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Is “patience a virtue” in Shakespeare? Yes, this chapter argues—though Shakespeare also fully acknowledges how the word and the virtue itself can be abused. For an example of the more troubling ways in which patience is invoked by Shakespeare, consider Petruchio’s promise to see Katherine become “a second Grissel,” an icon of patient wifely submission. Or take the jarring way Prince Ferdinand, in The Tempest, reaps romantic rewards for “patient” labors of the same sort that the enslaved Caliban has long unwillingly and unprofitably endured. Such scandalous appeals to patience invite us to read into Shakespeare a modern critique of this virtue: a critique that has been prominent ever since Nietzsche called patience one of Western culture’s key “fabricated ideals,”a constraint on human potential. To show why the abuse of patience discourse is not the whole story in Shakespeare, this chapter recalls how classical and Christian traditions envision patience as not a loser’s but a winner’s virtue. In classical ethics it is a practice of acting deliberately rather than reactively. And in Christianity, patience not only builds confidence in a better world to come, but—as Marina’s perseverance in Pericles shows—can also further meaningful change in this one.
Healthcare has an impact on everyone, and healthcare funding decisions shape how and what healthcare is provided. In this book, Stephen Duckett outlines a Christian, biblically grounded, ethical basis for how decisions about healthcare funding and priority-setting ought to be made. Taking a cue from the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Duckett articulates three ethical principles drawn from the story: compassion as a motivator; inclusivity, or social justice as to benefits; and responsible stewardship of the resources required to achieve the goals of treatment and prevention. These are principles, he argues, that should underpin a Christian ethic of healthcare funding. Duckett's book is a must for healthcare professionals and theologians struggling with moral questions about rationing in healthcare. It is also relevant to economists interested in the strengths and weaknesses of the application of their discipline to health policy.
Suffering is ubiquitous. Quests to make sense of it in relation to the existence of God – and to find meaning in our lives in the face of it – are significant aspects of the human experience. Evil and Theodicy motivates the project of theodicy by examining arguments rooted in evil against God's existence and by critically assessing the response of skeptical theism. Ekstrom explores eight different lines of theodicy. She argues that, even if the prospects for theodicy are dim with respect to defending the rationality of theistic belief in light of suffering, nonetheless, work in theodicies is practically useful.
In hedonic theories of motivation, ‘motivational affective states’ (MASs) are typically seen as adaptations which motivate certain types of behaviour, especially in situations where a flexible or learned response is more adaptive than a rigid or reflexive one. MASs can be negative (eg unpleasant feelings of hunger or pain) or positive (eg pleasant feelings associated with eating and playing). Hedonic theories often portray negative and positive MASs as opposite ends of a one-dimensional scale.
We suggest that natural selection has favoured negative and positive affect as separate processes to solve two different types of motivational problems. We propose that negative MASs (eg thirst, fear) evolved in response to ‘need situations’ where the fitness benefit of an action has increased, often because the action is needed to cope with a threat to survival or reproductive success. We propose that these negative MASs develop in response to a change in the body (eg dehydration) or the environment (eg the approach of a predator) which creates the need for action, and that negative MASs can become intense and prolonged if the threat to fitness is high and persistent. We propose that positive MASs evolved in ‘opportunity situations ‘ where an action (eg playing, exploring) has become advantageous because the fitness cost of performing it has declined. We propose that these positive MASs occur during, or as a result of, the performance of types of behaviour which are beneficial for fitness at a variety of times, not only when they are required to meet immediate needs; and that the pleasure inherent in the behaviour motivates the animal to perform it when the cost of so doing is sufficiently low. Some behaviour (eg eating) can be motivated by both positive and negative affect. Other behaviour, such as playing or fleeing from a predator, may be motivated largely by positive or negative affect alone. Our hypothesis needs to be tested, but we suggest that it corresponds well to common human experience.
The hypothesis provides a basis for predicting whether an aspect of animal management is likely to cause strong and prolonged negative affect (‘suffering’), or to prevent animals from experiencing certain types of pleasure. This distinction is important for bringing animal welfare assessment into line with ethical concerns.
