Pain has a cognitive dimension, insofar as it alerts us to threats to the individual and collective survival, normally and naturally in the form of bodily dysfunction and/or mismatches with the proximate environment. Normally and naturally, pain will not go away unless and until we do something to address the conditions to which it points. Moral agents are obliged to take into account any pain and suffering of human beings that would be attendant on a proposed course of action, the worse the harms, the weightier the consideration. Moral competence requires rational agents to cultivate sensitivity and a capacity to empathize with the pain and suffering of others. Pain produces paradoxes for human rational agency, because two of its essential functions—moral deliberation and meaning-making—require an appreciation of how bad pain is.