Theodicy (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, October 06, 2020, 21:49 (424 days ago)

Explaining God's allowing biological mistakes and permitting dangerous organisms, viruses and bacteria to exist.

As explained genetic congenital errors are not God's fault. His editing mechanisms don't always catch molecular errors. Molecules are free to make improper reactions for the sake of speed in the production of life itself. And they do make mistakes at that level that escape editing.

As for dangerous organisms, we have been given the brain capacity to learn how to fight them. Bacteria and viruses have beneficial roles usually, but some are nasty. I do not know why God created them, but He may have a purpose we do not yet recognize.

Evil among humans beings is explained because God gave us free will. Dangerous environmental events: storms, volcanic eruption, flooding, earthquakes, etc. are all part of the beneficial processes of Earth that allows life to appear.

dhw will bring up other issues, I'm sure.

Theodicy

by dhw, Wednesday, October 07, 2020, 11:26 (423 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Explaining God's allowing biological mistakes and permitting dangerous organisms, viruses and bacteria to exist.

DAVID: As explained genetic congenital errors are not God's fault. His editing mechanisms don't always catch molecular errors. Molecules are free to make improper reactions for the sake of speed in the production of life itself. And they do make mistakes at that level that escape editing.

You have, however, told us that in the case of errors that cause disease, he has provided “backups”, but these don’t always work, and so he has left it to humans to try and correct what he himself couldn’t correct. You also assume that this is the only system your God was able to produce. In both cases, you are limiting his powers, and yet one of my alternative explanations of evolution’s history is that he experimented, and another is that he didn’t want absolute control. You complain that this makes him namby-pamby. Why is it more namby-pamby than a God who can’t prevent mistakes in the system he designed, and can’t even correct them but has to leave it to humans to do what he can’t do?

DAVID: As for dangerous organisms, we have been given the brain capacity to learn how to fight them. Bacteria and viruses have beneficial roles usually, but some are nasty. I do not know why God created them, but He may have a purpose we do not yet recognize.

God deliberately designed bad things and we don’t know why. Not much of an explanation, is it? How about: God didn’t design them, but wanted to avoid the dull predictability of a Garden of Eden, and therefore invented a system whereby living organisms would design themselves in an endless variety of forms, all of which would find different ways (which we judge to be good or bad) of surviving in the on-going process we know as evolution?

DAVID: Evil among humans beings is explained because God gave us free will.

Just as in the above proposal he would have given organisms “free will” to find their own methods of survival. If we continue the Garden of Eden metaphor, he was the one who created the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and stuck a snake in there for good measure. Why create it in the first place? I suggest that he knew perfectly well what would happen if he gave organisms the freedom to conduct their own affairs: the result would be a mixture of good and evil. Not so dull as good all on its own.

DAVID: Dangerous environmental events: storms, volcanic eruption, flooding, earthquakes, etc. are all part of the beneficial processes of Earth that allows life to appear.

So did God design them or didn’t he? If he didn’t, he was dependent on chance for all these “beneficial processes”. If he did, are you saying that he couldn’t have directly designed life and living conditions without them? He couldn’t have created a Garden of Eden? Once again, you show scant respect for an all-powerful God whose powers are so limited that he can’t prevent or correct mistakes in his life system, and he can’t create living conditions without creating killing conditions as well. Since our topic is theodicy – so we can’t consider any explanation other than God’s intentions – I would suggest that all these natural disasters also result from a system designed to fulfil his desire for endless and unpredictable variety, as epitomized by us humans and all our activities. Please remember our agreement that you need the dark to fully appreciate the light. But he would also have retained the option of intervening (dabbling) at any time, e.g. Chixculub.

DAVID: dhw will bring up other issues, I'm sure.

Phew, that’s enough to be getting on with! Thank you for separating this as a new thread. Although arguments overlap,it is sometimes helpful to stick to one single, central topic.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Wednesday, October 07, 2020, 18:37 (423 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Explaining God's allowing biological mistakes and permitting dangerous organisms, viruses and bacteria to exist.

DAVID: As explained genetic congenital errors are not God's fault. His editing mechanisms don't always catch molecular errors. Molecules are free to make improper reactions for the sake of speed in the production of life itself. And they do make mistakes at that level that escape editing.

dhw: You have, however, told us that in the case of errors that cause disease, he has provided “backups”, but these don’t always work, and so he has left it to humans to try and correct what he himself couldn’t correct. You also assume that this is the only system your God was able to produce. In both cases, you are limiting his powers, and yet one of my alternative explanations of evolution’s history is that he experimented, and another is that he didn’t want absolute control. You complain that this makes him namby-pamby. Why is it more namby-pamby than a God who can’t prevent mistakes in the system he designed, and can’t even correct them but has to leave it to humans to do what he can’t do?

Namby-pamby refers to underlying personality, not logical choice of giving us the brains to work on back-up when God recognized unexpected mistakes will get by the editing systems during our lives.


DAVID: As for dangerous organisms, we have been given the brain capacity to learn how to fight them. Bacteria and viruses have beneficial roles usually, but some are nasty. I do not know why God created them, but He may have a purpose we do not yet recognize.

dhw: God deliberately designed bad things and we don’t know why. Not much of an explanation, is it? How about: God didn’t design them, but wanted to avoid the dull predictability of a Garden of Eden, and therefore invented a system whereby living organisms would design themselves in an endless variety of forms, all of which would find different ways (which we judge to be good or bad) of surviving in the on-going process we know as evolution?

Again you wish for out of control evolution which might luckily reach our forms.


DAVID: Evil among humans beings is explained because God gave us free will.

dhw: Just as in the above proposal he would have given organisms “free will” to find their own methods of survival. If we continue the Garden of Eden metaphor, he was the one who created the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and stuck a snake in there for good measure. Why create it in the first place? I suggest that he knew perfectly well what would happen if he gave organisms the freedom to conduct their own affairs: the result would be a mixture of good and evil. Not so dull as good all on its own.

Back to your Bible studies. But your biblical God gives up control. Bib le authors and iIdisagree.


DAVID: Dangerous environmental events: storms, volcanic eruption, flooding, earthquakes, etc. are all part of the beneficial processes of Earth that allows life to appear.

dhw: So did God design them or didn’t he? If he didn’t, he was dependent on chance for all these “beneficial processes”. If he did, are you saying that he couldn’t have directly designed life and living conditions without them? He couldn’t have created a Garden of Eden? Once again, you show scant respect for an all-powerful God whose powers are so limited that he can’t prevent or correct mistakes in his life system, and he can’t create living conditions without creating killing conditions as well. Since our topic is theodicy – so we can’t consider any explanation other than God’s intentions – I would suggest that all these natural disasters also result from a system designed to fulfil his desire for endless and unpredictable variety, as epitomized by us humans and all our activities. Please remember our agreement that you need the dark to fully appreciate the light. But he would also have retained the option of intervening (dabbling) at any time, e.g. Chixculub.

All explained in my last statement. Evolving Earth and its environment allows life here and we have to live with some of the necessary consequences. You have simply repeated describing a soft purposeless God who gives up control.


DAVID: dhw will bring up other issues, I'm sure.

Phew, that’s enough to be getting on with! Thank you for separating this as a new thread. Although arguments overlap, it is sometimes helpful to stick to one single, central topic.

We still need more discussion confinement to one entry.

Theodicy

by dhw, Thursday, October 08, 2020, 13:29 (422 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: As explained genetic congenital errors are not God's fault. His editing mechanisms don't always catch molecular errors. Molecules are free to make improper reactions for the sake of speed in the production of life itself. And they do make mistakes at that level that escape editing.

dhw: You have, however, told us that in the case of errors that cause disease, he has provided “backups”, but these don’t always work, and so he has left it to humans to try and correct what he himself couldn’t correct. You also assume that this is the only system your God was able to produce. In both cases, you are limiting his powers, and yet one of my alternative explanations of evolution’s history is that he experimented, and another is that he didn’t want absolute control. You complain that this makes him namby-pamby. Why is it more namby-pamby than a God who can’t prevent mistakes in the system he designed, and can’t even correct them but has to leave it to humans to do what he can’t do?

Today’s article on "Molecular machines seen clearly" does indeed help us to see clearly the consequences of these mistakes, which in your posts on God’s error corrections you dismissed as "minimal":

QUOTE: "'Malfunctions in these molecular machines contribute to diseases such as osteoporosis, neurodegeneration, diabetes, cancer and AIDS [...]

DAVID: Namby-pamby refers to underlying personality, not logical choice of giving us the brains to work on back-up when God recognized unexpected mistakes will get by the editing systems during our lives.

According to you, your God could not prevent the above mistakes, tried and failed to correct them, and left it to humans to do what he couldn’t do, and you also have him deliberately designing nasty viruses and bacteria and natural disasters. So I offer an alternative:
dhw: How about: God didn’t design them, but wanted to avoid the dull predictability of a Garden of Eden, and therefore invented a system whereby living organisms would design themselves in an endless variety of forms, all of which would find different ways (which we judge to be good or bad) of surviving in the on-going process we know as evolution?

DAVID: Again you wish for out of control evolution which might luckily reach our forms.

Please don’t switch the subject, which is theodicy. Does the proposal above provide an explanation of good and evil or not?

DAVID: Evil among humans beings is explained because God gave us free will.

dhw: Just as in the above proposal he would have given organisms “free will” to find their own methods of survival.
[I have cut out the discussion on the Garden of Eden metaphor which you had originally given us, as it was only meant to illustrate the following:)

dhw: My proposal is that God did not want dull perfection, but an unpredictable, ever changing bush of life as all organisms tried to find their own ways (good or bad) to survive.

DAVID: Dangerous environmental events: storms, volcanic eruption, flooding, earthquakes, etc. are all part of the beneficial processes of Earth that allows life to appear.

dhw: So did God design them or didn’t he? If he didn’t, he was dependent on chance for all these “beneficial processes”. If he did, are you saying that he couldn’t have directly designed life and living conditions without them? […] I would suggest that all these natural disasters also result from a system designed to fulfil his desire for endless and unpredictable variety, as epitomized by us humans and all our activities. Please remember our agreement that you need the dark to fully appreciate the light. But he would also have retained the option of intervening (dabbling) at any time, e.g. Chixculub.

DAVID: All explained in my last statement. Evolving Earth and its environment allows life here and we have to live with some of the necessary consequences.

So it’s back to your inevitable “errors” theory, in which it’s not God’s fault if the only system he could devise entailed “bad” errors and “bad” environmental conditions. He was incapable of creating a system without harmful or bad or evil effects.

DAVID: You have simply repeated describing a soft purposeless God who gives up control.

The only purpose you have offered us is that your God created his error-prone system, designed bad viruses and bacteria, and presumably (since he never gives up control) designed all the natural disasters, in order to directly design H. sapiens, whom he did not wish to harm (at least he has a soft heart, then). You consider a God who creates a life system of endless and ever-changing variety, with all the interplay between good and bad, light and dark, and all the unpredictability that would be the exact opposite of a dull Garden of Eden, to be soft and purposeless. So please tell us why you think he deliberately created bad viruses and bacteria, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes in spite of his soft-heartedness (which I hope he would also feel towards other organisms than ourselves, since the our fellow animals also know what it is to suffer). If you can’t think of a reason, once more please tell us why my proposal is not feasible. And please accept that a test of feasibility is not whether or not it matches your own subjective concept of God and his purposes and nature.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Thursday, October 08, 2020, 18:12 (422 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Today’s article on "Molecular machines seen clearly" does indeed help us to see clearly the consequences of these mistakes, which in your posts on God’s error corrections you dismissed as "minimal":

QUOTE: "'Malfunctions in these molecular machines contribute to diseases such as osteoporosis, neurodegeneration, diabetes, cancer and AIDS [...]

Minimal in the sense that the many trillions of reactions work perfectly, and God anticipated mistakes with editing systems. The system we have is the only one that will work.


DAVID: Namby-pamby refers to underlying personality, not logical choice of giving us the brains to work on back-up when God recognized unexpected mistakes will get by the editing systems during our lives.

dhw: How about: God didn’t design them, but wanted to avoid the dull predictability of a Garden of Eden, and therefore invented a system whereby living organisms would design themselves in an endless variety of forms, all of which would find different ways (which we judge to be good or bad) of surviving in the on-going process we know as evolution?

DAVID: Again you wish for out of control evolution which might luckily reach our forms.

dhw: Please don’t switch the subject, which is theodicy. Does the proposal above provide an explanation of good and evil or not?

An possible explanation I don't accept, based on my view of God's personality.


DAVID: Evil among humans beings is explained because God gave us free will.

dhw: Just as in the above proposal he would have given organisms “free will” to find their own methods of survival.

With 'free will' evolution it would be directionless.


dhw: My proposal is that God did not want dull perfection, but an unpredictable, ever changing bush of life as all organisms tried to find their own ways (good or bad) to survive.
dhw: So it’s back to your inevitable “errors” theory, in which it’s not God’s fault if the only system he could devise entailed “bad” errors and “bad” environmental conditions. He was incapable of creating a system without harmful or bad or evil effects.

Not incapable. Impossible with the speed of reactions involving 'free' molecules to create life.


DAVID: You have simply repeated describing a soft purposeless God who gives up control.

dhw: The only purpose you have offered us is that your God created his error-prone system, designed bad viruses and bacteria, and presumably (since he never gives up control) designed all the natural disasters, in order to directly design H. sapiens, whom he did not wish to harm (at least he has a soft heart, then). You consider a God who creates a life system of endless and ever-changing variety, with all the interplay between good and bad, light and dark, and all the unpredictability that would be the exact opposite of a dull Garden of Eden, to be soft and purposeless. So please tell us why you think he deliberately created bad viruses and bacteria, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes in spite of his soft-heartedness (which I hope he would also feel towards other organisms than ourselves, since the our fellow animals also know what it is to suffer). If you can’t think of a reason, once more please tell us why my proposal is not feasible. And please accept that a test of feasibility is not whether or not it matches your own subjective concept of God and his purposes and nature.

You blithely ignore all the facts presented about the perfect planet presented here at length. I won't repeat them. Your view of Him is obviously soft and highly humanized. It is feasible only if your soft God is the real God. So we reach agreement. Your God is not my God by a very wide margin.

Theodicy

by dhw, Friday, October 09, 2020, 14:21 (421 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Today’s article on "Molecular machines seen clearly" does indeed help us to see clearly the consequences of these mistakes, which in your posts on God’s error corrections you dismissed as "minimal":

QUOTE: "'Malfunctions in these molecular machines contribute to diseases such as osteoporosis, neurodegeneration, diabetes, cancer and AIDS [...]

DAVID: Minimal in the sense that the many trillions of reactions work perfectly, and God anticipated mistakes with editing systems. The system we have is the only one that will work.

His editing systems have failed to cope with these extremely nasty mistakes, but you have made it clear that all these diseases are part of God’s wanting to challenge us – for reasons I am eagerly waiting to hear.

dhw: How about: God didn’t design them, but wanted to avoid the dull predictability of a Garden of Eden, and therefore invented a system whereby living organisms would design themselves in an endless variety of forms, all of which would find different ways (which we judge to be good or bad) of surviving in the on-going process we know as evolution?

DAVID: A possible explanation I don't accept, based on my view of God's personality.

Please tell us more about your view of God’s personality. So far we’ve learned that he wanted complete control of evolution, didn’t want a dull Garden of Eden (I agree), and didn’t want to harm us but did want to challenge us. None of this is apparently “humanizing”. (See “error corrections” and “simplest explanation?”) And so in the context of theodicy, we now have your God deliberately creating “evil” in order to set us a challenge. I must confess I find the whole concept of “theodicy” deeply dissatisfying when we humans restrict it to the effects of “evil” upon ourselves. What about the suffering of our fellow creatures, including those that preceded us. My prime example is meat eating. What could be more evil than a system which requires one organism to kill and eat another?

DAVID: Evil among humans beings is explained because God gave us free will.

dhw: Just as in the above proposal he would have given organisms “free will” to find their own methods of survival.

DAVID: With 'free will' evolution it would be directionless.

So your God’s special design of humans and their free will must also be directionless. Makes you wonder why he bothered. My proposal brings the two together: the unpredictability of life forms, natural wonders etc. AND the unpredictability of human behaviour all make for the very opposite of a dull Garden of Eden (your expression).

dhw: So it’s back to your inevitable “errors” theory, in which it’s not God’s fault if the only system he could devise entailed “bad” errors and “bad” environmental conditions. He was incapable of creating a system without harmful or bad or evil effects.

DAVID: Not incapable. Impossible with the speed of reactions involving 'free' molecules to create life.

Since you believe your God created absolutely everything from scratch, I’m surprised at your lack of confidence in his ability to invent an error-free system. I propose that your all-powerful God designed the system he WANTED to design.

dhw: You consider a God who creates a life system of endless and ever-changing variety, with all the interplay between good and bad, light and dark, and all the unpredictability that would be the exact opposite of a dull Garden of Eden, to be soft and purposeless. So please tell us why you think he deliberately created bad viruses and bacteria, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes in spite of his soft-heartedness (which I hope he would also feel towards other organisms than ourselves, since the our fellow animals also know what it is to suffer). If you can’t think of a reason, once more please tell us why my proposal is not feasible. And please accept that a test of feasibility is not whether or not it matches your own subjective concept of God and his purposes and nature.

DAVID: You blithely ignore all the facts presented about the perfect planet presented here at length. I won't repeat them.

We are not discussing the “perfect planet” but the problem of good and evil. Please tell us why my proposal is not feasible.

DAVID: Your view of Him is obviously soft and highly humanized. It is feasible only if your soft God is the real God. So we reach agreement. Your God is not my God by a very wide margin.

You have now replaced namby-pamby with soft. What is soft about a God who wants and gets a mixture of good and bad by giving freedom of self-organization to his invention as exemplified by human free will? Why is this more highly humanized (and let us add less logical) than a God who wants total control over his creations, doesn’t wish to harm them but deliberately invents nasty things in order to challenge them?

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Friday, October 09, 2020, 15:19 (421 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Today’s article on "Molecular machines seen clearly" does indeed help us to see clearly the consequences of these mistakes, which in your posts on God’s error corrections you dismissed as "minimal":

QUOTE: "'Malfunctions in these molecular machines contribute to diseases such as osteoporosis, neurodegeneration, diabetes, cancer and AIDS [...]

DAVID: Minimal in the sense that the many trillions of reactions work perfectly, and God anticipated mistakes with editing systems. The system we have is the only one that will work.

dhw: His editing systems have failed to cope with these extremely nasty mistakes, but you have made it clear that all these diseases are part of God’s wanting to challenge us – for reasons I am eagerly waiting to hear.

DAVID: A possible explanation I don't accept, based on my view of God's personality.

dhw: Please tell us more about your view of God’s personality. So far we’ve learned that he wanted complete control of evolution, didn’t want a dull Garden of Eden (I agree), and didn’t want to harm us but did want to challenge us. None of this is apparently “humanizing”. (See “error corrections” and “simplest explanation?”) And so in the context of theodicy, we now have your God deliberately creating “evil” in order to set us a challenge.

You have not described God's personality above. I view Him as knowing exactly what He wishes to create and conducts His role with purpose, and I add nothing more.


DAVID: Evil among humans beings is explained because God gave us free will.

dhw: Just as in the above proposal he would have given organisms “free will” to find their own methods of survival.

DAVID: With 'free will' evolution it would be directionless.

dhw: So your God’s special design of humans and their free will must also be directionless. Makes you wonder why he bothered. My proposal brings the two together: the unpredictability of life forms, natural wonders etc. AND the unpredictability of human behaviour all make for the very opposite of a dull Garden of Eden (your expression).

Total misinterpretation again. Free will is ours. Evolution is tightly designed by God, not by free-will organisism.

dhw: Since you believe your God created absolutely everything from scratch, I’m surprised at your lack of confidence in his ability to invent an error-free system. I propose that your all-powerful God designed the system he WANTED to design.

I've told you it is my belief He cannot design an error-free system due to the speed of reactions required.


dhw: So please tell us why you think he deliberately created bad viruses and bacteria, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes in spite of his soft-heartedness (which I hope he would also feel towards other organisms than ourselves, since the our fellow animals also know what it is to suffer). If you can’t think of a reason, once more please tell us why my proposal is not feasible. And please accept that a test of feasibility is not whether or not it matches your own subjective concept of God and his purposes and nature.

Answered elsewhere today: "I don't presume to know why God allowed dangerous bacteria and viruses except my view (and yours) that He wanted life to be challenging and gave us the brains to solve the problems. No humanizing here."


DAVID: You blithely ignore all the facts presented about the perfect planet presented here at length. I won't repeat them.

dhw: We are not discussing the “perfect planet” but the problem of good and evil. Please tell us why my proposal is not feasible.

The 'perfect planet' is evidence of how carefully God prepared the Earth. I view God the designer, and you approach it from a different set of reasons.


DAVID: Your view of Him is obviously soft and highly humanized. It is feasible only if your soft God is the real God. So we reach agreement. Your God is not my God by a very wide margin.

dhw: You have now replaced namby-pamby with soft. What is soft about a God who wants and gets a mixture of good and bad by giving freedom of self-organization to his invention as exemplified by human free will? Why is this more highly humanized (and let us add less logical) than a God who wants total control over his creations, doesn’t wish to harm them but deliberately invents nasty things in order to challenge them?

That is our problem with the issue of theodicy. I believe God is in total control but don't know His reasons for allowing the bad bugs. They may have a role we do not yet understand. At least He gave us brains to fight them

Theodicy

by dhw, Saturday, October 10, 2020, 09:34 (420 days ago) @ David Turell

There was a section missing from the run-in to this:

dhw: How about: God didn’t design them, but wanted to avoid the dull predictability of a Garden of Eden, and therefore invented a system whereby living organisms would design themselves in an endless variety of forms, all of which would find different ways (which we judge to be good or bad) of surviving in the on-going process we know as evolution?

DAVID: A possible explanation I don't accept, based on my view of God's personality.

dhw: Please tell us more about your view of God’s personality. So far we’ve learned that he wanted complete control of evolution, didn’t want a dull Garden of Eden (I agree), and didn’t want to harm us but did want to challenge us. None of this is apparently “humanizing”. (See “error corrections” and “simplest explanation?”) And so in the context of theodicy, we now have your God deliberately creating “evil” in order to set us a challenge.

DAVID: You have not described God's personality above. I view Him as knowing exactly what He wishes to create and conducts His role with purpose, and I add nothing more.

By coincidence, I have also presented him as knowing exactly what he wishes to create and conducting his role with purpose (See my first paragraph). The paragraph you have just responded to contains everything that you have added: he deliberately designed nasty viruses and bugs, and his purpose was to challenge us. (Presumably we should forget about the sufferings of all the life forms that preceded us.) You’ve always said he must be interested in us, so he’s interested in seeing how we respond to a challenge. Then maybe he created ALL organisms to see how they would respond to challenges (e.g. environmental changes). We seem to be drifting closer together!

DAVID: Evil among humans beings is explained because God gave us free will.

dhw: Just as in the above proposal he would have given organisms “free will” to find their own methods of survival.

DAVID: […] Free will is ours. Evolution is tightly designed by God, not by free-will organisms.

So what, according to you, is the purpose of our free will, if it’s not to see how we will respond to all the challenges life offers us? Your statement about evolution being tightly controlled is a repetition of your fixed belief, and it leaves wide open the question of why your God’s tightly controlled design has produced “evil”. That is the subject of this thread. I have offered a simple explanation: freedom for ALL organisms as they design their own ways of survival, whether “good” or “bad” in our eyes.

dhw: Since you believe your God created absolutely everything from scratch, I’m surprised at your lack of confidence in his ability to invent an error-free system. I propose that your all-powerful God designed the system he WANTED to design.

DAVID: I've told you it is my belief He cannot design an error-free system due to the speed of reactions required.

Earlier you said he knows what he wishes to create. I know you believe that he could not design an error-free system, but I’m suggesting that he wished to create the system we have, as opposed to having no choice.

Transferred from “The simplest explanation?

DAVID: I don't presume to know why God allowed dangerous bacteria and viruses except my view (and yours) that He wanted life to be challenging and gave us the brains to solve the problems. No humanizing here.

I thought your theory was that he designed them in order to challenge us! I have asked you why he wanted to challenge us. Of course the desire to see how we respond to a challenge is human, but why shouldn’t you humanize? You’ve told us your God probably has patterns of thoughts and other attributes similar to ours.

DAVID: I believe God is in total control but don't know His reasons for allowing the bad bugs. They may have a role we do not yet understand. At least He gave us brains to fight them.

I’m the one who comes closer to “allowing”, by suggesting that he gave them the mechanism with which to do their own designing. Thank you. But whether they are allowed or designed (as you said originally) makes no difference to the overall argument. If God is in total control, you can hardly escape the explanation that he WANTED the bad bugs. You have offered the very human explanation that he wanted to challenge us – which can only mean he likes watching how we respond to particular circumstances. You see how nicely that fits in with your other theory – he didn’t want a dull Garden of Eden. And there you have the simplest possible explanation of evolution and theodicy, all in one go. He likes watching how ALL organisms find their own different ways (freedom to act) of meeting the challenges he has set them in the struggle for survival (Darwin), which they conduct through the cooperation of their intelligent cells as well as cooperation with one another (Shapiro and Margulis). The result for all organisms: good and bad ways to get what they want (survival). For humans: good and bad ways to get what they want (survival, power, money, gratification of desires etc.).

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Saturday, October 10, 2020, 19:57 (420 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You have not described God's personality above. I view Him as knowing exactly what He wishes to create and conducts His role with purpose, and I add nothing more.

dhw: By coincidence, I have also presented him as knowing exactly what he wishes to create and conducting his role with purpose... You’ve always said he must be interested in us, so he’s interested in seeing how we respond to a challenge. Then maybe he created ALL organisms to see how they would respond to challenges (e.g. environmental changes). We seem to be drifting closer together!

I must remind you I do not know why God created the nasty ones. Yes the obvious challenge, and I remind you that our big brain was also given to engage in solving the problems from them. That may be the balance.


DAVID: Evil among humans beings is explained because God gave us free will.

dhw: Just as in the above proposal he would have given organisms “free will” to find their own methods of survival.

DAVID: […] Free will is ours. Evolution is tightly designed by God, not by free-will organisms.

dhw: So what, according to you, is the purpose of our free will, if it’s not to see how we will respond to all the challenges life offers us? Your statement about evolution being tightly controlled is a repetition of your fixed belief, and it leaves wide open the question of why your God’s tightly controlled design has produced “evil”. That is the subject of this thread. I have offered a simple explanation: freedom for ALL organisms as they design their own ways of survival, whether “good” or “bad” in our eyes.

And I reject your 'freedom' approach as defining a God who wishes to give up control.


dhw: Since you believe your God created absolutely everything from scratch, I’m surprised at your lack of confidence in his ability to invent an error-free system. I propose that your all-powerful God designed the system he WANTED to design.

DAVID: I've told you it is my belief He cannot design an error-free system due to the speed of reactions required.

dhw: Earlier you said he knows what he wishes to create. I know you believe that he could not design an error-free system, but I’m suggesting that he wished to create the system we have, as opposed to having no choice.

Rejected by noting all of God's editing systems to control mistakes.


Transferred from “The simplest explanation?

DAVID: I don't presume to know why God allowed dangerous bacteria and viruses except my view (and yours) that He wanted life to be challenging and gave us the brains to solve the problems. No humanizing here.

dhw: I thought your theory was that he designed them in order to challenge us! I have asked you why he wanted to challenge us. Of course the desire to see how we respond to a challenge is human, but why shouldn’t you humanize? You’ve told us your God probably has patterns of thoughts and other attributes similar to ours.

Yes to challenge, but as for thoughts, God does not have humanized thinking iiiinvoling purpose.


DAVID: I believe God is in total control but don't know His reasons for allowing the bad bugs. They may have a role we do not yet understand. At least He gave us brains to fight them.

dhw: I’m the one who comes closer to “allowing”, by suggesting that he gave them the mechanism with which to do their own designing. Thank you. But whether they are allowed or designed (as you said originally) makes no difference to the overall argument. If God is in total control, you can hardly escape the explanation that he WANTED the bad bugs.

Just what I just said above.

dhw: You have offered the very human explanation that he wanted to challenge us – which can only mean he likes watching how we respond to particular circumstances. You see how nicely that fits in with your other theory – he didn’t want a dull Garden of Eden. And there you have the simplest possible explanation of evolution and theodicy, all in one go. He likes watching how ALL organisms find their own different ways (freedom to act) of meeting the challenges he has set them in the struggle for survival (Darwin), which they conduct through the cooperation of their intelligent cells as well as cooperation with one another (Shapiro and Margulis). The result for all organisms: good and bad ways to get what they want (survival). For humans: good and bad ways to get what they want (survival, power, money, gratification of desires etc.).

Except your your persistent 'intelligent' brainless cells a fine acceptable summary.

Theodicy

by dhw, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 13:49 (419 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You’ve always said he [God] must be interested in us, so he’s interested in seeing how we respond to a challenge. Then maybe he created ALL organisms to see how they would respond to challenges (e.g. environmental changes). […]

DAVID: […] Free will is ours. Evolution is tightly designed by God, not by free-will organisms.

dhw: Your statement about evolution being tightly controlled […] leaves wide open the question of why your God’s tightly controlled design has produced “evil”. That is the subject of this thread. I have offered a simple explanation: freedom for ALL organisms as they design their own ways of survival, whether “good” or “bad” in our eyes.

DAVID: And I reject your 'freedom' approach as defining a God who wishes to give up control.

Since according to you your God wished to give up control over humans to see how they would respond to his challenges, how do you know he did not do the same with all the organisms that preceded humans?

DAVID: I've told you it is my belief He cannot design an error-free system due to the speed of reactions required.

dhw:[…]. […] but I’m suggesting that he wished to create the system we have, as opposed to having no choice.

DAVID: Rejected by noting all of God's editing systems to control mistakes.

Some of which failed. So he tried to correct the errors he couldn’t prevent because he didn’t want us to be harmed, and yet he deliberately designed harmful viruses and bacteria and you don’t know why. There’s something here that doesn’t quite add up, isn’t there? But hey, maybe he WANTED the disease-causing errors, and what you thought were his back-ups were actually the responses of the free good cells to the machinations of the free bad cells. Now that does add up, doesn’t it?

DAVID: I believe God is in total control but don't know His reasons for allowing the bad bugs. […]

dhw: […] If God is in total control, you can hardly escape the explanation that he WANTED the bad bugs.

DAVID: Just what I just said above.

Good. And you think he designed the bad bugs in order to set us a challenge, but..what next?..You don’t know why he wanted to challenge us? May I suggest that he did so because he’s interested in how we respond to challenges? And may I suggest that he might also be interested in how other organisms respond to challenges and it wouldn’t be very interesting if he already knew how we and every other organism would respond to challenges, and the only way he would NOT know how we/they would respond would be if he gave us/them the freedom to work out our/their own responses?

dhw: You have offered the very human explanation that he wanted to challenge us – which can only mean he likes watching how we respond to particular circumstances. You see how nicely that fits in with your other theory – he didn’t want a dull Garden of Eden. And there you have the simplest possible explanation of evolution and theodicy, all in one go. He likes watching how ALL organisms find their own different ways (freedom to act) of meeting the challenges he has set them in the struggle for survival (Darwin), which they conduct through the cooperation of their intelligent cells as well as cooperation with one another (Shapiro and Margulis). The result for all organisms: good and bad ways to get what they want (survival). For humans: good and bad ways to get what they want (survival, power, money, gratification of desires etc.).

DAVID: Except your your persistent 'intelligent' brainless cells a fine acceptable summary.

I’m delighted that you accept this summary of how evolution works and of the origin of evil. All that remains is for you to tell us 1) how he could retain his interest if he actually organized the responses of non-human organisms, and 2) how he could avoid knowing the responses in advance without giving these organisms the freedom to work out their responses on their own.

Under “Bacteria fungus symbiosis”:

QUOTE: “It appears that bacteria using the fungal highway to reach new foraging grounds pay for the ride by delivering thiamine to the hyphal tips."

DAVID: Happily working it out by mutual adaptation using modifying mechanisms that I believe are God designed.

I’m again delighted to see you acknowledging that they “work it out” using a mechanism designed by your God. The mechanism would have to be what I call “cellular intelligence” – how else can any organism happily work anything out, if not by using its intelligence?

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 16:27 (419 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: And I reject your 'freedom' approach as defining a God who wishes to give up control.

dhw: Since according to you your God wished to give up control over humans to see how they would respond to his challenges, how do you know he did not do the same with all the organisms that preceded humans?

They all act with purpose. What is your point?


DAVID: I've told you it is my belief He cannot design an error-free system due to the speed of reactions required.

dhw:[…]. […] but I’m suggesting that he wished to create the system we have, as opposed to having no choice.

DAVID: Rejected by noting all of God's editing systems to control mistakes.

dhw: Some of which failed. So he tried to correct the errors he couldn’t prevent because he didn’t want us to be harmed, and yet he deliberately designed harmful viruses and bacteria and you don’t know why. There’s something here that doesn’t quite add up, isn’t there? But hey, maybe he WANTED the disease-causing errors, and what you thought were his back-ups were actually the responses of the free good cells to the machinations of the free bad cells. Now that does add up, doesn’t it?

Confused. We are discussing molecular errors. Not the same subject as bad bugs


DAVID: I believe God is in total control but don't know His reasons for allowing the bad bugs. […]

dhw: […] If God is in total control, you can hardly escape the explanation that he WANTED the bad bugs.

DAVID: Just what I just said above.

dhw: Good. And you think he designed the bad bugs in order to set us a challenge, but..what next?..You don’t know why he wanted to challenge us? May I suggest that he did so because he’s interested in how we respond to challenges? And may I suggest that he might also be interested in how other organisms respond to challenges and it wouldn’t be very interesting if he already knew how we and every other organism would respond to challenges, and the only way he would NOT know how we/they would respond would be if he gave us/them the freedom to work out our/their own responses?

Give us the brain and challenge us. Good point!


dhw: You have offered the very human explanation that he wanted to challenge us – which can only mean he likes watching how we respond to particular circumstances. You see how nicely that fits in with your other theory – he didn’t want a dull Garden of Eden. And there you have the simplest possible explanation of evolution and theodicy, all in one go. He likes watching how ALL organisms find their own different ways (freedom to act) of meeting the challenges he has set them in the struggle for survival (Darwin), which they conduct through the cooperation of their intelligent cells as well as cooperation with one another (Shapiro and Margulis). The result for all organisms: good and bad ways to get what they want (survival). For humans: good and bad ways to get what they want (survival, power, money, gratification of desires etc.).

DAVID: Except your your persistent 'intelligent' brainless cells a fine acceptable summary.

dhw: I’m delighted that you accept this summary of how evolution works and of the origin of evil. All that remains is for you to tell us 1) how he could retain his interest if he actually organized the responses of non-human organisms, and 2) how he could avoid knowing the responses in advance without giving these organisms the freedom to work out their responses on their own.

You are back to humanizing God who has to have gimmicks to retain interest. My view is that God has no need for it.


Under “Bacteria fungus symbiosis”:

QUOTE: “It appears that bacteria using the fungal highway to reach new foraging grounds pay for the ride by delivering thiamine to the hyphal tips."

DAVID: Happily working it out by mutual adaptation using modifying mechanisms that I believe are God designed.

dhw: I’m again delighted to see you acknowledging that they “work it out” using a mechanism designed by your God. The mechanism would have to be what I call “cellular intelligence” – how else can any organism happily work anything out, if not by using its intelligence?

True intelligence and automatic programmed responses are never the same. Are you now modifying the meaning of your term 'cellular intelligence'? Do cells think?

Theodicy

by dhw, Monday, October 12, 2020, 14:27 (418 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: And I reject your 'freedom' approach as defining a God who wishes to give up control.

dhw: Since according to you your God wished to give up control over humans to see how they would respond to his challenges, how do you know he did not do the same with all the organisms that preceded humans?

DAVID: They all act with purpose. What is your point?

You reject “freedom” because it means God wishes to give up control. He has given up control by giving humans freedom, so why should he not have done the same for other organisms? Please answer.

DAVID: I've told you it is my belief He cannot design an error-free system due to the speed of reactions required.

dhw:[…]. […] but I’m suggesting that he wished to create the system we have, as opposed to having no choice.

DAVID: Rejected by noting all of God's editing systems to control mistakes.

dhw: Some of which failed. So he tried to correct the errors he couldn’t prevent because he didn’t want us to be harmed, and yet he deliberately designed harmful viruses and bacteria and you don’t know why. […]

DAVID: Confused. We are discussing molecular errors. Not the same subject as bad bugs.

We are discussing theodicy! Your molecular errors are one form of “bad”, which you say he tried to correct because he wished us no harm. Bad bugs are another form of “bad”, and you say he designed them but you don't know why. They hardly fit the image of a God who wishes us no harm, do they? I suggest he didn’t attempt to correct the errors, but the attempts were made by good free cells trying to fight bad free cells, just as good free bacteria might try to fight bad free bacteria, while God watches with interest as they all try to master the challenges to their survival.

dhw:… it wouldn’t be very interesting if he already knew how we and every other organism would respond to challenges, and the only way he would NOT know how we/they would respond would be if he gave us/them the freedom to work out our/their own responses?

DAVID: Give us the brain and challenge us. Good point!

That was your proposal for humans, but you refuse to say why he wouldn’t have given the same freedom to ALL organisms to meet his challenges.

dhw: You have offered the very human explanation that he wanted to challenge us – which can only mean he likes watching how we respond to particular circumstances. You see how nicely that fits in with your other theory – he didn’t want a dull Garden of Eden. And there you have the simplest possible explanation of evolution and theodicy, all in one go. He likes watching how ALL organisms find their own different ways (freedom to act) of meeting the challenges he has set them in the struggle for survival (Darwin), which they conduct through the cooperation of their intelligent cells as well as cooperation with one another (Shapiro and Margulis). The result for all organisms: good and bad ways to get what they want (survival). For humans: good and bad ways to get what they want (survival, power, money, gratification of desires etc.).

DAVID: Except your your persistent 'intelligent' brainless cells a fine acceptable summary.

dhw: I’m delighted that you accept this summary of how evolution works and of the origin of evil. All that remains is for you to tell us 1) how he could retain his interest if he actually organized the responses of non-human organisms, and 2) how he could avoid knowing the responses in advance without giving these organisms the freedom to work out their responses on their own.

DAVID: You are back to humanizing God who has to have gimmicks to retain interest. My view is that God has no need for it.

First you reject intelligent cells, then it’s back to your silly “humanizing”. You have said that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours, and you have always said that he must be interested in his creations, and it was you who suggested that he wanted to challenge us. Why are the challenges to humans not humanized “gimmicks” but challenges to other organisms are? And how do you know what God needs?

Under “Bacteria fungus symbiosis”:

DAVID: Happily working it out by mutual adaptation using modifying mechanisms that I believe are God designed.

dhw: I’m again delighted to see you acknowledging that they “work it out” using a mechanism designed by your God. The mechanism would have to be what I call “cellular intelligence” – how else can any organism happily work anything out, if not by using its intelligence?

DAVID:True intelligence and automatic programmed responses are never the same. Are you now modifying the meaning of your term 'cellular intelligence'? Do cells think?

Of course they’re not the same. What “modifications” are you talking about? I’m with Shapiro: "Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully to ensure survival, growth and proliferation. They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities."
Being able to work things out autonomously does not mean they philosophize about the origin of life, its purpose, the existence of God, etc., if that’s what you’re getting at.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Monday, October 12, 2020, 16:16 (418 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Rejected by noting all of God's editing systems to control mistakes.

dhw: Some of which failed. So he tried to correct the errors he couldn’t prevent because he didn’t want us to be harmed, and yet he deliberately designed harmful viruses and bacteria and you don’t know why. […]

DAVID: Confused. We are discussing molecular errors. Not the same subject as bad bugs.

dhw: We are discussing theodicy! Your molecular errors are one form of “bad”, which you say he tried to correct because he wished us no harm. Bad bugs are another form of “bad”, and you say he designed them but you don't know why. They hardly fit the image of a God who wishes us no harm, do they? I suggest he didn’t attempt to correct the errors, but the attempts were made by good free cells trying to fight bad free cells, just as good free bacteria might try to fight bad free bacteria, while God watches with interest as they all try to master the challenges to their survival.

Again you have a weak God who is a spectator.


dhw:… it wouldn’t be very interesting if he already knew how we and every other organism would respond to challenges, and the only way he would NOT know how we/they would respond would be if he gave us/them the freedom to work out our/their own responses?

DAVID: Give us the brain and challenge us. Good point!

dhw: That was your proposal for humans, but you refuse to say why he wouldn’t have given the same freedom to ALL organisms to meet his challenges.

As above you want a weak God. My God designs all and I admit I don't know why He designed the bad bugs.


dhw: You have offered the very human explanation that he wanted to challenge us – which can only mean he likes watching how we respond to particular circumstances. You see how nicely that fits in with your other theory – he didn’t want a dull Garden of Eden. And there you have the simplest possible explanation of evolution and theodicy, all in one go. He likes watching how ALL organisms find their own different ways (freedom to act) of meeting the challenges he has set them in the struggle for survival (Darwin), which they conduct through the cooperation of their intelligent cells as well as cooperation with one another (Shapiro and Margulis). The result for all organisms: good and bad ways to get what they want (survival). For humans: good and bad ways to get what they want (survival, power, money, gratification of desires etc.).

DAVID: Except your your persistent 'intelligent' brainless cells a fine acceptable summary.

dhw: I’m delighted that you accept this summary of how evolution works and of the origin of evil. All that remains is for you to tell us 1) how he could retain his interest if he actually organized the responses of non-human organisms, and 2) how he could avoid knowing the responses in advance without giving these organisms the freedom to work out their responses on their own.

DAVID: You are back to humanizing God who has to have gimmicks to retain interest. My view is that God has no need for it.

dhw: First you reject intelligent cells, then it’s back to your silly “humanizing”. You have said that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours, and you have always said that he must be interested in his creations, and it was you who suggested that he wanted to challenge us. Why are the challenges to humans not humanized “gimmicks” but challenges to other organisms are? And how do you know what God needs?

I don't know what God needs but you offer a plethora of humanizing needs for Him.


Under “Bacteria fungus symbiosis”:

DAVID: Happily working it out by mutual adaptation using modifying mechanisms that I believe are God designed.

dhw: I’m again delighted to see you acknowledging that they “work it out” using a mechanism designed by your God. The mechanism would have to be what I call “cellular intelligence” – how else can any organism happily work anything out, if not by using its intelligence?

DAVID:True intelligence and automatic programmed responses are never the same. Are you now modifying the meaning of your term 'cellular intelligence'? Do cells think?

dhw: Of course they’re not the same. What “modifications” are you talking about? I’m with Shapiro: "Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully to ensure survival, growth and proliferation. They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities."
Being able to work things out autonomously does not mean they philosophize about the origin of life, its purpose, the existence of God, etc., if that’s what you’re getting at.

I know Shapiro's thoughts, and their theoretical limitations.

Theodicy

by dhw, Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 11:27 (417 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: We are discussing theodicy! Your molecular errors are one form of “bad”, which you say he tried to correct because he wished us no harm. Bad bugs are another form of “bad”, and you say he designed them but you don't know why. They hardly fit the image of a God who wishes us no harm, do they? I suggest he didn’t attempt to correct the errors, but the attempts were made by good free cells trying to fight bad free cells, just as good free bacteria might try to fight bad free bacteria, while God watches with interest as they all try to master the challenges to their survival.

DAVID: Again you have a weak God who is a spectator.
And later:
DAVID: As above you want a weak God. My God designs all and I admit I don't know why He designed the bad bugs.

Then according to your logic, your God must be “weak” because he gave humans free will to practise good and evil, and because he watches us try to meet his challenges. You have him trying in vain to correct errors he couldn’t prevent, and you have no idea why he designed bad bugs even though he doesn’t wish us any harm. What's more, you yourself have suggested that although he no longer intervenes, he is watching us with interest.(I don't have time to look for the exact quote.) Why don’t you consider the logic of my proposal instead of faffing around with your concepts of what makes your God weak or strong?

DAVID: You are back to humanizing God who has to have gimmicks to retain interest. My view is that God has no need for it.

dhw: First you reject intelligent cells, then it’s back to your silly “humanizing”. You have said that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours, and you have always said that he must be interested in his creations, and it was you who suggested that he wanted to challenge us. Why are the challenges to humans not humanized “gimmicks” but challenges to other organisms are? And how do you know what God needs?

DAVID: I don't know what God needs but you offer a plethora of humanizing needs for Him.

In the above proposal, I have him giving cells/cell communities the freedom to design themselves as they meet what you call the “challenges”, and I have your God watching them with interest. What “plethora” of humanizing needs have you found in that proposal?

Under “Bacteria fungus symbiosis”:
DAVID: Happily working it out by mutual adaptation using modifying mechanisms that I believe are God designed.

dhw: I’m again delighted to see you acknowledging that they “work it out” using a mechanism designed by your God. The mechanism would have to be what I call “cellular intelligence” – how else can any organism happily work anything out, if not by using its intelligence?

The rest of the post ends up with you claiming you know Shapiro’s thoughts and their theoretical limitations. Now perhaps you will answer my question.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 17:51 (417 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Again you have a weak God who is a spectator.
And later:
DAVID: As above you want a weak God. My God designs all and I admit I don't know why He designed the bad bugs.

dhw: Then according to your logic, your God must be “weak” because he gave humans free will to practise good and evil, and because he watches us try to meet his challenges.

That doesn't follow at all. Our free will affects us/fellow humans and the present time on Earth. god purposefully created the universe and all toe fine tuning.

dhw: You have him trying in vain to correct errors he couldn’t prevent,

Your take purposely makes God look weak. He is not weak. He knew life had to have the high-speed system it has with molecules free to make mistakes. Design of life is no small achievement, as you try to make it as you distort it in your interpretations.

dhw: and you have no idea why he designed bad bugs even though he doesn’t wish us any harm. What's more, you yourself have suggested that although he no longer intervenes, he is watching us with interest.(I don't have time to look for the exact quote.) Why don’t you consider the logic of my proposal instead of faffing around with your concepts of what makes your God weak or strong?

Your proposals are all from purposefully weak interpretations of God.


DAVID: You are back to humanizing God who has to have gimmicks to retain interest. My view is that God has no need for it.

dhw: First you reject intelligent cells, then it’s back to your silly “humanizing”. You have said that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours, and you have always said that he must be interested in his creations, and it was you who suggested that he wanted to challenge us. Why are the challenges to humans not humanized “gimmicks” but challenges to other organisms are? And how do you know what God needs?

DAVID: I don't know what God needs but you offer a plethora of humanizing needs for Him.

dhw: In the above proposal, I have him giving cells/cell communities the freedom to design themselves as they meet what you call the “challenges”, and I have your God watching them with interest. What “plethora” of humanizing needs have you found in that proposal?

Humanizing from all previous proposals written over the months. God designs, cells don't. See todays entry on cell intelligence.


Under “Bacteria fungus symbiosis”:
DAVID: Happily working it out by mutual adaptation using modifying mechanisms that I believe are God designed.

dhw: I’m again delighted to see you acknowledging that they “work it out” using a mechanism designed by your God. The mechanism would have to be what I call “cellular intelligence” – how else can any organism happily work anything out, if not by using its intelligence?

dhw: The rest of the post ends up with you claiming you know Shapiro’s thoughts and their theoretical limitations. Now perhaps you will answer my question.

Answered above. See the Dennett discussion

Theodicy

by dhw, Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 12:46 (416 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I suggest he didn’t attempt to correct the errors, but the attempts were made by good free cells trying to fight bad free cells, just as good free bacteria might try to fight bad free bacteria, while God watches with interest as they all try to master the challenges to their survival.

DAVID: Again you have a weak God who is a spectator.
And later:
DAVID: As above you want a weak God. My God designs all and I admit I don't know why He designed the bad bugs.

dhw: Then according to your logic, your God must be “weak” because he gave humans free will to practise good and evil, and because he watches us try to meet his challenges.

DAVID: That doesn't follow at all. Our free will affects us/fellow humans and the present time on Earth. god purposefully created the universe and all toe fine tuning.

If giving up control is a sign of weakness, then giving humans free will is a sign of weakness. This whole argument about “weakness” is plain silly. You yourself have made God into a spectator who watches us with interest, and if a free-for-all is what he wanted to create, then he got what he wanted, and who cares if you think that is a sign of “weakness”? We are not arguing about fine tuning etc. That applies whether you accept my proposal or not.

DAVID: Your take purposely makes God look weak. He is not weak. He knew life had to have the high-speed system it has with molecules free to make mistakes. Design of life is no small achievement, as you try to make it as you distort it in your interpretations.

I have never ever tried to make out that design of life is a small achievement! What sort of straw man is this? God creating a free-for-all because he wants a free-for-all does not minimize the achievement of creating life!

DAVID: I don't know what God needs but you offer a plethora of humanizing needs for Him.

dhw: In the above proposal, I have him giving cells/cell communities the freedom to design themselves as they meet what you call the “challenges”, and I have your God watching them with interest. What “plethora” of humanizing needs have you found in that proposal?

DAVID: Humanizing from all previous proposals written over the months. God designs, cells don't.

Please stick to this proposal, as our subject is theodicy, not my alternative theories to explain the course of evolution. And please stop making authoritative statements about cells, when you yourself admit that you have a 50/50 per cent chance of being wrong!:-)

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 19:18 (416 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I suggest he didn’t attempt to correct the errors, but the attempts were made by good free cells trying to fight bad free cells, just as good free bacteria might try to fight bad free bacteria, while God watches with interest as they all try to master the challenges to their survival.

DAVID: Again you have a weak God who is a spectator.
And later:
DAVID: As above you want a weak God. My God designs all and I admit I don't know why He designed the bad bugs.

dhw: Then according to your logic, your God must be “weak” because he gave humans free will to practise good and evil, and because he watches us try to meet his challenges.

DAVID: That doesn't follow at all. Our free will affects us/fellow humans and the present time on Earth. God purposefully created the universe and all toe fine tuning.

dhw: If giving up control is a sign of weakness, then giving humans free will is a sign of weakness. This whole argument about “weakness” is plain silly. You yourself have made God into a spectator who watches us with interest, and if a free-for-all is what he wanted to create, then he got what he wanted, and who cares if you think that is a sign of “weakness”? We are not arguing about fine tuning etc. That applies whether you accept my proposal or not.

My discussion of a 'weak God' refers to his control of the advances in evolution, nothing more. Our free will does not affect God or his decision making. As usual you are conflating apples and oranges. And I accept that Adler judges God's interest in us at 50/50.


DAVID: Your take purposely makes God look weak. He is not weak. He knew life had to have the high-speed system it has with molecules free to make mistakes. Design of life is no small achievement, as you try to make it as you distort it in your interpretations.

dhw: I have never ever tried to make out that design of life is a small achievement! What sort of straw man is this? God creating a free-for-all because he wants a free-for-all does not minimize the achievement of creating life!

We humans have a free-for-all among us and perhaps God is interested or not (per Adler). The 'red-in tooth-and-claw' free-for-all is actually highly organized ecosystems.


DAVID: I don't know what God needs but you offer a plethora of humanizing needs for Him.

dhw: In the above proposal, I have him giving cells/cell communities the freedom to design themselves as they meet what you call the “challenges”, and I have your God watching them with interest. What “plethora” of humanizing needs have you found in that proposal?

God does not give up firm control over His creation. That makes God weak, obviously!!!


DAVID: Humanizing from all previous proposals written over the months. God designs, cells don't.

dhw: Please stick to this proposal, as our subject is theodicy, not my alternative theories to explain the course of evolution. And please stop making authoritative statements about cells, when you yourself admit that you have a 50/50 per cent chance of being wrong!:-)

Or right. ;-)

Theodicy

by dhw, Thursday, October 15, 2020, 08:59 (415 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I suggest he didn’t attempt to correct the errors, but the attempts were made by good free cells trying to fight bad free cells, just as good free bacteria might try to fight bad free bacteria, while God watches with interest as they all try to master the challenges to their survival.

DAVID: Again you have a weak God who is a spectator.
[…]
dhw: […] This whole argument about “weakness” is plain silly. You yourself have made God into a spectator who watches us with interest, and if a free-for-all is what he wanted to create, then he got what he wanted, and who cares if you think that is a sign of “weakness”?

DAVID: My discussion of a 'weak God' refers to his control of the advances in evolution, nothing more. […]

Why is it weak for God to create a free-for-all if he wants to create a free-for all? And why is it strong to try but fail to correct errors in the system he designed, and to design bad bugs for reasons you can’t think of?

DAVID: Your take purposely makes God look weak. He is not weak. He knew life had to have the high-speed system it has with molecules free to make mistakes. Design of life is no small achievement, as you try to make it as you distort it in your interpretations.

dhw: I have never ever tried to make out that design of life is a small achievement! What sort of straw man is this? God creating a free-for-all because he wants a free-for-all does not minimize the achievement of creating life!

DAVID: We humans have a free-for-all among us and perhaps God is interested or not (per Adler). The 'red-in tooth-and-claw' free-for-all is actually highly organized ecosystems.

How does that prove that I try to make out life is a small achievement? And if God is not interested, do please tell us why you think he set us challenges and gave us free will. Anyway, in addition to the failed backups and the bad bugs, we now have your strong God deliberately designing eco systems which depend on one organism killing and eating other organisms, and deliberately giving humans free will to do good things and bad things. In response to the question why, you have two answers: either you don’t know why, or he has done all this in order to challenge us (let’s forget the animals that get killed and eaten), but we don’t know if he’s interested enough to watch how we deal with the challenge.

My alternative to this mess is that he created a free-for-all because it is more interesting for him to watch than an unfolding spectacle of puppets on his strings. According to you, wanting and getting what he wants makes him weak, but getting what he doesn’t want (molecular errors he can’t correct) and designing “evil” (though you don’t know why) make him strong. You have not offered a single solution to the problem of theodicy, and your only objection to my own proposal is that if it’s true, you will call God “weak”.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Thursday, October 15, 2020, 18:40 (415 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] This whole argument about “weakness” is plain silly. You yourself have made God into a spectator who watches us with interest, and if a free-for-all is what he wanted to create, then he got what he wanted, and who cares if you think that is a sign of “weakness”?

DAVID: My discussion of a 'weak God' refers to his control of the advances in evolution, nothing more. […]

dhw: Why is it weak for God to create a free-for-all if he wants to create a free-for all? And why is it strong to try but fail to correct errors in the system he designed, and to design bad bugs for reasons you can’t think of?

My God is purposive and has firm objectives in mind. It is a difference in whom God might be as a personality and how firm His direction happens to be. You keep imagining a weak God as I view it.


DAVID: Your take purposely makes God look weak. He is not weak. He knew life had to have the high-speed system it has with molecules free to make mistakes. Design of life is no small achievement, as you try to make it as you distort it in your interpretations.

dhw: I have never ever tried to make out that design of life is a small achievement! What sort of straw man is this? God creating a free-for-all because he wants a free-for-all does not minimize the achievement of creating life!

DAVID: We humans have a free-for-all among us and perhaps God is interested or not (per Adler). The 'red-in tooth-and-claw' free-for-all is actually highly organized ecosystems.

dhw: How does that prove that I try to make out life is a small achievement? And if God is not interested, do please tell us why you think he set us challenges and gave us free will. Anyway, in addition to the failed backups and the bad bugs, we now have your strong God deliberately designing eco systems which depend on one organism killing and eating other organisms, and deliberately giving humans free will to do good things and bad things. In response to the question why, you have two answers: either you don’t know why, or he has done all this in order to challenge us (let’s forget the animals that get killed and eaten), but we don’t know if he’s interested enough to watch how we deal with the challenge.

It is all guesswork. Have you heard a speech by God on the subject as yet? You and I have totally different views of God as well as approaches to His possible personality type.


dhw: My alternative to this mess is that he created a free-for-all because it is more interesting for him to watch than an unfolding spectacle of puppets on his strings. According to you, wanting and getting what he wants makes him weak, but getting what he doesn’t want (molecular errors he can’t correct) and designing “evil” (though you don’t know why) make him strong. You have not offered a single solution to the problem of theodicy, and your only objection to my own proposal is that if it’s true, you will call God “weak”.

Theodicy is a human view of what God might have done wrong. There is nothing wrong for us believers to assume God has His own reasons we do not understand. You should understand that faith involved in that statement. As for free-for-all we free-will folks provide plenty of spectacle if He wants to note it. But we do not know if that was his reasoning in granting free will to us. I believe He felt free will was an important attribute we needed to have.

