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Old 02-07-2018, 01:28 PM   #1
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Nature and animals killing each other

Me and my mum were watching an nature animal documentary and mum asked why did create these animals for them to suffer as they are being eaten ? What is the bahai view on this
 
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
Me and my mum were watching an nature animal documentary and mum asked why did create these animals for them to suffer as they are being eaten ? What is the bahai view on this
This bothers me a lot, animal suffering, not only in the wild but domesticated animals also suffer...
So much for the loving God... I really wonder. I mean it is not for spiritual growth like our suffering and we do not even know if animals have an afterlife, so why does God allow this? To say that animals are here just for human happiness is not an answer I can live with as it is so self-serving and arrogant.

I have asked this of Baha'is before but they have no answers, because there are no answers.
 
Old 02-08-2018, 11:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailblazer View Post
This bothers me a lot, animal suffering, not only in the wild but domesticated animals also suffer...
So much for the loving God... I really wonder. I mean it is not for spiritual growth like our suffering and we do not even know if animals have an afterlife, so why does God allow this? To say that animals are here just for human happiness is not an answer I can live with as it is so self-serving and arrogant.

I have asked this of Baha'is before but they have no answers, because there are no answers.
Animals suffer sometimes but they also are not anxious creatures like we are. On the whole they take life as it comes. It may be they enjoy life more on the whole than they suffer, though this is not uniform. Some creatures I'm sure suffer a lot.
 
Old 02-08-2018, 04:31 PM   #4
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One thing to consider is that while there is suffering in the world it gives humans the opportunity to show compassion. We have the ability to reduce the suffering of other humans, and even animals, and that is a way we can grow spiritually.

In nature, just the fact of animals killing and eating each other does not mean that the animal which was eaten suffered much. I read that when a prey animal such as an antelope is killed by a predator such as a lion, their brain produces natural calming substances and they will give up struggling and die peacefully.
 
Old 02-08-2018, 04:32 PM   #5
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Animals are not worried about future, the way we are. They do not think, what if tomorrow I loose my child, my husband,..my job, ..my health. They only have feelings for right now. So, God is fair. They do not have a life after death, but at the same time they are not worry about future either. Some human beings are likened to some animals in Holy Books. Apes, pigs, cows, ...donkeys. Just different creatures of God. He did not create all the same.
 
Old 02-08-2018, 04:33 PM   #6
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Thank you guys for your inputs they always illumine me, you are all Bahá'u'lláh soldiers and servants and he has equipped you well!
 
Old 02-08-2018, 07:45 PM   #7
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As I expected, Baha'is try to minimize the suffering of animals like they do not matter. They seem to think that animals are only here as a service to humans, something we can benefit from and enjoy, something for their spiritual growth.

Animals do suffer, in the wild and domestically. Abdu'l-Baha even said that animals suffer just as much as humans. An atheist I posted to for a long time who was also a scientist pointed this out to me as one reason the kind of God Baha'is believe in cannot exist. Only because of Baha'u'llah do I believe in God, but that does not mean I have to like God. I will take my punishment if that lands me in hell and I will have lots of friends there because many people I have befriended are nonbelievers.

There is no excuse as far as I am concerned as to why God allows animals to suffer, UNLESS they have an afterlife in the spiritual world. I think they do have an afterlife but we do not know because I guess God did not think it was important enough to reveal to any Manifestation of God... I do not blame Baha'u'llah for that as the buck stops with God. God runs the post office, Baha'u'llah just picks up and delivers the mail.

As far as God being a loving God, the jury is out as far as I am concerned. I am sure God knows I feel this way so my stating it here does not matter. I sleep better when I am honest.

Last edited by Trailblazer; 02-08-2018 at 09:25 PM.
 
Old 02-09-2018, 05:55 AM   #8
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Hmmm. I started thinking up a response but then soon realized that to respond in full it would require me to write up a long post on the problem of suffering in general, breaking down that problem, explaining Taoist and Buddhist philosophy around suffering and escape from suffering, and how those answers relate to the Baha'i theology...

So before I do such a thing, would anyone actually find value in such a post?? I figure that might be an over-complicated response and so I probably shouldn't clog up the thread with such a thing unless people would actually want to read such a thing. If so, let me know, and I'll get working on such a post.
 
Old 02-09-2018, 02:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
Hmmm. I started thinking up a response but then soon realized that to respond in full it would require me to write up a long post on the problem of suffering in general, breaking down that problem, explaining Taoist and Buddhist philosophy around suffering and escape from suffering, and how those answers relate to the Baha'i theology...

So before I do such a thing, would anyone actually find value in such a post?? I figure that might be an over-complicated response and so I probably shouldn't clog up the thread with such a thing unless people would actually want to read such a thing. If so, let me know, and I'll get working on such a post.
Walrus your posts are very helpful and respected by me. Would your post be focused on your view of animals ?
 
