Theodicy (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, November 29, 2020, 09:05 (417 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I never try to explain why He chose to evolve us.

That is not what I ask you to explain. I ask you why, if we were his goal, he directly designed millions of extinct life forms and their food supplies that had no connection with us. Please stop dodging!

DAVID: […] A thought is that He could not directly create us. We do not know how all-powerful He really is.

dhw: 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: The fact that He might be limited in creative powers, in no way supports your humanizing experimenting wooliness. God would be totally aware of his limits and created what He wished within those limits.

dhw: […] if he IS limited in his powers, experimentation is a logical explanation for your version of evolution: your God set out to create a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his own, but he didn’t know how to do it, and so he experimented with lots of different life forms and their food supplies, and then with different hominins and humans. Nothing woolly, fits in with some of your premises, and has him “totally aware of his limits and creating what he wished within those limits”. Logical flaws?

DAVID: History of His creations do not suggest experimentation: a universe based on quantum mechanics, a perfect galaxy with a perfect Earth to protect the life He created, and the complex designs of cells tell us of a superb designer who doesn't need experimentation.

Millions of galaxies coming and going, millions of life forms etc. coming and going, all for the sake of one species and its food supply...fits in perfectly with experimentation. In any case, your new thought is that there might be things he could NOT do – in particular, “directly create us”. So a possible limitation would be his not knowing how to create patterns of thought and emotions similar to his own – as you so aptly put it. Hence experimentation. Please tell us what other limitations you can think of that would prevent him from directly creating us, and please give me a logical reason why experimentation as I have presented it is not a possibility.

DAVID: The bold is your constant distortion of past comments. The only thought pattern I'll grant you is the use of logic.

dhw: There is no distortion: “He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logical thought”. And how can “we only know His logic is like ours” if we can find no logic behind your interpretation of his goals and methods? Why are you so anxious to disown your own statements when it is quite logical to suggest that the creator of, say, love, joy and boredom has probably experienced love, joy and boredom?

DAVID: Pure humanization as usual. You are the 'we' who can't follow my logic about God's goals.

Of course your bolded statements are perfectly feasible humanizations. And I shan’t be able to follow your logic until you can explain how millions of life forms unconnected with humans could have been part of the goal of designing humans.

dhw: You are sure he is interested in his creations (then it can’t be zero interest). So please explain why it is illogical to propose that he might have created his creations in order to have something to be interested in.

DAVID: You have given him a human purpose He does not need, in my view.

Your purposeful God must have a purpose. I have proposed a purpose based on your own certainty that he watches us with interest. You have not offered us a logical flaw, but only your extraordinary refusal to agree with yourself that your God “very well could think like us” and probably has thought patterns and emotions like ours.

DAVID: The only purpose I can be sure of is He desire to produce humans at some point in His creations. […]

dhw: Well, at least we now have a more flexible approach to evolution, since apparently you are no longer sure that he directly designed every life form etc. as part of the goal of designing humans. That opens the door to other theories […]

DAVID: The bold is a total phantasy you have invented. I have explained theodicy as our lack of discovery of God's purposes, at which we continue our research.

If the only purpose you can be sure of is His desire to “produce humans at some point”, then (for very good reasons) you are not sure that his purpose in designing all the life forms unconnected with humans was to design humans! Your explanation of God’s creation of evil (he deliberately designed the bad bugs) is that we don’t yet know why he did it. I’m sorry, but I can’t regard “I don’t know” as an explanation, let alone as a valid justification for rejecting theories which you yourself accept as being logical.

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