Theodicy (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, December 05, 2020, 08:09 (411 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

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

dhw: I don’t know how you measure degrees of interest. You are simply fudging the issue. You are “sure” and “certain” that he watches with interest, and I suggest that maybe he created his creations in order to have something interesting to watch. This theory, allied to the theory that it is more interesting to watch the unpredictable than the predictable (a “dull Garden of Eden", as you put it), solves the problem of theodicy as well as explaining the WHOLE ever-changing bush of life. Can you fault the logic?

DAVID: The fault is you describing a God who wants something to watch as if He gets bored. Think about it. Was He bored during the ten billion years from the origin of the universe to the start of life? You are describing a humanized God as usual. God is not a person you can imagine.

I would imagine that if, as you believe, he set out to design a universe that would contain life, he would have a reason for doing so. In answer to your question, I imagine that far from being bored, he would find the whole process extremely interesting. And I would imagine part of the interest would be finding out what did and didn’t work. And once he’d mastered the art of inventing a living organism that could reproduce and change its structures to create all kinds of life forms, I would imagine he would find that more interesting than just boring old bacteria doing the same things over and over again as he instructs. It’s only a theory, but it offers a logical theistic explanation for evolution’s vast and constantly changing bush of life with all its different, unconnected forms and strategies and natural wonders, and it even explains why some life forms found what we consider to be “evil” ways of surviving at the expense of others (the problem of theodicy). Sorry if such interest sounds “human”, but you have agreed that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions etc. similar to ours, and doing something because you are interested in watching the results really doesn’t seem TOO human to be true, does it?

dhw: I offer different explanations of his possible purposes and methods in the context of evolution, all of which you agree are logical, and the fact that they involve thought patterns similar to ours is no reason for rejecting them, so please drop this silly objection.

DAVID: It is about time you accept the concession I have given you. Your reasoning about God is logical if we both assume a very human personality for God. I don't.

I do accept the concession, and I don’t understand why you keep trying to take it back by moaning that a God who has human thought patterns can't be interested, can't give free rein to his invention, can have a particular goal in mind but can't experiment to get it, or can't learn and get new ideas as he goes along, because those thought patterns are “very human”. Do you know the range of your God's human thought patterns so well that you can reject all of these logical theories?

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