Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, July 18, 2021, 09:49 (186 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

dhw: 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, ....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: As usual you take God out of full control. My view includes all organisms that get in the way. The unavoidable need for constant energy creates the problem.

The unavoidable need for constant energy (= food) is what leads to the battle for survival. In this, every life form has its own means of acquiring energy. And so you are left with a stark choice: either your God invented each life form and its strategies for survival, or he gave them the means of devising their own strategies (which would include changing their own structures) for the same purpose. If he deliberately invented a bacterium which, for instance, would survive by destroying another life form (of course carnivorousness is a prime and direct example of survival by destruction of other life forms), then so be it. But this lies at the heart of the problem of theodicy: we humans don’t like it when we get eaten, and we think it’s “bad”, and so we ask why a good God would invent such nasty things. All I am suggesting is that if he exists, God did not invent them. He only created the means whereby life forms could design their own means of survival. Theodicy problem solved.

The rest of your post, apart from the final item, covers subjects already dealt with elsewhere.

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. [..]

dhw: 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”.

DAVID: Right, your God is not in control, so He can't be blamed. Wow, what a solution!!! God who created the universe fine-tuned-for-life, guided the formation of our galaxy and our special Earth that allows life, started life, and did it all by free-for-all. Your analysis about God limps.

I have never said that fine-tuning etc. was done by free-for-all! If God exists, I accept that he would have designed the conditions for life and the first forms of life. The free-for-all concerns EVOLUTION! And yes, WOW, it provides a solution to the problem of theodicy. If organisms were given the means to design their own ways to survive, God is not responsible for the means that they designed. See above. Now instead of misrepresenting my proposal, please tell us what faults you can find in its logic.

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