It is a popular notion that, compared to vertebrates, invertebrates have a reduced capacity to experience suffering. This is usually based on arguments that invertebrates show only simple forms of learning, have little memory capacity, do not show behavioural responses to stimuli that would cause ‘higher’ vertebrates to exhibit responses indicative of pain, and have differences in their physiology that would preclude the capacity for suffering. But, how convincing is this ‘evidence’ of a reduced capacity to suffer? Suffering is a negative mental state - a private experience - and, as such, it cannot be measured directly. When assessing the capacity of an animal to experience suffering, we often compare the similarity of its responses with those of ‘higher’ animals, conceptualized in the principle of argument-by-analogy. By closely examining the responses of invertebrates, it can be seen that they often behave in a strikingly analogous manner to vertebrates. In this paper, I discuss published studies that show that invertebrates such as cockroaches, flies and slugs have short- and long-term memory; have age effects on memory; have complex spatial, associative and social learning; perform appropriately in preference tests and consumer demand studies; exhibit behavioural and physiological responses indicative of pain; and, apparently, experience learned helplessness. The similarity of these responses to those of vertebrates may indicate a level of consciousness or suffering that is not normally attributed to invertebrates. This indicates that we should either be more cautious when using argument-by-analogy, or remain open-minded to the possibility that invertebrates are capable of suffering in a similar way to vertebrates.
There are conflicting views about the humaneness of the handbow as a recreational hunting method for deer. Some claim that it is the most humane hunting method, whilst others report higher wounding rates and crippling losses than with the rifle. This commentary summarises the factors affecting the likelihood of a quick death, the types of equipment commonly used, the vital target areas, the influence of blood loss on blood pressure and brain function and the prevalence of wounding during routine bowhunting. Some requirements in Bowhunters Association Codes of Conduct are also described. It is concluded that where bowhunting is allowed, Codes of Conduct should emphasise the hunters' responsibility to track and despatch injured animals, and adherence to the Codes should be encouraged, if not enforced.
The scientific study of animal welfare has generated a welter of complex, equivocal and often contradictory results. Consequently, there is little agreement about how impairment of welfare should be measured. While some solutions to this have been suggested, these have usually relied on more sophisticated versions of, or more control over, existing measures. However, we argue that the difficulties arise because of questionable assumptions in the definition and measurement of welfare, in particular the measurement of suffering and the assumed importance of individual well-being. We contend that welfare can be interpreted only in terms of what natural selection has designed an organism to do and how circumstances impinge on its functional design. Organisms are designed for self-expenditure and the relative importance of self-preservation and survival, and the concomitant investment of time and resources in different activities, varies with life history strategy. The traditional notions of coping and stress are anthropomorphisms based on homeostatic mechanisms of self-preservation in a long-lived species. Suffering-like states are viewed as generalized subjective states that are geared to avoiding deleterious circumstances with which the organism does not have specific adaptive mechanisms to deal. Attempts to measure suffering-like states directly are likely to remain inconclusive, at least for the foreseeable future, because such states are private and subjective, may take many forms fundamentally different from our own and are likely to depend on the operation of phenotype-limited priorities and decision rules. However, measuring the impact of circumstances on functional design via the organism ‘s decision rules provides a practicable means of giving benefit of the doubt by indicating when suffering, or an analogous subjective state, is likely.
Disease is one of the most important causes of animal suffering. When diseases are treated the aim is to achieve rapid and permanent recovery and this helps to reduce the duration of suffering. It does not, however, alleviate suffering during the fulminant and recovery phases. Greater attention needs to be given to alleviating suffering and the signs of sickness during disease states. In this paper, the role of the cytokines in mediating sickness behaviour and suffering during disease is reviewed. The importance of sickness behaviour in improving the chances of recovery are considered, along with the potential use of anti-cytokine strategies in alleviating suffering in disease states.
Humans interact with fish in a number of ways and the question of whether fish have the capacity to perceive pain and to suffer has recently attracted considerable attention in both scientific and public fora. Only very recently have neuroanatomical studies revealed that teleost fish possess similar pain-processing receptors to higher vertebrates. Research has also shown that fish neurophysiology and behaviour are altered in response to noxious stimulation. In the light of this evidence, and in combination with work illustrating the cognitive capacities of fish, it seems appropriate to respond to a recently published critique (Rose 2002) in which it is argued that it is not possible for fish to experience fear or pain and that, therefore, they cannot suffer. Whilst we agree with the author that fish are unlikely to perceive pain in the same way that humans do, we believe that currently available evidence indicates that fish have the capacity for pain perception and suffering. As such, it would seem timely to reflect on the implications of fish pain and suffering, and to consider what steps can be taken to ensure the welfare of the fish that we exploit.
