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

by dhw, Monday, April 19, 2021, 10:26 (229 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God didn’t have to do anything.

I reproduced the most recent quote in which you told us what your God “had to” do. Just one of many occasions in which your all-powerful, always-in-control God had no choice (the most telling of which I would say is his inability to control the “errors” resulting from his design of the system that gives us life.)

dhw: On Friday I asked you why azhdarchid pterosaur “had to” be designed in order for your God to specially design H. sapiens and our specially designed food supply, and was told that it was “all part of necessary ecosystems at that time” – i.e. no connection with our human time! A study of history shows that there is nothing but confusion in your theory of evolution.

DAVID: Your confused view of evolution as chopped in segments continues. There is a continuous flow from one early step to the next more advanced stage.

There is no chopping and there is no continuous flow. The bush of life diversified into vast numbers of different branches, which continued for millions of years to diversify into new different branches. Why are you now hiding behind generalizations, when the theory which is under attack is your blinkered insistence that every single life form on every single branch of the great bush (plus food supply, plus lifestyle, plus strategy, plus natural wonder) was specially designed by your God as “part of the goal of evolving humans”?

DAVID: The azhdarchid pterosaur had some DNA similar to ours, so we work with similar genome codes, so explain how you manage to believe in common descent if we can't have some relationship?

ALL cellular life has DNA! How does that come to mean that your God specially designed every single branch of cellular life “as part of the goal of evolving [=specially designing] humans”? Please stop all this silly dodging.

DAVID: Allegorical has a meaning that never changes. When I say God thinks it doesn't mean He thinks like we do, but in a God-like way. His interests may not be like our interests. The difference must always be recognized.

dhw: Thank you for using the word “may”. This quite rightly leaves open the possibility that his interests and his thinking “may” be like ours. The possibility “must always be recognized”.

DAVID: The bold does not necessarily follow. The difference must be consistently recognized. Any similarity to our thinking must stay at the level of a possible presumption and seen always as allegorical.

If you say his interests “may not” be like ours, then you are implicitly acknowledging that they may be – and that is all I ask of you. “Possible presumption” is meaningless, since “presumption” means something you already believe is true. The theory must stay at the level of possibility, since no one can actually know. “Allegorical” is meaningless unless you can tell us what God’s way of thinking symbolizes. Any similarity to our thinking can only be theoretical, and that applies just as much to your “humanizing” theory as to mine. So why don’t you just get on with the task of finding logical flaws in my interpretation of life’s history, as I have patiently done with your own? ;-)

dhw: […] when you say he had only one purpose (us), knew exactly what he was doing, was always in control, may have had a good reason for designing bad bacteria and viruses etc., in what way do you think the meanings of these words might be different from what we mean by having one purpose, knowing what we’re doing, always being in control, and maybe having good reasons for our actions? If it’s OK for you to use such human terms, why is not OK for me to use human terms that denote something contrary to your human terms?

DAVID: Of course we must use our terms. There are no others. The God you describe is not sure of Himself, experimenting, wanting free-for-all to advance evolution from one lower stage to a higher one, no goal in sight. It is not the terms we both use, it is your giving God your humanized thinking applied to him.

Good – that gets rid of your “allegorical” obfuscation. I reject two of your interpretations of my alternatives: 1) I have never said he is not sure of himself. I not regard experimentation or having new ideas as signs of psychological insecurity. 2) I have no doubt that if God exists, he had a purpose in creating life, and you have never explained why you think that although he enjoys creating and is interested in his creations, he could not possibly create things in order to give himself something to enjoy and be interested in. Meanwhile, you totally ignore my point that your own view of God is every bit as humanized as my various alternatives. Same again under “Miscellany”.

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