.

  13. Nanci says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this because it has eased my mind on the way I think. I will say that, although I believe in a God, higher being, whatever, I cannot like, little own love, or follow anything that allows animals to be born hurt or to be abused. Reading this article has made me fully realize that there is no justification for it to be allowed to happen. (sorry for my bad grammar)

  14. Andrew Spencer says:

    We have a wrong idea of God. God cannot make a 3, a 4. Or a square a sphere,it’s common sense. He created us with free will,no other way even for God,the fall caused suffering. Now the beast couldn’t be in perfection,while we were not anymore,common sense. God in his wisdom decided to create,knowing the suffering ,He could not do both, no pain for them,but only for fallen man. We can be saved,if we obey His laws,known fully through Christ. Maybe the animals will return to Eden when all things will be made new, in the grand finale. But not lost souls,they freely chose to not obey,GOD. So let’s put things in the right perspective, and understand this, God cannot make a 3 a 4.

    • Hi Andrew.

      No one is asking God to turn a 3 into a 4, or to do the impossible. It’s not impossible for a loving God to simply NOT create mankind, or to create a world where the innocent are not made to suffer. Animals don’t even NEED to exist, so to create them anyway, and place them in the crossfire, this is unconscionable.

      God can’t make up for this by simply returning the animals to Eden at a later date, no more than a serial rapist can make up for his crimes by paying off his victims. Once you do wrong, you’re always guilty of having done wrong, and no future amount of apologies or gifts changes that fact. You can apologize, or try to make up for it, but what you did was still wrong, and forever will be.


  15. Andy Rhodes says:

    I thought your article was well composed. Keep up the good work. It’s great to see such a large group of people commenting in response to what you’ve written.

    I was having an online discussion this week about animal suffering and the Christian God, so I searched around for more information and found your post. I’ve debated the topic for many years, but I know there’s always more to gain from other voices and perspectives. I was responding to an article titled, “Did the Fall of Man Really Occur?”:


    I’ve posted a lot there. I think challenging the historicity of the Fall of Humankind is very important. If it didn’t happen, at least in some form, then Christianity has no foundation – there is no need for humans to be saved from damnation, no need for Jesus’ everlasting rescue of our wayward souls.

    If interested, check out my blog, “Disagreements I Have With Christianity”, which explores topics similar to yours and results from a slow journey away from biblical religion:


    Animal suffering and natural theodicies in general were major reasons for my incremental abandonment of the faith. These two posts on my site directly address the issues undergirding animal suffering and empty justifications offered in the Bible for why human suffering is necessary in relation to the Garden of Eden and the New Heavens and New Earth:



    We can consider how the various disciplines of science have found much evidence to support the notion that death is generative and normative:


    I explain my general background at the beginning of my article called, “Why I Am No Longer A Christian”:


    I have a strong evangelical Christian background. I was immersed in it since birth and felt at home there for most of my life. My father is a hospital chaplain and former pastor, trained at arguably the most influential seminary regarding the theology of dispensationalism – which dominates much of American Protestantism today, Dallas Theological Seminary. He received another degree from another leading evangelical school, Talbot School of Theology, while my mother completed coursework at a Bible college. My sister graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and was ordained in recent years. The religion made sense to me, enabled a connection with deep spirituality, united my whole being with God and provided a special kind of community and support that initially can be difficult to replicate in secular environments, especially when thousands of local churches positioned across the nation offer experiences that are familiar and normalized in our society. I wholeheartedly invested an enormous amount of time and energy in lay church leadership during all of my twenties. I worked as a research/teaching intern for a brief time with two Christian apologetics think-tanks and evangelistic outreach organizations that reach out to skeptics and train believers to understand why and how Christianity is true (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and Probe Ministries). To varying degrees, I also researched and experienced Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Episcopal and numerous types of non-modernistic/fundamentalist/American-styled/evangelical Protestant traditions in Christianity. Also, I studied philosophy, religion and history at Auburn University and Georgia State University.

    I was a Christian until age 32 (now I’m in my late thirties). I was well educated, lovingly treated by other Christians and committed to following God the best I knew how. But, I was blind to many basic and important aspects in common skeptical challenges to this religion. Even though I was in the process of pursuing a career in professional Christian apologetics evangelism during my early to mid twenties, many of the challenging assertions of skeptics didn’t make full sense to me (especially as humanistic moral objections toward an apparently all-loving/knowing/powerful creator God). A few key doctrinal issues drove me out of the faith gradually. Years later, I was able to think in a different way about various other theological/philosophical topics and vantage points that didn’t occur to me or feel spiritually/emotionally/intellectually safe to really openly address while still in the Church.



    • Anonymous says:

      The problem is that you never knew God. You simply tried to follow the letter of the law and had only an empty religion. You had an intellectual Christianity, but that is not Christianity at all and never has been. You can only carry on for so long in this state by your own means.

