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

by dhw, Thursday, April 29, 2021, 08:45 (15 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Umpteenth time: God chose to evolve us and history shows the pattern of evolution God created as He finally reached the design of humans, His final goal. Each aspect of evolution has been explained to you with rational theories of God's reasons.

dhw: Umpteenth time: If God exists, he chose to evolve ALL life forms, and the pattern of evolution is of thousands of different twigs and branches, only one of which led to humans. You have never ever managed to offer a rational theory to explain why a God whose ONLY goal was to design humans proceeded to design thousands of now extinct life forms that had no connection with humans. The only reason you have ever given is that they all provide food for one another, which does not mean that they were all “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.”

DAVID: Unless living things eat they die. I know you eat every day.

Undeniable. How does that prove that your God created every single life form and menu as “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” when you know perfectly well that 99% of them had no connection with humans?

dhw: … what is all this nonsense about allegory and symbolism?

DAVID: Each statement I make about God is allegorical.

dhw: You just keep repeating the word as if it provided an explanation. Do you or do you not believe that your God exists, that he had one purpose (humans), that he specially designed every life form etc.? If so, what does God’s existence, purpose etc. symbolize?

DAVID: When we use human descriptive terms about God and His thinking, since He is no human, they must be allegorical.

I have already asked you to define the word. Your reply was: "'In His image’ is allegorical isn't it?” No, it isn’t. In his image means resembling him, not symbolizing him, and it does not provide a definition. Here is a conventional definition of “allegory”:”1. a story, play, poem, picture etc. in which the characters represent moral or spiritual ideas or messages. 2. Symbolism of this sort.” Please give me a definition that will explain how terms such as “purposeful, in control, knows what he is doing” can be “allegorical”.

dhw: I offer alternative interpretations of his possible nature based on the facts of life’s history. Your own humanized version of God (“My God is fully purposeful, knows exactly what He is doing and never deviates from his goals”) when applied to life’s history results in the absurd conclusion that he never deviated from his goal of designing humans, which he achieved by designing thousands and thousands of life forms and econiches and natural wonders, 99% of which had no connection with humans.

DAVID: Your conclusions of God's nature are distinctly not mine. That humans are here as a result of God's works is not an absurd conclusion, and deny your distortions of history as created by God.

The usual dodge. If God exists, then the fact that ALL life forms were or are here as a result of his works is a perfectly logical conclusion. It is not a logical conclusion that humans were his only goal if you insist that he specially designed thousands and thousands of other, now extinct life forms that had no connection with humans or our food supply. Please stop all this silly dodging.

Our personal backgrounds:
dhw: I’d count myself as 50/50, but it doesn’t matter if you think I’m 40/60 or whatever, so long as you don’t pretend that this has a bearing on the logic of my arguments.

DAVID: The logic of your arguments must start with the kind of God you envision.

dhw: Wrong again. The logic of my arguments starts with the world as I see it. I then try to extrapolate what kind of God - if he exists - might have created that world. You, on the other hand, start with a fixed image of your God and try to impose it on life’s history. “Theodicy” is a prime example. You pretend that you do not “humanize” him, but you hope to find an explanation of “bad” bacteria and viruses that will show his “good” intentions, and you even have him trying to find ways of correcting the errors resulting from the system of life that he designed.

DAVID: I do not see God as human in any way.

Stop kidding yourself. The only way you can justify such a statement is by viewing God as a totally featureless blob, whereas you believe he is conscious, purposeful, in control, knows what he’s doing etc. And are you now denying that you hope the future will reveal his good intentions in personally designing “bad” bugs?

DAVID: You do not see the world as I do. I am extremely conservative in my views and you seem to me to be very liberal. Different conclusions will result.

We see the same world, past and present: a vast variety of life forms extinct and extant. From this I extrapolate a range of logical “humanized” theistic interpretations, whereas you stick rigidly to one illogical “humanized” theistic interpretation. And it might be worth pointing out that even among your fellow theists, whether conservative or liberal, there is a wide range of interpretations.


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