Theodicy (Introduction)

by dhw, Friday, October 30, 2020, 09:04 (26 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: My proposal also has your God purposely creating what he wishes and having purposeful goals. Please stop harping on about “humanizing”. Why have you ignored my latest response to it?
[…] if you accept that your God has thought patterns similar to ours, it is absurd to reject a theory on the grounds that it entails thought patterns similar to ours. For instance, you are sure that he is interested in his creations. It would be absurd for me to say to you: you are sure that he is interested in his creations, but I reject your theory, because humans are interested in their creations and so you are “humanizing” him. That is what is wrong with your “perfect answer”.

DAVID: Totally empty point: Having similar thought patterns does not tell us His reasons for His goals.

dhw: Nothing can tell us his goal or goals, or his reason for wanting to achieve his goal or goals. But it is absurd to reject a theory on the grounds that it “humanizes” him when you acknowledge that he probably has thought patterns similar to ours.

DAVID: Still struggling: thought patterns of logic, etc., never can tell us His reasons!!!

I have just answered you!

DAVID: Adler explains why I am correct, and you belittle the unexplained uniqueness of humans arising from apes with no driving force known to us.

dhw: […]: I have always accepted the uniqueness of humans, and your driving force argument can be applied to all species after bacteria. You are simply repeating dodge after dodge to avoid the question I put you on the “error corrections thread”.

DAVID: Of course you accept we are unique.

dhw: So why do you say I belittle our uniqueness?

DAVID: [...] Why we appeared in is the point, philosophically. Your answer?

dhw: Why did any multicellular organism appear, since bacteria are so successful? I have offered you a philosophical (theistic) explanation for the appearance of ALL organisms, and it also explains theodicy.

DAVID: From another thread on balance of nature my thought: 'Evolution could not have advanced beyond bacteria without God pushing evolution, after their invention by God!!!

If your God had wanted a free-for-all instead of a puppet show, he could have endowed the first cells with the intelligence to design their own advances as conditions changed, offering new challenges and opportunities. No divine pushing necessary.

dhw: ALL organisms offer your God something interesting to watch, and humans are particularly interesting. Hence the bolded theory above which you attempt to dismiss with your silly objection that it is “humanizing”.

DAVID: We don't know God is interested. He might be, and I'll stick with Adler's 50/50.

Last week you wrote: “I’m sure he sees what is going on with His own level of interest, unknown to us.” Interest is interest.

dhw: How do you know what his purpose was or was not? Forget Adler. YOU are sure your God watches us with interest, so please tell us why this cannot mean that he created life in order to have something interesting to watch. Your silly “humanizing” argument carries no weight, as explained above.

DAVID: No weight with you because of your constant humanized image of God, which you can't seem to leave.

“Humanized” is dealt with and demolished above, using your own words (he probably has thought patterns similar to ours). You are sure your God watches us with interest. So please tell us why he could not have created life in order to have something interesting to watch.

DAVID: Purpose is defined by studying His works. We are His supreme works. He obviously desired to produce us, His true reasons totally unknown to us, but yes we can guess.

dhw: And I have provided a purpose which encompasses the whole of evolution, including all the bad viruses and bacteria, meat-eating, disease, and I have suggested a method which does not entail your God being incapable of correcting errors that cause evil. In case you’ve forgotten: if your God exists, and since you are sure he is interested in his creations, the motive for his creation of life is interest. And free-rein evolution – as exemplified by human free will – leading to good as well as bad, is far more interesting than a dull and predictable Garden of Eden.

DAVID: Same thin argument. How do you know God is interested to the depth you insist upon? It could be quite casual. Adler was a believer but accepted 50/50 as I do. Human free will is in our brain's neurons, not in DNA which is where evolution is controlled.

Nobody “knows” even if your God exists. Your own theory is not “knowledge”! We offer theories and then test them for feasibility. If you think your God took the trouble to design a universe in order to design life in order to design humans, but you think his interest is “casual”, so be it. It would be perfectly feasible to argue that since he doesn’t intervene, he has lost interest altogether (just as it is perfectly feasible to argue that he never existed). But for the sake of argument, as our subject here is theodicy, I am offering a theory which explains the whole of life, and the existence of and reason for good and evil. You have not offered a single logical reason for rejecting it.

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