on whether animals feel pain


Some food for thought

Why Evolution Is True

Last year the infamous theologian William Lane Craig debated philosopher Stephen Law, and made the extraordinary claim that many mammals can’t feel pain, or, if they do “feel” pain, then they aren’t aware that they feel pain. Only “the higher primates and human beings,” claims Craig (“higher” of course, is a scientifically inaccurate term), are aware that they feel pain.

But there’s no difference between feeling pain and being aware that you’re feeling pain. Pain is a “quale” (plural “qualia”)—a conscious and subjective sensation—which demands awareness, unless it’s simply a sensation that you have learned (or evolved) to avoid.  But if you’ve learned or evolved to avoid it because it’s unpleasant, then you are indeed aware of feeling pain! Finding a sensation unpleasant demands sufficient consciousness to experience qualia.

The reason Craig and others argue that animals don’t suffer is because it eliminates one of the…

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

2 thoughts on “on whether animals feel pain

  1. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Many years ago, in the stone-age years of Black & White TV, there was featured, on many variety shows, including the Ed Sullivan show, a Professor (something or other – his name escapes me) and his world famous dancing duck. The camera would close in on the duck, music would play, and the duck would begin to dance. The audience was always amazed that a duck could be taught to do such things, until it was ultimately discovered that the “Professor” was placing the hapless duck onto a hotplate – the duck’s dance was an effort to avoid burning his feet.

    If he couldn’t feel the pain, one must wonder why he didn’t remain flatfooted as his feet fried.

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