Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Thursday, June 17, 2021, 10:59 (427 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: God's goal was to produce us at the end of the evolutionary process. That is my solid logical position.

dhw: It would be logical were it not for the fact that you insist he directly created millions of other life forms, econiches, lifestyles, natural wonders etc, and 99% of these had no connection with humans.[/b]

DAVID: Amazing! Your objection exactly describes God's evolutionary process!!!

dhw: No it doesn’t. The combination of bolded beliefs exactly describes your interpretation of the evolutionary process, and you can find no logical explanation for it, which at the very least suggests that your interpretation may be wrong.

DAVID: I am not interpreting the evolutionary process, but simply accepting the history as God's work. It is your refusal to accept that approach that is totally illogical.

The history is that millions of life forms, econiches, natural wonders etc. have come and gone, and humans are the latest species to have emerged from the huge bush. It is not history that your God individually designed every species, econiche, natural wonder etc., and it is not history that his one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens plus food supply, and it is not history that every single life form etc. was “part of the goal of evolving [=designing] humans.” That is all interpretation, and the combination of interpretations leads you to the absurd conclusion that your all-powerful God only wanted to design humans plus lunch and therefore designed millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans.

DAVID: You are again just slicing evolution into unrelated segments. The term evolution requires continuity.

dhw: The continuity consists in the concept of common descent – i.e. all organisms except the first descended from existing organisms. The huge bush of past life with its millions of life forms, econiches, natural wonders etc. was for the past, and so it is blatantly absurd to say that every single branch and twig of it was “required to support our current population”.

DAVID: Distortion. Only the current bush supports current life. And yes, past supports past

So will you please finally stop saying that “the huge bush of life is required to support our current population” when the dispute concerns your God’s reason for specially designing the huge PAST bush of life, which had no connection with humans!

DAVID: …but the continuity is on changing living forms by designed evolution.

And so you gloss over the fact that the continuity lies in ALL life forms on ALL branches of the bush having descended from former life forms. They were not ALL “part of the goal of evolving [= designing ] humans.”

dhw: Whitehead’s concept of “becoming” suggests the direct opposite of David’s transcendent, know-it-all-from-the- beginning version of God. Theism can take many forms, even among devout believers. Question to David: would you call Whitehead's version of God weak, namby-pamby, or wishy-washy? (Quotations from Oxford Dictionary of World Religions)

DAVID: None of those. My thought about God evolving everything from Big Bang on sort of fits Whitehead's thoughts although I understand the difference. He is not accepting God as a personage behind the process.

He is not accepting God as the transcendent being who plans, knows, and designs everything in advance. He is a “becoming” God, not a God who had it all, right from the start.

QUOTE: "The overriding point is that we can only recognize design/mind in the purposeful arrangement of parts."

I can’t imagine anyone would disagree with his definition. I don’t know why he’s so concerned about terminology, though. I reckon most of us know the meaning of design!

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