* Pain is NOT Physical: This special edition of Real Science Radio is adapted from the BEL Forum at TheologyOnline.com: Pain and Sentience are Knowledge Based, and Knowledge is Not Physical! Therefore, pain is not physical. Consider the three aspects of various created organisms and beings, body, soul, and spirit.
- A Plant has a Body: do not have souls (which are non-material), and when you chop down a tree, it does not feel pain (a 1960s science fiction TV show notwithstanding).
- An Animal has a Body and Soul: in addition to a body, animals have a non-material component, a rudimentary soul as indicated in Genesis 1:24 and elsewhere. A soul enables animals to sense pain, and so that many can relate to other animals and to human beings.
- A Person has a Body, Soul, and Spirit: God made human beings with a body, soul, and spirit (1 Thes. 5:23, etc.), and thus we have a far greater capacity to enjoy the depths of relationship, and also therefore, to experience pain.
* Pain is Comprehension: Pain is awareness; and awareness is not physical. Neurologists claim that we sense pain with our brain. As evidence for that, they show that nerve damage can prevent the signal from an injury from reaching the brain, and in such cases, many patients indicate that they do not feel pain from that injury. However, the brain as an organ itself is completely unable to feel pain. When a brain surgeon operates and cuts into brain matter, the patient does not feel pain from that surgery. Why not? How can the brain, possibly the only organ that does not sense pain, be the very organ by which we sense pain? The answer only appears after realizing from the nature of pain itself, that pain is not physical.
* Pain is Non-Physical: Pain is awareness, which is a state of knowledge. You can program a robot to back up suddenly if it bumps into a wall, and even to yell, "Ouch." But it hasn't felt pain, because it is only made of atoms and molecules, and can have no awareness, because like many very real things, sentience is not physical. The laws of logic are not physical (no mass, polarity, etc.), and neither is reason, nor the laws of grammar. Pain is awareness that something is wrong. Therefore pain is inherently non-physical, and so pain resulting from non-physical causes is dramatically more hurtful than pain resulting from physical stimuli. A paper cut on the eyeball really hurts. A father who will not look his disowned son in the eye is far more painful. The intense pain of childbirth passes quickly. The inconsolable pain of a child dying lasts for years. Physical pain dissipates more quickly because it must be converted to the non-physical realm for it to be experienced. Emotional and spiritual pain hits the soul and spirit directly, and so it persists longer and is more effective. If someone has been abandoned by his parents, he might be able to know the pain felt by the little one who is aborted, purposefully rejected by his mother, and intentionally killed, whether by a surgical or chemical abortion as with the Morning After Abortion Pill. A mother who doesn't have the willingness to love her child hurts him far beyond the physical impact of the abortion. Giving the child anesthesia will do little to alleviate his or her pain from the abortion, and nor will it help with the mother's pain when she meets that child, on Judgment Day.