Theodicy (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Thursday, December 03, 2020, 19:30 (51 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: The instructions to cells to create cellular cooperation and production are what – in my theistic version – I call God’s design of cellular intelligence. The very fact that cells can create minor adaptations without your God’s intervention proves that there is an autonomous mechanism for change.

DAVID: Only minor adaptive change within species!

dhw: Once more: nobody knows the origin of species. But since we know there is an autonomous mechanism for minor adaptations, it is feasible that the same mechanism might cause major adaptations and innovations (Shapiro calls them "novelties") when new conditions require or allow them.

Well, we haven't found a natural mechanism yet. It's just another tbeory.

DAVID: Yes, we have attributes of thought similar to God's. I accept the use of logic and logical analysis when designing a new species. The rest is speculation. Adler offers a 50/50 possible/probability for God's interest in us, which means He doesn't know how to gauge it.

dhw: Of course it’s speculation. You are "sure" and "certain" that God is interested, and Adler is 50/50. So what? Even 50/50 makes the theory feasible.

We cannot know the degree of interest. To that you must agree.

dhw: In the meantime, you still haven’t offered any logical reason for rejecting the theory that your God may have given evolution a free rein so that all life forms would provide him with an ever-changing focus of interest. All forms seek their own means of survival, bad bugs are only bad from our viewpoint, and humans are no doubt the most interesting of all the life forms (our free will mirroring the freedom of all forms to follow their own paths). It’s only a theory, but it explains the bush of evolution and solves the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: I've told you I consider your view of God as very humanizing. Your reasoning is logical if I grant God as quite human in His capabilities and thought. But I don't accept that form of God, judging by his accomplishments/works.

dhw: You can hardly claim that your rejection of my theory is based on “judgement” of what he has created when you yourself admit you have no idea why he would have directly designed the bad bugs, and can find no explanation for his direct design of all those creations that have no connection with what you believe to be his purpose (us). But thank you for again admitting that you find my reasoning logical. You don’t have to accept the theory, but please don’t pretend that “judging by his creations” offers you the slightest reason for rejecting it.
As regards “very humanizing” under “Fish to land” you wrote:

DAVID: You don't realize how human you make Him.

dhw: I offer theories that entail a God who experiments or learns as he goes along, is interested in what he creates, invents a mechanism that can do its own designing. These various theories explain the evolutionary bush and/or theodicy. You agree that even your God probably has thought patterns and emotions like ours etc., and it is not beyond the bounds of reason that a God who created the universe and life out of himself should actually have some of the thought patterns, emotions etc. of his creations. But I do not propose an old man with a white beard, rocking and rolling round heaven, having a good giggle at Johnson and Trump, and swigging out of a whisky bottle as he does so. I would call that “very human”. Please drop this silly objection once and for all.

I can't stop my objection. My image of God is diametrically opposed to your preferred image. I don't think He ever has had to experiment, in creating the marvelously fine-tuned universe or inventing life. Your proposed 'experimentation' is after all that invention. Not likely.

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