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

by dhw, Tuesday, April 06, 2021, 13:02 (32 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Preposterous. How does your God know if humans will appear if at all?

I always add that he can dabble if he wants to. That is a possible answer to your question. But who says he had humans in mind from the start? If that was his only purpose, why – yet again! – did he have to design all the millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles etc. that had no connection with humans? I have given you two possible explanations that allow for purposeful design of humans: experimentation or a new idea hatched as evolution proceeded.

dhw: 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?

DAVID: Terrible analogy. Your goal is a kaleidoscope, nothing more. What is your next planned step?

The analogy has nothing to do with planned steps. You keep telling us that a God who designs everything for one specific purpose (H. sapiens) is not “human”, whereas a God who designs a free-for-all (an ever changing variety of life forms) is “very human” and doesn’t know where he’s going. If I set out to design something unpredictable, I know where I’m going: the kaleidoscope and the ever changing variety are both precisely what I want. Once more: why is this “very human”, whereas wanting and creating nothing but humans plus food supply is not at all “human”?

As usual, you have dodged this question.

DAVID: God must be described allegorically. God's goals are no different than human goals in the sense of the word 'goal'. That God has goals does not humanize Him.

Thank heavens, the word “goal” is therefore not an allegory! So if you say God’s goal was to design H. sapiens, it is not an allegory and does not humanize him. So if I say God’s goal was to design a vast and ever changing variety of life forms, it is not an allegory and does not humanize him.

dhw: 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: It all depends on whose version of God's personality attributes is used in analyzing God's possible intentions. When you don your theistic hat, it has no resemblance to mine so we differ and will not change each other's conclusions.

Agreed. And your theory leaves you with no idea how to reconcile goal with methods, or how to solve the problem of theodicy, but you hope that future research will prove the rest of your theory to be correct. Mine, though of course unproven, at least has the merit of fitting purpose to life’s history and of solving the problem of theodicy. Your only objection to it is that it endows your God with human attributes which he probably/possibly has.

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.[…]

dhw: […]“Allegorical” means nothing until you tell us WHAT is allegorical and what it is meant to represent. […]

DAVID: Allegorical definition: words describing God analogously; "Allegorical interpretation of the Bible is an interpretive method (exegesis) that assumes that the Bible has various levels of meaning and tends to focus on the spiritual sense, which includes the allegorical sense, the moral (or tropological) sense, and the anagogical sense, as opposed to the literal sense." (David’s bold)
You never avoid the literal sense in thinking about God.

They are talking about interpreting a literary work called the Bible! QUOTE: “As a literary device, an allegory is a narrative in which a character, place, or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences. Authors have used allegory throughout history in all forms of art to illustrate or convey complex ideas and concepts in ways that are comprehensible or striking to its viewers, readers, or listeners.”

How on earth is this meant to be applied to your belief that your God had only one goal – to design H. sapiens? Or to my proposal that your God wanted the vast variety of life forms that make up life’s history? Or to my questioning why your God would have deliberately designed a system which contained disease-causing errors which he tried to correct, and disease-causing bugs and viruses? What is the “allegory”? Your use of the word is a pointless digression.

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