Theodicy: humans can treat a bad bug

by David Turell @, Thursday, October 15, 2020, 19:25 (415 days ago) @ David Turell
edited by David Turell, Thursday, October 15, 2020, 19:32

H. pylori causes ulcers and even stomach cancer, but we humans found it and know exactly how to eradicate it:

https://phys.org/news/2020-10-small-rna-central-player-infections.html

"More than half of the world's population carries the bacterium Helicobacter pylori in their stomach mucosa. It often causes no problems throughout life, but sometimes it can cause inflammation, and in some cases, it can even lead to the development of stomach cancer.

"Helicobacter pylori uses several 'virulence' factors that allow it to survive in the stomach and can lead to the development of disease. In this issue of the journal Molecular Cell, Professor Cynthia Sharma's research team report that multiple of these factors are centrally regulated by a small RNA molecule called NikS.

"Among the target genes regulated by NikS are the two most important virulence factors of Helicobacter pylori as well as two encoding outer membrane proteins. In particular, the JMU researchers were able to show that NikS regulates the CagA protein, a bacterial oncoprotein that plays a central role in the development of cancer instigated by Helicobacter pylori. In addition, a protein with a so far unknown function that is released into the environment by H. pylori is also under the control of NikS.

***

"The fact that Helicobacter pylori can colonize such a hostile environment as the stomach so successfully is also due to a special genetic strategy: Like other pathogens, H. pylori uses a strategy known as phase variation to adapt as flexibly as possible to changes in its environment. Phase variation means that the bacteria constantly switch expression of a gene at random through genetic mutations, meaning that some bacteria in a population will always be ready to express the important gene when it becomes important—a sort of 'bet-hedging' strategy.

"Sharma's team has now been able to show for the first time that the expression of a small RNA molecule such as NikS, and not just of proteins, can also be subject to phase variation. Depending on the conditions prevailing in the stomach, different amounts of NikS might be beneficial. Levels of the small RNA can change to suit this through phase variation, thereby leading to different regulation of the disease-causing factors."

Comment: The bug is nasty and this article explains how it works, but I can tell, while I was in practice the bug was found as well as how to treat it, which I did. It is interesting that half of us carry it and only a few of us get into trouble from it. Does this mean God designed it and also gave most of us a form of immunity? Very possibly. Is this a challenge? Possibly. We can only guess.

In the meantime this example of human ingenuity is present:

"Generally, metal compounds are used as anti-microbial agents; their antiviral activities have rarely been explored. After screening a series of metallodrugs and related compounds, the research team identified ranitidine bismuth citrate (RBC), a commonly used anti-ulcer drug which contains the metal Bismuth for treatment of Helicobacter pylori-associated infection, as a potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 agent, both in vitro and in vivo."

https://phys.org/news/2020-10-antiviral-strategy-treatment-covid-.html

Think Pepto-Bismol in your bathroom cabinet.

Theodicy

by dhw, Friday, October 16, 2020, 11:47 (414 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Why is it weak for God to create a free-for-all if he wants to create a free-for all? And why is it strong to try but fail to correct errors in the system he designed, and to design bad bugs for reasons you can’t think of?

DAVID: My God is purposive and has firm objectives in mind. It is a difference in whom God might be as a personality and how firm His direction happens to be. You keep imagining a weak God as I view it.

You know very well that the God I am describing is just as full of purpose as yours. The only difference between us is that I am prepared to say what that purpose might be: to provide an ever changing spectacle. Now please tell us what you think was his firm objective in designing bad bugs. If your answer is that he wants to challenge us, please remember that bad bugs existed long before we did, and also tell us his purpose in wanting to challenge us. And while you’re at it, tell us why you view a God who wants and creates a free-for-all as “weak”.

DAVID: It is all guesswork. Have you heard a speech by God on the subject as yet? You and I have totally different views of God as well as approaches to His possible personality type.

Did God tell you his only purpose was to design H. sapiens, or he couldn’t design a life system without errors but has tried to correct them, or he directly designed every bad bug you can think of but he ain’t gonna tell you why? Of course it’s all guesswork, but at least my guesses concerning both the process of evolution and the reason for the existence of “evil” do, by your own admission, fit in with the history of life. You go on and on about purpose, but as I wrote yesterday:
...you have not offered a single solution to the problem of theodicy, and your only objection to my own proposal is that if it’s true, you will call God “weak”.

DAVID: Theodicy is a human view of what God might have done wrong. There is nothing wrong for us believers to assume God has His own reasons we do not understand.

So did you start this new thread to tell us that you can’t think of an explanation and there is nothing wrong with that?

DAVID: You should understand that faith involved in that statement.

Yes, I do. You have faith in all your theories, even when you can’t find any logic behind them (see the post on “error corrections”) and you reject any explanations that don’t fit in with your preconceptions concerning God’s nature and purpose.;-)

DAVID: As for free-for-all we free-will folks provide plenty of spectacle if He wants to note it. But we do not know if that was his reasoning in granting free will to us. I believe He felt free will was an important attribute we needed to have.

If he exists, then obviously it was important or he wouldn’t have given it to us. A free-for-all among all organisms that have formed the vast, 3.8-billion-year-old bush of life would also have given him plenty of spectacle. And that would be a purpose for your purposeful God, as opposed to your purposeful God directly creating all of them, including free-will humans, for a purpose we can’t guess at.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Friday, October 16, 2020, 15:37 (414 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Why is it weak for God to create a free-for-all if he wants to create a free-for all? And why is it strong to try but fail to correct errors in the system he designed, and to design bad bugs for reasons you can’t think of?

DAVID: My God is purposive and has firm objectives in mind. It is a difference in whom God might be as a personality and how firm His direction happens to be. You keep imagining a weak God as I view it.

dhw: You know very well that the God I am describing is just as full of purpose as yours. The only difference between us is that I am prepared to say what that purpose might be: to provide an ever changing spectacle. Now please tell us what you think was his firm objective in designing bad bugs. If your answer is that he wants to challenge us, please remember that bad bugs existed long before we did, and also tell us his purpose in wanting to challenge us. And while you’re at it, tell us why you view a God who wants and creates a free-for-all as “weak”.

Our images of God's personality are totally different. I view Him as having a direct course to humans. I can't tell you why the bad bugs exist. God isn't talking. He has his reasons and we have the brains from Him to fight them.


DAVID: It is all guesswork. Have you heard a speech by God on the subject as yet? You and I have totally different views of God as well as approaches to His possible personality type.

dhw: Did God tell you his only purpose was to design H. sapiens, or he couldn’t design a life system without errors but has tried to correct them, or he directly designed every bad bug you can think of but he ain’t gonna tell you why? Of course it’s all guesswork, but at least my guesses concerning both the process of evolution and the reason for the existence of “evil” do, by your own admission, fit in with the history of life. You go on and on about purpose, but as I wrote yesterday:
...you have not offered a single solution to the problem of theodicy, and your only objection to my own proposal is that if it’s true, you will call God “weak”.

DAVID: Theodicy is a human view of what God might have done wrong. There is nothing wrong for us believers to assume God has His own reasons we do not understand.

dhw: So did you start this new thread to tell us that you can’t think of an explanation and there is nothing wrong with that?

There is nothing wrong with assuming God has his reasons. I've not read theologians' thoughts but tried to develop my own.


DAVID: You should understand that faith involved in that statement.

dhw: Yes, I do. You have faith in all your theories, even when you can’t find any logic behind them (see the post on “error corrections”) and you reject any explanations that don’t fit in with your preconceptions concerning God’s nature and purpose.;-)

I've explained my logic about errors. You illogically reject them: simply God gave us the best living system He could.:-)


DAVID: As for free-for-all we free-will folks provide plenty of spectacle if He wants to note it. But we do not know if that was his reasoning in granting free will to us. I believe He felt free will was an important attribute we needed to have.

dhw: If he exists, then obviously it was important or he wouldn’t have given it to us. A free-for-all among all organisms that have formed the vast, 3.8-billion-year-old bush of life would also have given him plenty of spectacle. And that would be a purpose for your purposeful God, as opposed to your purposeful God directly creating all of them, including free-will humans, for a purpose we can’t guess at.

My guess is that God created humans to dominate and control the Earth when evolution ended. My purposeful God doesn't care about spectacle. Again you are humanizing God

Theodicy

by dhw, Saturday, October 17, 2020, 11:53 (413 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You know very well that the God I am describing is just as full of purpose as yours. The only difference between us is that I am prepared to say what that purpose might be: to provide an ever changing spectacle. Now please tell us what you think was his firm objective in designing bad bugs. If your answer is that he wants to challenge us, please remember that bad bugs existed long before we did, and also tell us his purpose in wanting to challenge us. And while you’re at it, tell us why you view a God who wants and creates a free-for-all as “weak”.

DAVID: Our images of God's personality are totally different. I view Him as having a direct course to humans.

As you have admitted on the “errors” thread, there is no direct course to humans.

DAVID: I can't tell you why the bad bugs exist. God isn't talking. He has his reasons and we have the brains from Him to fight them.

Bad bugs existed long before we did. You have raised the problem of theodicy and you offered us the possible solution that God wanted to “challenge us”. You seem to have dropped it, now that you realize that this is a humanization and if you follow that idea to its logical conclusion, you will have to admit that your God is probably watching with interest how we respond to his challenges, and this in turn leads to the conclusion that he created us in order to watch us with interest (i.e. we are part of the great spectacle).

DAVID: Theodicy is a human view of what God might have done wrong. There is nothing wrong for us believers to assume God has His own reasons we do not understand.

dhw: So did you start this new thread to tell us that you can’t think of an explanation and there is nothing wrong with that?

DAVID: There is nothing wrong with assuming God has his reasons. I've not read theologians' thoughts but tried to develop my own.

Of course God if he exists, he has his reasons. The development of your own thoughts has led you to admitting that you haven’t a clue. At least I have managed to come up with a possible explanation of “evil”, and your only reason for rejecting it seems to be that you don’t like the image of God that it suggests.

DAVID: You should understand that faith involved in that statement.

dhw: Yes, I do. You have faith in all your theories, even when you can’t find any logic behind them (see the post on “error corrections”) and you reject any explanations that don’t fit in with your preconceptions concerning God’s nature and purpose. ;-)

DAVID: I've explained my logic about errors. You illogically reject them: simply God gave us the best living system He could.:-)

The “errors” thread has moved on to your whole theory of evolution. As regards errors in particular, it makes no sense to claim that he tried to correct them because he didn’t want to harm us but he also directly created bad bugs whose purpose is to harm us.

DAVID: As for free-for-all we free-will folks provide plenty of spectacle if He wants to note it. But we do not know if that was his reasoning in granting free will to us. I believe He felt free will was an important attribute we needed to have.

dhw: If he exists, then obviously it was important or he wouldn’t have given it to us. A free-for-all among all organisms that have formed the vast, 3.8-billion-year-old bush of life would also have given him plenty of spectacle. And that would be a purpose for your purposeful God, as opposed to your purposeful God directly creating all of them, including free-will humans, for a purpose we can’t guess at.

DAVID: My guess is that God created humans to dominate and control the Earth when evolution ended. My purposeful God doesn't care about spectacle. Again you are humanizing God.

What do you think was your purposeful God's purpose in getting humans to dominate the Earth (after he had directly designed millions and millions of life forms and econiches that wouldn't even be there when humans arrived)? You have agreed that free will provides plenty of spectacle. What is wrong with the idea that God wanted to create plenty of spectacle? All you can come up with is “weak” and “humanizing”, the first of which is a meaningless judgement and the second of which is countered by your perfectly logical conclusion that a God who creates a being with certain thought patterns, emotions and other attributes probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Saturday, October 17, 2020, 17:26 (413 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Our images of God's personality are totally different. I view Him as having a direct course to humans.

dhw: As you have admitted on the “errors” thread, there is no direct course to humans.

Yes. He made a huge bush in anticipation of His goal, humans.


DAVID: I can't tell you why the bad bugs exist. God isn't talking. He has his reasons and we have the brains from Him to fight them.

dhw: Bad bugs existed long before we did. You have raised the problem of theodicy and you offered us the possible solution that God wanted to “challenge us”. You seem to have dropped it, now that you realize that this is a humanization and if you follow that idea to its logical conclusion, you will have to admit that your God is probably watching with interest how we respond to his challenges, and this in turn leads to the conclusion that he created us in order to watch us with interest (i.e. we are part of the great spectacle).

Totally humanized view of a spectating God. I still believe that God presented challenges for a more interesting life than in Eden. We've got the brains for it.


DAVID: There is nothing wrong with assuming God has his reasons. I've not read theologians' thoughts but tried to develop my own.

dhw: Of course God if he exists, he has his reasons. The development of your own thoughts has led you to admitting that you haven’t a clue. At least I have managed to come up with a possible explanation of “evil”, and your only reason for rejecting it seems to be that you don’t like the image of God that it suggests.

Part of the equation is human ability to be evil through free will actions.


dhw: The “errors” thread has moved on to your whole theory of evolution. As regards errors in particular, it makes no sense to claim that he tried to correct them because he didn’t want to harm us but he also directly created bad bugs whose purpose is to harm us.

The bad bugs which harm us could be a side effect of the role they play in the ecosystems of life. This is where the problem of God's unknown intentions appears.


DAVID: As for free-for-all we free-will folks provide plenty of spectacle if He wants to note it. But we do not know if that was his reasoning in granting free will to us. I believe He felt free will was an important attribute we needed to have.

dhw: If he exists, then obviously it was important or he wouldn’t have given it to us. A free-for-all among all organisms that have formed the vast, 3.8-billion-year-old bush of life would also have given him plenty of spectacle. And that would be a purpose for your purposeful God, as opposed to your purposeful God directly creating all of them, including free-will humans, for a purpose we can’t guess at.

DAVID: My guess is that God created humans to dominate and control the Earth when evolution ended. My purposeful God doesn't care about spectacle. Again you are humanizing God.

dhw: What do you think was your purposeful God's purpose in getting humans to dominate the Earth (after he had directly designed millions and millions of life forms and econiches that wouldn't even be there when humans arrived)? You have agreed that free will provides plenty of spectacle. What is wrong with the idea that God wanted to create plenty of spectacle? All you can come up with is “weak” and “humanizing”, the first of which is a meaningless judgement and the second of which is countered by your perfectly logical conclusion that a God who creates a being with certain thought patterns, emotions and other attributes probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours.

You are correct. Our ability to think, construct concepts, plan is mirrored in the way God's mind works. All the same. But that does not mean our thoughts can directly know the reasons God has for His purposes. We must look for them by induction from His works. what does the pattern seem to tell us. He obviously wanted us to appear. We are here with the ability to recognize the evidence that He exists and can wonder about Him. No other organism on Earth can do that. you wonder that God is part human in His thinking about His purposes. I start by recognizing God is a person like no other person, and all I can use are His works and as I result I see Him as purposeful and go no further. Beyond that are your guesses and mine.

Theodicy

by dhw, Sunday, October 18, 2020, 13:39 (412 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Our images of God's personality are totally different. I view Him as having a direct course to humans.

See all your contradictory statements on the “error corrections” thread.

DAVID: I can't tell you why the bad bugs exist. God isn't talking. He has his reasons and we have the brains from Him to fight them.

dhw: Bad bugs existed long before we did. You have raised the problem of theodicy and you offered us the possible solution that God wanted to “challenge us”. You seem to have dropped it, now that you realize that this is a humanization and if you follow that idea to its logical conclusion, you will have to admit that your God is probably watching with interest how we respond to his challenges, and this in turn leads to the conclusion that he created us in order to watch us with interest (i.e. we are part of the great spectacle).

DAVID: Totally humanized view of a spectating God. I still believe that God presented challenges for a more interesting life than in Eden. We've got the brains for it.

More interesting for whom? Do you think your God is watching or not?

DAVID: Part of the equation is human ability to be evil through free will actions.

I don’t know what equation you’re referring to. Why don’t you use the word spectacle? What other reason can you think of for your God creating or allowing evil?

dhw: The “errors” thread has moved on to your whole theory of evolution. As regards errors in particular, it makes no sense to claim that he tried to correct them because he didn’t want to harm us but he also directly created bad bugs whose purpose is to harm us.

DAVID: The bad bugs which harm us could be a side effect of the role they play in the ecosystems of life. This is where the problem of God's unknown intentions appears.

Yes, theodicy deals with the problem of God’s intentions when he created or allowed evil. Do you think your God designed the bad bugs to play a beneficial role in the ecosystems of life? At least your previous theory made a bit more sense (see above, on “challenge”).

DAVID: As for free-for-all we free-will folks provide plenty of spectacle if He wants to note it. […]

dhw: […] A free-for-all among all organisms that have formed the vast, 3.8-billion-year-old bush of life would also have given him plenty of spectacle. And that would be a purpose for your purposeful God, as opposed to your purposeful God directly creating all of them, including free-will humans, for a purpose we can’t guess at.

DAVID: My guess is that God created humans to dominate and control the Earth when evolution ended. My purposeful God doesn't care about spectacle. Again you are humanizing God.

dhw: What do you think was your purposeful God's purpose in getting humans to dominate the Earth (after he had directly designed millions and millions of life forms and econiches that wouldn't even be there when humans arrived)? You have agreed that free will provides plenty of spectacle. What is wrong with the idea that God wanted to create plenty of spectacle? All you can come up with is “weak” and “humanizing”, the first of which is a meaningless judgement and the second of which is countered by your perfectly logical conclusion that a God who creates a being with certain thought patterns, emotions and other attributes probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours.

DAVID: You are correct. Our ability to think, construct concepts, plan is mirrored in the way God's mind works. All the same. But that does not mean our thoughts can directly know the reasons God has for His purposes. We must look for them by induction from His works. what does the pattern seem to tell us.

No, we can’t “know” his purposes, so I don’t know why you keep insisting that you do know, and any other theory is to be dismissed.

DAVID: He obviously wanted us to appear. We are here with the ability to recognize the evidence that He exists and can wonder about Him. No other organism on Earth can do that.

So we’re going back to your own humanization of God: he wants us to recognize his existence and wonder about him. I have no objections. My objection to your theory in this case is why he bothered to directly design millions of non-human life forms etc. which wouldn't recognize or wonder at him before he directly designed us.

DAVID: …you wonder that God is part human in His thinking about His purposes.

I don’t “wonder at it”. I am the one who keeps saying it’s only logical. You are the one who moans about “humanization” whenever I offer a logical explanation for the vast bush of life that preceded humans.

DAVID: I start by recognizing God is a person like no other person, and all I can use are His works and as I result I see Him as purposeful and go no further. Beyond that are your guesses and mine.

But you go miles further! You have fixed and non-coherent beliefs concerning his precise purpose and his method of achieving that purpose. See the post on “error corrections”.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Sunday, October 18, 2020, 19:07 (412 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Totally humanized view of a spectating God. I still believe that God presented challenges for a more interesting life than in Eden. We've got the brains for it.

dhw: More interesting for whom? Do you think your God is watching or not?

I'm sure He sees what is going on with His own level of interest, unknown to us.


DAVID: Part of the equation is human ability to be evil through free will actions.

dhw: I don’t know what equation you’re referring to. Why don’t you use the word spectacle? What other reason can you think of for your God creating or allowing evil?

You want the spectacle for your humanized God.


dhw: The “errors” thread has moved on to your whole theory of evolution. As regards errors in particular, it makes no sense to claim that he tried to correct them because he didn’t want to harm us but he also directly created bad bugs whose purpose is to harm us.

DAVID: The bad bugs which harm us could be a side effect of the role they play in the ecosystems of life. This is where the problem of God's unknown intentions appears.

Yes, theodicy deals with the problem of God’s intentions when he created or allowed evil. Do you think your God designed the bad bugs to play a beneficial role in the ecosystems of life? At least your previous theory made a bit more sense (see above, on “challenge”).

They may well play a beneficial role we do not yet understand through research.


DAVID: My guess is that God created humans to dominate and control the Earth when evolution ended. My purposeful God doesn't care about spectacle. Again you are humanizing God.

dhw: What do you think was your purposeful God's purpose in getting humans to dominate the Earth (after he had directly designed millions and millions of life forms and econiches that wouldn't even be there when humans arrived)? You have agreed that free will provides plenty of spectacle. What is wrong with the idea that God wanted to create plenty of spectacle? All you can come up with is “weak” and “humanizing”, the first of which is a meaningless judgement and the second of which is countered by your perfectly logical conclusion that a God who creates a being with certain thought patterns, emotions and other attributes probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours.

DAVID: You are correct. Our ability to think, construct concepts, plan is mirrored in the way God's mind works. All the same. But that does not mean our thoughts can directly know the reasons God has for His purposes. We must look for them by induction from His works. what does the pattern seem to tell us.

dhw: No, we can’t “know” his purposes, so I don’t know why you keep insisting that you do know, and any other theory is to be dismissed.

I have reached my conclusions from studying His works, which includes our unusual appearance. As a follower of Adler, our very strange difference from everything else tells of the importance of our appearance as a strong guide to God's purpose. You give lip service to it.


DAVID: He obviously wanted us to appear. We are here with the ability to recognize the evidence that He exists and can wonder about Him. No other organism on Earth can do that.

dhw: So we’re going back to your own humanization of God: he wants us to recognize his existence and wonder about him. I have no objections. My objection to your theory in this case is why he bothered to directly design millions of non-human life forms etc. which wouldn't recognize or wonder at him before he directly designed us.

Same strange rejection of God's choice to evolve us. God does not 'want us' to recognize Him. It is obvious to Him thinking people will do that.


DAVID: …you wonder that God is part human in His thinking about His purposes.

dhw: I don’t “wonder at it”. I am the one who keeps saying it’s only logical. You are the one who moans about “humanization” whenever I offer a logical explanation for the vast bush of life that preceded humans.

DAVID: I start by recognizing God is a person like no other person, and all I can use are His works and as I result I see Him as purposeful and go no further. Beyond that are your guesses and mine.

dhw: But you go miles further! You have fixed and non-coherent beliefs concerning his precise purpose and his method of achieving that purpose. See the post on “error corrections”.

I have perfectly logical reasons for my views of carefully seeing God as fully purposeful in reaching the goals that history demonstrates, and going no further, which you love to guess at, with no supporting facts.

Theodicy

by dhw, Monday, October 19, 2020, 14:15 (411 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Totally humanized view of a spectating God. I still believe that God presented challenges for a more interesting life than in Eden. We've got the brains for it.

dhw: More interesting for whom? Do you think your God is watching or not?

DAVID: I'm sure He sees what is going on with His own level of interest, unknown to us.

If you are sure that he sees it, you must be sure that he is watching it, and if he is watching it and doing nothing, it is a spectacle.

DAVID: Part of the equation is human ability to be evil through free will actions.

dhw: I don’t know what equation you’re referring to. Why don’t you use the word spectacle? What other reason can you think of for your God creating or allowing evil?

DAVID: You want the spectacle for your humanized God.

I know what I am proposing. Now please tell us why YOU think your God created or allowed evil.

dhw: Do you think your God designed the bad bugs to play a beneficial role in the ecosystems of life? At least your previous theory made a bit more sense (see above, on “challenge”).

DAVID: They may well play a beneficial role we do not yet understand through research.

So your God deliberately designed bad bugs, which he knew would harm us, because they also do good, but we don’t know how. Not a very illuminating answer to the problem of theodicy, is it?

dhw: You have agreed that free will provides plenty of spectacle. What is wrong with the idea that God wanted to create plenty of spectacle? All you can come up with is “weak” and “humanizing”, the first of which is a meaningless judgement and the second of which is countered by your perfectly logical conclusion that a God who creates a being with certain thought patterns, emotions and other attributes probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours.

DAVID: You are correct. Our ability to think, construct concepts, plan is mirrored in the way God's mind works. But that does not mean our thoughts can directly know the reasons God has for his purposes.

Of course nobody knows. But your agreement is enough to obliterate the silly argument that any theory which humanizes God must be wrong. So please drop it. The rest of your post is the usual attempt to gloss over the illogicality of your theory of evolution, as dealt with under “error correction”, by telling us how special humans are (agreed), and reiterating that I reject God’s choice to evolve us,i.e. ignoring the fact that evolved for you = directly design, and if God exists you believe he also directly designed millions of extinct life forms and econiches which you agree had nothing to do with humans.

DAVID: I have perfectly logical reasons for my views of carefully seeing God as fully purposeful in reaching the goals that history demonstrates, and going no further, which you love to guess at, with no supporting facts.

My alternative theistic explanations of evolution all point to a purposeful God, history does not demonstrate goals but demonstrates the results of evolution, i.e. billions of years’ worth of life forms, the latest of which is humans. “Goals” are a human interpretation of the facts. It is you who go further than what history demonstrates by insisting not only that there is a God (though I have accepted that premise for the sake of our discussion) but also you KNOW his purpose (us), you know he directly designed every life form including us, and you know that every other life form was “part of the goal of evolving humans” although there is no connection between the extinct forms and ourselves.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Monday, October 19, 2020, 19:46 (411 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Totally humanized view of a spectating God. I still believe that God presented challenges for a more interesting life than in Eden. We've got the brains for it.

dhw: More interesting for whom? Do you think your God is watching or not?

DAVID: I'm sure He sees what is going on with His own level of interest, unknown to us.

dhw: If you are sure that he sees it, you must be sure that he is watching it, and if he is watching it and doing nothing, it is a spectacle.

Yes, by definition we create a spectacle. But you mean God expects it to entertain Him, and that is not the way I think God would view it. Per Adler, God's interest is us is a 50/50 proposition.


dhw: Now please tell us why YOU think your God created or allowed evil.

All I am left with for the enth time is to state: to make life interesting as far as bad bugs are concerned, and providentially gave us the brains to overcome them. At the same time those brains have free will, and we create our own evil God cannot stop.

dhw: So your God deliberately designed bad bugs, which he knew would harm us, because they also do good, but we don’t know how. Not a very illuminating answer to the problem of theodicy, is it?

No it isn't. I'm back to God has reasons we have not yet discovered, if we can.


dhw: You have agreed that free will provides plenty of spectacle. What is wrong with the idea that God wanted to create plenty of spectacle? All you can come up with is “weak” and “humanizing”, the first of which is a meaningless judgement and the second of which is countered by your perfectly logical conclusion that a God who creates a being with certain thought patterns, emotions and other attributes probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours.

DAVID: You are correct. Our ability to think, construct concepts, plan is mirrored in the way God's mind works. But that does not mean our thoughts can directly know the reasons God has for his purposes.

dhw: Of course nobody knows. But your agreement is enough to obliterate the silly argument that any theory which humanizes God must be wrong. So please drop it. The rest of your post is the usual attempt to gloss over the illogicality of your theory of evolution, as dealt with under “error correction”, by telling us how special humans are (agreed), and reiterating that I reject God’s choice to evolve us,i.e. ignoring the fact that evolved for you = directly design, and if God exists you believe he also directly designed millions of extinct life forms and econiches which you agree had nothing to do with humans.

Bypassed the point as usual. God's reasons for His deeds are not known to us, and your preferred guesses are purely humanizing. Just accept God as purposeful.


DAVID: I have perfectly logical reasons for my views of carefully seeing God as fully purposeful in reaching the goals that history demonstrates, and going no further, which you love to guess at, with no supporting facts.

dhw: My alternative theistic explanations of evolution all point to a purposeful God, history does not demonstrate goals but demonstrates the results of evolution, i.e. billions of years’ worth of life forms, the latest of which is humans. “Goals” are a human interpretation of the facts. It is you who go further than what history demonstrates by insisting not only that there is a God (though I have accepted that premise for the sake of our discussion) but also you KNOW his purpose (us), you know he directly designed every life form including us, and you know that every other life form was “part of the goal of evolving humans” although there is no connection between the extinct forms and ourselves.

Same silly approach by chopping up evolution into discontinuous events. The God which you have accepted in the bold is our image of God, not mine, and is the basis of our distinct disagreement about Him. Your image of God would not recognize my image of God.

Theodicy

by dhw, Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 07:38 (410 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Totally humanized view of a spectating God. I still believe that God presented challenges for a more interesting life than in Eden. We've got the brains for it.

dhw: (Silly "humanized" argument demolished by yourself on "errors" thread.) More interesting for whom? Do you think your God is watching or not?

DAVID: I'm sure He sees what is going on with His own level of interest[/b], unknown to us.(dhw’s bold)

dhw: If you are sure that he sees it, you must be sure that he is watching it, and if he is watching it and doing nothing, it is a spectacle.

DAVID: Yes, by definition we create a spectacle. But you mean God expects it to entertain Him, and that is not the way I think God would view it. Per Adler, God's interest in us is a 50/50 proposition.

I have not used the word “entertain”. I have no idea what God might be thinking as he watches the spectacle. But to revert to your own past image, do you think a painter is “entertained” when he enjoys his own paintings? I couldn’t care less about Adler’s percentages. If YOU are sure that he sees what is going on, then YOU are sure he is watching. And why would he watch if he wasn’t interested? And why do you think he didn’t create every life form so that he could have something interesting to watch?

dhw: Now please tell us why YOU think your God created or allowed evil.

DAVID: All I am left with for the enth time is to state: to make life interesting as far as bad bugs are concerned….

To make life interesting for whom?

DAVID…and providentially gave us the brains to overcome them.

But bad bugs existed long before humans. Why do you think that your God spent 3.X billion years designing bad bugs, meat-eating monsters, murderous parasites before he produced us with our brains to overcome them?

DAVID: At the same time those brains have free will, and we create our own evil God cannot stop.

And I suggest that much of our own evil evolved from the manner in which earlier organisms infected, exploited, killed and ate their fellow organisms in pursuit of their own survival. The root of most evil is selfishness. That is not a criticism of our fellow organisms who have to be selfish in order to survive. I am merely pointing out the roots of evil which lie in the system your God designed. As you say, it makes life more interesting for him than a Garden of Eden, which would explain why he designed the system the way it is. No accidents, no inability to prevent evil – simply a God who knows what he wants and designs the system that will produce what he wants. Just a theory, but is there anything in it that contradicts the history of life as we know it?

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 17:49 (410 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Totally humanized view of a spectating God. I still believe that God presented challenges for a more interesting life than in Eden. We've got the brains for it.

dhw: (Silly "humanized" argument demolished by yourself on "errors" thread.) More interesting for whom? Do you think your God is watching or not?

DAVID: I'm sure He sees what is going on with His own level of interest[/b], unknown to us.(dhw’s bold)

dhw: If you are sure that he sees it, you must be sure that he is watching it, and if he is watching it and doing nothing, it is a spectacle.

DAVID: Yes, by definition we create a spectacle. But you mean God expects it to entertain Him, and that is not the way I think God would view it. Per Adler, God's interest in us is a 50/50 proposition.

dhw: I have not used the word “entertain”. I have no idea what God might be thinking as he watches the spectacle. But to revert to your own past image, do you think a painter is “entertained” when he enjoys his own paintings? I couldn’t care less about Adler’s percentages. If YOU are sure that he sees what is going on, then YOU are sure he is watching. And why would he watch if he wasn’t interested? And why do you think he didn’t create every life form so that he could have something interesting to watch?

Spectacle implies spectators are watching. And the usual reason is entertainment for the spectators. Yes, I agree God watches out of interest viewing his creations but I don't think He feels entertained. I don't think He created anything out a desire 'so that he could have something interesting to watch' to use your exact humanizing phrase.


dhw: Now please tell us why YOU think your God created or allowed evil.

DAVID: All I am left with for the enth time is to state: to make life interesting as far as bad bugs are concerned….

dhw: To make life interesting for whom?

Obviously as you and I have stated previously, us! Not Him which is your idea.


DAVID…and providentially gave us the brains to overcome them.

dhw: But bad bugs existed long before humans. Why do you think that your God spent 3.X billion years designing bad bugs, meat-eating monsters, murderous parasites before he produced us with our brains to overcome them?

You same silly comment: He chose to evolve us over the time it took.


DAVID: At the same time those brains have free will, and we create our own evil God cannot stop.

dhw: And I suggest that much of our own evil evolved from the manner in which earlier organisms infected, exploited, killed and ate their fellow organisms in pursuit of their own survival. The root of most evil is selfishness. That is not a criticism of our fellow organisms who have to be selfish in order to survive. I am merely pointing out the roots of evil which lie in the system your God designed. As you say, it makes life more interesting for him than a Garden of Eden, which would explain why he designed the system the way it is. No accidents, no inability to prevent evil – simply a God who knows what he wants and designs the system that will produce what he wants. Just a theory, but is there anything in it that contradicts the history of life as we know it?

No, God gave us exactly the system/reality He wanted and the only system of living organisms He could produce required by the necessary biochemical speed of reactions, which includes His design of giant molecule enzymes to make sure the speed exists.

Theodicy

by dhw, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 10:30 (409 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Spectacle implies spectators are watching. And the usual reason is entertainment for the spectators. Yes, I agree God watches out of interest viewing his creations but I don't think He feels entertained. I don't think He created anything out a desire 'so that he could have something interesting to watch' to use your exact humanizing phrase.

You are really scraping the barrel. Forget my word “spectacle” and your word “entertain”, and look at what you have written yourself. You agree that he “watches out of interest”, but you don’t agree that he created what he created “so that he could have something interesting to watch.” Bearing in mind your own agreement that the brontosaurus is NOT directly connected to H. sapiens, do you think he directly designed the brontosaurus and said to himself: “I've directly designed the brontosaurus as part of my goal of directly designing H. sapiens, though there’s no direct connection, but I’ll watch it for a few million years because it’s interesting”?

dhw: Now please tell us why YOU think your God created or allowed evil.

DAVID: All I am left with for the enth time is to state: to make life interesting as far as bad bugs are concerned….

dhw: To make life interesting for whom?

DAVID: Obviously as you and I have stated previously, us! Not Him which is your idea.

dhw: But bad bugs existed long before humans. Why do you think that your God spent 3.X billion years designing bad bugs, meat-eating monsters, murderous parasites before he produced us with our brains to overcome them?

DAVID: You same silly comment: He chose to evolve us over the time it took.

But if he designed all the bad bugs, meat-eating monsters and murderous parasites before we were here, how could they have made life more interesting for US? Similar problem to his interest in the brontosaurus.

DAVID: At the same time those brains have free will, and we create our own evil God cannot stop.

dhw: And I suggest that much of our own evil evolved from the manner in which earlier organisms infected, exploited, killed and ate their fellow organisms in pursuit of their own survival. The root of most evil is selfishness. That is not a criticism of our fellow organisms who have to be selfish in order to survive. I am merely pointing out the roots of evil which lie in the system your God designed. As you say, it makes life more interesting for him than a Garden of Eden, which would explain why he designed the system the way it is. No accidents, no inability to prevent evil – simply a God who knows what he wants and designs the system that will produce what he wants. Just a theory, but is there anything in it that contradicts the history of life as we know it?

DAVID: No, God gave us exactly the system/reality He wanted and the only system of living organisms He could produce required by the necessary biochemical speed of reactions, which includes His design of giant molecule enzymes to make sure the speed exists.

Why do you say no? We agree that he gave us the system/reality he wanted! I am not disputing “the necessary biological speed”. I am suggesting that he wanted all the errors and the bugs and meat-eating monsters and parasites whose “selfish” behaviour is mirrored in most forms of evil. And this in turn makes life more interesting than a dull Garden of Eden.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 17:28 (409 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You are really scraping the barrel. Forget my word “spectacle” and your word “entertain”, and look at what you have written yourself. You agree that he “watches out of interest”, but you don’t agree that he created what he created “so that he could have something interesting to watch.” Bearing in mind your own agreement that the brontosaurus is NOT directly connected to H. sapiens, do you think he directly designed the brontosaurus and said to himself: “I've directly designed the brontosaurus as part of my goal of directly designing H. sapiens, though there’s no direct connection, but I’ll watch it for a few million years because it’s interesting”?

All of the many branches of life are food supply for all. You are the one who thought God created so he could have a spectacle. I certainly think He is interested in His creations, but not as entertainment. It is the vast difference in how each of us views God's personality, a difference you always skip past.


dhw: Now please tell us why YOU think your God created or allowed evil.

DAVID: All I am left with for the enth time is to state: to make life interesting as far as bad bugs are concerned….

dhw: To make life interesting for whom?

DAVID: Obviously as you and I have stated previously, us! Not Him which is your idea.

dhw: But bad bugs existed long before humans. Why do you think that your God spent 3.X billion years designing bad bugs, meat-eating monsters, murderous parasites before he produced us with our brains to overcome them?

DAVID: You same silly comment: He chose to evolve us over the time it took.

dhw: But if he designed all the bad bugs, meat-eating monsters and murderous parasites before we were here, how could they have made life more interesting for US? Similar problem to his interest in the brontosaurus.

Again the same view of chopping up time into discontinuous parts. The process of evolution produces the future from the past.


DAVID: At the same time those brains have free will, and we create our own evil God cannot stop.

dhw: And I suggest that much of our own evil evolved from the manner in which earlier organisms infected, exploited, killed and ate their fellow organisms in pursuit of their own survival. The root of most evil is selfishness. That is not a criticism of our fellow organisms who have to be selfish in order to survive. I am merely pointing out the roots of evil which lie in the system your God designed. As you say, it makes life more interesting for him than a Garden of Eden, which would explain why he designed the system the way it is. No accidents, no inability to prevent evil – simply a God who knows what he wants and designs the system that will produce what he wants. Just a theory, but is there anything in it that contradicts the history of life as we know it?

DAVID: No, God gave us exactly the system/reality He wanted and the only system of living organisms He could produce required by the necessary biochemical speed of reactions, which includes His design of giant molecule enzymes to make sure the speed exists.

dhw: Why do you say no? We agree that he gave us the system/reality he wanted! I am not disputing “the necessary biological speed”. I am suggesting that he wanted all the errors and the bugs and meat-eating monsters and parasites whose “selfish” behaviour is mirrored in most forms of evil. And this in turn makes life more interesting than a dull Garden of Eden.

On that point I will agree.

Theodicy

by dhw, Thursday, October 22, 2020, 12:01 (408 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Forget my word “spectacle” and your word “entertain”, and look at what you have written yourself. You agree that he “watches out of interest”, but you don’t agree that he created what he created “so that he could have something interesting to watch.” Bearing in mind your own agreement that the brontosaurus is NOT directly connected to H. sapiens, do you think [your God] directly designed the brontosaurus and said to himself: “I've directly designed the brontosaurus as part of my goal of directly designing H. sapiens, though there’s no direct connection, but I’ll watch it for a few million years because it’s interesting”?

DAVID: All of the many branches of life are food supply for all.

As you have agreed, the brontosaurus and his food supply had nothing to do with HUMANS!

DAVID: You are the one who thought God created so he could have a spectacle. I certainly think He is interested in His creations, but not as entertainment. It is the vast difference in how each of us views God's personality, a difference you always skip past.

It is you who used the word entertainment, not me. In my comment above, I have not offered a single comment on God’s personality beyond our agreement that he would watch life on Earth with interest. Why do you think he would watch life with interest but would not have created life so that he could watch it with interest?

dhw: Now please tell us why YOU think your God created or allowed evil.

DAVID: All I am left with for the enth time is to state: to make life interesting as far as bad bugs are concerned….

dhw: To make life interesting for whom?

DAVID: Obviously as you and I have stated previously, us! Not Him which is your idea.

dhw: But bad bugs existed long before humans. Why do you think that your God spent 3.X billion years directly designing bad bugs, meat-eating monsters, murderous parasites before he produced us with our brains to overcome them?

DAVID: You same silly comment: He chose to evolve us over the time it took.

dhw: But if he designed all the bad bugs, meat-eating monsters and murderous parasites before we were here, how could they have made life more interesting for US? Similar problem to his interest in the brontosaurus.

DAVID: Again the same view of chopping up time into discontinuous parts. The process of evolution produces the future from the past.

That has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that (a) evolution produced millions of branches unconnected with humans, and (b) that if he designed all the bad bugs etc. before we were around, and watched them with interest, he clearly didn’t design them so that they would make life more interesting for us!

DAVID: […] God gave us exactly the system/reality He wanted and the only system of living organisms He could produce required by the necessary biochemical speed of reactions, which includes His design of giant molecule enzymes to make sure the speed exists.

dhw: […] We agree that he gave us the system/reality he wanted! I am not disputing “the necessary biological speed”. I am suggesting that he wanted all the errors and the bugs and meat-eating monsters and parasites whose “selfish” behaviour is mirrored in most forms of evil. And this in turn makes life more interesting than a dull Garden of Eden.

DAVID: On that point I will agree.

Good news, then! We agree that your God is interested in the world he created, but you have no idea why even before we were around, he would have designed bad bugs and parasites and meat-eating monsters, whose “selfishness” is the root of most evil. I suggest that their existence made/makes life more interesting for him than a dull Garden of Eden would be. But I go one step further: I propose that he didn’t design them all directly, but just like your free-to-make-errors molecules, he gave all cells the freedom to find their own means of survival. This theory relieves us of accidental, unavoidable errors (caused by a fault in the system he designed, and suggesting incompetence as he tries and fails to correct some of them) and of deliberately creating evil (exemplified by the bad bugs) – a pretty scary thought, which I’m sure you and most of your fellow believers would rather not even contemplate.
X
Under “error corrections III and IV”:

QUOTE: "If a mismatched base pair, bound strongly by a transcription factor, makes it through the DNA replication cycle without being repaired by another type of protein—known as a repair enzyme—it can become a mutation, and mutations can lead to genetic diseases like cancer and neurodegeneration. (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: The mechanism described appears to make it easier to produce mutations. But note the bold. There are repair mechanisms present to reverse DNA mistakes and resist mutations.

QUOTE: "Vital functions of multicellular organisms, such as growth, development, and tissue regeneration, depend on the precisely controlled division of cells. A failure in the underlying control mechanisms can lead to cancer.

DAVID: […] This study shows the complexity of mistake controls designed by God.

And every case of cancer and neurodegeneration shows that the repair mechanisms don’t always work. God’s incompetence? Surely not. "What God wants, God gets. "God gave us exactly the system/reality He wanted" (D. Turrell)

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Thursday, October 22, 2020, 19:03 (408 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You are the one who thought God created so he could have a spectacle. I certainly think He is interested in His creations, but not as entertainment. It is the vast difference in how each of us views God's personality, a difference you always skip past.

dhw: It is you who used the word entertainment, not me. In my comment above, I have not offered a single comment on God’s personality beyond our agreement that he would watch life on Earth with interest. Why do you think he would watch life with interest but would not have created life so that he could watch it with interest?

You used 'spectacle', which implies entertainment.

DAVID: Again the same view of chopping up time into discontinuous parts. The process of evolution produces the future from the past.

dhw: That has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that (a) evolution produced millions of branches unconnected with humans, and (b) that if he designed all the bad bugs etc. before we were around, and watched them with interest, he clearly didn’t design them so that they would make life more interesting for us!

We do not know why bad bugs exist. You forget He knew humans ere coming on the scene.


DAVID: […] God gave us exactly the system/reality He wanted and the only system of living organisms He could produce required by the necessary biochemical speed of reactions, which includes His design of giant molecule enzymes to make sure the speed exists.

dhw: […] We agree that he gave us the system/reality he wanted! I am not disputing “the necessary biological speed”. I am suggesting that he wanted all the errors and the bugs and meat-eating monsters and parasites whose “selfish” behaviour is mirrored in most forms of evil. And this in turn makes life more interesting than a dull Garden of Eden.

DAVID: On that point I will agree.

dhw: Good news, then! We agree that your God is interested in the world he created, but you have no idea why even before we were around, he would have designed bad bugs and parasites and meat-eating monsters, whose “selfishness” is the root of most evil. I suggest that their existence made/makes life more interesting for him than a dull Garden of Eden would be. But I go one step further: I propose that he didn’t design them all directly, but just like your free-to-make-errors molecules, he gave all cells the freedom to find their own means of survival. This theory relieves us of accidental, unavoidable errors (caused by a fault in the system he designed, and suggesting incompetence as he tries and fails to correct some of them) and of deliberately creating evil (exemplified by the bad bugs) – a pretty scary thought, which I’m sure you and most of your fellow believers would rather not even contemplate.


You still don't understand the biology of life as designed by God as I view it. The bold is not a fault but a requirement for free molecules in the soup of life. Your God gives freedom to life to do what it wants. I see it as under very tight controls from a very purposeful God.

X
Under “error corrections III and IV”:

QUOTE: "If a mismatched base pair, bound strongly by a transcription factor, makes it through the DNA replication cycle without being repaired by another type of protein—known as a repair enzyme—it can become a mutation, and mutations can lead to genetic diseases like cancer and neurodegeneration. (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: The mechanism described appears to make it easier to produce mutations. But note the bold. There are repair mechanisms present to reverse DNA mistakes and resist mutations.

QUOTE: "Vital functions of multicellular organisms, such as growth, development, and tissue regeneration, depend on the precisely controlled division of cells. A failure in the underlying control mechanisms can lead to cancer.

DAVID: […] This study shows the complexity of mistake controls designed by God.

dhw: And every case of cancer and neurodegeneration shows that the repair mechanisms don’t always work. God’s incompetence? Surely not. "What God wants, God gets. "God gave us exactly the system/reality He wanted" (D. Turell)

Exactly

Theodicy

by dhw, Friday, October 23, 2020, 07:53 (407 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You are the one who thought God created so he could have a spectacle. I certainly think He is interested in His creations, but not as entertainment.

dhw: It is you who used the word entertainment, not me. […] Why do you think he would watch life with interest but would not have created life so that he could watch it with interest?

DAVID: You used 'spectacle', which implies entertainment.

I will take the definition “a strange or interesting object or phenomenon” (Encarta). Now please answer my question.

DAVID: […] God gave us exactly the system/reality He wanted and the only system of living organisms He could produce required by the necessary biochemical speed of reactions, which includes His design of giant molecule enzymes to make sure the speed exists.

dhw: […] We agree that he gave us the system/reality he wanted! I am not disputing “the necessary biological speed”. I am suggesting that he wanted all the errors and the bugs and meat-eating monsters and parasites whose “selfish” behaviour is mirrored in most forms of evil. And this in turn makes life more interesting than a dull Garden of Eden.

DAVID: On that point I will agree.

dhw: Good news, then! We agree that your God is interested in the world he created, but you have no idea why even before we were around, he would have designed bad bugs and parasites and meat-eating monsters, whose “selfishness” is the root of most evil. I suggest that their existence made/makes life more interesting for him than a dull Garden of Eden would be. But I go one step further: I propose that he didn’t design them all directly, but just like your free-to-make-errors molecules, he gave all cells the freedom to find their own means of survival. This theory relieves us of accidental, unavoidable errors (caused by a fault in the system he designed, and suggesting incompetence as he tries and fails to correct some of them) and of deliberately creating evil (exemplified by the bad bugs) […]

DAVID: You still don't understand the biology of life as designed by God as I view it. The bold is not a fault but a requirement for free molecules in the soup of life. Your God gives freedom to life to do what it wants. I see it as under very tight controls from a very purposeful God.

Thank you for the comment I have bolded. That is my own theory. No “fault”, no accidental, unavoidable errors which he is unable to correct (pretty disparaging, I’d say), but “free molecules” which do what they want. Not tight controls, but a mechanism that would use its freedom to create the vast variety of life forms and of goodies and baddies that make up the history of evolution. In other words, precisely the world we know – created that way by a “very purposeful God” (if he exists).
X
Under “error corrections III and IV”:

QUOTE: "If a mismatched base pair, bound strongly by a transcription factor, makes it through the DNA replication cycle without being repaired by another type of protein—known as a repair enzyme—it can become a mutation, and mutations can lead to genetic diseases like cancer and neurodegeneration. (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: […] This study shows the complexity of mistake controls designed by God.

dhw: And every case of cancer and neurodegeneration shows that the repair mechanisms don’t always work. God’s incompetence? Surely not. "What God wants, God gets. "God gave us exactly the system/reality He wanted" (D. Turell)

DAVID: Exactly.

We agree: the system which produced all the goodies and the baddies was the system he wanted, as described above. And the icing on the cake is that you are “sure that He sees what is going on with His own level of interest”. Which opens the door to the possibility that he created life so that he could see something that would interest him.

DAVID (under “God’s error corrections IV”): Just presenting another example of God providing a check on DNA errors and making them actually useful! So not all errors are only bad as dhw, in denigrating God, is wont to write. God gave us the best living system He could.

There is no denigration of God in my arguments. It is you who have drawn our attention to errors which are NOT useful – namely those that cause disease – and it is you who denigrate him by telling us that he was unable to control them but provided backups which sometimes didn’t work and so he left it to humans to correct what he couldn’t correct. Even “the best he could” is a denigration, as if he was powerless to do otherwise. I have him creating precisely what he wanted to create, and in so doing I offer a solution to the problem of theodicy.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Friday, October 23, 2020, 17:37 (407 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Friday, October 23, 2020, 17:58

DAVID: You used 'spectacle', which implies entertainment.

dhw: I will take the definition “a strange or interesting object or phenomenon” (Encarta). Now please answer my question.

Neat trick, trying to limit meaning! My thesaurus has four prime senses of the word: appearance, prodigy, show and drama. Thus entertainment fits!!!

DAVID: You still don't understand the biology of life as designed by God as I view it. The bold is not a fault but a requirement for free molecules in the soup of life. Your God gives freedom to life to do what it wants. I see it as under very tight controls from a very purposeful God.

dhw: Thank you for the comment I have bolded. That is my own theory. No “fault”, no accidental, unavoidable errors which he is unable to correct (pretty disparaging, I’d say), but “free molecules” which do what they want. Not tight controls, but a mechanism that would use its freedom to create the vast variety of life forms and of goodies and baddies that make up the history of evolution. In other words, precisely the world we know – created that way by a “very purposeful God” (if he exists).

Again a free-for-all evolution. How does concise design happen? You're illogically back to chance, which even you have given it short shrift. You still don't understand the importance of protein folding which creates function at very high speed to have life emerge.

X
Under “error corrections III and IV”:

QUOTE: "If a mismatched base pair, bound strongly by a transcription factor, makes it through the DNA replication cycle without being repaired by another type of protein—known as a repair enzyme—it can become a mutation, and mutations can lead to genetic diseases like cancer and neurodegeneration. (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: […] This study shows the complexity of mistake controls designed by God.

dhw: And every case of cancer and neurodegeneration shows that the repair mechanisms don’t always work. God’s incompetence? Surely not. "What God wants, God gets. "God gave us exactly the system/reality He wanted" (D. Turell)

DAVID: Exactly.

dhw: We agree: the system which produced all the goodies and the baddies was the system he wanted, as described above. And the icing on the cake is that you are “sure that He sees what is going on with His own level of interest”. Which opens the door to the possibility that he created life so that he could see something that would interest him.

Of course an inventor is interested in his creations. God is more interested in His accomplishing purposeful creations on the way to his goals, a great difference from your view of desiring spectacle. Stop humanizing Him.


DAVID (under “God’s error corrections IV”): Just presenting another example of God providing a check on DNA errors and making them actually useful! So not all errors are only bad as dhw, in denigrating God, is wont to write. God gave us the best living system He could.

dhw: There is no denigration of God in my arguments. It is you who have drawn our attention to errors which are NOT useful – namely those that cause disease – and it is you who denigrate him by telling us that he was unable to control them but provided backups which sometimes didn’t work and so he left it to humans to correct what he couldn’t correct. Even “the best he could” is a denigration, as if he was powerless to do otherwise. I have him creating precisely what he wanted to create, and in so doing I offer a solution to the problem of theodicy.

I have not denigrated God in any way except in your twisted version of what I present. He created exactly what He needed to create, knowing and planning for the problems. Not your emphasis on 'bad' God. No other system would work, a point you don't understand.

Theodicy

by dhw, Saturday, October 24, 2020, 09:08 (406 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: bbbWhy do you think he would watch life with interest but would not have created life so that he could watch it with interest?

DAVID: You used 'spectacle', which implies entertainment.

dhw: I will take the definition “a strange or interesting object or phenomenon” (Encarta). Now please answer my question.

DAVID: Neat trick, trying to limit meaning! My thesaurus has four prime senses of the word: appearance, prodigy, show and drama. Thus entertainment fits!!!

Neat trick to avoid answering my now bolded question. You used the word entertainment, and I used the word spectacle, which has far wider connotations. I am happy to drop the word as we have agreed on the more neutral idea of your God being interested, and so we can now skip to the non-answer you gave at the end of your post:

DAVID: Of course an inventor is interested in his creations. God is more interested in His accomplishing purposeful creations on the way to his goals, a great difference from your view of desiring spectacle. Stop humanizing Him.

What plural “goals”? According to you, all his creatures were “part of the goal of evolving humans”. See “error corrections” for all the contradictions. If he designed the brontosaurus, why do you think he was only interested in the brontosaurus as “part of the goal of evolving humans” when it had no connection to humans? Why could he not have been interested in the brontosaurus itself, having taken the trouble – according to you – to design it? And why is it “humanizing” to be interested in the brontosaurus as his invention but not “humanizing” to be interested in the brontosaurus only as a part of the goal of evolving humans, to which it has no direct connection? And what is wrong with such “humanizing” since you have agreed that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours? And why do you keep going over the same old ground, repeating the same old contradictions?

DAVID: You still don't understand the biology of life as designed by God as I view it. The bold is not a fault but a requirement for free molecules in the soup of life. Your God gives freedom to life to do what it wants. I see it as under very tight controls from a very purposeful God.

dhw: Thank you for the comment I have bolded. That is my own theory. No “fault”, no accidental, unavoidable errors which he is unable to correct (pretty disparaging, I’d say), but “free molecules” which do what they want. Not tight controls, but a mechanism that would use its freedom to create the vast variety of life forms and of goodies and baddies that make up the history of evolution. In other words, precisely the world we know – created that way by a “very purposeful God” (if he exists).

DAVID: Again a free-for-all evolution. How does concise design happen? You're illogically back to chance, which even you have given it short shrift. You still don't understand the importance of protein folding which creates function at very high speed to have life emerge.

I am NOT back to chance. My proposal, for the thousandth time, is that cells are INTELLIGENT and do their own designing! And you still don’t understand that it is not the emergence of life or the “correct” functioning of cells that we are discussing. Evolution can only happen if the existing structure of the cells changes. You propose that your God preprogrammed or dabbled every single change, and I propose (theistic version) that he gave them the freedom to change themselves. Chance is irrelevant.

[...]

DAVID: […] not all errors are only bad as dhw, in denigrating God, is wont to write. God gave us the best living system He could.

dhw: There is no denigration of God in my arguments. It is you who have drawn our attention to errors which are NOT useful – namely those that cause disease – and it is you who denigrate him by telling us that he was unable to control them but provided backups which sometimes didn’t work […]. Even “the best he could” is a denigration, as if he was powerless to do otherwise. I have him creating precisely what he wanted to create, and in so doing I offer a solution to the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: I have not denigrated God in any way except in your twisted version of what I present. He created exactly what He needed to create, knowing and planning for the problems. Not your emphasis on 'bad' God. No other system would work, a point you don't understand.

There is no emphasis on ‘bad’ God. Your denigration consists in the bolded assumptions above. My proposal is that this was the system he wanted. The result is the same – it is on the question of your God’s intentions and powers that we differ. But we both agree that he is interested in what his system has produced. Only my version resolves the problem of theodicy, and yours doesn’t, and you still haven’t explained why he can be interested in the inventions but it is not possible that he could have invented them in order to have something that would interest him.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Saturday, October 24, 2020, 18:16 (406 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: ...and so we can now skip to the non-answer you gave at the end of your post:

DAVID: Of course an inventor is interested in his creations. God is more interested in His accomplishing purposeful creations on the way to his goals, a great difference from your view of desiring spectacle. Stop humanizing Him.

dhw: What plural “goals”? According to you, all his creatures were “part of the goal of evolving humans”. See “error corrections” for all the contradictions. If he designed the brontosaurus, why do you think he was only interested in the brontosaurus as “part of the goal of evolving humans” when it had no connection to humans? Why could he not have been interested in the brontosaurus itself, having taken the trouble – according to you – to design it? And why is it “humanizing” to be interested in the brontosaurus as his invention but not “humanizing” to be interested in the brontosaurus only as a part of the goal of evolving humans, to which it has no direct connection? And what is wrong with such “humanizing” since you have agreed that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours? And why do you keep going over the same old ground, repeating the same old contradictions?

I don't contradict myself. Note my bold of your usual trope about God's thinking. Using the same pattern of thought NEVER tells us His reasoning for his purposes. You can't disagree!!!


DAVID: Again a free-for-all evolution. How does concise design happen? You're illogically back to chance, which even you have given it short shrift. You still don't understand the importance of protein folding which creates function at very high speed to have life emerge.

dhw: I am NOT back to chance. My proposal, for the thousandth time, is that cells are INTELLIGENT and do their own designing! And you still don’t understand that it is not the emergence of life or the “correct” functioning of cells that we are discussing. Evolution can only happen if the existing structure of the cells changes. You propose that your God preprogrammed or dabbled every single change, and I propose (theistic version) that he gave them the freedom to change themselves. Chance is irrelevant.

