Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, September 30, 2021, 11:00 (24 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] I can, however, visualize a God who actually wanted a system that would result in what you call “mistakes”, in order to ensure that life would be a process of the constant comings and goings and changes we observe in the history of evolution. The difference between us is that your theory makes God helplessly limited, whereas my God has him doing precisely what he wanted to do.

DAVID: No, the difference is God's personality as each of us views Him. My God picked the best system possible, knowing mistakes were necessarily built in, but had to be accepted.

We are going round in circles. This means your all-powerful, all-knowing God was limited in his powers, and tried but sometimes failed to correct the errors in his design. My all-powerful, all-knowing God would have created precisely what he wanted to create and did create.

DAVID: He designed evolution with direct intentionality to reach the production of sapiens.

And so his “direct intentionality” entailed designing countless life forms that had no connection with his intention, which was humans!

DAVID: The steps of increasing complexity are obvious. Your view of your wishy-washy God has evolution drifting. How would that guideless evolution produce us? Chance? Luck? Or my God's purposeful activity.

I have offered you three theories, two of which cover your belief in humans as your God’s purpose (experimentation, and new ideas as he goes along) as well as the countless life forms that had no connection with humans – the section of your theory which you cannot explain.

God always evolves goals
DAVID: Note God didn't simply put oxygen on Earth. He had organisms develop it. Just like he didn't make all the elements at once, but gave the stars a process to make them internally and release them in explosions. We cannot know if God is limited in His creationist abilities or simply prefers evolving what He wishes. I still think in inventing living biochemistry He developed the only possible working system.

I have no problem envisaging your God as an experimental scientist, working out the right formula for life and evolution. I only have problems with your anthropocentric view of evolution, which ignores all the life forms that had no connection with humans, and with your non-explanation of “theodicy”, which appears to be that his powers were limited, “errors” were not his fault, he had good intentions which will one day be revealed, and we should only think of the good things he’s done

dhw: The rest of your post consists of one dodge after another, as you seek to avoid answering this straightforward question: if your God’s only purpose was to design humans and their food, why would he have designed countless extinct life forms and foods that had no connection with humans?

This time the dodge is to repeat various other dodges.

DAVID: You have repeated your same hodgepodge of illogical thought about God. I don't have to know why God did what He did. I accept what He created as His intentions.

You don’t know why God would have done what you illogically say he did: namely, he designed countless organisms that had no connection with humans, although humans were his only intention.

DAVID: What you do not accept is that our exceptionality is a major philosophical consideration in questioning whether God is present. Adler covered the point to my satisfaction. You constantly degrade it as an attempt to diminish God.

I have always accepted our exceptionality, and my bolded question does not question the existence of God, and does not in any way diminish God.

DAVID: My deeply considered views have arrived at a picture of God you don't recognize. We cannot cross that gap. I don't dodge. I don't accept your criticisms as coming from a very skewed approach to theistic thought. It is simple for me to accept God chose to evolve us over 3.8 by's. No rush, but careful stepwise design while carefully creating a massive bush of ecosystems supplying food for all. You can sneer at that construction of reasoning, as you do, but you don't deny the logic of a necessary food supply.

I have no problem with the stepwise evolution of humans and all the other forms of life and their food. The problem is the bolded question, which you continue to dodge. Why all the countless life forms and food supplies that had no connection with humans, if humans and their food supply were his only purpose?


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