      • Andy Rhodes says:

        What evidence do you have for your assertions?

        How would you know those things about someone? Only God could have that kind of insight. Do you recognize how arrogant your statements are?

        One of the biblical definitions of sin is “to play god”. That seems to be what you’re doing, based on just your words and attitude of your post.

        If you want to have an honest and respectful conversation where we give each other the benefit of the doubt and withhold knee-jerk judgments about people we don’t even know, then let’s do that. Otherwise, the interaction will not further the cause of truth or love.

        • Hi Andy.

          Thanks for writing. I think your story rings true with a lot of former Christians. Most of us would’ve never imagined “rejecting” God. (Though we’re not really rejecting God, per se, but the idea that such a character might somehow exist.)

          While the anonymous commenter may come across as arrogant, I have to admit that I probably would’ve responded the same way a few years ago. And this really bugs me now, because I know this is how my Christian friends and family see me, though they won’t confess this to my face, as people feel free to do (anonymously) online.

          But obviously, the very nature of Christianity prevents Christians from ever admitting that non-Christians might have a valid point. You are deceived… or in rebellion… or you were never saved to begin with… or you had a “religion” and not a “relationship” — you’re anything but right.

          By they way, if you have a couple minutes, you should read this:
          It’s one of the best things I’ve read in some time.

          “Only the atheist recognizes the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.”
          – Sam Harris


          • Andy Rhodes says:

            I call myself a theist-in-protest. I’m not an atheist, nor do I feel any logical, existential or philosophical pressure to become one. I’m a practical atheist or practical secular humanist. I don’t see how the existence of the Christian god makes much difference. I still pray and ask for understanding and help in life, but I recognize no evidence of a response. I had a very deep relationship with God until about age 30, or at least I thought I did. (I’m 40 now.) If God exists, she/he/it must be partly good and partly evil or something like that – or all humanistic measurements of character and morality are useless.

            I’ll check out the link you included.

  16. Danny says:

    Suffering is a necessary part of life. Painful experiences help us grow and adapt. If we didn’t suffer from eating too much then would we eat ourselves to death? If we didn’t feel pain wouldn’t it be harder to differentiate good and bad? When pain and death enter the equation there is a deeper meaning to life. The earth is a temporary testing ground for one to learn, grow and understand their truth self which is the soul yet without hardships the discovery wouldn’t be possible and since animals are without sin then what need is there for a soul to save? Animals may go to another place entirely outside of heaven. We don’t know so we shouldn’t discredit a place for animals. Jesus showed a love for animals in the bible when it came to animal cruelty right before he knocked a table over in anger. If we are to use logic to discredit we should use logic to understand.

    • Hi Danny,

      I agree that there are many valid arguments that can be made for feeling a certain amount of pain and suffering, and I don’t object to these. The only thing I’m contesting is that there are many forms of suffering that DON’T teach us anything, and appear excessive, pointless, and wholly unnecessary.

      Your argument is that “When pain and death enter the equation there is a deeper meaning to life.” In other words, all pain has purpose, and is therefore necessary. My argument is that this is not always the case, and I believe this can be logically demonstrated.

      When a fawn burns to death in a forest fire, but no sees it, was it still necessary? When countless animals and insects die every day in order to feed other animals, is this necessary? There are plenty of animals that subsist on diets of plants alone, so clearly eating meat is not always necessary. Why design meat eaters, when you can just as easily design plant eaters?

      Or we could look at a disease like polio and ask, “is polio necessary to God’s plan”? If polio IS necessary, then it must always exist… and yet, we have eradicated polio. If polio was necessary, God should’ve prevented us from finding a cure. Our ability to cure polio suggests it was NOT necessary, nor all the pain and suffering that go with it. Clearly, God can test us and save us without polio, it is unnecessary, so why include it?

      Likewise, when a child dies, does this bring a “deeper meaning”? We might like to believe so, but over the past 20 years we’ve cut infant mortality in half. By NOT allowing millions of children to die, have we lost some kind of “deeper meaning”? If so, perhaps we shouldn’t cure diseases, or save these children from dying. If these millions of deaths are not necessary today, then they probably weren’t necessary 20 years ago.

      But ultimately, its nearly impossible to prove a negative, so I can never prove that there ISN’T a “deeper meaning” behind every instance of suffering. All the believer has to say is, “You can’t prove there’s NOT a deeper meaning!” and I can’t, just as I cannot prove God DOESN’T exist, or ISN’T invisible, or I can’t prove there’s not an invisible rabbit hanging over your head.

      All I can say is that it doesn’t seem logical to assume that there is a deeper meaning in every case. Sometimes, it’s just a loose bolt that causes a 747 to crash, killing everyone on board. No purpose or deeper meaning, just a tragic accident.

      “Animals may go to another place entirely outside of heaven.”

      Even if that were the case, it would still be unethical for God to cause innocent beings to suffer. If I punch a baby in the face, but then give the parents $10,000, am I a “good” person? Since I made amends?


