God and Evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, February 07, 2019, 10:44 (426 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: One day you clearly state that he is in full control, and the next you say that he may have limits. Let’s settle, then, for your clear statement that either is possible. If his powers are unlimited, then you yourself cannot understand why he needed to spend 3.5+ billion years designing anything but the one thing he wanted to design (us). Possible explanation: we were not the only thing he wanted to design. He wanted the whole higgledy-piggledy bush (and as you say, enjoys/enjoyed it, like a painter who enjoys his paintings). If he has limits, that might explain why, in your scenario, he needed 3.5+ billion years to produce the only thing he wanted to produce: either he didn’t know how to do it, or – another possibility – he had no clear concept of “human” but the idea came to him later on in the course of his experiments.

DAVID: The bolds are wrong as I view the issues. I don't question His decision to evolve humans. It is not a decision by God I question or don't understand. That is your interpretation of my thinking. I accept it as what He decided to do. And I've said He might be limited in some way in evolutionary production, but I have always thought God had a clear-sighted goal of producing humans.

dhw: The first bolded explanation allows for a God without limits, and the last two cover a God with limits. The first of the latter gives him a clear sighted goal, but his “limit” is that he doesn’t know how to achieve it. All three solve the problem you can’t understand: why he would have spent 3.5+ billion years designing anything but the one thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: I don't try to understand, which is your misinterpretation. It is your created puzzle that I don't have. I admit to all the same possibilities as you do, as any one possibility may be the right one.

Thank you. At last!

DAVID: Your problem is evolution really happened and I believe God decided to do it that way for whatever possibility we can imagine. That way there is nothing to understand.

I have no problem accepting that evolution really happened, and if God exists I have no problem accepting that he would have masterminded the whole evolutionary process. Since you now agree that all my hypotheses may be correct, we can end the discussion. My “problem” all along has been your fixed belief that only ONE possibility is correct – namely, that your God’s singular purpose was to specially design humans, but he chose to spend 3.5+ billion years specially designing billions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, and did so for the sole purpose of getting them to eat each other until he could specially design humans.

dhw: I’m sorry that having expressed your certainty that your God watches everything with the same enjoyment (your own word) as a painter enjoying his own work, you have dropped the subject of this being a possible purpose, and of general freedom - not just human freedom - enhancing the interest. May I take this as an acceptance (I don’t ask for belief) of the feasibility of my alternative to your own hypothesis [bolded above]?

DAVID: You have sort of twisted my viewpoint. If the designer's purpose is through a stepwise evolutionary process from simple to complex, there are secondary issues that must occur to provide the continuity of effort until the goal is reached. Thus a group to be eaten and survival of each step is baked into the process. Totally logical.

Once more you gloss over the whole issue of your God’s “enjoyment” of all his creations as a possible motive for creating them in the first place (with freedom of invention adding to the interest), and you scuttle back to the fixed belief which I have bolded above and which you find “totally logical”, even though you have repeatedly stated that you can’t explain it. I prefer your more open-minded approach in acknowledging that ALL the different bolded theistic hypotheses at the head of this post are possible, together with the hypothesis that the whole higgledy-piggledy bush was for his own “enjoyment” (your word).

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