Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley



Unknown and useless animal suffering
 
Religion blames human misuse of free will not God for human suffering in the world. It thinks God allows no suffering to be wasted. God uses it in his complicated plan to make us better people. This is slander for nobody has the right to accuse us of breaking God's law when we don't know if God really has a law. You need proof to make an accusation like that! And we have seen that another reason it is slander is that the religions do not really care if free will excuses God or not.

 

Most animal suffering is unknown to us who are reportedly here to do good with our free will so when we donít know it is wasted suffering. When bird is killed by a cat in the forest nobody ever finds out about it. When a dog has terrible stomach cramps in the middle of the night nobody knows. When a slug goes on to a patch of salt next a bin it dies in torture and nobody knows. And most animal suffering that is seen is not even thought about again after a few minutes so it might as well not have happened at all. What about the suffering that took place before human beings walked the earth? If suffering happens so that free beings might be good then nobody can say then that animal suffering is for a purpose for we know nothing about much of it. God could have made animals as unconscious robots and should have. If we grow spiritually through helping animals is that growth worth the animal suffering? That growth is essentially made of caring feeling and a better attitude but what about the feelings of the animal? The suffering would tip the scales more than the growth. The animal will not live on after death like us. It is worse to hurt a being with a short life than one with a longer one. If you appreciate the suffering for making you grow then that is callous and the only growing you have done spiritually is growing in hypocrisy.


Animals do not suffer so that we might help them. We simply cannot help many of them.
 

All the animal suffering that happened before we evolved cannot be explained and is proof that there is no God. Those who say that animals have no moral rights but are to be treated kindly because God made them and no artist likes his work mocked (eg Question 51, Radio Replies 3) are telling those who have little or no belief in God that they may abuse animals if they want for that is not a reason. And when God lets animals rip one another up how could he care as long as we donít abuse too many of them and drive them to extinction? Is it genuinely caring to use the God belief to protect animals? What does it say about us that we canít just see that animal suffering is an evil to be prevented and averted instead of looking for a belief to tell us that its wrong?


It would be answered that if secret suffering never happens then we could stop God causing or allowing suffering simply by refusing to know. It would be a sin for us to help them if God should hurt animals. And we would not know for sure if it really succeeded. The answer does not work.

Augustine
 
Augustine said that animals have to suffer for God needs to make different grades of being as if that would be an answer! He blamed animals suffering on the sin of Adam and Eve. If God made nature red in tooth and claw because of them then it was just an excuse. Religion says that it was people who sinned not animals. We know from science that animals were suffering and dying long before man appeared on earth.

Animals don't have rights?
 
Some argue that animals may be abused because they donít deserve good treatment. They mean that since the animals donít have the free will necessary to merit rewards or punishments then we have to treat them as we please. That is very wrong. You do not abuse a being that can suffer. Freedom does not come into it.

The Bible degrades animals
 
Different kinds of animals are at different levels of intelligence and awareness. The evil Bible says that God has given us all animals as food. The Lord told the Hebrews to kill goats and sheep in sacrifice and eat them in the book of Leviticus. It should tell us to eat the lower animals and not the higher ones when they are available but it does not. God could have made it unnecessary for us to eat the higher animals by making their flesh as tough as old boots and make the edible lower ones more common. That is, only if one assumes that we should have meat to eat which is wrong for God could have made plants that suffice to give us all the nutrition and pleasure we need.

 

If God abuses animals cruelly then we should do the same if he is good. We should approve of it then. So we should not believe in God. Better to do that than to risk praising a being for doing evil and gratuitously causing suffering. Your heart is deceptive above all things according to the Bible prophet Jeremiah. So you could be secretly glad to see the cruelty. You might not be aware of this or the degree of your approval yourself. Clearly, any doctrine that risks you condoning evil should be rejected.  Religionists say that God is the centre of their lives and actions. And then they refuse to imitate because they fear societyís mores and taboos more than him. They are not so godly after all.

Animal cruelty hurts the cruel person only?
 
Believers often say that when a person tortures an animal the worst damage is probably done to the tormentor and not the animal (page 214, The Enigma of Evil) the implication being that it is not such a big deal that the animal is hurt. In other words, the tormentor ruins his own soul by enjoying such evil and corrupts himself. But if the tormentor repents quickly this will not happen.  The Christian cannot condemn the animal tormentor for hurting the animal as much as for his damaging himself spiritually. But if he can prevent damage by repenting then it is not damaging that is wrong and immoral but not repenting. Christians are making the torment of animals out to be a tolerable and minor wrong in which case it is impossible to see how anybody maltreating animals could damage themselves in any important way. It is contradictory to say that that you ruin yourself by hurting an animal and what you do to yourself is the main wrong. If the animal isn't important, if its suffering isn't important, then how can you do yourself much damage by torturing it?

 

Presumably the closeted heretic only damages himself too. But religion still says that heresy is a dreadful sin on its own apart from not repenting of heresy. So if you are a heretic for ten harmless seconds it is still a major offence. I am tired of the nonsense that Christians foist on the unsuspecting world.
 
Finally
 
Animal suffering disproves the love and therefore the existence of God. Those who call it a mystery are offending against the law that we should have as few mysteries as possible. It would be better to believe in an all-powerful spirit robot that does not give a toss than in a spirit God of love.


The religious are really just refusing to admit the truth. Their mystery is silly and is mere stubbornness.


Human free will isnít worth the suffering of even one animal. Nothing can be more innocent than an animal. Religion argues in the free will defence that the existence of suffering is necessary because we have free will. The defence says suffering should not exist if there are no agents with free will. That tacitly admits that a being without free will should not suffer. Animal suffering

 

It is impossible to deny that our treatment of animals is evil. Killing an animal even painlessly is using a conscious being for our benefit. It is taking away its happiness and its opportunity to be happy. It implies that we cannot object if some alien being comes along and eats us on the grounds that it is a being better than us. The atheist may eat meat and even kill animals. That is evil. But the atheist does not make the situation worse by acting as if God approves of his behaviour. Religion and belief in God deepen vice.

 

If you are an animal lover, do not give money to a faith that demeans the rights of animals.
 
 
WORKS CONSULTED
 
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BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL, Friedrich Nietzsche, Penguin, London, 1990
 
CITY OF GOD, St Augustine, Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1986
 
CONTROVERSY: THE HUMANIST CHRISTIAN ENCOUNTER, Hector Hawton, Pemberton Books, London, 1971
 
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THE WEB
www.colorado.edu/philosophy/wes/Tooley2.html
THE ARGUMENT FROM EVIL AND THE EXISTENCE OF GOD by Michael Tooley.
 
http://www.nd.edu/~rpotter/courses/finitism.htm
FINITISM AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL, R Dennis Potter,
 
www.ffrf.org/fttoday/august97/barker.html
THE FREE WILL ARGUMENT FOR THE NON-EXISTENCE OF GOD by Dan Barker