Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, September 11, 2021, 13:04 (335 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Your statement above tells us that mistakes are exceedingly rare. Please tell us what “exceedingly rare” awful diseases are caused by the errors in your God’s design.

DAVID: I don't have any figures of incidence, but from my thirty + years of medical practice I saw almost none

dhw: I thought cancer was one of the diseases that was caused by disorder among cells (= errors in the system).

DAVID: […] Cancer is the result of mistakes in the fact that we are constantly reproducing ourselves, part of our system of enjoying life.

dhw: Sorry, but this sounds to me like a disease caused by mistakes in the system. "Exceedingly rare"?

DAVID: Considering the constant turnover of living cells, even the mistakes that lead to cancer are the result of rare errors in the system.

I’m only surprised that you consider cancer to be an extremely rare awful disease.

dhw: […] 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.
dhw: [...] Please tell me what is “skewed” in my take.

DAVID: The skew is your constant negative take on God. We are here, discussing, the best system He could produce. I think it is the only way it can work. Not that God is limited, just that nothing better can be created.

dhw: We are talking about theodicy – the question of why “bad” exists in a world created by a God who is said to be all “good”. You yourself introduced the subject of “mistakes” in the system (just one of many types of “bad” – you also have him deliberately designing murderous bacteria and viruses) – and then you moan because I raise the subject of “bad”! Of course you are limiting your God! You even claim that he tries to correct the errors but sometimes fails and so has left it to us to find ways of doing what he couldn’t do!

DAVID: Exactly. God knew errors would happen and designed very careful but not perfect editing systems.

This doesn’t sound like an all-powerful, all-knowing God to me.

DAVID: Your extreme negativity toward God shows clearly. Of course I introduced the issue of theodicy, which is evidence it doesn't turn me against God.

It is not negativity towards God but negativity towards your theory! According to you, your all-powerful, all-good God designed a system that makes mistakes he can’t control, and designed “bad” bacteria and viruses he can’t control! I have proposed a different theory. He didn’t WANT to control the “bad” bacteria and viruses, and he didn’t WANT a perfect system, and – to continue the same theory - he didn’t WANT just one species and its food. I am proposing that the world and the history we know is what he WANTED. Nothing is permanent, species come and go, individuals come and go, all in a deliberately designed free-for-all. The problem of theodicy – if God is all good, why is there bad in the world? – simply disappears. What is bad for us is good for the bacteria and viruses that kill us. God himself (if he exists) is neither good nor bad. Such “humanizing” judgements are irrelevant and meaningless. He creates the free-for-all, and then lets it take its course. That doesn’t turn me against him! I am delighted to be part of the passing show, and I recognize that my very transience and that of all things material are integral to their value, whether there is a God or not.

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