Divine purposes and methods (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, December 09, 2018, 10:45 (576 days ago)

I have combined several threads here in the hope of avoiding excessive repetition.

dhw: (under “whale teeth”) Why would he want to give up control? Perhaps because – as you have often said – he is hidden but watches us with interest, and it is more interesting to watch the unpredictable than to watch everything do precisely what you have prearranged for it to do. (But he can still dabble if he wants to.) This reading of God’s mind is an alternative to your own […] and – to anticipate the next leap backwards – is no more “humanizing” than your own.

DAVID: He arranged for us to have free will. That gives Him plenty to watch if He wants to watch. I don't know if He wants to watch. Why should I know why He chose evolution as His methodology? I can only take reasons from what I see. You want to know more than we can know.

You asked why he would want to give up control. I have given you a reason. Nobody “knows” anything about God, which extends as far as to his existence, but you have frequently told us that he is hidden, and you think he watches his creations with interest. Humans did not exist for 3.x billion years, so why shouldn’t he also have watched the other millions of organisms with interest? Free will is an EXAMPLE of his willingness to sacrifice control. You can’t find a reason for what you see so long as you stick to your hypothesis that his only purpose was us, but he specially designed every organism and econiche etc. for 3.x billion years to provide food before he - who is always in full control - specially designed the one thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: (under “Neanderthal”): I think my God stays in control. Giving up speciation control as you propose may take evolution's course off the path to humans.

He could always do a dabble. But this does not resolve the above dichotomy which you cannot explain.

DAVID: (under “strange DNA”) I don't believe my God would do it your way.

Fair enough. That does not provide any logical coherence for the above mantra, i.e. for your attempted reading of your God’s mind.

DAVID: Based on what we know, my reasoning make perfect sense to me.

How can it make sense to you if you can’t explain the reasoning behind the hypothesis bolded above?

DAVID: I'm sorry it makes no sense to you, but the unusual result of a human with consciousness suggests purpose. Davies has made the same point in his writings, although he doesn't goes as far as to accept God.

So far as we know, all life and all natural wonders are unusual, including the whale, 50,000 spider webs and the duckbilled platypus. If your God exists, of course he had a purpose, but that does not mean his one and only purpose was to create us so that we would think about him and have a relationship with him. I have offered you four explanations (see below) for the anomalies you can’t understand, and two of them include his purposeful creation of humans. But you continue to ignore them.

DAVID: God is allowed to pick His method. You question it, I don't. That is our difference.

Of course he could pick his method. That is not our difference at all. I question your interpretation of his method and his purpose, since you cannot explain how they fit together.

DAVID: Repeat: I simply accept what God does. You don't. He evolved us, End of story.

If God exists, then we must all “accept” that he designed the mechanism that started life and evolution. In that limited sense, you can say he evolved us and every other life form, econiche etc. But that does not mean (a) that he specially designed every life form, econiche etc., or (b) that his one and only purpose in designing all that was to provide food until he specially designed the one species he wanted to design.

DAVID (under “Neanderthal”): Repeat: I accept God's methods as exhibited.

Repeat: you do not “accept” God’s methods. You accept evolution, but you have attempted to read his mind and you believe that he had one purpose and you can’t explain why he would have used evolution as his method to achieve it. So maybe he didn’t specially design every life form etc., or maybe he didn’t have just the one purpose you impose on him, or maybe he didn’t know how to achieve that purpose, or that purpose didn’t occur to him till later in the process. Then you wouldn’t have to “accept” something you can’t explain.

DAVID: I cannot read/enter His mind, nor can anyone else. I can guess at intentions based on the results I see.

dhw: So if it’s OK for you to guess, and insist that your guesses are right even though you can’t explain how the method fits the intention, why do you criticize me for guessing at his intentions in a manner which does link up logically with the results we see?

That question remains unanswered.

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