Explaining natural wonders; addendum (Animals)

by dhw, Thursday, September 29, 2016, 12:53 (1214 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Shapiro tells us that bacteria are sentient, cognitive, intelligent beings. That means they deliberately rewrite their DNA to develop new ways of reaction.

DAVID: I am with Shapiro until he introduces the word 'cognitive' which implies thought. 'Sentient' is correct. Bacteria receive stimuli and recognize them and respond.

dhw: You then had second thoughts:
DAVID: I accept his word cognitive as cognition, the ability to receive knowledge and learn it so as to act on it, which action I will only accept as automatic molecular reactions...

DAVID: Not a second thought. I'm still stating automatism in the first sentence. It is how I interpret Shapiro to fit my conclusions.

First you rejected “cognitive”, and then you accepted it so long as it meant what you wanted it to mean. You played the same game with “intelligence”, which according to you meant obeying God's intelligent instructions, though you know perfectly well that that is NOT what Shapiro means (or what I mean). By all means disagree with Shapiro, as you did at first, but please don't mess around with the language to make it seem as if you agree with him (or that he agrees with you)! ":-("

dhw: You obviously realized the awful implications of your theory that God might have preprogrammed or dabbled in order to ensure that the virus could go about its murderous business.
DAVID: In my first book I included this in the problem of evil events (theodicy), and concluded that God gave humans the ability to learn how to fight viruses. He was not creating the Garden of Eden but allowing challenges for us to solve, since we had the brains for it.

So God specially designed murderous viruses long before humans were around, so that they would ensure life continued until humans were around, and then humans could have a problem to solve. What fun! Here are two theistic alternatives: God specially designed viruses because he enjoys nasty things as well as nice things. God didn't design viruses at all, but allowed all life forms (if we may call viruses life forms) to work out their own ways of existence.

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