A possible God's possible purpose and nature (The nature of a \'Creator\')

by dhw, Friday, July 02, 2021, 08:52 (210 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We are not attack dogs. You have your vision of God and I have mine.

dhw: I do not have one vision of God – I offer alternatives.

DAVID: Which are always weak and humanized. We will never agree on who God is.

It’s as if our correspondence concerning “weak” and “humanized” had never taken place. I see nothing weak, for instance, in a God who deliberately creates a self-generating bush of life forms which he can watch with interest. I do not know why this should be regarded as more “humanized” than your God, who deliberately controls every development in evolution, which he watches with interest.

DAVID: […] Humans were/are His eventual goal. He started with Archaea and viruses. They are still necessarily here as part of the total production. Still a confused view slicing and dicing the whole 3.8 byo evolutionary process.

dhw: We are not talking about archaea and viruses! This comment is part of your constant obfuscation, as you dodge the question of why, if his only goal was humans plus lunch, he specially designed all the past life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans.

DAVID: And my constant response is God evolved us from Archaea, which, if you accepted that concept, would remove all your objections. I can't answer why He chose that method as answered ad nauseum.

And that is the nub of the whole debate! We both accept that ALL life forms descended from Archaea, but you claim that he specially designed ALL life forms (plus lunch), although he only wanted one (plus lunch). It is this latter part of your theory – the one you can’t explain – which I object to, and the objection is not removed by our agreement that all forms of life are descended from Archaea.

DAVID: It is my theory, not obfuscation, which I would note implies I am not debating honestly.

Time and again, you focus on common descent – which we agree on – and leave out the rest of your theory (you “can’t answer” the question why he would choose your method to achieve your interpretation of his purpose). I don’t know why you persist in doing so. Once you accept that your fixed belief in your theory provides you with an insoluble problem of logic, we can move on. Your objections to my logical alternatives are irrelevant to the illogicality of your theory.

Back to theodicy and David’s theories: Using good viruses
DAVID: It must be remembered, in God's creation there are both good and bad viruses […]

dhw: You seem to have misunderstood the problem of theodicy, which is the incompatibility of “bad” things with the concept of God as an omnipotent, perfectly “good” being. Your solution to the problem appears to be along the lines of: “Thank you, God, for deliberately designing all the good viruses and bacteria that relieve some of the appalling suffering caused by your deliberate design of bad viruses and bacteria.” Not much of a solution, is it?

DAVID: You don't seem to realize I feel there is no current solution, but I look to future research to solve the issues we raise about God. I don't know if God is 'good' or 'loving'. That goes back to religion's teachings and they are us, knowing no more than we do about Him. I'm delighted we are here, but it is possible God is just creating for the sake of creating, nothing more.

dhw: You hope that science will one day prove that your God’s special design of what we believe to be bad will turn out to be good. However, your last comment is excellent news. If it is possible that he is just creating for the sake of creating, it must also be possible that he is creating because – as you have said before – he enjoys doing so and is interested in his creations. Since no one knows his nature, thoughts and purposes, it must therefore also be possible that his reason for creating is to provide himself with an activity he enjoys as well as developments and events that he will find interesting.

DAVID: Again, back to a really human form of a God, all pure guesswork ignoring the magnitude of His creations.

Absolutely nothing to do with the magnitude of his creations, which is all the more reason to believe that he must enjoy creating, and enjoyment of creation might therefore be his motive for creating the process of evolution. ALL theories are “pure guesswork”, but at least some fit in logically with the history of life as we know it. What do you mean by “really” human? You keep agreeing that we must have inherited certain attributes from him, but you can only accept him having those attributes (the control freak with good intentions) that fit in with your image of him!

DAVID: We continue to learn that bacteria, the starters of life, are still here to help.

Some bacteria are here to help, while other bacteria are here to destroy. That epitomizes the problem of theodicy. The article also raises the whole question of the extent to which the emotions and behaviour of any organism, including ourselves, is affected by factors beyond our control.

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