Purpose and design (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, April 21, 2017, 13:52 (215 days ago) @ David Turell

Dhw: God may exist, and if he does, I consider his nature to be a subject of major importance to us all! But I have no way of knowing what he is like beyond extrapolations from what he has created and from the statements of my fellow humans.
DAVID: Thank you for this admission. My point all along. He is concealed. and a person like no other human person, and the only way to study Him is through His creations.

For me a “study” of God would entail far more than telling us he exists and announcing that his one and only purpose was to create humans.

dhw: In both cases, I find myself confronted with the same mixture of attributes as above. And so, as regards both the existence and the nature of a possible God, I find myself unable to form any belief, which is why I tend to offer the counter-argument to anyone who does have a fixed belief.
DAVID: Just defending your perch on the fence shaky as it is.

Not defending but explaining. I have frequently pointed out that I am wrong one way or the other, which is not a defence! As for shaky, there is NO position that is not shaky. If there were, we would have nothing to discuss.

TONY: I was teasing, mostly. I've noticed though that things like creating animals that go extinct, or some of the punishments listed in the OT, or even allowing bad things to happen as consequences of our actions doesn't sit well with you.

No problem with “teasing”. David and I do it all the time! However, the serious bit depends on what you mean by “doesn’t sit well”. You like to focus on human actions, as if humans alone are responsible for all the “bad things” in the world. Self-interest and destructiveness began long before humans arrived on the scene. Carnivorousness, disease and natural disasters are not human inventions. And so if your God really exists, I ask myself what, if anything, they might reveal about his nature. It’s not a matter of “not sitting well” or even of complaining. The world is as it is, for better or worse. I am simply exploring the possible implications.

TONY: As for whether or not our ways stink, I am referring more to humanity as a whole as opposed to individuals. Even as individuals though, we tend to be shortsighted, narrow-minded, prejudiced, rash, impulsive, and selfish. Even people who we think of as good people.

Yes, we are all a mixture, and so if we take quite literally the belief that God made humans in his own image, and if we consider the mixture that is clear from his creations even prior to the arrival of humans, it is not unreasonable to ask ourselves whether God himself might not be just such a mixture.


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