Do animals have consciousness?

Are you saying Christian teaching is inerrant?
Why do you think that?

Jesus Christ is Truth… It’s not a “think”


You misunderstood the question.

The question isn’t, “Is Jesus Christ the Truth?” The question is, why do you think that Christian teaching is inerrant?

Christian Teaching? Teaching from Christ/Truth


No idea. And I don’t think I’ve ever read anyone who has speculated on it. But, I can give you this: “through one person sin entered the world” (Romans 5:12).

See… you’re sounding snarky again. Do you want to discuss this, or just make fun of it?

I’m not claiming a one-to-one relationship between a particular sin and a particular event.

It’s painful for me, too, to have to keep explaining it. :wink:


You haven’t substantiated the “problem of animal suffering”, but just asserted it without attribution. We’ve already discussed the “problem of evil”.

Let’s not, because that’s the whole point! Sin has consequences, not only morally but also physically. Period, full stop.

No, because we’ve already “seeded” the world with negative consequences.

Not sure how you’re reaching that conclusion. How does ‘sin’ invalidate God’s existence?

You keep claiming this. Please back it up with proof or stop asserting it.


Were there any poisonous insects before humans appeared on earth?

Let’s ask the question in a more helpful way. You’re trying to ask either:

  • if insects defended themselves against other insect and animal predators prior to the appearance of humans on earth
  • if humans were poisoned by insects prior to the first sin
    • after all, you can’t really be asking whether humans were poisoned by insects prior to the appearance of humans on earth! :rofl:

Both questions work well with Catholic theology:

  • it’s not a problem that animals lived and died prior to the arrival of humans
  • it’s not a stretch to suggest that human poisoning by insects only happened after the first sin. After all, we’re not suggesting that humans lived for generations – or even years – without sin!

That is a different question. My question is this:
Were there poisonous insects on earth before homo sapiens appeared?

We can and should pass on man made problems because we are talking about natural disasters. As you said to Jan above, they would not stop if we stopped sinning because we have ‘seeded’ the world with negative consequences.

So that is the answer. We experience natural disasters because of sin. And we can extrapolate from that. It’s not too hard to joint the dots. I mean, I know some people actually state that a specific disaster is the result of a specific sin, but if we talk in general terms then we could ask people what on earth do they expect if they suffer from an earthquake or a tsunami or a bush fire. Sin is the cause. It’s our fault.

As an ex-Australian rugby player said recently: ‘The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.’

It seems you and Izzy are on the same page.

I believe the particular insect that you referenced in an earlier post is not poisonous in itself. The creature can, however, transmit a parasitic virus.

The status of viruses as animals is debated. If we agree that viruses are not animals then the thing is just one more thing on the list of things that man cannot tolerate. Could man tolerate these things before the first sin? I think so.

All creatures, including man, that predate on other creatures may be called parasites of a sort. Plant life absorbs inert minerals in the soil, herbivores absorb plants, carnivores absorb herbivores (and other carnivores) and omnivores absorb all. The creation of new life always involves the death of existing life. So in a way, by metabolizing the lower forms of life, the lower forms participate in higher forms of life.

As to natural evils, before sin man had infused knowledge. Would it be likely that that knowledge prevented him from building cities on tectonic plates, or in hurricane or tsunami prone areas of the planet? I think so.

The insect carries a deadly virus as do a few others. Was this insect or any other poison carrying insect alive before the appearance of homo sapiens? That would be my question. I suspect that there were such and even other poisonous species such as poisonous snakes or reptiles and that they could have caused problems for animals that existed at that time.

Again, the problem of animal suffering is that animals existed on earth for approximately 1.5B years, living, dying, suffering, most species going extinct.

How could a loving and all-good God allow that if animals feel pain?
How could a all-knowing designer create such an imperfect world?

As I have said, and you continue to dodge the question over and over again, is that there are two theological responses. One, the premise is false and animals and humans appeared together at the same time, and 2) animals feel no pain and do not suffer.

Do you have an alternative?

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I said your claims invalidate the cosmological arguments.
Specifically, you have made the claim that “sin” is the cause of natural evil such as earthquakes, lightning strikes, tsunamis, and other natural phenomenon that cause suffering. Then you claim there is no direct cause and effect relationship, as in no specific sin causes a specific natural phenomenon.
This violates cause and effect, first mover, and other varieties of the cosmological arguments.

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According to Catholic doctrine, animals do not have souls and cannot feel pain or suffer. Our moral obligation to be merciful to animals is simply because they are part of God’s creation. In other words, you should not harm animals because it affects human well-being, not the well-being of animals themselves as animals hold no intrinsic spiritual or conscious value.
I find this disgraceful, and it is one of the fundamental reasons why I disagree with Catholic moral teaching.

If you think this a reasonable viewpoint that agrees with your experience of animal life, please elaborate.

This is doubtful because i suspect that earthquakes, lightning strikes, tsunamis, and other natural phenomenon that cause suffering all were present before the appearance of homo sapiens.

Wait. I think that Catholics generally believe that animals do not have immortal souls, however, there are some Catholics who apparently disagree because they say that their pets will be with them in heaven for all eternity. But i don’t know where it is Catholic teaching that animals do not feel pain.

This is why no one will really take such a position seriously.

I think Catholics toss of the literal interpretation of Genesis too quickly. genesis was written for a reason, and it says what it says for a reason. The concept of Original Sin only works with Adam and Eve. The concept of an ‘all-good’ God in terms of animal suffering only works with a young earth worldview. There are many other problems. Once you try to resolve them, you end up with untenable viewpoints such as sins committed by people 2000 years ago caused that lightning strike last night. It’s ridiculous.

Thomas Aquinas.

They are ‘cafeteria Catholics’. Formal teaching is no pets in heaven.

Do you have a specific citation where Thomas Aquinas says that animals do not feel pain?
I thought that St Francis of Assisi and St Martin de Porres promoted compassion for animals?

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