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

by dhw, Sunday, November 07, 2021, 13:39 (20 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Your conclusion is the same as ever: An all-powerful, all-knowing God “recognized errors could occur, in the only design that would produce life.” Still limited in his power, forced by the conditions he created to design a system containing errors he wished didn’t happen, tried to correct and sometimes failed, but luckily he gave us the brains to do what he couldn’t do.

DAVID: Fallible humans are exactly equal to fallible molecules in my example. My position is God could not choose any other system, since no other working system can be designed.

You have generously hinted at another explanation at the very end of this thread: “As for our bad tendencies, we have free will fully out of God’s control.” I presume that your all-powerful, all-knowing God deliberately gave us this free will, deliberately sacrificing control. And so maybe, just maybe, instead of being forced by circumstances (which he himself had created) into designing fallible molecules which he could not always control, hard though he tried, he deliberately built in a degree of freedom as part of an overall scheme to give all life’s components the flexibility to design the countless life forms which make up the history of evolution.

DAVID: I asked for a bad percentage in your eyes. No answer. Is it too small for debate?

dhw: It is irrelevant, and in any case you are picking on just one example of the bad. I pointed out to you that according to some statisticians, 42% of Americans will suffer from cancer. You said it was 20%. If you want figures, I’d say that even 20% was large enough for debate. But the bad in the world is not confined to errors in the system or even to bad bacteria and viruses. Apart from natural disasters which cause untold destruction, suffering and death, we have the innate selfishness which lies at the very heart of much of the world’s evil, and theoretically you can trace this back to the very beginnings of evolution: survival is the key, and although there is goody-goody cooperation, there is also baddy-baddy egotism symbolized, for example, by the necessity for some animals to kill and eat others in order to survive. Why would a kindly, all-good God devise a system which engenders such horrors? THAT is the problem of theodicy which you want us to ignore.

DAVID: Poor bad God. Unfortunately the only living system that works requires a constant input of energy. Do you skip meals? In our First World countries life expectancy is in the high 70's. I see mostly good while you concentrate on mostly bad. As for our bad tendencies, we have free will fully out of God's control.

You simply refuse to stick to the subject! Theodicy asks why there is bad in the world if the God who created it is all-good. And you keep answering: ignore the bad and focus on the good. That is not an answer!

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