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

by dhw, Sunday, October 31, 2021, 12:42 (27 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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.

DAVID: And I think it is the only working system He could create.

dhw: That’s exactly what I mean: despite his being all-powerful, he had to design an imperfect system with errors he couldn’t correct.

DAVID: Wrong interpretation: He used the only system available. Can you tell me about any other workable system? Unfortunately we can only study this one that works.

What do you mean by “available”? If your all-powerful God is the first cause, nothing was “available” until he designed it. So he is responsible for it. You are quite right that this is the only one we can study, but we are left with the astonishing fact that you think your God left it to us humans to correct the errors he couldn’t correct, and you even tell us that he kindly gave us the brains to do it. So if we can correct those errors he couldn’t correct (and sometimes we can), you are presenting us with an all-powerful God who can’t even do what we can do.

DAVID: (under “The good view of viruses”) Always the negative view.

dhw: But this is your view! He “had to” accept bad results because he could neither prevent them nor, in some cases, correct them. Why is this positive, and why do you regard the theory that he designed exactly what he wanted to design as negative?

DAVID: In your interpretation it becomes negative. He designed a system that works, but I believe it is the only system available that can work.

How can designing what he wanted to design be “negative”, whereas having to design something he didn’t wish to design is positive?

dhw: You have emphasized the fact that science generally has not accepted the theory of cellular intelligence. Now please tell us whether science generally has accepted the theory that your God controls the actions of cells.

DAVID: God does not control our active cells. His designs created many multiple processes acting automatically in concert with life emerging.

Why do you always insert the word automatically? That is the whole issue. Still with my theist cap on, I’m proposing that your God designed a mechanism which could autonomously create multiple processes acting in concert with changing conditions. You have rightly pointed out that this theory is not accepted by the scientific world. I have pointed out that yours isn’t accepted either. Nobody knows the truth. (See also "Miscellany".)

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