Theodicy (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Sunday, November 01, 2020, 19:05 (654 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Yes we cannot know His reasons, only guess. So you have made guess as have I. So what! Our knowledge is not advanced.

dhw: The same argument applies to God’s existence. Thank you for providing such a good case for agnosticism. Meanwhile, I trust you will now stop trying to use “humanizing” as a reason for dismissing theories based on thought patterns similar to ours.

Thought patterns never tell us "God's reasons for His actions. 'Thought patterns' mean logical thought to me. Nothing more. You unconsciously humanize Him.

DAVID: Why can't you see a purposeful God (my God) will keep tight control. Your free-will analogy is not equivalent to evolutionary process.

dhw: Why can’t you see that your God who deliberately gives up control over humans could also deliberately give up control over evolution in order to have something more interesting to watch than what you call a “dull Garden of Eden”?

No equivalence here. Free will is at the thought level, not the design of increasing complexities in evolution.

DAVID: You don't ever understand how much you humanize god. We don't know if He is interested. We can only think so. He may not care. That is a logical neutral position.

dhw: Not caring is not a neutral position, but it certainly offers us another theory to explain evil. In this case, your theory would be that God deliberately designed all the bad viruses and bacteria, the many natural horrors such as meat-eating, and would not have bothered to even try and correct the disease-causing errors caused by the system he designed, because he just didn’t care how much suffering he caused. That also fits in with the history of life, and at best makes your God callous, and at worst sadistic. […]

DAVID: Thank you for distorting my possible views in such an obvious way. All the evidence we have shows He tried to edit out errors as much as He could, so He was worried about those consequences. Again an incompletely thought-out comment on your part.

dhw: You have missed the point. I offered a theory in line with your certainty that God is interested in us. You then offered an alternative: “He may not care.” And so I offered you another theory on THAT premise. Automatically on THAT premise he would NOT have tried to correct the errors – which at least would relieve him of the weakness you attribute to him. (What you call the back-ups would then be the free cells trying to correct the errors.)

You've missed my point. Whether He cares of not is at the point where we are created by His intended design and how we live our lives thereafter.

dhw: ...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.

DAVID: I don't reject it as it logically fits your humanized form of God. On that basis it is possible but we are not discussing my God and His personality. Can you finally tell me about your God's personality and serious view of purposes.

dhw: Thank you for accepting the feasibility of my theory. As for my view of his personality and purposes, I don’t even know if he exists, but if he does, I have no doubt that he would be extremely powerful, would have had his own purpose(s)/reason(s) for creating life, and would have designed whatever he wanted to design. From that point on, I have a variety of alternative theories concerning his personality and his purposes, all of which you agree are logically based on the few facts we know. […]

DAVID: The first part of your comment fits my view of His purposefulness. The rest is wandering off into never-never land humanizing Him which is your right to do and at that level of thought you are logical about Him since He is thinking humanly. That form of His personality does not fit your first sentence above, and therefore I view it as inconsistent thinking.

dhw: Thank you for continuing to accept the logic of my proposals. Between us we have already demolished the silly “humanizing” objection. I don’t know what your last remark refers to. Would you please be more precise?

Sorry to have you confused. Your first sentence describes a God with powerful purposeful personality, which is my view of Him. Then you drift off into your usual namby-pamby humanizing possibilities and your view of Him weakens Him. They are all consistent with the facts we know if we grant Him humanized thinking. To define humanizing, in my approach, any deviation from pure purpose is exactly that. Giving Him interests like entertainment, spectacle, etc. is pure humanization. Our discussion about Garden of Eden vs. problems to enliven interest in solving living problems borders on humanization. we do not know if God is interested in how we enjoy life. Until you read Adler's warnings , as a highly respected philosopher of religion, we will continue to battle.

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