Theodicy: the 'good' view of viruses (Introduction)

by dhw, Friday, October 29, 2021, 12:50 (29 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Don't distort this: I view God as a designer/creator who wishes to produce the best results He can. What does 'good' mean to you?

dhw: [..] I think an all-good God would not produce anything harmful or “bad” but would deliberately produce only whatever is beneficial to his creations. This would, for example, entail things to make us happy, as opposed to things that make us scream in agony. ... But that would not solve the problem of theodicy for believers who insist that their all-good God cannot have been the creator of "bad". Now please explain what you understand by “good” and “bad”, so that we can continue to tackle that problem.

DAVID: This is your human interpretation. I don't think a designer God would wish to harm His top creation. Viruses and bacteria have important good roles. Like molecules that are free to make mistakes, bacteria and viruses are also free, in the only living system that will work. God could find no other system to use.

You asked what I meant by “good” and I explained, but you won't reciprocate. I have to admit that I'm human. However, it seems we have the same theistic theory: namely, your God gave these organisms the freedom to act autonomously. The only difference is you think that despite his all-powerfulness he was forced to do so against his will, whereas I suggest that in his all-powerfulness he created what he wanted to create.

Transposons
dhw: Do you know who first proposed the existence of transposons? One Barbara McClintock, a Nobel-prize-winning scientist who was a firm believer in cellular intelligence.

DAVID: Widely known fact. So?

dhw: I mention it because of your absurd argument that her championship of cellular intelligence is somehow out of date just because she proposed it many years ago.

DAVID: Only Shapiro, her follower championed it, none since. (dhw’s bold)

dhw: Please stop kidding yourself. You have just reproduced an article supporting the concept. If you google the subject, you will find loads and loads of articles supporting the theory. For example:

DAVID uses these:
Cellular Intelligence – Jon Lieff, MD
https://jonlieffmd.com/category/blog/cellular-intelligence-blog

QUOTE: "Everywhere we look, there are ubiquitous conversations among all cells in all organisms. Life might come down to the ability to converse, which is another way of saying life is based on the ability to transfer meaningful biological information."

DAVID: I agree with the quote. Nowhere does He say cells are in and of themselves intelligent.

dhw: Then why is his blog called “cellular intelligence”? How can organisms converse and exchange information without the intelligence to communicate with and understand each other?

DAVID: Ask him. All opinion!!!

You claimed that McClintock only had one follower. I have shown that she has multiple followers (see “Giraffe plumbing” for another quote). The theory is up and running/ Please remove your blinkers.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319307539_Cellular_intelligence_Micro...
QUOTE: "...reveal a level of cellular intelligence that is unrecognised by science and is not amenable to computer analysis."

DAVID: Just my point. We scientists do not recognize it.

dhw: Oh good heavens, now you’re claiming that all the scientists who support the theory are not scientists!

DAVID: Read the bold again. The author is complaining science in general does not recognize his belief!!!! Throwing googled titles at me that you don't study and are all opinion proves nothing!!!

As above, you claimed that McClintock had no followers. All these quotes show that she does have followers. But of course the theory is not proven. Nor is yours. That again is a point you refuse to acknowledge: namely, that what controls the actions of cells remains a mystery. Do you think science accepts your theory that God did it all?

Theodicy: the good view of viruses

DAVID: Why are you afraid of common design?? I view viruses like I do bacteria, very largely good, but doing bad if in the wrong place.

dhw: There is nothing to fear from “common design”, which simply denotes common descent as designed by your God. I have objected because it is irrelevant to my request for an explanation of the bad, which is the whole point of the theodicy debate.

DAVID: I've explained the bad. You don't accept the answers.

dhw: Your explanation, as I understand it, is that your God designed the bad viruses, knew they would do nasty things, but had good intentions, and one day we'll find out what they were. (See also under "Miscellany".)

DAVID: NO!!! God designed bacteria and viruses for good required purposes, but had to accept that sometimes bad results happen as in molecular mistakes. Our living system is the only one possible. Moment by moment mistakes are minimal but additive, so we have distress. I accept what is as it works. It is not God's fault.

So we’ll ignore the earlier quote about good intentions, and simply focus on your God’s inability to control the system he designed because although he is all-powerful he was forced to design it that way and had to leave it to humans to try and correct the errors he couldn’t cope with.


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