Theodicy (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Friday, October 09, 2020, 15:19 (16 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Today’s article on "Molecular machines seen clearly" does indeed help us to see clearly the consequences of these mistakes, which in your posts on God’s error corrections you dismissed as "minimal":

QUOTE: "'Malfunctions in these molecular machines contribute to diseases such as osteoporosis, neurodegeneration, diabetes, cancer and AIDS [...]

DAVID: Minimal in the sense that the many trillions of reactions work perfectly, and God anticipated mistakes with editing systems. The system we have is the only one that will work.

dhw: His editing systems have failed to cope with these extremely nasty mistakes, but you have made it clear that all these diseases are part of God’s wanting to challenge us – for reasons I am eagerly waiting to hear.

DAVID: A possible explanation I don't accept, based on my view of God's personality.

dhw: Please tell us more about your view of God’s personality. So far we’ve learned that he wanted complete control of evolution, didn’t want a dull Garden of Eden (I agree), and didn’t want to harm us but did want to challenge us. None of this is apparently “humanizing”. (See “error corrections” and “simplest explanation?”) And so in the context of theodicy, we now have your God deliberately creating “evil” in order to set us a challenge.

You have not described God's personality above. I view Him as knowing exactly what He wishes to create and conducts His role with purpose, and I add nothing more.


DAVID: Evil among humans beings is explained because God gave us free will.

dhw: Just as in the above proposal he would have given organisms “free will” to find their own methods of survival.

DAVID: With 'free will' evolution it would be directionless.

dhw: So your God’s special design of humans and their free will must also be directionless. Makes you wonder why he bothered. My proposal brings the two together: the unpredictability of life forms, natural wonders etc. AND the unpredictability of human behaviour all make for the very opposite of a dull Garden of Eden (your expression).

Total misinterpretation again. Free will is ours. Evolution is tightly designed by God, not by free-will organisism.

dhw: Since you believe your God created absolutely everything from scratch, I’m surprised at your lack of confidence in his ability to invent an error-free system. I propose that your all-powerful God designed the system he WANTED to design.

I've told you it is my belief He cannot design an error-free system due to the speed of reactions required.


dhw: So please tell us why you think he deliberately created bad viruses and bacteria, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes in spite of his soft-heartedness (which I hope he would also feel towards other organisms than ourselves, since the our fellow animals also know what it is to suffer). If you can’t think of a reason, once more please tell us why my proposal is not feasible. And please accept that a test of feasibility is not whether or not it matches your own subjective concept of God and his purposes and nature.

Answered elsewhere today: "I don't presume to know why God allowed dangerous bacteria and viruses except my view (and yours) that He wanted life to be challenging and gave us the brains to solve the problems. No humanizing here."


DAVID: You blithely ignore all the facts presented about the perfect planet presented here at length. I won't repeat them.

dhw: We are not discussing the “perfect planet” but the problem of good and evil. Please tell us why my proposal is not feasible.

The 'perfect planet' is evidence of how carefully God prepared the Earth. I view God the designer, and you approach it from a different set of reasons.


DAVID: Your view of Him is obviously soft and highly humanized. It is feasible only if your soft God is the real God. So we reach agreement. Your God is not my God by a very wide margin.

dhw: You have now replaced namby-pamby with soft. What is soft about a God who wants and gets a mixture of good and bad by giving freedom of self-organization to his invention as exemplified by human free will? Why is this more highly humanized (and let us add less logical) than a God who wants total control over his creations, doesn’t wish to harm them but deliberately invents nasty things in order to challenge them?

That is our problem with the issue of theodicy. I believe God is in total control but don't know His reasons for allowing the bad bugs. They may have a role we do not yet understand. At least He gave us brains to fight them


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