This past fall I did a series of posts on animal suffering, and several friends here in St. Louis mentioned that they did not follow what I was trying to say. I am therefore in this post attempting to restate the problem in a simple, linear formula. This is not an addition to that series, but rather a restatement of what I was addressing in a brief, linear form. Here goes:
1. There is something wrong with nature.
2. This wrongness (to use as general a term as possible) appears to have existed before human beings.
3. Therefore, the human fall is an inadequate explanation for (all of) this wrongness.
Premise (2) is where the rub comes for most people, but I would argue its difficult to deny to the evidence in favor of it.
From my second post:
“By animal suffering I mean not only the physical sensation of pain felt in individual animals with developed nervous systems when they are injured or killed in nature, but also the entire system of competition, futility, waste, and inefficiency by which the natural order subsists. Everywhere we look we see a nature “red in tooth and claw” in which the strong devour the weak, suffering and death are the driving forces, and decay, disease, and disorganization are rampant. If we are willing to yield to the overwhelming fossil evidence that this system pre-dated human beings (and thus the human fall), then … what do we do with this?”
So how do we understand the brokenness of nature? I’d love feedback from others who have wrestled with this…