Old 02-09-2018, 11:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
Hmmm. I started thinking up a response but then soon realized that to respond in full it would require me to write up a long post on the problem of suffering in general, breaking down that problem, explaining Taoist and Buddhist philosophy around suffering and escape from suffering, and how those answers relate to the Baha'i theology...

So before I do such a thing, would anyone actually find value in such a post?? I figure that might be an over-complicated response and so I probably shouldn't clog up the thread with such a thing unless people would actually want to read such a thing. If so, let me know, and I'll get working on such a post.
I for one would like to see such a post, because human suffering has always been a problem for me, not just because of my own suffering either.

However, I do not think that any philosophies or religions address the suffering of animals, do they?
 
Old 02-10-2018, 12:46 AM   #11
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Humans are often only treated well by other humans because it can voice complaint. Animals should be treated well precisely because they can't...

Baha'is are encouraged to teach all their children to nurse sick and injured animals back to health, especially if it can be done under the supervision of experts imo, and care for the environment which is home to animals and humans alike.

As to animals and their souls, Abdul Baha has said something like: We do not complain about this beautiful tree because it cannot sing!
 
Old 02-10-2018, 12:19 PM   #12
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As to animals and their souls, Abdul Baha has said something like: We do not complain about this beautiful tree because it cannot sing!
When asked about the individual persistence of the animal’s personality after death, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: “Even the most developed dog has not the immortal soul of the man; yet the dog is perfect in its own place. You do not quarrel with a rose-tree because it cannot sing!” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London

We know that animals do not have souls like humans but that does not mean that animals do not have an animal spirit that persists after they die and goes somewhere... I have a friend whose animals have appeared to him after they dies. He is not a delusional person; he is a wildlife biologist who worked for the federal government for over 30 years, very intelligent man. Also, in NDEs people have seen their pets and in the book Private Dowding, the man’s dog came and lived with him.

To be clear, I do not care that animals persist death for my sake but for their sake.... Why do people assume that animals do not care if they die? How do they know that? Sure, animals do not worry about death or think in the abstract the way we do but science really has not determined how they think or what they think about... Humans can just be so arrogant to think that they know everything.

Who knows what I will want to do in the spiritual world or whether I will want to see my animals? I only know that in this world they are my solace and what I care about most, aside from bringing people to the Faith and/or God. I hope I will be able to continue this work in the afterlife, as otherwise I would be terribly bored.... At least that is how I think now, but that could easily change, since nobody knows what the spiritual world will be like...

BTW, welcome aboard the forum... I used to be a resident of Arizona many moons ago, now I am a resident of the world!
 
Old 02-11-2018, 08:23 AM   #13
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Here is a non-Baha'i resource below:

Did God make animals suffer in evolution?
 
Old 02-11-2018, 09:03 AM   #14
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One thing to consider is that while there is suffering in the world it gives humans the opportunity to show compassion. We have the ability to reduce the suffering of other humans, and even animals, and that is a way we can grow spiritually.
"Train your children from their earliest days to be infinitely tender and loving to animals."
-Abdu'l-Baha

 
Old 02-26-2018, 05:24 AM   #15
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I see to topics in the title and first post of the thread.

One seems to be about killing in the animal kingdom, and the second is about suffering in the animal kingdom.

Killing does not equal to murder, and hence to a moral issue or sin. The lioness is not murdering a zebra. Both are part of the evolving balance that God sets for the entire universe.
By the same token, we do not "murder" bacteria when we fight an infection nor we murder or intend to murder a potato plan when we dig out the root for eating.

On the other topic, pain does not always equal suffering.
To suffer the being must have some sense of "self", of "past self" and "future self". Only this can lead to attachment to self, which is, in turn, the root cause of suffering.

So the zebra hunted by the lioness is in pain and stress for few minutes ( God has tuned animal physiology to stop feeling pain quickly) but I don't think (I may be wrong) that the zebra has such a sense of self, that we can say she "suffers".

Probably man is the only one to inflict chronic, purposeless pain into other animals.... and by doing so inflicts damage to himself.
The real victim of any sin is the person who commits it.

Last edited by camachoe; 02-26-2018 at 05:27 AM.
 
Old 03-02-2018, 01:07 AM   #16
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On the other topic, pain does not always equal suffering.
To suffer the being must have some sense of "self", of "past self" and "future self". Only this can lead to attachment to self, which is, in turn, the root cause of suffering.

So the zebra hunted by the lioness is in pain and stress for few minutes ( God has tuned animal physiology to stop feeling pain quickly) but I don't think (I may be wrong) that the zebra has such a sense of self, that we can say she "suffers".

Probably man is the only one to inflict chronic, purposeless pain into other animals.... and by doing so inflicts damage to himself.
The real victim of any sin is the person who commits it.
Who is to say that because animals do not have a sense of self they do not suffer? It is a known scientific fact that many animals have emotions and that they suffer from grief and sadness. Moreover, it is also known that animals feel physical pain. It does not matter if they are animals in the wild or domestic animals, pain is still pain.

God never can do no wrong in the eyes of a believer can He? Yet believers have no explanation for why animals suffer since there is no moral lesson that they have to learn and there is no recompense in an afterlife, at least none that we were ever told about through any Prophet.

