Why would God include carnivory, parasitism, and disease in creation?

Why would God design some animals to painfully kill and eat others? Why would he design animals to live inside and on other animals and leech their nutrients until they die slowly and painfully? Why would he create killer viruses and bacteria that cause so much death and pain?

Those thing come from the Devil. That is why the Devil is also called “The Lord of the Flies”.

So the Devil has the power of creation?

You have it backward. Man did all that by desiring to become like gods. God allows it - He does not create it.

These things came after the fall of man. It was man’s sin which caused God’s creation to possess the capacity to decay and die.

No they did not. Viruses, predatory behavior, and parasites were here long before man existed, hundreds of millions of years in fact. The answer is that God does not view animal death in such ways as evil, any more than do I think of myself as a brute for enjoying the salmon I’ve just finished grilling. Much has been made of this issue, but it simply can be said in response that God allowed life to evolve as it has because it WORKS. The funny thing is that people have an apparent idea that they could do it better if they were God, to which I would say “Sure you could.”:rolleyes: The system works wonderfully as it is, and worked to get us here, God’s pinnacle of creation. But as with physics, you can’t just change one small thing without throwing the whe system into chaos. Butterfly effect: change one thing about the works and a million unintended changes occur, maybe making biological life itself impossible.

mea culpa. I thought the question was asked in regard to humans more than animals.

Everything God created was good. And so during the account of creation at the beginning of the Book of Genesis we are told repeatedly that “God saw that it was good.” But then Adam and Even rebelled against God, and so according to Catholic belief, this was like a monkey wrench thrown into everything. Adam and Eve and all of creation entered a realm apart from God’s good, of human sin and evils of all kinds, the ones we all face. Creation will not entirely return to existence as God first created it until the end of the world, as the last book of the Bible predicts.

I don’t think creation, good as it initially was, was ever meant to be PERFECT. What use of a heaven, and what incentive for us to want to go there, if God made it equally good for us on earth?

Certainly creation was much much better prior to the Fall. Adam did not have to work, eg by tilling the soil, until afterwards, and men seem to have been designed to live long earthly lives, which is why the scriptures record the earliest generations living for many hundreds of years.

I’m not trying to be argumentative for the sake of it, but in hopes that someone can help me resolve this issue. I find the fine tuning argument to be a pretty intriguing one, but it seems to have a fatal flaw: our resurrected bodies. Catholic teaching holds that our resurrected bodies will be glorified, in that they will be physical bodies but will not be subject to all of the laws of physics by which they are currently bound. How would you reconcile that with the idea that if the laws of physics are changed, biological life would be impossible?

Ah, I see. But no, I think the OP was asking about animal death and suffering, diseases in general, etc. Though I’m also not trying to dismiss such things as unimportant to God, just that these questions, in my experience, often seem to come down to an underlying attitude of “Well, I could have done it better, in MY creation there’d be no viruses!”. The ultimate silliness of such an idea is clear when we face the idea head on by considering exactly how, in toto, such a universe would look. Of course, we literally can’t even conceive of how to comprehensively rearrange all the laws of physics and biology to make even a small change such as “no parasites”, for instance. We have no idea how such a change would affect everything else about the course of life on Earth, let alone something big, such as the obvious end-game “I want there to be no death”.

My point is: if we can’t even imagine in a full, comprehensive way how a different universe would be and work which we might find more to our liking, maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to decide that God did a bad job with the one he actually did make.

Well, this is not really germane to the topic, but I’d say the thing here is with resurrected bodies they are no longer within the same space-time continuum that we know now. Rather, as Revrlation says, part of a new Heaven and new Earth…it would seem this universe will indeed be done away with, which modern cosmology also strongly suggests, and then God will bring about a new one with new, different rules. I don’t have a clue what those laws of physics will look like, but I’m sure God does! Resurrected and perfected bodies will not be of the same “physical” as are ours, and all matter, currently. So I don’t see an obvious problem there…hope that helps.

