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

by dhw, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 12:04 (24 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God designed all stages of evolution to reach the most complex form of all, the human brain. The huge bush of life is required to give the required food supply. All must eat.

Why are you using the word “stage” here? Was every life form on every diverging branch of life’s bush, plus every econiche, lifestyle, natural wonder etc., 99% of which had no connection with the human brain, a “stage” on the way to specially designing the human brain, i.e. “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”? And yes, all must eat, but how does that mean that the azharchid pterosaur’s breakfast was part of the goal of designing your breakfast? Please stop dodging!

DAVID: I'm not dodging. I believe God did it, and you don't. Why are you continuously dodging God?

Yet another silly dodge. All my alternatives allow for God, and your other get-out is that they present a “humanized” view of God, as below. How can that mean I am continuously dodging God?

DAVID: Any similarity to our thinking must stay at the level of a possible presumption and seen always as allegorical.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: What is meaningless is that we cannot know His exact thoughts So we must accept that we must use allegory or symbolism when inferring what we think His thoughts might be.

The statement that we cannot know his exact thoughts is not meaningless, and any speculation as regards his purpose is an attempt to read his mind. There is nothing symbolic or allegorical in your theory – in all its blatant illogicality – that he knew exactly what he wanted, was always in control, specially designed all the extinct, irrelevant-to-humans life forms, natural wonders etc., and did so for the sole purpose of specially designing the human brain.

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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Experimentation says testing out a new approach or alternatives. This certainly implies a weak God who not sure of His next step and has to try out various approaches. Maybe He tried out several different universes until He got to the appropriate fine-tuned one. Not my God. who knows exactly what He is doing and what goals He has in mind. And unlike your constant humanizing guesses as to His reasoning, I don't guess reasons, I accept His results.

If your definition of “weak” is a God who does not know everything in advance and is eager to try out new things, then so be it. However, I’m not surprised that you don’t guess at the reasons why a God who knows exactly what he is doing, and has only one goal (the human brain), would first design millions of organisms etc. that have no connection with humans. That reading of his mind defies all reason. If all you want to do is focus on results, you have a vast, diversified bush of life, 99% of which has died out, and of which humans are the latest species. That would be the end of our discussion.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Same humanizing. God does not need entertainment or enjoyment of His creations. He is the business of creation, nothing more. That He may have feelings about what He does is known only to Him. We can try to make humanizing guesses, all of which are allegorical from the start. Remember we humans always try to satisfy ourselves, while God is selfless.

Um….how do you know God is selfless? You are certain that he enjoys creation, so why do you regard it as impossible that he should create things because he wants (forget “needs”) to create something he will enjoy? Of course we don’t “know” anything – we don’t even know if he exists. But if you can make “humanizing guesses”, then so can I.


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