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

by dhw, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 11:47 (493 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Do you regard your God’s giving up control over behaviour as “weak”? If so, why? If not, why not? And if he WANTED to give up control over evolution, why is that “weak”? […]

DAVID: You are fuzzy. God's job is running evolution to suit His specific goals. It requires exact control, which He would not give up granting that He is creating with purpose.

dhw: And if his specific goal or purpose is to create a free-for-all, then he will deliberately give up control. Just as according to you he has given up control over the human will.

DAVID: If God gives up 'control' over evolution humans might never appear. I maintain we are His primary goal. Our exceptionalism cannot be explained any other way, or that exceptionalism must be denied.

According to you, the exceptionalism of all life forms, strategies, natural wonders ranging from ant bridges to weaverbirds’ nests cannot be explained any other way than by God directly designing them. It is certainly true that if your God exists and gave up control, none of these might have appeared – in which case, lucky old us, ants and weaverbirds. But there are alternatives. I have always emphasized that he could dabble if he wanted to. One of my proposals was that the idea for humans came into his mind late on in life’s history. Or I have even conceded that from the start he did want to create a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his - though you keep trying to wriggle out of your own use of these terms - and all the other designs were part of a great experiment as he looked for ways of creating such a being. But you insist – inexplicably – that in order to specially design humans he had first to specially design millions of life forms, strategies, lifestyles, econiches etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans.

DAVID: Our brain is very special because of its special form with very large frontal lobes for abstract thought.

dhw: Indeed it is. Please read my reply, now bolded.

DAVID: Where? If in other 'evolution' thread, answered.

This was the reply:
dhw: Don’t you realize that the appearance of dogs requires very special design of the nose? And don’t you realize that every form of life, including the single cell, requires very special design? Of course you do – that is your most potent argument for the existence of your God. Yes, our brain is special, and so is the dog’s nose, and so is the weaverbird’s nest. And there is nothing namby-pamby about a God who may have designed a system which in turn can produce every special feature of every special life form and every special natural wonder in the history of life on Earth.

DAVID: His whole personage must be viewed symbolically. His form of enjoyment may not be exactly like our personal experience.

dhw: What is enjoyment a symbol of? [...]

DAVID: […] Every time I apply a term to God's possible thoughts or attitudes, I think of it in an allegorical meaning, since God is not a human person, and an exact application of the term's human meaning may not fully apply to Him. That proviso always applies.

dhw: But you won’t/can’t tell us what “enjoyment” and “thought patterns and emotions similar to ours” might symbolize! You say our concept of enjoyment may not “fully apply to him”, so when you say you are sure he enjoys creating, do you actually mean you think he doesn’t enjoy creating? Of course you don’t. How about this then, for a theory: You are sure that in his own way your God enjoys creating, and therefore it is possible that he created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy? Better now?

DAVID: Actually, yes!

Problem solved. No more of this “allegory” and “symbol” nonsense, and you now accept the reasonableness of the theory that your God may have created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy. I have taken note of this, and will refer to it if you should ever again object to my theories on the grounds that they “humanize” your God more than your own theories do. I must simply add “in his own way”. Thank you.

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