I want to consider three arguments that pain is not bad because of its raw feel. If it is bad, it is because of something else associated with that raw feel. (This has at least one application. One way to "answer" the question of why God would allow non-human animals to feel pain is to deny that animals feel pain. A different strategy would be to argue that although they feel pain, their experience does not have in it the ingredient which makes human pain bad, or at least which makes it as bad as it is. If pain is not bad because of its raw feel, then the ingredient that makes pain bad is something else--perhaps something having to do with how we conceptualize the pain--and it might turn out that this is lacking in animals.)
1. The severity of pain is on a continuum, but very brief instances whose severity is near the bottom of the continuum are not bad at all. Pinch yourself. The feeling seems to be somewhere on the pain continuum, albeit very low down. But the feeling of pinching yourself is not at all a bad feeling to have. So pain is bad only when it has non-trivial severity. The main objection to this argument is to claim that the kinds of feelings that are not bad to have are no longer on the pain continuum--they are not pains at all. I am not sure how convincing I find this objection as it stands, but I do have a response. Take one of these items very low down on the pain continuum, allegedly below the level of pain, like the feeling of being pinched. Now if this feeling persisted unchanged for an hour, one would find it quite uncomfortable, it would be bad, and I think one would correctly consider it a low-level pain. However, if the raw feel is unchanged throughout the hour, it follows that it is not the raw feel that makes the experience bad, but something else, such as the duration of the raw feel or, perhaps better, the memory of the duration of the raw feel, and so we get to the conclusion I want. Moreover, it seems that if one feels continuous pain for an hour, one feels pain at every time, and so the raw feel of a pinch would still be a pain, since that is what one is feeling throughout the hour. The latter set of considerations show that there is another argument against the intrinsic badness of pain: a pain of low intensity is not going to be bad if it lasts for a short enough amount of time.
2. One can fail to notice one is having a pain. You wake up with an unfamiliar sensation. You think about it a little, perhaps shift around, and you realize that it's a shoulder pain. I suggest that at least until you realized that the sensation was painful or at least unpleasant, the feeling wasn't bad for you. So, not all pains are bad, it seems. Here, one can try the same kind of objection. Maybe it only starts to hurt once you realize what is going on. But if so, then what is that unfamiliar sensation you woke up with, if it's not a pain? Does that unfamiliar sensation really change into a pain when you realize what it is?
3. If you manage to get distracted from a pain and focus on something else, so that you don't mind the pain very much at all, it seems that the pain is less bad for you. So even if pain is bad for you, the degree to which it is bad is determined in large part by how focused you are on the pain and what attitude you take to it, rather than by the raw feel. Now one might think the raw feel changes in kind as you get distracted from the pain. But is that really how our perception works? If I focus my attention not on the red cube in my field of vision, but on the golden sphere, without shifting my eyes at all[note 1], is it the case that the appearance of the red cube changes, that it starts to look less red or be less cubical? It seems like the right way to describe what happens, instead, may wel be that one's attitude towards the appearance changes. If so, then when we are distracted from a pain, the pain's raw feel doesn't change, but how bad the pain is for us does. Now one might object as follows. There is some little bit of badness that the raw feel is responsible for, and other factors, such as focusing on the pain and/or minding it, are responsible for most of the badness of the pain. But I think this is mistaken. For if the raw feel gives rise to a small bit of badness, then no matter how little one focuses on a pain and how little one minds it, there is always going to be this little badness. In particular, the limit of badness as one's focus on the pain and one's minding of the pain goes to zero will be non-zero. But that seems wrong. As one's focus and minding of the pain goes to zero, the badness seems to go continuously to zero as well.
Final question: If it is not the raw feel that makes pain bad, then what makes pain bad? Is it that it distracts us from things? Is it our attitudes towards it, such as typically not wanting to have the pain (Mark Murphy thinks this)? I don't know exactly. I am attracted myself to the idea that there is such a thing as veridical pain and it is not intrinsically bad, but only bad extrinsically (e.g., because it distracts us), but I also find this idea hard to believe and harder to live.