Is Animal Suffering Evil? A Thomistic Perspective

  • B. Kyle KeltzEmail author


Recently, there has been a growing interest in the problem of God and animal suffering.1 Philosophers debate whether God would allow millions of years of animal suffering. Proponents of the problem of animal suffering argue that the amount of pain and suffering found in Earth’s natural history make it likely that God does not exist.

Within this debate, it is striking that the nature of pain and suffering are rarely examined. Instead, it is often assumed that pain and suffering are evils that a loving God would not allow without good reason. An illustration of this is William Rowe’s argument in “The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism.” He states,

In developing the argument for atheism based on the existence of evil, it will be useful to focus on some particular evil that our world contains in considerable abundance. Intense human and animal suffering, for example, occurs daily and in great plenitude in our world. Such intense suffering is a clear case of evil.2



Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.South Plains CollegeLevellandUSA

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