Theodicy (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, November 21, 2020, 07:16 (13 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

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

DAVID: The key point is neither of us know exactly how human His personality is. We both guess following our own logic and it is obvious I have rejected your view.

The key point is that nobody knows the truth about all the subjects we discuss, which is why we continue to discuss them. Yes, it is obvious that you have rejected my views (I have more than one) despite admitting that they are logical. You reject them because they involve giving God human characteristics, although in your view your God probably has human characteristics. You have found no other reason to reject them.

dhw: ...you claim your theories are without errors.

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

dhw: 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: I'll stick with my belief God is in charge of creating history, and accepted history has no errors.

The errors in the above exchange refer to your theory of evolution being wrong, not to history having no errors! In any case, according to you, your God designed a system in which errors were unavoidable. I have opposed that with my theory that what you called errors were NOT errors. So you’ve got it wrong with both references.

dhw: Theodicy is not a matter of errors.

DAVID: You are not remembering my approach that what we may think are God's errors are really purposeful events, and we will eventually discover their purpose. In the past I've used the appendix and our backward upside-down retina as examples.

These are not the so-called errors we have been discussing. One is the illogicality of your theory of evolution, and the other is the disease-causing errors you said your God could not avoid and tried to correct. You are doing your dodging act again.

dhw: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.

DAVID: That is logical to me.

I don’t what constitutes the logic in your belief that he deliberately designed the bad bugs and we don’t know why.

dhw: I am still waiting for you point out any logical flaws in [my] interpretation of life’s history and of theodicy – as opposed to protestations that it doesn’t fit in with your own logically flawed interpretation.

DAVID: It is perfectly logical if you are considering a very humanized God.

Back to square one. You are sure that your God is interested in his creations, so that’s OK. But if I say that maybe interest was his reason for creating his creations, suddenly that’s VERY humanized and not acceptable, even though God probably has thought patterns etc. similar to ours.

DAVID: In my view, as you know, God is very purposeful and keeps tight control over all the processes He creates.

In my view, if God exists, he is purposeful, very purposeful, extremely purposeful, as purposeful as a purposeful God can possibly be. Satisfied? But his purpose may have been to give free rein to what he creates, because he doesn’t want what, in one of your enlightened moments, you called a dull Garden of Eden. This would explain the constant comings and goings, the vast diversity, and the existence of what we call evil: God deliberately and very purposefully created a free-for-all.

DAVID (under “a gliding animal”): I had no idea there were 60 gliding mammals. The question in my mind is why did evolution stop with gliding in these mammals and only bats developed flight wings. I'll stick with it is what God wanted.

I like your last comment. If he directly designed it, he must have wanted to design it. If it designed itself, he got the variety of life forms and wonders and strategies he wanted. Either way he wanted it. How does that make it and its 59 fellow gliders “part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans” and their food supply? Or could it just be that he finds the gliding mammals as interesting as you and I do?


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