Theodicy (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, December 07, 2020, 11:41 (235 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You go on and on about your God being purposeful, and complaining that my own theories are not purposeful. Two questions for you: 1) what do you think was your purposeful God’s purpose in creating life?

DAVID: He didn't tell me. Considering how complex it is, it is quite an accomplishment. Perhaps with our consciousness, it has been proposed by Davies He wanted us to recognize Him and research and understand His works.

Yes, recognition especially would be gratifying, just as it is for us humans. I’d be quite happy to accept that as a reason for designing humans (and their food supply), and like you, I am sure that he would watch us with interest to see if we recognized him. Unfortunately, this doesn’t explain why he had to design millions of extinct, less conscious life forms (and their food supplies) which, I am sure would not have recognized him or researched and understood his works, before he began to design all the stages leading to us. But you always try to avoid that aspect of “purpose”. (See “fish to land animals”)

dhw: 2) What do you think was your God’s purpose in creating bad bugs (i.e. give us your solution to the problem of “theodicy”)? And the answer to 2) is you don’t know. I’m surprised you haven’t yet argued that doing something with a purpose is too “human”!

DAVID: My answer has been given. They have a God's purpose we still do not understand. It is our interpretation they are bad. They may have an important undiscovered purpose.

I agree that it is our interpretation. From a bug’s point of view, it would be doing what your God apparently designed it to do – finding ways to survive. Or maybe he didn’t design it at all, but simply gave it the intelligence to find its own ways of survival. At least that would let your God off the hook of directly designing something he knew would harm humans. (Theodicy problem solved.)

DAVID: All these humanizing theories do not fit my concept of who God is personally.

dhw: […] it would be interesting if once and for all you would tell us exactly what IS your concept of God “personally”.

DAVID: I'll repeat for the umpteenth time: He is highly purposeful and creates nothing for His own self-interest or pleasure.

I can’t possibly disagree that if he created the universe and life he must have had a purpose. Not doing it for self-interest or pleasure tells us what you think he isn’t, not what he is. But above, you have suggested that he wanted recognition. Why would he want to be recognized?

DAVID: He is solely in the business of creation.

That makes no sense. If he is highly purposeful, he must have a purpose for creating whatever he creates.

DAVID: I'm sure He likes what He creates, and that is He is satisfied in His results as the inventor.

Well, that’s nice to hear. You're sure he's interested and you're sure he's satisfied and likes what he created. So maybe he created it because he wanted to create something he could be interested in, which he would like and would give him satisfaction.

DAVID: But none of this is at a human level of understanding, since we are forced to use human words and meanings in describing Him. He is beyond really understanding or describing.

Nevertheless, you’ve made a very logical and convincing case, which comes astonishingly close to my own proposal. I don’t know why you are so coy about it.


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