Theodicy (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 11:24 (636 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Again you give God a humanizing self-purpose. We disagree about His personality.

dhw: Assuming he exists, your purposeful God must have had a purpose in creating life, including humans and evil. On this thread we are trying to understand what that purpose might be. As regards his personality, so far you have stated with authority that he is not self-centred, and it is possible that he is not benevolent. But elsewhere, you have told us that – presumably out of the kindness of his heart (benevolence) – he tried to provide backups to correct the nasty errors which he could not prevent, and he may have created the bad bugs as a challenge.

DAVID: Please note God as a designer naturally wants to do the best job He can in design. Your so-called kindness is again your humanizing version of God.

So now you have him directly designing every organism, being interested in every organism, providing backups (which sometimes fail) to correct the errors in his design, but only doing so because he is a perfectionist who doesn’t like mistakes. He doesn’t care about the suffering. Just the sort of human we all detest.

dhw: Quite a hotchpotch of “humanizations”. But you are sure that he is interested in his creations. That’s not a bad starting-point. And so I have offered you a theory which explains the course of evolution AND the source of evil. We can agree that your God set it all in motion (a prerequisite for discussion of theodicy), and is interested in how it proceeds, but we don’t need to say WHY he is interested - so you needn't fret about "humanizations"!

DAVID: You don't recognize your own mistakes as you think about your humanized God. He is interested as an inventor would be, but not for spectacle or entertainment.

I have already said that I am happy for those two "frivolous" terms to disappear from the argument, and to stick to your word “interest”. If he is interested as a human inventor would be, why is it out of the question that he invented life because he wanted something that he could be interested in?

dhw: So here’s a proposal. That your God did not deliberately design bad bugs at all. He simply invented the cell, with its ability to reproduce and to cooperate and to find new responses to ever changing environmental conditions, and hence to find new methods of survival. This is the process we call evolution, and inevitably it resulted in the mixture of lovingkindness and cooperation (good) and destructive self-interest (evil) which has characterized both animal and human history from past to present. I do not ask you to believe it, and I am refraining from touching on your God’s purpose, so that you can’t moan about “humanizing”. Now please tell me what logical flaw you can find in such a theory.

DAVID: It's back to cells knowing how to create evolution. I fully believe the original cells at the start of life did not know by themselves how to do any future designing. They simply reacted as they were taught to do by God. It is logical only if cells really have that ability, and there is no demonstration they do.

dhw: Yes, the theory will only be true if it’s true. Nobody knows the truth, and nobody can demonstrate cells creating new species, any more than we can demonstrate your God preprogramming or dabbling them. That is why we theorize. I have dealt with your “future design” theory on the “genome complexity” thread. So disregarding the fact that I can’t prove anything, please point out any logical flaws in my proposal.

DAVID: The bold is amazing. The bad bugs are due to cells designing them, not God's fault!! Those amazing intelligent cells of yours run amok and produced bad bugs, and God gave them the ability!! Wow!!! And all I propose is the bugs have a purpose which is why God produced them, and we will likely learn why with continuing human science research.

So you are blaming God for designing bad bugs, but one day science will tell us why he did it. What do you mean by “run amok”? The history of evolution reveals millions of life forms, many of which survive by eating or exploiting other life forms. Bad bugs survive by doing what we regard as bad deeds, but they are only doing what every other life form does! And yes, if God exists, I propose that he designed the mechanism that enables ALL life forms to design their own ways of surviving. And he did so because he was interested in the products of his invention. One theory to explain the whole of evolution AND theodicy. What are the logical flaws?

Complete thread:

 RSS Feed of thread

powered by my little forum