Theodicy (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Saturday, October 10, 2020, 19:57 (15 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: 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.

dhw: By coincidence, I have also presented him as knowing exactly what he wishes to create and conducting his role with purpose... You’ve always said he must be interested in us, so he’s interested in seeing how we respond to a challenge. Then maybe he created ALL organisms to see how they would respond to challenges (e.g. environmental changes). We seem to be drifting closer together!

I must remind you I do not know why God created the nasty ones. Yes the obvious challenge, and I remind you that our big brain was also given to engage in solving the problems from them. That may be the balance.


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: […] Free will is ours. Evolution is tightly designed by God, not by free-will organisms.

dhw: So what, according to you, is the purpose of our free will, if it’s not to see how we will respond to all the challenges life offers us? Your statement about evolution being tightly controlled is a repetition of your fixed belief, and it leaves wide open the question of why your God’s tightly controlled design has produced “evil”. That is the subject of this thread. I have offered a simple explanation: freedom for ALL organisms as they design their own ways of survival, whether “good” or “bad” in our eyes.

And I reject your 'freedom' approach as defining a God who wishes to give up control.


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.

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

dhw: Earlier you said he knows what he wishes to create. I know you believe that he could not design an error-free system, but I’m suggesting that he wished to create the system we have, as opposed to having no choice.

Rejected by noting all of God's editing systems to control mistakes.


Transferred from “The simplest explanation?

DAVID: 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.

dhw: I thought your theory was that he designed them in order to challenge us! I have asked you why he wanted to challenge us. Of course the desire to see how we respond to a challenge is human, but why shouldn’t you humanize? You’ve told us your God probably has patterns of thoughts and other attributes similar to ours.

Yes to challenge, but as for thoughts, God does not have humanized thinking iiiinvoling purpose.


DAVID: 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.

dhw: I’m the one who comes closer to “allowing”, by suggesting that he gave them the mechanism with which to do their own designing. Thank you. But whether they are allowed or designed (as you said originally) makes no difference to the overall argument. If God is in total control, you can hardly escape the explanation that he WANTED the bad bugs.

Just what I just said above.

dhw: You have offered the very human explanation that he wanted to challenge us – which can only mean he likes watching how we respond to particular circumstances. You see how nicely that fits in with your other theory – he didn’t want a dull Garden of Eden. And there you have the simplest possible explanation of evolution and theodicy, all in one go. He likes watching how ALL organisms find their own different ways (freedom to act) of meeting the challenges he has set them in the struggle for survival (Darwin), which they conduct through the cooperation of their intelligent cells as well as cooperation with one another (Shapiro and Margulis). The result for all organisms: good and bad ways to get what they want (survival). For humans: good and bad ways to get what they want (survival, power, money, gratification of desires etc.).

Except your your persistent 'intelligent' brainless cells a fine acceptable summary.


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