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

by dhw, Tuesday, November 09, 2021, 07:20 (19 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: That is a twist on panpsychism, but in my view humans were His desired endpoint of evolution, so your kind of God hopes for humans appearing by chance.

He can always dabble if he wishes to. But my various theories cover all eventualities. If humans were his desired goal or endpoint, I offer experimentation to explain all the other life forms, or new ideas as your God goes along. The free-for-all is one of several logical explanations I offer.

Under “sensing autonomic activity
DAVID:: Here again we note the good body responses can make mistakes, despite the fact that the protective processes must necessarily be present to edit responses within proper bounds. A system fault when running on its own is not God's fault. dhw would like Him to supervise every biochemical reaction on Earth! (dhw’s bold)

Congratulations, you have understood a possible explanation of theodicy. By creating systems that run on their own and make errors on their own, your all-powerful God cannot be held responsible for the bad results. Hence my proposal: he did not wish to supervise, control, preprogramme or dabble every reaction of cells, of animals, of humans, or of any life forms; and so he created the system he WANTED to create, not the system he was forced to create because of the conditions he had created.

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!

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Exactly!! God may simply create without a thought of love or caring. He may have added editing to stop molecular mistakes simply out of despair that the system could not as perfect as He wished.

So now you have your all-powerful, all-knowing, possibly uncaring God in despair at being unable to create what he wishes to create. Your God gets more human and less God-like by the paragraph. But it’s a possible solution to the theodicy problem. While I have him creating what he wanted to create, you still have him trying to make up for his inability to do what he wants to do, despite his being all-powerful and all-knowing.


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