Theodicy (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, October 22, 2020, 12:01 (664 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Forget my word “spectacle” and your word “entertain”, and look at what you have written yourself. You agree that he “watches out of interest”, but you don’t agree that he created what he created “so that he could have something interesting to watch.” Bearing in mind your own agreement that the brontosaurus is NOT directly connected to H. sapiens, do you think [your God] directly designed the brontosaurus and said to himself: “I've directly designed the brontosaurus as part of my goal of directly designing H. sapiens, though there’s no direct connection, but I’ll watch it for a few million years because it’s interesting”?

DAVID: All of the many branches of life are food supply for all.

As you have agreed, the brontosaurus and his food supply had nothing to do with HUMANS!

DAVID: You are the one who thought God created so he could have a spectacle. I certainly think He is interested in His creations, but not as entertainment. It is the vast difference in how each of us views God's personality, a difference you always skip past.

It is you who used the word entertainment, not me. In my comment above, I have not offered a single comment on God’s personality beyond our agreement that he would watch life on Earth with interest. Why do you think he would watch life with interest but would not have created life so that he could watch it with interest?

dhw: Now please tell us why YOU think your God created or allowed evil.

DAVID: All I am left with for the enth time is to state: to make life interesting as far as bad bugs are concerned….

dhw: To make life interesting for whom?

DAVID: Obviously as you and I have stated previously, us! Not Him which is your idea.

dhw: But bad bugs existed long before humans. Why do you think that your God spent 3.X billion years directly designing bad bugs, meat-eating monsters, murderous parasites before he produced us with our brains to overcome them?

DAVID: You same silly comment: He chose to evolve us over the time it took.

dhw: But if he designed all the bad bugs, meat-eating monsters and murderous parasites before we were here, how could they have made life more interesting for US? Similar problem to his interest in the brontosaurus.

DAVID: Again the same view of chopping up time into discontinuous parts. The process of evolution produces the future from the past.

That has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that (a) evolution produced millions of branches unconnected with humans, and (b) that if he designed all the bad bugs etc. before we were around, and watched them with interest, he clearly didn’t design them so that they would make life more interesting for us!

DAVID: […] God gave us exactly the system/reality He wanted and the only system of living organisms He could produce required by the necessary biochemical speed of reactions, which includes His design of giant molecule enzymes to make sure the speed exists.

dhw: […] We agree that he gave us the system/reality he wanted! I am not disputing “the necessary biological speed”. I am suggesting that he wanted all the errors and the bugs and meat-eating monsters and parasites whose “selfish” behaviour is mirrored in most forms of evil. And this in turn makes life more interesting than a dull Garden of Eden.

DAVID: On that point I will agree.

Good news, then! We agree that your God is interested in the world he created, but you have no idea why even before we were around, he would have designed bad bugs and parasites and meat-eating monsters, whose “selfishness” is the root of most evil. I suggest that their existence made/makes life more interesting for him than a dull Garden of Eden would be. But I go one step further: I propose that he didn’t design them all directly, but just like your free-to-make-errors molecules, he gave all cells the freedom to find their own means of survival. This theory relieves us of accidental, unavoidable errors (caused by a fault in the system he designed, and suggesting incompetence as he tries and fails to correct some of them) and of deliberately creating evil (exemplified by the bad bugs) – a pretty scary thought, which I’m sure you and most of your fellow believers would rather not even contemplate.
Under “error corrections III and IV”:

QUOTE: "If a mismatched base pair, bound strongly by a transcription factor, makes it through the DNA replication cycle without being repaired by another type of protein—known as a repair enzyme—it can become a mutation, and mutations can lead to genetic diseases like cancer and neurodegeneration. (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: The mechanism described appears to make it easier to produce mutations. But note the bold. There are repair mechanisms present to reverse DNA mistakes and resist mutations.

QUOTE: "Vital functions of multicellular organisms, such as growth, development, and tissue regeneration, depend on the precisely controlled division of cells. A failure in the underlying control mechanisms can lead to cancer.

DAVID: […] This study shows the complexity of mistake controls designed by God.

And every case of cancer and neurodegeneration shows that the repair mechanisms don’t always work. God’s incompetence? Surely not. "What God wants, God gets. "God gave us exactly the system/reality He wanted" (D. Turrell)

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