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Article
Animals and the Problem of Evil in Recent Theodicies
Philosophy Scholarship
  • Mark Maller, College of DuPage
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
4-1-2009
Disciplines
Abstract
This paper critically evaluates the theodicies of John Hick, Richard Swinburne and process theism regarding animal suffering and evils. The positions of Hick and Swinburne are based on false empirical assumptions, e.g., animals do not suffer. Process theism’s claim that God is not omnipotent is an unsatisfactory answer inconsistent with the traditional concept of God. These positions cannot fully explain the mass suffering and unnecessary deaths of animals throughout time. My positive position is that God’s putative love for all sentient beings does not necessarily entail that he loves every individual human and animal. Humans do not interfere with the suffering and deaths of animals in the wild, and God has no obligation to interfere with human evils. It is very possible that God acts similarly with humans and animals regarding evils. This theory partly explains human tragedies such as the Holocaust and much unnecessary animal and human suffering.
Comments
Forthcoming in Sophia: the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Metaphysical Theology and Ethics
Sophia online
Citation Information
Mark Maller. "Animals and the Problem of Evil in Recent Theodicies" (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mark_maller/1/