Unanswered questions (General)

by dhw, Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 10:33 (8 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw (quoting David) “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?” […] If you have no idea, I would suggest that this theory of yours is incomprehensible to you.

DAVID: Of course I have no idea. God does what He desires and He has certainly done well by us. You want to understand God, and I know we can't. That is why we differ.

But it is you who keep presenting a fixed view of God’s thoughts: “My one goal is to design H. sapiens. I have decided to spend 3.X billion years not designing him. Therefore I have to design lots of non-human life forms to provide a food supply until I have covered the time I have decided to take before I start designing lots of non-sapiens hominins and homos, finishing up with H. sapiens.” I merely offer an alternative version: “I want to create a vast variety of living forms, and so I shall invent a mechanism whereby organisms will reproduce, change themselves to fit in with a variety of conditions, and live and die in a continuously changing process.” You could even add: “And I like the idea of a special life form that will be able to think about me and itself and ask all sort of questions and make all sorts of inventions. I can always do a dabble if I feel like it, but let’s see what happens naturally.”
Why should your version of his thoughts, which you find incomprehensible, be more valid than mine, which fits in perfectly with the history of life as we know it?

dhw: (re mass extinctions:) Again, one can’t help wondering whether your always-in-control God deliberately destroyed all those species and, if so why, according to you, he specially designed them all in the first place if his only goal was humans. Alternatively, he did not cause the extinctions, in which case he was not always in control. So did he or didn’t he control the environmental changes that triggered evolutionary change?

DAVID: There were at least six mass extinctions according to my recent entry. God may well have used them to control the course of evolution. I view Him as totally in charge.

“Totally in charge” would have to mean he engineered every single environmental change that triggered every single new life form.

DAVID: The questions you ask about God have no answers that we can know to be true.

We all know that! We can’t even “know” if he exists!

DAVID: Remember, God is purposely concealed, which bugs you as you can't know Him at a human level, and you want to. That desire in impossible to satisfy.

It needn’t stop us from distinguishing between logical and illogical speculations.

DAVID: God is my designer.

dhw: Perfectly understandable: he may have designed an autonomous mechanism instead of directly designing every life form, lifestyle, natural wonder, and let’s not forget bacterial responses to every situation they may encounter throughout life’s history.

DAVID: Forgetting my God is in charge and would have given such a mechanism guidelines.

dhw: Your “guidelines” have always meant nothing but preprogramming or direct dabbling – the direct opposite of autonomy. “Being in charge” is one of your weasel expressions. Your God would still have been “in charge” if he had decided to invent a mechanism that could make its own decisions (as you acknowledge with your firm belief in human free will). He could always intervene if he wanted to.

DAVID: Free will is not the same level as God running evolution. We can affect life on Earth by what we create on Earth, but we cannot evolve life as God does.

I keep giving free will only as an example of your God giving up control.


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