Would God create animals?

Would God create non-human animals? I am not merely wondering why God would create animals. What I am wondering is that, if God exists, would God* really create animals?

At the very least, assuming that God would create animals, would they look like animals in the actual world?

So, we can easily imagine how non-human animals could be much more impressive than they actually are. For instance, God could have made animals to be much more like humans.

Setting aside the problem of whether humans are (relatively) impressive, the fact that animals don’t even have some of the capabilities that humans have is quite surprising on the hypothesis of classical theism. If animals had the capacity to reason just like humans, it’s quite obvious how this would be extrinsically beneficial (and intrinsically good on theism). God could have also made it the case that animals would communicate at the level of human communication.

In addition, if God exists, God could have made many more types of animals. Moreover, there could have been a lack of animals that are displeasing to the eye like the angler fish. I think you get the point, which is that when we are talking about an all-powerful God, the options are limitless.

Whereas, none of this data is surprising on the hypothesis of indifference. The hypothesis of indifference, according to Paul Draper, is the following:

(HI)  neither the nature nor the condition of sentient beings on earth is the result of benevolent or malevolent actions performed by divine persons.

The Argument

1. It is a known fact that animals exist
2. The existence of animals (and what we know about them) is much more likely on the hypothesis of indifference than on the hypothesis of classical theism
3. The hypothesis of indifference is equal to the intrinsic probability of the hypothesis of classical theism
4. Therefore, other evidence held equal, it is probable that classical theism is false

Premise 3, if anything, is incredibly generous. That’s because classical theism is just one variation of theism, and theism is just one form of supernaturalism.

 

Notes:

By “God” I am referring to classical theism. Classical theism is the view that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. In addition, God, on classical theism, is timeless, spaceless, immaterial, uncaused, eternal, and not composed of parts.

thomas-veyrat-anglerfish-view02-front

12 thoughts on “Would God create animals?

  1. Imagine, since the world is made for us … supposedly … He could have made us vegetarians and not bothered with all of the other animals. No predators, no prey, no animals being eaten while still alive, no animals dying from vicious parasites, dying from thirst and hunger, etc. All of that misery could have been forgone.

    Tells you something, doesn’t it.

    1. Philosophy of Religion blog (Does God Exist?)

      What’s obvious is that animals exist. It’s not obvious that theism predicts that there would be animals. In fact, I’ve argued that what we see (with respect to animals) is surprising on classical theism.

      I’m not sure what you mean by “work in progress”. Non-human animals are moral patients, not agents. So, it’s not like they are building character. And, God doesn’t need to have animals be a work in progress. God can just make animals X amount of ‘awesome’ from the start.

      1. You sadly underrate animals. Let’s face it, the classical theists are a bunch of complete idiots. The universe was categorically not built for the benefit of humans. They are merely part of the grand picture.
        It must be faced that God even as traditional creator did not do a magic wand thing; whether or not He can do an instant job of making creatures He simply doesn’t work that way.

      1. I have no specific god belief, but am of the opinion that human beings are far far apart from being the end product of creation/evolution. If vastly superior beings don’t already exist, then they are certainly going to.

  2. Tremendously hard to reconcile the claim of “goodness” against the hard fact that the mechanisms necessary to physically experience something beginning to resemble ‘happiness’ (enkephalin and opioid receptors) would not even exist in the world before some 3.5 billion years of terrestrial evolution had passed and untold billions of generations of living things had suffered enormously without as much as the hope of corporeal relief.

  3. Philosophy of Religion blog (Does God Exist?),

    As I asked you earlier, how would you know what a being who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent would do or not do with your infinitely little understanding ( compared to this being) ?

    (Note: By the way, I am not a theist at all.)

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