    • Andy Rhodes says:


      I generally agree that we can learn from many types of suffering, but……

      Your statements about the necessity of suffering, especially on the grand and intense scale that it exists by God’s design for trillions of sentient creatures (during the past 300+ million years), is thoroughly undercut and contradicted by the foundations of biblical Christianity, in which terrible suffering and pain and death is repeatedly said and distinctly presupposed to be unnecessary and only happens because of Adam and Eve’s rebellion. (The alleged normative state of animal death and suffering may be debatable, though traditional theologians have very often claimed that the Bible teaches that it was not part of the original plan.)

      If freedom and full human flourishing/fulfillment without sin/pain/death was inherent in the Garden of Eden and will be again in the New Heavens and New Earth, then why is sin/pain/death necessary in this life?

      The crux of this inquiry comes from the common assertion I hear from Christians that full human flourishing/fulfillment can only exist in an environment where evil, death and great loss/pain is possible. But, evil will not be possible in the New Heavens and New Earth. And many people will be there that did not have the opportunity to choose to be there (for example, miscarried babies, infants, young children and mentally ill or mentally challenged people), so the claim that the travails of this life are worth it (because of potential character formation) doesn’t apply to them.


  17. God doesn’t allow death sickness or the killing of animals, people and the system allows this to happen. God is not the ruler of this system. There is plenty of food so why kill? People kill for sport, they murder their children, wifes, fathers, and animals are in the mist. People kill for no good reason. God does not have a part in this. Let’s but the blame where it belongs. There will be a day when God will put a end to this and sooner they you think..

  18. preeti love says:

    God doesn’t allow u to killing innocent animals n birds etc n proudly saying i,m a non veg . actually u are nothing.u have no heart . and when god will do some cruelty with u ,whole world ,universe cannot stop then.when God do same this with u then u realizes your thoughts, your karmas. then God say do u have pain ? or no pain?

  19. Arjun_L_Sen says:

    Excellent summing up of the situation. It confirms my suspicion that Christianity is a primitive religion of farmers and animal keepers who had no respect for animal life other than resources for human use.

    If Jesus was a manifestation of a good God he would have had a lot to say about animals but astonishingly he he appears to have nothing to say.

    As a propagator of human ethics he is astonishingly good but as a manifestation of some kind of cosmic truth he is useless and so is Christianity.

    So are all the other religions except Jainism and Buddhism. Even they are full of irrationalities. A friend of mine in Delhi,India took an injured owl to a Jain animal sanctuary. They refused to treat it because it was a bird of prey.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your hate for God is apparent, You have now brought this into the light. If you read the bible especially Job, but all throughout you will see God uses animals in abundance to show his authority and nature, and to prove his points. If Christ is useless for you it’s because you have things in your own heart you will not turn from although you have heard of Gods laws which were made clear to you.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I can’t stop crying over grizzly bear 399 and her cub Snowy that was hit by a car last Sunday. 399 tried to help her cub. Why would God allow this to happen? Animals must have feelings.

  21. Charles McGrath says:

    There is a fine line between honest inquiry and reasonable doubt and placing yourself as judge (god) over God (Romans 9:14-23 addresses this). The lie of the Garden is based on the desire to be as God judging over God. Sound bite answers are inadequate to a complex question like “why the innocent suffer,”, but I will attempt to do justice to the question. My answer is grounded in my Christian world view based on my understanding of the Bible as follows:

    1. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself for His glory through the drama of redemptive history for those who desire to know Him. God’s drama of creation, fall, redemption and glory is like an artist displaying a portrait of what is in his mind for the pleasure of showing and sharing for all the world to see. As an image-bearer, Adam portrayed many of God’s attributes and much about God was revealed through creation, but the Fall was also necessary to display more attributes (e.g. God’s justice, righteous wrath, mercy, forgiveness, redemptive nature, etc.). Thus, final judgment and redemption with a new heavens and earth will be more glorious than the garden before the fall because all of God’s magnificence will be revealed for eternity. Those who want to know, love and serve Him will share in His beauty and magnificence.

    2. Eternal life (as defined in John 17:3) is knowing the one true God through Messiah Jesus and those who know Him will partake as image-bearers in the divine nature (2Peter 1:3-4).

    3. God intended the Fall in which Adam represented all mankind. When we vote for a representative to act on our behalf, they often don’t do in our place what we would have done. But God can and did chose a perfect representative for humanity. Therefore, we all sinned and fell under judgment through Adam. In other words, God didn’t need to put us in the Garden of Eden to judge us, for that would redundantly only prove what God already knew and displayed in Adam. God is perfectly just in bringing us into a cursed world, temporarily influenced by Satan, under God’s wrath as a consequence of Adam’s rebellion. It’s as if God said, “So you prefer a world where you live under the authority of Satan, I will give you one. See what it is like to live in an age under the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:11-10). With the taste of the ugliness and seriousness of sin and a small taste of judgment around you, I will, in My mercy, provide a path to redemption for those who see their need and desire to come to Me.” But, for now, ALL creation groans (Romans 8:22) awaiting final redemption from the curse while we only see, in this present age, foretastes of the beauty of the past and the glory to come.

