Theodicy (Introduction)

by dhw, Friday, November 27, 2020, 11:15 (628 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Yet again: what is your “logical guess” to explain why your all-powerful, all-purposeful God would directly design millions of life forms and their food supplies that had no connection with humans, although his goal was to directly design humans? If God exists, it was certainly his choice to invent the process of evolution, but the rest of your theory is YOUR choice, and if you can’t explain the logic of YOUR choice, then maybe there is something wrong with it.

DAVID: The bold is your persistent distortion of my theory about God and creation of Humans. It is obvious He did not plan a direct creation, but to evolve us. A thought is that He could not directly create us. We do not know how all-powerful He really is.

There is no distortion. Yes, we both believe that evolution happened, in which case your God chose evolution as his method of fulfilling whatever may have been his purpose. But you keep leaving out the fact that by “evolution” you mean direct design of all species, and you keep ignoring the question of why he would directly design millions of life forms and food supplies etc. that had nothing to do with humans if the only thing he wanted to design was humans. How can every life form etc. have been “part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans” if 99% of them had no connection with humans? (By “directly designing” humans, I am referring to your theory that he directly designed every species of hominin and human.) As for your new “thought”, it ties in with the possibility that he was experimenting – one of my logical theories which you have rejected.

DAVID: There are no illogical statements you make from your primary view of God as part human.

dhw: “Part human” conjured up lots of silly images. To remind you: you are sure that your God is interested in his creations. I have suggested that if he exists, maybe he created his creations in order to have something outside himself that he could find interesting. No other “attributes” involved. Hardly “part human”. And I suggest that a free-for-all would be more interesting than a dull and predictable Garden of Eden (your own image). This explains the vast and ever changing bush of life AND the existence of evil, since a free-for-all would produce an almost endless flow of ways to survive, including good cooperation and nasty self-interest. Thank you for accepting that this is a logical theory. There is no need for “primary view of God as part human”.

DAVID: We cannot know the degree of His interest, because we cannot know if He even wanted something interesting or not. I agree the discussion increases the striving to learn, and that is all important. Note: Even your discussion of His degree of interest is a humanizing statement.
And transferred from “free will”:
DAVID: Some of the attributes about God you seek to know are unknowable, but I have positively decided on a God with a purposeful personality without questioning what He obviously decided to do as evidenced by the history He created. Why do you try to force me to come up with God's purpose? I can't know it. I can guess and you make fun of the guesses. Study God from His works is reasonable, and since humans arrived by the process of evolution, that is what He did, and therefore decided to do, OR was limited to do. All points covered. Anything further is sheer speculation that you like to delve into. I don't.

Why do you keep harping on the fact that we can’t know this, that or the other concerning my theories? We can’t know this, that or the other concerning ANY of the theories, including your own, and including the existence of God. (But I do not “make fun” of your guesses. I challenge them when they are clearly illogical.) Not “knowing” does not invalidate the feasibility of a theory. You also harp on about how purposeful your God is, which in itself is absurd if you are not prepared to discuss what his purposes might be! Of course that will entail a degree of “humanizing”, and you were the one who was sure he was interested in us, and you said he probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours and could very well think like us. Again it is therefore absurd to reject a theory just because it entails a human thought pattern! I will add that even for me as an agnostic, the possibility of God’s existence throws up the question of what might be his purpose and his nature. That is why theodicy is so important for theologians, and I find it surprising that as a believer you emphasize God’s purposefulness but don’t want to discuss his purposes and object if I do. So why did you bring up the subject of theodicy if you didn’t want to discuss why your God appears to have designed evil?

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