Logic and evolution (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 13:48 (1086 days ago) @ David Turell

David: You like a more liaise faire God, but you come from a non-god position, a shaky way to think about Him.
Dhw: We all revert to what has been produced in our reality. The suggestion that a laissez-faire concept of God is shakier than a controlling concept of God because I am an agnostic is an absurd non sequitur.
DAVID: No it is not. Each of us puts together evidence with very different weights for each part. We each come up with very different interpretations and conclusions from our basic starting points. I started as a "soft" agnostic, not having given much thought to such a position. As I read ( in my 50's) my position rapidly crumbled.

Of course we come from different starting points. Why does that make your interpretation of God's intentions less “shaky” than mine?

dhw: What makes you think that an agnostic is less able to discuss the nature of God than you are? Deists are also believers, and they think God initiated creation and then allowed it to pursue its own course (laissez-faire). Why is theirs a shakier way than yours?
DAVID: Because in each case the proponents come from a different background of thought. Each view is colored by previous thought and rationale personal for that individual. This is why there are different groups of thought. Obviously we do not think like each other or there would be no debate between us.

Of course. Why does that make your interpretation of God's intentions less “shaky” than mine, or that of the deists?

DAVID: I've given the thought that complexity for complexity's sake is possible with survival shaking out the best.
Dhw: You have given us the thought that your God controls everything.. Natural selection decides what survives and what doesn't survive, but your God controls everything, so in fact God decides what survives and what doesn't survive.
DAVID: Not so. Natural selection by definition is competition, not controlled by God.

I agree. It is you who keep insisting that "God is in full control". So God preprogrammes the different innovations and natural wonders, or dabbles in order to design them personally, because he wants to produce homo sapiens, and then he does what? Sits back and watches his robots fight it out? Does he know which ones will win? If he does, he has obviously preprogrammed them to win (or he intervenes to make sure his favourites win). If he doesn't, he is not in full control.

dhw: The image of God as a control freak is every bit as humanizing as that of a laissez-faire God. Evidence? The higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution. Where is the evidence of God's 3.8-billion-year programme or his personal dabbling for all innovations and natural wonders, which doesn't even make sense if his aim was always to produce homo sapiens.
DAVID: Explained in my balance of nature theory in which each microcosm is balanced to provide food, as life must have continuous energy supply for evolution to progress. If God took 3.8 billion years of evolution of the living to produce humans it makes perfect sense to me. That you can't see thins is a perfect example of our difference in thought patterns.

I don't think anyone will disagree that without food, life cannot continue, which means evolution cannot continue either. What does this have to do with God needing 3.8 billion years to produce the goal of his work: homo sapiens? That you can't see the logical dislocation between all the different species and natural wonders, extant and extinct, and the specific aim to produce homo sapiens, is a perfect example of our difference in thought patterns.

dhw: And you frequently tell us that God deliberately hides himself. Do you regard that as evidence of his presence? Ah, David, can a god-position get any shakier than this?
DAVID: Obviously God wants a requirement of thought to reach faith. Reliance by some religions on miracles (magic display) or heaven and hell (reward or punishment) is a childish religious control mechanism. God must want more than that.

“God wants a requirement…faith”…. “God must want more than that…” And you accuse me of humanizing God, and you tell me not to try and read God's mind. Why is it less “shaky” to say he hides himself in order to make people reach faith through thinking than to say he is hidden because he just wants to watch the spectacle, or he is “hidden” because he's gone away?

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