Same answer as in today's error thread: "We will always differ. It is difficult to build a machine that can design for extreme necessary complexity. Think of whales designing their next stage, changing both physiology and form and especially nursing under water. Direct design is more feasible."

[...]

DAVID: […] not all errors are only bad as dhw, in denigrating God, is wont to write. God gave us the best living system He could.

dhw: There is no denigration of God in my arguments. It is you who have drawn our attention to errors which are NOT useful – namely those that cause disease – and it is you who denigrate him by telling us that he was unable to control them but provided backups which sometimes didn’t work […]. Even “the best he could” is a denigration, as if he was powerless to do otherwise. I have him creating precisely what he wanted to create, and in so doing I offer a solution to the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: I have not denigrated God in any way except in your twisted version of what I present. He created exactly what He needed to create, knowing and planning for the problems. Not your emphasis on 'bad' God. No other system would work, a point you don't understand.

dhw: There is no emphasis on ‘bad’ God. Your denigration consists in the bolded assumptions above. My proposal is that this was the system he wanted. The result is the same – it is on the question of your God’s intentions and powers that we differ. But we both agree that he is interested in what his system has produced. Only my version resolves the problem of theodicy, and yours doesn’t, and you still haven’t explained why he can be interested in the inventions but it is not possible that he could have invented them in order to have something that would interest him.

God's being interested is not the issue. His personality is creation for the sake of achieving His purposes. Creating something for His own interest is very secondary. It is humanizing Him again. God does not need interests!!!

Theodicy

by dhw, Sunday, October 25, 2020, 13:13 (405 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Of course an inventor is interested in his creations. God is more interested in His accomplishing purposeful creations on the way to his goals, a great difference from your view of desiring spectacle. Stop humanizing Him.

dhw: What plural “goals”? According to you, all his creatures were “part of the goal of evolving humans”. See “error corrections” for all the contradictions. If he designed the brontosaurus, why do you think he was only interested in the brontosaurus as “part of the goal of evolving humans” when it had no connection to humans? Why could he not have been interested in the brontosaurus itself, having taken the trouble – according to you – to design it? And why is it “humanizing” to be interested in the brontosaurus as his invention but not “humanizing” to be interested in the brontosaurus only as a part of the goal of evolving humans, to which it has no direct connection? And what is wrong with such “humanizing” since you have agreed that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours? And why do you keep going over the same old ground, repeating the same old contradictions?

DAVID: I don't contradict myself. Note my bold of your usual trope about God's thinking. Using the same pattern of thought NEVER tells us His reasoning for his purposes. You can't disagree!!!

Nobody knows his patterns of thought, but since you agree that he probably has thought patterns similar to ours, it is absurd (a) to dismiss a theory on the grounds that it entails thought patterns similar to ours, and (b) to say you are sure that God is interested in his inventions, but he could not have invented them in order to give himself something to be interested in.
[…]
DAVID: God's being interested is not the issue. His personality is creation for the sake of achieving His purposes. Creating something for His own interest is very secondary. It is humanizing Him again. God does not need interests!!!

Yet again: What plural “purposes”? As above, you have named only one, which contradicts the whole history of evolution, because you agree that there is no connection between such organisms as the brontosaurus and humans, and “extinct life plays no role in current life”!
How do you know that your God, who you are sure watches us with interest, does not WANT something he can watch with interest – a characteristic which could be exactly the same as ours, since we also like to create things we can watch with interest? And let’s not forget that this theory also solves the vexed problem of theodicy, which is the subject of this thread and for which you offered have no explanation.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Sunday, October 25, 2020, 18:47 (405 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I don't contradict myself. Note my bold of your usual trope about God's thinking. Using the same pattern of thought NEVER tells us His reasoning for his purposes. You can't disagree!!!

dhw: Nobody knows his patterns of thought, but since you agree that he probably has thought patterns similar to ours, it is absurd (a) to dismiss a theory on the grounds that it entails thought patterns similar to ours, and (b) to say you are sure that God is interested in his inventions, but he could not have invented them in order to give himself something to be interested in.

Answered below:

[…]
DAVID: God's being interested is not the issue. His personality is creation for the sake of achieving His purposes. Creating something for His own interest is very secondary. It is humanizing Him again. God does not need interests!!!

dhw: Yet again: What plural “purposes”? As above, you have named only one, which contradicts the whole history of evolution, because you agree that there is no connection between such organisms as the brontosaurus and humans, and “extinct life plays no role in current life”!

Again quoting out of context and inferring meanings that do not exist. I am discussing events that are only time separated but are fully connected through common descent and similar DNA genes.

dhw: How do you know that your God, who you are sure watches us with interest, does not WANT something he can watch with interest – a characteristic which could be exactly the same as ours, since we also like to create things we can watch with interest? And let’s not forget that this theory also solves the vexed problem of theodicy, which is the subject of this thread and for which you offered have no explanation.

I have offered many thoughts which have been left behind as you have produced distortions of my statements out of context. We have agreed God wanted to make life interesting, not a Garden of Eden, again for us, not Him. Just as we have discovered why certain body parts are necessary, as in the purposes of the appendix, we have yet to fully understand why nasty bugs exist. My view, previously expressed and still is God had reasons we still have not discovered. Cancer is generally due to genetic molecular mistakes, for which God has provided, recognizing the issue, very effective but not perfect editing.

Theodicy

by dhw, Monday, October 26, 2020, 11:08 (404 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I don't contradict myself. Note my bold of your usual trope about God's thinking. Using the same pattern of thought NEVER tells us His reasoning for his purposes. You can't disagree!!!

dhw: Nobody knows his patterns of thought, but since you agree that he probably has thought patterns similar to ours, it is absurd (a) to dismiss a theory on the grounds that it entails thought patterns similar to ours, and (b) to say you are sure that God is interested in his inventions, but he could not have invented them in order to give himself something to be interested in.

DAVID: Answered below:

Neither of these points is answered below.
[…]
DAVID: God's being interested is not the issue. His personality is creation for the sake of achieving His purposes. Creating something for His own interest is very secondary. It is humanizing Him again. God does not need interests!!!

dhw: Yet again: What plural “purposes”? As above, you have named only one, which contradicts the whole history of evolution, because you agree that there is no connection between such organisms as the brontosaurus and humans, and “extinct life plays no role in current time”!

DAVID: Again quoting out of context and inferring meanings that do not exist. I am discussing events that are only time separated but are fully connected through common descent and similar DNA genes.

Fully covered under “error corrections”.

dhw: How do you know that your God, who you are sure watches us with interest, does not WANT something he can watch with interest – a characteristic which could be exactly the same as ours, since we also like to create things we can watch with interest? And let’s not forget that this theory also solves the vexed problem of theodicy, which is the subject of this thread and for which you offered have no
explanation.

DAVID: I have offered many thoughts which have been left behind as you have produced distortions of my statements out of context. We have agreed God wanted to make life interesting, not a Garden of Eden, again for us, not Him.

We have not agreed. We humans were not around for millions and millions of years. Do you really think your God was not interested in any of the things you say he designed during that time?

DAVID: Just as we have discovered why certain body parts are necessary, as in the purposes of the appendix, we have yet to fully understand why nasty bugs exist. My view, previously expressed and still is God had reasons we still have not discovered. Cancer is generally due to genetic molecular mistakes, for which God has provided, recognizing the issue, very effective but not perfect editing.

As a solution to the problem of theodicy, these comments take us nowhere. We don’t know why he designed nasty bugs, he tried but failed to provide a cure for cancer and other diseases caused by errors in the system he designed, and although you are sure he is interested in everything he created, it is not possible that he created it all in order to give himself something that would interest him.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Monday, October 26, 2020, 22:15 (404 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I don't contradict myself. Note my bold of your usual trope about God's thinking. Using the same pattern of thought NEVER tells us His reasoning for his purposes. You can't disagree!!!

dhw: Nobody knows his patterns of thought, but since you agree that he probably has thought patterns similar to ours, it is absurd (a) to dismiss a theory on the grounds that it entails thought patterns similar to ours, and (b) to say you are sure that God is interested in his inventions, but he could not have invented them in order to give himself something to be interested in.

DAVID: Answered below:

Neither of these points is answered below.

What is wrong with this perfect answer to your humanizing? And again: HIS THOUGHT PATTERNS DO NOT TELL US HIS REASONING!!!:

[…]
DAVID: God's being interested is not the issue. His personality is creation for the sake of achieving His purposes. Creating something for His own interest is very secondary. It is humanizing Him again. God does not need interests!!!

dhw: Yet again: What plural “purposes”? As above, you have named only one, which contradicts the whole history of evolution, because you agree that there is no connection between such organisms as the brontosaurus and humans, and “extinct life plays no role in current time”!

Another answer as a distinct response to your chopped up view of the relationships in evolution by common descent: God evolved humans in my belief. Purposes singular or in multiples is a bogus straw man. We see what God did. These were all His 'purposes'. we learn about God from His works. And your arguments that in your mind He shouldn't have done it that way don't accept my view that history tells us what God did.


DAVID: Again quoting out of context and inferring meanings that do not exist. I am discussing events that are only time separated but are fully connected through common descent and similar DNA genes.

Fully covered under “error corrections”.

dhw: How do you know that your God, who you are sure watches us with interest, does not WANT something he can watch with interest – a characteristic which could be exactly the same as ours, since we also like to create things we can watch with interest? And let’s not forget that this theory also solves the vexed problem of theodicy, which is the subject of this thread and for which you offered have no
explanation.

DAVID: I have offered many thoughts which have been left behind as you have produced distortions of my statements out of context. We have agreed God wanted to make life interesting, not a Garden of Eden, again for us, not Him.

dhw: We have not agreed. We humans were not around for millions and millions of years. Do you really think your God was not interested in any of the things you say he designed during that time?

My view is God produced what He wished for purposes we can only guess At, and His interest in the result is a very secondary purpose, if a purpose at all.


DAVID: Just as we have discovered why certain body parts are necessary, as in the purposes of the appendix, we have yet to fully understand why nasty bugs exist. My view, previously expressed and still is God had reasons we still have not discovered. Cancer is generally due to genetic molecular mistakes, for which God has provided, recognizing the issue, very effective but not perfect editing.

dhw: As a solution to the problem of theodicy, these comments take us nowhere. We don’t know why he designed nasty bugs, he tried but failed to provide a cure for cancer and other diseases caused by errors in the system he designed, and although you are sure he is interested in everything he created, it is not possible that he created it all in order to give himself something that would interest him.

Again, totally humanizing views of God.

Theodicy

by dhw, Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 09:16 (403 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: What is wrong with this perfect answer to your humanizing? And again: HIS THOUGHT PATTERNS DO NOT TELL US HIS REASONING!!!:

Nobody knows his reasoning (or even if he exists). We can only theorize. But if you accept that your God has thought patterns similar to ours, it is absurd to reject a theory on the grounds that it entails thought patterns similar to ours. For instance, you are sure that he is interested in his creations. It would be absurd for me to say to you: you are sure that he is interested in his creations, but I reject your theory, because humans are interested in their creations and so you are “humanizing” him. That is what is wrong with your “perfect answer”.
[…]
DAVID: God's being interested is not the issue. His personality is creation for the sake of achieving His purposes. Creating something for His own interest is very secondary. It is humanizing Him again. God does not need interests!!!

dhw: Yet again: What plural “purposes”? As above, you have named only one, which contradicts the whole history of evolution, because you agree that there is no connection between such organisms as the brontosaurus and humans, and “extinct life plays no role in current time”!

DAVID: Another answer as a distinct response to your chopped up view of the relationships in evolution by common descent: God evolved humans in my belief.

"Evolved" is too vague. Please remember your belief that your God directly designed ALL species, including humans.

DAVID: Purposes singular or in multiples is a bogus straw man.

Your belief that every life form was “part of THE goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans” is not a straw man. If there are other purposes, please tell us what you think they are.

DAVID: We see what God did. These were all His 'purposes'. we learn about God from His works.

Assuming your God exists, we know of millions of extinct life forms and econiches and natural wonders which you say he directly designed, and you claim they were all “part of THE goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans.” If you are now saying that all of them were his purposes, and they were NOT just “part of THE goal…etc”, and if we remember the fact that you are sure he is interested in his creations, then for the life of me I cannot see why you object to the proposal that he created them all in order to have something interesting to watch. i.e. they were NOT just stepping stones to humans.

DAVID: And your arguments that in your mind He shouldn't have done it that way don't accept my view that history tells us what God did.

Now THAT is a straw man. I have never said that your God – if he exists – should not have produced the bush of life that makes up the history! I say that the vast diversity of the history makes a mockery of your claim that every single organism was “part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans.” All dealt with under “error corrections”.

DAVID: We have agreed God wanted to make life interesting, not a Garden of Eden, again for us, not Him.

dhw: We have not agreed. We humans were not around for millions and millions of years. Do you really think your God was not interested in any of the things you say he designed during that time?

DAVID: My view is God produced what He wished for purposes we can only guess At, and His interest in the result is a very secondary purpose, if a purpose at all.

Of course we can only guess, and I suggest that directly designing humans would be “a very secondary purpose”, as the prime purpose would be his reason for directly designing humans (and all the other life forms that preceded us). In fairness, you have offered such purposes when pushed: e.g. to have his works admired, to have a relationship with us. Nicely human of him. And the purpose of evil? You say: “To make life interesting, again for us, not Him.” Why not him? And so we return to theodicy: Could it not be interesting for HIM to see how our free will leads to good and evil?

DAVID: […] we have yet to fully understand why nasty bugs exist. My view, previously expressed and still is God had reasons we still have not discovered. Cancer is generally due to genetic molecular mistakes, for which God has provided, recognizing the issue, very effective but not perfect editing.

dhw: As a solution to the problem of theodicy, these comments take us nowhere. We don’t know why he designed nasty bugs, he tried but failed to provide a cure for cancer and other diseases caused by errors in the system he designed, and although you are sure he is interested in everything he created, it is not possible that he created it all in order to give himself something that would interest him.

DAVID: Again, totally humanizing views of God.

See above re the silly “humanizing” argument. Now will you please finally answer the question: since you are sure he watches it all with interest, is it not possible that he created it all in order to have something interesting to watch?

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 18:19 (403 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Another answer as a distinct response to your chopped up view of the relationships in evolution by common descent: God evolved humans in my belief.

dhw: "Evolved" is too vague. Please remember your belief that your God directly designed ALL species, including humans.

Of course, by running the entire process of evolution from bacteria.


DAVID: Purposes singular or in multiples is a bogus straw man.

dhw: Your belief that every life form was “part of THE goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans” is not a straw man. If there are other purposes, please tell us what you think they are.

Whatever God created shows his purposes. We study His works to undertand his purposes


DAVID: We see what God did. These were all His 'purposes'. we learn about God from His works.

dhw: Assuming your God exists, we know of millions of extinct life forms and econiches and natural wonders which you say he directly designed, and you claim they were all “part of THE goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans.” If you are now saying that all of them were his purposes, and they were NOT just “part of THE goal…etc”, and if we remember the fact that you are sure he is interested in his creations, then for the life of me I cannot see why you object to the proposal that he created them all in order to have something interesting to watch. i.e. they were NOT just stepping stones to humans.

Not my God who purposely creates what He wishes and has purposeful goals. Not humanizing goals.


DAVID: And your arguments that in your mind He shouldn't have done it that way don't accept my view that history tells us what God did.

dhw: Now THAT is a straw man. I have never said that your God – if he exists – should not have produced the bush of life that makes up the history! I say that the vast diversity of the history makes a mockery of your claim that every single organism was “part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans.” All dealt with under “error corrections”.

Adler explains why I am correct, and you belittle the unexplained uniqueness of humans arising from apes with no driving force kn own to us.


DAVID: My view is God produced what He wished for purposes we can only guess At, and His interest in the result is a very secondary purpose, if a purpose at all.

dhw: Of course we can only guess, and I suggest that directly designing humans would be “a very secondary purpose”, as the prime purpose would be his reason for directly designing humans (and all the other life forms that preceded us). In fairness, you have offered such purposes when pushed: e.g. to have his works admired, to have a relationship with us. Nicely human of him. And the purpose of evil? You say: “To make life interesting, again for us, not Him.” Why not him? And so we return to theodicy: Could it not be interesting for HIM to see how our free will leads to good and evil?

I don't see interest as the point of His creating us.


DAVID: […] we have yet to fully understand why nasty bugs exist. My view, previously expressed and still is God had reasons we still have not discovered. Cancer is generally due to genetic molecular mistakes, for which God has provided, recognizing the issue, very effective but not perfect editing.

dhw: As a solution to the problem of theodicy, these comments take us nowhere. We don’t know why he designed nasty bugs, he tried but failed to provide a cure for cancer and other diseases caused by errors in the system he designed, and although you are sure he is interested in everything he created, it is not possible that he created it all in order to give himself something that would interest him.

DAVID: Again, totally humanizing views of God.

dhw: See above re the silly “humanizing” argument. Now will you please finally answer the question: since you are sure he watches it all with interest, is it not possible that he created it all in order to have something interesting to watch?

It was not His purpose to find something interesting to create. We guess at his relationship to us, and I'll stick with Adler: 50/50 possibility of interest. You are again humanizing

Theodicy

by dhw, Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 08:48 (402 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Purposes singular or in multiples is a bogus straw man.

dhw: Your belief that every life form was “part of THE goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans” is not a straw man. If there are other purposes, please tell us what you think they are.

DAVID: Whatever God created shows his purposes. We study His works to understand his purposes.

So apart from the purpose of directly designing H. sapiens, what purposes have you gleaned from his works, and how do they fit in with your claim that every extinct life form was “part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans” although “extinct life plays no role in current time”?

dhw: If you are now saying that all of them were his purposes, and they were NOT just “part of THE goal…etc”, and if we remember the fact that you are sure he is interested in his creations, then for the life of me I cannot see why you object to the proposal that he created them all in order to have something interesting to watch. i.e. they were NOT just stepping stones to humans.

DAVID: Not my God who purposely creates what He wishes and has purposeful goals. Not humanizing goals.

My proposal also has your God purposely creating what he wishes and having purposeful goals. I am tired of this silly “humanizing” objection. Why have you left out my latest response to it:
[…] if you accept that your God has thought patterns similar to ours, it is absurd to reject a theory on the grounds that it entails thought patterns similar to ours. For instance, you are sure that he is interested in his creations. It would be absurd for me to say to you: you are sure that he is interested in his creations, but I reject your theory, because humans are interested in their creations and so you are “humanizing” him. That is what is wrong with your “perfect answer”.

DAVID: And your arguments that in your mind He shouldn't have done it that way don't accept my view that history tells us what God did.

dhw: Now THAT is a straw man. I have never said that your God – if he exists – should not have produced the bush of life that makes up the history! I say that the vast diversity of the history makes a mockery of your claim that every single organism was “part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans.” All dealt with under “error corrections”.

DAVID: Adler explains why I am correct, and you belittle the unexplained uniqueness of humans arising from apes with no driving force known to us.

First straw man demolished: I have never said that your God should not have produced the bush of life. So up you come with another straw man: I have always accepted the uniqueness of humans, and your driving force argument can be applied to all species after bacteria. You are simply repeating dodge after dodge to avoid the question I put you on the “error corrections thread”.

DAVID: My view is God produced what He wished for purposes we can only guess At, and His interest in the result is a very secondary purpose, if a purpose at all.

dhw: Of course we can only guess, and I suggest that directly designing humans would be “a very secondary purpose”, as the prime purpose would be his reason for directly designing humans (and all the other life forms that preceded us). In fairness, you have offered such purposes when pushed: e.g. to have his works admired, to have a relationship with us. Nicely human of him. And the purpose of evil? You say: “To make life interesting, again for us, not Him.” Why not him? And so we return to theodicy: Could it not be interesting for HIM to see how our free will leads to good and evil?

DAVID: I don't see interest as the point of His creating us.

Please explain why you are sure he is watching us with interest, but you don’t believe he created us in order to have something he could watch with interest.

DAVID: It was not His purpose to find something interesting to create. We guess at his relationship to us, and I'll stick with Adler: 50/50 possibility of interest. You are again humanizing.

How do you know what his purpose was or was not? Forget Adler. YOU are sure your God watches us with interest, so please answer my question. Your silly “humanizing” argument carries no weight, as explained above.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 18:09 (402 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Your belief that every life form was “part of THE goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans” is not a straw man. If there are other purposes, please tell us what you think they are.

DAVID: Whatever God created shows his purposes. We study His works to understand his purposes.

dhw: So apart from the purpose of directly designing H. sapiens, what purposes have you gleaned from his works, and how do they fit in with your claim that every extinct life form was “part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans” although “extinct life plays no role in current time”?

Again, illogically splitting time continuums. We are the progeny of past designs that continued to develop complexity of biochemical living designs.


dhw: If you are now saying that all of them were his purposes, and they were NOT just “part of THE goal…etc”, and if we remember the fact that you are sure he is interested in his creations, then for the life of me I cannot see why you object to the proposal that he created them all in order to have something interesting to watch. i.e. they were NOT just stepping stones to humans.

DAVID: Not my God who purposely creates what He wishes and has purposeful goals. Not humanizing goals.

My proposal also has your God purposely creating what he wishes and having purposeful goals. I am tired of this silly “humanizing” objection. Why have you left out my latest response to it:
[…] if you accept that your God has thought patterns similar to ours, it is absurd to reject a theory on the grounds that it entails thought patterns similar to ours. For instance, you are sure that he is interested in his creations. It would be absurd for me to say to you: you are sure that he is interested in his creations, but I reject your theory, because humans are interested in their creations and so you are “humanizing” him. That is what is wrong with your “perfect answer”.

Totally empty point: Having similar thought patterns does not tell us His reasons for His goals.


DAVID: Adler explains why I am correct, and you belittle the unexplained uniqueness of humans arising from apes with no driving force known to us.

dhw: First straw man demolished: I have never said that your God should not have produced the bush of life. So up you come with another straw man: I have always accepted the uniqueness of humans, and your driving force argument can be applied to all species after bacteria. You are simply repeating dodge after dodge to avoid the question I put you on the “error corrections thread”.

Of course you accept we are unique. That is obvious. Why we appeared in is the point, philosophically. Your answer?


dhw: Please explain why you are sure he is watching us with interest, but you don’t believe he created us in order to have something he could watch with interest.

His point was the desire to create us. Purpose is the reason. Of course He is secondarily interested. Your God is not my god.


DAVID: It was not His purpose to find something interesting to create. We guess at his relationship to us, and I'll stick with Adler: 50/50 possibility of interest. You are again humanizing.

dhw: How do you know what his purpose was or was not? Forget Adler. YOU are sure your God watches us with interest, so please answer my question. Your silly “humanizing” argument carries no weight, as explained above.

Purpose is defined by studying His works. We are His supreme works. He obviously desired to produce us, His true reasons totally unknown to us, but yes we can guess.

Theodicy

by dhw, Thursday, October 29, 2020, 09:00 (401 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Your belief that every life form was “part of THE goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans” is not a straw man. If there are other purposes, please tell us what you think they are.

DAVID: Whatever God created shows his purposes. We study His works to understand his purposes.

dhw: So apart from the purpose of directly designing H. sapiens, what purposes have you gleaned from his works, and how do they fit in with your claim that every extinct life form was “part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans” although “extinct life plays no role in current time”?

DAVID: Again, illogically splitting time continuums. We are the progeny of past designs that continued to develop complexity of biochemical living designs.

Time is a continuum. As you have acknowledged elsewhere, speciation resulted in countless branches, 99% of which had no direct connection to humans or even to their food supply. Example: there is no continuum from brontosaurus to H. sapiens.

dhw: If you are now saying that all of them were his purposes, and they were NOT just “part of THE goal…etc”, and if we remember the fact that you are sure he is interested in his creations, then for the life of me I cannot see why you object to the proposal that he created them all in order to have something interesting to watch. i.e. they were NOT just stepping stones to humans.

DAVID: Not my God who purposely creates what He wishes and has purposeful goals. Not humanizing goals.

My proposal also has your God purposely creating what he wishes and having purposeful goals. Please stop harping on about “humanizing”. Why have you ignored my latest response to it?
[…] if you accept that your God has thought patterns similar to ours, it is absurd to reject a theory on the grounds that it entails thought patterns similar to ours. For instance, you are sure that he is interested in his creations. It would be absurd for me to say to you: you are sure that he is interested in his creations, but I reject your theory, because humans are interested in their creations and so you are “humanizing” him. That is what is wrong with your “perfect answer”.

DAVID: Totally empty point: Having similar thought patterns does not tell us His reasons for His goals.

Nothing can tell us his goal or goals, or his reason for wanting to achieve his goal or goals. But it is absurd to reject a theory on the grounds that it “humanizes” him when you acknowledge that he probably has thought patterns similar to ours.

DAVID: Adler explains why I am correct, and you belittle the unexplained uniqueness of humans arising from apes with no driving force known to us.

dhw: […]: I have always accepted the uniqueness of humans, and your driving force argument can be applied to all species after bacteria. You are simply repeating dodge after dodge to avoid the question I put you on the “error corrections thread”.

DAVID: Of course you accept we are unique.

So why do you say I belittle our uniqueness?

DAVID: That is obvious. Why we appeared in is the point, philosophically. Your answer?

Why did any multicellular organism appear, since bacteria are so successful? I have offered you a philosophical (theistic) explanation for the appearance of ALL organisms, and it also explains theodicy. ALL organisms offer your God something interesting to watch, and humans are particularly interesting. Hence the bolded theory above which you attempt to dismiss with your silly objection that it is “humanizing”.

DAVID: It was not His purpose to find something interesting to create. We guess at his relationship to us, and I'll stick with Adler: 50/50 possibility of interest. You are again humanizing.

dhw: How do you know what his purpose was or was not? Forget Adler. YOU are sure your God watches us with interest, so please tell us why this cannot mean that he created life in order to have something interesting to watch.Your silly “humanizing” argument carries no weight, as explained above.

DAVID: Purpose is defined by studying His works. We are His supreme works. He obviously desired to produce us, His true reasons totally unknown to us, but yes we can guess.

And I have provided a purpose which encompasses the whole of evolution, including all the bad viruses and bacteria, meat-eating, disease, and I have suggested a method which does not entail your God being incapable of correcting errors that cause evil. In case you’ve forgotten: if your God exists, and since you are sure he is interested in his creations, the motive for his creation of life is interest. And free-rein evolution – as exemplified by human free will – leading to good as well as bad is far more interesting that a dull and predictable Garden of Eden.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Thursday, October 29, 2020, 18:41 (401 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: My proposal also has your God purposely creating what he wishes and having purposeful goals. Please stop harping on about “humanizing”. Why have you ignored my latest response to it?
[…] if you accept that your God has thought patterns similar to ours, it is absurd to reject a theory on the grounds that it entails thought patterns similar to ours. For instance, you are sure that he is interested in his creations. It would be absurd for me to say to you: you are sure that he is interested in his creations, but I reject your theory, because humans are interested in their creations and so you are “humanizing” him. That is what is wrong with your “perfect answer”.

DAVID: Totally empty point: Having similar thought patterns does not tell us His reasons for His goals.

dhw: Nothing can tell us his goal or goals, or his reason for wanting to achieve his goal or goals. But it is absurd to reject a theory on the grounds that it “humanizes” him when you acknowledge that he probably has thought patterns similar to ours.

Still struggling: thought patterns of logic, etc., never can tell us His reasons!!!


DAVID: Adler explains why I am correct, and you belittle the unexplained uniqueness of humans arising from apes with no driving force known to us.

dhw: […]: I have always accepted the uniqueness of humans, and your driving force argument can be applied to all species after bacteria. You are simply repeating dodge after dodge to avoid the question I put you on the “error corrections thread”.

DAVID: Of course you accept we are unique.

dhw: so why do you say I belittle our uniqueness?

DAVID: That is obvious. Why we appeared in is the point, philosophically. Your answer?

dhw: Why did any multicellular organism appear, since bacteria are so successful? I have offered you a philosophical (theistic) explanation for the appearance of ALL organisms, and it also explains theodicy.

From another thread on balance of nature my thought: 'Evolution could not have advanced beyond bacteria without God pushing evolution, after their invention by God!!!

dhw: ALL organisms offer your God something interesting to watch, and humans are particularly interesting. Hence the bolded theory above which you attempt to dismiss with your silly objection that it is “humanizing”.

We don't know God is interested. He might be, and I'll stick with Adler's 50/50.


dhw: How do you know what his purpose was or was not? Forget Adler. YOU are sure your God watches us with interest, so please tell us why this cannot mean that he created life in order to have something interesting to watch. Your silly “humanizing” argument carries no weight, as explained above.

No weight with you because of your constant humanized image of God, which you can't seem to leave.


DAVID: Purpose is defined by studying His works. We are His supreme works. He obviously desired to produce us, His true reasons totally unknown to us, but yes we can guess.

dhw: And I have provided a purpose which encompasses the whole of evolution, including all the bad viruses and bacteria, meat-eating, disease, and I have suggested a method which does not entail your God being incapable of correcting errors that cause evil. In case you’ve forgotten: if your God exists, and since you are sure he is interested in his creations, the motive for his creation of life is interest. And free-rein evolution – as exemplified by human free will – leading to good as well as bad is far more interesting that a dull and predictable Garden of Eden.

Same thin argument. How do you know God is interested to the depth you insist upon? It could be quite casual. Adler was a believer but accepted 50/50 as I do. Human free will is in our brain's neurons, not in DNA which is where evolution is controlled.

Theodicy

by dhw, Friday, October 30, 2020, 09:04 (400 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: My proposal also has your God purposely creating what he wishes and having purposeful goals. Please stop harping on about “humanizing”. Why have you ignored my latest response to it?
[…] if you accept that your God has thought patterns similar to ours, it is absurd to reject a theory on the grounds that it entails thought patterns similar to ours. For instance, you are sure that he is interested in his creations. It would be absurd for me to say to you: you are sure that he is interested in his creations, but I reject your theory, because humans are interested in their creations and so you are “humanizing” him. That is what is wrong with your “perfect answer”.

DAVID: Totally empty point: Having similar thought patterns does not tell us His reasons for His goals.

dhw: Nothing can tell us his goal or goals, or his reason for wanting to achieve his goal or goals. But it is absurd to reject a theory on the grounds that it “humanizes” him when you acknowledge that he probably has thought patterns similar to ours.

DAVID: Still struggling: thought patterns of logic, etc., never can tell us His reasons!!!

I have just answered you!

DAVID: Adler explains why I am correct, and you belittle the unexplained uniqueness of humans arising from apes with no driving force known to us.

dhw: […]: I have always accepted the uniqueness of humans, and your driving force argument can be applied to all species after bacteria. You are simply repeating dodge after dodge to avoid the question I put you on the “error corrections thread”.

DAVID: Of course you accept we are unique.

dhw: So why do you say I belittle our uniqueness?

DAVID: [...] Why we appeared in is the point, philosophically. Your answer?

dhw: Why did any multicellular organism appear, since bacteria are so successful? I have offered you a philosophical (theistic) explanation for the appearance of ALL organisms, and it also explains theodicy.

DAVID: From another thread on balance of nature my thought: 'Evolution could not have advanced beyond bacteria without God pushing evolution, after their invention by God!!!

If your God had wanted a free-for-all instead of a puppet show, he could have endowed the first cells with the intelligence to design their own advances as conditions changed, offering new challenges and opportunities. No divine pushing necessary.

dhw: ALL organisms offer your God something interesting to watch, and humans are particularly interesting. Hence the bolded theory above which you attempt to dismiss with your silly objection that it is “humanizing”.

DAVID: We don't know God is interested. He might be, and I'll stick with Adler's 50/50.

Last week you wrote: “I’m sure he sees what is going on with His own level of interest, unknown to us.” Interest is interest.

dhw: How do you know what his purpose was or was not? Forget Adler. YOU are sure your God watches us with interest, so please tell us why this cannot mean that he created life in order to have something interesting to watch. Your silly “humanizing” argument carries no weight, as explained above.

DAVID: No weight with you because of your constant humanized image of God, which you can't seem to leave.

“Humanized” is dealt with and demolished above, using your own words (he probably has thought patterns similar to ours). You are sure your God watches us with interest. So please tell us why he could not have created life in order to have something interesting to watch.

DAVID: Purpose is defined by studying His works. We are His supreme works. He obviously desired to produce us, His true reasons totally unknown to us, but yes we can guess.

dhw: And I have provided a purpose which encompasses the whole of evolution, including all the bad viruses and bacteria, meat-eating, disease, and I have suggested a method which does not entail your God being incapable of correcting errors that cause evil. In case you’ve forgotten: if your God exists, and since you are sure he is interested in his creations, the motive for his creation of life is interest. And free-rein evolution – as exemplified by human free will – leading to good as well as bad, is far more interesting than a dull and predictable Garden of Eden.

DAVID: Same thin argument. How do you know God is interested to the depth you insist upon? It could be quite casual. Adler was a believer but accepted 50/50 as I do. Human free will is in our brain's neurons, not in DNA which is where evolution is controlled.

Nobody “knows” even if your God exists. Your own theory is not “knowledge”! We offer theories and then test them for feasibility. If you think your God took the trouble to design a universe in order to design life in order to design humans, but you think his interest is “casual”, so be it. It would be perfectly feasible to argue that since he doesn’t intervene, he has lost interest altogether (just as it is perfectly feasible to argue that he never existed). But for the sake of argument, as our subject here is theodicy, I am offering a theory which explains the whole of life, and the existence of and reason for good and evil. You have not offered a single logical reason for rejecting it.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Friday, October 30, 2020, 22:04 (400 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Totally empty point: Having similar thought patterns does not tell us His reasons for His goals.

dhw: Nothing can tell us his goal or goals, or his reason for wanting to achieve his goal or goals. But it is absurd to reject a theory on the grounds that it “humanizes” him when you acknowledge that he probably has thought patterns similar to ours.

DAVID: Still struggling: thought patterns of logic, etc., never can tell us His reasons!!!

dhw: I have just answered you!

No real answer. His pattern of thought does not tell us "his reasoning!!! Since you are insistent, tell me how thinking patterns reveal purpose. Look at His works to see goals!


DAVID: Adler explains why I am correct, and you belittle the unexplained uniqueness of humans arising from apes with no driving force known to us.

dhw: […]: I have always accepted the uniqueness of humans, and your driving force argument can be applied to all species after bacteria. You are simply repeating dodge after dodge to avoid the question I put you on the “error corrections thread”.

DAVID: Of course you accept we are unique.

dhw: So why do you say I belittle our uniqueness?

DAVID: [...] Why we appeared in is the point, philosophically. Your answer?

dhw: Why did any multicellular organism appear, since bacteria are so successful? I have offered you a philosophical (theistic) explanation for the appearance of ALL organisms, and it also explains theodicy.

DAVID: From another thread on balance of nature my thought: 'Evolution could not have advanced beyond bacteria without God pushing evolution, after their invention by God!!!

dhw: If your God had wanted a free-for-all instead of a puppet show, he could have endowed the first cells with the intelligence to design their own advances as conditions changed, offering new challenges and opportunities. No divine pushing necessary.

Again a weak God giving up controls.


dhw: ALL organisms offer your God something interesting to watch, and humans are particularly interesting. Hence the bolded theory above which you attempt to dismiss with your silly objection that it is “humanizing”.

DAVID: We don't know God is interested. He might be, and I'll stick with Adler's 50/50.

dhw: Last week you wrote: “I’m sure he sees what is going on with His own level of interest, unknown to us.” Interest is interest.

So now you know God's level of interest is equal to our levels of interest. You now claim to know more about God than anyone else on Earth.


dhw: “Humanized” is dealt with and demolished above, using your own words (he probably has thought patterns similar to ours). You are sure your God watches us with interest. So please tell us why he could not have created life in order to have something interesting to watch.

You don't ever understand how much you humanize god. We don't know if He is interested. We can only think so. He may not care. That is a logical neutral position


DAVID: How do you know God is interested to the depth you insist upon? It could be quite casual. Adler was a believer but accepted 50/50 as I do. Human free will is in our brain's neurons, not in DNA which is where evolution is controlled.

dhw: Nobody “knows” even if your God exists. Your own theory is not “knowledge”! We offer theories and then test them for feasibility. If you think your God took the trouble to design a universe in order to design life in order to design humans, but you think his interest is “casual”, so be it. It would be perfectly feasible to argue that since he doesn’t intervene, he has lost interest altogether (just as it is perfectly feasible to argue that he never existed). But for the sake of argument, as our subject here is theodicy, I am offering a theory which explains the whole of life, and the existence of and reason for good and evil. You have not offered a single logical reason for rejecting it.

I don't reject it as it logically fits your humanized form of God. On that basis it is possible but we are not discussing m y God and His personality. Can you finally tell me about your God's personality and serious view of purposes.

Theodicy

by dhw, Saturday, October 31, 2020, 11:50 (399 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: ...it is absurd to reject a theory on the grounds that it “humanizes” him when you acknowledge that he probably has thought patterns similar to ours.

DAVID: Still struggling: thought patterns of logic, etc., never can tell us His reasons!!!

dhw: I have just answered you!

DAVID: No real answer. His pattern of thought does not tell us "his reasoning!!! Since you are insistent, tell me how thinking patterns reveal purpose. Look at His works to see goals!

Nobody knows his reasons. We can only theorize. That means we are guessing what his thought patterns might be. For instance, you are sure he is interested in watching us. So maybe he designed us to have something interesting to watch – just as we do. That is a thought pattern. And if you think he probably has thought patterns similar to ours, it is absurd to say: No, he can’t have designed us to have something interesting to watch because that would be a thought pattern similar to ours.

DAVID: [...] Why we appeared in is the point, philosophically. Your answer?

dhw: Why did any multicellular organism appear, since bacteria are so successful? I have offered you a philosophical (theistic) explanation for the appearance of ALL organisms, including humans, and it also explains theodicy: [namely, to create something more interesting for himself than a dull Garden of Eden – as you so aptly described it.]

DAVID: From another thread on balance of nature my thought: 'Evolution could not have advanced beyond bacteria without God pushing evolution, after their invention by God!!!

dhw: If your God had wanted a free-for-all instead of a puppet show, he could have endowed the first cells with the intelligence to design their own advances as conditions changed, offering new challenges and opportunities. No divine pushing necessary.

DAVID: Again a weak God giving up controls.

Another of your feeble arguments. Usual response: you believe he gave humans free will – same thing, it means giving up control. Why do you regard deliberately giving up control as weak?

dhw: ALL organisms offer your God something interesting to watch, and humans are particularly interesting. Hence the bolded theory above which you attempt to dismiss with your silly objection that it is “humanizing”.

DAVID: We don't know God is interested. He might be, and I'll stick with Adler's 50/50.

dhw: Last week you wrote: “I’m sure he sees what is going on with His own level of interest, unknown to us.” Interest is interest.

DAVID: So now you know God's level of interest is equal to our levels of interest. You now claim to know more about God than anyone else on Earth.

We don’t “know” anything. We are theorizing and testing the feasibility of our theories. You’re sure he’s interested, but we can’t measure the exact degree of his interest, so let’s dismiss the theory! This is even sillier than the “humanizing” objection. Now please tell us why he could not have created life in order to have something interesting to watch.

DAVID: You don't ever understand how much you humanize god. We don't know if He is interested. We can only think so. He may not care. That is a logical neutral position.

Same again: we don’t “know” anything, which is why we theorize. I’m not even sure that he exists, let alone that he’s interested. But I am tackling the problem of theodicy which you raised, and for that purpose I assume he exists, and I offer a solution to the problem in tune with your own certainty that he “sees what is going on with His own level of interest".

Not caring is not a neutral position, but it certainly offers us another theory to explain evil. In this case, your theory would be that God deliberately designed all the bad viruses and bacteria, the many natural horrors such as meat-eating, and would not have bothered to even try and correct the disease-causing errors caused by the system he designed, because he just didn’t care how much suffering he caused. That also fits in with the history of life, and at best makes your God callous, and at worst sadistic. Thank you for offering this alternative explanation of the origin of evil. (I know it's NOT your theory - I'm simply extrapolating the implications of your hypothetical premise that "He may not care".)

dhw: ...for the sake of argument, as our subject here is theodicy, I am offering a theory which explains the whole of life, and the existence of and reason for good and evil. You have not offered a single logical reason for rejecting it.

DAVID: I don't reject it as it logically fits your humanized form of God. On that basis it is possible but we are not discussing m y God and His personality. Can you finally tell me about your God's personality and serious view of purposes.

Thank you for accepting the feasibility of my theory. As for my view of his personality and purposes, I don’t even know if he exists, but if he does, I have no doubt that he would be extremely powerful, would have had his own purpose(s)/reason(s) for creating life, and would have designed whatever he wanted to design. From that point on, I have a variety of alternative theories concerning his personality and his purposes, all of which you agree are logically based on the few facts we know. Do you really want me to go over them all again?

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Saturday, October 31, 2020, 18:54 (399 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Nobody knows his reasons. We can only theorize. That means we are guessing what his thought patterns might be. For instance, you are sure he is interested in watching us. So maybe he designed us to have something interesting to watch – just as we do. That is a thought pattern. And if you think he probably has thought patterns similar to ours, it is absurd to say: No, he can’t have designed us to have something interesting to watch because that would be a thought pattern similar to ours.

Yes we cannot know His reasons, only guess. So you have made guess as have I. So what! Our knowledge is not advanced.


DAVID: [...] Why we appeared is the point, philosophically. Your answer?

dhw: Why did any multicellular organism appear, since bacteria are so successful? I have offered you a philosophical (theistic) explanation for the appearance of ALL organisms, including humans, and it also explains theodicy: [namely, to create something more interesting for himself than a dull Garden of Eden – as you so aptly described it.]

DAVID: From another thread on balance of nature my thought: 'Evolution could not have advanced beyond bacteria without God pushing evolution, after their invention by God!!!

dhw: If your God had wanted a free-for-all instead of a puppet show, he could have endowed the first cells with the intelligence to design their own advances as conditions changed, offering new challenges and opportunities. No divine pushing necessary.

DAVID: Again a weak God giving up controls.

dhw: Another of your feeble arguments. Usual response: you believe he gave humans free will – same thing, it means giving up control. Why do you regard deliberately giving up control as weak?

Why can't you see a purposeful God (my God) will keep tight control. Your free-will analogy is not equivalent to evolutionary process


DAVID: So now you know God's level of interest is equal to our levels of interest. You now claim to know more about God than anyone else on Earth.

dhw: We don’t “know” anything. We are theorizing and testing the feasibility of our theories. You’re sure he’s interested, but we can’t measure the exact degree of his interest, so let’s dismiss the theory! This is even sillier than the “humanizing” objection. Now please tell us why he could not have created life in order to have something interesting to watch.

A very weak purpose, which is humanizing in context. We cannot know God has human purposes.


DAVID: You don't ever understand how much you humanize god. We don't know if He is interested. We can only think so. He may not care. That is a logical neutral position.

dhw: Not caring is not a neutral position, but it certainly offers us another theory to explain evil. In this case, your theory would be that God deliberately designed all the bad viruses and bacteria, the many natural horrors such as meat-eating, and would not have bothered to even try and correct the disease-causing errors caused by the system he designed, because he just didn’t care how much suffering he caused. That also fits in with the history of life, and at best makes your God callous, and at worst sadistic. Thank you for offering this alternative explanation of the origin of evil. (I know it's NOT your theory - I'm simply extrapolating the implications of your hypothetical premise that "He may not care".)

Thank you for distorting my possible views in such an obvious way. All the evidence we have shows He tried to edit out errors as much as He could, so He was worried about those consequences. Again an incompletely thought-out comment on your part


dhw: ...for the sake of argument, as our subject here is theodicy, I am offering a theory which explains the whole of life, and the existence of and reason for good and evil. You have not offered a single logical reason for rejecting it.

DAVID: I don't reject it as it logically fits your humanized form of God. On that basis it is possible but we are not discussing my God and His personality. Can you finally tell me about your God's personality and serious view of purposes.

dhw: Thank you for accepting the feasibility of my theory. As for my view of his personality and purposes, I don’t even know if he exists, but if he does, I have no doubt that he would be extremely powerful, would have had his own purpose(s)/reason(s) for creating life, and would have designed whatever he wanted to design. From that point on, I have a variety of alternative theories concerning his personality and his purposes, all of which you agree are logically based on the few facts we know. Do you really want me to go over them all again?

The first part of your comment fits my view of His purposefulness. The rest is wandering off into never-never land humanizing Him which is your right to do and at that level of thought you are logical about Him since He is thinking humanly. That form of His personality does not fit your first sentence above, and therefore I view it as inconsistent thinking..

Theodicy

by dhw, Sunday, November 01, 2020, 11:57 (398 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Nobody knows his reasons. We can only theorize. That means we are guessing what his thought patterns might be. For instance, you are sure he is interested in watching us. So maybe he designed us to have something interesting to watch – just as we do. That is a thought pattern. And if you think he probably has thought patterns similar to ours, it is absurd to say: No, he can’t have designed us to have something interesting to watch because that would be a thought pattern similar to ours.

DAVID: Yes we cannot know His reasons, only guess. So you have made guess as have I. So what! Our knowledge is not advanced.

The same argument applies to God’s existence. Thank you for providing such a good case for agnosticism. Meanwhile, I trust you will now stop trying to use “humanizing” as a reason for dismissing theories based on thought patterns similar to ours.

DAVID: From another thread on balance of nature my thought: 'Evolution could not have advanced beyond bacteria without God pushing evolution, after their invention by God!!!

dhw: If your God had wanted a free-for-all instead of a puppet show, he could have endowed the first cells with the intelligence to design their own advances as conditions changed, offering new challenges and opportunities. No divine pushing necessary.

DAVID: Again a weak God giving up controls.

dhw: Another of your feeble arguments. Usual response: you believe he gave humans free will – same thing, it means giving up control. Why do you regard deliberately giving up control as weak?

DAVID: Why can't you see a purposeful God (my God) will keep tight control. Your free-will analogy is not equivalent to evolutionary process.

Why can’t you see that your God who deliberately gives up control over humans could also deliberately give up control over evolution in order to have something more interesting to watch than what you call a “dull Garden of Eden”?

DAVID: A very weak purpose, which is humanizing in context. We cannot know God has human purposes.

A very weak answer. See above for “humanizing”. We cannot know God’s purpose even if he does exist, and that is why we theorize.

DAVID: You don't ever understand how much you humanize god. We don't know if He is interested. We can only think so. He may not care. That is a logical neutral position.

dhw: Not caring is not a neutral position, but it certainly offers us another theory to explain evil. In this case, your theory would be that God deliberately designed all the bad viruses and bacteria, the many natural horrors such as meat-eating, and would not have bothered to even try and correct the disease-causing errors caused by the system he designed, because he just didn’t care how much suffering he caused. That also fits in with the history of life, and at best makes your God callous, and at worst sadistic. […]

DAVID: Thank you for distorting my possible views in such an obvious way. All the evidence we have shows He tried to edit out errors as much as He could, so He was worried about those consequences. Again an incompletely thought-out comment on your part.

You have missed the point. I offered a theory in line with your certainty that God is interested in us. You then offered an alternative: “He may not care.” And so I offered you another theory on THAT premise. Automatically on THAT premise he would NOT have tried to correct the errors – which at least would relieve him of the weakness you attribute to him. (What you call the back-ups would then be the free cells trying to correct the errors.)

dhw: ...for the sake of argument, as our subject here is theodicy, I am offering a theory which explains the whole of life, and the existence of and reason for good and evil. You have not offered a single logical reason for rejecting it.

DAVID: I don't reject it as it logically fits your humanized form of God. On that basis it is possible but we are not discussing my God and His personality. Can you finally tell me about your God's personality and serious view of purposes.

dhw: Thank you for accepting the feasibility of my theory. As for my view of his personality and purposes, I don’t even know if he exists, but if he does, I have no doubt that he would be extremely powerful, would have had his own purpose(s)/reason(s) for creating life, and would have designed whatever he wanted to design. From that point on, I have a variety of alternative theories concerning his personality and his purposes, all of which you agree are logically based on the few facts we know. […]

DAVID: The first part of your comment fits my view of His purposefulness. The rest is wandering off into never-never land humanizing Him which is your right to do and at that level of thought you are logical about Him since He is thinking humanly. That form of His personality does not fit your first sentence above, and therefore I view it as inconsistent thinking.

Thank you for continuing to accept the logic of my proposals. Between us we have already demolished the silly “humanizing” objection. I don’t know what your last remark refers to. Would you please be more precise?


--

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Sunday, November 01, 2020, 19:05 (398 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Yes we cannot know His reasons, only guess. So you have made guess as have I. So what! Our knowledge is not advanced.

dhw: The same argument applies to God’s existence. Thank you for providing such a good case for agnosticism. Meanwhile, I trust you will now stop trying to use “humanizing” as a reason for dismissing theories based on thought patterns similar to ours.

Thought patterns never tell us "God's reasons for His actions. 'Thought patterns' mean logical thought to me. Nothing more. You unconsciously humanize Him.

DAVID: Why can't you see a purposeful God (my God) will keep tight control. Your free-will analogy is not equivalent to evolutionary process.

dhw: Why can’t you see that your God who deliberately gives up control over humans could also deliberately give up control over evolution in order to have something more interesting to watch than what you call a “dull Garden of Eden”?

No equivalence here. Free will is at the thought level, not the design of increasing complexities in evolution.


DAVID: You don't ever understand how much you humanize god. We don't know if He is interested. We can only think so. He may not care. That is a logical neutral position.

dhw: Not caring is not a neutral position, but it certainly offers us another theory to explain evil. In this case, your theory would be that God deliberately designed all the bad viruses and bacteria, the many natural horrors such as meat-eating, and would not have bothered to even try and correct the disease-causing errors caused by the system he designed, because he just didn’t care how much suffering he caused. That also fits in with the history of life, and at best makes your God callous, and at worst sadistic. […]

DAVID: Thank you for distorting my possible views in such an obvious way. All the evidence we have shows He tried to edit out errors as much as He could, so He was worried about those consequences. Again an incompletely thought-out comment on your part.

dhw: You have missed the point. I offered a theory in line with your certainty that God is interested in us. You then offered an alternative: “He may not care.” And so I offered you another theory on THAT premise. Automatically on THAT premise he would NOT have tried to correct the errors – which at least would relieve him of the weakness you attribute to him. (What you call the back-ups would then be the free cells trying to correct the errors.)

You've missed my point. Whether He cares of not is at the point where we are created by His intended design and how we live our lives thereafter.


dhw: ...for the sake of argument, as our subject here is theodicy, I am offering a theory which explains the whole of life, and the existence of and reason for good and evil. You have not offered a single logical reason for rejecting it.

DAVID: I don't reject it as it logically fits your humanized form of God. On that basis it is possible but we are not discussing my God and His personality. Can you finally tell me about your God's personality and serious view of purposes.

dhw: Thank you for accepting the feasibility of my theory. As for my view of his personality and purposes, I don’t even know if he exists, but if he does, I have no doubt that he would be extremely powerful, would have had his own purpose(s)/reason(s) for creating life, and would have designed whatever he wanted to design. From that point on, I have a variety of alternative theories concerning his personality and his purposes, all of which you agree are logically based on the few facts we know. […]

DAVID: The first part of your comment fits my view of His purposefulness. The rest is wandering off into never-never land humanizing Him which is your right to do and at that level of thought you are logical about Him since He is thinking humanly. That form of His personality does not fit your first sentence above, and therefore I view it as inconsistent thinking.

dhw: Thank you for continuing to accept the logic of my proposals. Between us we have already demolished the silly “humanizing” objection. I don’t know what your last remark refers to. Would you please be more precise?

Sorry to have you confused. Your first sentence describes a God with powerful purposeful personality, which is my view of Him. Then you drift off into your usual namby-pamby humanizing possibilities and your view of Him weakens Him. They are all consistent with the facts we know if we grant Him humanized thinking. To define humanizing, in my approach, any deviation from pure purpose is exactly that. Giving Him interests like entertainment, spectacle, etc. is pure humanization. Our discussion about Garden of Eden vs. problems to enliven interest in solving living problems borders on humanization. we do not know if God is interested in how we enjoy life. Until you read Adler's warnings , as a highly respected philosopher of religion, we will continue to battle.

Theodicy

by dhw, Monday, November 02, 2020, 12:45 (397 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Yes we cannot know His reasons, only guess. So you have made guess as have I. So what! Our knowledge is not advanced.

dhw: The same argument applies to God’s existence. Thank you for providing such a good case for agnosticism. Meanwhile, I trust you will now stop trying to use “humanizing” as a reason for dismissing theories based on thought patterns similar to ours.

DAVID: Thought patterns never tell us "God's reasons for His actions. 'Thought patterns' mean logical thought to me. Nothing more. You unconsciously humanize Him.

Nothing can tell us (a) whether God exists, or (b) what might be the reasons for his actions. That is why we theorize. And for nth time, it is absurd to dismiss a perfectly logical theory on the grounds that it involves “logical thought” like ours, when you have told us that “his logic is like ours”, and elsewhere, he “very well could think like us”, and he probably has thought patterns and emotions and other attributes similar to ours.

DAVID: Why can't you see a purposeful God (my God) will keep tight control. Your free-will analogy is not equivalent to evolutionary process.

dhw: Why can’t you see that your God who deliberately gives up control over humans could also deliberately give up control over evolution in order to have something more interesting to watch than what you call a “dull Garden of Eden”?

DAVID: No equivalence here. Free will is at the thought level, not the design of increasing complexities in evolution.

The equivalence lies in God deliberately giving up control.

DAVID: You don't ever understand how much you humanize god. We don't know if He is interested. We can only think so. He may not care. That is a logical neutral position.

dhw: Not caring is not a neutral position, but it certainly offers us another theory to explain evil. In this case, your theory would be that God deliberately designed all the bad viruses and bacteria, the many natural horrors such as meat-eating, and would not have bothered to even try and correct the disease-causing errors caused by the system he designed, because he just didn’t care how much suffering he caused. That also fits in with the history of life, and at best makes your God callous, and at worst sadistic. […]

DAVID: You've missed my point. Whether He cares of not is at the point where we are created by His intended design and how we live our lives thereafter.

You said you were sure your God was interested in us. The theodicy theory I proposed was based on God being interested in us. You then said maybe he was not interested in us and “may not care”. I therefore proposed a theodicy theory based on the premise that he did not care. That too fits in with the facts of life’s history.

dhw: As for my view of his personality and purposes, I don’t even know if he exists, but if he does, I have no doubt that he would be extremely powerful, would have had his own purpose(s)/reason(s) for creating life, and would have designed whatever he wanted to design. From that point on, I have a variety of alternative theories concerning his personality and his purposes, all of which you agree are logically based on the few facts we know. […]

DAVID: Your first sentence describes a God with powerful purposeful personality, which is my view of Him. Then you drift off into your usual namby-pamby humanizing possibilities and your view of Him weakens Him. They are all consistent with the facts we know if we grant Him humanized thinking. To define humanizing, in my approach, any deviation from pure purpose is exactly that. Giving Him interests like entertainment, spectacle, etc. is pure humanization. Our discussion about Garden of Eden vs. problems to enliven interest in solving living problems borders on humanization. we do not know if God is interested in how we enjoy life. Until you read Adler's warnings , as a highly respected philosopher of religion, we will continue to battle.

I am discussing this with you and not with Adler, who apparently warns us not to think of God as if he were human. I do not think of him as if he were human. No human that I know of is capable of creating a universe, or a mechanism that will evolve bacteria into humans. But I agree with you that your God probably has thought patterns similar to ours, “very well may think like us”, and “his logic is like ours”. We do not “know” anything about him. We theorize, and any purpose we give him is sure to be “humanized” and unprovable. What do you mean by “pure purpose”. How can you have purpose without a definable purpose? Our discussion about Garden of Eden does not “border on” humanization – “enhanced interest” is a perfectly logical “humanized” explanation for your God’s actions, and if you want to explain theodicy, you have no choice other than to speculate on your God’s purpose(s). WE CAN’T KNOW THE TRUTH. So why did you bring up the subject in the first place if you didn’t want to discuss POSSIBLE explanations?

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Monday, November 02, 2020, 18:17 (397 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Nothing can tell us (a) whether God exists, or (b) what might be the reasons for his actions. That is why we theorize. And for nth time, it is absurd to dismiss a perfectly logical theory on the grounds that it involves “logical thought” like ours, when you have told us that “his logic is like ours”, and elsewhere, he “very well could think like us”, and he probably has thought patterns and emotions and other attributes similar to ours.

The usual non-answer to the point we have no direct knowledge of His reasons for His actions, no matter how similar ours and His thought patterns are.


DAVID: No equivalence here. Free will is at the thought level, not the design of increasing complexities in evolution.

dhw: The equivalence lies in God deliberately giving up control.

Yes giving up control is equivalent if you ignore, as you have, which controls of what process. All organisms are free living. God can theoretically only exert control over their evolution and maybe Chixculub events. Poor analogy at best.


