Somehow, I missed this when I watched Craig’s debate with Stephen Law–I guess I tuned it out, because I think the standard problem of evils suffered by humans is devastating and the theistic responses suck, so I don’t find the problem of animal suffering very interesting–but in the debate, Craig claimed that:
Animals like horses, dogs, and cats would experience this second level pain awareness. But they do not experience a third level pain awareness, which is the awareness of second order pain, that is, the awareness that one is oneself in pain. For that sort of pain awareness requires self-awareness, and this is centered in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, a section of the brain that is missing in all animals except for the higher primates and human beings. And therefore, even though animals are in pain, they aren’t aware of it. They don’t have this third order pain awareness. They are not aware of pain, and therefore they do not suffer as human beings do.
Scientists do debate exactly what “awareness” is and how we can tell if animals have it, but the claim I’ve bolded is nonsense.
I was alerted to this because Law posted a video explaining why: