Theodicy (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, October 24, 2020, 09:08 (658 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: bbbWhy do you think he would watch life with interest but would not have created life so that he could watch it with interest?

DAVID: You used 'spectacle', which implies entertainment.

dhw: I will take the definition “a strange or interesting object or phenomenon” (Encarta). Now please answer my question.

DAVID: Neat trick, trying to limit meaning! My thesaurus has four prime senses of the word: appearance, prodigy, show and drama. Thus entertainment fits!!!

Neat trick to avoid answering my now bolded question. You used the word entertainment, and I used the word spectacle, which has far wider connotations. I am happy to drop the word as we have agreed on the more neutral idea of your God being interested, and so we can now skip to the non-answer you gave at the end of your post:

DAVID: Of course an inventor is interested in his creations. God is more interested in His accomplishing purposeful creations on the way to his goals, a great difference from your view of desiring spectacle. Stop humanizing Him.

What plural “goals”? According to you, all his creatures were “part of the goal of evolving humans”. See “error corrections” for all the contradictions. If he designed the brontosaurus, why do you think he was only interested in the brontosaurus as “part of the goal of evolving humans” when it had no connection to humans? Why could he not have been interested in the brontosaurus itself, having taken the trouble – according to you – to design it? And why is it “humanizing” to be interested in the brontosaurus as his invention but not “humanizing” to be interested in the brontosaurus only as a part of the goal of evolving humans, to which it has no direct connection? And what is wrong with such “humanizing” since you have agreed that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours? And why do you keep going over the same old ground, repeating the same old contradictions?

DAVID: You still don't understand the biology of life as designed by God as I view it. The bold is not a fault but a requirement for free molecules in the soup of life. Your God gives freedom to life to do what it wants. I see it as under very tight controls from a very purposeful God.

dhw: Thank you for the comment I have bolded. That is my own theory. No “fault”, no accidental, unavoidable errors which he is unable to correct (pretty disparaging, I’d say), but “free molecules” which do what they want. Not tight controls, but a mechanism that would use its freedom to create the vast variety of life forms and of goodies and baddies that make up the history of evolution. In other words, precisely the world we know – created that way by a “very purposeful God” (if he exists).

DAVID: Again a free-for-all evolution. How does concise design happen? You're illogically back to chance, which even you have given it short shrift. You still don't understand the importance of protein folding which creates function at very high speed to have life emerge.

I am NOT back to chance. My proposal, for the thousandth time, is that cells are INTELLIGENT and do their own designing! And you still don’t understand that it is not the emergence of life or the “correct” functioning of cells that we are discussing. Evolution can only happen if the existing structure of the cells changes. You propose that your God preprogrammed or dabbled every single change, and I propose (theistic version) that he gave them the freedom to change themselves. Chance is irrelevant.


DAVID: […] not all errors are only bad as dhw, in denigrating God, is wont to write. God gave us the best living system He could.

dhw: There is no denigration of God in my arguments. It is you who have drawn our attention to errors which are NOT useful – namely those that cause disease – and it is you who denigrate him by telling us that he was unable to control them but provided backups which sometimes didn’t work […]. Even “the best he could” is a denigration, as if he was powerless to do otherwise. I have him creating precisely what he wanted to create, and in so doing I offer a solution to the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: I have not denigrated God in any way except in your twisted version of what I present. He created exactly what He needed to create, knowing and planning for the problems. Not your emphasis on 'bad' God. No other system would work, a point you don't understand.

There is no emphasis on ‘bad’ God. Your denigration consists in the bolded assumptions above. My proposal is that this was the system he wanted. The result is the same – it is on the question of your God’s intentions and powers that we differ. But we both agree that he is interested in what his system has produced. Only my version resolves the problem of theodicy, and yours doesn’t, and you still haven’t explained why he can be interested in the inventions but it is not possible that he could have invented them in order to have something that would interest him.

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