Divine purposes and methods (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, December 14, 2018, 10:42 (577 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Why should I KNOW His reasons for His method?

Why should you KNOW – as you claim – that “his chosen method of advancing life to the level of humans was by 3.5+ billion years of evolution”? You don’t KNOW that, as I have explained above – and you build a whole scenario of illogical speculations on that one premise.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Once I had proven to myself that God existed, I made propositions on how God might have created humans. My decisions were multifactorial, many of which you are not impressed by, especially the point that humans are not a required result of life evolving from single cells. They are a surprise result!

Your “multifactorial decisions” have led you to a scenario for which you can find no logical explanation – you don’t understand why he chose the method you impose on him in order to fulfil the purpose you impose on him. I am surprised that you are not surprised that whales, elephants, spiders and the duckbilled platypus have evolved from single cells when single cells could manage perfectly well on their own.

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.

dhw: 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: When I am pushed, as you do, to find reasons for God's deeds, as a limited human I will think of human reasons, but while I still understand it is all guesswork about a non-human being.

Yes, we are human and God is not, but I never pushed you to tell us that humans are your God’s sole reason for creating life, or that he personally designed every innovation, econiche etc. These are your guesses, and you yourself cannot understand why he chose this method etc. (as above).

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

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Agreed, possible, but very uncertain, so why bother?

Since we can’t know anything for certain, why bother to ask whether God exists, to discuss his possible nature, purpose, method, evolution, the origin of the universe and life, the complexities of cells? Why did I bother to open this website, and why did you bother to write two brilliant books on these subjects?

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