Back to theodicy and David's theories (The nature of a \'Creator\')

by dhw, Monday, February 15, 2021, 12:24 (550 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We have discussed viruses as aiding in the process of evolution as one possible 'good' role. Viruses enter DNA as contributing residents.

Your problem is why he created the bad viruses, not the good ones.

DAVID (on E-coli): […] Note my bold that most of the gene transfers are fatal. Gene transfer is an accepted mechanism for adaptation and evolutionary change or advance. I assume it was designed by God. And perhaps […], He set this circumstance up to control bad gene transfers, or I admit, like the urine infections an accident, or an uncontrolled mistake.

If God designed the system, the bad bacteria and the bad viruses that lead to appalling suffering and death (not to mention urine infections), then there is a problem for those who think of their God as kind and caring (hence “theodicy”). I don’t know why you refuse even to consider the possibility that your God did NOT design them all, and did NOT make mistakes, but deliberately created a free-for-all […]

Viral DNA in us

QUOTE: Those extensive viral regions are much more than evolutionary relics: They may be deeply involved with a wide range of diseases including multiple sclerosis, hemophilia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), along with certain types of dementia and cancer.

DAVID: I assume God designed viruses like all of life (recognizing viruses are half-alive). Viruses play a role in evolution which makes that design reasonable. TDP-43 offers good control of events, until it is damaged or changed. This is a mistake by a molecule. I don't think we should blame God. Normal TDP-43 is God's designed protection, but molecules can make their own mistakes outside of His controls.

Same again: God designed the bacteria and the viruses and the molecules in such a way that their behaviour could lead to MS, ALS, dementia, cancer etc., but apparently the design is not the fault of the designer, and we should only focus on all the nice things that bacteria, viruses and molecules get up to. That’s the way to solve the problem of theodicy!

DAVID: His final point of purpose was for humans with big-brained consciousness to appear.

dhw: That cannot be a “final point of purpose”! I’m asking what was his purpose in creating life, including humans?

DAVID: He created early life to evolve humans. We don't know why He created this universe if not for that.

We don’t “know” if there is a God who created early life, let alone why he did it, but one of your problems on this thread is to tell us why, if humans were his only purpose, he created “early life”, 99% of which had no connection with humans.

dhw: And from where do you get your inside information that he’s interested but didn’t create life in order to have something interesting to watch?

DAVID: Simply, God has no need to entertain Himself.

You are sure he watches his creations (including humans) with interest (“entertain” is your expression). How do you know that he didn’t want to create something he could watch with interest?

DAVID: I'll leave it at God chose to evolve us from bacteria.

If he exists, he chose to evolve [by which you mean directly design] all life forms from bacteria, including 99% of extinct forms which had no connection with “us”.

DAVID: Evolution connects all of us. And as usual you forget a vast bush means food for all.

Common descent connects all of “us” with bacteria, but not with every other life form that ever existed. Re food and all the unconnected species, I’ll repeat your own words, since you keep trying to forget them:
The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms” , “extinct life has no role in current time”. You have agreed that you have no idea why your God would have chosen to design all these other unconnected life forms etc. if his only purpose was to design humans, and I wish you would leave it at that.


dhw: You pooh-poohed the theory that our brain was needed for survival. I suggested that the earliest forms of human from which we have evolved were just as preoccupied with survival as the apes, and so were the earliest sapiens. Hence the long period of stasis before we embarked on the course that has led to our current civilisation – which is still linked primarily to survival but has now extended into a vast range of other activities.

DAVID: Agreed. Yes, just as worried about survival as apes with a giant brain not being used to its full capabilities until we discovered how to really use it. That is the stasis period explained in alternate way.

Thank you for agreeing that the need for survival was the driving force even for early sapiens with their giant brain. The fact that the drive for survival has led us to explore other fields of activity does not invalidate its continued importance to many of our products. Stasis is explained by the fact that throughout life’s history and human history, there have been long periods when life forms continued to exist without the need or the new ideas that can lead to further developments.

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