    4. In this temporary and cursed world under the influence of Satan, death and suffering are treated as normal in the Bible. From your apparent secular evolutionary world view “nature” is indifferent to both life and death, pain and suffering, etc. This leaves the paradox as why we, as meaningless, valueless, chance molecules, should value one over the other when “nature” doesn’t. Christians not only know that good and evil, pain and pleasure, calamity and prosperity are normal in this temporary fallen world, but also the future promises to put an end to pain and suffering in glory. The bible figures all accepted both blessings and curses as a temporary normal in this world. Read Job, the life of Joseph or David. Read 2Cor 11:23-29 where Paul recounts his beatings, stoning, hunger, thirst, perils, near-death experiences, shipwreck, sleeplessness, imprisonment, etc. in stark contrast to a comfortable life had he remained a Pharisee and a closet believer in Jesus. Read Hebrews 11:36-38 about the torture of men of faith. Yes, suffering and death are accepted as a “normal” part of the curse for the present age.

    5. As the Creator of life, only God has the authority to take life as He sees fit with His creation. He may designate that authority temporarily to some humans or human-run institutions to be instruments of His justice and divine will. But for humans to decide on their own volition to take a human life is murder. You have rights over what you own. If you choose to smash your computer, you are free to do so. But it would be evil for me to smash your computer without your permission. Likewise, God has prerogatives that I don’t. God can bring diseases on the animals to show what a cursed world is like. But I have no authority to display wrath. Instead I have the duty to show God’s grace by working toward cures and interpret the judgement in a way that points people to the redeemer. It is a category error to equate God’s taking a life with me taking a life where I have no God-given authority to do so.

    6. The ultimate evil was in taking the innocent life of Jesus. Jesus, the innocent one sent by God as the second Adam, the sinless representative of mankind, was murdered by His own humanity. Being God in human flesh, He was the offended party to whom the debt of sin is owed, the ultimate object of mankind’s rebellion. Thus, as God, the offended party, only He has the power and authority to forgive sin and be the second Adam. His laying down His life to take on the curse was the greatest act of love and goodness, paradoxically embodied in the greatest act of evil, the murder of the Son of God.

    7. The first animals to suffer death were killed by God, the owner of His creation, to provide a temporary blood sacrifice to cover Adam and Eve and point to the ultimate blood sacrifice of God Himself, for those who share in that sacrifice. In the day they ate of it, a substitute surely died.

    8. Humanity apart from God, tends to think if God exists, the here and now should be heaven on earth. That which rules over us/drives us, is not God, but pleasure (Philippians 3:19); therefore, our mind and desires are focused on the temporal (Rom 8:5-8) which provides no lasting purpose or satisfaction. We love the creation (owning, enjoying and using God’s stuff) without acknowledging, appreciating or honoring the Creator or His purposes. (Rom 1:18-24). Ignoring the Creator leaves us to take the throne to play god and even judge God with our standard of “good” and “evil” grounded on our likes and dislikes. In other words, our own character, as we idealize it, desires and emotions becomes the standard, replacing the character of God (reflected in His moral laws) and His desires as the standard of good and evil, right and wrong. Although created in God’s image, in our fallen state using our subjective standards makes us an inadequate judge. The bible says those who judge themselves by themselves are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12). Ironically, those who deny and dishonor God help prove the truth of the Bible about the state of mankind apart from God and therefore strengthen my faith.

    9. God is good and uses evil for His good purposes. This world’s temporary partial just judgment includes, disease, difficulties, obstacles, hurtfulness, suffering and death of the animals and the effects of sinful humanity are obscene, horrible, distasteful, awful and ugly. This is a fact of life in the bible, but disconcerting for those who play god. But when you say in your blog about animal suffering that, “what God did was wrong” your moral judgement in your meaningless amoral chance universe is Biblically incorrect and would be considered blasphemous. It is like calling a surgeon a terrorist because he cuts and hurts people in his line of work. God justly and temporarily ordains, intends, allows, provides means for and uses the evil and curses He placed on this planet for His good ends. For example, in Genesis, Joseph’s brothers had evil intent in their abuse, betrayal and selling their brother into slavery. Their actions were evil. But God provided the means and intended man’s evil actions for His good purposes, using it for revelation of His sovereignty and showing His redemptive nature and plan (Genesis 50:20). We see two personalities participating in the same action, one with evil intentions (Joseph’s brothers, the instrumental secondary cause) and the other, God, with good intentions (the primary cause).