DAVID: You've missed my point. Whether He cares of not is at the point where we are created by His intended design and how we live our lives thereafter.

dhw: You said you were sure your God was interested in us. The theodicy theory I proposed was based on God being interested in us. You then said maybe he was not interested in us and “may not care”. I therefore proposed a theodicy theory based on the premise that he did not care. That too fits in with the facts of life’s history.

Nice to be in full agreement. You are absolutely correct. We have no idea how much He cares as Adler discusses.


dhw: As for my view of his personality and purposes, I don’t even know if he exists, but if he does, I have no doubt that he would be extremely powerful, would have had his own purpose(s)/reason(s) for creating life, and would have designed whatever he wanted to design. From that point on, I have a variety of alternative theories concerning his personality and his purposes, all of which you agree are logically based on the few facts we know. […]

DAVID: Your first sentence describes a God with powerful purposeful personality, which is my view of Him. Then you drift off into your usual namby-pamby humanizing possibilities and your view of Him weakens Him. They are all consistent with the facts we know if we grant Him humanized thinking. To define humanizing, in my approach, any deviation from pure purpose is exactly that. Giving Him interests like entertainment, spectacle, etc. is pure humanization. Our discussion about Garden of Eden vs. problems to enliven interest in solving living problems borders on humanization. We do not know if God is interested in how we enjoy life. Until you read Adler's warnings , as a highly respected philosopher of religion, we will continue to battle.

dhw: I am discussing this with you and not with Adler, who apparently warns us not to think of God as if he were human. I do not think of him as if he were human. No human that I know of is capable of creating a universe, or a mechanism that will evolve bacteria into humans. But I agree with you that your God probably has thought patterns similar to ours, “very well may think like us”, and “his logic is like ours”. We do not “know” anything about him. We theorize, and any purpose we give him is sure to be “humanized” and unprovable. What do you mean by “pure purpose”. How can you have purpose without a definable purpose? Our discussion about Garden of Eden does not “border on” humanization – “enhanced interest” is a perfectly logical “humanized” explanation for your God’s actions, and if you want to explain theodicy, you have no choice other than to speculate on your God’s purpose(s). WE CAN’T KNOW THE TRUTH.

I start from Adler's warning. We have discussed and explored all theodicy issues at length. As for 'purpose' as a personality topic I view God, as stated, as highly purposeful, as a primary characteristic, deciding on the goals of His present creation (as eternal, there may well have been other previous universes with similar or different goals) and proceeding to produce it, without experimenting or looking for spectacles. Look at your descriptions of God. Not the same. Strictly theodicy looks at what is bad that God seems to have produced. It is our interpretation of bad at the basis of discussion. All the evidence shows God knew of many problems for which He devised the best editing systems He could, and considering the required speed of reactions, they are remarkably good. Our living biology is the only living system we know, so the judgement I've made is from analyzing how it works.

An example of how our judgement about good and bad is the discussion of bad human body designs. The disrespected appendix is now shown to have very important immunity processes. The backward retina is better than all others and etc. The Plasmodium that caused your blackwater fever was cured by a compound derived from a natural substance in tree bark. Did God provide the parasites and the cure? But the challenge using the big brain He gave us was to find the combination of the two natural products. Did He purposely give us challenges out of His interest in how we would handle it, or without interest for Himself (your failing) simply gave us a challenge to keep life interesting for us?

Theodicy

by dhw, Tuesday, November 03, 2020, 08:17 (396 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Nothing can tell us (a) whether God exists, or (b) what might be the reasons for his actions. That is why we theorize. And for nth time, it is absurd to dismiss a perfectly logical theory on the grounds that it involves “logical thought” like ours, when you have told us that “his logic is like ours”, and elsewhere, he “very well could think like us”, and he probably has thought patterns and emotions and other attributes similar to ours.[/b]

DAVID: The usual non-answer to the point we have no direct knowledge of His reasons for His actions, no matter how similar ours and His thought patterns are.

Of course we have no direct knowledge. That is why we come up with our different theories. And for the n+th time, since you agree that he may think like us, it is absurd to reject a theory just because it has him thinking like us. That doesn’t mean the theory is true, but it does mean that you have not found a single flaw in its reasoning.

DAVID: No equivalence here. Free will is at the thought level, not the design of increasing complexities in evolution.

dhw: The equivalence lies in God deliberately giving up control.

DAVID: Yes giving up control is equivalent if you ignore, as you have, which controls of what process. All organisms are free living. God can theoretically only exert control over their evolution and maybe Chixculub events. Poor analogy at best.

Your objection was that deliberately giving up control of evolution made God “weak”. Why? If it is not “weak” to allow us for instance to deny his existence and to wreck the planet, why is it weak to allow the weaverbird to design its own nest (natural wonders), or to allow the cell communities of the pre-whale to change its legs to fins (speciation)? I’m interested in what you mean by “free living”. You can’t even allow bacteria and fungi and plants and animals to form symbiotic relationships without your God stepping in to give them instructions!

DAVID: You've missed my point. Whether He cares of not is at the point where we are created by His intended design and how we live our lives thereafter.

dhw: You said you were sure your God was interested in us. The theodicy theory I proposed was based on God being interested in us. You then said maybe he was not interested in us and “may not care”. I therefore proposed a theodicy theory based on the premise that he did not care. That too fits in with the facts of life’s history.

DAVID: Nice to be in full agreement. You are absolutely correct. We have no idea how much He cares as Adler discusses.

And so we formulate our theories to try and explain theodicy. I have now offered you two: one based on his interest, and one based on his not caring. You have not found a single flaw in the reasoning, and they both fit the facts of life's history as we know it.You raised the subject, so what is your theory?

dhw: What do you mean by “pure purpose”. How can you have purpose without a definable purpose? Our discussion about Garden of Eden does not “border on” humanization – “enhanced interest” is a perfectly logical “humanized” explanation for your God’s actions, and if you want to explain theodicy, you have no choice other than to speculate on your God’s purpose(s). WE CAN’T KNOW THE TRUTH.

DAVID: As for 'purpose' as a personality topic I view God, as stated, as highly purposeful, as a primary characteristic, deciding on the goals of His present creation (as eternal, there may well have been other previous universes with similar or different goals) and proceeding to produce it, without experimenting or looking for spectacles.

Yet again: I also see him as highly purposeful and proceeding to produce what he wants to produce. We needn’t go over the illogicalities of your theory, as dealt with under “error corrections”, and experimenting is one theory to explain all the non-human forms which you are unable to explain, while looking for something that will interest him is a purpose that fully explains the whole of evolution and theodicy.

DAVID: Look at your descriptions of God. Not the same. Strictly theodicy looks at what is bad that God seems to have produced. It is our interpretation of bad at the basis of discussion. All the evidence shows God knew of many problems for which He devised the best editing systems He could […]

How well the body works has nothing to do with the problem of theodicy! This concerns the origin of evil.

DAVID: Did He purposely give us challenges out of His interest in how we would handle it, or without interest for Himself (your failing) simply gave us a challenge to keep life interesting for us?

You seem to forget that life and bad bugs and self-interest and suffering existed long before we appeared. Now you are simply asking whether my “interest” theory might be true! Without reverting to “humanization” and “weakness” (both dealt with above), please tell us why you think it can’t be true, and do please tell us your own explanation of evil.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 03, 2020, 17:19 (396 days ago) @ dhw

DHW: Of course we have no direct knowledge. That is why we come up with our different theories. And for the n+th time, since you agree that he may think like us, it is absurd to reject a theory just because it has him thinking like us. That doesn’t mean the theory is true, but it does mean that you have not found a single flaw in its reasoning.

Still no answer to the issue that similar logical thinking dos not tell us His reasons for His choices of action.


DAVID: Yes giving up control is equivalent if you ignore, as you have, which controls of what process. All organisms are free living. God can theoretically only exert control over their evolution and maybe Chixculub events. Poor analogy at best.

dhw: Your objection was that deliberately giving up control of evolution made God “weak”. Why? If it is not “weak” to allow us for instance to deny his existence and to wreck the planet, why is it weak to allow the weaverbird to design its own nest (natural wonders), or to allow the cell communities of the pre-whale to change its legs to fins (speciation)? I’m interested in what you mean by “free living”. You can’t even allow bacteria and fungi and plants and animals to form symbiotic relationships without your God stepping in to give them instructions!

your objection is to God, the designer.

dhw: And so we formulate our theories to try and explain theodicy. I have now offered you two: one based on his interest, and one based on his not caring. You have not found a single flaw in the reasoning, and they both fit the facts of life's history as we know it. You raised the subject, so what is your theory?

We really don't know if He is interested in us. Evidence shows He tried to protect us from mistakes and bad bugs


DAVID: As for 'purpose' as a personality topic I view God, as stated, as highly purposeful, as a primary characteristic, deciding on the goals of His present creation (as eternal, there may well have been other previous universes with similar or different goals) and proceeding to produce it, without experimenting or looking for spectacles.

dhw: Yet again: I also see him as highly purposeful and proceeding to produce what he wants to produce. We needn’t go over the illogicalities of your theory, as dealt with under “error corrections”, and experimenting is one theory to explain all the non-human forms which you are unable to explain, while looking for something that will interest him is a purpose that fully explains the whole of evolution and theodicy.

Totally humanizing. God may produce us and not show interest. We are his goal, not finding an interesting show.


DAVID: Look at your descriptions of God. Not the same. Strictly theodicy looks at what is bad that God seems to have produced. It is our interpretation of bad at the basis of discussion. All the evidence shows God knew of many problems for which He devised the best editing systems He could […]

dhw: How well the body works has nothing to do with the problem of theodicy! This concerns the origin of evil.

Evil, as we define it, is here. God allowed it, perhaps for reasons we do not yet understand.


DAVID: Did He purposely give us challenges out of His interest in how we would handle it, or without interest for Himself (your failing) simply gave us a challenge to keep life interesting for us?

dhw: You seem to forget that life and bad bugs and self-interest and suffering existed long before we appeared. Now you are simply asking whether my “interest” theory might be true! Without reverting to “humanization” and “weakness” (both dealt with above), please tell us why you think it can’t be true, and do please tell us your own explanation of evil.

Now you are reminding me of the continuum of evolution. Excluding human caused evil, bad bugs and tornados are here from God. We have explained some bad bugs and fought them and we have tornado warning systems, so He gave us brains to handle it. The issue is whether God is purely benevolent as religions try to tell us. He may not be. But He has made protections in his editing systems. Fighting Bugs is our job.

Theodicy

by dhw, Wednesday, November 04, 2020, 11:22 (395 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Of course we have no direct knowledge. That is why we come up with our different theories. And for the n+th time, since you agree that he may think like us, it is absurd to reject a theory just because it has him thinking like us. That doesn’t mean the theory is true, but it does mean that you have not found a single flaw in its reasoning.

DAVID: Still no answer to the issue that similar logical thinking dos not tell us His reasons for His choices of action.

Nobody knows if he exists, let alone his purpose or reasons, his way of thinking, and whether he designed every life form or allowed evolution free rein. That is why we have different theories. And it remains absurd to dismiss a theory just because it has him thinking like us even though you believe he may think like us.

DAVID: your objection is to God, the designer.

My objection is to your belief that your God directly designed every life form and every food supply in the history of the planet as part of his goal to directly design H. sapiens and his food supply.

DAVID: We really don't know if He is interested in us. Evidence shows He tried to protect us from mistakes and bad bugs.

We don’t “KNOW” anything! We only theorize! History does not show any such thing. History shows bad bugs. It also shows that organisms have developed defences against some of them and not against others.

dhw: Yet again: I also see him as highly purposeful and proceeding to produce what he wants to produce. We needn’t go over the illogicalities of your theory, as dealt with under “error corrections”, and experimenting is one theory to explain all the non-human forms which you are unable to explain, while looking for something that will interest him is a purpose that fully explains the whole of evolution and theodicy.

DAVID: Totally humanizing. God may produce us and not show interest. We are his goal, not finding an interesting show.

How do you know? Humans would be the most interesting part of the "show"! Why do you think the question of purpose ends with the production of humans? Didn't your purposeful God have a purpose in producing humans?

dhw: How well the body works has nothing to do with the problem of theodicy! This concerns the origin of evil.

DAVID: Evil, as we define it, is here. God allowed it, perhaps for reasons we do not yet understand.

That is the problem we are supposed to be dealing with on this thread, which you started. I have offered you two “reasons”, each of which fits in logically with the history of life as we know it. All you have done so far is tell us how good and clever your God is, because the body generally works well.

DAVID: Now you are reminding me of the continuum of evolution. Excluding human caused evil, bad bugs and tornados are here from God. We have explained some bad bugs and fought them and we have tornado warning systems, so He gave us brains to handle it. The issue is whether God is purely benevolent as religions try to tell us. He may not be. But He has made protections in his editing systems. Fighting Bugs is our job.

Evolution is not a continuum from bacteria to humans. The rest of your comment tells us how humans can fight some of God’s “evil” creations, and so has nothing to do with the problem of theodicy. The only relevant remark here is to the issue of God’s benevolence. That is the subject we are supposed to be discussing. So back we go: why can’t my interest theory be true, and if you can’t even begin to explain the evil your God appears to have deliberately or accidentally created, why did you raise the subject in the first place?

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Wednesday, November 04, 2020, 18:32 (395 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Still no answer to the issue that similar logical thinking does not tell us His reasons for His choices of action.

dhw: Nobody knows if he exists, let alone his purpose or reasons, his way of thinking, and whether he designed every life form or allowed evolution free rein. That is why we have different theories. And it remains absurd to dismiss a theory just because it has him thinking like us even though you believe he may think like us.

Same subterfuge. His thinking like us must be logical, but it does not tell us His reasoning to reach His purposes. I'm arguing category of logical thought is all we can conclude about God's thinking. You describe a God with desires like ours, and I view that as illogical, since He is a personage like no other person. You describe His desires, I look for His purposes.


DAVID: your objection is to God, the designer.

dhw: My objection is to your belief that your God directly designed every life form and every food supply in the history of the planet as part of his goal to directly design H. sapiens and his food supply.

Same old saw. I believe the complexities of living biochemistry demands design, the same design that keeps you agnostic.


DAVID: We really don't know if He is interested in us. Evidence shows He tried to protect us from mistakes and bad bugs.

dhw: We don’t “KNOW” anything! We only theorize! History does not show any such thing. History shows bad bugs. It also shows that organisms have developed defences against some of them and not against others.

I am discussing my theory about how God works


dhw: Yet again: I also see him as highly purposeful and proceeding to produce what he wants to produce. We needn’t go over the illogicalities of your theory, as dealt with under “error corrections”, and experimenting is one theory to explain all the non-human forms which you are unable to explain, while looking for something that will interest him is a purpose that fully explains the whole of evolution and theodicy.

DAVID: Totally humanizing. God may produce us and not show interest. We are his goal, not finding an interesting show.

dhw: How do you know? Humans would be the most interesting part of the "show"! Why do you think the question of purpose ends with the production of humans? Didn't your purposeful God have a purpose in producing humans?

But for His sole interest is obviously humanizing. It appears He meant we should arrive with our big brains and dominate the Earth learning how to handle the job. That is all history tells us.


dhw: How well the body works has nothing to do with the problem of theodicy! This concerns the origin of evil.

DAVID: Evil, as we define it, is here. God allowed it, perhaps for reasons we do not yet understand.[/b]

dhw: That is the problem we are supposed to be dealing with on this thread, which you started. I have offered you two “reasons”, each of which fits in logically with the history of life as we know it. All you have done so far is tell us how good and clever your God is, because the body generally works well.

What God did well or bad must be part of the discussion. Theodicy is a human invention which notes what problems we are faced with, bad bugs, evil, biological mistakes, etc., and wonder why God allowed them. It implies God should be be beneficent. That can only be our hope, because He is not talking. What He did do was create us and we can enjoy living. But there is another point you ignore: God allowed it, perhaps for reasons we do not yet understand.[/i]. It is like the "bad appendix" which shouldn't be part of our body. That level of human judgement stinks! Our judgement at this level is questionable. My obvious point is our human judgement of God, based on His possible benevolence may be quite skewed.

dhw: The only relevant remark here is to the issue of God’s benevolence. That is the subject we are supposed to be discussing. So back we go: why can’t my interest theory be true, and if you can’t even begin to explain the evil your God appears to have deliberately or accidentally created, why did you raise the subject in the first place?

Because the issue needs to be dealt with. As for 'interest' that is a human desire, and God is not human, and His desires never should be analyzed from a human point of view.

Theodicy

by dhw, Thursday, November 05, 2020, 10:17 (394 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Still no answer to the issue that similar logical thinking does not tell us His reasons for His choices of action.

dhw: Nobody knows if he exists, let alone his purpose or reasons, his way of thinking, and whether he designed every life form or allowed evolution free rein. That is why we have different theories. And it remains absurd to dismiss a theory just because it has him thinking like us even though you believe he may think like us.

DAVID: Same subterfuge. His thinking like us must be logical, but it does not tell us His reasoning to reach His purposes. I'm arguing category of logical thought is all we can conclude about God's thinking. You describe a God with desires like ours, and I view that as illogical, since He is a personage like no other person. You describe His desires, I look for His purposes.

No you don’t. You stop at one purpose: every extant and extinct life form and econiche is/was “part of the goal to evolve (= directly design) humans.” Nobody knows his purpose or his reasoning, but it makes perfect sense that his purpose should be bound up with what he wants (i.e. his desires). Nobody would argue that if your God exists he is human, but that does not mean he does not have thought patterns etc. similar to ours – as you admit yourself. And so a theory that entails a thought pattern similar to ours cannot logically be dismissed on the grounds that it entails a thought pattern similar to ours!

DAVID: your objection is to God, the designer.

dhw: My objection is to your belief that your God directly designed every life form and every food supply in the history of the planet as part of his goal to directly design H. sapiens and his food supply.

DAVID:Same old saw. I believe the complexities of living biochemistry demands design, the same design that keeps you agnostic.

I keep agreeing that it demands design, and I propose an alternative theory to your own. I don’t know why we have to keep repeating this same exchange, except that it enables you to dodge the illogicality of your own theory, as explained by me and dodged by you on the “error correction” thread.

DAVID: We really don't know if He is interested in us. Evidence shows He tried to protect us from mistakes and bad bugs.

dhw: We don’t “KNOW” anything! We only theorize! History does not show any such thing. History shows bad bugs. It also shows that organisms have developed defences against some of them and not against others.

DAVID: I am discussing my theory about how God works.

And I am pointing out that there is no “evidence” that your God “tried to protect us from mistakes and bad bugs”.

DAVID: Evil, as we define it, is here. God allowed it, perhaps for reasons we do not yet understand.

dhw: That is the problem we are supposed to be dealing with on this thread, which you started. I have offered you two “reasons”, each of which fits in logically with the history of life as we know it. All you have done so far is tell us how good and clever your God is, because the body generally works well.

DAVID: What God did well or bad must be part of the discussion. Theodicy is a human invention which notes what problems we are faced with, bad bugs, evil, biological mistakes, etc., and wonder why God allowed them. It implies God should be beneficent. That can only be our hope, because He is not talking. What He did do was create us and we can enjoy living.

I know what theodicy means and implies. You raised the subject, and now you are telling us that we can enjoy life. I do, thank you. Now how about dealing with the subject?

DAVID: But there is another point you ignore: God allowed it, perhaps for reasons we do not yet understand.

I can hardly be said to ignore it since I am the one who is trying to understand it by offering you explanations.

dhw: [...] why did you raise the subject in the first place?

DAVID: Because the issue needs to be dealt with. As for 'interest' that is a human desire, and God is not human, and His desires never should be analyzed from a human point of view.

You don’t even try to deal with it. All you can do is tell us to look on the sunny side of your God’s successes, and not to use our human reason, because any explanation we come up with will impose a human thought pattern on God, and although God probably has human thought patterns, any theory with a human thought pattern must be wrong. And for good measure, although you are sure he is interested in us, he might not be interested in us!

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 05, 2020, 15:29 (394 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Same subterfuge. His thinking like us must be logical, but it does not tell us His reasoning to reach His purposes. I'm arguing category of logical thought is all we can conclude about God's thinking. You describe a God with desires like ours, and I view that as illogical, since He is a personage like no other person. You describe His desires, I look for His purposes.

dhw: No you don’t. You stop at one purpose: every extant and extinct life form and econiche is/was “part of the goal to evolve (= directly design) humans.” Nobody knows his purpose or his reasoning, but it makes perfect sense that his purpose should be bound up with what he wants (i.e. his desires). Nobody would argue that if your God exists he is human, but that does not mean he does not have thought patterns etc. similar to ours – as you admit yourself. And so a theory that entails a thought pattern similar to ours cannot logically be dismissed on the grounds that it entails a thought pattern similar to ours!

Same dodge. The only definite thought pattern we can count on is logic! We can only judge purpose by results He produced.


DAVID: I am discussing my theory about how God works.

dhw: And I am pointing out that there is no “evidence” that your God “tried to protect us from mistakes and bad bugs”.

In regarding mistakes you are ignoring or forgotten all the evidence I have presented about very effective editing systems. As for the bugs, we have our own brains to fight them, and some may have a God's purpose we do not yet understand.


DAVID: But there is another point you ignore: God allowed it, perhaps for reasons we do not yet understand.

I can hardly be said to ignore it since I am the one who is trying to understand it by offering you explanations.

dhw: [...] why did you raise the subject in the first place?

DAVID: Because the issue needs to be dealt with. As for 'interest' that is a human desire, and God is not human, and His desires never should be analyzed from a human point of view.

dhw: You don’t even try to deal with it. All you can do is tell us to look on the sunny side of your God’s successes, and not to use our human reason, because any explanation we come up with will impose a human thought pattern on God, and although God probably has human thought patterns, any theory with a human thought pattern must be wrong. And for good measure, although you are sure he is interested in us, he might not be interested in us!

No, I can't explain away the issues in theodicy, but it outlines our very specific differences. I accept God possible warts and all on the 'sunny side', and all you see is bad. Your other problem is imposing human desires upon God. I limit myself to purposes I can see, no more, which is why I am not sure about how much interest He has in everything we do. I limit my delving into His personality by studying purpose, never applying any human desires to Him. From my purposefully constricted position I can easily identify all of your humanizing attempts.

Theodicy

by dhw, Friday, November 06, 2020, 11:17 (393 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Same subterfuge. His thinking like us must be logical, but it does not tell us His reasoning to reach His purposes. I'm arguing category of logical thought is all we can conclude about God's thinking. You describe a God with desires like ours, and I view that as illogical, since He is a personage like no other person. You describe His desires, I look for His purposes.

dhw: No you don’t. You stop at one purpose: every extant and extinct life form and econiche is/was “part of the goal to evolve (= directly design) humans.” Nobody knows his purpose or his reasoning, but it makes perfect sense that his purpose should be bound up with what he wants (i.e. his desires). Nobody would argue that if your God exists he is human, but that does not mean he does not have thought patterns etc. similar to ours – as you admit yourself. And so a theory that entails a thought pattern similar to ours cannot logically be dismissed on the grounds that it entails a thought pattern similar to ours!

DAVID: Same dodge. The only definite thought pattern we can count on is logic! We can only judge purpose by results He produced.

I agree that we can only judge purpose by the results, and the illogicality of the thought pattern you impose on your God is dealt with under “error corrections”. If we want to solve the problem of “theodicy”, we can only theorize about your God’s purpose in creating or allowing evil. You cannot draw a line between his desires (= what he wants) and his purpose (= what he wants). You agree that his logic, thought patterns, emotions and other attributes are probably similar to ours, and so it remains utterly absurd to dismiss a theory on the grounds that it has God thinking like us, although you agree that God probably thinks like us.

DAVID: I am discussing my theory about how God works.

dhw: And I am pointing out that there is no “evidence” that your God “tried to protect us from mistakes and bad bugs”.

DAVID: In regarding mistakes you are ignoring or forgotten all the evidence I have presented about very effective editing systems. As for the bugs, we have our own brains to fight them, and some may have a God's purpose we do not yet understand.

Even if it were true that your God designed effective editing systems, they do not explain the existence of evil! If you believe that he created the bugs as a challenge to our human brains (and who cares about all the suffering animals that preceded us?) then you seem to be suggesting that he deliberately created evil as a test for us (though you’re not keen on him being interested in the result even though you’re sure he is watching us). See below. A purpose we do not yet understand is not much help in solving the problem of theodicy.

dhw: [...] why did you raise the subject in the first place?

DAVID: Because the issue needs to be dealt with. As for 'interest' that is a human desire, and God is not human, and His desires never should be analyzed from a human point of view.

dhw: You don’t even try to deal with it. All you can do is tell us to look on the sunny side of your God’s successes, and not to use our human reason, because any explanation we come up with will impose a human thought pattern on God, and although God probably has human thought patterns, any theory with a human thought pattern must be wrong. And for good measure, although you are sure he is interested in us, he might not be interested in us!

DAVID: No, I can't explain away the issues in theodicy, but it outlines our very specific differences. I accept God possible warts and all on the 'sunny side', and all you see is bad.

The problem of theodicy is to explain the bad, not to praise the good!

DAVID: Your other problem is imposing human desires upon God. I limit myself to purposes I can see, no more, which is why I am not sure about how much interest He has in everything we do. I limit my delving into His personality by studying purpose, never applying any human desires to Him. From my purposefully constricted position I can easily identify all of your humanizing attempts.

Yet again your silly “humanizing” argument is dealt with above. How can you possibly even begin to tackle the problem of theodicy without speculating on why your God created or allowed evil? And “why” can only entail discussing his “desires”, i.e. what he wanted to achieve. You dip your toe in the water with your idea that he gave us our brains to meet the challenge of the bad bugs (see above), and you dip the rest of your foot in when you tell us you’re sure he’s watching us with interest...but when I point out that this is exactly the theory I am proposing – that if he exists, he created or allowed good and evil in order to have something more interesting to watch than what you call a dull Garden of Eden – you snatch your foot out of the water and limp away screaming: “Humanizing!” :-D

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Friday, November 06, 2020, 18:02 (393 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Same dodge. The only definite thought pattern we can count on is logic! We can only judge purpose by results He produced.

dhw: I agree that we can only judge purpose by the results, and the illogicality of the thought pattern you impose on your God is dealt with under “error corrections”. If we want to solve the problem of “theodicy”, we can only theorize about your God’s purpose in creating or allowing evil. You cannot draw a line between his desires (= what he wants) and his purpose (= what he wants). You agree that his logic, thought patterns, emotions and other attributes are probably similar to ours, and so it remains utterly absurd to dismiss a theory on the grounds that it has God thinking like us, although you agree that God probably thinks like us.

Same trickery. I will grant God uses logic as we do but admit no more comparisons of thought which you try to imply to sneak in your humanizing comments about experimentation and spectacle.


DAVID: I am discussing my theory about how God works.

dhw: And I am pointing out that there is no “evidence” that your God “tried to protect us from mistakes and bad bugs”.

DAVID: In regarding mistakes you are ignoring or forgotten all the evidence I have presented about very effective editing systems. As for the bugs, we have our own brains to fight them, and some may have a God's purpose we do not yet understand.

dhw: Even if it were true that your God designed effective editing systems, they do not explain the existence of evil! If you believe that he created the bugs as a challenge to our human brains (and who cares about all the suffering animals that preceded us?) then you seem to be suggesting that he deliberately created evil as a test for us (though you’re not keen on him being interested in the result even though you’re sure he is watching us). See below. A purpose we do not yet understand is not much help in solving the problem of theodicy.

I cannot fully solve the problem. You keep forgetting our interpretation of evil comes from our human assumption that God is benevolent. He may not be and we may have to accept that point, and deny religion's propaganda about His characteristics.


dhw: [...] why did you raise the subject in the first place?

DAVID: Because the issue needs to be dealt with. As for 'interest' that is a human desire, and God is not human, and His desires never should be analyzed from a human point of view.

dhw: You don’t even try to deal with it. All you can do is tell us to look on the sunny side of your God’s successes, and not to use our human reason, because any explanation we come up with will impose a human thought pattern on God, and although God probably has human thought patterns, any theory with a human thought pattern must be wrong. And for good measure, although you are sure he is interested in us, he might not be interested in us!

Exactly, I am trying to maintain a neutrality about God's concern about us.


DAVID: No, I can't explain away the issues in theodicy, but it outlines our very specific differences. I accept God possible warts and all on the 'sunny side', and all you see is bad.

dhw: The problem of theodicy is to explain the bad, not to praise the good!

God may desire the bad is the possibility! And for undiscovered reasons. Which is why I follow scientific findings. I may not live long enough to have an answer.


DAVID: Your other problem is imposing human desires upon God. I limit myself to purposes I can see, no more, which is why I am not sure about how much interest He has in everything we do. I limit my delving into His personality by studying purpose, never applying any human desires to Him. From my purposefully constricted position I can easily identify all of your humanizing attempts.

dhw: Yet again your silly “humanizing” argument is dealt with above. How can you possibly even begin to tackle the problem of theodicy without speculating on why your God created or allowed evil? And “why” can only entail discussing his “desires”, i.e. what he wanted to achieve. You dip your toe in the water with your idea that he gave us our brains to meet the challenge of the bad bugs (see above), and you dip the rest of your foot in when you tell us you’re sure he’s watching us with interest...but when I point out that this is exactly the theory I am proposing – that if he exists, he created or allowed good and evil in order to have something more interesting to watch than what you call a dull Garden of Eden – you snatch your foot out of the water and limp away screaming: “Humanizing!” :-D

Again totally missed the background of my choice that God exists. The prime issue is why do we exist? It cannot be by chance. Therefore, from my standpoint, God exists. And we are here to look at what we consider evil He allowed. I am not considering the evil humans do with their free will. We do that, not God. Metabolic mistakes have excellent, if not perfect editing system, which I believe is the best God can do to create life. God has reasons for the bad bugs I do not understand, but accept He wanted them and gave us the brains to fight them. That is as far as I can go. The bold is your same humanizing silliness. We do not know if He is interested. But He has made our lives very interesting, at our human level, a good not an evil. ;-)

Theodicy

by dhw, Saturday, November 07, 2020, 08:23 (392 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: (Under "Junk DNA: goodbye!"): As usual the 'dark areas' of DNA are purposeful. I cannot image a designing God who created a bunch of useless DNA. God, as I view Him, is purely purposeful, and never shows frivolous human thoughts or desires.

I don’t know what you mean by “purely” purposeful. You have explained the clearly defined purpose of this “area” of DNA. So why do you think he did not have a clearly defined purpose in designing every life form, or in designing humans? And since you are sure your God watches us with interest, why is it more “frivolous” for him to have created life in order to watch it with interest than, for instance, to set us a challenge by leaving us to combat the bad bugs he has created (one of your own theories)? Why would he set us a challenge?

dhw: You agree that his logic, thought patterns, emotions and other attributes are probably similar to ours, and so it remains utterly absurd to dismiss a theory on the grounds that it has God thinking like us, although you agree that God probably thinks like us.

DAVID: Same trickery. I will grant God uses logic as we do but admit no more comparisons of thought which you try to imply to sneak in your humanizing comments about experimentation and spectacle.

There is no "trickery" or “sneaking”. These are two alternative, concrete proposals to explain your God’s possible reason for designing every life form, or for giving evolution free rein. I’m happy to drop the “frivolous” term “spectacle” and stick to your own positive statement that he is interested in us.

DAVID: I cannot fully solve the problem. You keep forgetting our interpretation of evil comes from our human assumption that God is benevolent. He may not be and we may have to accept that point, and deny religion's propaganda about His characteristics.

You and I are clearly not bound by religion’s propaganda (though how anyone can read the Old Testament and see nothing but benevolence is beyond my comprehension!). And so you are right, in addition to my “interest” theory, we must reckon with the theory of a malevolent or sadistic God. However, you also rightly point out all the good things he has done (and I must confess that my own view is that the world really is a mixture of wondrous beauty and love, and sheer horror), and so it is also possible that just like us he is a mixture of “good” and “bad”. We are making progress in our search for possible reasons why your God – if he exists – might have created or allowed evil.

DAVID: God may desire the bad is the possibility! And for undiscovered reasons. Which is why I follow scientific findings. I may not live long enough to have an answer.

I don’t think science has ever attempted to explain why your God produced or allowed evil, any more than it has informed us that he directly designed every species, and did so as “part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans.”

DAVID: The prime issue is why do we exist? It cannot be by chance. Therefore, from my standpoint, God exists.

The problem of theodicy only arises if we accept the premise that God exists! His existence is not the subject we are discussing!

DAVID: And we are here to look at what we consider evil He allowed. I am not considering the evil humans do with their free will. We do that, not God.

Are you telling us that your God didn’t know evil existed until – according to you - he specially designed us and gave us free will? How could the very concept of evil come into being if God – according to you, the source of everything – didn’t know about the self-interest which lies at the heart of most human evils?

DAVID: Metabolic mistakes have excellent, if not perfect editing system, which I believe is the best God can do to create life. God has reasons for the bad bugs I do not understand, but accept He wanted them and gave us the brains to fight them.

See earlier posts concerning his inability to correct mistakes, and see above concerning your theory of “challenge”.

DAVID: That is as far as I can go. The bold is your same humanizing silliness. We do not know if He is interested. But He has made our lives very interesting, at our human level, a good not an evil.

You have already gone much further, with your certainty that he is watching us with interest, with your theory that he may have designed the bad bugs as a challenge, and now with your acknowledgement that for all we know, he is not benevolent, to which I have added the possibility that just like us, he is a mixture. After all, it is perfectly possible that he made us in his own image, i.e. as you have put it, that he thinks like us, has logic, thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours. Thank you for your gradually increasing open-mindedness. We are certainly making progress in our various attempts to solve the theodicy problem.;-)

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Saturday, November 07, 2020, 19:34 (392 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: (Under "Junk DNA: goodbye!"): As usual the 'dark areas' of DNA are purposeful. I cannot image a designing God who created a bunch of useless DNA. God, as I view Him, is purely purposeful, and never shows frivolous human thoughts or desires.

dhw: I don’t know what you mean by “purely” purposeful. You have explained the clearly defined purpose of this “area” of DNA. So why do you think he did not have a clearly defined purpose in designing every life form, or in designing humans?

I specifically said all dark areas of DNA have purpose. You continually misunderstand me as you read me from a biased mind .

dhw: And since you are sure your God watches us with interest, why is it more “frivolous” for him to have created life in order to watch it with interest than, for instance, to set us a challenge by leaving us to combat the bad bugs he has created (one of your own theories)? Why would he set us a challenge?

To make our lives more interesting, but not for His self-purpose of some sort of enjoyment. His purposes are never self-centered as you humanize Him.

dhw: I’m happy to drop the “frivolous” term “spectacle” and stick to your own positive statement that he is interested in us.

DAVID: I cannot fully solve the problem. You keep forgetting our interpretation of evil comes from our human assumption that God is benevolent. He may not be and we may have to accept that point, and deny religion's propaganda about His characteristics.

dhw:...you also rightly point out all the good things he has done (and I must confess that my own view is that the world really is a mixture of wondrous beauty and love, and sheer horror), and so it is also possible that just like us he is a mixture of “good” and “bad”. We are making progress in our search for possible reasons why your God – if he exists – might have created or allowed evil.

I really doubt God has an evil side. I believe what we see as evil bugs have a purpose

DAVID: The prime issue is why do we exist? It cannot be by chance. Therefore, from my standpoint, God exists.

dhw: The problem of theodicy only arises if we accept the premise that God exists! His existence is not the subject we are discussing!

We will stick to a discussion that follows from the proposition God exists.


DAVID: And we are here to look at what we consider evil He allowed. I am not considering the evil humans do with their free will. We do that, not God.

dhw: Are you telling us that your God didn’t know evil existed until – according to you - he specially designed us and gave us free will? How could the very concept of evil come into being if God – according to you, the source of everything – didn’t know about the self-interest which lies at the heart of most human evils?

Again, one of your weird convoluted views of what I wrote. We both know free will leads to human evils. God obviously expected that also. My comment is meant to limit us to other forms of bad things, bugs, tornados, earthquakes, etc.


DAVID: Metabolic mistakes have excellent, if not perfect editing system, which I believe is the best God can do to create life. God has reasons for the bad bugs I do not understand, but accept He wanted them and gave us the brains to fight them.

DAVID: That is as far as I can go. We do not know if He is interested. But He has made our lives very interesting, at our human level, a good not an evil.

dhw: You have already gone much further, with your certainty that he is watching us with interest, with your theory that he may have designed the bad bugs as a challenge, and now with your acknowledgement that for all we know, he is not benevolent, to which I have added the possibility that just like us, he is a mixture. After all, it is perfectly possible that he made us in his own image, i.e. as you have put it, that he thinks like us, has logic thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours. Thank you for your gradually increasing open-mindedness. We are certainly making progress in our various attempts to solve the theodicy problem.;-)

The bold is not my view of God's thinking: I view God as producing results based on his purposes with reasons for them not known by us. I don't think He creates reality for His own self-interest. I view Him as a creator for the sake of creating. I think we both agree He follows the events His creation produces, and it is my position that He steps in to guide the course of evolution to be sure it reaches Humans.

Theodicy

by dhw, Sunday, November 08, 2020, 08:37 (391 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: (Under "Junk DNA: goodbye!"): As usual the 'dark areas' of DNA are purposeful. I cannot image a designing God who created a bunch of useless DNA. God, as I view Him, is purely purposeful, and never shows frivolous human thoughts or desires.

dhw: I don’t know what you mean by “purely” purposeful. You have explained the clearly defined purpose of this “area” of DNA. So why do you think he did not have a clearly defined purpose in designing every life form, or in designing humans?

DAVID: I specifically said all dark areas of DNA have purpose. You continually misunderstand me as you read me from a biased mind.

That is my point! You have explained the clearly defined purpose of the dark areas. So what do you mean by him being “purely purposeful”? I am suggesting that his purpose for designing life would also be as clearly defined as his purpose for designing different parts of DNA. Hence my next question concerning a clearly defined purpose:

dhw: And since you are sure your God watches us with interest, why is it more “frivolous” for him to have created life in order to watch it with interest than, for instance, to set us a challenge by leaving us to combat the bad bugs he has created (one of your own theories)? Why would he set us a challenge?

DAVID: To make our lives more interesting, but not for His self-purpose of some sort of enjoyment. His purposes are never self-centered as you humanize Him.

How do you know? I am proposing that your “purely purposeful God” must have had a purpose for creating life, including bugs and humans. You are sure he is interested in us. There is no logical reason for assuming that his interest in us is not connected with his purpose for creating us! Your authoritative statement that he is never self-centred makes a mockery of the next statement:

DAVID: You are forgetting our interpretation of evil comes from our human assumption that God is benevolent. He may not be and we may have to accept that point, and deny religion's propaganda about His characteristics.

He may not be benevolent, and yet you know he is not self-centred, and you know that although he is interested in his creations, he did not create them because he wanted something to be interested in.

dhw:...you also rightly point out all the good things he has done (and I must confess that my own view is that the world really is a mixture of wondrous beauty and love, and sheer horror), and so it is also possible that just like us he is a mixture of “good” and “bad”. We are making progress in our search for possible reasons why your God – if he exists – might have created or allowed evil.

DAVID: I really doubt God has an evil side. I believe what we see as evil bugs have a purpose.

But you can’t think of one. So here’s a proposal. That your God did not deliberately design bad bugs at all. He simply invented the cell, with its ability to reproduce and to cooperate and to find new responses to ever changing environmental conditions, and hence to find new methods of survival. This is the process we call evolution, and inevitably it resulted in the mixture of lovingkindness and cooperation (good) and destructive self-interest (evil) which has characterized both animal and human history from past to present. I do not ask you to believe it, and I am refraining from touching on your God’s purpose, so that you can’t moan about “humanizing”. Now please tell me what logical flaw you can find in such a theory.
I’ll skip the rest of your comments apart from the last, as they do not advance our quest for a solution to the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: I don't think He creates reality for His own self-interest. I view Him as a creator for the sake of creating. I think we both agree He follows the events His creation produces, and it is my position that He steps in to guide the course of evolution to be sure it reaches Humans.

But according to you he either “stepped in” or preprogrammed every single life form in the history of evolution! So he “steps in” to create the amphibian with the slingshot tongue and the brontosaurus for the sake of creating them, they have no direct connection to humans, and yet they are part of the goal of directly designing humans, who also have no purpose other than being created for the sake of creation. What’s more, he follows the results of his creation with interest, and yet could not possibly have created them all in order to have interesting events to follow. Your logic is becoming increasingly difficult to unravel.:-(

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Sunday, November 08, 2020, 17:52 (391 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: And since you are sure your God watches us with interest, why is it more “frivolous” for him to have created life in order to watch it with interest than, for instance, to set us a challenge by leaving us to combat the bad bugs he has created (one of your own theories)? Why would he set us a challenge?

DAVID: To make our lives more interesting, but not for His self-purpose of some sort of enjoyment. His purposes are never self-centered as you humanize Him.

dhw: How do you know? I am proposing that your “purely purposeful God” must have had a purpose for creating life, including bugs and humans. You are sure he is interested in us. There is no logical reason for assuming that his interest in us is not connected with his purpose for creating us! Your authoritative statement that he is never self-centred makes a mockery of the next statement:

DAVID: You are forgetting our interpretation of evil comes from our human assumption that God is benevolent. He may not be and we may have to accept that point, and deny religion's propaganda about His characteristics.

dhw: He may not be benevolent, and yet you know he is not self-centred, and you know that although he is interested in his creations, he did not create them because he wanted something to be interested in.

Again you give God a humanizing self-purpose. We disagree about His personality


dhw:...you also rightly point out all the good things he has done (and I must confess that my own view is that the world really is a mixture of wondrous beauty and love, and sheer horror), and so it is also possible that just like us he is a mixture of “good” and “bad”. We are making progress in our search for possible reasons why your God – if he exists – might have created or allowed evil.

DAVID: I really doubt God has an evil side. I believe what we see as evil bugs have a purpose.

dhw: But you can’t think of one. So here’s a proposal. That your God did not deliberately design bad bugs at all. He simply invented the cell, with its ability to reproduce and to cooperate and to find new responses to ever changing environmental conditions, and hence to find new methods of survival. This is the process we call evolution, and inevitably it resulted in the mixture of lovingkindness and cooperation (good) and destructive self-interest (evil) which has characterized both animal and human history from past to present. I do not ask you to believe it, and I am refraining from touching on your God’s purpose, so that you can’t moan about “humanizing”. Now please tell me what logical flaw you can find in such a theory.

It's back to cells knowing how to create evolution. I fully believe the original cells at the start of life did not know by themselves how to do any future designing. They simply reacted as they were taught to do by God. It is logical only if cells really have that ability, and there is no demonstration they do.

I’ll skip the rest of your comments apart from the last, as they do not advance our quest for a solution to the problem of theodicy. God is my logical theory.

DAVID: I don't think He creates reality for His own self-interest. I view Him as a creator for the sake of creating. I think we both agree He follows the events His creation produces, and it is my position that He steps in to guide the course of evolution to be sure it reaches Humans.

dhw: But according to you he either “stepped in” or preprogrammed every single life form in the history of evolution! So he “steps in” to create the amphibian with the slingshot tongue and the brontosaurus for the sake of creating them, they have no direct connection to humans, and yet they are part of the goal of directly designing humans, who also have no purpose other than being created for the sake of creation. What’s more, he follows the results of his creation with interest, and yet could not possibly have created them all in order to have interesting events to follow. Your logic is becoming increasingly difficult to unravel.:-(

My view is totally different as you know. God created history. History tells us what happened and you disagree with God's method of creating us. I view you as finding fault with Him and the method He used. :-|

Theodicy

by dhw, Monday, November 09, 2020, 11:09 (390 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: And since you are sure your God watches us with interest, why is it more “frivolous” for him to have created life in order to watch it with interest than, for instance, to set us a challenge by leaving us to combat the bad bugs he has created (one of your own theories)? Why would he set us a challenge?

DAVID: To make our lives more interesting, but not for His self-purpose of some sort of enjoyment. His purposes are never self-centered as you humanize Him.

dhw: How do you know? I am proposing that your “purely purposeful God” must have had a purpose for creating life, including bugs and humans. You are sure he is interested in us. There is no logical reason for assuming that his interest in us is not connected with his purpose for creating us! Your authoritative statement that he is never self-centred makes a mockery of the next statement:

DAVID: You are forgetting our interpretation of evil comes from our human assumption that God is benevolent. He may not be and we may have to accept that point, and deny religion's propaganda about His characteristics.

dhw: He may not be benevolent, and yet you know he is not self-centred, and you know that although he is interested in his creations, he did not create them because he wanted something to be interested in.

DAVID: Again you give God a humanizing self-purpose. We disagree about His personality.

Assuming he exists, your purposeful God must have had a purpose in creating life, including humans and evil. On this thread we are trying to understand what that purpose might be. As regards his personality, so far you have stated with authority that he is not self-centred, and it is possible that he is not benevolent. But elsewhere, you have told us that – presumably out of the kindness of his heart (benevolence) – he tried to provide backups to correct the nasty errors which he could not prevent, and he may have created the bad bugs as a challenge. Quite a hotchpotch of “humanizations”. But you are sure that he is interested in his creations. That’s not a bad starting-point. And so I have offered you a theory which explains the course of evolution AND the source of evil. We can agree that your God set it all in motion (a prerequisite for discussion of theodicy), and is interested in how it proceeds, but we don’t need to say WHY he is interested - so you needn't fret about "humanizations"!

dhw:. So here’s a proposal. That your God did not deliberately design bad bugs at all. He simply invented the cell, with its ability to reproduce and to cooperate and to find new responses to ever changing environmental conditions, and hence to find new methods of survival. This is the process we call evolution, and inevitably it resulted in the mixture of lovingkindness and cooperation (good) and destructive self-interest (evil) which has characterized both animal and human history from past to present. I do not ask you to believe it, and I am refraining from touching on your God’s purpose, so that you can’t moan about “humanizing”. Now please tell me what logical flaw you can find in such a theory.

DAVID: It's back to cells knowing how to create evolution. I fully believe the original cells at the start of life did not know by themselves how to do any future designing. They simply reacted as they were taught to do by God. It is logical only if cells really have that ability, and there is no demonstration they do.

Yes, the theory will only be true if it’s true. Nobody knows the truth, and nobody can demonstrate cells creating new species, any more than we can demonstrate your God preprogramming or dabbling them. That is why we theorize. I have dealt with your “future design” theory on the “genome complexity” thread. So disregarding the fact that I can’t prove anything, please point out any logical flaws in my proposal

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Monday, November 09, 2020, 14:58 (390 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You are forgetting our interpretation of evil comes from our human assumption that God is benevolent. He may not be and we may have to accept that point, and deny religion's propaganda about His characteristics.

dhw: He may not be benevolent, and yet you know he is not self-centred, and you know that although he is interested in his creations, he did not create them because he wanted something to be interested in.

DAVID: Again you give God a humanizing self-purpose. We disagree about His personality.

dhw: Assuming he exists, your purposeful God must have had a purpose in creating life, including humans and evil. On this thread we are trying to understand what that purpose might be. As regards his personality, so far you have stated with authority that he is not self-centred, and it is possible that he is not benevolent. But elsewhere, you have told us that – presumably out of the kindness of his heart (benevolence) – he tried to provide backups to correct the nasty errors which he could not prevent, and he may have created the bad bugs as a challenge.

Please note God as a designer naturally wants to do the best job He can in design. Your so-called kindness is again your humanizing version of God.

dhw: Quite a hotchpotch of “humanizations”. But you are sure that he is interested in his creations. That’s not a bad starting-point. And so I have offered you a theory which explains the course of evolution AND the source of evil. We can agree that your God set it all in motion (a prerequisite for discussion of theodicy), and is interested in how it proceeds, but we don’t need to say WHY he is interested - so you needn't fret about "humanizations"!

You don't recognize your own mistakes as you think about your humanized God. He is interested as an inventor would be, but not for spectacle or entertainment


dhw:. So here’s a proposal. That your God did not deliberately design bad bugs at all. He simply invented the cell, with its ability to reproduce and to cooperate and to find new responses to ever changing environmental conditions, and hence to find new methods of survival. This is the process we call evolution, and inevitably it resulted in the mixture of lovingkindness and cooperation (good) and destructive self-interest (evil) which has characterized both animal and human history from past to present. I do not ask you to believe it, and I am refraining from touching on your God’s purpose, so that you can’t moan about “humanizing”. Now please tell me what logical flaw you can find in such a theory.

DAVID: It's back to cells knowing how to create evolution. I fully believe the original cells at the start of life did not know by themselves how to do any future designing. They simply reacted as they were taught to do by God. It is logical only if cells really have that ability, and there is no demonstration they do.

dhw: Yes, the theory will only be true if it’s true. Nobody knows the truth, and nobody can demonstrate cells creating new species, any more than we can demonstrate your God preprogramming or dabbling them. That is why we theorize. I have dealt with your “future design” theory on the “genome complexity” thread. So disregarding the fact that I can’t prove anything, please point out any logical flaws in my proposal

The bold is amazing. The bad bugs are due to cells designing them, not God's fault!! Those amazing intelligent cells of yours run amok and produced bad bugs, and God gave them the ability!! Wow!!! And all I propose is the bugs have a purpose which is why God produced them, and we will likely learn why with continuing human science research.

Theodicy

by dhw, Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 11:24 (389 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Again you give God a humanizing self-purpose. We disagree about His personality.

dhw: Assuming he exists, your purposeful God must have had a purpose in creating life, including humans and evil. On this thread we are trying to understand what that purpose might be. As regards his personality, so far you have stated with authority that he is not self-centred, and it is possible that he is not benevolent. But elsewhere, you have told us that – presumably out of the kindness of his heart (benevolence) – he tried to provide backups to correct the nasty errors which he could not prevent, and he may have created the bad bugs as a challenge.

DAVID: Please note God as a designer naturally wants to do the best job He can in design. Your so-called kindness is again your humanizing version of God.

So now you have him directly designing every organism, being interested in every organism, providing backups (which sometimes fail) to correct the errors in his design, but only doing so because he is a perfectionist who doesn’t like mistakes. He doesn’t care about the suffering. Just the sort of human we all detest.

dhw: Quite a hotchpotch of “humanizations”. But you are sure that he is interested in his creations. That’s not a bad starting-point. And so I have offered you a theory which explains the course of evolution AND the source of evil. We can agree that your God set it all in motion (a prerequisite for discussion of theodicy), and is interested in how it proceeds, but we don’t need to say WHY he is interested - so you needn't fret about "humanizations"!

DAVID: You don't recognize your own mistakes as you think about your humanized God. He is interested as an inventor would be, but not for spectacle or entertainment.

I have already said that I am happy for those two "frivolous" terms to disappear from the argument, and to stick to your word “interest”. If he is interested as a human inventor would be, why is it out of the question that he invented life because he wanted something that he could be interested in?

dhw: So here’s a proposal. That your God did not deliberately design bad bugs at all. He simply invented the cell, with its ability to reproduce and to cooperate and to find new responses to ever changing environmental conditions, and hence to find new methods of survival. This is the process we call evolution, and inevitably it resulted in the mixture of lovingkindness and cooperation (good) and destructive self-interest (evil) which has characterized both animal and human history from past to present. I do not ask you to believe it, and I am refraining from touching on your God’s purpose, so that you can’t moan about “humanizing”. Now please tell me what logical flaw you can find in such a theory.

DAVID: It's back to cells knowing how to create evolution. I fully believe the original cells at the start of life did not know by themselves how to do any future designing. They simply reacted as they were taught to do by God. It is logical only if cells really have that ability, and there is no demonstration they do.

dhw: Yes, the theory will only be true if it’s true. Nobody knows the truth, and nobody can demonstrate cells creating new species, any more than we can demonstrate your God preprogramming or dabbling them. That is why we theorize. I have dealt with your “future design” theory on the “genome complexity” thread. So disregarding the fact that I can’t prove anything, please point out any logical flaws in my proposal.

DAVID: The bold is amazing. The bad bugs are due to cells designing them, not God's fault!! Those amazing intelligent cells of yours run amok and produced bad bugs, and God gave them the ability!! Wow!!! And all I propose is the bugs have a purpose which is why God produced them, and we will likely learn why with continuing human science research.

So you are blaming God for designing bad bugs, but one day science will tell us why he did it. What do you mean by “run amok”? The history of evolution reveals millions of life forms, many of which survive by eating or exploiting other life forms. Bad bugs survive by doing what we regard as bad deeds, but they are only doing what every other life form does! And yes, if God exists, I propose that he designed the mechanism that enables ALL life forms to design their own ways of surviving. And he did so because he was interested in the products of his invention. One theory to explain the whole of evolution AND theodicy. What are the logical flaws?

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 18:27 (389 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Please note God as a designer naturally wants to do the best job He can in design. Your so-called kindness is again your humanizing version of God.

dhw: So now you have him directly designing every organism, being interested in every organism, providing backups (which sometimes fail) to correct the errors in his design, but only doing so because he is a perfectionist who doesn’t like mistakes. He doesn’t care about the suffering. Just the sort of human we all detest.

Again you guess. We don't know if He cares about our sufferings, but religions tell us
He does. I'll stick with Adler's 50/50.


dhw: Quite a hotchpotch of “humanizations”. But you are sure that he is interested in his creations. That’s not a bad starting-point. And so I have offered you a theory which explains the course of evolution AND the source of evil. We can agree that your God set it all in motion (a prerequisite for discussion of theodicy), and is interested in how it proceeds, but we don’t need to say WHY he is interested - so you needn't fret about "humanizations"!

DAVID: You don't recognize your own mistakes as you think about your humanized God. He is interested as an inventor would be, but not for spectacle or entertainment.

dhw: I have already said that I am happy for those two "frivolous" terms to disappear from the argument, and to stick to your word “interest”. If he is interested as a human inventor would be, why is it out of the question that he invented life because he wanted something that he could be interested in?

Same old problem for you. He is NOT a human inventor. His reasons for His creations are unknown to us but I fully believe not for a primary purpose of making something to create entertaining interest for Him.


DAVID: It's back to cells knowing how to create evolution. I fully believe the original cells at the start of life did not know by themselves how to do any future designing. They simply reacted as they were taught to do by God. It is logical only if cells really have that ability, and there is no demonstration they do.

dhw: Yes, the theory will only be true if it’s true. Nobody knows the truth, and nobody can demonstrate cells creating new species, any more than we can demonstrate your God preprogramming or dabbling them. That is why we theorize. I have dealt with your “future design” theory on the “genome complexity” thread. So disregarding the fact that I can’t prove anything, please point out any logical flaws in my proposal.

DAVID: The bold is amazing. The bad bugs are due to cells designing them, not God's fault!! Those amazing intelligent cells of yours run amok and produced bad bugs, and God gave them the ability!! Wow!!! And all I propose is the bugs have a purpose which is why God produced them, and we will likely learn why with continuing human science research.

dhw: So you are blaming God for designing bad bugs, but one day science will tell us why he did it. What do you mean by “run amok”? The history of evolution reveals millions of life forms, many of which survive by eating or exploiting other life forms. Bad bugs survive by doing what we regard as bad deeds, but they are only doing what every other life form does! And yes, if God exists, I propose that he designed the mechanism that enables ALL life forms to design their own ways of surviving. And he did so because he was interested in the products of his invention. One theory to explain the whole of evolution AND theodicy. What are the logical flaws?

Yes, God made the bad bugs and He gave organisms the ability to adapt within the limits of their own species attributes to handle problems that crop up. No flaws, but it doesn't explain the bad bug purpose. My answer is some day we will scientifically discover why.

Theodicy

by dhw, Wednesday, November 11, 2020, 10:59 (388 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Please note God as a designer naturally wants to do the best job He can in design. Your so-called kindness is again your humanizing version of God.

dhw: So now you have him directly designing every organism, being interested in every organism, providing backups (which sometimes fail) to correct the errors in his design, but only doing so because he is a perfectionist who doesn’t like mistakes. He doesn’t care about the suffering. Just the sort of human we all detest.

DAVID: Again you guess. We don't know if He cares about our sufferings, but religions tell us He does. I'll stick with Adler's 50/50.

Of course it’s all guesses! Nobody has solved the theodicy problem, and that is why we come up with different theories. God not caring about our sufferings is one possibility.

DAVID: He is interested as an inventor would be, but not for spectacle or entertainment.

dhw: I have already said that I am happy for those two "frivolous" terms to disappear from the argument, and to stick to your word “interest”. If he is interested as a human inventor would be, why is it out of the question that he invented life because he wanted something that he could be interested in?

DAVID: Same old problem for you. He is NOT a human inventor. His reasons for His creations are unknown to us but I fully believe not for a primary purpose of making something to create entertaining interest for Him.

