Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, October 21, 2021, 14:45 (37 days ago) @ David Turell

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?

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

dhw: How very strange. Quotes:
“I’m sure he likes what he creates, and that He is satisfied in His results as an inventor.”
“I’m sure He sees what is going on with His own level of interest.”
“His concern for us like our concern for others.”
“God did not create a Garden of Eden for us, as dull.”

DAVID: My later explanations are, as usual, ignored by you. Only you have the ability to find quotes and then place them out of context. All those quotes are guesses I make and I recognize I am guessing. They may be true. (Later:) I am sure we mimic Him is many unknown ways, unknown only because God is mystery to us.

We both recognize that we are guessing, but you try desperately to dismiss my guesses as “humanizing”. What possible context could the above remarks have other than the nature of God? Your later explanations merely consist of the moan that any explanation of evolution that does not coincide with yours means “humanizing” God. But even now, you are agreeing that my guesses may be true. Thank you. Now perhaps you will stop pretending you actually know what God would do or “need to do” or want to do.

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?

DAVID: 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.

dhw: What a pity you never knew about the other patients. See above.

DAVID: I know of other patients not in my practice, showing the rarity.

The “above” in my post referred to the fact that 41% of Americans and 50% of British people will get some form of cancer, and then we also have the diseases caused by the murderous bacteria and viruses that your God specially designed with good intentions. All apparently a minor consideration in view of your God’s high success rate in the field of design.

God’s editing systems
QUOTE: The team studied membrane attack complexes (MACs) – components of our immune system that punch minute holes in the membrane of invading bacteria. If enough holes are punched, the bacteria will pop and die.

DAVID: All the editing systems show God knew what systems to edit for errors.

dhw: And his reason for creating the invading bacteria in the first place was…?

DAVID: Everyone has to eat. All bacteria serve good purposes in the right places and as the start of life. Still asking, is life a glass half full or half empty?

But some bacteria, as designed by your God, serve bad purposes. The problem of theodicy is not judging the proportion of good versus the proportion of bad. The problem is to explain why an all-good God has created what is bad!

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