    Genesis 50:20 As for you, you [my brothers] meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. NASB

    The greatest example of ultimate evil and abuse was at the cross. Those who perpetrated the murder of Jesus were evil, but God ordained, intended, predicted, allowed and provided the means to display through the crucifixion the ultimate act of goodness, love, mercy and kindness (Acts 2:23).

    Acts 2:23-24 This Man [Jesus], delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. NASB

    God is working all of redemptive history for ultimate good to display both His loving grace and mercy and His holiness and just wrath for all eternity through His drama pointing to Christ. Like it or not, you too are playing a role in God’s drama of redemptive history. Your role may be to spend eternity under the wrathful eye of God. In that case, you will be like the black velvet showcasing the beautiful diamond of God’s attributes of justice, holiness and wrath toward insubordination and His putting an end to evil forever. The sense that the world is broken and in need of repair will either drive you to God, or drive you to judge and deny God. Jesus, when questioned about God’s justice in singling out some for the suffering and dying when the tower of Siloam fell upon them (Luke 13:1-5) essentially said, “This life is short, so repent while you can, or you will likewise perish.”

    10. Animals are not innocent. Neither are they guilty. They are amoral. We don’t put a mountain lion on trial for murder when it mauls a child. You are wrong to ascribe a morality to animals assuming they “deserve” to be punished or rewarded here or experience a heaven or hell later. While they are sentient creatures with feelings and many lovable human-like attributes, they are as amoral as a rock. You personify their status beyond the Bible and certainly beyond an impersonal chance creation. Animals suffer and die because Adam (and we) sinned, putting Adam (and us) and his dominion (creation) under God’s partial judgment, tempered with grace, patience and restraint until the final judgment. If animals lived in a place that wasn’t under the curse of God, they would not suffer or die. There would be no diseases and their pain receptors would work only for the good of helping them avoid harm, as they only partially do now in this fallen world. But in a fallen world they have a different created purpose. Under God’s grace they provide food and their suffering and dying shows us the need for the redemption and restoration to come. In their wellness they are a testimony to God’s creative power and beauty, and in their diseases, disabilities, suffering and death a testimony to the seriousness of sin and a worse judgement to come for those who do not desire to know God. They testify to a God who promises a new heavens and a new earth for those who desire to know, love and serve Him and be with Him forever in all His glory. Perhaps in your naturalistic world view, animals simply testify to the randomness of an impersonal natural world of matter, where ultimately nothing really matters, where morality is a humanly devised power play, and extinction is the ultimate end. I believe the Christian world view, properly understood, offers the better explanation of reality as we experience it. The Christian and naturalistic world views cannot both be right – either God exists as revealed in the Bible or He doesn’t. I win either way. I enjoy my communion with my Creator, take comfort in His promises and plans, and have a satisfying purpose and role in His drama of redemptive history in this temporary partially judged fallen world. However, if the atheistic naturalistic world view is correct, I enjoy and experience a false sense of purpose, fulfillment and satisfaction from an imaginary god – then, I like you, go extinct. Win-win – so be it! As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:14-19, if Christ is not resurrected, preaching is in vain, we are misrepresenting God, giving a false hope and we are most to be pitied. However, if Christ is raised as the firstfruits of all who believe, then those who deny God are most to be pitied.

    • Andy Rhodes says:

      You seem to hold a lot in common with young earth creationists, which goes against all mainstream science of the last several hundred years.

      Without the “death” or destruction of stars, there is no “life” or creation of the chemistry and physics necessary for the development of planets and ecosystems. Without entropy, cell death, consumption, digestion, excrement and disease, there are no sustainable organisms population control.

      Without predation, sharks, tigers and spiders have no place in creation. Without earthquakes and plate tectonics, there would be no land masses or life upon them. The elements mentioned above and the rest of what philosphers and theologians call the “natural evils”, like hurricanes, famine, tornadoes, horrible pain, etc., are normative in this cosmos. To remove any of those aspects is to require a radically different universe. How can you explain this?

      You said, “If animals lived in a place that wasn’t under the curse of God, they would not suffer or die. There would be no diseases and their pain receptors would work only for the good of helping them avoid harm, as they only partially do now in this fallen world.”

      This is extremely far-fetched. How can you justify it?

      You said, “The Christian and naturalistic world views cannot both be right – either God exists as revealed in the Bible or He doesn’t. I win either way. I enjoy my communion with my Creator, take comfort in His promises and plans, and have a satisfying purpose and role in His drama of redemptive history in this temporary partially judged fallen world. However, if the atheistic naturalistic world view is correct, I enjoy and experience a false sense of purpose, fulfillment and satisfaction from an imaginary god – then, I like you, go extinct. Win-win – so be it!”