It was you who drew the analogy between him and a human inventor. I never used the “frivolous” word "entertaining", and you should drop it. You have said you are sure that he is interested in us. If so, why are you sure that he could not have created life in order to have something he could be interested in?

dhw: ...if God exists, I propose that he designed the mechanism that enables ALL life forms to design their own ways of surviving. And he did so because he was interested in the products of his invention. One theory to explain the whole of evolution AND theodicy. What are the logical flaws?

DAVID: Yes, God made the bad bugs and He gave organisms the ability to adapt within the limits of their own species attributes to handle problems that crop up. No flaws, but it doesn't explain the bad bug purpose. My answer is some day we will scientifically discover why.

In my (theistic) theory, he did NOT make the bad bugs but only the original cells from which they descended. And they designed their own modes of survival just as the good bugs and every other organism did, using their perhaps God-given form of intelligence. Survival was their purpose, and God’s purpose was to create a self-designing system that would be an endless source of interest to him, though we can’t know his thoughts as he watches us with interest.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Wednesday, November 11, 2020, 18:26 (388 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Please note God as a designer naturally wants to do the best job He can in design. Your so-called kindness is again your humanizing version of God.

dhw: So now you have him directly designing every organism, being interested in every organism, providing backups (which sometimes fail) to correct the errors in his design, but only doing so because he is a perfectionist who doesn’t like mistakes. He doesn’t care about the suffering. Just the sort of human we all detest.

DAVID: Again you guess. We don't know if He cares about our sufferings, but religions tell us He does. I'll stick with Adler's 50/50.

dhw: Of course it’s all guesses! Nobody has solved the theodicy problem, and that is why we come up with different theories. God not caring about our sufferings is one possibility.

Agreed.


DAVID: He is interested as an inventor would be, but not for spectacle or entertainment.

dhw: I have already said that I am happy for those two "frivolous" terms to disappear from the argument, and to stick to your word “interest”. If he is interested as a human inventor would be, why is it out of the question that he invented life because he wanted something that he could be interested in?

DAVID: Same old problem for you. He is NOT a human inventor. His reasons for His creations are unknown to us but I fully believe not for a primary purpose of making something to create entertaining interest for Him.

dhw: It was you who drew the analogy between him and a human inventor. I never used the “frivolous” word "entertaining", and you should drop it. You have said you are sure that he is interested in us. If so, why are you sure that he could not have created life in order to have something he could be interested in?

Same humanizing try. No.


dhw: ...if God exists, I propose that he designed the mechanism that enables ALL life forms to design their own ways of surviving. And he did so because he was interested in the products of his invention. One theory to explain the whole of evolution AND theodicy. What are the logical flaws?

DAVID: Yes, God made the bad bugs and He gave organisms the ability to adapt within the limits of their own species attributes to handle problems that crop up. No flaws, but it doesn't explain the bad bug purpose. My answer is some day we will scientifically discover why.

dhw: In my (theistic) theory, he did NOT make the bad bugs but only the original cells from which they descended. And they designed their own modes of survival just as the good bugs and every other organism did, using their perhaps God-given form of intelligence. Survival was their purpose, and God’s purpose was to create a self-designing system that would be an endless source of interest to him, though we can’t know his thoughts as he watches us with interest.

So you have bad bugs developing on autopilot. That is always a possibility when a self-design system is present. I feel God wants more control than that as I have always stated.

Theodicy

by dhw, Thursday, November 12, 2020, 12:15 (387 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: He is NOT a human inventor. His reasons for His creations are unknown to us but I fully believe not for a primary purpose of making something to create entertaining interest for Him.

dhw: It was you who drew the analogy between him and a human inventor. I never used the “frivolous” word "entertaining", and you should drop it. You have said you are sure that he is interested in us. If so, why are you sure that he could not have created life in order to have something he could be interested in?

AVID: Same humanizing try. No.

You have already demolished your own “humanizing objection” over and over again by agreeing that he probably has thought patterns and attributes similar to ours, and your certainty that your God watches us with interest makes this objection doubly irrelevant. If he watches us with interest, why do you find it illogical that he might have created us because he wanted to create something that he could watch with interest?

dhw: In my (theistic) theory, he did NOT make the bad bugs but only the original cells from which they descended. And they designed their own modes of survival just as the good bugs and every other organism did, using their perhaps God-given form of intelligence. Survival was their purpose, and God’s purpose was to create a self-designing system that would be an endless source of interest to him, though we can’t know his thoughts as he watches us with interest.

DAVID: So you have bad bugs developing on autopilot. That is always a possibility when a self-design system is present. I feel God wants more control than that as I have always stated.

Thank you for acknowledging the possibility that my theory is correct. The fact that you have a feeling does not provide a logical reason for rejecting the theory.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 12, 2020, 17:40 (387 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: He is NOT a human inventor. His reasons for His creations are unknown to us but I fully believe not for a primary purpose of making something to create entertaining interest for Him.

dhw: It was you who drew the analogy between him and a human inventor. I never used the “frivolous” word "entertaining", and you should drop it. You have said you are sure that he is interested in us. If so, why are you sure that he could not have created life in order to have something he could be interested in?

DAVID: Same humanizing try. No.

dhw: You have already demolished your own “humanizing objection” over and over again by agreeing that he probably has thought patterns and attributes similar to ours, and your certainty that your God watches us with interest makes this objection doubly irrelevant. If he watches us with interest, why do you find it illogical that he might have created us because he wanted to create something that he could watch with interest?

My view of God is that He does not create to have something interesting to watch. Michelangelo did not create David to sit and watch the statue with interest. God is in the business of creating what He wants to create with any interest coming as a secondary event.


dhw: In my (theistic) theory, he did NOT make the bad bugs but only the original cells from which they descended. And they designed their own modes of survival just as the good bugs and every other organism did, using their perhaps God-given form of intelligence. Survival was their purpose, and God’s purpose was to create a self-designing system that would be an endless source of interest to him, though we can’t know his thoughts as he watches us with interest.

DAVID: So you have bad bugs developing on autopilot. That is always a possibility when a self-design system is present. I feel God wants more control than that as I have always stated.

dhw: Thank you for acknowledging the possibility that my theory is correct. The fact that you have a feeling does not provide a logical reason for rejecting the theory.

We each interpret God's personality totally differently.

Theodicy

by dhw, Friday, November 13, 2020, 07:18 (386 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: He is NOT a human inventor. His reasons for His creations are unknown to us but I fully believe not for a primary purpose of making something to create entertaining interest for Him.

dhw: It was you who drew the analogy between him and a human inventor. I never used the “frivolous” word "entertaining", and you should drop it. You have said you are sure that he is interested in us. If so, why are you sure that he could not have created life in order to have something he could be interested in?

DAVID: Same humanizing try. No.

dhw: You have already demolished your own “humanizing objection” over and over again by agreeing that he probably has thought patterns and attributes similar to ours, and your certainty that your God watches us with interest makes this objection doubly irrelevant. If he watches us with interest, why do you find it illogical that he might have created us because he wanted to create something that he could watch with interest?

DAVID: My view of God is that He does not create to have something interesting to watch. Michelangelo did not create David to sit and watch the statue with interest. God is in the business of creating what He wants to create with any interest coming as a secondary event.

I know that is your view. Now please give me a logical reason why my proposal is not feasible. Michelangelo would have died of boredom if he had sat watching his statue for the rest of eternity. Do you never wonder what your God would have felt like if for eternity he had had nothing to do but think about himself? (And before you start muttering “humanization”, please remember your firmly expressed opinion that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours.)

Transferred from “dhw’s confusion”
DAVID: I don't view your theory in theodicy as logical based on my view of God in control.

dhw: You are simply saying that my theory is illogical because it differs from your theory! My idea that your God did not WANT control is no more and no less feasible than your idea that he did. Nothing to do with logic. Your theory leads you to admitting that you have no idea why he would have created bad bugs. You call that logic. My theory explains logically how the bad bugs could have come into existence, and why your God allowed them to do so, and it also explains the vast variety of life forms and natural wonders which have/had nothing to do with humans.

DAVID: Each theory has a background of facts to be considered. Our considerations differ. My view of Godadn his intentions are not yours.

The only intention you have offered is the direct design of humans – as dealt with on the “errors” thread. You have no idea of the intention behind his direct design of most extinct life forms and econiches, since they don’t fit in with your belief that every life form was part of the goal of directly designing humans, and you have no idea of the intention behind your God’s direct design of bad bugs. And you have yet to come up with a single logical objection to my theory other than the fact that it doesn’t fit in with your personal view of God.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Friday, November 13, 2020, 23:15 (386 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My view of God is that He does not create to have something interesting to watch. Michelangelo did not create David to sit and watch the statue with interest. God is in the business of creating what He wants to create with any interest coming as a secondary event.

dhw: I know that is your view. Now please give me a logical reason why my proposal is not feasible. Michelangelo would have died of boredom if he had sat watching his statue for the rest of eternity. Do you never wonder what your God would have felt like if for eternity he had had nothing to do but think about himself? (And before you start muttering “humanization”, please remember your firmly expressed opinion that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours.)

Again you want God to act like a human. My thought patterns for God refer to logic, no more. I don't know if He has emotions like ours, if at all. And I don't know if He cares about us. Why do I have to repeat this over and over???


Transferred from “dhw’s confusion”
DAVID: I don't view your theory in theodicy as logical based on my view of God in control.

dhw: You are simply saying that my theory is illogical because it differs from your theory! My idea that your God did not WANT control is no more and no less feasible than your idea that he did. Nothing to do with logic. Your theory leads you to admitting that you have no idea why he would have created bad bugs. You call that logic. My theory explains logically how the bad bugs could have come into existence, and why your God allowed them to do so, and it also explains the vast variety of life forms and natural wonders which have/had nothing to do with humans.

DAVID: Each theory has a background of facts to be considered. Our considerations differ. My view of God and his intentions are not yours.

dhw: The only intention you have offered is the direct design of humans – as dealt with on the “errors” thread. You have no idea of the intention behind his direct design of most extinct life forms and econiches, since they don’t fit in with your belief that every life form was part of the goal of directly designing humans, and you have no idea of the intention behind your God’s direct design of bad bugs. And you have yet to come up with a single logical objection to my theory other than the fact that it doesn’t fit in with your personal view of God.

My only thought about the bad bugs is they have a reason we do not yet, and may never. understand. And we have the brains to handle them over time.

Theodicy

by dhw, Saturday, November 14, 2020, 11:50 (385 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My view of God is that He does not create to have something interesting to watch. Michelangelo did not create David to sit and watch the statue with interest. God is in the business of creating what He wants to create with any interest coming as a secondary event.

dhw: I know that is your view. Now please give me a logical reason why my proposal is not feasible. Michelangelo would have died of boredom if he had sat watching his statue for the rest of eternity. Do you never wonder what your God would have felt like if for eternity he had had nothing to do but think about himself? (And before you start muttering “humanization”, please remember your firmly expressed opinion that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours.)

DAVID: Again you want God to act like a human. My thought patterns for God refer to logic, no more. I don't know if He has emotions like ours, if at all. And I don't know if He cares about us. Why do I have to repeat this over and over???

Nobody knows his nature (or even if he exists), which is why we offer different theories. The question is simply how feasible these might be. If you didn’t want possible explanations for the existence of evil in a world you think your God directly designed, then why did you raise the subject? You have said repeatedly that your God “very well could think like us”, so how do you know he doesn’t?

dhw: You have no idea of the intention behind his direct design of most extinct life forms and econiches, since they don’t fit in with your belief that every life form was part of the goal of directly designing humans, and you have no idea of the intention behind your God’s direct design of bad bugs. And you have yet to come up with a single logical objection to my theory other than the fact that it doesn’t fit in with your personal view of God.

DAVID: My only thought about the bad bugs is they have a reason we do not yet, and may never understand. And we have the brains to handle them over time.

Our having the brains to handle them does not explain why– according to you – your God designed them in the first place. I have proposed that he didn’t design them. And you still haven’t come up with any logical reason for rejecting that proposal and the rest of my theory.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Saturday, November 14, 2020, 23:13 (385 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Again you want God to act like a human. My thought patterns for God refer to logic, no more. I don't know if He has emotions like ours, if at all. And I don't know if He cares about us. Why do I have to repeat this over and over???

dhw: Nobody knows his nature (or even if he exists), which is why we offer different theories. The question is simply how feasible these might be. If you didn’t want possible explanations for the existence of evil in a world you think your God directly designed, then why did you raise the subject? You have said repeatedly that your God “very well could think like us”, so how do you know he doesn’t?

Your same old attempt. My reference to God's thought patterns is a reference to the use of logic, nothing more.


dhw: You have no idea of the intention behind his direct design of most extinct life forms and econiches, since they don’t fit in with your belief that every life form was part of the goal of directly designing humans, and you have no idea of the intention behind your God’s direct design of bad bugs. And you have yet to come up with a single logical objection to my theory other than the fact that it doesn’t fit in with your personal view of God.

DAVID: My only thought about the bad bugs is they have a reason we do not yet, and may never understand. And we have the brains to handle them over time.

dhw: Our having the brains to handle them does not explain why– according to you – your God designed them in the first place. I have proposed that he didn’t design them. And you still haven’t come up with any logical reason for rejecting that proposal and the rest of my theory.

I don't accept your theory on the basis that I see God in tight control of what happens. Therefore He created the bugs we view bad for His own reasons which are not obvious to us at this time. We may find out why with more research. What all your theories always do is loosen His controls.

Theodicy

by dhw, Sunday, November 15, 2020, 12:16 (384 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Again you want God to act like a human. My thought patterns for God refer to logic, no more. I don't know if He has emotions like ours, if at all. And I don't know if He cares about us. Why do I have to repeat this over and over???

dhw: Nobody knows his nature (or even if he exists), which is why we offer different theories. The question is simply how feasible these might be. If you didn’t want possible explanations for the existence of evil in a world you think your God directly designed, then why did you raise the subject? You have said repeatedly that your God “very well could think like us”, so how do you know he doesn’t?

DAVID: Your same old attempt. My reference to God's thought patterns is a reference to the use of logic, nothing more.

Two quotes: “He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logical thought“ and “We can only know his logic is like ours”. I’m sorry, but if his logic is like ours, we should be able to understand it, and emotions are not confined to the use of logic. You still haven’t answered my questions: 1) how do you know your God does NOT think like us? 2) Why did you raise the subject of theodicy in the first place? 3) What logical reason do you have for rejecting my own proposed explanation?

DAVID: I don't accept your theory on the basis that I see God in tight control of what happens. Therefore He created the bugs we view bad for His own reasons which are not obvious to us at this time. We may find out why with more research. What all your theories always do is loosen His controls.

You reject my theory because you believe God deliberately designed the bad bugs and you don’t know why. Your own fixed belief does not provide a single reason for rejecting the logic of my proposal, which offers an explanation for the whole of evolution and for theodicy. (I’ll repeat the theory to make it easier for you to pinpoint any logical flaws you can find, as opposed to proposals that simply conflict with your own fixed beliefs:)

dhw: In my (theistic) theory, he did NOT make the bad bugs but only the original cells from which they descended. And they designed their own modes of survival just as the good bugs and every other organism did, using their perhaps God-given form of intelligence. Survival was their purpose, and God’s purpose was to create a self-designing system that would be an endless source of interest to him, though we can’t know his thoughts as he watches us with interest.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Sunday, November 15, 2020, 18:58 (384 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your same old attempt. My reference to God's thought patterns is a reference to the use of logic, nothing more.

dhw: Two quotes: “He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logical thought“ and “We can only know his logic is like ours”. I’m sorry, but if his logic is like ours, we should be able to understand it, and emotions are not confined to the use of logic. You still haven’t answered my questions: 1) how do you know your God does NOT think like us?

The word 'probably' is a cautionary term, and the second quote is on target. I can absolutely accept God uses logic, and anything else is probable or maybe, not rigid.

2) Why did you raise the subject of theodicy in the first place?

Because it is necessary to look at it. It creates a problem that partially comes from how we interpret what what God did. I look for answers but I admit I'm not satisfied with the answer God did it for His purposes we do not yet understand.

3) What logical reason do you have for rejecting my own proposed explanation?

Because, as usual you have God releasing control and I don't think God loosens any controls.


DAVID: I don't accept your theory on the basis that I see God in tight control of what happens. Therefore He created the bugs we view bad for His own reasons which are not obvious to us at this time. We may find out why with more research. What all your theories always do is loosen His controls.

You reject my theory because you believe God deliberately designed the bad bugs and you don’t know why. Your own fixed belief does not provide a single reason for rejecting the logic of my proposal, which offers an explanation for the whole of evolution and for theodicy. (I’ll repeat the theory to make it easier for you to pinpoint any logical flaws you can find, as opposed to proposals that simply conflict with your own fixed beliefs:)

dhw: In my (theistic) theory, he did NOT make the bad bugs but only the original cells from which they descended. And they designed their own modes of survival just as the good bugs and every other organism did, using their perhaps God-given form of intelligence. Survival was their purpose, and God’s purpose was to create a self-designing system that would be an endless source of interest to him, though we can’t know his thoughts as he watches us with interest.

Your usual humanizing approach. God is not bored and does not have to create any interests. My God is under full control of how evolution advances. The bad bugs are His. I accept that and still believe strongly in God.

Theodicy

by dhw, Monday, November 16, 2020, 14:43 (383 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your same old attempt. My reference to God's thought patterns is a reference to the use of logic, nothing more.

dhw: Two quotes: “He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logical thought“ and “We can only know his logic is like ours”. I’m sorry, but if his logic is like ours, we should be able to understand it, and emotions are not confined to the use of logic. You still haven’t answered my questions: 1) how do you know your God does NOT think like us?

DAVID: The word 'probably' is a cautionary term, and the second quote is on target. I can absolutely accept God uses logic, and anything else is probable or maybe, not rigid.

It is absurd to rule out a theory on the grounds that it endows God with human attributes, although he only "probably" has them. I too can absolutely accept that if God exists, his logic is probably like ours, and that is why it is totally absurd to dismiss a theory because it makes him use logic like ours.

dhw: 2) Why did you raise the subject of theodicy in the first place?

DAVID: Because it is necessary to look at it. It creates a problem that partially comes from how we interpret what what God did. I look for answers but I admit I'm not satisfied with the answer God did it for His purposes we do not yet understand.

I’m delighted to hear that you not satisfied with your own non-answers. I wish you would also apply your non-satisfaction to your anthropic theory of evolution (see “error corrections”), which also defies logic.

dhw: 3) What logical reason do you have for rejecting my own proposed explanation?

DAVID: Because, as usual you have God releasing control and I don't think God loosens any controls.

That is not a logical reason for rejecting it, especially since it provides logical answers to the questions we have been discussing in relation to the vast bush of life forms and the problem of theodicy.

dhw: In my (theistic) theory, he did NOT make the bad bugs but only the original cells from which they descended. And they designed their own modes of survival just as the good bugs and every other organism did, using their perhaps God-given form of intelligence. Survival was their purpose, and God’s purpose was to create a self-designing system that would be an endless source of interest to him, though we can’t know his thoughts as he watches us with interest.

DAVID: Your usual humanizing approach. God is not bored and does not have to create any interests. My God is under full control of how evolution advances. The bad bugs are His. I accept that and still believe strongly in God.

I am not asking you to abandon your strong belief in God, and none of my (theistic) theories exclude God! Your only objection to this theory and the others is that it does not conform to your personal view of God and his methods. But you cannot find an explanation for your anthropic view of evolution’s vast bush of unconnected life forms or for the existence of evil in your God-designed world. I would suggest that this might mean that your view of evolution and theodicy and of your God’s personality, purposes and methods might just possibly contain an error or two.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Monday, November 16, 2020, 18:23 (383 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Monday, November 16, 2020, 18:34

DAVID: The word 'probably' is a cautionary term, and the second quote is on target. I can absolutely accept God uses logic, and anything else is probable or maybe, not rigid.

dhw: It is absurd to rule out a theory on the grounds that it endows God with human attributes, although he only "probably" has them. I too can absolutely accept that if God exists, his logic is probably like ours, and that is why it is totally absurd to dismiss a theory because it makes him use logic like ours.

I don't dismiss your theories in the realm of logic, It is your logic about God as you humanize Him.


dhw: 2) Why did you raise the subject of theodicy in the first place?

DAVID: Because it is necessary to look at it. It creates a problem that partially comes from how we interpret what what God did. I look for answers but I admit I'm not satisfied with the answer God did it for His purposes we do not yet understand.

dhw: I’m delighted to hear that you not satisfied with your own non-answers. I wish you would also apply your non-satisfaction to your anthropic theory of evolution (see “error corrections”), which also defies logic.

'
Only your unbelieving logic in the other thread.


dhw: 3) What logical reason do you have for rejecting my own proposed explanation?

DAVID: Because, as usual you have God releasing control and I don't think God loosens any controls.

dhw: That is not a logical reason for rejecting it, especially since it provides logical answers to the questions we have been discussing in relation to the vast bush of life forms and the problem of theodicy.

My view of God's personality vastly differs from yours.


dhw: In my (theistic) theory, he did NOT make the bad bugs but only the original cells from which they descended. And they designed their own modes of survival just as the good bugs and every other organism did, using their perhaps God-given form of intelligence. Survival was their purpose, and God’s purpose was to create a self-designing system that would be an endless source of interest to him, though we can’t know his thoughts as he watches us with interest.

DAVID: Your usual humanizing approach. God is not bored and does not have to create any interests. My God is under full control of how evolution advances. The bad bugs are His. I accept that and still believe strongly in God.

dhw: I am not asking you to abandon your strong belief in God, and none of my (theistic) theories exclude God! Your only objection to this theory and the others is that it does not conform to your personal view of God and his methods. But you cannot find an explanation for your anthropic view of evolution’s vast bush of unconnected life forms or for the existence of evil in your God-designed world. I would suggest that this might mean that your view of evolution and theodicy and of your God’s personality, purposes and methods might just possibly contain an error or two.

Based on my view of God's personality there are no errors. Your view of God from the distance of possible belief is off target from my viewpoint.

Theodicy

by dhw, Tuesday, November 17, 2020, 12:34 (382 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: It is absurd to rule out a theory on the grounds that it endows God with human attributes, although he only "probably" has them. I too can absolutely accept that if God exists, his logic is probably like ours, and that is why it is totally absurd to dismiss a theory because it makes him use logic like ours.

DAVID: I don't dismiss your theories in the realm of logic, It is your logic about God as you humanize Him.

But you have no idea which human attributes he may have, so how can you dismiss a theory that endows him with the human attribute of being interested in his creations (you agree) and therefore possibly having created them because he wants (human attribute) to create something that will be interesting for him?

dhw: What logical reason do you have for rejecting my own proposed explanation?

DAVID: Because, as usual you have God releasing control and I don't think God loosens any controls.

dhw: Your fixed opinion is not a logical reason for rejecting it, especially since it provides logical answers to the questions we have been discussing in relation to the vast bush of life forms and the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: God is not bored and does not have to create any interests. My God is under full control of how evolution advances. The bad bugs are His. I accept that and still believe strongly in God.

dhw: I am not asking you to abandon your strong belief in God, and none of my (theistic) theories exclude God! Your only objection to this theory and the others is that it does not conform to your personal view of God and his methods. But you cannot find an explanation for your anthropic view of evolution’s vast bush of unconnected life forms or for the existence of evil in your God-designed world. I would suggest that this might mean that your view of evolution and theodicy and of your God’s personality, purposes and methods might just possibly contain an error or two.

DAVID: Based on my view of God's personality there are no errors. Your view of God from the distance of possible belief is off target from my viewpoint.

An extraordinary claim. How can you possibly know that your view of God’s personality is correct and therefore your anthropic interpretation of evolution’s history (which you can’t explain) and your insistence that your God deliberately designed the bad bugs, though you don’t know why, can’t contain any errors?
.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 17, 2020, 16:38 (382 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I don't dismiss your theories in the realm of logic, It is your logic about God as you humanize Him.

dhw: But you have no idea which human attributes he may have, so how can you dismiss a theory that endows him with the human attribute of being interested in his creations (you agree) and therefore possibly having created them because he wants (human attribute) to create something that will be interesting for him?

That is your theory, not mine. He may well produce humans without interest in what humans do.


dhw: What logical reason do you have for rejecting my own proposed explanation?

DAVID: Because, as usual you have God releasing control and I don't think God loosens any controls.

dhw: Your fixed opinion is not a logical reason for rejecting it, especially since it provides logical answers to the questions we have been discussing in relation to the vast bush of life forms and the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: God is not bored and does not have to create any interests. My God is under full control of how evolution advances. The bad bugs are His. I accept that and still believe strongly in God.

dhw: I am not asking you to abandon your strong belief in God, and none of my (theistic) theories exclude God! Your only objection to this theory and the others is that it does not conform to your personal view of God and his methods. But you cannot find an explanation for your anthropic view of evolution’s vast bush of unconnected life forms or for the existence of evil in your God-designed world. I would suggest that this might mean that your view of evolution and theodicy and of your God’s personality, purposes and methods might just possibly contain an error or two.

DAVID: Based on my view of God's personality there are no errors. Your view of God from the distance of possible belief is off target from my viewpoint.

dhw: An extraordinary claim. How can you possibly know that your view of God’s personality is correct and therefore your anthropic interpretation of evolution’s history (which you can’t explain) and your insistence that your God deliberately designed the bad bugs, though you don’t know why, can’t contain any errors?

All of our thoughts about God come from the evidence we have and the conclusions each of us reach are from our own form of logic about Him and His actions.

Theodicy

by dhw, Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 11:43 (381 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I don't dismiss your theories in the realm of logic, It is your logic about God as you humanize Him.

dhw: But you have no idea which human attributes he may have, so how can you dismiss a theory that endows him with the human attribute of being interested in his creations (you agree) and therefore possibly having created them because he wants (human attribute) to create something that will be interesting for him?

DAVID: That is your theory, not mine. He may well produce humans without interest in what humans do.

Firstly a quote: “I’m sure He sees what is going on with His own level of interest, unknown to us.” Your certainty in itself should be enough to make you take the theory seriously. Secondly, there are lots of theories, and they will all entail guesses concerning your God’s nature. Inevitably that will be described in “humanizing” terms, and there is no reason to believe that he does NOT have human attributes – as you have acknowledged (though clearly you wish you hadn’t) when stating that he probably has thought patterns, emotions etc. similar to ours.

dhw: […] you cannot find an explanation for your anthropic view of evolution’s vast bush of unconnected life forms or for the existence of evil in your God-designed world. I would suggest that this might mean that your view of evolution and theodicy and of your God’s personality, purposes and methods might just possibly contain an error or two.

DAVID: Based on my view of God's personality there are no errors. Your view of God from the distance of possible belief is off target from my viewpoint.

dhw: An extraordinary claim. How can you possibly know that your view of God’s personality is correct and therefore your anthropic interpretation of evolution’s history (which you can’t explain) and your insistence that your God deliberately designed the bad bugs, though you don’t know why, can’t contain any errors?

DAVID: All of our thoughts about God come from the evidence we have and the conclusions each of us reach are from our own form of logic about Him and His actions.

You can’t find a logical explanation to connect your anthropocentric theory of evolution with the history of life forms that preceded humans, and you can’t find a logical explanation for the existence of evil as exemplified by your God's direct design of bad bugs, but you insist that there can be no errors in your inexplicable theories!

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 19:41 (381 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: He may well produce humans without interest in what humans do.

dhw: Firstly a quote: “I’m sure He sees what is going on with His own level of interest, unknown to us.” Your certainty in itself should be enough to make you take the theory seriously. Secondly, there are lots of theories, and they will all entail guesses concerning your God’s nature. Inevitably that will be described in “humanizing” terms, and there is no reason to believe that he does NOT have human attributes – as you have acknowledged (though clearly you wish you hadn’t) when stating that he probably has thought patterns, emotions etc. similar to ours.

Same old problem: The bolded quote could mean His interest is at the one percent level, since we have no way of knowing the truth!!! And the only belief I have about his thought patterns is the use of logic. Please accept that and stop dredging up the past misunderstanding.


dhw: […] you cannot find an explanation for your anthropic view of evolution’s vast bush of unconnected life forms or for the existence of evil in your God-designed world. I would suggest that this might mean that your view of evolution and theodicy and of your God’s personality, purposes and methods might just possibly contain an error or two.

DAVID: Based on my view of God's personality there are no errors. Your view of God from the distance of possible belief is off target from my viewpoint.

dhw: An extraordinary claim. How can you possibly know that your view of God’s personality is correct and therefore your anthropic interpretation of evolution’s history (which you can’t explain) and your insistence that your God deliberately designed the bad bugs, though you don’t know why, can’t contain any errors?

DAVID: All of our thoughts about God come from the evidence we have and the conclusions each of us reach are from our own form of logic about Him and His actions.

dhw: You can’t find a logical explanation to connect your anthropocentric theory of evolution with the history of life forms that preceded humans, and you can’t find a logical explanation for the existence of evil as exemplified by your God's direct design of bad bugs, but you insist that there can be no errors in your inexplicable theories!

You have no idea where errors might exist in your thoughts or mine. Both our theories are based on logical interpretations colored by our background scholarships. As for my theory of evolution I have pointed out your constant errors in interpreting my theory as demanding 'direct creation of humans'. God chose to evolve us over time. Live with it. History doesn't lie.

Theodicy

by dhw, Thursday, November 19, 2020, 11:07 (380 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: He may well produce humans without interest in what humans do.

dhw: Firstly a quote: “I’m sure He sees what is going on with His own level of interest, unknown to us.” Your certainty in itself should be enough to make you take the theory seriously. Secondly, there are lots of theories, and they will all entail guesses concerning your God’s nature. Inevitably that will be described in “humanizing” terms, and there is no reason to believe that he does NOT have human attributes – as you have acknowledged (though clearly you wish you hadn’t) when stating that he probably has thought patterns, emotions etc. similar to ours.

DAVID: Same old problem: The bolded quote could mean His interest is at the one percent level, since we have no way of knowing the truth!!! And the only belief I have about his thought patterns is the use of logic. Please accept that and stop dredging up the past misunderstanding.

And since we have no way of knowing the truth, we offer theories. You have kindly informed us that you are sure he sees what is going on (which I suggest means that he is looking at it, not just catching a glimpse out of the corner of his immaterial eye), and if his level of interest might be one per cent, it might also be one hundred per cent, so why dismiss the theory? Ditto with your acceptance that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions and logic similar to ours. There is no “past misunderstanding”. If he probably has all this, it is absurd to dismiss a theory because you don’t believe he might have what he probably has.

dhw: […] you cannot find an explanation for your anthropic view of evolution’s vast bush of unconnected life forms or for the existence of evil in your God-designed world. I would suggest that this might mean that your view of evolution and theodicy and of your God’s personality, purposes and methods might just possibly contain an error or two.

DAVID: Based on my view of God's personality there are no errors. Your view of God from the distance of possible belief is off target from my viewpoint. […]

dhw: You can’t find a logical explanation to connect your anthropocentric theory of evolution with the history of life forms that preceded humans, and you can’t find a logical explanation for the existence of evil as exemplified by your God's direct design of bad bugs, but you insist that there can be no errors in your inexplicable theories!

DAVID: You have no idea where errors might exist in your thoughts or mine.

True. I offer a variety of explanations. I do not insist on the truth of any of them. You have one illogical explanation for evolution and none for theodicy, which you consider from only one point of view (your God is always in control, and therefore must have deliberately created the bad bugs), which leaves you flummoxed. But you claim your theories are without errors.

DAVID: Both our theories are based on logical interpretations colored by our background scholarships.

I have pointed out the illogicality of your overall theory of evolution on the “error corrections” thread. On this thread, you have offered no logical interpretation of theodicy.

DAVID: As for my theory of evolution I have pointed out your constant errors in interpreting my theory as demanding 'direct creation of humans'. God chose to evolve us over time. Live with it. History doesn't lie.

Your twist concerning “direct creation” is dealt with comprehensively on the “error correction” thread.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 19, 2020, 15:20 (380 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Same old problem: The bolded quote could mean His interest is at the one percent level, since we have no way of knowing the truth!!! And the only belief I have about his thought patterns is the use of logic. Please accept that and stop dredging up the past misunderstanding.

dhw: And since we have no way of knowing the truth, we offer theories. You have kindly informed us that you are sure he sees what is going on (which I suggest means that he is looking at it, not just catching a glimpse out of the corner of his immaterial eye), and if his level of interest might be one per cent, it might also be one hundred per cent, so why dismiss the theory? Ditto with your acceptance that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions and logic similar to ours. There is no “past misunderstanding”. If he probably has all this, it is absurd to dismiss a theory because you don’t believe he might have what he probably has.

The problem is we do not know anything about God except His works. My view of His possible personality is definitely not yours, but I agree some form of His personality is correct.

DAVID: You have no idea where errors might exist in your thoughts or mine.

dhw: True. I offer a variety of explanations. I do not insist on the truth of any of them. You have one illogical explanation for evolution and none for theodicy, which you consider from only one point of view (your God is always in control, and therefore must have deliberately created the bad bugs), which leaves you flummoxed. But you claim your theories are without errors.

I've never claimed without errors. We both have them in theories as stated just above.


DAVID: Both our theories are based on logical interpretations colored by our background scholarships.

dhw: I have pointed out the illogicality of your overall theory of evolution on the “error corrections” thread. On this thread, you have offered no logical interpretation of theodicy.

No I haven't. What I have said is what we think are errors may not be in God's eye.


DAVID: As for my theory of evolution I have pointed out your constant errors in interpreting my theory as demanding 'direct creation of humans'. God chose to evolve us over time. Live with it. History doesn't lie.

dhw: Your twist concerning “direct creation” is dealt with comprehensively on the “error correction” thread.

Not in my view. God chose to design evolution as a method of creating humans, as history tells us.

Theodicy

by dhw, Friday, November 20, 2020, 12:03 (379 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] You have kindly informed us that you are sure he sees what is going on (which I suggest means that he is looking at it, not just catching a glimpse out of the corner of his immaterial eye), and if his level of interest might be one per cent, it might also be one hundred per cent, so why dismiss the theory? Ditto with your acceptance that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions and logic similar to ours. There is no “past misunderstanding”. If he probably has all this, it is absurd to dismiss a theory because you don’t believe he might have what he probably has.

DAVID: The problem is we do not know anything about God except His works. My view of His possible personality is definitely not yours, but I agree some form of His personality is correct.

So please stop rejecting theories on the grounds that he can’t have any human characteristics although he probably has human characteristics.

DAVID: You have no idea where errors might exist in your thoughts or mine.

dhw: True. I offer a variety of explanations. I do not insist on the truth of any of them. You have one illogical explanation for evolution and none for theodicy, which you consider from only one point of view (your God is always in control, and therefore must have deliberately created the bad bugs), which leaves you flummoxed. But you claim your theories are without errors.

DAVID: I've never claimed without errors. We both have them in theories as stated just above.

I wrote that since you could not find any explanations for your theory of evolution or for the existence of evil, your view of them “might just possibly contain an error or two”. You replied: “Based on my view of God’s personality there are no errors.” An error in your theory means that something is wrong with your theory.

DAVID: Both our theories are based on logical interpretations colored by our background scholarships.

dhw: I have pointed out the illogicality of your overall theory of evolution on the “error corrections” thread. On this thread, you have offered no logical interpretation of theodicy.

DAVID: No I haven't. What I have said is what we think are errors may not be in God's eye.

Theodicy is not a matter of errors. The example we used for evil was bad bugs, which you insist your God deliberately designed, but you have no idea why. It’s not much of a logical interpretation then to say: “He created the bugs we view bad for His own reasons which are not obvious to us at this time. We may find out why with more research.

Meanwhile, with my theist hat on (because theodicy assumes the existence of God) I have proposed that he did not deliberately design them, but gave evolution free rein, and the so-called bad bugs simply did what every other organism has done since life began, which is to find their own means of survival. And I agree with you that he would watch his creations with interest (we needn’t haggle over percentages), so I suggest that he set the whole process in motion because he wanted something interesting to watch. And I am still waiting for you point out any logical flaws in this interpretation of life’s history and of theodicy – as opposed to protestations that it doesn’t fit in with your own logically flawed interpretation.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Friday, November 20, 2020, 19:37 (379 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The problem is we do not know anything about God except His works. My view of His possible personality is definitely not yours, but I agree some form of His personality is correct.

dhw: So please stop rejecting theories on the grounds that he can’t have any human characteristics although he probably has human characteristics.

The key point is neither of us know exactly how human His personality is. We both guess following our own logic and it is obvious I have rejected your view.


DAVID: You have no idea where errors might exist in your thoughts or mine.

dhw: True. I offer a variety of explanations. I do not insist on the truth of any of them. You have one illogical explanation for evolution and none for theodicy, which you consider from only one point of view (your God is always in control, and therefore must have deliberately created the bad bugs), which leaves you flummoxed. But you claim your theories are without errors.

DAVID: I've never claimed without errors. We both have them in theories as stated just above.

dhw: I wrote that since you could not find any explanations for your theory of evolution or for the existence of evil, your view of them “might just possibly contain an error or two”. You replied: “Based on my view of God’s personality there are no errors.” An error in your theory means that something is wrong with your theory.

I'll stick with my belief God is in charge of creating history, and accepted history has no errors


DAVID: Both our theories are based on logical interpretations colored by our background scholarships.

dhw: I have pointed out the illogicality of your overall theory of evolution on the “error corrections” thread. On this thread, you have offered no logical interpretation of theodicy.

DAVID: No I haven't. What I have said is what we think are errors may not be in God's eye.

dhw: Theodicy is not a matter of errors.

You are not remembering my approach that what we may think are God's errors are really purposeful events, and we will eventually discover their purpose. In the past I've used the appendix and our backward upside-down retina as examples.

dhw:The example we used for evil was bad bugs, which you insist your God deliberately designed, but you have no idea why. It’s not much of a logical interpretation then to say: “He created the bugs we view bad for His own reasons which are not obvious to us at this time. We may find out why with more research.

That is logical to me.


dhw: Meanwhile, with my theist hat on (because theodicy assumes the existence of God) I have proposed that he did not deliberately design them, but gave evolution free rein, and the so-called bad bugs simply did what every other organism has done since life began, which is to find their own means of survival. And I agree with you that he would watch his creations with interest (we needn’t haggle over percentages), so I suggest that he set the whole process in motion because he wanted something interesting to watch. And I am still waiting for you point out any logical flaws in this interpretation of life’s history and of theodicy – as opposed to protestations that it doesn’t fit in with your own logically flawed interpretation.

It is perfectly logical if you are considering a very humanized God. In my view, as you know, God is very purposeful and keeps tight control over all the processes He creates.

Theodicy

by dhw, Saturday, November 21, 2020, 07:16 (378 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The problem is we do not know anything about God except His works. My view of His possible personality is definitely not yours, but I agree some form of His personality is correct.

dhw: So please stop rejecting theories on the grounds that he can’t have any human characteristics although he probably has human characteristics.

DAVID: The key point is neither of us know exactly how human His personality is. We both guess following our own logic and it is obvious I have rejected your view.

The key point is that nobody knows the truth about all the subjects we discuss, which is why we continue to discuss them. Yes, it is obvious that you have rejected my views (I have more than one) despite admitting that they are logical. You reject them because they involve giving God human characteristics, although in your view your God probably has human characteristics. You have found no other reason to reject them.

dhw: ...you claim your theories are without errors.

DAVID: I've never claimed without errors. We both have them in theories as stated just above.

dhw: I wrote that since you could not find any explanations for your theory of evolution or for the existence of evil, your view of them “might just possibly contain an error or two”. You replied: “Based on my view of God’s personality there are no errors.” An error in your theory means that something is wrong with your theory.

DAVID: I'll stick with my belief God is in charge of creating history, and accepted history has no errors.

The errors in the above exchange refer to your theory of evolution being wrong, not to history having no errors! In any case, according to you, your God designed a system in which errors were unavoidable. I have opposed that with my theory that what you called errors were NOT errors. So you’ve got it wrong with both references.

dhw: Theodicy is not a matter of errors.

DAVID: You are not remembering my approach that what we may think are God's errors are really purposeful events, and we will eventually discover their purpose. In the past I've used the appendix and our backward upside-down retina as examples.

These are not the so-called errors we have been discussing. One is the illogicality of your theory of evolution, and the other is the disease-causing errors you said your God could not avoid and tried to correct. You are doing your dodging act again.

dhw:The example we used for evil was bad bugs, which you insist your God deliberately designed, but you have no idea why. It’s not much of a logical interpretation then to say: “He created the bugs we view bad for His own reasons which are not obvious to us at this time. We may find out why with more research.

DAVID: That is logical to me.

I don’t what constitutes the logic in your belief that he deliberately designed the bad bugs and we don’t know why.

dhw: I am still waiting for you point out any logical flaws in [my] interpretation of life’s history and of theodicy – as opposed to protestations that it doesn’t fit in with your own logically flawed interpretation.

DAVID: It is perfectly logical if you are considering a very humanized God.

Back to square one. You are sure that your God is interested in his creations, so that’s OK. But if I say that maybe interest was his reason for creating his creations, suddenly that’s VERY humanized and not acceptable, even though God probably has thought patterns etc. similar to ours.

DAVID: In my view, as you know, God is very purposeful and keeps tight control over all the processes He creates.

In my view, if God exists, he is purposeful, very purposeful, extremely purposeful, as purposeful as a purposeful God can possibly be. Satisfied? But his purpose may have been to give free rein to what he creates, because he doesn’t want what, in one of your enlightened moments, you called a dull Garden of Eden. This would explain the constant comings and goings, the vast diversity, and the existence of what we call evil: God deliberately and very purposefully created a free-for-all.

DAVID (under “a gliding animal”): I had no idea there were 60 gliding mammals. The question in my mind is why did evolution stop with gliding in these mammals and only bats developed flight wings. I'll stick with it is what God wanted.

I like your last comment. If he directly designed it, he must have wanted to design it. If it designed itself, he got the variety of life forms and wonders and strategies he wanted. Either way he wanted it. How does that make it and its 59 fellow gliders “part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans” and their food supply? Or could it just be that he finds the gliding mammals as interesting as you and I do?

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Saturday, November 21, 2020, 19:05 (378 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: The key point is that nobody knows the truth about all the subjects we discuss, which is why we continue to discuss them. Yes, it is obvious that you have rejected my views (I have more than one) despite admitting that they are logical. You reject them because they involve giving God human characteristics, although in your view your God probably has human characteristics. You have found no other reason to reject them.

It depends on analysis of God's character. We vastly differ.


DAVID: I'll stick with my belief God is in charge of creating history, and accepted history has no errors.

dhw: The errors in the above exchange refer to your theory of evolution being wrong, not to history having no errors! In any case, according to you, your God designed a system in which errors were unavoidable. I have opposed that with my theory that what you called errors were NOT errors. So you’ve got it wrong with both references.'

Telling me I'm wrong proves nothing.


dhw:The example we used for evil was bad bugs, which you insist your God deliberately designed, but you have no idea why. It’s not much of a logical interpretation then to say: “He created the bugs we view bad for His own reasons which are not obvious to us at this time. We may find out why with more research.

DAVID: That is logical to me.

dhw: I don’t what constitutes the logic in your belief that he deliberately designed the bad bugs and we don’t know why.

The logic is we don't know why as yet.

DAVID: It is perfectly logical if you are considering a very humanized God.

dhw: Back to square one. You are sure that your God is interested in his creations, so that’s OK. But if I say that maybe interest was his reason for creating his creations, suddenly that’s VERY humanized and not acceptable, even though God probably has thought patterns etc. similar to ours.

Again your twisted interpretation of my thoughts. Only logical thought patterns!!!


DAVID: In my view, as you know, God is very purposeful and keeps tight control over all the processes He creates.

dhw: In my view, if God exists, he is purposeful, very purposeful, extremely purposeful, as purposeful as a purposeful God can possibly be. Satisfied? But his purpose may have been to give free rein to what he creates, because he doesn’t want what, in one of your enlightened moments, you called a dull Garden of Eden. This would explain the constant comings and goings, the vast diversity, and the existence of what we call evil: God deliberately and very purposefully created a free-for-all.

If by free-for-all you mean unguided evolution, I don't think so. Your very purposeful God would have specific goals, such as our unwarranted, unexpected arrival as based on a weak theory of Darwin survivability. All per Adler's reasoning. Only a purposeful designer can make humans appear.


DAVID (under “a gliding animal”): I had no idea there were 60 gliding mammals. The question in my mind is why did evolution stop with gliding in these mammals and only bats developed flight wings. I'll stick with it is what God wanted.

dhw: I like your last comment. If he directly designed it, he must have wanted to design it. If it designed itself, he got the variety of life forms and wonders and strategies he wanted. Either way he wanted it. How does that make it and its 59 fellow gliders “part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans” and their food su

Again your humanizing approach. The gliders all fit into their special econiches.

Theodicy

by dhw, Sunday, November 22, 2020, 11:44 (377 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I'll stick with my belief God is in charge of creating history, and accepted history has no errors.

dhw: The errors in the above exchange refer to your theory of evolution being wrong, not to history having no errors! In any case, according to you, your God designed a system in which errors were unavoidable. I have opposed that with my theory that what you called errors were NOT errors. So you’ve got it wrong with both references.'

DAVID: Telling me I'm wrong proves nothing.

I proposed that there was something wrong with your theory of evolution, and you mistakenly took your theory for history. In any case, according to you there WERE errors in history – namely, those that your God could not prevent, even though he tried.

dhw: I don’t [know] what constitutes the logic in your belief that he deliberately designed the bad bugs and we don’t know why.

DAVID: The logic is we don't know why as yet.

That is the strangest example of logic that I have ever seen.

DAVID: [re dhw’s possible solution to the problem of theodicy]: It is perfectly logical if you are considering a very humanized God.

dhw: Back to square one. You are sure that your God is interested in his creations, so that’s OK. But if I say that maybe interest was his reason for creating his creations, suddenly that’s VERY humanized and not acceptable, even though God probably has thought patterns etc. similar to ours.

DAVID: Again your twisted interpretation of my thoughts. Only logical thought patterns!!!

Here is an example of logic: you are sure that God is interested in his creations. Therefore it is possible that he created them because he wanted something he could be interested in. Why can’t this be called a “logical thought pattern”? Besides, you also explicitly included emotions in your original agreement, and another of your statements was that God “very well could think like us”. And in any case “His logic is like ours” makes no sense if we can’t understand his logic!

DAVID: In my view, as you know, God is very purposeful and keeps tight control over all the processes He creates.

dhw: In my view, if God exists, he is purposeful, very purposeful, extremely purposeful, as purposeful as a purposeful God can possibly be. Satisfied? But his purpose may have been to give free rein to what he creates... [see above and below re "interest"]

DAVID: If by free-for-all you mean unguided evolution, I don't think so. Your very purposeful God would have specific goals, such as our unwarranted, unexpected arrival as based on a weak theory of Darwin survivability. All per Adler's reasoning. Only a purposeful designer can make humans appear.

According to you, only a purposeful designer could make EVERY species and natural wonder in life’s history appear. Why must my very purposeful God only want one specific species to appear if he deliberately set out to create an unpredictable variety of species that would come and go so that he wouldn’t end up with what you call a “dull Garden of Eden”? Nothing much of interest there. The free-for-all principle is in fact exemplified by us humans: just as it has produced bad bugs in Nature, it has produced good and evil in humans, no doubt the most interesting of all species.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Sunday, November 22, 2020, 16:29 (377 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Telling me I'm wrong proves nothing.

dhw: I proposed that there was something wrong with your theory of evolution, and you mistakenly took your theory for history. In any case, according to you there WERE errors in history – namely, those that your God could not prevent, even though he tried.

That is not an error of history, but an error of God's construction of living biology, which because of that functionality errors could occur.


dhw: I don’t [know] what constitutes the logic in your belief that he deliberately designed the bad bugs and we don’t know why.

DAVID: The logic is we don't know why as yet.

dhw: That is the strangest example of logic that I have ever seen.

The logic is taken from many examples I have given you about so-called design errors in the human body. The bugs may have a purpose we still have not learned.


DAVID: [re dhw’s possible solution to the problem of theodicy]: It is perfectly logical if you are considering a very humanized God.

dhw: Back to square one. You are sure that your God is interested in his creations, so that’s OK. But if I say that maybe interest was his reason for creating his creations, suddenly that’s VERY humanized and not acceptable, even though God probably has thought patterns etc. similar to ours.

DAVID: Again your twisted interpretation of my thoughts. Only logical thought patterns!!!

dhw: Here is an example of logic: you are sure that God is interested in his creations. Therefore it is possible that he created them because he wanted something he could be interested in. Why can’t this be called a “logical thought pattern”? Besides, you also explicitly included emotions in your original agreement, and another of your statements was that God “very well could think like us”. And in any case “His logic is like ours” makes no sense if we can’t understand his logic!

Mashing up past quotes out of context cannot refute current statements of position: God and we use logic is the only position I take about God's thinking. That doesn't mean we can understand His logical choices, based on His chosen purposes. What we have to accept is He produced what He wanted to produce, with no consideration of what might potentially amuse Him. Consider the logical thought God might be simply a creator without any self-interest! Just as possible as religions' loving God. That is Adler's indefensible 50/50.


DAVID: In my view, as you know, God is very purposeful and keeps tight control over all the processes He creates.

dhw: In my view, if God exists, he is purposeful, very purposeful, extremely purposeful, as purposeful as a purposeful God can possibly be. Satisfied? But his purpose may have been to give free rein to what he creates... [see above and below re "interest"]

DAVID: If by free-for-all you mean unguided evolution, I don't think so. Your very purposeful God would have specific goals, such as our unwarranted, unexpected arrival as based on a weak theory of Darwin survivability. All per Adler's reasoning. Only a purposeful designer can make humans appear.

dhw: According to you, only a purposeful designer could make EVERY species and natural wonder in life’s history appear. Why must my very purposeful God only want one specific species to appear if he deliberately set out to create an unpredictable variety of species that would come and go so that he wouldn’t end up with what you call a “dull Garden of Eden”? Nothing much of interest there. The free-for-all principle is in fact exemplified by us humans: just as it has produced bad bugs in Nature, it has produced good and evil in humans, no doubt the most interesting of all species.

Again your incorrect interpretation of my theory in the bold. He wanted the whole bush to appear. That means all 'the unpredictable variety of species' were all planned as part of God's creation of the living bush.

Theodicy

by dhw, Monday, November 23, 2020, 11:29 (376 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I don’t [know] what constitutes the logic in your belief that he deliberately designed the bad bugs and we don’t know why.

DAVID: The logic is we don't know why as yet.

dhw: That is the strangest example of logic that I have ever seen.

DAVID: The logic is taken from many examples I have given you about so-called design errors in the human body. The bugs may have a purpose we still have not learned.

We are not talking about the errors in the human body. You say he deliberately designed the bad bugs. “We don’t know why” is not a logical reason for his doing so, and you’ve given us no logical basis for your belief that he did so.

dhw: Here is an example of logic: you are sure that God is interested in his creations. Therefore it is possible that he created them because he wanted something he could be interested in. Why can’t this be called a “logical thought pattern”? Besides, you also explicitly included emotions in your original agreement, and another of your statements was that God “very well could think like us”. And in any case “His logic is like ours” makes no sense if we can’t understand his logic!

DAVID: Mashing up past quotes out of context cannot refute current statements of position:...

There is no “mashing” and no reason for you to disown your own statements. If God created us with our thought patterns, emotions, logic and other attributes, it is perfectly logical to propose that these are “probably” part of his own identity too.

DAVID:... God and we use logic is the only position I take about God's thinking. That doesn't mean we can understand His logical choices, based on His chosen purposes. What we have to accept is He produced what He wanted to produce, with no consideration of what might potentially amuse Him.

How do you know he uses logic like ours if you don’t understand the logic behind the choices you impose on him? Of course we must accept that he produced what he wanted to produce. But I don’t have to accept your claim that he doesn’t share thought patterns, emotions etc. with us even though you say he probably does. Please stop trivialising “interest” with words like “amuse” and “entertain”. You are sure he is interested in his creations. Just stick to “interest”.

DAVID: Consider the logical thought God might be simply a creator without any self-interest! Just as possible as religions' loving God. That is Adler's indefensible 50/50.

We don’t need references to religion or Adler. The subject of this thread is “theodicy”. You raised it and are therefore looking for an explanation of evil. I have offered you one which, at the same time, explains the whole of the evolutionary bush (which you can’t explain either – see under “errors”). I’m not telling you this is the objective truth. I’m asking you to find flaws in its logic. So far...not one. Just the dead duck of humanization and now the “logical” thought that it might not be true.

The rest of your post is covered on the “errors” thread.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Monday, November 23, 2020, 15:29 (376 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The logic is taken from many examples I have given you about so-called design errors in the human body. The bugs may have a purpose we still have not learned.

dhw: We are not talking about the errors in the human body. You say he deliberately designed the bad bugs. “We don’t know why” is not a logical reason for his doing so, and you’ve given us no logical basis for your belief that he did so.

I've said 'we don't know why' as yet, awaiting for more research findings.


dhw: Here is an example of logic: you are sure that God is interested in his creations. Therefore it is possible that he created them because he wanted something he could be interested in. Why can’t this be called a “logical thought pattern”? Besides, you also explicitly included emotions in your original agreement, and another of your statements was that God “very well could think like us”. And in any case “His logic is like ours” makes no sense if we can’t understand his logic!

DAVID: Mashing up past quotes out of context cannot refute current statements of position:...

dhw: There is no “mashing” and no reason for you to disown your own statements. If God created us with our thought patterns, emotions, logic and other attributes, it is perfectly logical to propose that these are “probably” part of his own identity too.

You cannot assume that as God is a PERSON LIKE NO DTHER PERSON.


DAVID:... God and we use logic is the only position I take about God's thinking. That doesn't mean we can understand His logical choices, based on His chosen purposes. What we have to accept is He produced what He wanted to produce, with no consideration of what might potentially amuse Him.

DHW: How do you know he uses logic like ours if you don’t understand the logic behind the choices you impose on him? Of course we must accept that he produced what he wanted to produce. But I don’t have to accept your claim that he doesn’t share thought patterns, emotions etc. with us even though you say he probably does. Please stop trivialising “interest” with words like “amuse” and “entertain”. You are sure he is interested in his creations. Just stick to “interest".

OK, but we have idea of the degree of interest, tiny or large.


DAVID: Consider the logical thought God might be simply a creator without any self-interest! Just as possible as religions' loving God. That is Adler's indefensible 50/50.

dhw: We don’t need references to religion or Adler. The subject of this thread is “theodicy”. You raised it and are therefore looking for an explanation of evil. I have offered you one which, at the same time, explains the whole of the evolutionary bush (which you can’t explain either – see under “errors”). I’m not telling you this is the objective truth. I’m asking you to find flaws in its logic. So far...not one. Just the dead duck of humanization and now the “logical” thought that it might not be true.

I have explained God's use of evolution to my satisfaction. Not knowing God's reasoning to use that method doesn't invalidate the logical thought that it simply was His choice.

Theodicy

by dhw, Tuesday, November 24, 2020, 11:01 (375 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You say he deliberately designed the bad bugs. “We don’t know why” is not a logical reason for his doing so, and you’ve given us no logical basis for your belief that he did so.

DAVID: I've said 'we don't know why' as yet, awaiting for more research findings.

It’s not surprising that we have so many disagreements about what is or is not logical. Here is part of a dictionary definition of the word: “…the patterns of reasoning by which a conclusion is properly drawn from a set of premises.” In the context of theodicy, you offer us one premise: God deliberately designed the bad bugs. In the context of evolution, you offer the premises that your God directly designed every life form and natural wonder in life’s history, 99% of which had no connection with H. sapiens, although they were all part of his goal to directly design H. sapiens. Your “logical conclusion” in both cases is we don’t know why he designed the bugs or designed the life forms that had no connection with his goal! If you can’t explain your own theories, how can you call them logical?

dhw: Here is an example of logic: you are sure that God is interested in his creations. Therefore it is possible that he created them because he wanted something he could be interested in. Why can’t this be called a “logical thought pattern”? Besides, you also explicitly included emotions in your original agreement, and another of your statements was that God “very well could think like us”. And in any case “His logic is like ours” makes no sense if we can’t understand his logic!

DAVID: Mashing up past quotes out of context cannot refute current statements of position:...

dhw: There is no “mashing” and no reason for you to disown your own statements. If God created us with our thought patterns, emotions, logic and other attributes, it is perfectly logical to propose that these are “probably” part of his own identity too.

DAVID: You cannot assume that as God is a PERSON LIKE NO OTHER PERSON.

The word “person” means a human being. Nobody in his right mind would tell you that a human being can create a universe, or that human beings created life. So if he is a person, it can only mean that he has certain human attributes, as you so clearly indicate with statements such as “He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logical thought”, and God “very well could think like us”, and “his logic is like ours.” It therefore remains totally absurd to reject a theory on the grounds that it endows your God with similar thought patterns etc. to our own.

