Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 19:35 (39 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: No matter much you try to draw attention to the successes, it is the failures that make the problem of theodicy. Your dismissal of the vast suffering caused by what you believe to be your God’s deliberate design of bad viruses and bacteria, and by the uncontrollable errors in the system he designed, is tantamount to saying that we should ignore the subject we are supposed to be discussing.

DAVID: You are ignoring the infinitesimally small error rate in the only system that will create life!!!

dhw: It is the only system we know. You are not in a position to judge what your God is capable of. As above, the “infinitesimally small error rate” is the cause of great suffering, and forms part of the general question of why an all-powerful, all-good God has created or allowed so many different forms of “bad”. It is not an answer to tell us only to consider the good.

As the only available working system, its tiny error rate is amazing. And yes, great suffering by a few.

dhw: You simply refuse to tell me why it is less “humanized” to have limited powers and to be unable to correct errors than it is for him to do precisely what he wants to do.

DAVID: An errorless system to produce life does not exist now or ever, and no God in any form, humanized or not, can do it. I accept it as the only one that can work.

dhw: Since your faith in God’s limited powers is unshakable, let us reach a compromise. In the context of this particular example of “bad”, let us say that he wanted to have this system, in spite of its uncontrollable errors. And so we agree: he designed what he wanted to design. You have him showing his very “humanized” good intentions (your idea) and trying to make up for the “errors” by correcting those he could, whereas I have him – to use your own expression – watching with interest. Which of these would you say was more human?

Watching or designing something for interest is not something my God would do or need to do, as hour human God seems to need..

dhw: […] It’s the bad things that raise the problem of theodicy, but you’d rather not talk about them. I understand, so I would leave you to pretend they just don’t matter, except that I strongly believe that your compassionate nature would have endeared you to all your patients, and I very much doubt that you tried to console them by telling them that they were the victims of very rare mistakes in the system, or of nasty bugs which God created with the best of intentions, though we don't yet know what they were.

DAVID: God's intentions produced us, against all odds of chance. I see the glass of life's processes as 9999999999.% full. You see the .000000000% error rate as a glass half empty.

dhw: You have again totally missed the point of the problem of theodicy, which is not solved by ignoring the bad. And how comforting would your estimate of the error percentage have been to all your patients?

God's genetic errors would be hard to find in my compliment of patients. I do remember delivering a newborn with no cranium. I had a teenager with a Meckel's diverticulum that required surgery. I have known Down's syndrome folks. Nothing more.

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