      This is essentially Pascal’s Wager. It does no good for you or anyone else. Betting on things in this way removes the biblical requirement of sincerity in belief and obedience as a disciple. Further, if Christianity is not true, then you have contributed to immense suffering upon humans who were falsely intimidated into wasting large portions of their lives worrying about internal levels of sinful motivations to extreme degrees and about non-existent battles between invisible forces of good and evil and the terror and anxiety of a possible future in an everlasting torture chamber known as the biblical hell. There is a much longer list of violations against humanity because of many biblical teachings and I mentioned several of them in my first response to you. Lastly, if Christianity is not true, then so much lifelong effort by believers has been in vain and much misery and dread has been disseminated for no reason. Truly despicable and wasteful.

  22. Ethan says:

    Maybe you should read Isaiah where it says that the lion will lay with the lamb peacefully, yes there will be animals in heaven! Rather then insult God maybe you should read the bible, God loves his creatures it’s Satan who hates them and helps the evil abuse gods creations!

    • Hi Ethan,

      The verse you are referring to is in Isaiah 11, and is believed (by Christians) to refer to the 1,000 year kingdom of Christ on earth (so… not in heaven).

      Also please note the quotes I reference above, it is not I, but other Christians who have concluded that animals do not have souls, and do not go to heaven. You’re welcome to disagree with them, but you should have some scripture to back it up (I don’t think Isaiah 11 is going to change any minds).


    • Andy Rhodes says:


      Why did God make carnivores like lions and sharks that cause other animals to suffer by eating them alive? God designed and created these animals before Adam and Eve sinned.

  23. pandharkar shivaji says:

    man made religion always creates god favorable to human being only .all abrahamic religions are only favour to human beings and hates animals. these are wrong man made religions.

  24. Tamara Yancosky Moore says:

    There is God. There is Jesus Christ. We are incapable of comprehending the Wisdom of The All Knowing One. If you could even vaguely comprehend God’s Wisdom, then you’d be asking all the right questions, which you are not. You are asking questions from your very limited human understanding. It’s okay to ask questions, but it’s not okay to attempt to disprove God’s Existence simply because you do not understand His Ways or Reasons.

    • Hi Tamara,

      With all due respect, let me attempt to explain why I do not find these statements very compelling.

      “There is God. There is Jesus Christ.”

      Here, any God could be inserted in God’s place, and it wouldn’t make the statement any more true. “There is one God, and he is Ahura Mazda!” Convinced?

      “We are incapable of comprehending the Wisdom of The All Knowing One.”

      Again, any believer in ANY god could claim the same thing. I could say, “We are incapable of comprehending the wisdom of The Flying Spaghetti Monster!” It doesn’t prove he exists, or that he has any knowledge at all.

      “If you could even vaguely comprehend God’s Wisdom, then you’d be asking all the right questions, which you are not.”

      Once again, someone could argue, “If you could even vaguely comprehend Zeus’s Wisdom, then you’d be asking all the right questions, which you are not.” Convinced yet?

      And what are the right questions? And if you can’t ask them until you vaguely comprehend God, and you can’t vaguely comprehend God until you’ve asked the right questions… well…

      “It’s okay to ask questions, but it’s not okay to attempt to disprove God’s Existence simply because you do not understand His Ways or Reasons.”

      Let me rephrase that once again. What if people had said for 2000 years, “It’s okay to ask questions, but it’s NOT okay to attempt to disprove Zeus’s existence simply because you do not understand his ways or reasons!” It’s a GOOD thing that we ask questions and try to disprove these gods, because if they truly exist, there will be more to them than a bunch of statements that could be used to defend any imaginary god.


  25. Anonymous says:

    Why do people kill animal for food when we can get all we need from the plants.
    We are humans and what if someone ask,’ do you know everything in this universe?’
    Our obvious answer would be No,we do not know everything. Then do we know 50 percent about this universe? No. We do not know even 50 percent of it. But let’s suppose we know 50 percent of everything about this universe. Then is it not likely that GOD exist in the other 50 percent that we know nothing about?
    Science has developed in leap and bounds in this modern era but it still cannot explain the paranormal activities that is recorded throughout human history and is still happening today.we cannot discredit altogether it as many are documented facts categorised as X file cases lying somewhere in restricted Goverment institution around the world.
    The practice if killing animal has everything to do with the unknown side of the universe that our ancester have acknowledged it and the culture continues till this day.
    Then you will know the truth,and the truth will set you free”. John 8:12

