“You'll watch as a parasite grows out of an ant's head, how a polar bear preys on Walruses, how hunting dogs kill prey, and so on, and so on. Yes, this is a majestic earth, and wonderful in so many ways. But when you watch this series I want you to ask why God didn't create us all as vegetarians. To me the horror of the law of predation negates the existence of an omni-God...period. And I just don't see how anyone who watches what takes place every second somewhere around the globe can still think God is good. He isn't. The horror of predation in this world proves such a God doesn't exist beyond a shadow of doubt.”
Loftus ran out of ideas a long time ago. Indeed, he never had any ideas of his own.
So he picks the mould spores out of his stale objections with a pair of tweezers, and keeps on serving them to his omnivorous readers.
He assures us that there is no Christian God.
Apparently, God didn’t get the memo. I guess that DC is a poor medium for communicating with the Omnipotent.
The problem with his current objection is that it doesn’t make any sense on either secular grounds or Christian grounds.
i) What’s so bad about a parasite growing out of an ant’s head, any way? This serves a natural purpose in the ecological balance. So it’s not a gratuitous evil.
ii) Does he think the ant is suffering? Does he attribute consciousness to an ant?
iii) Even more to the point, his reaction illustrates a typical tension in secularism. Take wolves. In traditional literature, wolves are described as cruel, savage, and vicious.
But you’re not supposed to say that any more. It’s politically incorrect. A naturalist will scold you for falsely imputing human motives and emotions to the wolf.
And, in one sense, the naturalist is right. This is a case of human projection. Treating an animal as if it’s a human being.
Nature isn’t cruel. Human beings can be cruel. But nature is amoral.
Yet Loftus’ whole case is predicated on his childishly anthropomorphic view of the animal kingdom. He identifies with that poor little ant. He imagines what it would “feel” like to be an ant.
But, of course, that has no basis in reality. He is taking himself as the standard of reference. An ant doesn’t share his viewpoint. Indeed, an ant has no viewpoint.
That would be the consistently secular interpretation. And, at a certain level, a Christian would agree.
iv) So why do we automatically tend to ascribe human traits to animals? There’s a theological explanation for that. The material world is one big parable.
God speaks to us through the world—as well as the Word. He teaches us things through the ritual morality play of the natural world.
Consider the symbolic dimension of so many animals in Scripture, viz. the ant, badger, bear, dog, dove, fox, goat, hornet, lamb, leopard, lion, locust, maggot, owl, ox, serpent, sheep, spider, warhorse, wolf, &c.
Indeed, the same animal can have more than one symbolic function, viz. dogs, sheep.
So, at another level, there is a genuine sense in which, by divine design, the animal kingdom has an emblematic and pedagogical function. It mimics human virtues and vices.
These are object lessons. Sermon illustrations. Bards and poets have always understood this.