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

by dhw, Monday, November 08, 2021, 11:23 (19 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.

dhw: […] 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: Fallible molecules can't design new species. Molecular mistakes make mutations, most of which are fully demonstrated as dangerous.

You have missed the point (now bolded): I am proposing that your God (if he exists) deliberately designed the whole system, from single cells all the way to human free will,to allow all organisms the freedom to do their own thinking, designing, behaving. Hence the higgledy-piggledy comings and goings in the vast bush of life.

dhw: […] 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 […] 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. [..] In our First World countries life expectancy is in the high 70's. I see mostly good while you concentrate on mostly bad.

dhw: 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!

DAVID: You have inserted, once again, the all-good God. I guess back to your childhood religious teaching. I don't know if He is all good, loves us, etc. Adler and I say 50/50. And yet Adler and I believe in Him!

You were the one who raised the problem of theodicy, which is the problem of how an all-good and all-powerful God can produce bad, not the problem of whether we believe in God! Now you’re pretending that I’m claiming God is all-good! If you and Adler think your God may be partly good and partly bad, that’s up to you. A partly nasty God is one solution to the problem of theodicy.


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