Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, July 17, 2021, 14:10 (194 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If you insist that he did design the murderous bacterium, you are left with the same question as before: why would a “good” God knowingly design something he knew would cause suffering?

DAVID: And my view is God knew we might accidently get in the way. He did not make them intentionally to be bad for us so our brains can solve the problems that arise.

As usual, you present a totally anthropocentric view of life. There are bacteria that kill and killed other animals than ourselves! It’s not just about humans. And it’s not just about bacteria. Even the most faithful will sometimes ask why did God create natural disasters, diseases of all kinds, and a species (humans) capable of the most extreme horrors of evil, if he – as the source of everything – is all “good” (a belief to which you yourself subscribe)? I have offered an answer: he did not create them, but created a free-for-all that would result in organisms inventing their own ways of survival (“good” for them).

DAVID: You have just fought my idea of God as designing everything. That is what a designer of reality does!!!

dhw: How many designers of reality (life) have you met? A God who designed intelligent cells which could then change their own structure and behaviour without his intervention (i.e. in a free-for-all) is still God the designer. […]

DAVID: How does evolution reach a specific goal with your free-for-all??? You must then accept humans appearance as entirely accidental. Adler and I think that view Is entirely illogical.

dhw: It doesn’t, although your God can always dabble, as in the theory that he learns and/or gets new ideas as he goes along. But you (I can’t answer for Adler) assume that he started out with the one goal of producing humans plus lunch, and so you have no idea why he would have designed all the unconnected non-humans plus lunches beforehand. (You’ve always said that Adler does not touch on this subject.) That is “entirely illogical”. As for “accidental”, there is nothing “accidental” about speciation à la Shapiro, since intelligent beings are at work, constantly coming up with new ideas of increasing complexity. But that still does not make humans inevitable. It is pointless to take existing reality and then claim it must all have been planned from the start. We have absolutely no idea what would have happened if conditions had developed differently. But as things have turned out, yes, we can say that if God exists, the intelligence of humans could be a logical outcome of the process he set in motion, whereby intelligent beings gradually morph into more intelligent beings. The mystery in your theory is why, if your God only wanted sapiens, he had to go on specially designing all the life forms etc. that had no connection with sapiens. And you still cannot solve the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: I cannot know why God chose to evolve us from bacteria. Ask Him. Perhaps He will answer you.

You cannot “know” anything, and you have again ignored your own theory that he “chose” to evolve [= design] EVERY life form etc. from bacteria, although the vast majority had no connection with his only goal (humans plus lunch). This dodge has long outworn its welcome.

DAVID: My solution for theodicy is unchanged: God did not intend the bugs to be bad for us, as we have discussed. He knew it might accidently happen if we get accidently mixed into the battles, so He provided our big brain to fight back and solve issues.

But why did he design the “bad” bugs in the first place? Some of them would have done their murderous deeds long, long before we ever appeared on the scene! Their survival would still have depended on their murderous exploitation of other life forms.

DAVID: It seems God did not plan some of them:

DAVID: God may have designed everyone in the past, but what is happening now is not under His direct control. That solves part of the theodicy problem which arises from human interpretations. It fits my theory that viruses were created in part to help advance evolution happen. It also fits dhw's theory that organisms can drive simple evolutionary steps by themselves.

Once again, my thanks for reproducing material that contradicts your own theory. I agree that he cannot be held responsible for events that are out of his control; that is the whole basis of my “solution” to the problem of theodicy. By creating a free-for all, he did not design anything “good” or “bad”.

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