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Palgrave Macmillan

The Problem of Animal Pain

A Theodicy For All Creatures Great And Small

ISBN 9780230368484
Publication Date July 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Palgrave Frontiers in Philosophy of Religion

The problem of evil constitutes the greatest challenge to rational belief in the existence of God. Animal suffering constitutes perhaps the most powerful version of the problem. Considerations that render human suffering theologically intelligible seem inapplicable to non-human animals. It is commonly held that they do not have morally significant free will, they do not have immortal souls, and they do not have a direct relationship with God. In this book, Dougherty defends radical possibilities for animal afterlife that allow a soul-making theodicy to apply to animals. He defends that animals have souls, and a novel model of materialist resurrection if they don't. He then proposes that animals will undergo theosis and given the expanded cognitive resources to understand and embrace their place in the scheme of salvation. Along the way we get tours of probability theory, four-dimensionalism, and chimpanzee behavior. From the split-brain experiment to the relationship between mammalian and avian brains, this tour de force challenges conventional wisdom on the theology of animals.

Trent Dougherty is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University, USA. He is the editor of Evidentialism and Its Discontents, co-editor (with Justin McBrayer) of Skeptical Theism: New Essays, and author of numerous book chapters, essays, reviews, and reference works in epistemology and philosophy of religion.

Series Editors' Preface
1. The Plan of this book
2. The Problem of Animal Pain
3. The Bayesian Argument from Animal Pain
4. Is there Really a Problem? The Challenge of Neo-Cartesianism
5. There is a problem. The Defeat of Neo-Cartesianism
6. The Saint-Making Theodicy I: Negative Phase
7. The Saint-Making Theodicy II: Positive Phase
8. Animal Saints
9. Animal Afterlife


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