DAVID: Consider the logical thought God might be simply a creator without any self-interest! Just as possible as religions' loving God. That is Adler's indefensible 50/50.

dhw: We don’t need references to religion or Adler. The subject of this thread is “theodicy”. You raised it and are therefore looking for an explanation of evil. I have offered you one which, at the same time, explains the whole of the evolutionary bush (which you can’t explain either – see under “errors”). I’m not telling you this is the objective truth. I’m asking you to find flaws in its logic. So far...not one. Just the dead duck of humanization and now the “logical” thought that it might not be true.

DAVID: I have explained God's use of evolution to my satisfaction. Not knowing God's reasoning to use that method doesn't invalidate the logical thought that it simply was His choice.

I have asked you to point out the logical flaws in MY theory, and all you can do is tell me that your theory was God’s choice!

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 24, 2020, 14:19 (375 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: It’s not surprising that we have so many disagreements about what is or is not logical. Here is part of a dictionary definition of the word: “…the patterns of reasoning by which a conclusion is properly drawn from a set of premises.” In the context of theodicy, you offer us one premise: God deliberately designed the bad bugs. In the context of evolution, you offer the premises that your God directly designed every life form and natural wonder in life’s history, 99% of which had no connection with H. sapiens, although they were all part of his goal to directly design H. sapiens. Your “logical conclusion” in both cases is we don’t know why he designed the bugs or designed the life forms that had no connection with his goal! If you can’t explain your own theories, how can you call them logical?

I have made the point that I arrived at accepting God as the Creator from a long and serious view of the evidence presented. My logic follows from that initial conclusion when I attempt to explain what is going on. On that basis there are some deeds by God that I simply accept. One of them is He chose to evolve humans. The problem is the two of us cannot resolve our underlying differences as we view God from very different viewpoints.

DAVID: You cannot assume that as God is a PERSON LIKE NO OTHER PERSON.

dhw: The word “person” means a human being. Nobody in his right mind would tell you that a human being can create a universe, or that human beings created life. So if he is a person, it can only mean that he has certain human attributes, as you so clearly indicate with statements such as “He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logical thought”, and God “very well could think like us”, and “his logic is like ours.” It therefore remains totally absurd to reject a theory on the grounds that it endows your God with similar thought patterns etc. to our own.

We have no way of knowing that God has any human attributes!!! Your statements about him and mine are all guesswork!!! The only thing that is safe is the assumption that He is logical in what He chooses to do. I assume He is serious about it, but it could all be just be for fun! A a believer that is far as I am willing to go. My past quotes were suggestive responses to your pointed questions about His personality, about which we strongly disagree.


DAVID: Consider the logical thought God might be simply a creator without any self-interest! Just as possible as religions' loving God. That is Adler's indefensible 50/50.

dhw: We don’t need references to religion or Adler. The subject of this thread is “theodicy”. You raised it and are therefore looking for an explanation of evil. I have offered you one which, at the same time, explains the whole of the evolutionary bush (which you can’t explain either – see under “errors”). I’m not telling you this is the objective truth. I’m asking you to find flaws in its logic. So far...not one. Just the dead duck of humanization and now the “logical” thought that it might not be true.

DAVID: I have explained God's use of evolution to my satisfaction. Not knowing God's reasoning to use that method doesn't invalidate the logical thought that it simply was His choice.

dhw: I have asked you to point out the logical flaws in MY theory, and all you can do is tell me that your theory was God’s choice!

There are no illogical statements you make from your primary view of God as part human.

Theodicy

by dhw, Wednesday, November 25, 2020, 11:36 (374 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If you can’t explain your own theories, how can you call them logical?

DAVID: I have made the point that I arrived at accepting God as the Creator from a long and serious view of the evidence presented. My logic follows from that initial conclusion when I attempt to explain what is going on. On that basis there are some deeds by God that I simply accept. One of them is He chose to evolve humans.

As you know perfectly well, that is not the problem with your theory! It is totally logical for a believer in God and in evolution to say that God chose to evolve humans! What is not logical is to argue that God directly designed every species and food supply that ever lived, 99% of which had no connection with humans, and yet all of them were “part of the goal of evolving (= directly designing) humans.” You admit that you can’t explain why he would choose such a method to achieve such a goal, so you can hardly call it logical
.
DAVID: We have no way of knowing that God has any human attributes!!! Your statements about him and mine are all guesswork!!!

Nobody “knows” anything – even whether your God exists. That is why we theorize. The question is whether our theories are feasible.

DAVID: The only thing that is safe is the assumption that He is logical in what He chooses to do. I assume He is serious about it, but it could all be just be for fun! A a believer that is far as I am willing to go. My past quotes were suggestive responses to your pointed questions about His personality, about which we strongly disagree.

The quotes are unequivocal, and they make perfect sense. I didn’t force you to say he probably has similar attributes to ours or he “very well could think like us”. And so as we theorize about why your God might have created life, and about why there is evil in the world, it remains totally absurd to dismiss a theory on the grounds that it involves him having human attributes, although he probably has human attributes. And so I asked you to point out the logical flaws in my theory.

DAVID: There are no illogical statements you make from your primary view of God as part human.

“Part human” conjured up lots of silly images. To remind you: you are sure that your God is interested in his creations. I have suggested that if he exists, maybe he created his creations in order to have something outside himself that he could find interesting. No other “attributes” involved. Hardly “part human”. And I suggest that a free-for-all would be more interesting than a dull and predictable Garden of Eden (your own image). This explains the vast and ever changing bush of life AND the existence of evil, since a free-for-all would produce an almost endless flow of ways to survive, including good cooperation and nasty self-interest. Thank you for accepting that this is a logical theory. There is no need for “primary view of God as part human”.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Wednesday, November 25, 2020, 14:52 (374 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: If you can’t explain your own theories, how can you call them logical?

DAVID: I have made the point that I arrived at accepting God as the Creator from a long and serious view of the evidence presented. My logic follows from that initial conclusion when I attempt to explain what is going on. On that basis there are some deeds by God that I simply accept. One of them is He chose to evolve humans.

dhw: As you know perfectly well, that is not the problem with your theory! It is totally logical for a believer in God and in evolution to say that God chose to evolve humans! What is not logical is to argue that God directly designed every species and food supply that ever lived, 99% of which had no connection with humans, and yet all of them were “part of the goal of evolving (= directly designing) humans.” You admit that you can’t explain why he would choose such a method to achieve such a goal, so you can hardly call it logical

Same illogical complaint. The ID folks believe a designer designed the forms that appear in evolution. They never say God, but I do. There are herds of science folks who contribute to the Uncommon Descent website. If God is the Creator, he can chose any way He wishes to create anything He wants. Seeing the necessity for design keeps you Agnostic. Its all part of the same evidence that I use more concretely than you. And I can't be expected to have factual reason for God's choices. They are in His mind only, and are my logical guesses.

.
DAVID: We have no way of knowing that God has any human attributes!!! Your statements about him and mine are all guesswork!!!

dhw: Nobody “knows” anything – even whether your God exists. That is why we theorize. The question is whether our theories are feasible.

DAVID: The only thing that is safe is the assumption that He is logical in what He chooses to do. I assume He is serious about it, but it could all be just be for fun! A a believer that is far as I am willing to go. My past quotes were suggestive responses to your pointed questions about His personality, about which we strongly disagree.

dhw: The quotes are unequivocal, and they make perfect sense. I didn’t force you to say he probably has similar attributes to ours or he “very well could think like us”. And so as we theorize about why your God might have created life, and about why there is evil in the world, it remains totally absurd to dismiss a theory on the grounds that it involves him having human attributes, although he probably has human attributes. And so I asked you to point out the logical flaws in my theory.

DAVID: There are no illogical statements you make from your primary view of God as part human.

dhw: “Part human” conjured up lots of silly images. To remind you: you are sure that your God is interested in his creations. I have suggested that if he exists, maybe he created his creations in order to have something outside himself that he could find interesting. No other “attributes” involved. Hardly “part human”. And I suggest that a free-for-all would be more interesting than a dull and predictable Garden of Eden (your own image). This explains the vast and ever changing bush of life AND the existence of evil, since a free-for-all would produce an almost endless flow of ways to survive, including good cooperation and nasty self-interest. Thank you for accepting that this is a logical theory. There is no need for “primary view of God as part human”.

All the above is humanizing God. How do you know He needs 'interesting somethings' to follow? The problems in life we face make life interesting and not Garden of Eden, but may not follow any intention from God.

Theodicy

by dhw, Thursday, November 26, 2020, 10:40 (373 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: It is totally logical for a believer in God and in evolution to say that God chose to evolve humans! What is not logical is to argue that God directly designed every species and food supply that ever lived, 99% of which had no connection with humans, and yet all of them were “part of the goal of evolving (= directly designing) humans.” You admit that you can’t explain why he would choose such a method to achieve such a goal, so you can hardly call it logical.

DAVID: Same illogical complaint. The ID folks believe a designer designed the forms that appear in evolution. They never say God, but I do. There are herds of science folks who contribute to the Uncommon Descent website. If God is the Creator, he can chose any way He wishes to create anything He wants. Seeing the necessity for design keeps you Agnostic. Its all part of the same evidence that I use more concretely than you. And I can't be expected to have factual reason for God's choices. They are in His mind only, and are my logical guesses.

There is nothing in this comment that even touches on the issue that makes your theory illogical! Yet again: what is your “logical guess” to explain why your all-powerful, all-purposeful God would directly design millions of life forms and their food supplies that had no connection with humans, although his goal was to directly design humans? If God exists, it was certainly his choice to invent the process of evolution, but the rest of your theory is YOUR choice, and if you can’t explain the logic of YOUR choice, then maybe there is something wrong with it.

DAVID: There are no illogical statements you make from your primary view of God as part human.

dhw: “Part human” conjured up lots of silly images. To remind you: you are sure that your God is interested in his creations. I have suggested that if he exists, maybe he created his creations in order to have something outside himself that he could find interesting. No other “attributes” involved. Hardly “part human”. And I suggest that a free-for-all would be more interesting than a dull and predictable Garden of Eden (your own image). This explains the vast and ever changing bush of life AND the existence of evil, since a free-for-all would produce an almost endless flow of ways to survive, including good cooperation and nasty self-interest. Thank you for accepting that this is a logical theory. There is no need for “primary view of God as part human”.

DAVID: All the above is humanizing God. How do you know He needs 'interesting somethings' to follow? The problems in life we face make life interesting and not Garden of Eden, but may not follow any intention from God.

I don’t “know”. Nobody knows. How do you "know" that your God designed every life form etc., as above? That is why we have theories! And then we test those theories to see if they are feasible (logical). We have dealt with the silly “humanizing” argument over and over again. YOU said you were sure God was interested, and I have deliberately kept to that one “human” factor in my theory. You can find no logical flaw in it. That’s good enough for me. That doesn’t mean I believe it – I don’t even know if your God exists – but the whole point of this forum is to discuss all the possibilities and to test them. I like to think that this is one of the great human qualities: even though we can’t “know”, we never give up trying to find out. I'm sure THAT's something we can agree on!

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 26, 2020, 15:39 (373 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: It is totally logical for a believer in God and in evolution to say that God chose to evolve humans! What is not logical is to argue that God directly designed every species and food supply that ever lived, 99% of which had no connection with humans, and yet all of them were “part of the goal of evolving (= directly designing) humans.” You admit that you can’t explain why he would choose such a method to achieve such a goal, so you can hardly call it logical.

DAVID: Same illogical complaint. The ID folks believe a designer designed the forms that appear in evolution. They never say God, but I do. There are herds of science folks who contribute to the Uncommon Descent website. If God is the Creator, he can chose any way He wishes to create anything He wants. Seeing the necessity for design keeps you Agnostic. Its all part of the same evidence that I use more concretely than you. And I can't be expected to have factual reason for God's choices. They are in His mind only, and are my logical guesses.

There is nothing in this comment that even touches on the issue that makes your theory illogical! Yet again: what is your “logical guess” to explain why your all-powerful, all-purposeful God would directly design millions of life forms and their food supplies that had no connection with humans, although his goal was to directly design humans? If God exists, it was certainly his choice to invent the process of evolution, but the rest of your theory is YOUR choice, and if you can’t explain the logic of YOUR choice, then maybe there is something wrong with it.

The bold is your persistent distortion of my theory about God and creation of Humans. It is obvious He did not plan a direct creation, but to evolve us. A thought is that He could not directly create us. We do not know how all-powerful He really is.


DAVID: There are no illogical statements you make from your primary view of God as part human.

dhw: “Part human” conjured up lots of silly images. To remind you: you are sure that your God is interested in his creations. I have suggested that if he exists, maybe he created his creations in order to have something outside himself that he could find interesting. No other “attributes” involved. Hardly “part human”. And I suggest that a free-for-all would be more interesting than a dull and predictable Garden of Eden (your own image). This explains the vast and ever changing bush of life AND the existence of evil, since a free-for-all would produce an almost endless flow of ways to survive, including good cooperation and nasty self-interest. Thank you for accepting that this is a logical theory. There is no need for “primary view of God as part human”.

DAVID: All the above is humanizing God. How do you know He needs 'interesting somethings' to follow? The problems in life we face make life interesting and not Garden of Eden, but may not follow any intention from God.

I don’t “know”. Nobody knows. How do you "know" that your God designed every life form etc., as above? That is why we have theories! And then we test those theories to see if they are feasible (logical). We have dealt with the silly “humanizing” argument over and over again. YOU said you were sure God was interested, and I have deliberately kept to that one “human” factor in my theory. You can find no logical flaw in it. That’s good enough for me. That doesn’t mean I believe it – I don’t even know if your God exists – but the whole point of this forum is to discuss all the possibilities and to test them. I like to think that this is one of the great human qualities: even though we can’t “know”, we never give up trying to find out. I'm sure THAT's something we can agree on!

We cannot know the degree of His interest, because we cannot know if He even wanted something interesting or not. I agree the discussion increases the striving to learn, and that is all important. Note: Even your discussion of His degree of interest is a humanizing statement.

Theodicy

by dhw, Friday, November 27, 2020, 11:15 (372 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Yet again: what is your “logical guess” to explain why your all-powerful, all-purposeful God would directly design millions of life forms and their food supplies that had no connection with humans, although his goal was to directly design humans? If God exists, it was certainly his choice to invent the process of evolution, but the rest of your theory is YOUR choice, and if you can’t explain the logic of YOUR choice, then maybe there is something wrong with it.

DAVID: The bold is your persistent distortion of my theory about God and creation of Humans. It is obvious He did not plan a direct creation, but to evolve us. A thought is that He could not directly create us. We do not know how all-powerful He really is.

There is no distortion. Yes, we both believe that evolution happened, in which case your God chose evolution as his method of fulfilling whatever may have been his purpose. But you keep leaving out the fact that by “evolution” you mean direct design of all species, and you keep ignoring the question of why he would directly design millions of life forms and food supplies etc. that had nothing to do with humans if the only thing he wanted to design was humans. How can every life form etc. have been “part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans” if 99% of them had no connection with humans? (By “directly designing” humans, I am referring to your theory that he directly designed every species of hominin and human.) As for your new “thought”, it ties in with the possibility that he was experimenting – one of my logical theories which you have rejected.

DAVID: There are no illogical statements you make from your primary view of God as part human.

dhw: “Part human” conjured up lots of silly images. To remind you: you are sure that your God is interested in his creations. I have suggested that if he exists, maybe he created his creations in order to have something outside himself that he could find interesting. No other “attributes” involved. Hardly “part human”. And I suggest that a free-for-all would be more interesting than a dull and predictable Garden of Eden (your own image). This explains the vast and ever changing bush of life AND the existence of evil, since a free-for-all would produce an almost endless flow of ways to survive, including good cooperation and nasty self-interest. Thank you for accepting that this is a logical theory. There is no need for “primary view of God as part human”.

DAVID: We cannot know the degree of His interest, because we cannot know if He even wanted something interesting or not. I agree the discussion increases the striving to learn, and that is all important. Note: Even your discussion of His degree of interest is a humanizing statement.
And transferred from “free will”:
DAVID: Some of the attributes about God you seek to know are unknowable, but I have positively decided on a God with a purposeful personality without questioning what He obviously decided to do as evidenced by the history He created. Why do you try to force me to come up with God's purpose? I can't know it. I can guess and you make fun of the guesses. Study God from His works is reasonable, and since humans arrived by the process of evolution, that is what He did, and therefore decided to do, OR was limited to do. All points covered. Anything further is sheer speculation that you like to delve into. I don't.

Why do you keep harping on the fact that we can’t know this, that or the other concerning my theories? We can’t know this, that or the other concerning ANY of the theories, including your own, and including the existence of God. (But I do not “make fun” of your guesses. I challenge them when they are clearly illogical.) Not “knowing” does not invalidate the feasibility of a theory. You also harp on about how purposeful your God is, which in itself is absurd if you are not prepared to discuss what his purposes might be! Of course that will entail a degree of “humanizing”, and you were the one who was sure he was interested in us, and you said he probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours and could very well think like us. Again it is therefore absurd to reject a theory just because it entails a human thought pattern! I will add that even for me as an agnostic, the possibility of God’s existence throws up the question of what might be his purpose and his nature. That is why theodicy is so important for theologians, and I find it surprising that as a believer you emphasize God’s purposefulness but don’t want to discuss his purposes and object if I do. So why did you bring up the subject of theodicy if you didn’t want to discuss why your God appears to have designed evil?

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Friday, November 27, 2020, 17:58 (372 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Yet again: what is your “logical guess” to explain why your all-powerful, all-purposeful God would directly design millions of life forms and their food supplies that had no connection with humans, although his goal was to directly design humans? If God exists, it was certainly his choice to invent the process of evolution, but the rest of your theory is YOUR choice, and if you can’t explain the logic of YOUR choice, then maybe there is something wrong with it.

DAVID: The bold is your persistent distortion of my theory about God and creation of Humans. It is obvious He did not plan a direct creation, but to evolve us. A thought is that He could not directly create us. We do not know how all-powerful He really is.

dhw: There is no distortion. Yes, we both believe that evolution happened, in which case your God chose evolution as his method of fulfilling whatever may have been his purpose. But you keep leaving out the fact that by “evolution” you mean direct design of all species, and you keep ignoring the question of why he would directly design millions of life forms and food supplies etc. that had nothing to do with humans if the only thing he wanted to design was humans. How can every life form etc. have been “part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans” if 99% of them had no connection with humans?

The usual distortion you can't seem to recognize. My bold above is the key. God had a goal of creating humans at the end point of evolving everything beforehand. Of course he created the illusion of evolution by designing each stage of it. Why does that bend your mind out of shape?

dhw: (By “directly designing” humans, I am referring to your theory that he directly designed every species of hominin and human.) As for your new “thought”, it ties in with the possibility that he was experimenting – one of my logical theories which you have rejected.

The fact that He might be limited in creative powers, in no way supports your humanizing experimenting wooliness. God would be totally aware of his limits and created what He wished within those limits.


DAVID: There are no illogical statements you make from your primary view of God as part human.

DAVID: We cannot know the degree of His interest, because we cannot know if He even wanted something interesting or not. I agree the discussion increases the striving to learn, and that is all important. Note: Even your discussion of His degree of interest is a humanizing statement.

And transferred from “free will”:
DAVID: Some of the attributes about God you seek to know are unknowable, but I have positively decided on a God with a purposeful personality without questioning what He obviously decided to do as evidenced by the history He created. Why do you try to force me to come up with God's purpose? I can't know it. I can guess and you make fun of the guesses. Study God from His works is reasonable, and since humans arrived by the process of evolution, that is what He did, and therefore decided to do, OR was limited to do. All points covered. Anything further is sheer speculation that you like to delve into. I don't.

dhw: Why do you keep harping on the fact that we can’t know this, that or the other concerning my theories? We can’t know this, that or the other concerning ANY of the theories, including your own, and including the existence of God. (But I do not “make fun” of your guesses. I challenge them when they are clearly illogical.) Not “knowing” does not invalidate the feasibility of a theory. You also harp on about how purposeful your God is, which in itself is absurd if you are not prepared to discuss what his purposes might be! Of course that will entail a degree of “humanizing”, and you were the one who was sure he was interested in us, and you said he probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours and could very well think like us.

The bold is your constant distortion of past comments. The only thought pattern I'll grant you is the use of logic. As for the degree of interest, it obviously can be from zero to 100%, but I will maintain He cannot be seen as creating something just for His interest, because He MUST have interests to follow. That is your constant humanizing approach.

dhw: Again it is therefore absurd to reject a theory just because it entails a human thought pattern! I will add that even for me as an agnostic, the possibility of God’s existence throws up the question of what might be his purpose and his nature. That is why theodicy is so important for theologians, and I find it surprising that as a believer you emphasize God’s purposefulness but don’t want to discuss his purposes and object if I do. So why did you bring up the subject of theodicy if you didn’t want to discuss why your God appears to have designed evil?

Only because it must be brought up as a valid issue. The only purpose I can be sure of is He desire to produce humans at some point in His creations. But there is no evidence of the thinking behind His desire. We'll guess if you wish.

Theodicy

by dhw, Saturday, November 28, 2020, 10:46 (371 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God had a goal of creating humans at the end point of evolving everything beforehand. Of course he created the illusion of evolution by designing each stage of it. Why does that bend your mind out of shape?

What bends my mind out of shape is the claim that he directly designed the brontosaurus plus a few million other life forms, econiches, and natural wonders which you agree had no connection with humans, although his goal was to design humans. You admit that you can’t explain it, so why do you keep pretending that I’m distorting your own mind-bending illogicality?

DAVID: It is obvious He did not plan a direct creation, but to evolve us. A thought is that He could not directly create us. We do not know how all-powerful He really is.

dhw: As for your new “thought”, it ties in with the possibility that he was experimenting – one of my logical theories which you have rejected.

DAVID: The fact that He might be limited in creative powers, in no way supports your humanizing experimenting wooliness. God would be totally aware of his limits and created what He wished within those limits.

Under “fish to land animals” you ask if I’m “trying to diminish His controls or His importance”. But in my cellular intelligence theory his creative powers are not limited. He simply doesn’t want control, whereas you now diminish his powers, just as you did when you had him designing a system containing errors which he could not control. But if he IS limited in his powers, experimentation is a logical explanation for your version of evolution: your God set out to create a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his own, but he didn’t know how to do it, and so he experimented with lots of different life forms and their food supplies, and then with different hominins and humans. Nothing woolly, fits in with some of your premises, and has him “totally aware of his limits and creating what he wished within those limits”. Logical flaws?

DAVID: We cannot know the degree of His interest, because we cannot know if He even wanted something interesting or not.

dhw: We can’t know this, that or the other concerning ANY of the theories, including your own, and including the existence of God. […] Not “knowing” does not invalidate the feasibility of a theory. You also harp on about how purposeful your God is, which in itself is absurd if you are not prepared to discuss what his purposes might be! Of course that will entail a degree of “humanizing”, and you were the one who was sure he was interested in us, and you said he probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours and could very well think like us.

DAVID: The bold is your constant distortion of past comments. The only thought pattern I'll grant you is the use of logic.

There is no distortion: “He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logical thought”. And how can “we only know His logic is like ours” if we can find no logic behind your interpretation of his goals and methods? Why are you so anxious to disown your own statements when it is quite logical to suggest that the creator of, say, love, joy and boredom has probably experienced love, joy and boredom?

DAVID: As for the degree of interest, it obviously can be from zero to 100%, but I will maintain He cannot be seen as creating something just for His interest, because He MUST have interests to follow. That is your constant humanizing approach.

I can’t follow the logic of this statement. You are sure he is interested in his creations (then it can’t be zero interest). So please explain why it is illogical to propose that he might have created his creations in order to have something to be interested in.

dhw: I will add that even for me as an agnostic, the possibility of God’s existence throws up the question of what might be his purpose and his nature. That is why theodicy is so important for theologians, and I find it surprising that as a believer you emphasize God’s purposefulness but don’t want to discuss his purposes and object if I do. So why did you bring up the subject of theodicy if you didn’t want to discuss why your God appears to have designed evil?

DAVID: Only because it must be brought up as a valid issue. The only purpose I can be sure of is He desire to produce humans at some point in His creations. But there is no evidence of the thinking behind His desire. We'll guess if you wish.

Well, at least we now have a more flexible approach to evolution, since apparently you are no longer sure that he directly designed every life form etc. as part of the goal of designing humans. That opens the door to other theories, while “at some point” fits in neatly with the experimentation theory. But of course there is NOTHING any of us can be “sure of”. Yes, theodicy is a valid issue for believers, but I don’t recall you introducing it by saying we shouldn’t try to explain it.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Saturday, November 28, 2020, 15:37 (371 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: God had a goal of creating humans at the end point of evolving everything beforehand. Of course he created the illusion of evolution by designing each stage of it. Why does that bend your mind out of shape?

dhw: What bends my mind out of shape is the claim that he directly designed the brontosaurus plus a few million other life forms, econiches, and natural wonders which you agree had no connection with humans, although his goal was to design humans. You admit that you can’t explain it, so why do you keep pretending that I’m distorting your own mind-bending illogicality?

The bold is your constant distortion. I never try to explain why He chose to evolve us


DAVID: It is obvious He did not plan a direct creation, but to evolve us. A thought is that He could not directly create us. We do not know how all-powerful He really is.

dhw: As for your new “thought”, it ties in with the possibility that he was experimenting – one of my logical theories which you have rejected.

DAVID: The fact that He might be limited in creative powers, in no way supports your humanizing experimenting wooliness. God would be totally aware of his limits and created what He wished within those limits.

Under “fish to land animals” you ask if I’m “trying to diminish His controls or His importance”. But in my cellular intelligence theory his creative powers are not limited. He simply doesn’t want control, whereas you now diminish his powers, just as you did when you had him designing a system containing errors which he could not control. But if he IS limited in his powers, experimentation is a logical explanation for your version of evolution: your God set out to create a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his own, but he didn’t know how to do it, and so he experimented with lots of different life forms and their food supplies, and then with different hominins and humans. Nothing woolly, fits in with some of your premises, and has him “totally aware of his limits and creating what he wished within those limits”. Logical flaws?

History of His creations do not suggest experimentation: a universe based on quantum mechanics, a perfect galaxy with a perfect Earth to protect the life He created, and the complex designs of cells tell us of a superb designer who doesn't need experimentation.


DAVID: The bold is your constant distortion of past comments. The only thought pattern I'll grant you is the use of logic.

dhw: There is no distortion: “He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logical thought”. And how can “we only know His logic is like ours” if we can find no logic behind your interpretation of his goals and methods? Why are you so anxious to disown your own statements when it is quite logical to suggest that the creator of, say, love, joy and boredom has probably experienced love, joy and boredom?

Pure humanization as usual. You are the 'we' who can't follow my logic about God's goals.


DAVID: As for the degree of interest, it obviously can be from zero to 100%, but I will maintain He cannot be seen as creating something just for His interest, because He MUST have interests to follow. That is your constant humanizing approach.

dhw: I can’t follow the logic of this statement. You are sure he is interested in his creations (then it can’t be zero interest). So please explain why it is illogical to propose that he might have created his creations in order to have something to be interested in.

You have given him a human purpose He does not need, in my view..


dhw: I will add that even for me as an agnostic, the possibility of God’s existence throws up the question of what might be his purpose and his nature. That is why theodicy is so important for theologians, and I find it surprising that as a believer you emphasize God’s purposefulness but don’t want to discuss his purposes and object if I do. So why did you bring up the subject of theodicy if you didn’t want to discuss why your God appears to have designed evil?

DAVID: Only because it must be brought up as a valid issue. The only purpose I can be sure of is He desire to produce humans at some point in His creations. But there is no evidence of the thinking behind His desire. We'll guess if you wish.

dhw: Well, at least we now have a more flexible approach to evolution, since apparently you are no longer sure that he directly designed every life form etc. as part of the goal of designing humans. That opens the door to other theories, while “at some point” fits in neatly with the experimentation theory. But of course there is NOTHING any of us can be “sure of”. Yes, theodicy is a valid issue for believers, but I don’t recall you introducing it by saying we shouldn’t try to explain it.

The bold is a total phantasy you have invented. I have explained theodicy as our lack of discovery of God's purposes, at which we continue our research.

Theodicy

by dhw, Sunday, November 29, 2020, 09:05 (370 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I never try to explain why He chose to evolve us.

That is not what I ask you to explain. I ask you why, if we were his goal, he directly designed millions of extinct life forms and their food supplies that had no connection with us. Please stop dodging!

DAVID: […] A thought is that He could not directly create us. We do not know how all-powerful He really is.

dhw: As for your new “thought”, it ties in with the possibility that he was experimenting – one of my logical theories which you have rejected.

DAVID: The fact that He might be limited in creative powers, in no way supports your humanizing experimenting wooliness. God would be totally aware of his limits and created what He wished within those limits.

dhw: […] if he IS limited in his powers, experimentation is a logical explanation for your version of evolution: your God set out to create a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his own, but he didn’t know how to do it, and so he experimented with lots of different life forms and their food supplies, and then with different hominins and humans. Nothing woolly, fits in with some of your premises, and has him “totally aware of his limits and creating what he wished within those limits”. Logical flaws?

DAVID: History of His creations do not suggest experimentation: a universe based on quantum mechanics, a perfect galaxy with a perfect Earth to protect the life He created, and the complex designs of cells tell us of a superb designer who doesn't need experimentation.

Millions of galaxies coming and going, millions of life forms etc. coming and going, all for the sake of one species and its food supply...fits in perfectly with experimentation. In any case, your new thought is that there might be things he could NOT do – in particular, “directly create us”. So a possible limitation would be his not knowing how to create patterns of thought and emotions similar to his own – as you so aptly put it. Hence experimentation. Please tell us what other limitations you can think of that would prevent him from directly creating us, and please give me a logical reason why experimentation as I have presented it is not a possibility.

DAVID: The bold is your constant distortion of past comments. The only thought pattern I'll grant you is the use of logic.

dhw: There is no distortion: “He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logical thought”. And how can “we only know His logic is like ours” if we can find no logic behind your interpretation of his goals and methods? Why are you so anxious to disown your own statements when it is quite logical to suggest that the creator of, say, love, joy and boredom has probably experienced love, joy and boredom?

DAVID: Pure humanization as usual. You are the 'we' who can't follow my logic about God's goals.

Of course your bolded statements are perfectly feasible humanizations. And I shan’t be able to follow your logic until you can explain how millions of life forms unconnected with humans could have been part of the goal of designing humans.

dhw: You are sure he is interested in his creations (then it can’t be zero interest). So please explain why it is illogical to propose that he might have created his creations in order to have something to be interested in.

DAVID: You have given him a human purpose He does not need, in my view.

Your purposeful God must have a purpose. I have proposed a purpose based on your own certainty that he watches us with interest. You have not offered us a logical flaw, but only your extraordinary refusal to agree with yourself that your God “very well could think like us” and probably has thought patterns and emotions like ours.

DAVID: The only purpose I can be sure of is He desire to produce humans at some point in His creations. […]

dhw: Well, at least we now have a more flexible approach to evolution, since apparently you are no longer sure that he directly designed every life form etc. as part of the goal of designing humans. That opens the door to other theories […]

DAVID: The bold is a total phantasy you have invented. I have explained theodicy as our lack of discovery of God's purposes, at which we continue our research.

If the only purpose you can be sure of is His desire to “produce humans at some point”, then (for very good reasons) you are not sure that his purpose in designing all the life forms unconnected with humans was to design humans! Your explanation of God’s creation of evil (he deliberately designed the bad bugs) is that we don’t yet know why he did it. I’m sorry, but I can’t regard “I don’t know” as an explanation, let alone as a valid justification for rejecting theories which you yourself accept as being logical.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Sunday, November 29, 2020, 15:36 (370 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I never try to explain why He chose to evolve us.

dhw: That is not what I ask you to explain. I ask you why, if we were his goal, he directly designed millions of extinct life forms and their food supplies that had no connection with us. Please stop dodging!

Same illogical complaint. You are simply describing God's evolution and then claiming He shouldn't have done it in the way He chose to do it.


DAVID: History of His creations do not suggest experimentation: a universe based on quantum mechanics, a perfect galaxy with a perfect Earth to protect the life He created, and the complex designs of cells tell us of a superb designer who doesn't need experimentation.

dhw: Millions of galaxies coming and going, millions of life forms etc. coming and going, all for the sake of one species and its food supply...fits in perfectly with experimentation. In any case, your new thought is that there might be things he could NOT do – in particular, “directly create us”. So a possible limitation would be his not knowing how to create patterns of thought and emotions similar to his own – as you so aptly put it. Hence experimentation. Please tell us what other limitations you can think of that would prevent him from directly creating us, and please give me a logical reason why experimentation as I have presented it is not a possibility.

I noted the possibility that There might be limitations in methods of creation that limited God as He evolved life from bacteria. I do consider all possibilities. You can't seize upon this opinion as any form of basic fact to allow your humanizing forms of thoughts about God. I see no evidence of experimentation. I see a determined God doing what He wishes.

dhw: Of course your bolded statements are perfectly feasible humanizations. And I shan’t be able to follow your logic until you can explain how millions of life forms unconnected with humans could have been part of the goal of designing humans.

Your usual fallback argument which has no basis.


dhw: You are sure he is interested in his creations (then it can’t be zero interest). So please explain why it is illogical to propose that he might have created his creations in order to have something to be interested in.

DAVID: You have given him a human purpose He does not need, in my view.

dhw: Your purposeful God must have a purpose. I have proposed a purpose based on your own certainty that he watches us with interest. You have not offered us a logical flaw, but only your extraordinary refusal to agree with yourself that your God “very well could think like us” and probably has thought patterns and emotions like ours.

Same repeat of old comments, when my position is God uses logic as we do, and we can know no more about His reasons for His actions.


DAVID: The only purpose I can be sure of is He desire to produce humans at some point in His creations. […]

dhw: Well, at least we now have a more flexible approach to evolution, since apparently you are no longer sure that he directly designed every life form etc. as part of the goal of designing humans. That opens the door to other theories […]

Of course God directly designed all advances in evolution. That is how designed evolution can give the appearance of a natural process.


DAVID: The bold is a total phantasy you have invented. I have explained theodicy as our lack of discovery of God's purposes, at which we continue our research.

dhw: If the only purpose you can be sure of is His desire to “produce humans at some point”, then (for very good reasons) you are not sure that his purpose in designing all the life forms unconnected with humans was to design humans! Your explanation of God’s creation of evil (he deliberately designed the bad bugs) is that we don’t yet know why he did it. I’m sorry, but I can’t regard “I don’t know” as an explanation, let alone as a valid justification for rejecting theories which you yourself accept as being logical.

Your theories about God are logical if you begin from a position of describing God as very human. I never do.

Theodicy

by dhw, Monday, November 30, 2020, 13:42 (369 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I never try to explain why He chose to evolve us.

dhw: That is not what I ask you to explain. I ask you why, if we were his goal, he directly designed millions of extinct life forms and their food supplies that had no connection with us. Please stop dodging!

DAVID: Same illogical complaint. You are simply describing God's evolution and then claiming He shouldn't have done it in the way He chose to do it.
And later:
DAVID:Your usual fallback argument which has no basis.

It is not a complaint or a fallback argument, but a request for a solution as bolded, so please stop pretending that my criticism of your theory is a criticism of God. Unless I have made a terrible blunder, you are not God!

dhw: […] your new thought is that there might be things he could NOT do – in particular, “directly create us”. So a possible limitation would be his not knowing how to create patterns of thought and emotions similar to his own – as you so aptly put it. Hence experimentation. Please tell us what other limitations you can think of that would prevent him from directly creating us, and please give me a logical reason why experimentation as I have presented it is not a possibility.

DAVID: I noted the possibility that There might be limitations in methods of creation that limited God as He evolved life from bacteria. I do consider all possibilities. You can't seize upon this opinion as any form of basic fact to allow your humanizing forms of thoughts about God. I see no evidence of experimentation. I see a determined God doing what He wishes.

I have not seized on your opinions as facts, because nobody can possibly know the facts. You have suggested that God might have limitations, especially when it came to directly creating us. I too consider all possibilities, and I have pointed out that this particular possibility would fit in with the theory of experimentation. Instead of finding flaws in the proposal, and explaining what other limitations you can envisage, you try to slam the door on further discussion by saying that a theory is not a fact! My own proposal of a free-for-all also has a “determined God doing what he wishes”.

dhw: You are sure he is interested in his creations (then it can’t be zero interest). So please explain why it is illogical to propose that he might have created his creations in order to have something to be interested in.

DAVID: You have given him a human purpose He does not need, in my view.

dhw: Your purposeful God must have a purpose. I have proposed a purpose based on your own certainty that he watches us with interest. You have not offered us a logical flaw, but only your extraordinary refusal to agree with yourself that your God “very well could think like us” and probably has thought patterns and emotions like ours.

DAVID: Same repeat of old comments, when my position is God uses logic as we do, and we can know no more about His reasons for His actions.

You can’t know that he uses logic as we do if you can’t explain his reasons for the actions and purposes which you attribute to him.

DAVID: The only purpose I can be sure of is He desire to produce humans at some point in His creations. […]

dhw: Well, at least we now have a more flexible approach to evolution, since apparently you are no longer sure that he directly designed every life form etc. as part of the goal of designing humans. That opens the door to other theories […]

DAVID: Of course God directly designed all advances in evolution. That is how designed evolution can give the appearance of a natural process.

By “natural”, you usually mean without God’s intervention, but it never occurs to you that the appearance of a natural process might be due to the process being “natural” once your God had set it up to proceed without his intervention.

DAVID: I have explained theodicy as our lack of discovery of God's purposes, at which we continue our research.

dhw: Your explanation of God’s creation of evil (he deliberately designed the bad bugs) is that we don’t yet know why he did it. I’m sorry, but I can’t regard “I don’t know” as an explanation, let alone as a valid justification for rejecting theories which you yourself accept as being logical.

DAVID: Your theories about God are logical if you begin from a position of describing God as very human. I never do.

What is this “very human” you keep trotting out? You are sure God watches his creations with interest. I have suggested that if he exists, he created his creations so that there would be something interesting for him to watch. Why is your interested God not “very human” and my interested God is? And what is wrong with your own proposal that your God probably has human-type thought patterns, emotions etc.? That is perfectly feasible since you believe that he created life out of himself as “first cause”.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Monday, November 30, 2020, 14:29 (369 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I never try to explain why He chose to evolve us.

dhw: That is not what I ask you to explain. I ask you why, if we were his goal, he directly designed millions of extinct life forms and their food supplies that had no connection with us. Please stop dodging!

DAVID: Same illogical complaint. You are simply describing God's evolution and then claiming He shouldn't have done it in the way He chose to do it.
And later:
DAVID:Your usual fallback argument which has no basis.

dhw: It is not a complaint or a fallback argument, but a request for a solution as bolded, so please stop pretending that my criticism of your theory is a criticism of God. Unless I have made a terrible blunder, you are not God!

I have no answer to your illogical complaint except God chose to evolve us. It is a precise, logical answer.


dhw: I have not seized on your opinions as facts, because nobody can possibly know the facts. You have suggested that God might have limitations, especially when it came to directly creating us. I too consider all possibilities, and I have pointed out that this particular possibility would fit in with the theory of experimentation. Instead of finding flaws in the proposal, and explaining what other limitations you can envisage, you try to slam the door on further discussion by saying that a theory is not a fact! My own proposal of a free-for-all also has a “determined God doing what he wishes”.

My thought is God had to evolve us, and was incapable of direct creation without the bush of life preceding us.


dhw: Your purposeful God must have a purpose. I have proposed a purpose based on your own certainty that he watches us with interest. You have not offered us a logical flaw, but only your extraordinary refusal to agree with yourself that your God “very well could think like us” and probably has thought patterns and emotions like ours.

DAVID: Same repeat of old comments, when my position is God uses logic as we do, and we can know no more about His reasons for His actions.

dhw: You can’t know that he uses logic as we do if you can’t explain his reasons for the actions and purposes which you attribute to him.

Being logical should be expected as a reasonable form of thought.


DAVID: The only purpose I can be sure of is He desire to produce humans at some point in His creations. […]

dhw: Well, at least we now have a more flexible approach to evolution, since apparently you are no longer sure that he directly designed every life form etc. as part of the goal of designing humans. That opens the door to other theories […]

DAVID: Of course God directly designed all advances in evolution. That is how designed evolution can give the appearance of a natural process.

dhw: By “natural”, you usually mean without God’s intervention, but it never occurs to you that the appearance of a natural process might be due to the process being “natural” once your God had set it up to proceed without his intervention.

Each new complexity is too complicated for secondhand design mechanisms


DAVID: I have explained theodicy as our lack of discovery of God's purposes, at which we continue our research.

dhw: Your explanation of God’s creation of evil (he deliberately designed the bad bugs) is that we don’t yet know why he did it. I’m sorry, but I can’t regard “I don’t know” as an explanation, let alone as a valid justification for rejecting theories which you yourself accept as being logical.

DAVID: Your theories about God are logical if you begin from a position of describing God as very human. I never do.

dhw: What is this “very human” you keep trotting out? You are sure God watches his creations with interest.

I've said over and over I'm not sure.

dhw: I have suggested that if he exists, he created his creations so that there would be something interesting for him to watch. Why is your interested God not “very human” and my interested God is? And what is wrong with your own proposal that your God probably has human-type thought patterns, emotions etc.? That is perfectly feasible since you believe that he created life out of himself as “first cause”.

Why do you invent my thoughts which do not exist?

Theodicy

by dhw, Tuesday, December 01, 2020, 14:02 (368 days ago) @ David Turell

The first half of your post simply repeated all the problems dealt with on the “fish to land” thread, which has now turned into a repetition of "David’s Theory of Evolution"! I have edited accordingly.

DAVID: Of course God directly designed all advances in evolution. That is how designed evolution can give the appearance of a natural process.

dhw: By “natural”, you usually mean without God’s intervention, but it never occurs to you that the appearance of a natural process might be due to the process being “natural” once your God had set it up to proceed without his intervention.

DAVID: Each new complexity is too complicated for secondhand design mechanisms.

I can accept that argument for the complexity of the cells themselves, but not for the products of cellular cooperation and restructuring, which is what produces each new complexity. You are happy to label your God as being possibly “incapable” of directly designing H. sapiens, and the implication of the above objection is that you regard him as also being incapable of inventing a mechanism that can restructure itself in response to new conditions. I seem to have more respect for your God’s powers than you do.

DAVID: I have explained theodicy as our lack of discovery of God's purposes, at which we continue our research.

dhw: Your explanation of God’s creation of evil (he deliberately designed the bad bugs) is that we don’t yet know why he did it. I’m sorry, but I can’t regard “I don’t know” as an explanation, let alone as a valid justification for rejecting theories which you yourself accept as being logical.

DAVID: Your theories about God are logical if you begin from a position of describing God as very human. I never do.

dhw: What is this “very human” you keep trotting out? You are sure God watches his creations with interest.

DAVID: I've said over and over I'm not sure.

This is partly what makes our discussions so difficult. You make unambiguous statements, the implications of which I try to examine, and then you try to withdraw them.
Sunday, October 18, 2020, 19:07
dhw: Do you think your God is watching or not?
DAVID: I'm sure He sees what is going on with His own level of interest, unknown to us.

Followed on October 21 2020 7.28 by Sunday, October 18, 2020, 19:07 by:
DAVID: “I certainly think he is interested in His creations, but not as entertainment.

It is only when I pointed out that this could denote his motive for creating a free-rein evolution including bad bugs that you decided not to be sure or certain.

dhw: I have suggested that if he exists, he created his creations so that there would be something interesting for him to watch. Why is your interested God not “very human” and my interested God is? And what is wrong with your own proposal that your God probably has human-type thought patterns, emotions etc.? That is perfectly feasible since you believe that he created life out of himself as “first cause”.

DAVID: Why do you invent my thoughts which do not exist?

Same again. These are direct quotes (I’ll look up the dates if you don’t believe me): “He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logical thought”, God “very well could think like us”, and “we only know his logic is like ours”. You only start to challenge your own perfectly reasonable assumptions when I use them against your absurd “humanizing” objections to my own theories.
In the meantime, you still haven’t offered any logical reason for rejecting the theory that your God may have given evolution a free rein so that all life forms would provide him with an ever-changing focus of interest. All forms seek their own means of survival, bad bugs are only bad from our viewpoint, and humans are no doubt the most interesting of all the life forms (our free will mirroring the freedom of all forms to follow their own paths). It’s only a theory, but it explains the bush of evolution and solves the problem of theodicy.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 01, 2020, 19:42 (368 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Each new complexity is too complicated for secondhand design mechanisms.

dhw: I can accept that argument for the complexity of the cells themselves, but not for the products of cellular cooperation and restructuring, which is what produces each new complexity.

You don't seem to realize the complex instructions that must be given aforehand to the cells genome to create the cellular cooperation and production. They can use epigenetics for minor adaptations but not anything more.

DAVID: I have explained theodicy as our lack of discovery of God's purposes, at which we continue our research.

dhw: Your explanation of God’s creation of evil (he deliberately designed the bad bugs) is that we don’t yet know why he did it. I’m sorry, but I can’t regard “I don’t know” as an explanation, let alone as a valid justification for rejecting theories which you yourself accept as being logical.

DAVID: Your theories about God are logical if you begin from a position of describing God as very human. I never do.

dhw: What is this “very human” you keep trotting out? You are sure God watches his creations with interest.

DAVID: I've said over and over I'm not sure.

This is partly what makes our discussions so difficult. You make unambiguous statements, the implications of which I try to examine, and then you try to withdraw them.
Sunday, October 18, 2020, 19:07
dhw: Do you think your God is watching or not?
DAVID: I'm sure He sees what is going on with His own level of interest, unknown to us.

Followed on October 21 2020 7.28 by Sunday, October 18, 2020, 19:07 by:
DAVID: “I certainly think he is interested in His creations, but not as entertainment.

dhw: It is only when I pointed out that this could denote his motive for creating a free-rein evolution including bad bugs that you decided not to be sure or certain.

Your invention of my changing my mind. Those statements of mine are consistent. To repeat, He may have a degree of interest, amount we cannot gauge. I really doubt a serious God does it for entertainment, your constant humanizing approach, with a God who invents free-rein evolution. I won't give an inch on your constant humanizing, which you seem not to even recognize.


dhw: I have suggested that if he exists, he created his creations so that there would be something interesting for him to watch. Why is your interested God not “very human” and my interested God is? And what is wrong with your own proposal that your God probably has human-type thought patterns, emotions etc.? That is perfectly feasible since you believe that he created life out of himself as “first cause”.

DAVID: Why do you invent my thoughts which do not exist?

dhw: Same again. These are direct quotes (I’ll look up the dates if you don’t believe me): “He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logical thought”, God “very well could think like us”, and “we only know his logic is like ours”. You only start to challenge your own perfectly reasonable assumptions when I use them against your absurd “humanizing” objections to my own theories.
In the meantime, you still haven’t offered any logical reason for rejecting the theory that your God may have given evolution a free rein so that all life forms would provide him with an ever-changing focus of interest. All forms seek their own means of survival, bad bugs are only bad from our viewpoint, and humans are no doubt the most interesting of all the life forms (our free will mirroring the freedom of all forms to follow their own paths). It’s only a theory, but it explains the bush of evolution and solves the problem of theodicy.

Same old, same old. I view God in total control of His strict purposes, and every thing tha That thought cannot be foreign to you.

Theodicy

by dhw, Wednesday, December 02, 2020, 12:35 (367 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Each new complexity is too complicated for secondhand design mechanisms.

dhw: I can accept that argument for the complexity of the cells themselves, but not for the products of cellular cooperation and restructuring, which is what produces each new complexity.

DAVID: You don't seem to realize the complex instructions that must be given aforehand to the cells genome to create the cellular cooperation and production. They can use epigenetics for minor adaptations but not anything more.

The instructions to cells to create cellular cooperation and production are what – in my theistic version – I call God’s design of cellular intelligence. The very fact that cells can create minor adaptations without your God’s intervention proves that there is an autonomous mechanism for change. It is often difficult to draw a borderline between adaptation and innovation (e.g. legs for land evolving into fins for water). Nobody can explain speciation, and so – like your own God-does-it-all – we only have theories. Some are more logical than others.

dhw: You are sure God watches his creations with interest.

DAVID: I've said over and over I'm not sure.

dhw: This is partly what makes our discussions so difficult. You make unambiguous statements, the implications of which I try to examine, and then you try to withdraw them.
Sunday, October 18, 2020, 19:07

dhw: Do you think your God is watching or not?
DAVID: I'm sure He sees what is going on with His own level of interest, unknown to us.
Followed on October 21 2020 7.28 by Sunday, October 18, 2020, 19:07 by:
DAVID: “I certainly think he is interested in His creations, but not as entertainment.

dhw: It is only when I pointed out that this could denote his motive for creating a free-rein evolution including bad bugs that you decided not to be sure or certain.

DAVID: Your invention of my changing my mind. Those statements of mine are consistent. To repeat, He may have a degree of interest, amount we cannot gauge. I really doubt a serious God does it for entertainment, your constant humanizing approach, with a God who invents free-rein evolution. I won't give an inch on your constant humanizing, which you seem not to even recognize.

Zero interest would mean he is not interested. You are sure and certain that he is interested. “Entertainment” was your own choice of word, and I asked you to stick to "interest" as a more neutral term, to avoid such superficiality. “Constant humanizing” has you once more ignoring your own perfectly reasonable assumption that your God probably has thought patterns etc. similar to our own. Far from not recognizing it, I have explained that I find it perfectly logical that a “first cause” God would create beings with attributes similar to his own.

dhw: In the meantime, you still haven’t offered any logical reason for rejecting the theory that your God may have given evolution a free rein so that all life forms would provide him with an ever-changing focus of interest. All forms seek their own means of survival, bad bugs are only bad from our viewpoint, and humans are no doubt the most interesting of all the life forms (our free will mirroring the freedom of all forms to follow their own paths). It’s only a theory, but it explains the bush of evolution and solves the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: Same old, same old. I view God in total control of His strict purposes, and every thing tha That thought cannot be foreign to you.

Something has been omitted here, but your interpretation of your God’s purpose and actions does not provide one single logical reason for rejecting my theory!

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Wednesday, December 02, 2020, 19:53 (367 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You don't seem to realize the complex instructions that must be given aforehand to the cells genome to create the cellular cooperation and production. They can use epigenetics for minor adaptations but not anything more.

dhw: The instructions to cells to create cellular cooperation and production are what – in my theistic version – I call God’s design of cellular intelligence. The very fact that cells can create minor adaptations without your God’s intervention proves that there is an autonomous mechanism for change.

Only minor adaptive change within species!

dhw: It is often difficult to draw a borderline between adaptation and innovation (e.g. legs for land evolving into fins for water). Nobody can explain speciation, and so – like your own God-does-it-all – we only have theories. Some are more logical than others.

Everyone has his own special logic about God's works.


dhw: You are sure God watches his creations with interest.

DAVID: I've said over and over I'm not sure.

dhw: This is partly what makes our discussions so difficult. You make unambiguous statements, the implications of which I try to examine, and then you try to withdraw them.
Sunday, October 18, 2020, 19:07

dhw: Do you think your God is watching or not?
DAVID: I'm sure He sees what is going on with His own level of interest, unknown to us.
Followed on October 21 2020 7.28 by Sunday, October 18, 2020, 19:07 by:
DAVID: “I certainly think he is interested in His creations, but not as entertainment.

dhw: It is only when I pointed out that this could denote his motive for creating a free-rein evolution including bad bugs that you decided not to be sure or certain.

DAVID: Your invention of my changing my mind. Those statements of mine are consistent. To repeat, He may have a degree of interest, amount we cannot gauge. I really doubt a serious God does it for entertainment, your constant humanizing approach, with a God who invents free-rein evolution. I won't give an inch on your constant humanizing, which you seem not to even recognize.

dhw: Zero interest would mean he is not interested. You are sure and certain that he is interested. “Entertainment” was your own choice of word, and I asked you to stick to "interest" as a more neutral term, to avoid such superficiality. “Constant humanizing” has you once more ignoring your own perfectly reasonable assumption that your God probably has thought patterns etc. similar to our own. Far from not recognizing it, I have explained that I find it perfectly logical that a “first cause” God would create beings with attributes similar to his own.

Yes, we have attributes of thought similar to God's. I accept the use of logic and logical analysis when designing a new species. The rest is speculation. Adler offers a 50/50 possible/probability for God's interest in us, which means He doesn't know how to gauge it.


dhw: In the meantime, you still haven’t offered any logical reason for rejecting the theory that your God may have given evolution a free rein so that all life forms would provide him with an ever-changing focus of interest. All forms seek their own means of survival, bad bugs are only bad from our viewpoint, and humans are no doubt the most interesting of all the life forms (our free will mirroring the freedom of all forms to follow their own paths). It’s only a theory, but it explains the bush of evolution and solves the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: Same old, same old. I view God in total control of His strict purposes, and every thing that He creates. That thought cannot be foreign to you.

dhw: Something has been omitted here, but your interpretation of your God’s purpose and actions does not provide one single logical reason for rejecting my theory!

I've told you I consider your view of God as very humanizing. Your reasoning is logical if I grant God as quite human in His capabilities and thought. But I don't accept that form of God, judging by his accomplishments/works.

Theodicy

by dhw, Thursday, December 03, 2020, 12:03 (366 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The instructions to cells to create cellular cooperation and production are what – in my theistic version – I call God’s design of cellular intelligence. The very fact that cells can create minor adaptations without your God’s intervention proves that there is an autonomous mechanism for change.

DAVID: Only minor adaptive change within species!

Once more: nobody knows the origin of species. But since we know there is an autonomous mechanism for minor adaptations, it is feasible that the same mechanism might cause major adaptations and innovations (Shapiro calls them "novelties") when new conditions require or allow them.

dhw: Zero interest would mean he is not interested. You are sure and certain that he is interested. “Entertainment” was your own choice of word, and I asked you to stick to "interest" as a more neutral term, to avoid such superficiality. “Constant humanizing” has you once more ignoring your own perfectly reasonable assumption that your God probably has thought patterns etc. similar to our own. Far from not recognizing it, I have explained that I find it perfectly logical that a “first cause” God would create beings with attributes similar to his own.

DAVID: Yes, we have attributes of thought similar to God's. I accept the use of logic and logical analysis when designing a new species. The rest is speculation. Adler offers a 50/50 possible/probability for God's interest in us, which means He doesn't know how to gauge it.

Of course it’s speculation. You are "sure" and "certain" that God is interested, and Adler is 50/50. So what? Even 50/50 makes the theory feasible.

dhw: In the meantime, you still haven’t offered any logical reason for rejecting the theory that your God may have given evolution a free rein so that all life forms would provide him with an ever-changing focus of interest. All forms seek their own means of survival, bad bugs are only bad from our viewpoint, and humans are no doubt the most interesting of all the life forms (our free will mirroring the freedom of all forms to follow their own paths). It’s only a theory, but it explains the bush of evolution and solves the problem of theodicy.

AVID: I've told you I consider your view of God as very humanizing. Your reasoning is logical if I grant God as quite human in His capabilities and thought. But I don't accept that form of God, judging by his accomplishments/works.

You can hardly claim that your rejection of my theory is based on “judgement” of what he has created when you yourself admit you have no idea why he would have directly designed the bad bugs, and can find no explanation for his direct design of all those creations that have no connection with what you believe to be his purpose (us). But thank you for again admitting that you find my reasoning logical. You don’t have to accept the theory, but please don’t pretend that “judging by his creations” offers you the slightest reason for rejecting it.
As regards “very humanizing” under “Fish to land” you wrote:

DAVID: You don't realize how human you make Him.

I offer theories that entail a God who experiments or learns as he goes along, is interested in what he creates, invents a mechanism that can do its own designing. These various theories explain the evolutionary bush and/or theodicy. You agree that even your God probably has thought patterns and emotions like ours etc., and it is not beyond the bounds of reason that a God who created the universe and life out of himself should actually have some of the thought patterns, emotions etc. of his creations. But I do not propose an old man with a white beard, rocking and rolling round heaven, having a good giggle at Johnson and Trump, and swigging out of a whisky bottle as he does so. I would call that “very human”. Please drop this silly objection once and for all.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Thursday, December 03, 2020, 19:30 (366 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: The instructions to cells to create cellular cooperation and production are what – in my theistic version – I call God’s design of cellular intelligence. The very fact that cells can create minor adaptations without your God’s intervention proves that there is an autonomous mechanism for change.

DAVID: Only minor adaptive change within species!

dhw: Once more: nobody knows the origin of species. But since we know there is an autonomous mechanism for minor adaptations, it is feasible that the same mechanism might cause major adaptations and innovations (Shapiro calls them "novelties") when new conditions require or allow them.

