1. It has been suggested that non-human animals do not actually suffer. See, for example, Ultyd Trethowan, Absolute Value (George Allen & Unwin: London, 1970), pp. 153f. I think that most people, however, would take this to be a highly eccentric view. Those who do not might express their belief in their position by taking a knife to an unanaesthetized cat. I doubt, though, that many of them would be prepared to do this. In this book, anyway, I take it for granted that non-human animals can undergo suffering. They cannot, of course, suffer in what we might think of as a 'refined' (or 'human') way. They cannot, for example, be pained because their colleagues do not value them enough, or because they have been rejected by people with whom they have fallen in love, or because they endure deep remorse for something they did. But, I am assuming, they can suffer as sentient physical organisms and often give every evidence of doing so. Pain behaviour is a reason for ascribing pain to something -even a non-human animal. And I presume that things which undergo pain undergo suffering.
2. For a brief, albeit partisan, survey of humanly inflicted and other evils, see William Hart, Evil: A Primer (St Martin's Press: New York, 2004).
3. In 'The Concept of Evil' (Philosophy 79, 2004) Marcus G. Singer takes only people to be paradigmatically evil. And, he says, they are evil because of their evil acts, these being 'acts that are horrendously wrong, that cause immense suffering, and are done from an evil motive - the motive to do something horrendously wrong, causing immense suffering' (p. 193). I sympathize with Singer's discussion since it aims, with some reason, to distinguish evil from what is less than evil. We do, however, typically talk of the evils of various kinds of sickness and other natural occurrences.
4. I quote from Seneca, Moral Essays, vol. 1, tr. John W. Basore (Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Mass., 1928).
5. The following volumes (a representative sample only) all testify to the truth of this observation: Brian Davies (ed.), Thomas Aquinas: Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2002); Anthony Kenny (ed.), Aquinas: A Collection of Critical. Essays (University of Notre Dame Press: Notre Dame, Ind., 1976); Anthony Kenny, Aquinas on Mind. (Routledge: London, 1993); Anthony Kenny, Aquinas on Being (Clarendon Press: Oxford, 2002); Norman Kretzmann, The Metaphysics of Theism: Aquinas's Natural, Theology in 'Summa Contra. Gentiles /' (Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1997); Norman Kretzmann, The Metaphysics of Creation: Aquinas's Natural Theology in 'Summa Contra. Gentiles II' (Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1999); Robert Pasnau, Thomas Aquinas on Human Nature (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2002); Eleonore Stump, Aquinas (Routledge: London and New York, 2003).
6. I mean by this that I do not think that evil is generally something that does not admit, at least in principle, of some kind of explanation. That there are numerous grounds for supposing that evil can be thought of as mysterious, however, is not something I wish to deny. If you think that I should, then you might benefit from reading Predrag Cicovacki (ed.), Destined for Evil? The Twentieth Century Responses (University of Rochester Press: Rochester, NY, 2005).
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