Theodicy (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, October 15, 2020, 08:59 (11 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I suggest he didn’t attempt to correct the errors, but the attempts were made by good free cells trying to fight bad free cells, just as good free bacteria might try to fight bad free bacteria, while God watches with interest as they all try to master the challenges to their survival.

DAVID: Again you have a weak God who is a spectator.
[…]
dhw: […] This whole argument about “weakness” is plain silly. You yourself have made God into a spectator who watches us with interest, and if a free-for-all is what he wanted to create, then he got what he wanted, and who cares if you think that is a sign of “weakness”?

DAVID: My discussion of a 'weak God' refers to his control of the advances in evolution, nothing more. […]

Why is it weak for God to create a free-for-all if he wants to create a free-for all? And why is it strong to try but fail to correct errors in the system he designed, and to design bad bugs for reasons you can’t think of?

DAVID: Your take purposely makes God look weak. He is not weak. He knew life had to have the high-speed system it has with molecules free to make mistakes. Design of life is no small achievement, as you try to make it as you distort it in your interpretations.

dhw: I have never ever tried to make out that design of life is a small achievement! What sort of straw man is this? God creating a free-for-all because he wants a free-for-all does not minimize the achievement of creating life!

DAVID: We humans have a free-for-all among us and perhaps God is interested or not (per Adler). The 'red-in tooth-and-claw' free-for-all is actually highly organized ecosystems.

How does that prove that I try to make out life is a small achievement? And if God is not interested, do please tell us why you think he set us challenges and gave us free will. Anyway, in addition to the failed backups and the bad bugs, we now have your strong God deliberately designing eco systems which depend on one organism killing and eating other organisms, and deliberately giving humans free will to do good things and bad things. In response to the question why, you have two answers: either you don’t know why, or he has done all this in order to challenge us (let’s forget the animals that get killed and eaten), but we don’t know if he’s interested enough to watch how we deal with the challenge.

My alternative to this mess is that he created a free-for-all because it is more interesting for him to watch than an unfolding spectacle of puppets on his strings. According to you, wanting and getting what he wants makes him weak, but getting what he doesn’t want (molecular errors he can’t correct) and designing “evil” (though you don’t know why) make him strong. You have not offered a single solution to the problem of theodicy, and your only objection to my own proposal is that if it’s true, you will call God “weak”.


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