How do we explain the suffering of animals before there were humans and therefore before there was any possibility of original sin?
I may have missed it: where did you provide evidence that this occurred?
That it’s hard for me to believe you asked that question in good faith when you reserve for yourself the right to decide who lives and who dies.
Um? Evidence? Humans have existed in their modern form for about 200,000 years, maybe less. In earlier forms, maybe 2,000,000 years. Life has been around for 2 billion years or more. There are libraries full of evidence of this. It no more needs stating than we have to provide evidence than humans breathe air. We all know it.
No. Metaphysical evil does not skip before.
Maybe you could read the article or at least the portion I posted from it:
Yeah, so life was around; thanks for the strawman! Now where is your evidence that animals suffered?
Well for one thing they died. That rarely happens with suffering. Fossils capture some in their death agonies. Many species had stings, and sharp teeth, and armour to (hopefully) protect them. Unless you re going to propose either that there was nothing before humans or that a devious and deceitful god made things like this to fool us you have to accept that there was pain before any possibility of original sin.
Animal death is a priori and of necessity devoid of suffering?
In the last maybe ten years I’ve seen this increase in “mean God” rhetoric and it got me to thinking…
Is this a Judeo-Christian phenomenon, or do other religions have this sort of questioning going on, too?
When I read spiritual testimonies from hunter-gatherer or “primitive” people who live close to the land, they seem to accept life/death cycles as a thing that is, and they honor their God or gods and don’t see it as an act of “meanness” from their Deity.
Is modern atheist rhetoric an artifact of our culture which is so far removed from the earth and natural rhythms?
Theologians paint an elaborate picture of Heaven on Earth before the Fall. That there was no death, destruction or suffering. It’s difficult for me to believe, yes, but the theory makes a lot of sense if you consider the current effects of sin in the world.
The thing is, though, that Catholic theology only predicates preternatural gifts to Adam and Eve, and not to all of creation. Among these gifts to humans was physical immortality. Since it’s only taught that it was given to humans – let alone the fact that it was a gift that had to be given in the first place – it seems evident that physical death has been part and parcel of the nature of physical beings from the very beginning. In Romans, when Paul talks about death entering into the world (“through one person sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all, inasmuch as all sinned” – Rom 5:12), those to whom death came due to sin are subject to death because “all sinned”. Animals don’t sin. Therefore, the ‘death’ that comes about due to sin must be human death alone.
Yes, the whole world is affected by sin – all of creation groans, awaiting its annihilation – but that doesn’t mean that the “death” that’s talked about is animal or plant death. It seems, from Scripture, that it’s the loss of the preternatural gift of physical immortality that’s in play here! (Along with human suffering, as well, as you point out!)
It seems much more reasonable to accept your proposition instead of mine. Perhaps the only place I’ve heard the latter is here on the forums. I should pay less attention to the “Magisterium of CAF”.