Theodicy (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, December 12, 2020, 08:54 (404 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My repeated answer to theodicy is not yours. God created things we interpret as 'bad' for His reasons we do not yet understand, using the previously 'useless appendix' as a prime example.

dhw: Our prime example is bad bugs. Thank you for acknowledging that you do not have a theory other than the theory that one day we will understand. I do not see that as a reason for rejecting the reasoning behind my theory.

DAVID: I reject it on the basis that I see God's personality differently that you do. Granting a more humanized form of God, your theories are logical.

dhw: Thank you. The “humanized” version I have offered you here is in keeping with your own certainty that your God is interested in his creations, and likes and is satisfied with them.

DAVID: But the difference is I believe God is the business of creation, not to be interested or satisfied, which are entirely secondary results.

The only reason you have given for him wanting to create is to produce H. sapiens plus food supply. This is not “the business of creation” – this is creation with a single purpose. But you have no idea why he would have chosen to directly design all the life forms unconnected with humans. :-) . However, we now appear to have a new theory. Instead of them all being “part of the goal of evolving humans”, they have become creation just for the business of creation. I like it. However, there is a strange dichotomy in your thinking: although you are sure he is interested and satisfied because he likes creating and he likes what he has created (just like a painter enjoying his paintings was an image you used elsewhere), he doesn’t create because he WANTS to be interested or satisfied. You are sure he has those human feelings, but you are sure they never motivate him. And yet this would provide you with an answer to the puzzle you are unable to solve: why did your God design all the life forms unconnected with humans? Why is not feasible that the "result" (liking and satisfaction) could stem from the cause of wanting something to like and be satisfied with?

In response to another of my theistic suggestions – a free-for all to explain all the comings and goings, and to enhance your God’s interest, liking and satisfaction – you wrote:

DAVID: I don't accept a version of God who gives up primary controls over creation. That is what your theory does.

dhw: I know you don’t accept the theory that he wanted a free-for-all and created what he wanted. I would simply like to know why this explanation of evolution and of theodicy is not feasible.

DAVID: It is feasible if God is weak, and gives up tight control over events.

dhw: So my theory that he wanted and created a free-for-all is feasible if it’s right. We’ll never know, but I’ll settle for feasible. Forget “weak” – that is your highly subjective view of a God who knows what he wants and gets it.

DAVID: You are just as subjective always trying for a weak God.

All I’m trying to do is find logical explanations for the history of evolution and for theodicy. I agree , however, that a definition of what is weak and what is strong has to be subjective. And I think a God who theoretically has limitations that make him incapable of directly designing what he wants to design (your humans) is actually weaker than a God who directly designs what he wants to design (my intelligent cells).

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