Theodicy (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, November 05, 2020, 10:17 (24 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Still no answer to the issue that similar logical thinking does not tell us His reasons for His choices of action.

dhw: Nobody knows if he exists, let alone his purpose or reasons, his way of thinking, and whether he designed every life form or allowed evolution free rein. That is why we have different theories. And it remains absurd to dismiss a theory just because it has him thinking like us even though you believe he may think like us.

DAVID: Same subterfuge. His thinking like us must be logical, but it does not tell us His reasoning to reach His purposes. I'm arguing category of logical thought is all we can conclude about God's thinking. You describe a God with desires like ours, and I view that as illogical, since He is a personage like no other person. You describe His desires, I look for His purposes.

No you don’t. You stop at one purpose: every extant and extinct life form and econiche is/was “part of the goal to evolve (= directly design) humans.” Nobody knows his purpose or his reasoning, but it makes perfect sense that his purpose should be bound up with what he wants (i.e. his desires). Nobody would argue that if your God exists he is human, but that does not mean he does not have thought patterns etc. similar to ours – as you admit yourself. And so a theory that entails a thought pattern similar to ours cannot logically be dismissed on the grounds that it entails a thought pattern similar to ours!

DAVID: your objection is to God, the designer.

dhw: My objection is to your belief that your God directly designed every life form and every food supply in the history of the planet as part of his goal to directly design H. sapiens and his food supply.

DAVID:Same old saw. I believe the complexities of living biochemistry demands design, the same design that keeps you agnostic.

I keep agreeing that it demands design, and I propose an alternative theory to your own. I don’t know why we have to keep repeating this same exchange, except that it enables you to dodge the illogicality of your own theory, as explained by me and dodged by you on the “error correction” thread.

DAVID: We really don't know if He is interested in us. Evidence shows He tried to protect us from mistakes and bad bugs.

dhw: We don’t “KNOW” anything! We only theorize! History does not show any such thing. History shows bad bugs. It also shows that organisms have developed defences against some of them and not against others.

DAVID: I am discussing my theory about how God works.

And I am pointing out that there is no “evidence” that your God “tried to protect us from mistakes and bad bugs”.

DAVID: Evil, as we define it, is here. God allowed it, perhaps for reasons we do not yet understand.

dhw: That is the problem we are supposed to be dealing with on this thread, which you started. I have offered you two “reasons”, each of which fits in logically with the history of life as we know it. All you have done so far is tell us how good and clever your God is, because the body generally works well.

DAVID: What God did well or bad must be part of the discussion. Theodicy is a human invention which notes what problems we are faced with, bad bugs, evil, biological mistakes, etc., and wonder why God allowed them. It implies God should be beneficent. That can only be our hope, because He is not talking. What He did do was create us and we can enjoy living.

I know what theodicy means and implies. You raised the subject, and now you are telling us that we can enjoy life. I do, thank you. Now how about dealing with the subject?

DAVID: But there is another point you ignore: God allowed it, perhaps for reasons we do not yet understand.

I can hardly be said to ignore it since I am the one who is trying to understand it by offering you explanations.

dhw: [...] why did you raise the subject in the first place?

DAVID: Because the issue needs to be dealt with. As for 'interest' that is a human desire, and God is not human, and His desires never should be analyzed from a human point of view.

You don’t even try to deal with it. All you can do is tell us to look on the sunny side of your God’s successes, and not to use our human reason, because any explanation we come up with will impose a human thought pattern on God, and although God probably has human thought patterns, any theory with a human thought pattern must be wrong. And for good measure, although you are sure he is interested in us, he might not be interested in us!


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