Purpose and design (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, April 22, 2017, 11:21 (789 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

DHW: …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: If something has served its purpose and is no longer needed, why keep it? If you have to destroy it, why not use the mechanisms already in place, like bacteria to create a disease or a meteorite? Yes, it does reveal his nature. He obeys his own laws. He is not hesitant about destroying that which is no longer needed. He may even be sentimental about it, but does not let the sentimentality stop him from doing what must be done.

The big question, of course, is: what is his purpose? I assume that what is “needed” and what “must be done” is what God wants, and the history of life is the history of what God wants. 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.) Your next comment fits in neatly with my hypothesis that if we are in his image, he is also an image of us:

TONY: I have always acknowledged that God possessed qualities like jealousy, anger, regret, etc.

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. Dinosaurs were no longer “needed” because he got fed up with them, so whoosh! plunk! splat! along came Chicxulub. You seem to agree that your God may have given organisms the ability to design their own innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders within given constraints, which would add to the interest of the show. So although I do not expect you to support this interpretation of life’s history, can you fault its logic?


dhw: […]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.
DAVID: I think the image is in the presence of human consciousness.

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?

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