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

by dhw, Monday, April 05, 2021, 11:41 (33 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If God exists (and for the sake of our discussions, I am accepting that he does), then of course he created all the conditions for life. No dispute. But that does NOT mean that he directly designed every single life form with the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens, although 99% of them had no connection with humans. Nor does it mean that a God who deliberately creates a free-for-all in life is any more “humanized” than a God who wants total control over his creations.

DAVID: Free-for-all means no planned destination for evolution. I believe I've given proof of the need for design. Your humanized God doesn't seem to know where He is going.

You keep telling me what free-for-all means. I know. I have no problem with your argument for design: a God who designs a mechanism enabling organisms to do their own designing is not a denial of design! A God who decides to give free rein to evolution (though he can always dabble if he wants to) knows precisely where he is going: i.e. to the production of the huge variety of life forms that characterize the history of evolution. If I design a huge kaleidoscope because I want a vast and unpredictable variety of patterns, does that mean I don’t know where I’m going? And for the umpteenth time, please tell us why a God who – just like the designer of the motor car – knows what he wants to create and creates it, is not “humanized”, whereas a God who – just like the inventor of the kaleidoscope – knows what he wants and creates it, is “humanized”.

dhw: 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!

DAVID: I haven't refused, I've told you research will unveil His purposes, as we have in the past.

dhw: Then why do you insist that his sole purpose in creating life was to design H. sapiens, and all other life forms were “part of the goal of evolving humans”? If you can make such illogical guesses, which you know as well as I do cannot be “unveiled” by research, why should the rest of us not make guesses about his purposes – especially if they provide logical explanations for the history of life as we know it?

DAVID: It all depends upon the invented version of God you are using. I have mine vastly different from yours.

If it is OK for you to invent a God who has only one purpose and is in total control (except when he isn’t), why do you regard it as “superficial” and “allegorical” for me to suggest that he has a different purpose and is prepared to give up total control? And why do you regard your dependence on some vague future research as a justification for rejecting explanations which you yourself agree are logical?

DAVID: As for God's attributes, all theologians insist we must use allegorical terms.

dhw: There is nothing “allegorical” about attributes such as interest, enjoyment, having a purpose, wanting something such as total control or a free-for-all. You keep using these terms – so what do they stand for if they’re “allegorical”? Either he wants something or he doesn’t.

DAVID: The attributes are not allegorical within themselves as descriptions, but as applied to God they have to be used allegorically, as all theologians demand.

So when you say your God only wanted only to design humans and their food supply, and he enjoys creating, what do these descriptions represent? Or are you and your mysterious theologians (do you really know them ALL?) trying to tell us that God himself is an allegory? If so, please tell us what he is meant to stand for.

dhw: Why do you think he wanted us to have freedom in our development?

DAVID: Why not? Perhaps to recognize Him; perhaps to help with metabolic errors; perhaps to let us enjoy our development of abstractions: books, plays, movies, etc.

dhw: I like your use of “perhaps”, and wish you would apply it to such theories as your God wanting and having total control. Nice of him perhaps to want us to enjoy our own creations, which we might take as a parallel to himself enjoying his creations; recognition in a literal sense is impossible, since he doesn’t show himself to us, but perhaps you mean acknowledgement of his wonderful powers? Indeed, why not? In that respect, I’d say that we have inherited from him what you would call a “human” attribute.

DAVID: He made us human. He is not. See 'allegorical' above.

I have never said he is human. “Allegorical” means nothing until you tell us WHAT is allegorical and what it is meant to represent. Meanwhile, why do you regard it as impossible that a God who creates a being who thinks about things and responds positively or negatively to them, might also be capable of thinking about things and responding positively or negatively to them?


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