Carnivory, parasitism, disease and any other form of harm brings physical death but as Christ has risen from the dead we do not die like we did before the resurrection of a spiritual death.We don’t die a spiritual death that all did after the fall and before the resurrection.That is what Jesus gives us by his sacrifice eternal spiritual life.We don’t die anymore so it doesn’t mater what kills our bodies.This question only focuses on physical death and thats not the death that Jesus won victory for.The fall brought on the spiritual death of man.

You say that God does not view animal death and suffering in the same way as human suffering. Whether this is true or not, he certainly must view it negatively, no matter how much “less bad” it is. So why would an omnipotent being create a system that has any bad in it? Obviously I couldn’t design a system that is better than the one we live in, but God (omniscient and omnipotent) certainly could.

Basically, my problem is that God could have created a world that would not require any animals or people to suffer, but instead he chose to create one that requires violent death, pain, and disease.

that,my friend, is the 64,000 dollar question.

a GOOD God would do that?

  1. God did not design carnivory, parasitism, and disease any more than He designed lechery, nepotism or child abuse.

  2. Conflict and interference are inevitable in a physical system where billions of creatures are pursuing different goals.

  3. The number of microbes that cause disease is a minute proportion of those that exist.

  4. Viruses are usually more harmful but even they perform useful functions.

  5. Since malfunctions presuppose functions purpose is more basic than the absence of purpose.

  6. 90% of mutations are disadvantageous but they have promoted rather than prevented the successful development of life.

  7. Predation is swifter and efficient than a system in which animals suffer a lingering death from injury or disease.

  8. All living organisms are interdependent and cannot exist as isolated individuals.

  9. The development of parasites presupposes the development of successful organisms.

  10. The occurrence of abnormality is inevitable in a physical system.

  11. The laws of nature do not take into account individual needs.

  12. The immense value of life far outweighs its drawbacks.

Do you agree with Schopenhauer that it would be better if life had never existed on this planet?

Do you regret having been born?

Do you wish your family and friends had never been born?

Hey, I agree with you on Point 1. A miracle. Doesn’t Scripture say, “The dead are happier than the living. Happier than both is he who has never even existed.” Also “Whoever hates his life in this world, the same will inherit eternal life.”- Classic Schopenhauer

Yes, I agree with Schopenhauer, and I think Jesus and Solomon would too
Schopenahuer- “The best orientation is to regard the world as a sort of penal colony.”
Blessed Brother Giles- “Blessed is the man that knoweth that this world is a prison.”

The loving Father described by Jesus wouldn’t have created us if

“The dead are happier than the living. Happier than both is he who has never even existed.” !

God didn’t do it. Man did as a consequence of sin.

To the woman he said: “I will intensify the pangs of your childbearing; in pain shall you bring forth children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall be your master.”
17 To the man he said: "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat, “Cursed be the ground because of you! In toil shall you eat its yield all the days of your life.
18 Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you, as you eat of the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat, Until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return.” (Genesis (NAB) 3)

Isn’t it strange that two problems are always overlooked by the “apologists”.

  1. Humanity has only arrived very late (a few hundred thousand years ago) unto Earth, which was already teeming with life, carnivores, parasites and diseases. Therefore it is a logical absurdity that the “fall” was the causative factor for these “doubleplusungood” features.
  2. It is also overlooked that God explicitly cursed the creation (ain’t that just one loving “father” would do?).

You either take Genesis verbatim, and then it was God, who cursed and destroyed the world and then you must be just like Young Earth believers, or you take the Genesis allegorically, and then you are stuck with the problem of having all those “uncool” features around WAY before humanity would have “fallen”. But doublethink is such a wonderful idea - to keep two contradictory concepts in mind at the same time, and believing both of them. I tried to acquire this nifty ability, but so far I failed spectacularly.

So you guys and gals, EITHER read your Bible, OR learn some science about the Earth, so next time you will not make such a fool of yourselves by giving such inane answers.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.