Purpose and design (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, April 23, 2017, 10:17 (212 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: If something has served its purpose and is no longer needed, why keep it? […]
DHW If he wants animals (including ourselves) to help and love one another as well as to hunt one another and be maimed or killed by his viruses and natural disasters, so be it. (I’ll come to purpose in a moment.)
TONY: Want and purpose are not the same, as you acknowledge. It is one thing to say that bacteria, disease, or even maiming and killing are part of his purpose, but quite a different one to say he wants it.

Purpose is governed by what you want. If your God could only achieve his purpose by doing things he did not want to do, you are back to David’s hypothesis (recently rejected by him) that his powers are limited. Is that what you believe?

TONY: I have always acknowledged that God possessed qualities like jealousy, anger, regret, etc.
DHW And so there is no reason why one should not hypothesize that God’s purpose in creating this great spectacle of endlessly changing life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders – with humans especially fertile in the production of new twists and turns – was to provide a rich entertainment for himself. […]
TONY: Except that entertainment is an empty purpose, and nothing I see in all of creation points to such wastefulness being an attribute of God.

I will assume that you share David’s view of God as the First Cause, i.e. an eternally conscious mind. What is this mind conscious of? As First Cause it has nothing to be conscious of except itself. Frankly, what a bore! And so it decides to create something to relieve the boredom of eternal introspection: a universe containing living material beings, which it can watch develop in all kinds of unexpected ways. And if gets bored with one set of developments, it gets rid of them. What I see in “all of creation” is a continual coming and going, of stars and solar systems, of individual organisms and of species. Certainly not “wasteful” if, as you yourself have said, each of them “has served its purpose and is no longer needed”. Hence the example of the dinosaurs and Chixculub. Unlike David, you do not fight shy of attributing human qualities to your God, who you believe made us in his image. What would you yourself feel if you had nothing to do except think about yourself? (Actually, David at one point suggested that God was lonely.) Once again, I do not expect you to support this interpretation of life’s history geared to God’s purpose, but can you fault its logic?
Xxx
DAVID: I think the image is in the presence of human consciousness.
dhw: I did not imagine the image contained two eyes, two arms and two legs. However, a blank consciousness is not much of an image, is it?
DAVID: Our consciousness certainly relates to His. Obviously, neither are blank. I'm sure both are extremely active.

So what aspects of our consciousness do you think might be “related” to his?


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