Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Saturday, September 11, 2021, 15:29 (42 days ago) @ dhw

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.

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

I said rare errors!! Cancer is all too common as result, but thanks to a God-given brain we are curing over 80%

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.

dhw: 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.

This fits Adler's estimate that the possibility of God caring about each of us is 50/50. But the other side of Adler uses our exceptionalism to prove God exists. I'm still with Adler. God works with purpose, and your free-for-all makes Him pointless. We will never agree here.


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