Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, September 07, 2021, 11:11 (47 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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 […]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.

I think it’s important not to lose sight of this agreed solution to the problem of theodicy before we move onto your preferred subject of mistakes in the system your God designed.

dhw: I am [...] 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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: I believe the creation of our type of life results in a biochemical system which must act at such high speed, molecules, which are constantly changing in response to changing forces that act upon them, on rare occasion make a mistake. The system obviously works as evidenced by our advanced ages without mistakes. The mistakes are actually exceedingly rare, but the consequences are so awful they seem to result in a problem bigger than it really is. If this s the best God can do, there can be no better.

You don’t have to “believe” in it. That is the system that exists. What you believe is that your all-powerful God was incapable of devising a system that did not make these “awful” mistakes, and although he did his best to provide corrections, they don’t always work and so he left us humans to try and do what he couldn’t do. As for advanced ages, there are plenty of folk that don’t live to an advanced age. It might be useful if you would name some of the “awful” consequences for us, so that we can decide for ourselves how rare these diseases are. Meanwhile, I suggest that maybe he WANTED a system that would make mistakes. You are always saying that a God who experiments, gets new ideas, wants a free-for-all etc. is “weak” and “namby-pamby”, but frankly a God who designs a system with errors that he is incapable of controlling seems a little odd for a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing.


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