Date of this Version

October 1996

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Harrison, Peter, (1996) God and Animal Minds Sophia Vol 35 (2) pp. 67-78

Copyright ©1996 Sophia. All rights reserved. Permission granted.

God and Animal Minds [Reply to Lynch, Joseph J. Harrison and Hick on God and Animal Pain; in v.33, 1994.]

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Abstract

[Extract] In a recent Sophia article 'Harrison and Hick on God and Animal Pain', Joseph Lynch draws our attention to the difficulties generated for the theist by the suffering of animals, and argues that the responses of John Hick and myself to this problem are inadequate. Although he does not offer any alternative account of how the apparent suffering of creatures might be reconciled with the existence of an all-good and all-powerful Deity, Lynch nonetheless concludes that '[T]heists must find a way to confront the reality of animal pain, rather than fleeing from it' (p. 72). In this response I shall consider some alternatives to the solutions put forward by Hick and myself, before concluding that the best response theists can offer to the problem of the suffering of lower creatures remains either the denial of animal pain, or the denial that animal pain constitutes a major evil. First, however, I shall consider two arguments which Lynch directs specifically against my position.

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This document has been peer reviewed.