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

by dhw, Saturday, April 03, 2021, 09:23 (119 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My God, from the point of starting this universe fine-tuned-for-life, knew what the endpoint would be.

dhw: Most human designers start out with a purpose and know what the endpoint will be. So how does this come to mean that God the know-all designer is not “human”, whereas a power that designs a mechanism that will produce an endless and unpredictable variety of life forms, developments, events etc. is “very human”?

DAVID: Your 'God' is a weak form of mine, allowing a free-for-all which has no predictable ending.

He is not “my” God – I am offering an explanation for the vast variety of life forms that have been and gone, and for the problem of theodicy. If your God decided to create an endlessly changing world with an unpredictable variety of life forms and events, he got what he wanted! Why is that “weak”? And you STILL refuse to tell us why a God who, just like human designers, starts out with a single endpoint in mind is NOT “human”, whereas a God who designs an endlessly varied and unpredictable system is “very” human.

DAVID: Why can't God have goals?

dhw: A purposeful God who creates because he enjoys creating is not acceptable to you, because that is "very human". Of course your God can have goals. So do tell us what you think was his goal when – after designing millions of life forms etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans – he finally got down to designing humans? And while you’re at it, what was his goal in designing bad bugs and viruses? And in making survival depend on organisms eating one another in a constant war? (See “Nasty butterflies”.)

DAVID: God certainly allowed a war between organisms, since all have to eat. As for God's possible human attributes, of course, there are obvious comparisons at a superficial level, since we deal with God's personality in allegorical terms. As for His goal, we are it.

There is nothing superficial in discussing God’s possible human attributes, and they are not “allegorical”. If he created our attributes, there is no reason whatsoever to assume that he does not share any of them! Meanwhile, you have not told us what was his goal in designing humans or in designing bad bugs and viruses. There is no point in telling us how purposeful he is if you refuse to discuss his purposes!

dhw: […] what exactly do you think he was doing in granting free will, i.e. what do you think was his purpose?

DAVID: He didn't make us automatons, because in that way we would never have shown progress in our development. Freedom of thought allows us to advance by ourselves.

I know what it does. Why do you think he wanted us to have freedom in our development?

DAVID: In that way we would come to recognize Him, not for adulation which He doesn't need or want, but understanding what He has created. I believe that is enough for Him.

So he wanted to create a being that would recognize and understand what he had created. But you, my dear friend David Turell, happen to know that he didn’t want us to praise him or worship him, that he gets no pleasure from our recognition and understanding, and that he gets no pleasure from the creation which he wants us to recognize and understand. I wonder why he wants us to recognize and understand what he created, just as I wonder why he created all those 99% of life forms unconnected with humans, and why you are so determined to reject the perfectly logical idea that a God who enjoys creating might create BECAUSE he enjoys creating.

QUOTE: Carpediemonas […] must rely on a novel set of mechanisms to carry out these fundamental processes.

DAVID: Nothing to add except it will require research to find out how the organism does it. Common descent doesn't always result in sameness. We study mice because there is much that is the same with us.

dhw: Yes indeed, if common descent always resulted in sameness, there wouldn’t have been much evolution, would there? :-) Good to hear you talk of “how the organism does it” in the context of its novel set of mechanisms.

DAVID: Well, it has some sort of God-given mechanism yet to be discovered. ;-)

Yes, with my theist’s hat on, I find it much more likely that your God would have given carpediemonas (I love the name: seize the day!) the means of doing it, rather than having to preprogramme all this 3.8 billion years ago or popping in to do a dabble.


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