The culling of injured and non-viable pigs (Sus scrofa) (neonate to breeding stock) is a routine and necessary procedure on most farms. Usually, pigs are culled using one of the following methods: blunt-force trauma (manual and mechanical), captive-bolt stunners, electrical stunning and electrocution or carbon dioxide. Manual blunt-force trauma is one of the most widely used methods due to its low or absent operational and investment costs. However, as a method, it has serious limitations, which include the risk of incomplete concussion, pain, and distress. Manual blunt-force trauma is also aesthetically unpleasant to operators and wider society. To address these issues there has been significant recent research into the development of alternatives to manual blunt-force trauma, these include: captive-bolt stunners, on-farm, gas-based controlled atmosphere systems, low atmospheric pressure systems and electrical stunning. Some of these are currently in commercial use while others are still in the developmental phase. This review brings together the relevant research in this field, evaluating the methods in terms of mechanism of action (mechanical and physiological), effectiveness and animal welfare.
Chapter 1 investigates the English Reformation conversation on contentment, beginning with early sixteenth-century translations of St. Paul’s epistles and Martin Luther’s works and ending with texts from the English Revolution. Renaissance authors did not invent contentedness, but they drew upon available traditions to reinvent a contentment consistent with Protestant ideals and adapted to the needs of English audiences. Chapter 1 charts the role of contentment in Foxe’s Acts and Monuments, Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, Charles I’s Eikon Basilike, and Hobbes’s Leviathan, as well as an archive of sermons and theological treatises. First, it traces the notion of Christian contentment to two passages in 1 Timothy 6 and Philippians 4, which featured heavily in the cultural discourse. Next, it examines how reformers reconcile contentment, suffering, and even martyrdom. Then, it analyzes the relationship between contentment and contemporary theories of embodiment and the passions. Finally, it shows how authors extended individual contentedness to the body politic. During the Renaissance, contentment became a prominent Protestant principle of fortifying self and society.
Chapter 2 explores how Sidney uses literary form for passionate experimentation and develops a sophisticated affective vocabulary that intersects with the reformation of contentment. Neither The Old Arcadia nor the revised New Arcadia reproduce Protestant concepts of contentedness or proselytize an idealized Christian psychology. Instead, in TheOld Arcadia Sidney pursues the strategies of romance, including the “wandering,” “error,” and “trial” described by Patricia Parker, and arrives at counter-intuitive and potentially scandalizing conclusions about the emotion. More specifically, Sidney aligns both sexual satisfaction and virtuous endurance with contentment, and he makes the character Pyrocles’s erotic fulfillment in Books 3 and 4 instrumental to his pious suffering in Book 5. However, in TheNew Arcadia, Sidney displaces the most extreme manifestations of desire from the four young lovers onto their antagonists, and he disentangles contentment and constancy in the face of adversity. By pushing contentment to the pastoral peripheries to emphasize the revised work’s more chivalric tenor, Sidney recoils from his most innovative contribution to the Renaissance discourse.
This book is the first major study of providence in the thought of John Chrysostom, a popular preacher in Syrian Antioch and later archbishop of Constantinople (ca. 350 to 407 CE). While Chrysostom is often considered a moralist and exegete, this study explores how his theology of providence profoundly affected his larger ethical and exegetical thought. Robert Edwards argues that Chrysostom considers biblical narratives as vehicles of a doctrine of providence in which God is above all loving towards humankind. Narratives of God's providence thus function as sources of consolation for Chrysostom's suffering audiences, and may even lead them now, amid suffering, to the resurrection life-the life of the angels. In the course of surveying Chrysostom's theology of providence and his use of scriptural narratives for consolation, Edwards also positions Chrysostom's theology and exegesis, which often defy categorization, within the preacher's immediate Antiochene and Nicene contexts.
Contributing to modern theology's attention to diverse embodiments and particular histories, this paper brings the poetry of the book of Job into dialogue with new voices: modern poets of disability, especially women. Traditional theological reflections on suffering and disability often turn to Job, although Job's words and the text itself resist easy conclusions. Modern poets of disability reveal surprising similarities with Job, as both seek to reject the meaning others ascribe to their bodies. Comparing the poets of disability to Job reveals how disabling change to the body is experienced as exile and as a new experience requiring new language. The unchanged, able-bodied audience rejects the new insights of the poet, exposing the conflicts between the interpretations that communities privilege and those they exclude. Elements of a constructive theology of disability are found in the way poets of disability creatively reconfigure the changing relationships among body, words, community, and God.
