Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 10:41 (40 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You will remember molecular errors are rare when viewed against the constant high speed turnover of molecular shapes in trillions of cells in over seven billion humans. When cancer happens it all adds up to 20% of illnesses.

dhw: Our subject is theodicy – if God is all “good”, why is there so much “bad” in the world? If one of the many forms of “bad” is an awful disease, you are not answering the question by telling us that the disease is only 20% of illnesses, or that the “bad” is only rare compared to the “good”.

DAVID: It depends on whether the glass is half empty or half full.

No it doesn’t! The problem of theodicy is not one of proportions! You seem to think that if the world was 51% “good” and 49% “bad”, that would mean the world is all “good”, and so the problem of theodicy disappears!

DAVID: You have listed my guesses, and Adler gives none except the obvious. God produced human consciousness and we are so unusual God must exist.

dhw: So please stop hiding behind Adler. For the sake of all these discussions about theodicy, and about the possible nature and purposes of a possible God, we have to assume that God exists! And yes indeed, among your guesses was your certainty that God enjoys creating and that he watches us with interest. Why do you think this excludes the possibility that his purpose for creating life was to give himself the joy of creating, and to provide himself with something interesting to watch?

DAVID: Your God wants to pleasure Himself. Lets assume He is self-centered. He may just do His work is the alternate view and that is my view. It all depends upon the God one envisions.

“He may just do his work” removes any purpose from his work, and you are the one who keeps hammering home that your God is purposeful! Creating humans – which you say is his one and only goal – is not a purpose in itself. He has to have a purpose for creating us – and the same applies to every other life form that ever existed, whether he designed them directly or created a mechanism to give them the freedom to design themselves. Of course one’s view of God depends on one’s view of God! And you have yourself told us he enjoys creating and he watches his creations with interest. So there’s one possible purpose. What’s wrong with it? You think a possible purpose is that your God wants us to admire his work, and maybe even to have a relationship with us. What’s wrong with that? Why must you use a negative term like “self-centred”, which denotes selfishness, lack of concern for others? When you helped your patients, and they expressed their gratitude and admiration for your brilliant work, did that turn you into a selfish brute? Why must you turn enjoyment of creation into “pleasure himself”, which sounds almost like masturbation? Anyway, let’s hear some more purposes that you imagine might have motivated your purposeful God.


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