Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Animals Go to Heaven or God Doesn't Exist

Eternal Salvation: It's not our place to judge
How could a powerful and loving God allow so much animal suffering?  In the case of humans, an answer might seem easy and forthcoming: free will.  Humans bring a lot of suffering on themselves, but the good of freedom makes the suffering worth it.  Not so, it seems, with non-human animals.  If God knew that non-human animals would suffer so much, why would he create them in the first place?  And if he were to create them, why would he allow so much suffering?  It seems that he wouldn't. So we have reason to think that God doesn't exist.

Philosopher, Trent Dougherty, has recently written a book on the issue.  He thinks that it's reasonable to believe that at least some animals go to heaven.  Not only that, but they will end up like the talking animals in Narnia. (!)  

Here is a link to a short podcast at Dale Tuggy's website on animal suffering (click on the arrow at the top left to listen.)  I haven't quite finished listening to it, but so far it's not only interesting but entertaining.  (I believe at about 6:30 he makes a reference to one of my philosophy colleagues who did a dissertation with Dougherty on this very issue.)  Tuggy interviews Dougherty about his own conversion to Christianity as well the Problem of Evil more generally in another episode here. I have listened to this interview in its entirety and also recommend it to the reader.  In some ways it sets the stage for the talk on the Problem of Animal Suffering in the first link.  

There's also an interesting discussion of cats, so cat lovers might find the first link particularly interesting.  

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