Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, September 06, 2021, 08:57 (47 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: But do the human words have the same meaning when applied to non-human God?

dhw: It is you and I who are using the words. When you say you are sure your God enjoys creating and watches us with interest, is all-powerful and full of good intentions, you know perfectly well what you mean. The question is not what the words mean - we both know what they mean - but whether the statement is true or not! […]

DAVID: My terms have the same meaning your terms have. The problem of application to God still apply. I take the 'image' [God created us in his image] as totally mental.

We agree that the image is mental, and that we both understand what our terms mean. So when you say your God enjoys creating and watches us with interest, the problem of application to God is NOT the meaning of the words, but whether the statement is true or not! So please stop using the limitations of human language as a reason for rejecting your own suggestions concerning your God’s nature.

dhw: The question is why does evil exist if God is all-good? Your answer: because he’s strong and tries to correct errors, and one day we shall find out his good intentions for deliberately creating “bad” things. My suggestion: he gave all life forms the freedom to pursue their own means of survival, and so what we call “bad” is the consequence of that freedom, epitomized by the manner in which some humans use their freedom to further their self-interest at the expense of others.

DAVID: I can certainly accept this view, since I have previously proposed that when good bacteria venture into bad places they act badly. Your statement conflates two different issues. We are agreeing (I think) on freedom of action causing trouble…..

dhw: Wonderful! Thank you for accepting the concept of a free-for-all as a solution to the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: ...but biochemical mistakes are a very different issue, and you do not seem to understand the speed requires means some molecule will not act properly, miss-fold or whatever other mistake can happen. I think God could only make life this way. Errorless biochemical life cannot exist.

dhw: I understand. I am only surprised that your all-powerful God was apparently unable to find an errorless way of designing life (I’d prefer to imagine that he actually wanted to create it this way...I’ll explain why if you’d like me to), and that he apparently even provided ways of correcting some of the errors, but despite his omnipotence couldn’t manage it with some, and so apparently left it to us humans to do what he couldn’t do.

DAVID: I have no idea what you prefer to imagine about God, but I am convinced God could do no better with this form of life He created. Can there be any other form? I doubt it.

So you are convinced that your all-powerful God’s powers are limited, but he kindly left us humans to solve some of the problems he couldn’t solve.


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