Divine purposes and methods (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, December 13, 2018, 09:44 (579 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We know that the chosen method of advancing life to the level of humans was by 3.5+ billion years of evolution. God's choice of method is obvious. The inner workings of His method is what you like to delve into. Why bother? It happened. Speciation happened, but there is no theory that really tells how it works. The only one that was accepted in the past was Darwin's, and that one is gone. I've agreed all your suppositions can logically fit, but that is because all of it is total guesswork to fill the gap in real knowledge. WE HAVE no real knowledge! Why do you insist on inventing some?

I am the one who keeps insisting that we cannot “know” anything, including whether your God exists or not and including the cause(s) of speciation. And yet you say that we “know” your God’s chosen method of advancing life to the level of humans was 3+ billion years of evolution. No we don’t. Not even a theist “knows” that. We only know that it took 3+ billion years of evolution to produce us, but your “supposition” is that we were his sole purpose from the very beginning. You also “suppose” that he specially designed every innovation, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder to provide food so that life would keep going till 3+ billion years had passed and he could then specially design us. But you can’t figure out why he chose this method. The best you can do is to tell us that food supply explains your God’s choice of method but you cannot explain your God’s choice of method. You not only “invent” all these suppositions, but you cling to them and refuse to consider other theistic suppositions, even though they remove the logical gaps in your own: 1) maybe his sole purpose wasn’t to produce humans; 2) maybe he didn’t specially design every innovation etc.; 3) maybe his sole purpose was to produce humans, but he didn’t know how to do it; 4) maybe he only thought of humans late on in the course of evolution. These are not invented “knowledge” – they are logical alternative guesses to your guess, for which you can find no logical explanation. And yes, it still took 3+ billion years for humans to evolve.

dhw: I see no reason why he should not be as fascinated by the diversity of life forms and natural wonders, the variety of experiences and emotions (especially through humans), and the unpredictability of the spectacle as we are, and for all we know, this may be a learning process for him as well.

DAVID: Why should He be fascinated by what He creates? He knows what they are! My attempt at interpretation is not the humanizing you do.

dhw: You have missed the point. The fascination would lie in the unpredictable products of the autonomous evolutionary mechanism he created (theistic version), mirroring the unpredictability of humans with their free will. You humanize him by telling us that his only purpose was to create H. sapiens, who would think about him and have a relationship with him. I humanize him by suggesting that as first cause he had nothing to occupy his mind, and so he created the mechanisms for life and evolution. Wouldn’t you say that both hypotheses suggest a very human desire to end his isolation?

DAVID: I don't try to make God 'very human'. That is your sporting approach to theology. I view Him as a first cause, necessary being, who is intent upon creation of beings with a degree of His consciousness.

I didn’t say God was ”very human” – I said that your hypothesis of him wanting someone to think about him and have a relationship with him was a very human desire, as is my hypothesis that he wanted something to occupy his mind. I know you think his sole purpose was to create us, and that is where you run into all the problems dealt with above.

DAVID: I'm only attempting to interpret God's chosen mechanisms. I've offered reasonable explanations, which you refuse to accept, because you interpret Him as quite human and if so, He would have done it differently. God IS NOT human.

dhw: Your usual get-out, followed by my usual response: of course God is not human, but that does not mean he has no characteristics in common with us (especially if we are supposed to be in his image). See above. As for your “reasonable explanations”, I do not accept them for the same reason as you can’t understand them, i.e. why he would have chosen your guessed-at method to achieve your guessed-at goal. See my first comment above.

DAVID: 'His image' is only the way the Bible notes the fact we have a degree of His consciousness.

I don’t know about “fact”, but if we have a degree of his consciousness, it is not unreasonable to suppose that we might have certain characteristics in common with him: e.g. wanting someone to think about us and to have a relationship with us; wanting something other than ourselves to be conscious of.

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