This article adds to our understanding of late medieval women's religious writing by examining the role of the Virgin Mary in Mechthild of Magdeburg's thirteenth-century mystical text The Flowing Light of the Godhead (Das fließende Licht der Gottheit). The Virgin Mary was ubiquitous in late medieval religious writing, but she played different roles and modeled different ways of life, reflecting the particular aims of individual authors. In Mechthild's text, Mary is depicted as a spiritual teacher who actively draws the narrator into higher forms of the mystical life. Mechthild also portrays the Virgin in several traditional roles, adapting each of these roles to support her particular vision of the mystical life. Mary thus functions as a model for religious experience in The Flowing Light, while also authorizing and sanctioning Mechthild's contemplative ideals.
Chapter 8 explores the ways in which the press talk about people having mental illness using a mixed-methods approach. In the chapter, the frequency and semantic and pragmatic content of the verbs ‘suffer’ and ‘ experience’ in the context of prescribed forms for talking about having mental illness are investigated. I show that ‘suffer’ and ‘experience’ occur in different semantic contexts in the MI 1984–2014 Corpus as well as general language corpora, which may contribute to ‘suffer’ being a more problematic term for describing mental health than ‘experience’. Moreover, I show that ‘suffer’ is proportionally less likely to be used in first-person narratives because ‘suffering’ is attributed to people with mental illness by others, for example, medical professionals, in reported speech. I bring together my findings in a set of lexicogrammatical heuristics based on the semantic content of ‘suffer’ and ‘experience’ in context (e.g. whether the word encodes animacy or is temporally bounded).
Central cases of moral blame suggest that blame presupposes that its target deserves to feel guilty, and that if one is blameworthy to some degree, one deserves to feel guilt to a corresponding degree. This, some think, is what explains why being blameworthy for something presupposes having had a strong kind of control over it: only given such control is the suffering involved in feeling guilt deserved. This chapter argues that all this is wrong. As evidenced by a wider range of cases, blame doesn’t presuppose that the target deserves to feel guilt and doesn’t necessarily aim at the target’s suffering in recognition of what they have done. On the constructive side, the chapter offers an explanation of why, in many cases of moral blameworthiness, the agent nevertheless does deserve to feel guilt. The explanation leans on a general account of moral and non-moral blame and blameworthiness and a version of the popular idea that moral blame targets agents’ objectionable quality of will. Given the latter idea, the morally blameworthy have harmed the standing of some person or value, giving rise to obligations to give correspondingly less relative weight to their own standing, and so, sometimes, to their own suffering.
Suffering and evil in the world provide the basis for the most difficult challenge to monotheistic belief. This Element discusses how the three great monotheisms – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – respond to the problem of suffering and evil. Different versions of the problem, types of answers, and recurring themes in philosophical and religious sources are analyzed. Objections to the enterprise of theodicy are also discussed as are additional objections to the monotheistic God more broadly. This treatment culminates in a recommendation for how monotheism can best respond to the most serious formulation of the problem, the argument from gratuitous evil.
Kant’s theory of friendship is crucial in defending his ethics against the longstanding charge of emotional detachment. But his theory of friendship is vulnerable to this charge too: the Kantian sage can appear to reject sympathetic suffering when she cannot help a suffering friend. I argue that Kant is committed to the view that both sages and ordinary people must suffer in sympathy with friends even when they cannot help, because sympathy is necessary to fulfill the imperfect duty to adopt others’ merely permissible ends (MPEs), and we ought to take friends’ MPEs as our own. MPEs are individuated in terms of concepts which include marks of the first person, and no marks of law other than permissibility. To adopt ends of others individuated in terms of such concepts rather than merely promote them as means to different ends, those concepts must engage with one’s feelings in a way that requires sympathy.
The Book of Job treats of the Problem of Evil. It is divided into two documents: (1) the framework story, that is, the Prologue and the Epilogue (Job 1:1–2:13; 42:7–17); and (2) the speeches by Job, his friends, and God. In the framework story, Job is presented as a just man who serves God in good times and bad (Job 1:21; 2:10). In the speeches, God is accused by Job of ‘destroying the hope of man’ (Job 14:19). God replies with an ad hominem argument: ‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?’ (Job 38:4). If God argues that it is unfair for humans to judge God, Job argues that it is unfair for God to judge humans.