Well, we haven't found a natural mechanism yet. It's just another tbeory.


DAVID: Yes, we have attributes of thought similar to God's. I accept the use of logic and logical analysis when designing a new species. The rest is speculation. Adler offers a 50/50 possible/probability for God's interest in us, which means He doesn't know how to gauge it.

dhw: Of course it’s speculation. You are "sure" and "certain" that God is interested, and Adler is 50/50. So what? Even 50/50 makes the theory feasible.

We cannot know the degree of interest. To that you must agree.


dhw: In the meantime, you still haven’t offered any logical reason for rejecting the theory that your God may have given evolution a free rein so that all life forms would provide him with an ever-changing focus of interest. All forms seek their own means of survival, bad bugs are only bad from our viewpoint, and humans are no doubt the most interesting of all the life forms (our free will mirroring the freedom of all forms to follow their own paths). It’s only a theory, but it explains the bush of evolution and solves the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: I've told you I consider your view of God as very humanizing. Your reasoning is logical if I grant God as quite human in His capabilities and thought. But I don't accept that form of God, judging by his accomplishments/works.

dhw: You can hardly claim that your rejection of my theory is based on “judgement” of what he has created when you yourself admit you have no idea why he would have directly designed the bad bugs, and can find no explanation for his direct design of all those creations that have no connection with what you believe to be his purpose (us). But thank you for again admitting that you find my reasoning logical. You don’t have to accept the theory, but please don’t pretend that “judging by his creations” offers you the slightest reason for rejecting it.
As regards “very humanizing” under “Fish to land” you wrote:

DAVID: You don't realize how human you make Him.

dhw: I offer theories that entail a God who experiments or learns as he goes along, is interested in what he creates, invents a mechanism that can do its own designing. These various theories explain the evolutionary bush and/or theodicy. You agree that even your God probably has thought patterns and emotions like ours etc., and it is not beyond the bounds of reason that a God who created the universe and life out of himself should actually have some of the thought patterns, emotions etc. of his creations. But I do not propose an old man with a white beard, rocking and rolling round heaven, having a good giggle at Johnson and Trump, and swigging out of a whisky bottle as he does so. I would call that “very human”. Please drop this silly objection once and for all.

I can't stop my objection. My image of God is diametrically opposed to your preferred image. I don't think He ever has had to experiment, in creating the marvelously fine-tuned universe or inventing life. Your proposed 'experimentation' is after all that invention. Not likely.

Theodicy

by dhw, Friday, December 04, 2020, 12:42 (365 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Once more: nobody knows the origin of species. But since we know there is an autonomous mechanism for minor adaptations, it is feasible that the same mechanism might cause major adaptations and innovations (Shapiro calls them "novelties") when new conditions require or allow them.

DAVID: Well, we haven't found a natural mechanism yet. It's just another theory.

At least we know that there is an autonomous mechanism for change, but of course it’s “another theory”. So is God. All we can do is propose theories and test them for their feasibility.

DAVID: Yes, we have attributes of thought similar to God's. I accept the use of logic and logical analysis when designing a new species. The rest is speculation. Adler offers a 50/50 possible/probability for God's interest in us, which means He doesn't know how to gauge it.

dhw: Of course it's speculation. You are "sure" and "certain" that God is interested, and Adler is 50/50. So what? Even 50/50 makes the theory feasible.

DAVID: We cannot know the degree of interest. To that you must agree.

I don’t know how you measure degrees of interest. You are simply fudging the issue. You are “sure” and “certain” that he watches with interest, and I suggest that maybe he created his creations in order to have something interesting to watch. This theory, allied to the theory that it is more interesting to watch the unpredictable than the predictable (a “dull Garden of Eden", as you put it), solves the problem of theodicy as well as explaining the WHOLE ever-changing bush of life. Can you fault the logic?

DAVID: You don't realize how human you make Him.

dhw: I offer theories that entail a God who experiments or learns as he goes along, is interested in what he creates, invents a mechanism that can do its own designing. These various theories explain the evolutionary bush and/or theodicy. You agree that even your God probably has thought patterns and emotions like ours etc., and it is not beyond the bounds of reason that a God who created the universe and life out of himself should actually have some of the thought patterns, emotions etc. of his creations. But I do not propose an old man with a white beard, rocking and rolling round heaven, having a good giggle at Johnson and Trump, and swigging out of a whisky bottle as he does so. I would call that “very human”. Please drop this silly objection once and for all.

DAVID: I can't stop my objection. My image of God is diametrically opposed to your preferred image. I don't think He ever has had to experiment, in creating the marvelously fine-tuned universe or inventing life. Your proposed 'experimentation' is after all that invention. Not likely.

I don’t have a “preferred image”. I offer different explanations of his possible purposes and methods in the context of evolution, all of which you agree are logical, and the fact that they involve thought patterns similar to ours is no reason for rejecting them, so please drop this silly objection.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Friday, December 04, 2020, 18:45 (365 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Yes, we have attributes of thought similar to God's. I accept the use of logic and logical analysis when designing a new species. The rest is speculation. Adler offers a 50/50 possible/probability for God's interest in us, which means He doesn't know how to gauge it.

dhw: Of course it's speculation. You are "sure" and "certain" that God is interested, and Adler is 50/50. So what? Even 50/50 makes the theory feasible.

DAVID: We cannot know the degree of interest. To that you must agree.

dhw: I don’t know how you measure degrees of interest. You are simply fudging the issue. You are “sure” and “certain” that he watches with interest, and I suggest that maybe he created his creations in order to have something interesting to watch. This theory, allied to the theory that it is more interesting to watch the unpredictable than the predictable (a “dull Garden of Eden", as you put it), solves the problem of theodicy as well as explaining the WHOLE ever-changing bush of life. Can you fault the logic?

The fault is you describing a God who wants something to watch as if He gets bored. Think about it. Was He bored during the ten billion years from the origin of the universe to the start of life? You are describing a humanized God as usual. God is not a person you can imagine.


DAVID: You don't realize how human you make Him.

dhw: I offer theories that entail a God who experiments or learns as he goes along, is interested in what he creates, invents a mechanism that can do its own designing. These various theories explain the evolutionary bush and/or theodicy. You agree that even your God probably has thought patterns and emotions like ours etc., and it is not beyond the bounds of reason that a God who created the universe and life out of himself should actually have some of the thought patterns, emotions etc. of his creations. But I do not propose an old man with a white beard, rocking and rolling round heaven, having a good giggle at Johnson and Trump, and swigging out of a whisky bottle as he does so. I would call that “very human”. Please drop this silly objection once and for all.

DAVID: I can't stop my objection. My image of God is diametrically opposed to your preferred image. I don't think He ever has had to experiment, in creating the marvelously fine-tuned universe or inventing life. Your proposed 'experimentation' is after all that invention. Not likely.

dhw: I don’t have a “preferred image”. I offer different explanations of his possible purposes and methods in the context of evolution, all of which you agree are logical, and the fact that they involve thought patterns similar to ours is no reason for rejecting them, so please drop this silly objection.

It is about time you accept the concession I have given you. Your reasoning about God is logical if we both assume a very human personality for God. I don't.

Theodicy

by dhw, Saturday, December 05, 2020, 08:09 (364 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Of course it's speculation. You are "sure" and "certain" that God is interested, and Adler is 50/50. So what? Even 50/50 makes the theory feasible.

DAVID: We cannot know the degree of interest. To that you must agree.

dhw: I don’t know how you measure degrees of interest. You are simply fudging the issue. You are “sure” and “certain” that he watches with interest, and I suggest that maybe he created his creations in order to have something interesting to watch. This theory, allied to the theory that it is more interesting to watch the unpredictable than the predictable (a “dull Garden of Eden", as you put it), solves the problem of theodicy as well as explaining the WHOLE ever-changing bush of life. Can you fault the logic?

DAVID: The fault is you describing a God who wants something to watch as if He gets bored. Think about it. Was He bored during the ten billion years from the origin of the universe to the start of life? You are describing a humanized God as usual. God is not a person you can imagine.

I would imagine that if, as you believe, he set out to design a universe that would contain life, he would have a reason for doing so. In answer to your question, I imagine that far from being bored, he would find the whole process extremely interesting. And I would imagine part of the interest would be finding out what did and didn’t work. And once he’d mastered the art of inventing a living organism that could reproduce and change its structures to create all kinds of life forms, I would imagine he would find that more interesting than just boring old bacteria doing the same things over and over again as he instructs. It’s only a theory, but it offers a logical theistic explanation for evolution’s vast and constantly changing bush of life with all its different, unconnected forms and strategies and natural wonders, and it even explains why some life forms found what we consider to be “evil” ways of surviving at the expense of others (the problem of theodicy). Sorry if such interest sounds “human”, but you have agreed that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions etc. similar to ours, and doing something because you are interested in watching the results really doesn’t seem TOO human to be true, does it?

dhw: I offer different explanations of his possible purposes and methods in the context of evolution, all of which you agree are logical, and the fact that they involve thought patterns similar to ours is no reason for rejecting them, so please drop this silly objection.

DAVID: It is about time you accept the concession I have given you. Your reasoning about God is logical if we both assume a very human personality for God. I don't.

I do accept the concession, and I don’t understand why you keep trying to take it back by moaning that a God who has human thought patterns can't be interested, can't give free rein to his invention, can have a particular goal in mind but can't experiment to get it, or can't learn and get new ideas as he goes along, because those thought patterns are “very human”. Do you know the range of your God's human thought patterns so well that you can reject all of these logical theories?

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Saturday, December 05, 2020, 18:20 (364 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The fault is you describing a God who wants something to watch as if He gets bored. Think about it. Was He bored during the ten billion years from the origin of the universe to the start of life? You are describing a humanized God as usual. God is not a person you can imagine.

dhw: I would imagine that if, as you believe, he set out to design a universe that would contain life, he would have a reason for doing so. In answer to your question, I imagine that far from being bored, he would find the whole process extremely interesting. And I would imagine part of the interest would be finding out what did and didn’t work. And once he’d mastered the art of inventing a living organism that could reproduce and change its structures to create all kinds of life forms, I would imagine he would find that more interesting than just boring old bacteria doing the same things over and over again as he instructs.

Once again you present a vast difference in how you view God as compared to me. First, He don't need interests. He knows exactly what to do, made life easily, just as He made the universe easily. Your usual human God.

dhw: It’s only a theory, but it offers a logical theistic explanation for evolution’s vast and constantly changing bush of life with all its different, unconnected forms and strategies and natural wonders, and it even explains why some life forms found what we consider to be “evil” ways of surviving at the expense of others (the problem of theodicy). Sorry if such interest sounds “human”, but you have agreed that your God probably has thought patterns, emotions etc. similar to ours, and doing something because you are interested in watching the results really doesn’t seem TOO human to be true, does it?

Once again, distortion. I've only agreed to God thinking logically. Stop quoting a different me.


dhw: I offer different explanations of his possible purposes and methods in the context of evolution, all of which you agree are logical, and the fact that they involve thought patterns similar to ours is no reason for rejecting them, so please drop this silly objection.

DAVID: It is about time you accept the concession I have given you. Your reasoning about God is logical if we both assume a very human personality for God. I don't.

dhw: I do accept the concession, and I don’t understand why you keep trying to take it back by moaning that a God who has human thought patterns can't be interested, can't give free rein to his invention, can have a particular goal in mind but can't experiment to get it, or can't learn and get new ideas as he goes along, because those thought patterns are “very human”. Do you know the range of your God's human thought patterns so well that you can reject all of these logical theories?

All these humanizing theories do not fit my concept of who God is personally. We will always disagree about the sort of person God is, recognizing He is a person like no other person..

Theodicy

by dhw, Sunday, December 06, 2020, 12:47 (363 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The fault is you describing a God who wants something to watch as if He gets bored. Think about it. Was He bored during the ten billion years from the origin of the universe to the start of life? You are describing a humanized God as usual. God is not a person you can imagine.

dhw: I would imagine that if, as you believe, he set out to design a universe that would contain life, he would have a reason for doing so. In answer to your question, I imagine that far from being bored, he would find the whole process extremely interesting. And I would imagine part of the interest would be finding out what did and didn’t work. And once he’d mastered the art of inventing a living organism that could reproduce and change its structures to create all kinds of life forms, I would imagine he would find that more interesting than just boring old bacteria doing the same things over and over again as he instructs.

DAVID: Once again you present a vast difference in how you view God as compared to me. First, He don't need interests. He knows exactly what to do, made life easily, just as He made the universe easily. Your usual human God.

Even if he made life easily, how does that come to mean that he wasn’t interested in the process of making life and the product of the process? You go on and on about your God being purposeful, and complaining that my own theories are not purposeful. Two questions for you: 1) what do you think was your purposeful God’s purpose in creating life? 2) What do you think was your God’s purpose in creating bad bugs (i.e. give us your solution to the problem of “theodicy”)? So far your answer to 1) has been “to create H. sapiens”. This is only one third of an answer, because your purposeful God must have had a purpose in creating H. sapiens plus food supply, and he must have had a purpose in creating all the organisms and food supplies that had no connection with H. sapiens. And the answer to 2) is you don’t know. I’m surprised you haven’t yet argued that doing something with a purpose is too “human”!

dhw: I offer different explanations of his possible purposes and methods in the context of evolution [and theodicy], all of which you agree are logical, and the fact that they involve thought patterns similar to ours is no reason for rejecting them, so please drop this silly objection.

DAVID: It is about time you accept the concession I have given you. Your reasoning about God is logical if we both assume a very human personality for God. I don't.

dhw: I do accept the concession, and I don’t understand why you keep trying to take it back by moaning that a God who has human thought patterns can't be interested, can't give free rein to his invention, can have a particular goal in mind but can't experiment to get it, or can't learn and get new ideas as he goes along, because those thought patterns are “very human”. Do you know the range of your God's human thought patterns so well that you can reject all of these logical theories?

DAVID: All these humanizing theories do not fit my concept of who God is personally. We will always disagree about the sort of person God is, recognizing He is a person like no other person.

The very proposal that he is a person like no other person suggests that he is a person, i.e. that he has personality, attributes, or as you so aptly put it: thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. But of course if he exists, he is not a two-legged, white-bearded, ageing, ultimately dying lump of flesh like us, and he has vast powers that we can never aspire to having. But it would be interesting if once and for all you would tell us exactly what IS your concept of God “personally”.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Sunday, December 06, 2020, 15:48 (363 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Once again you present a vast difference in how you view God as compared to me. First, He don't need interests. He knows exactly what to do, made life easily, just as He made the universe easily. Your usual human God.

dhw: Even if he made life easily, how does that come to mean that he wasn’t interested in the process of making life and the product of the process? You go on and on about your God being purposeful, and complaining that my own theories are not purposeful. Two questions for you: 1) what do you think was your purposeful God’s purpose in creating life?

He didn't tell me. Considering how complex it is, it is quite an accomplishment. Perhaps with our consciousness, it has been proposed by Davies He wanted us to recognize Him and research and understand His works..

2) dhw: What do you think was your God’s purpose in creating bad bugs (i.e. give us your solution to the problem of “theodicy”)? So far your answer to 1) has been “to create H. sapiens”. This is only one third of an answer, because your purposeful God must have had a purpose in creating H. sapiens plus food supply, and he must have had a purpose in creating all the organisms and food supplies that had no connection with H. sapiens. And the answer to 2) is you don’t know. I’m surprised you haven’t yet argued that doing something with a purpose is too “human”!

My answer has been given. They have a God's purpose we still do not understand. It is our interpretation they are bad. They may have an important undiscovered purpose.


dhw: I offer different explanations of his possible purposes and methods in the context of evolution [and theodicy], all of which you agree are logical, and the fact that they involve thought patterns similar to ours is no reason for rejecting them, so please drop this silly objection.

DAVID: It is about time you accept the concession I have given you. Your reasoning about God is logical if we both assume a very human personality for God. I don't.

dhw: I do accept the concession, and I don’t understand why you keep trying to take it back by moaning that a God who has human thought patterns can't be interested, can't give free rein to his invention, can have a particular goal in mind but can't experiment to get it, or can't learn and get new ideas as he goes along, because those thought patterns are “very human”. Do you know the range of your God's human thought patterns so well that you can reject all of these logical theories?

DAVID: All these humanizing theories do not fit my concept of who God is personally. We will always disagree about the sort of person God is, recognizing He is a person like no other person.

dhw: The very proposal that he is a person like no other person suggests that he is a person, i.e. that he has personality, attributes, or as you so aptly put it: thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. But of course if he exists, he is not a two-legged, white-bearded, ageing, ultimately dying lump of flesh like us, and he has vast powers that we can never aspire to having. But it would be interesting if once and for all you would tell us exactly what IS your concept of God “personally”.

I'll repeat for the umpteenth time: He is highly purposeful and creates nothing for His own self-interest or pleasure. He is solely in the business of creation. I'm sure He likes what He creates, and that is He is satisfied in His results as the inventor. But none of this is at a human level of understanding, since we are forced to use human words and meanings in describing Him. He is beyond really understanding or describing.

Theodicy

by dhw, Monday, December 07, 2020, 11:41 (362 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You go on and on about your God being purposeful, and complaining that my own theories are not purposeful. Two questions for you: 1) what do you think was your purposeful God’s purpose in creating life?

DAVID: He didn't tell me. Considering how complex it is, it is quite an accomplishment. Perhaps with our consciousness, it has been proposed by Davies He wanted us to recognize Him and research and understand His works.

Yes, recognition especially would be gratifying, just as it is for us humans. I’d be quite happy to accept that as a reason for designing humans (and their food supply), and like you, I am sure that he would watch us with interest to see if we recognized him. Unfortunately, this doesn’t explain why he had to design millions of extinct, less conscious life forms (and their food supplies) which, I am sure would not have recognized him or researched and understood his works, before he began to design all the stages leading to us. But you always try to avoid that aspect of “purpose”. (See “fish to land animals”)

dhw: 2) What do you think was your God’s purpose in creating bad bugs (i.e. give us your solution to the problem of “theodicy”)? And the answer to 2) is you don’t know. I’m surprised you haven’t yet argued that doing something with a purpose is too “human”!

DAVID: My answer has been given. They have a God's purpose we still do not understand. It is our interpretation they are bad. They may have an important undiscovered purpose.

I agree that it is our interpretation. From a bug’s point of view, it would be doing what your God apparently designed it to do – finding ways to survive. Or maybe he didn’t design it at all, but simply gave it the intelligence to find its own ways of survival. At least that would let your God off the hook of directly designing something he knew would harm humans. (Theodicy problem solved.)

DAVID: All these humanizing theories do not fit my concept of who God is personally.

dhw: […] it would be interesting if once and for all you would tell us exactly what IS your concept of God “personally”.

DAVID: I'll repeat for the umpteenth time: He is highly purposeful and creates nothing for His own self-interest or pleasure.

I can’t possibly disagree that if he created the universe and life he must have had a purpose. Not doing it for self-interest or pleasure tells us what you think he isn’t, not what he is. But above, you have suggested that he wanted recognition. Why would he want to be recognized?

DAVID: He is solely in the business of creation.

That makes no sense. If he is highly purposeful, he must have a purpose for creating whatever he creates.

DAVID: I'm sure He likes what He creates, and that is He is satisfied in His results as the inventor.

Well, that’s nice to hear. You're sure he's interested and you're sure he's satisfied and likes what he created. So maybe he created it because he wanted to create something he could be interested in, which he would like and would give him satisfaction.

DAVID: But none of this is at a human level of understanding, since we are forced to use human words and meanings in describing Him. He is beyond really understanding or describing.

Nevertheless, you’ve made a very logical and convincing case, which comes astonishingly close to my own proposal. I don’t know why you are so coy about it.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Monday, December 07, 2020, 17:38 (362 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You go on and on about your God being purposeful, and complaining that my own theories are not purposeful. Two questions for you: 1) what do you think was your purposeful God’s purpose in creating life?

DAVID: He didn't tell me. Considering how complex it is, it is quite an accomplishment. Perhaps with our consciousness, it has been proposed by Davies He wanted us to recognize Him and research and understand His works.

dhw: Yes, recognition especially would be gratifying, just as it is for us humans. I’d be quite happy to accept that as a reason for designing humans (and their food supply), and like you, I am sure that he would watch us with interest to see if we recognized him. Unfortunately, this doesn’t explain why he had to design millions of extinct, less conscious life forms (and their food supplies) which, I am sure would not have recognized him or researched and understood his works, before he began to design all the stages leading to us. But you always try to avoid that aspect of “purpose”. (See “fish to land animals”)

I've told you there avoiding nothing, God prefers to evolve each aspect of reality.


dhw: 2) What do you think was your God’s purpose in creating bad bugs (i.e. give us your solution to the problem of “theodicy”)? And the answer to 2) is you don’t know. I’m surprised you haven’t yet argued that doing something with a purpose is too “human”!

DAVID: My answer has been given. They have a God's purpose we still do not understand. It is our interpretation they are bad. They may have an important undiscovered purpose.

dhw: I agree that it is our interpretation. From a bug’s point of view, it would be doing what your God apparently designed it to do – finding ways to survive. Or maybe he didn’t design it at all, but simply gave it the intelligence to find its own ways of survival. At least that would let your God off the hook of directly designing something he knew would harm humans. (Theodicy problem solved.)

My God is too purposeful to become your humanizing form. God controls call.


DAVID: All these humanizing theories do not fit my concept of who God is personally.

dhw: […] it would be interesting if once and for all you would tell us exactly what IS your concept of God “personally”.

As above, wholly purposeful with no self-interest


DAVID: I'll repeat for the umpteenth time: He is highly purposeful and creates nothing for His own self-interest or pleasure.

dhw: I can’t possibly disagree that if he created the universe and life he must have had a purpose. Not doing it for self-interest or pleasure tells us what you think he isn’t, not what he is. But above, you have suggested that he wanted recognition. Why would he want to be recognized?

I guess, to see if conscious beings might think if Him, since He stays hidden. Don't seize on the guess as you usually do, as we know nothing for sure about God.


DAVID: He is solely in the business of creation.

dhw: That makes no sense. If he is highly purposeful, he must have a purpose for creating whatever he creates.

What wrong with creation for the sake of creation? I am sure we were the major purpose.


DAVID: I'm sure He likes what He creates, and that is He is satisfied in His results as the inventor.

dhw: Well, that’s nice to hear. You're sure he's interested and you're sure he's satisfied and likes what he created. So maybe he created it because he wanted to create something he could be interested in, which he would like and would give him satisfaction.

Back we go to a God with self-interest, a weak humanized version as usual


DAVID: But none of this is at a human level of understanding, since we are forced to use human words and meanings in describing Him. He is beyond really understanding or describing.

dhw: Nevertheless, you’ve made a very logical and convincing case, which comes astonishingly close to my own proposal. I don’t know why you are so coy about it.

I'm not coy. I've told you constantly why you are wrong about Him.

Theodicy

by dhw, Tuesday, December 08, 2020, 14:16 (361 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Two questions for you: 1) what do you think was your purposeful God’s purpose in creating life?

DAVID: Perhaps with our consciousness, it has been proposed by Davies He wanted us to recognize Him and research and understand His works.

dhw: Yes, recognition especially would be gratifying, just as it is for us humans. I’d be quite happy to accept that as a reason for designing humans (and their food supply), and like you, I am sure that he would watch us with interest to see if we recognized him. […]

dhw: 2) What do you think was your God’s purpose in creating bad bugs (i.e. give us your solution to the problem of “theodicy”)? […]

DAVID: My answer has been given. They have a God's purpose we still do not understand. It is our interpretation they are bad. They may have an important undiscovered purpose.

dhw: I agree that it is our interpretation. From a bug’s point of view, it would be doing what your God apparently designed it to do – finding ways to survive. Or maybe he didn’t design it at all, but simply gave it the intelligence to find its own ways of survival. At least that would let your God off the hook of directly designing something he knew would harm humans. (Theodicy problem solved.)

DAVID: My God is too purposeful to become your humanizing form. God controls call.

So he’s a non-human control freak. And you still haven’t offered a solution to the problem of “theodicy”, and you still haven’t offered a single objection to the logic of my proposal, and you still can’t understand that a God who creates things in order to give himself something interesting to watch is a purposeful God.

DAVID: All these humanizing theories do not fit my concept of who God is personally.

dhw: […] it would be interesting if once and for all you would tell us exactly what IS your concept of God “personally”.

DAVID: As above, wholly purposeful with no self-interest.

Then please tell us why you think your God might possibly “want us to recognize him”.

DAVID: I guess, to see if conscious beings might think if Him, since He stays hidden. Don't seize on the guess as you usually do, as we know nothing for sure about God.

So how do you know he is wholly purposeful, and how do you know he is without self-interest? Of course you don’t, so you object to the logic of my proposals because we can’t know if they’re true or not. We might as well give up proposing and discussing all our subjects if your only answer to any theory is that “we know nothing for sure”. So why do you bother to propose theories of your own?

DAVID: He is solely in the business of creation.

dhw: That makes no sense. If he is highly purposeful, he must have a purpose for creating whatever he creates.

DAVID: What wrong with creation for the sake of creation? I am sure we were the major purpose.

And you are sure he watches us with interest, and you are sure "He likes what He creates, and that He is satisfied in His results as the inventor”. So as I suggested yesterday, maybe he created it because he wanted to create something he could be interested in, which he would like and would give him satisfaction.

DAVID: Back we go to a God with self-interest, a weak humanized version as usual.

I really can’t follow your reasoning. How can you be sure that the result of his creativity (interest, liking and satisfaction) does not arise from him wanting something that he might like and that might interest and satisfy him?

dhw: ...you’ve made a very logical and convincing case, which comes astonishingly close to my own proposal. I don’t know why you are so coy about it.

DAVID: I'm not coy. I've told you constantly why you are wrong about Him.

Yes you have: I am apparently wrong because you say I am wrong, because your own theory (no self-interest) is right although “we know nothing for sure”, apart from what you ARE sure about, which actually supports my theory!

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 08, 2020, 22:16 (361 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My God is too purposeful to become your humanizing form. God controls call.

dhw: So he’s a non-human control freak. And you still haven’t offered a solution to the problem of “theodicy”, and you still haven’t offered a single objection to the logic of my proposal, and you still can’t understand that a God who creates things in order to give himself something interesting to watch is a purposeful God.

Once again you describe a humanized God with a self-interest desire for entertainment

dhw: So how do you know he is wholly purposeful, and how do you know he is without self-interest? Of course you don’t, so you object to the logic of my proposals because we can’t know if they’re true or not. We might as well give up proposing and discussing all our subjects if your only answer to any theory is that “we know nothing for sure”. So why do you bother to propose theories of your own?

We can continue to disagree about our personal images of who God is. It is obvious we will never agree because you and I imagine Him totally differently. It is true we know nothing for sure. You and I both have a perfect right to propose our person theories and continue to disagree. I haven't seen a neutral ground on this subject as yet. And I doubt one can be found.


DAVID: He is solely in the business of creation.

dhw: That makes no sense. If he is highly purposeful, he must have a purpose for creating whatever he creates.

DAVID: What wrong with creation for the sake of creation? I am sure we were the major purpose.

dhw: And you are sure he watches us with interest, and you are sure "He likes what He creates, and that He is satisfied in His results as the inventor”. So as I suggested yesterday, maybe he created it because he wanted to create something he could be interested in, which he would like and would give him satisfaction.

There we are together. I'm sure He is satisfied with his creations, but not to create self-satisfaction. He doesn't need that. And I am not sure He did it for interesting spectacles, your proposal. He doesn't create for His own personal needs.

dhw: ...you’ve made a very logical and convincing case, which comes astonishingly close to my own proposal. I don’t know why you are so coy about it.

DAVID: I'm not coy. I've told you constantly why you are wrong about Him.

dhw: Yes you have: I am apparently wrong because you say I am wrong, because your own theory (no self-interest) is right although “we know nothing for sure”, apart from what you ARE sure about, which actually supports my theory!

I've described our obvious continuous differences above. There is no right or wrong. Our views of god are gulfs apart, and won't change.

Theodicy

by dhw, Wednesday, December 09, 2020, 13:36 (360 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My God is too purposeful to become your humanizing form. God controls call.

dhw: So he’s a non-human control freak. And you still haven’t offered a solution to the problem of “theodicy”, and you still haven’t offered a single objection to the logic of my proposal, and you still can’t understand that a God who creates things in order to give himself something interesting to watch is a purposeful God.

DAVID: Once again you describe a humanized God with a self-interest desire for entertainment.

There is no reason to suppose that a God who you are sure is interested in us, and has likings and satisfaction (human attributes you appear to accept), should not create things to like and interest and satisfy himself (dismissed as “humanized”). In fact, it sounds pretty logical to me. I don’t remember ever using the superficial term “entertainment”. Let us stick to your own terms: interest, liking and satisfaction.

DAVID: […] We can continue to disagree about our personal images of who God is. It is obvious we will never agree because you and I imagine Him totally differently. […]

The difference between us is that you can see the logic in all my theories to explain evolution and theodicy, and your grounds for dismissing them are the silly one of “humanization” (see above), and the fact that 1) they are different from your own (evolution), and 2) you don’t have a theory to explain theodicy, and 3) you are convinced that your satisfied God doesn’t create for “self-satisfaction”. None of these provide a single flaw in the logic of my theory.

DAVID: I've described our obvious continuous differences above. There is no right or wrong. Our views of god are gulfs apart, and won't change.

Of course there is no right or wrong. All we have are theories, and we can only test them for feasibility. I have offered you a (theistic) theory which explains both the vast bush of life forms (evolution) and the problem of theodicy, and I’m still waiting to hear why it isn’t feasible.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Wednesday, December 09, 2020, 15:24 (360 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My God is too purposeful to become your humanizing form. God controls call.

dhw: So he’s a non-human control freak. And you still haven’t offered a solution to the problem of “theodicy”, and you still haven’t offered a single objection to the logic of my proposal, and you still can’t understand that a God who creates things in order to give himself something interesting to watch is a purposeful God.

DAVID: Once again you describe a humanized God with a self-interest desire for entertainment.

dhw: There is no reason to suppose that a God who you are sure is interested in us, and has likings and satisfaction (human attributes you appear to accept), should not create things to like and interest and satisfy himself (dismissed as “humanized”). In fact, it sounds pretty logical to me. I don’t remember ever using the superficial term “entertainment”. Let us stick to your own terms: interest, liking and satisfaction.

Spectacle (your word) surely implies entertainment. My point is my God does not do any creating to satisfy His own self-interests. He simply creates. The problem is we must use our human terms to describe a non-human person, God.


DAVID: […] We can continue to disagree about our personal images of who God is. It is obvious we will never agree because you and I imagine Him totally differently. […]

dhw: The difference between us is that you can see the logic in all my theories to explain evolution and theodicy, and your grounds for dismissing them are the silly one of “humanization” (see above), and the fact that 1) they are different from your own (evolution), and 2) you don’t have a theory to explain theodicy, and 3) you are convinced that your satisfied God doesn’t create for “self-satisfaction”. None of these provide a single flaw in the logic of my theory.

My repeated answer to theodicy is not yours. God created things we interpret as 'bad' for His reasons we do not yet understand, using the previously 'useless appendix' as a prime example.


DAVID: I've described our obvious continuous differences above. There is no right or wrong. Our views of God are gulfs apart, and won't change.

dhw: Of course there is no right or wrong. All we have are theories, and we can only test them for feasibility. I have offered you a (theistic) theory which explains both the vast bush of life forms (evolution) and the problem of theodicy, and I’m still waiting to hear why it isn’t feasible.

I don't accept a version of God who gives up primary controls over creation. That is what your theory does.

Theodicy

by dhw, Thursday, December 10, 2020, 12:04 (359 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Once again you describe a humanized God with a self-interest desire for entertainment.

dhw: There is no reason to suppose that a God who you are sure is interested in us, and has likings and satisfaction (human attributes you appear to accept), should not create things to like and interest and satisfy himself (dismissed as “humanized”). In fact, it sounds pretty logical to me. I don’t remember ever using the superficial term “entertainment”. Let us stick to your own terms: interest, liking and satisfaction.

DAVID: Spectacle (your word) surely implies entertainment. My point is my God does not do any creating to satisfy His own self-interests. He simply creates. The problem is we must use our human terms to describe a non-human person, God.

I have accepted your objection to “spectacle”, and have proposed that we use your own terms: interest, liking, satisfaction. Your point is that you have a fixed view, which now appears to be that your purposeful God creates without any purpose except to directly design different stages of H. sapiens plus his food supply. Unfortunately, this does not explain why he created all the life forms etc. that had no connection with humans (i.e. 99% of the rest of evolution), or bad bugs (which we’ve taken to represent all evil – the great problem of theodicy).

DAVID: […] We can continue to disagree about our personal images of who God is. It is obvious we will never agree because you and I imagine Him totally differently. […]

dhw: The difference between us is that you can see the logic in all my theories to explain evolution and theodicy, and your grounds for dismissing them are the silly one of “humanization” (see above), and the fact that 1) they are different from your own (evolution), and 2) you don’t have a theory to explain theodicy, and 3) you are convinced that your satisfied God doesn’t create for “self-satisfaction”. None of these provide a single flaw in the logic of my theory.

DAVID: My repeated answer to theodicy is not yours. God created things we interpret as 'bad' for His reasons we do not yet understand, using the previously 'useless appendix' as a prime example.

Our prime example is bad bugs. Thank you for acknowledging that you do not have a theory other than the theory that one day we will understand. I do not see that as a reason for rejecting the reasoning behind my theory.

DAVID: I don't accept a version of God who gives up primary controls over creation. That is what your theory does.

I know you don’t accept the theory that he wanted a free-for-all and created what he wanted. I would simply like to know why this explanation of evolution and of theodicy is not feasible.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Thursday, December 10, 2020, 18:07 (359 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Spectacle (your word) surely implies entertainment. My point is my God does not do any creating to satisfy His own self-interests. He simply creates. The problem is we must use our human terms to describe a non-human person, God.

dhw: I have accepted your objection to “spectacle”, and have proposed that we use your own terms: interest, liking, satisfaction. Your point is that you have a fixed view, which now appears to be that your purposeful God creates without any purpose except to directly design different stages of H. sapiens plus his food supply. Unfortunately, this does not explain why he created all the life forms etc. that had no connection with humans (i.e. 99% of the rest of evolution), or bad bugs (which we’ve taken to represent all evil – the great problem of theodicy).

Same old illogical complaint. That God chose to evolve us from bacteria is a simple conclusion from known history.


DAVID: […] We can continue to disagree about our personal images of who God is. It is obvious we will never agree because you and I imagine Him totally differently. […]

dhw: The difference between us is that you can see the logic in all my theories to explain evolution and theodicy, and your grounds for dismissing them are the silly one of “humanization” (see above), and the fact that 1) they are different from your own (evolution), and 2) you don’t have a theory to explain theodicy, and 3) you are convinced that your satisfied God doesn’t create for “self-satisfaction”. None of these provide a single flaw in the logic of my theory.

DAVID: My repeated answer to theodicy is not yours. God created things we interpret as 'bad' for His reasons we do not yet understand, using the previously 'useless appendix' as a prime example.

dhw: Our prime example is bad bugs. Thank you for acknowledging that you do not have a theory other than the theory that one day we will understand. I do not see that as a reason for rejecting the reasoning behind my theory.

I reject it on the basis that I see God's personality differently that you do. Granting a more humanized form of God, your theories are logical.


DAVID: I don't accept a version of God who gives up primary controls over creation. That is what your theory does.

dhw: I know you don’t accept the theory that he wanted a free-for-all and created what he wanted. I would simply like to know why this explanation of evolution and of theodicy is not feasible.

It is feasible if God is weak, and gives up tight control over events.

Theodicy

by dhw, Friday, December 11, 2020, 08:52 (358 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My point is my God does not do any creating to satisfy His own self-interests. He simply creates.

dhw: Your point is that you have a fixed view, which now appears to be that your purposeful God creates without any purpose except to directly design different stages of H. sapiens plus his food supply. Unfortunately, this does not explain why he created all the life forms etc. that had no connection with humans (i.e. 99% of the rest of evolution), or bad bugs (which we’ve taken to represent all evil – the great problem of theodicy).

DAVID: Same old illogical complaint. That God chose to evolve us from bacteria is a simple conclusion from known history.

As is the fact that if he exists, then according to you he chose to “evolve” [= directly design] millions of non-human life forms etc. that had no connection with humans. THAT is YOUR “choice”, and in your very own words: “I have no idea why he uses that method” to design the only species (plus food supply) that he wanted to design. :-)

DAVID: My repeated answer to theodicy is not yours. God created things we interpret as 'bad' for His reasons we do not yet understand, using the previously 'useless appendix' as a prime example.

dhw: Our prime example is bad bugs. Thank you for acknowledging that you do not have a theory other than the theory that one day we will understand. I do not see that as a reason for rejecting the reasoning behind my theory.

DAVID: I reject it on the basis that I see God's personality differently that you do. Granting a more humanized form of God, your theories are logical.

Thank you. The “humanized” version I have offered you here is in keeping with your own certainty that your God is interested in his creations, and likes and is satisfied with them.

DAVID: I don't accept a version of God who gives up primary controls over creation. That is what your theory does.

dhw: I know you don’t accept the theory that he wanted a free-for-all and created what he wanted. I would simply like to know why this explanation of evolution and of theodicy is not feasible.

DAVID: It is feasible if God is weak, and gives up tight control over events.

So my theory that he wanted and created a free-for-all is feasible if it’s right. We’ll never know, but I’ll settle for feasible. Forget “weak” – that is your highly subjective view of a God who knows what he wants and gets it.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Friday, December 11, 2020, 15:56 (358 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My point is my God does not do any creating to satisfy His own self-interests. He simply creates.

dhw: Your point is that you have a fixed view, which now appears to be that your purposeful God creates without any purpose except to directly design different stages of H. sapiens plus his food supply. Unfortunately, this does not explain why he created all the life forms etc. that had no connection with humans (i.e. 99% of the rest of evolution), or bad bugs (which we’ve taken to represent all evil – the great problem of theodicy).

DAVID: Same old illogical complaint. That God chose to evolve us from bacteria is a simple conclusion from known history.

dhw: As is the fact that if he exists, then according to you he chose to “evolve” [= directly design] millions of non-human life forms etc. that had no connection with humans. THAT is YOUR “choice”, and in your very own words: “I have no idea why he uses that method” to design the only species (plus food supply) that he wanted to design. :-)

Easy choice with a belief in God. :-P


DAVID: My repeated answer to theodicy is not yours. God created things we interpret as 'bad' for His reasons we do not yet understand, using the previously 'useless appendix' as a prime example.

dhw: Our prime example is bad bugs. Thank you for acknowledging that you do not have a theory other than the theory that one day we will understand. I do not see that as a reason for rejecting the reasoning behind my theory.

DAVID: I reject it on the basis that I see God's personality differently that you do. Granting a more humanized form of God, your theories are logical.

dhw: Thank you. The “humanized” version I have offered you here is in keeping with your own certainty that your God is interested in his creations, and likes and is satisfied with them.

But the difference is I believe God is the business of creation, not to be interested or satisfied, which are entirely secondary results.


DAVID: I don't accept a version of God who gives up primary controls over creation. That is what your theory does.

dhw: I know you don’t accept the theory that he wanted a free-for-all and created what he wanted. I would simply like to know why this explanation of evolution and of theodicy is not feasible.

DAVID: It is feasible if God is weak, and gives up tight control over events.

dhw: So my theory that he wanted and created a free-for-all is feasible if it’s right. We’ll never know, but I’ll settle for feasible. Forget “weak” – that is your highly subjective view of a God who knows what he wants and gets it.

You are just as subjective always trying for a weak God.

Theodicy

by dhw, Saturday, December 12, 2020, 08:54 (357 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My repeated answer to theodicy is not yours. God created things we interpret as 'bad' for His reasons we do not yet understand, using the previously 'useless appendix' as a prime example.

dhw: Our prime example is bad bugs. Thank you for acknowledging that you do not have a theory other than the theory that one day we will understand. I do not see that as a reason for rejecting the reasoning behind my theory.

DAVID: I reject it on the basis that I see God's personality differently that you do. Granting a more humanized form of God, your theories are logical.

dhw: Thank you. The “humanized” version I have offered you here is in keeping with your own certainty that your God is interested in his creations, and likes and is satisfied with them.

DAVID: But the difference is I believe God is the business of creation, not to be interested or satisfied, which are entirely secondary results.

The only reason you have given for him wanting to create is to produce H. sapiens plus food supply. This is not “the business of creation” – this is creation with a single purpose. But you have no idea why he would have chosen to directly design all the life forms unconnected with humans. :-) . However, we now appear to have a new theory. Instead of them all being “part of the goal of evolving humans”, they have become creation just for the business of creation. I like it. However, there is a strange dichotomy in your thinking: although you are sure he is interested and satisfied because he likes creating and he likes what he has created (just like a painter enjoying his paintings was an image you used elsewhere), he doesn’t create because he WANTS to be interested or satisfied. You are sure he has those human feelings, but you are sure they never motivate him. And yet this would provide you with an answer to the puzzle you are unable to solve: why did your God design all the life forms unconnected with humans? Why is not feasible that the "result" (liking and satisfaction) could stem from the cause of wanting something to like and be satisfied with?

In response to another of my theistic suggestions – a free-for all to explain all the comings and goings, and to enhance your God’s interest, liking and satisfaction – you wrote:

DAVID: I don't accept a version of God who gives up primary controls over creation. That is what your theory does.

dhw: I know you don’t accept the theory that he wanted a free-for-all and created what he wanted. I would simply like to know why this explanation of evolution and of theodicy is not feasible.

DAVID: It is feasible if God is weak, and gives up tight control over events.

dhw: So my theory that he wanted and created a free-for-all is feasible if it’s right. We’ll never know, but I’ll settle for feasible. Forget “weak” – that is your highly subjective view of a God who knows what he wants and gets it.

DAVID: You are just as subjective always trying for a weak God.

All I’m trying to do is find logical explanations for the history of evolution and for theodicy. I agree , however, that a definition of what is weak and what is strong has to be subjective. And I think a God who theoretically has limitations that make him incapable of directly designing what he wants to design (your humans) is actually weaker than a God who directly designs what he wants to design (my intelligent cells).

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Saturday, December 12, 2020, 22:24 (357 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Thank you. The “humanized” version I have offered you here is in keeping with your own certainty that your God is interested in his creations, and likes and is satisfied with them.

DAVID: But the difference is I believe God is the business of creation, not to be interested or satisfied, which are entirely secondary results.

dhw: The only reason you have given for him wanting to create is to produce H. sapiens plus food supply. This is not “the business of creation” – this is creation with a single purpose. But you have no idea why he would have chosen to directly design all the life forms unconnected with humans. :-) . However, we now appear to have a new theory. Instead of them all being “part of the goal of evolving humans”, they have become creation just for the business of creation. I like it. However, there is a strange dichotomy in your thinking: although you are sure he is interested and satisfied because he likes creating and he likes what he has created (just like a painter enjoying his paintings was an image you used elsewhere), he doesn’t create because he WANTS to be interested or satisfied. You are sure he has those human feelings, but you are sure they never motivate him. And yet this would provide you with an answer to the puzzle you are unable to solve: why did your God design all the life forms unconnected with humans? Why is not feasible that the "result" (liking and satisfaction) could stem from the cause of wanting something to like and be satisfied with?

Your entire discussion is about God does not eventually describe a God as I see him. You want him to be interested and self-satisfied as reasons for creations. God is a Creator, first and foremost. Whether He is pleased, or not, interested in the result or not, satisfied or not, is simply a look at a possible human side to Him, which may not exist at all. Yes we can discuss it as we have, but we conclude nothing. My version of God is nowhere as humanizing as you attempt.


dhw: In response to another of my theistic suggestions – a free-for all to explain all the comings and goings, and to enhance your God’s interest, liking and satisfaction – you wrote:

DAVID: I don't accept a version of God who gives up primary controls over creation. That is what your theory does.

dhw: I know you don’t accept the theory that he wanted a free-for-all and created what he wanted. I would simply like to know why this explanation of evolution and of theodicy is not feasible.

DAVID: It is feasible if God is weak, and gives up tight control over events.

dhw: So my theory that he wanted and created a free-for-all is feasible if it’s right. We’ll never know, but I’ll settle for feasible. Forget “weak” – that is your highly subjective view of a God who knows what he wants and gets it.

DAVID: You are just as subjective always trying for a weak God.

dhw: All I’m trying to do is find logical explanations for the history of evolution and for theodicy. I agree , however, that a definition of what is weak and what is strong has to be subjective. And I think a God who theoretically has limitations that make him incapable of directly designing what he wants to design (your humans) is actually weaker than a God who directly designs what he wants to design (my intelligent cells).

As before, I raised the idea of God forced to evolve humans for completeness. I believe He chose to evolve us, as I've shown you it is His preferred method for the universe, for the Milky Way, for the Earth, and finally for life.

Theodicy

by dhw, Sunday, December 13, 2020, 12:59 (356 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your entire discussion is about God does not eventually describe a God as I see him. You want him to be interested and self-satisfied as reasons for creations.

I don’t “want” anything except possible and logical explanations of life and evolution as we know them. For the sake of our discussions, I am accepting the existence of God. I have taken one of your own comments – you are sure that your God is interested in his creations, and likes and is satisfied with them – and I have suggested that this might provide us with his motive for creating life, and might also explain the vast variety of life forms, including the 99% that have no connection with humans, and also the bad bugs which illustrate the problem of theodicy. (You have no idea why he would have designed them if all he wanted was humans and their food supply. Remember? :-) )

DAVID: God is a Creator, first and foremost. Whether He is pleased, or not, interested in the result or not, satisfied or not, is simply a look at a possible human side to Him, which may not exist at all. Yes we can discuss it as we have, but we conclude nothing. My version of God is nowhere as humanizing as you attempt.

I don’t know often we must repeat that our theories are theories – including the very existence of God – and they may all be wrong. You have agreed that this particular theory, based on human attributes of interest, liking and satisfaction about which you personally are “sure” and “certain”, is feasible. So what are we arguing about?


dhw: I know you don’t accept the theory that he wanted a free-for-all and created what he wanted. I would simply like to know why this explanation of evolution and of theodicy is not feasible.

DAVID: It is feasible if God is weak, and gives up tight control over events.

dhw: So my theory that he wanted and created a free-for-all is feasible if it’s right. We’ll never know, but I’ll settle for feasible. Forget “weak” – that is your highly subjective view of a God who knows what he wants and gets it.

DAVID: You are just as subjective always trying for a weak God.

dhw: All I’m trying to do is find logical explanations for the history of evolution and for theodicy. I agree , however, that a definition of what is weak and what is strong has to be subjective. And I think a God who theoretically has limitations that make him incapable of directly designing what he wants to design (your humans) is actually weaker than a God who directly designs what he wants to design (my intelligent cells).

DAVID: As before, I raised the idea of God forced to evolve humans for completeness. I believe He chose to evolve us, as I've shown you it is His preferred method for the universe, for the Milky Way, for the Earth, and finally for life.

First point: You raised an idea that God has a weakness (he couldn’t directly do what he wanted to do), and then moaned that my theory, which had him doing precisely what he wanted to do, made him weak. Second point: if God exists, and since you and I believe in evolution, of course he evolved all the items on your list. That is not in dispute. You know very well that the dispute is over your interpretation of the purpose and method underlying the history of the evolution of all the different life forms.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Sunday, December 13, 2020, 21:53 (356 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your entire discussion is about God does not eventually describe a God as I see him. You want him to be interested and self-satisfied as reasons for creations.

dhw: I don’t “want” anything except possible and logical explanations of life and evolution as we know them. For the sake of our discussions, I am accepting the existence of God. I have taken one of your own comments – you are sure that your God is interested in his creations, and likes and is satisfied with them – and I have suggested that this might provide us with his motive for creating life, and might also explain the vast variety of life forms, including the 99% that have no connection with humans, and also the bad bugs which illustrate the problem of theodicy. (You have no idea why he would have designed them if all he wanted was humans and their food supply. Remember? :-) )

My imagination of God is not as humanized as your God.


DAVID: God is a Creator, first and foremost. Whether He is pleased, or not, interested in the result or not, satisfied or not, is simply a look at a possible human side to Him, which may not exist at all. Yes we can discuss it as we have, but we conclude nothing. My version of God is nowhere as humanizing as you attempt.

dhw: I don’t know often we must repeat that our theories are theories – including the very existence of God – and they may all be wrong. You have agreed that this particular theory, based on human attributes of interest, liking and satisfaction about which you personally are “sure” and “certain”, is feasible. So what are we arguing about?

There is no argument.


dhw: All I’m trying to do is find logical explanations for the history of evolution and for theodicy. I agree , however, that a definition of what is weak and what is strong has to be subjective. And I think a God who theoretically has limitations that make him incapable of directly designing what he wants to design (your humans) is actually weaker than a God who directly designs what he wants to design (my intelligent cells).

DAVID: As before, I raised the idea of God forced to evolve humans for completeness. I believe He chose to evolve us, as I've shown you it is His preferred method for the universe, for the Milky Way, for the Earth, and finally for life.

dhw: First point: You raised an idea that God has a weakness (he couldn’t directly do what he wanted to do), and then moaned that my theory, which had him doing precisely what he wanted to do, made him weak. Second point: if God exists, and since you and I believe in evolution, of course he evolved all the items on your list. That is not in dispute. You know very well that the dispute is over your interpretation of the purpose and method underlying the history of the evolution of all the different life forms.

I know the dispute, which will never be resolved. Humans obviously are God's prime purpose as I follow Adler's reasoning.

Theodicy

by dhw, Monday, December 14, 2020, 17:56 (355 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your entire discussion is about God does not eventually describe a God as I see him. You want him to be interested and self-satisfied as reasons for creations.

dhw: I don’t “want” anything except possible and logical explanations of life and evolution as we know them. For the sake of our discussions, I am accepting the existence of God. I have taken one of your own comments – you are sure that your God is interested in his creations, and likes and is satisfied with them – and I have suggested that this might provide us with his motive for creating life, and might also explain the vast variety of life forms, including the 99% that have no connection with humans, and also the bad bugs which illustrate the problem of theodicy. (You have no idea why he would have designed them if all he wanted was humans and their food supply. Remember? :-)

DAVID: My imagination of God is not as humanized as your God.

So a God who, you are sure, is interested in and likes and is satisfied by his creations is less human than a God who does things for interest and liking and satisfaction, and that is why you oppose the theory. Although of course you have no more idea than the rest of us what God is really like.

dhw: All I’m trying to do is find logical explanations for the history of evolution and for theodicy. I agree , however, that a definition of what is weak and what is strong has to be subjective. And I think a God who theoretically has limitations that make him incapable of directly designing what he wants to design (your humans) is actually weaker than a God who directly designs what he wants to design (my intelligent cells).

DAVID: As before, I raised the idea of God forced to evolve humans for completeness. I believe He chose to evolve us, as I've shown you it is His preferred method for the universe, for the Milky Way, for the Earth, and finally for life.

dhw: First point: You raised an idea that God has a weakness (he couldn’t directly do what he wanted to do), and then moaned that my theory, which had him doing precisely what he wanted to do, made him weak. Second point: if God exists, and since you and I believe in evolution, of course he evolved all the items on your list. That is not in dispute. You know very well that the dispute is over your interpretation of the purpose and method underlying the history of the evolution of all the different life forms.

DAVID: I know the dispute, which will never be resolved. Humans obviously are God's prime purpose as I follow Adler's reasoning.

As before, “prime purpose” means there are other purposes, but you never tell us what they are. In any case, the dispute does not concern the specialness of humans, but your belief in a method of fulfilling his one and only goal (specially designing millions of life forms and food supplies unconnected with humans) which – you may remember – leaves you with “no idea” when you are asked for an explanation. :-)

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 15, 2020, 00:11 (355 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My imagination of God is not as humanized as your God.

dhw: So a God who, you are sure, is interested in and likes and is satisfied by his creations is less human than a God who does things for interest and liking and satisfaction, and that is why you oppose the theory. Although of course you have no more idea than the rest of us what God is really like.

You must realize I am discussing God's attitude about Himself and what He accomplishes. He never does it to purposely please Himself or to enjoy self-satisfaction. that i s how you are humanizing.


DAVID: I know the dispute, which will never be resolved. Humans obviously are God's prime purpose as I follow Adler's reasoning.

dhw: As before, “prime purpose” means there are other purposes, but you never tell us what they are. In any case, the dispute does not concern the specialness of humans, but your belief in a method of fulfilling his one and only goal (specially designing millions of life forms and food supplies unconnected with humans) which – you may remember – leaves you with “no idea” when you are asked for an explanation. :-)

Smile all you want, but your question needs no answer: As His prime goal is humans all the other steps leading up to that are necessarily secondary purposeful steps/goals.;-)

Theodicy

by dhw, Tuesday, December 15, 2020, 14:51 (354 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My imagination of God is not as humanized as your God.

dhw: So a God who, you are sure, is interested in and likes and is satisfied by his creations is less human than a God who does things for interest and liking and satisfaction, and that is why you oppose the theory. Although of course you have no more idea than the rest of us what God is really like.

DAVID: You must realize I am discussing God's attitude about Himself and what He accomplishes. He never does it to purposely please Himself or to enjoy self-satisfaction. that is how you are humanizing.

You keep repeating that the humanized feelings of interest, liking and satisfaction which you are sure your God experiences have nothing to do with a humanized motive for designing his creations, as if you know this for a fact. Of course you don’t. Neither of us has any facts. That is why we theorize and analyse each other’s theories. Stating your opinion as if it were a fact does not provide one single argument against the logic of the theory.

DAVID: I know the dispute, which will never be resolved. Humans obviously are God's prime purpose as I follow Adler's reasoning.

dhw: As before, “prime purpose” means there are other purposes, but you never tell us what they are. In any case, the dispute does not concern the specialness of humans, but your belief in a method of fulfilling his one and only goal (specially designing millions of life forms and food supplies unconnected with humans) which – you may remember – leaves you with “no idea” when you are asked for an explanation. :-)

DAVID: Smile all you want, but your question needs no answer: As His prime goal is humans all the other steps leading up to that are necessarily secondary purposeful steps/goals.

“Prime” goal again, so what are the other goals? Even “prime goal” is an assumption, not a fact (though it is possible to make out a logical case for this belief). “All the other steps leading up to that” is your usual glossing over of your admission that 99% of earlier life forms and food supplies had no connection to humans, and you have “no idea why He uses that method”. (See also under “Sea turtles”)

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 15, 2020, 18:25 (354 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You must realize I am discussing God's attitude about Himself and what He accomplishes. He never does it to purposely please Himself or to enjoy self-satisfaction. That is how you are humanizing.

dhw: You keep repeating that the humanized feelings of interest, liking and satisfaction which you are sure your God experiences have nothing to do with a humanized motive for designing his creations, as if you know this for a fact. Of course you don’t. Neither of us has any facts. That is why we theorize and analyse each other’s theories. Stating your opinion as if it were a fact does not provide one single argument against the logic of the theory.

Full agreement: we are in total disagreement about our personal concepts of God's personality. I don't state my positions as facts, but my concept. You studiously perch on your Janus fence and constantly forget that I have acceded to you that your version of God logically allows your theories. I'm not up in the air on a fence. I have very specific views.


DAVID: I know the dispute, which will never be resolved. Humans obviously are God's prime purpose as I follow Adler's reasoning.

dhw: As before, “prime purpose” means there are other purposes, but you never tell us what they are. In any case, the dispute does not concern the specialness of humans, but your belief in a method of fulfilling his one and only goal (specially designing millions of life forms and food supplies unconnected with humans) which – you may remember – leaves you with “no idea” when you are asked for an explanation. :-)

DAVID: Smile all you want, but your question needs no answer: As His prime goal is humans all the other steps leading up to that are necessarily secondary purposeful steps/goals.

dhw: “Prime” goal again, so what are the other goals? Even “prime goal” is an assumption, not a fact (though it is possible to make out a logical case for this belief). “All the other steps leading up to that” is your usual glossing over of your admission that 99% of earlier life forms and food supplies had no connection to humans, and you have “no idea why He uses that method”. (See also under “Sea turtles”)

Same old issue. The reason humans are not directly connected is a time concept. Your illogical complaint chops up time into unrelated segments. My God is in charge of creation. Evolution happened so God ran the evolution whose history we know. Our connection to the original bacteria is common descent as shown by the existing DNA, and you accept that connection, and then illogically complain about detachment in time.