  26. Tyrone Perry says:

    It shakes my faith 2 the foundation & im disturbed very much about babies being raped & animals suffering,,dying & even being hunted until death,but wicked men r responsible 4 much of this.The question I have is y does GOD allow this? I watched a television program about a bison that could not keep up with its herd,because it could not find enough grass or protein 4 energy underneath the snow at Yellowstone National Park.The snow just became 2 deep 4 its neck muscles,it gave up, suffered & died.Heartbreaking.Another program that sticks in my memory was about a lioness whose jaw became detached due 2 some tragic circumstance that happened 2 her.She could not even lap up water & was obviously going 2 starve or die from thirst.I am deeply saddened by these tragic stories & there r many things about life that r cruel,disturbing & unfair,but can I put the blame on our creator? Should I automatically assume he does not exist or if he does,he must be evil 4 letting things like this happen,or should I humble myself & understand that I do not know everything.I do not know y GOD does or does not allow things 2 happen as they do.Maybe these unfortunate animals have a wonderful existence 2 look 4ward 2 after their death.Maybe these animals did something in their life that was displeasing 2 GOD.Maybe GOD does not interfare with the animal kingdom & leaves it completely up 2 us since we have dominion on earth.Do I really know? Does anybody really know? Should we have the audacity 2 judge the creator of everything? Do we know better than the 1 who knows best? Can we create a better planet? Can we even create a single star? Do we know how 2 create life without using life? That’s my opinion anyway.
    Ecclesiastes 7:13 Accept the way GOD does things,for who can straighten what he has made crooked?

  27. Karen says:

    I stopped believing in God this past year because of how He allows rabbits to suffer. There is this huge rabbit meat farm back East here in the US. They are a very rich company yet won’t invest in a proper stun gun or even a super quick “humane” way to kill the rabbits prior to slaughter. They instead take the dull end of the slaughter knife & smack the rabbit several times on the top of its head until the bunny falls into convulsions, then they hang it upside down on the slaughter rack, breaking one of its hind legs in the process to make sure it stays there, the bunny usually wakes up due to that sudden extreme pain of having its leg broken, screams in terror and acute pain, then they hack at it, slicing it’s neck. I am totally serious on this. The animal rescue group Last Chance For Animals went under cover to film it. Anyway, I can’t think of any other animal on Earth more kind, gentle, & adorable than a Rabbit, and it does not deserve such a cruel, tortured death. These are rabbits that have never hopped in grass or did their cute, little bunny flips in the air. They’ve never even tasted carrot tops or a piece of banana. And they get to watch their only friends die in front of them. I can tell (all) of you right now that Rabbits have souls. I know this because I was at the Vets office when my sister had to put her (12) yr old rabbit to sleep because he lost use of his hind legs and was having seizures everyday due to old age. It was the kindest thing to do because he couldn’t even use the bathroom anymore on his own. He lived indoors and had a very good life. Anyway, the Vet couldn’t find a vein on him to put that sleep medicine in him so she over dosed him on Morphine in a shot to his tummy. It was painless. (3o) mins later, he was completely asleep. As my sister, Mom, & me leaned over him, kissing him, petting, saying good bye, the Vet took that sleep medicine & put it into his heart, he didn’t feel anything because he was already sedated asleep. All of a sudden, once half of the medicine went into him, me, my Mom, The Vet and my sister, all felt “Whinnie’s” soul leave his body & goes right through all of us. We all felt him leave his body. My sister & the Vet felt him the most but he went out of his body, right through us & straight up. We were all shocked but so happy too! We knew he was with God. The Vet who saw a lot of rabbits back then, STOPPED seeing rabbits, all rabbits, except for my sister’s other rabbit. She also became a Christian instead of just a science minded doctor. That experience helped the Vet see animals totally differently. And it changed my entire family & how we treated animals after that too. We became mush closer to our pets, letting them all sleep inside, feeding them better quality food, more toys, more kisses. things like that. But when I saw that video of what Man is doing to bunny’s at that meat farm, I just can’t bring myself to love God anymore. If I don’t love God, how can I believe in Him anymore? Not even my worst enemy deserves to die how those rabbits are dying. I want God to explain why these rabbits need to be tortured prior to death because there is no part of me that understands it. If He can;t explain it to me someone, I can;t be His follower anymore. The God I loved wasn’t cruel. He was full of mercy but the God of today’s world seems to be a much different person.

    • Tyrone Perry says:

      That story is so sad.I also own a rabbit,so I completely understand.If u turn your back on GOD you’re only hurting yourself.Babies get raped & murdered also.We live in a broken world corrupted by sin & the evil that men do.U stated that u know Whinnie had a soul & he/she is with GOD now.Don’t u want 2 join him & all your loved ones in eternal happiness? If u don’t there’s only 1 other alternative. Keep your faith,don’t be foolish & fall where the Devil will catch u.

    • Anonymous says:

      The rabbit’s meat farm is truly one of a very sad scenes….words can’t explain why/ how these and many other innocent animals have to endure at the hands of men. I think we live in a society where basic compassion, kindness, and mercy is long lost. These qualities are no longer valued, and instead, we embrace obsessions with greed, power, and a sense of “rights” to live however we choose fit.

      I sure hope God take mercy and love those rabbits because there’s absolutely no other way that those who killed and tortured these rabbits can feel anything for what they had done to those rabbits.

  28. Brian says:

    Descartes was a fraud and a bigot who spread lies about the Catholic Church during the “enlightenment.” Liberal vermin like him are responsible for providing a psuedo intellectual framework that lead to the deaths of thousands of people in France. The only time he should be quoted is to illustrate the relationship between liberal idealogy and the decay of Western society.

