Divine purposes and methods (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, January 05, 2019, 12:47 (15 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If he only wanted to design H. sapiens, why design millions of other life forms that have/had nothing to do with H. sapiens?

DAVID: Ask God. The point is I don't know why evolution looks like it does. I simply accept God's choice of method and see the need for a food supply, as you also do.

dhw: Unfortunately, neither of us can ask God (if he exists), which is why we can only speculate. All life requires food, and that is irrelevant to the question I asked. I have offered you alternative answers to the question you can’t answer (forms of experimentation), which in the past you have agreed are logical.

DAVID: Yes logical, which does not require acceptance as the 'best' explanations. A concept of God who decides His actions in required. Mine is not yours.

And yours includes the fact that you don’t understand it yourself. Why do you think a God who decides to experiment has not decided to experiment?

DAVID: Humans are here. God wanting them to appear explains it.

dhw: …The ever changing bush of comings and goings also appeared. God wanting it to appear explains it. So once more: why do you find it illogical to suggest that your God WANTED the variety provided by the ever changing bush of comings and goings that characterizes life’s history?

DAVID: I know the history. The explanation is ecosystems for food supply. Nothing more. That is obvious. Why invent extra possibilities?

And what was the purpose of supplying food for specially designed organisms which had nothing to do with the only organism he wanted to design which – according to you –was H. sapiens?

dhw: I agree that the difference between human consciousness and animal consciousness is vast. How does that minimize the difference?

DAVID: All life easily exists while conscious, except humans who have extraordinary consciousness, and never needed it to live. We are special. Ask yourself why?

Of course we need our consciousness to live – and in your own words: “Humans survive better than any other animal on earth with the modifications as they came out of the trees”. Or do you now think that their extra intelligence has played no role in their ability to survive? But this extra degree of consciousness enables us to think of things that have nothing to do with survival. Yes, in that sense we are special, and I keep asking you why. See below.

DAVID: I can't explain God's reasoning, so why shouldn't I simply accept history as I see it and find the one logical explanation of ecosystems for food, which life has to have to continue to evolve over time. […] You constantly try to humanize God to fit your own human puzzlement. He is not human!

Yet again: What was the point of specially designing 3.5+ billion years’ worth of food if his only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens? That is the point you cannot answer, but, as I wrote yesterday: you agree that this gap is closed if he had to experiment in order to achieve his purpose (i.e. didn’t know how to do it) or if humans came as a late afterthought as he experimented to see what he could come up with through all these different life forms). Why do you ignore these perfectly logical answers to the question?

dhw: You keep harping on about purpose, wrongly claim that my version of your God is not purposeful, and you offer the extremely human purpose mentioned above [he wants us to think about him and to have a relationship with him], but if I offer an alternative purpose (relief of his isolation), you say I’m humanizing him, and when I suggest he wanted to create the bush (= purpose) you say I “have humanistically invented a ‘want’ for Him to follow”, though you say that God wanting humans to appear explains their appearance. Do you not detect a hint here of double standards?

DAVID: Can't you see how you are attempting in this paragraph of suppositions how you are trying to impose human reasoning on Him? Humans are the current endpoint, but you are not sure God wanted them?

That is not what I have said at all! I have offered you two explanations of the gap between what he wanted and what he did. And now you have done precisely what I keep complaining about: you harp on about God’s purpose, you impose a purpose and method on him as a result of your own human reasoning, which you admit doesn’t make sense to you (you can’t explain it), and when I offer you a different interpretation of his purpose and method which DOES make sense to you, you try to dismiss it as “human reasoning”!

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