“For in all physical respects, and where the animal spirit is concerned, the selfsame feelings are shared by animal and man. Man hath not grasped this truth, however, and he believeth that physical sensations are confined to human beings, wherefore is he unjust to the animals, and cruel.

And yet in truth, what difference is there when it cometh to physical sensations? The feelings are one and the same, whether ye inflict pain on man or on beast. There is no difference here whatever. And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities. If a man inflict a thousand ills upon a beast, it can neither ward him off with speech nor hale him into court. Therefore is it essential that ye show forth the utmost.”
Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp. 158-159
 
Old 03-02-2018, 04:39 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Trailblazer View Post
Who is to say that because animals do not have a sense of self they do not suffer? It is a known scientific fact that many animals have emotions and that they suffer from grief and sadness. Moreover, it is also known that animals feel physical pain. It does not matter if they are animals in the wild or domestic animals, pain is still pain.

God never can do no wrong in the eyes of a believer can He? Yet believers have no explanation for why animals suffer since there is no moral lesson that they have to learn and there is no recompense in an afterlife, at least none that we were ever told about through any Prophet.

“For in all physical respects, and where the animal spirit is concerned, the selfsame feelings are shared by animal and man. Man hath not grasped this truth, however, and he believeth that physical sensations are confined to human beings, wherefore is he unjust to the animals, and cruel.

And yet in truth, what difference is there when it cometh to physical sensations? The feelings are one and the same, whether ye inflict pain on man or on beast. There is no difference here whatever. And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities. If a man inflict a thousand ills upon a beast, it can neither ward him off with speech nor hale him into court. Therefore is it essential that ye show forth the utmost.”
Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp. 158-159
Hi my friend

You are absolutely right: pain is pain and we must avoid inflicting unnecessary pain to animals.

I was writing in the context of suffering as an attribute of beings with a rational soul.
Suffering in the sense that Buddha and all Manifestations taught, which entails attachment to self.
Without self, there cannot be attachment and therefore there can be no suffering.

The quote from Abdul Bahá refers to physical sensations, physical pain, not suffering. And it refers to the actions of a rational being (a man) to an animal, not to the actions of one animal to another. I believed that the TV documentary that the friend who opened the post was referring to presented scenes of animals being eaten by others.

In that specific sense, predators do not inflict suffering into their prey, although they inflict pain (most of the times a very short one).
So a lion hunting a zebra is not a sinner. The zebra suffers no injustice. Morality is beyond their realm.

Last edited by camachoe; 03-02-2018 at 04:48 AM.
 
Old 03-02-2018, 12:14 PM   #18
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Hi camachoe,

You are absolutely right: pain is pain and we must avoid inflicting unnecessary pain to animals.

I was not talking about domestic animals or humans inflicting pain upon animals; I was talking about God allowing animals to suffer, domestic animals or animals in the wild.

I was writing in the context of suffering as an attribute of beings with a rational soul.
Suffering in the sense that Buddha and all Manifestations taught, which entails attachment to self.

Without self, there cannot be attachment and therefore there can be no suffering.


Baha’u’llah reiterates a lot of what the Buddha said about attachment to self, but He does not go so far as to say that without self, there cannot be attachment and therefore there can be no suffering. Clearly, a person can suffer because of the illness or death of a loved one, animal or human, that they love. Is this attachment to self? I think not. So I do not believe that all suffering comes from attachment to self. It can also come from love. You can call that attachment to something besides God if you want to; many Baha’is think that way, but I don’t. I find it impossible to love a God that deliberately remains invisible but we all differ in how we relate to that.

The quote from Abdul Bahá refers to physical sensations, physical pain, not suffering. And it refers to the actions of a rational being (a man) to an animal, not to the actions of one animal to another. I believed that the TV documentary that the friend who opened the post was referring to presented scenes of animals being eaten by others.

Yes, I know what the quote from Abdu’l-Baha refers to; it is about how humans should treat animals, with the utmost kindness. However, it seems logically inconsistent that humans should treat animals with kindness when God just allows them to suffer, not only at our hands, but also in the wild. I guess there is a double standard; God can do whatever He wants to because He is God. I just find it very disturbing that God allows animals to suffer, as I said.

In that specific sense, predators do not inflict suffering into their prey, although they inflict pain (most of the times a very short one).
So a lion hunting a zebra is not a sinner. The zebra suffers no injustice. Morality is beyond their realm.


I was not talking about humans or animals inflicting pain or suffering upon other animals; I was talking about God allowing the animals He supposedly created out of love to suffer and die.

I was not talking about morality of animals; I was talking about morality of God. Is God above the moral standards that he expects humans to live up to? I find this troublesome.

As I said: “God never can do no wrong in the eyes of a believer can He? Yet believers have no explanation for why animals suffer since there is no moral lesson that they have to learn and there is no recompense in an afterlife, at least none that we were ever told about through any Prophet.”

Sincerely, Trailblazer
 
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