Theodicy (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 16:27 (11 days ago) @ dhw

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

dhw: Since according to you your God wished to give up control over humans to see how they would respond to his challenges, how do you know he did not do the same with all the organisms that preceded humans?

They all act with purpose. What is your point?


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

dhw:[…]. […] but I’m suggesting that he wished to create the system we have, as opposed to having no choice.

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

dhw: Some of which failed. So he tried to correct the errors he couldn’t prevent because he didn’t want us to be harmed, and yet he deliberately designed harmful viruses and bacteria and you don’t know why. There’s something here that doesn’t quite add up, isn’t there? But hey, maybe he WANTED the disease-causing errors, and what you thought were his back-ups were actually the responses of the free good cells to the machinations of the free bad cells. Now that does add up, doesn’t it?

Confused. We are discussing molecular errors. Not the same subject as bad bugs


DAVID: I believe God is in total control but don't know His reasons for allowing the bad bugs. […]

dhw: […] If God is in total control, you can hardly escape the explanation that he WANTED the bad bugs.

DAVID: Just what I just said above.

dhw: Good. And you think he designed the bad bugs in order to set us a challenge, but..what next?..You don’t know why he wanted to challenge us? May I suggest that he did so because he’s interested in how we respond to challenges? And may I suggest that he might also be interested in how other organisms respond to challenges and it wouldn’t be very interesting if he already knew how we and every other organism would respond to challenges, and the only way he would NOT know how we/they would respond would be if he gave us/them the freedom to work out our/their own responses?

Give us the brain and challenge us. Good point!


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.).

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

dhw: I’m delighted that you accept this summary of how evolution works and of the origin of evil. All that remains is for you to tell us 1) how he could retain his interest if he actually organized the responses of non-human organisms, and 2) how he could avoid knowing the responses in advance without giving these organisms the freedom to work out their responses on their own.

You are back to humanizing God who has to have gimmicks to retain interest. My view is that God has no need for it.


Under “Bacteria fungus symbiosis”:

QUOTE: “It appears that bacteria using the fungal highway to reach new foraging grounds pay for the ride by delivering thiamine to the hyphal tips."

DAVID: Happily working it out by mutual adaptation using modifying mechanisms that I believe are God designed.

dhw: I’m again delighted to see you acknowledging that they “work it out” using a mechanism designed by your God. The mechanism would have to be what I call “cellular intelligence” – how else can any organism happily work anything out, if not by using its intelligence?

True intelligence and automatic programmed responses are never the same. Are you now modifying the meaning of your term 'cellular intelligence'? Do cells think?


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