Theodicy (Introduction)

by dhw, Friday, November 20, 2020, 12:03 (14 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] You have kindly informed us that you are sure he sees what is going on (which I suggest means that he is looking at it, not just catching a glimpse out of the corner of his immaterial eye), and if his level of interest might be one per cent, it might also be one hundred per cent, so why dismiss the theory? Ditto with your acceptance that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions and logic similar to ours. There is no “past misunderstanding”. If he probably has all this, it is absurd to dismiss a theory because you don’t believe he might have what he probably has.

DAVID: The problem is we do not know anything about God except His works. My view of His possible personality is definitely not yours, but I agree some form of His personality is correct.

So please stop rejecting theories on the grounds that he can’t have any human characteristics although he probably has human characteristics.

DAVID: You have no idea where errors might exist in your thoughts or mine.

dhw: True. I offer a variety of explanations. I do not insist on the truth of any of them. You have one illogical explanation for evolution and none for theodicy, which you consider from only one point of view (your God is always in control, and therefore must have deliberately created the bad bugs), which leaves you flummoxed. But you claim your theories are without errors.

DAVID: I've never claimed without errors. We both have them in theories as stated just above.

I wrote that since you could not find any explanations for your theory of evolution or for the existence of evil, your view of them “might just possibly contain an error or two”. You replied: “Based on my view of God’s personality there are no errors.” An error in your theory means that something is wrong with your theory.

DAVID: Both our theories are based on logical interpretations colored by our background scholarships.

dhw: I have pointed out the illogicality of your overall theory of evolution on the “error corrections” thread. On this thread, you have offered no logical interpretation of theodicy.

DAVID: No I haven't. What I have said is what we think are errors may not be in God's eye.

Theodicy is not a matter of errors. The example we used for evil was bad bugs, which you insist your God deliberately designed, but you have no idea why. It’s not much of a logical interpretation then to say: “He created the bugs we view bad for His own reasons which are not obvious to us at this time. We may find out why with more research.

Meanwhile, with my theist hat on (because theodicy assumes the existence of God) I have proposed that he did not deliberately design them, but gave evolution free rein, and the so-called bad bugs simply did what every other organism has done since life began, which is to find their own means of survival. And I agree with you that he would watch his creations with interest (we needn’t haggle over percentages), so I suggest that he set the whole process in motion because he wanted something interesting to watch. And I am still waiting for you point out any logical flaws in this interpretation of life’s history and of theodicy – as opposed to protestations that it doesn’t fit in with your own logically flawed interpretation.


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