Animal Suffering: A Moorean Response to a Problem of Evil

Document Type : Research Paper


University of Sussex, United Kingdom



In this paper, I propose a new response to a particular instance of the problem of evil: the problem of animal suffering. My solution, in brief, is that the rational theist may argue, justifiably, that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God would not allow gratuitous animal suffering to occur, and, therefore, all instances of animal suffering that are encountered are not instances of gratuitous evil. I maintain that the justification for this response to the problem of evil does not depend on the availability of a persuasive argument for the existence of God. I will focus on one category of animal suffering: the gratuitous suffering of unseen animals. For reasons that will become clear, I think that this category of evil is the most difficult for the rational theist to explain. If this problem can be solved with my proposed defense, then, I think, any problem of animal suffering can be solved.


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