    • Andy Rhodes says:

      Descartes certainly did damage to the rights of animals by influencing people toward the belief that these creatures were just machines and couldn’t feel pain.

      Regarding the (quite imperfectly) positive influence of the 17th century Age of Reason and 18th century Enlightenment, I’ve written an article titled, “Now – The Most Peaceful Time In World History”.


      Here’s an excerpt (which on the web page is followed by dozens of charts and data to support the commentary):


      Much of the information below comes from Steven Pinker’s book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. This remarkable text evaluates and combines the work of dozens of historians to show that, contrary to popular opinion on the left and right, the planet has become far more peaceful than in any other time in history. Terrible things like the following are in radical decline (or in some cases have been eliminated): warfare, rape, murder, judicial torture, child abuse, legal and illegal slavery, use of the death penalty, robbery, infanticide, bullying, lynchings, corporal punishment, misogyny, theft, domestic abuse, racism, blood sports, religious persecution, burglary, debtors’ prisons, sexism, abortion, dueling, property crime, witchhunts and animal abuse. This process started when societies began to organize away from hunter-gatherer communities between 7,000-10,000 years ago into structured civilizations, but shifted to an accelerated level of reform during the 18th century’s Age of Enlightenment and afterward. By absolute numbers and percentage of population, the trend is downward in violent behavior.

      Whether intentionally or not, the media often makes the global situation look like everything is getting worse or at least not significantly improving. That’s just not the case when it comes to acts of violence. There still is plenty of harm being done by humans to one another, but thankfully it’s far less prevalent overall than in 1965 or 1805 or 1585. Through a very large range of historical narratives, archaeological evidence and statistics, the human condition generally reveals itself as more barbarous the further backward one looks. On a recent note, the U.S. crime rate now is half of what it was in the early 1990s. This includes places known to be more dangerous like Baltimore, Washington D.C, New Orleans, Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia. Between 1973 and 2008, rape decreased by 80% and murder became 40% less common. According to the FBI, from 2001-2010, the crime rates went down in categories of violent crime (20%), forcible rape (13.8%), robbery (19.7%), aggravated assault (20.8%) and motor vehicle theft (44.5%).

      When using percentage of population as a guide to study the scale of war related deaths, the worst atrocities of the 20th century don’t top the historical list. Just 4 horrific events of the 1900s make it into the top 20. Only 1 makes the top 10, as WWII ranks 9th. Archaeological studies from 21 prehistoric sites of eras as far back as 16,000 years ago show on average a very high 15% violent death rate because of trauma evidence in the skeletal remains. Examinations of 8 hunter-gatherer societies demonstrated a level of about 13%, whereas in 10 studies of hunter-horticulturalists and other tribal peoples the rate was almost 30%. The Middle Ages hovered under 10% and gradually lessened. The first half of 20th century, even with all of its devastation and human suffering, had a rate of a much smaller 3%, when counting lives lost in war, genocide and human-caused famine. That number drops significantly if one includes the second half of the century, where none of the top 44 nations in GDP entered into warfare with each other. European powers had been starting two armed conflicts each year since 1400 and this totally ceased. Further shocking the typical political patterns of world history, no nation added new territory by force and the colonial powers of Europe actually gave up the bulk of their conquered lands. The 21st century is astronomically low in comparison, 0.03%. That’s 500 times less than typical prehistoric levels of brutality and nearly 1000 times below the average rate for hunter-horticulturalists and other tribal groups. Contrast modern levels of carnage to that of the American Wild West, where the percentages ranged up to 30% or higher in each town. 20th century England’s murder rate, for another example, was 19 times lower than in the 14th century. Now, it’s 35 times less.


      The Wikipedia page about this book summarizes the proposed causes for the decline in violence:


      Pinker identifies five “historical forces” that have favored “our peaceable motives” and “have driven the multiple declines in violence.” They are:

      The Leviathan – The rise of the modern nation-state and judiciary “with a monopoly on the legitimate use of force,” which “can defuse the [individual] temptation of exploitative attack, inhibit the impulse for revenge, and circumvent…self-serving biases.”

      Commerce – The rise of “technological progress [allowing] the exchange of goods and services over longer distances and larger groups of trading partners,” so that “other people become more valuable alive than dead” and “are less likely to become targets of demonization and dehumanization”;

      Feminization – Increasing respect for “the interests and values of women.”
      Cosmopolitanism – the rise of forces such as literacy, mobility, and mass media, which“can prompt people to take the perspectives of people unlike themselves and to expand their circle of sympathy to embrace them”;

      The Escalator of Reason – an “intensifying application of knowledge and rationality to human affairs,” which “can force people to recognize the futility of cycles of violence, to ramp down the privileging of their own interests over others’s, and to reframe violence as a problem to be solved rather than a contest to be won.”

      From – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Better_Angels_of_Our_Nature

Leave a reply (but please keep it related to the topic)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s