Theodicy (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Saturday, October 17, 2020, 17:26 (4 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Our images of God's personality are totally different. I view Him as having a direct course to humans.

dhw: As you have admitted on the “errors” thread, there is no direct course to humans.

Yes. He made a huge bush in anticipation of His goal, humans.

DAVID: I can't tell you why the bad bugs exist. God isn't talking. He has his reasons and we have the brains from Him to fight them.

dhw: Bad bugs existed long before we did. You have raised the problem of theodicy and you offered us the possible solution that God wanted to “challenge us”. You seem to have dropped it, now that you realize that this is a humanization and if you follow that idea to its logical conclusion, you will have to admit that your God is probably watching with interest how we respond to his challenges, and this in turn leads to the conclusion that he created us in order to watch us with interest (i.e. we are part of the great spectacle).

Totally humanized view of a spectating God. I still believe that God presented challenges for a more interesting life than in Eden. We've got the brains for it.

DAVID: There is nothing wrong with assuming God has his reasons. I've not read theologians' thoughts but tried to develop my own.

dhw: Of course God if he exists, he has his reasons. The development of your own thoughts has led you to admitting that you haven’t a clue. At least I have managed to come up with a possible explanation of “evil”, and your only reason for rejecting it seems to be that you don’t like the image of God that it suggests.

Part of the equation is human ability to be evil through free will actions.

dhw: The “errors” thread has moved on to your whole theory of evolution. As regards errors in particular, it makes no sense to claim that he tried to correct them because he didn’t want to harm us but he also directly created bad bugs whose purpose is to harm us.

The bad bugs which harm us could be a side effect of the role they play in the ecosystems of life. This is where the problem of God's unknown intentions appears.

DAVID: As for free-for-all we free-will folks provide plenty of spectacle if He wants to note it. But we do not know if that was his reasoning in granting free will to us. I believe He felt free will was an important attribute we needed to have.

dhw: If he exists, then obviously it was important or he wouldn’t have given it to us. A free-for-all among all organisms that have formed the vast, 3.8-billion-year-old bush of life would also have given him plenty of spectacle. And that would be a purpose for your purposeful God, as opposed to your purposeful God directly creating all of them, including free-will humans, for a purpose we can’t guess at.

DAVID: My guess is that God created humans to dominate and control the Earth when evolution ended. My purposeful God doesn't care about spectacle. Again you are humanizing God.

dhw: What do you think was your purposeful God's purpose in getting humans to dominate the Earth (after he had directly designed millions and millions of life forms and econiches that wouldn't even be there when humans arrived)? You have agreed that free will provides plenty of spectacle. What is wrong with the idea that God wanted to create plenty of spectacle? All you can come up with is “weak” and “humanizing”, the first of which is a meaningless judgement and the second of which is countered by your perfectly logical conclusion that a God who creates a being with certain thought patterns, emotions and other attributes probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours.

You are correct. Our ability to think, construct concepts, plan is mirrored in the way God's mind works. All the same. But that does not mean our thoughts can directly know the reasons God has for His purposes. We must look for them by induction from His works. what does the pattern seem to tell us. He obviously wanted us to appear. We are here with the ability to recognize the evidence that He exists and can wonder about Him. No other organism on Earth can do that. you wonder that God is part human in His thinking about His purposes. I start by recognizing God is a person like no other person, and all I can use are His works and as I result I see Him as purposeful and go no further. Beyond that are your guesses and mine.

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