— J.X. Mason’s Blog Post of 7-19-22. Mason is the author of ContinuingCreation.org
Followers of the Abrahamic Religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) believe that suffering is the result of Original Sin. That’s the sin that Eve and Committed in the Garden of Eden, when they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God’s penalty for that rule violation was that Adam and Eve and all their descendants would endure the sufferings of life, including disease, war, famine, plague, and death.
But… why do deer suffer? And cattle, and birds? They committed no “original sin.
North American deer suffer from horrible, often fatal ailments such as Chronic Wasting Disease, and deer fibroma. The later grows baseball-size cancer tumors over the bodies and the eyes of North American deer. (Google “horrible deer diseases.”)
In contrast to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the Path of Continuing Creation correctly explains both human and animal suffering:
Simply put, the Processes of Continuing Creation, which include the process of biologic evolution, generates many different competing “teams” (species) and releases them all onto the “playing field” (biosphere). There, on the field of the biosphere, the species may compete, may attack, may hide, may flee, may find special niches of their own, and may join with other species in symbiotic cooperation.
So, Nature continually tries out new combinations of amino acids and genes. Sometimes a new combination, a new mutation, leads to something we humans find useful — like color vision; and sometimes it leads to things we don’t appreciate — like Ebola, cancer, and mosquitoes.
Sometimes the evolution of unfortunate things eventually makes humans tougher and less populous — good defensive changes in the humans that remain. And sometimes they don’t. But the trend, as we see it, is toward greater organization, increasing knowledge, a healed biosphere, and less suffering.
For more on this topic, see our Essay, Suffering and Evil – Causes & Responses.
— J.X. Mason – “Look for Me on the Web!”