Purpose and design (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 09:41 (817 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

Dhw: I would still like to know what you meant by God “maturing”. Limitations do not have to refer to power. My specific interest is in the question of whether you think that prior to creating the universe and life, your God already knew everything that could possibly be known, or he learned and maybe still learns from experience.
TONY: By definition, God would have to be outside of time, without beginning. However, the is no insight anywhere about what he was like stretching billions and billions of eons before T0. It is difficult for me to even speculate on that. However, 'all knowing' is relative when nothing else exist. Essentially, if you are the only thing in existence and you are self aware, then you know everything...at least at that point. When I spoke of him maturing as an entity, I was thinking that as a power he always existed, but that his intellect, insight, wisdom, and all of that developed over an unfathomable time frame.

Thank you for this very clear answer. If I put on my theist’s hat, this is also how I would envisage God. On the assumption that he himself is immaterial but created materials out of his own energy, and created life out of those materials, he would learn how to handle those materials as he went along. One of the hypotheses I offered David was that God may have experimented with life forms, perhaps even with a view to creating a consciousness like his own. (David rejected this outright.)

DAVID: God, as all knowing, is all knowing because he designed and created all. However, the bible clearly speaks of 'time and unforeseen occurrences' which implies that there is some randomness and that he either can not or does not predict every random occurrence. My take on it is that he could if he bent is will to the task, but that there is no real reason for him to do so.

Again, this is very interesting for me. I can well imagine your God creating a system in which the environment undergoes random changes, which would lead to unpredictability in the course life takes. Similarly, by endowing humans with free will, he would again have created unpredictability. You will see, of course, where this is heading. I know you have very definite views yourself on God’s purposes, but I’m sure you will agree that everything you have written - especially in relation to unpredictability or there being no real reason for him to make predictions - fits in perfectly with the hypothesis (and it's ONLY a hypothesis) that your God, if he exists, created life to relieve the boredom of eternal introspection.

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