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

by dhw, Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 14:28 (29 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: […] I maintain we are His primary goal. Our exceptionalism cannot be explained any other way, or that exceptionalism must be denied.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Again you have humanized God as wandering in the wilderness of His uncertain mind, not knowing how to go forward. I view God as specifically knowing exactly what to do according to His plan which never changed from the beginning.

I don’t know why you think experimentation or new ideas mean wandering in the wilderness of an uncertain mind. You make it sound as if our inventors and experimental scientists and novelists and artists are all raving lunatics with no idea what they’re doing. You needn’t repeat your own view, which inevitably leads to the next exchange:

dhw: 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: God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. The 99% were necessary steps not inexplicable to the rational mind.

Then please use your rational mind to explain why a God whose sole purpose was to specially design H. sapiens found it necessary to first specially design countless life forms, econiches, strategies and natural wonders, although 99% of them had no direct connection to H. sapiens.

DAVID: Don’t you realize the appearance of humans requires very special design of the brain?

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.

DAVID: Of course special design was required, and it is that obvious design that keeps you agnostic.

Another of your glorious non sequiturs! Why pretend that humans are the only “special” creation when you lay so much emphasis on your belief that your God specially designed EVERY life form etc? Our specialness does not explain why their specialness somehow makes them “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”!

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.

dhw: […] 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!

dhw: 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.

DAVID: You did more humanizing above.

I’m happy to have you accept that your God might have created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy. However, is it not also possible that your God was experimenting in his own way, or that he was constantly thinking up new ideas in his own way, just as in your theory he controlled everything in his own way, which entailed giving up control over free will, and having no control over the errors resulting from the life system he designed, and designing killer bugs and viruses which might be good for us but currently aren't?

Ed Feser’s take
FESER: “I defend the Thomistic view that when one properly understands the nature of God and of his relationship to the world, this so-called logical problem of evil does not arise.”

I’m sorry, but I’m going to opt out of this. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to cover every philosopher’s “take” on every subject we discuss, and I would rather discuss your beliefs with you than start discussing Feser’s beliefs. I will simply comment that the above sentence is enough to put me off anyway: nobody even knows if God exists, let alone what constitutes a “proper” understanding of his nature.


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