Theodicy

by dhw, Wednesday, December 16, 2020, 10:29 (353 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I know the dispute, which will never be resolved. Humans obviously are God's prime purpose as I follow Adler's reasoning.

dhw: As before, “prime purpose” means there are other purposes, but you never tell us what they are. In any case, the dispute does not concern the specialness of humans, but your belief in a method of fulfilling his one and only goal (specially designing millions of life forms and food supplies unconnected with humans) which – you may remember – leaves you with “no idea” when you are asked for an explanation. :-)

DAVID: Smile all you want, but your question needs no answer: As His prime goal is humans all the other steps leading up to that are necessarily secondary purposeful steps/goals.

dhw: “Prime” goal again, so what are the other goals? Even “prime goal” is an assumption, not a fact (though it is possible to make out a logical case for this belief). “All the other steps leading up to that” is your usual glossing over of your admission that 99% of earlier life forms and food supplies had no connection to humans, and you have “no idea why He uses that method”. (See also under “Sea turtles”)

DAVID: Same old issue. The reason humans are not directly connected is a time concept. Your illogical complaint chops up time into unrelated segments. My God is in charge of creation. Evolution happened so God ran the evolution whose history we know. Our connection to the original bacteria is common descent as shown by the existing DNA, and you accept that connection, and then illogically complain about detachment in time.

I really thought we had agreed to end this discussion when you admitted that you had no idea why, if your God’s sole purpose was to design H. sapiens and his food supply, he chose to design millions of life forms, food supplies, econiches, natural wonders etc. that had no connection with humans. Now you have stepped straight back again to vague arguments about time. Back we go over the same old ground! I am not complaining about detachment in time, whatever that means. Time is a continuum. It is what happens during time that I “chop up” into segments. These segments are the thousands and thousands of life forms that branched out from bacteria. Although they all descended from bacteria, they did not all descend from one another. It’s what we call speciation. And 99% of them (plus their food supplies) had no connection with humans. It is therefore absurd to argue that every one of them was “part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans.” You have no idea why he chose to design humans by first designing thousands and thousands of life forms that had no connection with humans.
Me: I suggest we leave it at that.
You: Fine. :-)

So please leave it at that.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Wednesday, December 16, 2020, 14:27 (353 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I know the dispute, which will never be resolved. Humans obviously are God's prime purpose as I follow Adler's reasoning.

dhw: As before, “prime purpose” means there are other purposes, but you never tell us what they are. In any case, the dispute does not concern the specialness of humans, but your belief in a method of fulfilling his one and only goal (specially designing millions of life forms and food supplies unconnected with humans) which – you may remember – leaves you with “no idea” when you are asked for an explanation. :-)

DAVID: Smile all you want, but your question needs no answer: As His prime goal is humans all the other steps leading up to that are necessarily secondary purposeful steps/goals.

dhw: “Prime” goal again, so what are the other goals? Even “prime goal” is an assumption, not a fact (though it is possible to make out a logical case for this belief). “All the other steps leading up to that” is your usual glossing over of your admission that 99% of earlier life forms and food supplies had no connection to humans, and you have “no idea why He uses that method”. (See also under “Sea turtles”)

DAVID: Same old issue. The reason humans are not directly connected is a time concept. Your illogical complaint chops up time into unrelated segments. My God is in charge of creation. Evolution happened so God ran the evolution whose history we know. Our connection to the original bacteria is common descent as shown by the existing DNA, and you accept that connection, and then illogically complain about detachment in time.

dhw: I really thought we had agreed to end this discussion when you admitted that you had no idea why, if your God’s sole purpose was to design H. sapiens and his food supply, he chose to design millions of life forms, food supplies, econiches, natural wonders etc. that had no connection with humans. Now you have stepped straight back again to vague arguments about time. Back we go over the same old ground! I am not complaining about detachment in time, whatever that means. Time is a continuum. It is what happens during time that I “chop up” into segments. These segments are the thousands and thousands of life forms that branched out from bacteria. Although they all descended from bacteria, they did not all descend from one another. It’s what we call speciation. And 99% of them (plus their food supplies) had no connection with humans. It is therefore absurd to argue that every one of them was “part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans.” You have no idea why he chose to design humans by first designing thousands and thousands of life forms that had no connection with humans.
Me: I suggest we leave it at that.
You: Fine. :-)

dhw: So please leave it at that.

OK, but You questioned my assertion we are a prime goal, by asking, for no good reason, about other goals and challenging my belief that God evolved us. I believe He did. The end.

Theodicy

by dhw, Thursday, December 17, 2020, 10:43 (352 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You have no idea why he chose to design humans by first designing thousands and thousands of life forms that had no connection with humans.

Me: I suggest we leave it at that.
You: Fine. :-)

dhw: So please leave it at that.

DAVID: OK, but You questioned my assertion we are a prime goal, by asking, for no good reason, about other goals and challenging my belief that God evolved us. I believe He did. The end.

Sorry, but that is a complete misrepresentation. You claim that we are THE goal, and all other life forms were part of THE goal of evolving humans. Prime goal means there were other goals, but you never tell us what they are. I do not challenge your belief that God evolved us. I challenge your belief that he chose to achieve his only goal of designing us and our food supply by first designing thousands and thousands of life forms and food supplies that had no connection with us. You have no idea why he would have used such a method. I suggested we should leave it at that. You said “fine :-) ”. The end.

Theodicy

by David Turell @, Thursday, December 17, 2020, 20:25 (352 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You have no idea why he chose to design humans by first designing thousands and thousands of life forms that had no connection with humans.

Me: I suggest we leave it at that.
You: Fine. :-)

dhw: So please leave it at that.

DAVID: OK, but You questioned my assertion we are a prime goal, by asking, for no good reason, about other goals and challenging my belief that God evolved us. I believe He did. The end.

dhw: Sorry, but that is a complete misrepresentation. You claim that we are THE goal, and all other life forms were part of THE goal of evolving humans. Prime goal means there were other goals, but you never tell us what they are. I do not challenge your belief that God evolved us. I challenge your belief that he chose to achieve his only goal of designing us and our food supply by first designing thousands and thousands of life forms and food supplies that had no connection with us. You have no idea why he would have used such a method. I suggested we should leave it at that. You said “fine :-) ”. The end.

I agree. The end of this discussion. Stay healthily on your fence. ;-)

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 10, 2021, 19:40 (147 days ago) @ David Turell

It says we are accidental targets:

https://aeon.co/essays/when-bacteria-kill-us-it-s-more-accident-than-assassination?utm_...

"When microbes aren’t killing us, we are largely oblivious to them. So, we construct narratives of hosts and pathogens, heroes and villains, us and them. Those that cause disease exist to reproduce at our expense, and we need new ways of resisting them. And so we study how they evolve to outfox our immune system or to spread more easily from one person to another. We identify genes that allow them to cause disease and we label those genes as ‘virulence factors’. We place ourselves at the centre of their world. We make it all about us.

"But a growing number of studies show that our anthropocentric view is sometimes unjustified. The adaptations that allow bacteria, fungi and other pathogens to cause us harm can easily evolve outside the context of human disease. They are part of a microbial narrative that affects us, and can even kill us, but that isn’t about us. This concept is known as the coincidental evolution hypothesis or, as the Emory University microbiologist Bruce Levin described it in 2008, the ‘shit happens’ hypothesis.

***

"The coincidental evolution hypothesis helps to resolve these paradoxes. It tells us that at least some human diseases have nothing to do with us at all.

"The coincidental evolution hypothesis explains a number of other recent discoveries about microbes. Scientists have found antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria that have been frozen for 30,000 years, or isolated in million-year-old caves. We might think of antibiotics as modern inventions, but they’re actually weapons that bacteria have been using against each other for aeons, or at least well before Alexander Fleming noticed a funky mould in a Petri dish in 1928. Antibiotic resistance genes evolved as part of this ancient war, but they also help today’s microbes to deal with the medicines that we mass-produce.

"Likewise, many of the ‘virulence genes’ that help pathogens to cause disease have counterparts in marine microbes with no track record of infecting humans. And some supposedly pathogenic bacteria were often common parts of the environment. ‘These organisms become accidental pathogens,’ says the microbiologist Arturo Casadevall from Yeshiva University in New York. ‘They’ll still be there even if you remove all the animals from the planet. And yet, evolution selected for just the right combination of traits to cause disease in humans.’

***

"Many of the pathogens we fear most are mere tourists on the human body. Their real homes are oceans, caves, or soils. To understand them, we need to understand them within their natural ecology...We fear lions and tigers and bears; bacteria have to contend with phage viruses, nematode worms, and predatory amoebas.

***

"Casadevall likes to say that each microbe holds a different hand of cards – adaptations that allow it to cope with its environment. Most of these combinations are meaningless to us. A bacterium might be able to resist being digested by other cells, but it might not be able to grow at 37 degrees Celsius. It might grow at the right temperature, but it might not be able to tolerate our slightly alkaline pH levels. But that doesn’t matter. There are so many microbes out there that some of them will end up with a hand that lets them muscle their way into our game. ‘If you take all the microbial species in the world and imagine that they have these traits randomly, you can find pathogenic microbes for practically anything,’ says Casadevall.

***

"There is something unsatisfying, almost nihilistic, about this idea. It deprives us of answers. As Casadevall wrote in a review, it says that virulence can arise by chance, ‘in a process that has no explanation, except for that it happened’. According to this outlook, we’re not central actors in the dramas that affect our lives. We’re not even bit players. We are just passers-by, walking outside the theatre and getting hit by flying props.

"The most important parts of a microbe’s world are, after all, other microbes. They’ve been dealing with each other for billions of years before we came along. When we step into the crossfire of this ancient war, we risk becoming collateral damage."

Comment: when everyone has to eat something there is constant warfare. This essay says we are mainly innocent bystanders in the war between bacteria and themselves and other tiny organisms. The article is filled with examples of the battles. Read to be fascinated. My view is a wise God knew this, gave us immune systems an the brains to help ourselves. The 'bad' are not purposeful against us. God wouldn't do that.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by dhw, Sunday, July 11, 2021, 12:56 (146 days ago) @ David Turell

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

DAVID: It says we are accidental targets:
https://aeon.co/essays/when-bacteria-kill-us-it-s-more-accident-than-assassination?utm_...

Many thanks, as always, not only for drawing our attention to this article, but also for taking so much trouble in editing it for us. I spend so much time discussing the issues with you that I sometimes forget to show my appreciation of the material you provide.

QUOTE: "But a growing number of studies show that our anthropocentric view is sometimes unjustified. The adaptations that allow bacteria, fungi and other pathogens to cause us harm can easily evolve outside the context of human disease. They are part of a microbial narrative that affects us, and can even kill us, but that isn’t about us."

DAVID: when everyone has to eat something there is constant warfare. This essay says we are mainly innocent bystanders in the war between bacteria and themselves and other tiny organisms. The article is filled with examples of the battles. Read to be fascinated. My view is a wise God knew this, gave us immune systems an the brains to help ourselves. The 'bad' are not purposeful against us. God wouldn't do that.

You are quite right to broaden the discussion to everyone. And this leaves you with a God who either directly (creationism) or indirectly (evolution) created bacteria and viruses and everyone else with the freedom to design their own methods of finding food. (You call it constant warfare, but you are forgetting the equally important role of constant cooperation – two very different methods.) The common thread is the struggle for survival, and this goes back thousands of millions of years before humans. Exit anthropocentrism. The problem of theodicy is the existence of “bad” in a world supposedly created by a God who is all “good”. The problem disappears if we jettison both concepts. You constantly protest against any humanization of God except your own, so drop the concepts of “good” and “bad” altogether and substitute the following: your God, whose nature and intentions are unknown, created life forms in such a manner that they could reproduce and evolve into other life forms. Developments were triggered by interplay between living conditions and the intelligence of organisms as they tried to find means of surviving or improving their chances of survival. This process resulted in constant warfare and constant collaboration between organisms, independently of your God. We humans are so far its culmination, are affected just like every other life form by the struggle for survival – viruses and bacteria being just one of many factors - and it is WE who distinguish between “good” and “bad”. God simply created the mechanisms for organisms to do their own thing in a constantly changing free-for-all. We are “part of a microbial narrative” and an even wider narrative to which we make a huge contribution, but it is WE and our fellow organisms that have created and still create the narrative itself – not God. So there is no “good” or “bad” involved.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 11, 2021, 16:35 (146 days ago) @ dhw

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

DAVID: It says we are accidental targets:
https://aeon.co/essays/when-bacteria-kill-us-it-s-more-accident-than-assassination?utm_...

dhw: Many thanks, as always, not only for drawing our attention to this article, but also for taking so much trouble in editing it for us. I spend so much time discussing the issues with you that I sometimes forget to show my appreciation of the material you provide.

You provide this site, the issues are important, no thanks are necessary.


QUOTE: "But a growing number of studies show that our anthropocentric view is sometimes unjustified. The adaptations that allow bacteria, fungi and other pathogens to cause us harm can easily evolve outside the context of human disease. They are part of a microbial narrative that affects us, and can even kill us, but that isn’t about us."

DAVID: when everyone has to eat something there is constant warfare. This essay says we are mainly innocent bystanders in the war between bacteria and themselves and other tiny organisms. The article is filled with examples of the battles. Read to be fascinated. My view is a wise God knew this, gave us immune systems an the brains to help ourselves. The 'bad' are not purposeful against us. God wouldn't do that.

dhw: You are quite right to broaden the discussion to everyone. And this leaves you with a God who either directly (creationism) or indirectly (evolution) created bacteria and viruses and everyone else with the freedom to design their own methods of finding food. (You call it constant warfare, but you are forgetting the equally important role of constant cooperation – two very different methods.) The common thread is the struggle for survival, and this goes back thousands of millions of years before humans. Exit anthropocentrism. The problem of theodicy is the existence of “bad” in a world supposedly created by a God who is all “good”. The problem disappears if we jettison both concepts. You constantly protest against any humanization of God except your own, so drop the concepts of “good” and “bad” altogether and substitute the following: your God, whose nature and intentions are unknown, created life forms in such a manner that they could reproduce and evolve into other life forms. Developments were triggered by interplay between living conditions and the intelligence of organisms as they tried to find means of surviving or improving their chances of survival. This process resulted in constant warfare and constant collaboration between organisms, independently of your God. We humans are so far its culmination, are affected just like every other life form by the struggle for survival – viruses and bacteria being just one of many factors - and it is WE who distinguish between “good” and “bad”. God simply created the mechanisms for organisms to do their own thing in a constantly changing free-for-all. We are “part of a microbial narrative” and an even wider narrative to which we make a huge contribution, but it is WE and our fellow organisms that have created and still create the narrative itself – not God. So there is no “good” or “bad” involved.

You have arrived at my point of view. We make judgments about good and bad, right and wrong and those judgments require advancing research to known whether the judgments have any validity. Theodicy, based on our judgments is our problem, not God's.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by dhw, Monday, July 12, 2021, 11:02 (145 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: when everyone has to eat something there is constant warfare. This essay says we are mainly innocent bystanders in the war between bacteria and themselves and other tiny organisms. The article is filled with examples of the battles. Read to be fascinated. My view is a wise God knew this, gave us immune systems an the brains to help ourselves. The 'bad' are not purposeful against us. God wouldn't do that.

dhw: You are quite right to broaden the discussion to everyone. And this leaves you with a God who either directly (creationism) or indirectly (evolution) created bacteria and viruses and everyone else with the freedom to design their own methods of finding food. (You call it constant warfare, but you are forgetting the equally important role of constant cooperation – two very different methods.) The common thread is the struggle for survival, and this goes back thousands of millions of years before humans. Exit anthropocentrism. The problem of theodicy is the existence of “bad” in a world supposedly created by a God who is all “good”. The problem disappears if we jettison both concepts. You constantly protest against any humanization of God except your own, so drop the concepts of “good” and “bad” altogether and substitute the following: your God, whose nature and intentions are unknown, created life forms in such a manner that they could reproduce and evolve into other life forms. Developments were triggered by interplay between living conditions and the intelligence of organisms as they tried to find means of surviving or improving their chances of survival. This process resulted in constant warfare and constant collaboration between organisms, independently of your God. We humans are so far its culmination, are affected just like every other life form by the struggle for survival – viruses and bacteria being just one of many factors - and it is WE who distinguish between “good” and “bad”. God simply created the mechanisms for organisms to do their own thing in a constantly changing free-for-all. We are “part of a microbial narrative” and an even wider narrative to which we make a huge contribution, but it is WE and our fellow organisms that have created and still create the narrative itself – not God. So there is no “good” or “bad” involved.

DAVID: You have arrived at my point of view. We make judgments about good and bad, right and wrong and those judgments require advancing research to known whether the judgments have any validity. Theodicy, based on our judgments is our problem, not God's.

That is not my point of view at all. Yes, we make judgements, but our judgements are irrelevant because – as the article makes abundantly clear – life is not all about us! That is the polar opposite of your insistence that WE are your God’s one and only purpose for creating life! And my point is not that we wait to find out whether our judgements of good and bad are valid, but that there IS no good or bad. If God exists, he devised a system whereby all life forms pursued their own methods of survival. To put it very simply: what’s good for a bacterium may be bad for a human. Your comment below (under “ERVs fight viral infection” sums it up, though in a manner you do not intend:

DAVID: So it turns out viruses can also be good, not bad. My view is God has a reason for everything, and as yesterday's essay shows, we are innocent bystanders in the war of eat or be eaten.

Some viruses can be good for viruses and good for humans, and others can be good for viruses and bad for humans. In the war of eat or be eaten we are not innocent bystanders, since we are the most predatory of all life forms, but we are part of the great free-for-all, in which ALL life forms participate in the war of eat or be eaten. That – as you at last seem to have realized – is what we call the struggle for survival, and it continued/continues, regardless of whether humans were/are involved or not. Your God, if he exists, would have invented the means whereby all life forms evolved as they invented new ways of surviving or improving their chances of survival. This process is what has produced the vast and ever changing bush of life. And this explains life’s history and also solves the mystery of theodicy: there is no good and bad, as I've tried to explain above. God started the process off, and only when we came along did the concepts of good and bad come into being, as we relate all events to ourselves. That is the point made by the article in the limited context of bacteria: “a growing number of studies show that our anthropocentric view is sometimes unjustified”. I am suggesting that in the wider context of “good” and “bad”, our anthropocentric view is always unjustified. In the context of theodicy, this means that what your God created was the struggle for survival – not a mixture of good and bad.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by David Turell @, Monday, July 12, 2021, 16:27 (145 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You have arrived at my point of view. We make judgments about good and bad, right and wrong and those judgments require advancing research to known whether the judgments have any validity. Theodicy, based on our judgments is our problem, not God's.

dhw: That is not my point of view at all. Yes, we make judgements, but our judgements are irrelevant because – as the article makes abundantly clear – life is not all about us! That is the polar opposite of your insistence that WE are your God’s one and only purpose for creating life! And my point is not that we wait to find out whether our judgements of good and bad are valid, but that there IS no good or bad. If God exists, he devised a system whereby all life forms pursued their own methods of survival. To put it very simply: what’s good for a bacterium may be bad for a human.

Your last point about God is right on. We are innocent bystanders in the system, and misinterpret good and bad. Theodicy is mainly human mistaken explanations.

DAVID: So it turns out viruses can also be good, not bad. My view is God has a reason for everything, and as yesterday's essay shows, we are innocent bystanders in the war of eat or be eaten.

dhw: Some viruses can be good for viruses and good for humans, and others can be good for viruses and bad for humans. In the war of eat or be eaten we are not innocent bystanders, since we are the most predatory of all life forms, but we are part of the great free-for-all, in which ALL life forms participate in the war of eat or be eaten. That – as you at last seem to have realized – is what we call the struggle for survival, and it continued/continues, regardless of whether humans were/are involved or not. Your God, if he exists, would have invented the means whereby all life forms evolved as they invented new ways of surviving or improving their chances of survival. This process is what has produced the vast and ever changing bush of life. And this explains life’s history and also solves the mystery of theodicy: there is no good and bad, as I've tried to explain above. God started the process off, and only when we came along did the concepts of good and bad come into being, as we relate all events to ourselves. That is the point made by the article in the limited context of bacteria: “a growing number of studies show that our anthropocentric view is sometimes unjustified”. I am suggesting that in the wider context of “good” and “bad”, our anthropocentric view is always unjustified. In the context of theodicy, this means that what your God created was the struggle for survival – not a mixture of good and bad.

In some way we seem to be in agreement here. The difference is I have God in purposeful charge.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by dhw, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, 11:50 (144 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You have arrived at my point of view. We make judgments about good and bad, right and wrong and those judgments require advancing research to known whether the judgments have any validity. Theodicy, based on our judgments is our problem, not God's.

dhw: That is not my point of view at all. Yes, we make judgements, but our judgements are irrelevant because – as the article makes abundantly clear – life is not all about us! That is the polar opposite of your insistence that WE are your God’s one and only purpose for creating life! And my point is not that we wait to find out whether our judgements of good and bad are valid, but that there IS no good or bad. If God exists, he devised a system whereby all life forms pursued their own methods of survival. To put it very simply: what’s good for a bacterium may be bad for a human.

DAVID: Your last point about God is right on. We are innocent bystanders in the system, and misinterpret good and bad. Theodicy is mainly human mistaken explanations.

We are not innocent bystanders (see below), but we are not the be-all and end-all of life! The concept of good/bad is our invention, and our criteria are what is good/bad for us.

DAVID: So it turns out viruses can also be good, not bad. My view is God has a reason for everything, and as yesterday's essay shows, we are innocent bystanders in the war of eat or be eaten.

dhw: Some viruses can be good for viruses and good for humans, and others can be good for viruses and bad for humans. In the war of eat or be eaten we are not innocent bystanders, since we are the most predatory of all life forms, but we are part of the great free-for-all, in which ALL life forms participate in the war of eat or be eaten. That – as you at last seem to have realized – is what we call the struggle for survival, and it continued/continues, regardless of whether humans were/are involved or not. Your God, if he exists, would have invented the means whereby all life forms evolved as they invented new ways of surviving or improving their chances of survival. This process is what has produced the vast and ever changing bush of life. And this explains life’s history and also solves the mystery of theodicy: there is no good and bad, as I've tried to explain above. God started the process off, and only when we came along did the concepts of good and bad come into being, as we relate all events to ourselves. That is the point made by the article in the limited context of bacteria: “a growing number of studies show that our anthropocentric view is sometimes unjustified”. I am suggesting that in the wider context of “good” and “bad”, our anthropocentric view is always unjustified. In the context of theodicy, this means that what your God created was the struggle for survival – not a mixture of good and bad.

DAVID: In some way we seem to be in agreement here. The difference is I have God in purposeful charge.

I’m afraid it’s a major difference, because when you say “in purposeful charge”, you refuse to tell us what the purpose is, and you mean that he is in total control of everything that happens (e.g. he deliberately designs the viruses and bacteria which he knows will cause harm to us and our fellow creatures). My point is that it’s only if life forms have the freedom to pursue their own methods of survival (i.e. to adjust their bodies and modes of existence) in ways that can meet or exploit new conditions that we can say God did not deliberately create what we humans consider to be good/bad. There IS no good/bad other than that which WE have created with our anthropocentric view of the world, and even from our point of view, God did not deliberately create anything “bad”, because it had the freedom to find its own way of surviving.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, 16:20 (144 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your last point about God is right on. We are innocent bystanders in the system, and misinterpret good and bad. Theodicy is mainly human mistaken explanations.

dhw: We are not innocent bystanders (see below), but we are not the be-all and end-all of life! The concept of good/bad is our invention, and our criteria are what is good/bad for us.

DAVID: So it turns out viruses can also be good, not bad. My view is God has a reason for everything, and as yesterday's essay shows, we are innocent bystanders in the war of eat or be eaten.

dhw: Some viruses can be good for viruses and good for humans, and others can be good for viruses and bad for humans. In the war of eat or be eaten we are not innocent bystanders, since we are the most predatory of all life forms, but we are part of the great free-for-all, in which ALL life forms participate in the war of eat or be eaten. That – as you at last seem to have realized – is what we call the struggle for survival, and it continued/continues, regardless of whether humans were/are involved or not. Your God, if he exists, would have invented the means whereby all life forms evolved as they invented new ways of surviving or improving their chances of survival. This process is what has produced the vast and ever changing bush of life. And this explains life’s history and also solves the mystery of theodicy: there is no good and bad, as I've tried to explain above. God started the process off, and only when we came along did the concepts of good and bad come into being, as we relate all events to ourselves. That is the point made by the article in the limited context of bacteria: “a growing number of studies show that our anthropocentric view is sometimes unjustified”. I am suggesting that in the wider context of “good” and “bad”, our anthropocentric view is always unjustified. In the context of theodicy, this means that what your God created was the struggle for survival – not a mixture of good and bad.

DAVID: In some way we seem to be in agreement here. The difference is I have God in purposeful charge.

dhw: I’m afraid it’s a major difference, because when you say “in purposeful charge”, you refuse to tell us what the purpose is,

His purpose, as I view it, is quite clear: to produce thinking humans as Adler and I explain.

dhw: and you mean that he is in total control of everything that happens (e.g. he deliberately designs the viruses and bacteria which he knows will cause harm to us and our fellow creatures).

I thought we have come to agree the viruses and bacteria attack us as bystanders and were not meant by God to deliberately attack us.

dhw: My point is that it’s only if life forms have the freedom to pursue their own methods of survival (i.e. to adjust their bodies and modes of existence) in ways that can meet or exploit new conditions that we can say God did not deliberately create what we humans consider to be good/bad. There IS no good/bad other than that which WE have created with our anthropocentric view of the world, and even from our point of view, God did not deliberately create anything “bad”, because it had the freedom to find its own way of surviving.

So as you continue you comeback to agreeing. I started the theodicy thread looking only at bad, as we seem to interpret it, and we have reached a solution. Proves our battles can be fruitful.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by dhw, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 11:36 (143 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your last point about God is right on. We are innocent bystanders in the system, and misinterpret good and bad. Theodicy is mainly human mistaken explanations.

dhw: We are not innocent bystanders (see below), but we are not the be-all and end-all of life! The concept of good/bad is our invention, and our criteria are what is good/bad for us.

DAVID: So it turns out viruses can also be good, not bad. My view is God has a reason for everything, and as yesterday's essay shows, we are innocent bystanders in the war of eat or be eaten.

dhw: Your God, if he exists, would have invented the means whereby all life forms evolved as they invented new ways of surviving or improving their chances of survival. This process is what has produced the vast and ever changing bush of life. And this explains life’s history and also solves the mystery of theodicy: there is no good and bad, as I've tried to explain above. God started the process off, and only when we came along did the concepts of good and bad come into being, as we relate all events to ourselves.

DAVID: In some way we seem to be in agreement here. The difference is I have God in purposeful charge.

dhw: I’m afraid it’s a major difference, because when you say “in purposeful charge”, you refuse to tell us what the purpose is…

DAVID: His purpose, as I view it, is quite clear: to produce thinking humans as Adler and I explain.

But you refuse to tell us his purpose for producing humans! Perhaps the reason why you refuse is that you know perfectly well that it will result in your adding yet more “humanizing” features to those you already attribute to your God.

dhw: …and you mean that he is in total control of everything that happens (e.g. he deliberately designs the viruses and bacteria which he knows will cause harm to us and our fellow creatures).

DAVID: I thought we have come to agree the viruses and bacteria attack us as bystanders and were not meant by God to deliberately attack us.

But this would only be the case if he did NOT design the murderous viruses and bacteria, as explained above and in my next comment:

dhw: My point is that it’s only if life forms have the freedom to pursue their own methods of survival (i.e. to adjust their bodies and modes of existence) in ways that can meet or exploit new conditions that we can say God did not deliberately create what we humans consider to be good/bad. There IS no good/bad other than that which WE have created with our anthropocentric view of the world, and even from our point of view, God did not deliberately create anything “bad”, because it had the freedom to find its own way of surviving.

DAVID: So as you continue you comeback to agreeing. I started the theodicy thread looking only at bad, as we seem to interpret it, and we have reached a solution. Proves our battles can be fruitful.

Thank you for at last appearing to accept the theory that your God left all life forms the freedom to find their own ways of survival, i.e. he did not design them, but left them to “adjust their bodies and modes of existence”. If he did not design them, he cannot be held responsible for what we humans consider to be bad. Alas, though, I suspect that this will not be the happy ending to our discussion!

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 16:57 (143 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: In some way we seem to be in agreement here. The difference is I have God in purposeful charge.

dhw: I’m afraid it’s a major difference, because when you say “in purposeful charge”, you refuse to tell us what the purpose is…

DAVID: His purpose, as I view it, is quite clear: to produce thinking humans as Adler and I explain.

dhw: But you refuse to tell us his purpose for producing humans! Perhaps the reason why you refuse is that you know perfectly well that it will result in your adding yet more “humanizing” features to those you already attribute to your God.

I don't worry about humanizing God. I don't try to. As for why God wanted us to appear, in the past I've given you all sorts of possibilities, all guesswork. Why repeat it all?


dhw: …and you mean that he is in total control of everything that happens (e.g. he deliberately designs the viruses and bacteria which he knows will cause harm to us and our fellow creatures).

DAVID: I thought we have come to agree the viruses and bacteria attack us as bystanders and were not meant by God to deliberately attack us.

dhw: But this would only be the case if he did NOT design the murderous viruses and bacteria, as explained above and in my next comment:

dhw: My point is that it’s only if life forms have the freedom to pursue their own methods of survival (i.e. to adjust their bodies and modes of existence) in ways that can meet or exploit new conditions that we can say God did not deliberately create what we humans consider to be good/bad. There IS no good/bad other than that which WE have created with our anthropocentric view of the world, and even from our point of view, God did not deliberately create anything “bad”, because it had the freedom to find its own way of surviving.

DAVID: So as you continue you comeback to agreeing. I started the theodicy thread looking only at bad, as we seem to interpret it, and we have reached a solution. Proves our battles can be fruitful.

dhw: Thank you for at last appearing to accept the theory that your God left all life forms the freedom to find their own ways of survival, i.e. he did not design them, but left them to “adjust their bodies and modes of existence”. If he did not design them, he cannot be held responsible for what we humans consider to be bad. Alas, though, I suspect that this will not be the happy ending to our discussion!

No, I'm happy with all except you keep fighting the idea of God as the designer.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 17:50 (143 days ago) @ David Turell

There are bad vaginal bacteria that fight the good ones:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/07/210713165306.htm

Bacterial vaginosis is the most common and recurrent gynecological condition affecting nearly 30% of women between the ages of 15 and 44, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Led by Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz, PhD, a member of the BIO5 Institute and associate professor of basic medical sciences at the College of Medicine -- Phoenix, researchers found that members of the Veillonellaceae bacteria family contribute to an increase in inflammation and cell death, and alter the acidity of the cervical microenvironment. These changes support bacterial vaginosis and create favorable conditions for subsequent gynecological diseases, such as sexually transmitted infections and cancer.

"Bacterial vaginosis is an enigma," said Dr. Herbst-Kralovetz, who is also director of the Women's Health Research Program. "We know many factors contribute to this disease, but little is known about the functional impact of the major players and how they're changing the local landscape."

The paper, "Veillonellaceae family members uniquely alter the cervical metabolic microenvironment in a human three-dimensional epithelial model," published July 6 in the journal npj Biofilms and Microbiomes, found that Veillonellaceae family members contribute to disease by altering inflammation and metabolism in the cervicovaginal region.

***

The female reproductive tract is typically colonized by bacteria that promote health, such as Lactobacillus. While these bacteria are considered friendly, an imbalance can lead to the creation of a biofilm -- a consortium of many different harmful microbes -- that promotes disease.

***

Using a 3D human model, Dr. Herbst-Kralovetz's group evaluated the effects of three bacterium -- Veillonella atypica, Veillonella montpellierensis, and Megasphaera micronuciformis -- on the cervical microenvironment.

They found that two species -- V. atypica and V. montpellierensis -- decreased lactate, an acid typically produced by beneficial bacteria that provides protection from harmful infections. These two species also increased substances that play a role in bacterial vaginosis-associated vaginal odor.

They also found that M. micronuciformis further drives disease progression by increasing inflammation and promoting cell death through the production of certain fat molecules.

Comment: Once again, we have good bacteria, which help us, fighting with bad ones and we get caught in the middle. Not God's fault.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by dhw, Thursday, July 15, 2021, 11:05 (142 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: In some way we seem to be in agreement here. The difference is I have God in purposeful charge.

dhw: I’m afraid it’s a major difference, because when you say “in purposeful charge”, you refuse to tell us what the purpose is...

DAVID: His purpose, as I view it, is quite clear: to produce thinking humans as Adler and I explain.

dhw: But you refuse to tell us his purpose for producing humans! Perhaps the reason why you refuse is that you know perfectly well that it will result in your adding yet more “humanizing” features to those you already attribute to your God.

DAVID: I don't worry about humanizing God. I don't try to. As for why God wanted us to appear, in the past I've given you all sorts of possibilities, all guesswork. Why repeat it all?

You dismiss my alternative theistic explanations of life’s history and of theodicy as “humanizing”, offer some theories of your own which are just as “humanizing” as mine, and when this is pointed out to you, you dodge back to your purposeless purpose (to design humans) – which required designing lots of life forms that had no connection with humans – and your hopes that all the “bad” things your God designed will turn out to have been “good” because you know he has “good” intentions.

dhw: ...and you mean that he is in total control of everything that happens (e.g. he deliberately designs the viruses and bacteria which he knows will cause harm to us and our fellow creatures).

DAVID: I thought we have come to agree the viruses and bacteria attack us as bystanders and were not meant by God to deliberately attack us.

dhw: But this would only be the case if he did NOT design the murderous viruses and bacteria, as explained above and in my next comment:

dhw: My point is that it’s only if life forms have the freedom to pursue their own methods of survival (i.e. to adjust their bodies and modes of existence) in ways that can meet or exploit new conditions that we can say God did not deliberately create what we humans consider to be good/bad. There IS no good/bad other than that which WE have created with our anthropocentric view of the world, and even from our point of view, God did not deliberately create anything “bad”, because it had the freedom to find its own way of surviving.

DAVID: So as you continue you comeback to agreeing. I started the theodicy thread looking only at bad, as we seem to interpret it, and we have reached a solution. Proves our battles can be fruitful.

dhw: Thank you for at last appearing to accept the theory that your God left all life forms the freedom to find their own ways of survival, i.e. he did not design them, but left them to “adjust their bodies and modes of existence”.If he did not design them, he cannot be held responsible for what we humans consider to be bad. Alas, though, I suspect that this will not be the happy ending to our discussion!

DAVID: No, I'm happy with all except you keep fighting the idea of God as the designer.

I have not fought the idea of God the designer. I have fought your insistence that he deliberately designed every life form, including the murderous bacteria. With my theist’s hat on, I have proposed that God designed the intelligence which enables all life forms to adapt or innovate in their quest for survival without his interference. By giving them their freedom, he cannot be said to have deliberately designed “good” and “bad”, which are human inventions based on anthropocentric criteria.

xxxx

DAVID: There are bad vaginal bacteria that fight the good ones:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/07/210713165306.htm
DAVID: Once again, we have good bacteria, which help us, fighting with bad ones and we get caught in the middle. Not God's fault.

Not his fault if he didn’t specifically design them to be “good” or “bad”, but only designed the means that enable them to design/redesign themselves in their quest for survival. Then what is “good” for them may be “bad” for us. If he did design them individually, you are back to square one: why did he deliberately design those which he knew would cause so much suffering to us and our fellow creatures?

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 15, 2021, 18:26 (142 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: My point is that it’s only if life forms have the freedom to pursue their own methods of survival (i.e. to adjust their bodies and modes of existence) in ways that can meet or exploit new conditions that we can say God did not deliberately create what we humans consider to be good/bad. There IS no good/bad other than that which WE have created with our anthropocentric view of the world, and even from our point of view, God did not deliberately create anything “bad”, because it had the freedom to find its own way of surviving.

DAVID: So as you continue you comeback to agreeing. I started the theodicy thread looking only at bad, as we seem to interpret it, and we have reached a solution. Proves our battles can be fruitful.

dhw: Thank you for at last appearing to accept the theory that your God left all life forms the freedom to find their own ways of survival, i.e. he did not design them, but left them to “adjust their bodies and modes of existence”.If he did not design them, he cannot be held responsible for what we humans consider to be bad. Alas, though, I suspect that this will not be the happy ending to our discussion!

DAVID: No, I'm happy with all except you keep fighting the idea of God as the designer.

dhw: I have not fought the idea of God the designer. I have fought your insistence that he deliberately designed every life form, including the murderous bacteria.

You have just fought my idea of God as designing everything. That is what a designer of reality does!!!

dhw: With my theist’s hat on, I have proposed that God designed the intelligence which enables all life forms to adapt or innovate in their quest for survival without his interference. By giving them their freedom, he cannot be said to have deliberately designed “good” and “bad”, which are human inventions based on anthropocentric criteria.

How does evolution reach a specific goal with your free-for-all??? You must then accept humans appearance as entirely accidental. Adler and I think that view os entirely illogical.


xxxx

DAVID: There are bad vaginal bacteria that fight the good ones:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/07/210713165306.htm
DAVID: Once again, we have good bacteria, which help us, fighting with bad ones and we get caught in the middle. Not God's fault.

dhw: Not his fault if he didn’t specifically design them to be “good” or “bad”, but only designed the means that enable them to design/redesign themselves in their quest for survival. Then what is “good” for them may be “bad” for us. If he did design them individually, you are back to square one: why did he deliberately design those which he knew would cause so much suffering to us and our fellow creatures?

The bold is your human assertion/interpretation of God's possible intent. As innocent bystanders the interpretation doesn't fit. I view it as God knowing the problems that might appear and gave us the brains to fight back.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by dhw, Friday, July 16, 2021, 13:08 (141 days ago) @ David Turell

BACTERIAS’ ROLE IN HUMAN BIOMES
DAVID: My point is the 'bad' bacteria is our human interpretation and God may have designed them as 'good'.

dhw: So who would the murderous ones have been “good” for? […]

DAVID: The article points out so-called 'bad' may act to block 'bad'.

dhw: All of which raises the question of why your God deliberately designed ‘bad’ in the first place.

DAVID: Question raised in wrong. It is our human interpretation the bugs are bad. WE have decided in recent days we are the innocent bystanders in the other organisms battles.

We are not innocent bystanders in the battle between so-called good and bad, as we are probably the greatest creators of “bad” in the history of life. You keep missing the point. We agree that “good” and “bad” are human concepts, and relate only to what is good or bad for us. (What is good for the murderous bacterium is bad for us.) But theodicy asks why did a “good” God design what we regard as the “bad” bacterium (plus all the other “bads”) in the first place, knowing what suffering it would cause? My proposed answer: he did not design it. Just as according to you he designed humans so that they were free to create their own good and bad, he designed the mechanism whereby every life form pursues its own means of survival by changing its own structure and modes of behaviour to do what is “good” for it. If you insist that he did design the murderous bacterium, you are left with the same question as before: why would a “good” God knowingly design something he knew would cause suffering?

DAVID (from the section on vaginal bacteria): The bold is your human assertion/interpretation of God's possible intent. As innocent bystanders the interpretation doesn't fit. I view it as God knowing the problems that might appear and gave us the brains to fight back.

Every single assertion/interpretation/suggestion we have ever offered about God’s intent is human! We are not innocent bystanders (see above), and now you are claiming that he deliberately designed the murderous bacteria but kindly gave us the means to defend ourselves against some of them. That does not explain why he designed them in the first place, which is the nub of the theodicy problem! My proposal is that he did not design them. Theodicy problem solved.

dhw: […] God did not deliberately create anything “bad”, because it had the freedom to find its own way of surviving.

DAVID: So as you continue you comeback to agreeing. I started the theodicy thread looking only at bad, as we seem to interpret it, and we have reached a solution. Proves our battles can be fruitful.

dhw: Thank you for at last appearing to accept the theory that your God left all life forms the freedom to find their own ways of survival, i.e. he did not design them, but left them to “adjust their bodies and modes of existence”.If he did not design them, he cannot be held responsible for what we humans consider to be bad. Alas, though, I suspect that this will not be the happy ending to our discussion!

DAVID: No, I'm happy with all except you keep fighting the idea of God as the designer.

dhw: I have not fought the idea of God the designer. I have fought your insistence that he deliberately designed every life form, including the murderous bacteria.

DAVID: You have just fought my idea of God as designing everything. That is what a designer of reality does!!!

How many designers of reality (life) have you met? A God who designed intelligent cells which could then change their own structure and behaviour without his intervention (i.e. in a free-for-all) is still God the designer. […]

DAVID: How does evolution reach a specific goal with your free-for-all??? You must then accept humans appearance as entirely accidental. Adler and I think that view os entirely illogical.

It doesn’t, although your God can always dabble, as in the theory that he learns and/or gets new ideas as he goes along. But you (I can’t answer for Adler) assume that he started out with the one goal of producing humans plus lunch, and so you have no idea why he would have designed all the unconnected non-humans plus lunches beforehand. (You’ve always said that Adler does not touch on this subject.) That is “entirely illogical”. As for “accidental”, there is nothing “accidental” about speciation à la Shapiro, since intelligent beings are at work, constantly coming up with new ideas of increasing complexity. But that still does not make humans inevitable. It is pointless to take existing reality and then claim it must all have been planned from the start. We have absolutely no idea what would have happened if conditions had developed differently. But as things have turned out, yes, we can say that if God exists, the intelligence of humans could be a logical outcome of the process he set in motion, whereby intelligent beings gradually morph into more intelligent beings. The mystery in your theory is why, if your God only wanted sapiens, he had to go on specially designing all the life forms etc. that had no connection with sapiens. And you still cannot solve the problem of theodicy.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by David Turell @, Friday, July 16, 2021, 19:35 (141 days ago) @ dhw

BACTERIAS’ ROLE IN HUMAN BIOMES

DAVID: Question raised in wrong. It is our human interpretation the bugs are bad. WE have decided in recent days we are the innocent bystanders in the other organisms battles.

dhw: We are not innocent bystanders in the battle between so-called good and bad, as we are probably the greatest creators of “bad” in the history of life. You keep missing the point. We agree that “good” and “bad” are human concepts, and relate only to what is good or bad for us. (What is good for the murderous bacterium is bad for us.) But theodicy asks why did a “good” God design what we regard as the “bad” bacterium (plus all the other “bads”) in the first place, knowing what suffering it would cause? My proposed answer: he did not design it. Just as according to you he designed humans so that they were free to create their own good and bad, he designed the mechanism whereby every life form pursues its own means of survival by changing its own structure and modes of behaviour to do what is “good” for it. If you insist that he did design the murderous bacterium, you are left with the same question as before: why would a “good” God knowingly design something he knew would cause suffering?

And my view is God knew we might accidently get in the way. He did not make them intentionally to be bad for us so our brains can solve the problems that arise.

DAVID: You have just fought my idea of God as designing everything. That is what a designer of reality does!!!

dhw: How many designers of reality (life) have you met? A God who designed intelligent cells which could then change their own structure and behaviour without his intervention (i.e. in a free-for-all) is still God the designer. […]

DAVID: How does evolution reach a specific goal with your free-for-all??? You must then accept humans appearance as entirely accidental. Adler and I think that view os entirely illogical.

dhw: It doesn’t, although your God can always dabble, as in the theory that he learns and/or gets new ideas as he goes along. But you (I can’t answer for Adler) assume that he started out with the one goal of producing humans plus lunch, and so you have no idea why he would have designed all the unconnected non-humans plus lunches beforehand. (You’ve always said that Adler does not touch on this subject.) That is “entirely illogical”. As for “accidental”, there is nothing “accidental” about speciation à la Shapiro, since intelligent beings are at work, constantly coming up with new ideas of increasing complexity. But that still does not make humans inevitable. It is pointless to take existing reality and then claim it must all have been planned from the start. We have absolutely no idea what would have happened if conditions had developed differently. But as things have turned out, yes, we can say that if God exists, the intelligence of humans could be a logical outcome of the process he set in motion, whereby intelligent beings gradually morph into more intelligent beings. The mystery in your theory is why, if your God only wanted sapiens, he had to go on specially designing all the life forms etc. that had no connection with sapiens. And you still cannot solve the problem of theodicy.

I cannot know why God chose to evolve us from bacteria. Ask Him. Perhaps He will answer you. My solution for theodicy is unchanged: God did not intend the bugs to be bad for us, as we have discussed. He knew it might accidently happen if we get accidently mixed into the battles, so He provided our big brain to fight back and solve issues

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by David Turell @, Friday, July 16, 2021, 22:20 (141 days ago) @ David Turell

It seems God did not plan some of them:

https://phys.org/news/2021-07-bacterial-parasites-super-bugs.html

"For the first time ever, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine discovered that phages—tiny viruses that attack bacteria—are key to initiating rapid bacterial evolution leading to the emergence of treatment-resistant "superbugs." The findings were published today in Science Advances.

"The researchers showed that, contrary to a dominant theory in the field of evolutionary microbiology, the process of adaptation and diversification in bacterial colonies doesn't start from a homogenous clonal population. They were shocked to discover that the cause of much of the early adaptation wasn't random point mutations. Instead, they found that phages, which we normally think of as bacterial parasites, are what gave the winning strains the evolutionary advantage early on.

"'Essentially, a parasite became a weapon," said senior author Vaughn Cooper, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at Pitt. "Phages endowed the victors with the means of winning. What killed off more sensitive bugs gave the advantage to others."

***

"The new study shows that bacterial and phage evolution often go hand in hand, especially in the early stages of bacterial infection. This is a multilayered process in which phages and bacteria are joined in a chaotic dance, constantly interacting and co-evolving.

"When the scientists tracked changes in genetic sequences of six bacterial strains in a skin wound infection in pigs, they found that jumping of phages from one bacterial host to another was rampant—even clones that didn't gain an evolutionary advantage had phages incorporated in their genomes. Most clones had more than one phage integrated in their genetic material—often there were two, three or even four phages in one bug.

"'It showed us just how much phages interact with one another and with new hosts," said Cooper. "Characterizing diversity in early bacterial infections can allow us to reconstruct history and retrace complex paths of evolution to a clinical advantage. And, with growing interest in using phages to treat highly resistant infections, we are learning how to harness their potency for good.'"

Comment: God may have designed everyone in the past, but what is happening now is not under His direct control. That solves part of the theodicy problem which arises from human interpretations. It fits my theory that viruses were created in part to help advance evolution happen. It also fits dhw's theory that organisms can drive simple evolutionary steps by themselves.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by dhw, Saturday, July 17, 2021, 14:10 (140 days ago) @ David Turell

BACTERIAS’ ROLE IN HUMAN BIOMES
dhw: If you insist that he did design the murderous bacterium, you are left with the same question as before: why would a “good” God knowingly design something he knew would cause suffering?

DAVID: And my view is God knew we might accidently get in the way. He did not make them intentionally to be bad for us so our brains can solve the problems that arise.

As usual, you present a totally anthropocentric view of life. There are bacteria that kill and killed other animals than ourselves! It’s not just about humans. And it’s not just about bacteria. Even the most faithful will sometimes ask why did God create natural disasters, diseases of all kinds, and a species (humans) capable of the most extreme horrors of evil, if he – as the source of everything – is all “good” (a belief to which you yourself subscribe)? I have offered an answer: he did not create them, but created a free-for-all that would result in organisms inventing their own ways of survival (“good” for them).

DAVID: You have just fought my idea of God as designing everything. That is what a designer of reality does!!!

dhw: How many designers of reality (life) have you met? A God who designed intelligent cells which could then change their own structure and behaviour without his intervention (i.e. in a free-for-all) is still God the designer. […]

DAVID: How does evolution reach a specific goal with your free-for-all??? You must then accept humans appearance as entirely accidental. Adler and I think that view Is entirely illogical.

dhw: It doesn’t, although your God can always dabble, as in the theory that he learns and/or gets new ideas as he goes along. But you (I can’t answer for Adler) assume that he started out with the one goal of producing humans plus lunch, and so you have no idea why he would have designed all the unconnected non-humans plus lunches beforehand. (You’ve always said that Adler does not touch on this subject.) That is “entirely illogical”. As for “accidental”, there is nothing “accidental” about speciation à la Shapiro, since intelligent beings are at work, constantly coming up with new ideas of increasing complexity. But that still does not make humans inevitable. It is pointless to take existing reality and then claim it must all have been planned from the start. We have absolutely no idea what would have happened if conditions had developed differently. But as things have turned out, yes, we can say that if God exists, the intelligence of humans could be a logical outcome of the process he set in motion, whereby intelligent beings gradually morph into more intelligent beings. The mystery in your theory is why, if your God only wanted sapiens, he had to go on specially designing all the life forms etc. that had no connection with sapiens. And you still cannot solve the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: I cannot know why God chose to evolve us from bacteria. Ask Him. Perhaps He will answer you.

You cannot “know” anything, and you have again ignored your own theory that he “chose” to evolve [= design] EVERY life form etc. from bacteria, although the vast majority had no connection with his only goal (humans plus lunch). This dodge has long outworn its welcome.

DAVID: My solution for theodicy is unchanged: God did not intend the bugs to be bad for us, as we have discussed. He knew it might accidently happen if we get accidently mixed into the battles, so He provided our big brain to fight back and solve issues.

But why did he design the “bad” bugs in the first place? Some of them would have done their murderous deeds long, long before we ever appeared on the scene! Their survival would still have depended on their murderous exploitation of other life forms.

DAVID: It seems God did not plan some of them:
https://phys.org/news/2021-07-bacterial-parasites-super-bugs.html

DAVID: God may have designed everyone in the past, but what is happening now is not under His direct control. That solves part of the theodicy problem which arises from human interpretations. It fits my theory that viruses were created in part to help advance evolution happen. It also fits dhw's theory that organisms can drive simple evolutionary steps by themselves.

Once again, my thanks for reproducing material that contradicts your own theory. I agree that he cannot be held responsible for events that are out of his control; that is the whole basis of my “solution” to the problem of theodicy. By creating a free-for all, he did not design anything “good” or “bad”.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 17, 2021, 19:26 (140 days ago) @ dhw

BACTERIAS’ ROLE IN HUMAN BIOMES

DAVID: And my view is God knew we might accidently get in the way. He did not make them intentionally to be bad for us so our brains can solve the problems that arise.

dhw: As usual, you present a totally anthropocentric view of life. There are bacteria that kill and killed other animals than ourselves! It’s not just about humans. And it’s not just about bacteria. Even the most faithful will sometimes ask why did God create natural disasters, diseases of all kinds, and a species (humans) capable of the most extreme horrors of evil, ....I have offered an answer: he did not create them, but created a free-for-all that would result in organisms inventing their own ways of survival (“good” for them).

As usual you take God out of full control. My view includes all organisms that get in the way. The unavoidable need for constant energy creates the problem.


DAVID: I cannot know why God chose to evolve us from bacteria. Ask Him. Perhaps He will answer you.

dhw: You cannot “know” anything, and you have again ignored your own theory that he “chose” to evolve [= design] EVERY life form etc. from bacteria, although the vast majority had no connection with his only goal (humans plus lunch). This dodge has long outworn its welcome.

It is insulting to call my belief a 'dodge'. God, in charge, can obviously chose to evolve us by design. You have agreed in the past


DAVID: My solution for theodicy is unchanged: God did not intend the bugs to be bad for us, as we have discussed. He knew it might accidently happen if we get accidently mixed into the battles, so He provided our big brain to fight back and solve issues.

dhw: But why did he design the “bad” bugs in the first place? Some of them would have done their murderous deeds long, long before we ever appeared on the scene! Their survival would still have depended on their murderous exploitation of other life forms.

That statement is so confused. "Bad' is human interpretation. 'Murderous exploitation' is simply, as above, all life must eat.


DAVID: It seems God did not plan some of them:
https://phys.org/news/2021-07-bacterial-parasites-super-bugs.html

DAVID: God may have designed everyone in the past, but what is happening now is not under His direct control. That solves part of the theodicy problem which arises from human interpretations. It fits my theory that viruses were created in part to help advance evolution happen. It also fits dhw's theory that organisms can drive simple evolutionary steps by themselves.

dhw: Once again, my thanks for reproducing material that contradicts your own theory. I agree that he cannot be held responsible for events that are out of his control; that is the whole basis of my “solution” to the problem of theodicy. By creating a free-for-all, he did not design anything “good” or “bad”.

Right, your God is not in control, so He can't be blamed. Wow, what a solution!!! God who created the universe fine-tuned-for-life, guided the formation of our galaxy and our special Earth that allows life, started life, and did it all by free-for-all. Your analysis about God limps.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by dhw, Sunday, July 18, 2021, 09:49 (139 days ago) @ David Turell

BACTERIAS’ ROLE IN HUMAN BIOMES
DAVID: And my view is God knew we might accidently get in the way. He did not make them intentionally to be bad for us so our brains can solve the problems that arise.

dhw: As usual, you present a totally anthropocentric view of life. There are bacteria that kill and killed other animals than ourselves! It’s not just about humans. And it’s not just about bacteria. Even the most faithful will sometimes ask why did God create natural disasters, diseases of all kinds, and a species (humans) capable of the most extreme horrors of evil, ....I have offered an answer: he did not create them, but created a free-for-all that would result in organisms inventing their own ways of survival (“good” for them).

DAVID: As usual you take God out of full control. My view includes all organisms that get in the way. The unavoidable need for constant energy creates the problem.

The unavoidable need for constant energy (= food) is what leads to the battle for survival. In this, every life form has its own means of acquiring energy. And so you are left with a stark choice: either your God invented each life form and its strategies for survival, or he gave them the means of devising their own strategies (which would include changing their own structures) for the same purpose. If he deliberately invented a bacterium which, for instance, would survive by destroying another life form (of course carnivorousness is a prime and direct example of survival by destruction of other life forms), then so be it. But this lies at the heart of the problem of theodicy: we humans don’t like it when we get eaten, and we think it’s “bad”, and so we ask why a good God would invent such nasty things. All I am suggesting is that if he exists, God did not invent them. He only created the means whereby life forms could design their own means of survival. Theodicy problem solved.

The rest of your post, apart from the final item, covers subjects already dealt with elsewhere.

DAVID: It seems God did not plan some of them:
https://phys.org/news/2021-07-bacterial-parasites-super-bugs.html
DAVID: God may have designed everyone in the past, but what is happening now is not under His direct control. [..]

dhw: Once again, my thanks for reproducing material that contradicts your own theory. I agree that he cannot be held responsible for events that are out of his control; that is the whole basis of my “solution” to the problem of theodicy. By creating a free-for-all, he did not design anything “good” or “bad”.

DAVID: Right, your God is not in control, so He can't be blamed. Wow, what a solution!!! God who created the universe fine-tuned-for-life, guided the formation of our galaxy and our special Earth that allows life, started life, and did it all by free-for-all. Your analysis about God limps.

I have never said that fine-tuning etc. was done by free-for-all! If God exists, I accept that he would have designed the conditions for life and the first forms of life. The free-for-all concerns EVOLUTION! And yes, WOW, it provides a solution to the problem of theodicy. If organisms were given the means to design their own ways to survive, God is not responsible for the means that they designed. See above. Now instead of misrepresenting my proposal, please tell us what faults you can find in its logic.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 18, 2021, 16:02 (139 days ago) @ dhw

BACTERIAS’ ROLE IN HUMAN BIOMES

DAVID: As usual you take God out of full control. My view includes all organisms that get in the way. The unavoidable need for constant energy creates the problem.

dhw: The unavoidable need for constant energy (= food) is what leads to the battle for survival. In this, every life form has its own means of acquiring energy. And so you are left with a stark choice: either your God invented each life form and its strategies for survival, or he gave them the means of devising their own strategies (which would include changing their own structures) for the same purpose. If he deliberately invented a bacterium which, for instance, would survive by destroying another life form (of course carnivorousness is a prime and direct example of survival by destruction of other life forms), then so be it. But this lies at the heart of the problem of theodicy: we humans don’t like it when we get eaten, and we think it’s “bad”, and so we ask why a good God would invent such nasty things. All I am suggesting is that if he exists, God did not invent them. He only created the means whereby life forms could design their own means of survival. Theodicy problem solved.

Your solution removes God from managing evolution, contrary to my view. How would we get from bacteria to humans by self-evolving forms doing their own thing? That makes us lucky chance beings. I know how you will howl about this, but I know we are obviously special.


DAVID: It seems God did not plan some of them:
https://phys.org/news/2021-07-bacterial-parasites-super-bugs.html
DAVID: God may have designed everyone in the past, but what is happening now is not under His direct control. [..]

dhw: Once again, my thanks for reproducing material that contradicts your own theory. I agree that he cannot be held responsible for events that are out of his control; that is the whole basis of my “solution” to the problem of theodicy. By creating a free-for-all, he did not design anything “good” or “bad”.

DAVID: Right, your God is not in control, so He can't be blamed. Wow, what a solution!!! God who created the universe fine-tuned-for-life, guided the formation of our galaxy and our special Earth that allows life, started life, and did it all by free-for-all. Your analysis about God limps.

dhw: I have never said that fine-tuning etc. was done by free-for-all! If God exists, I accept that he would have designed the conditions for life and the first forms of life. The free-for-all concerns EVOLUTION! And yes, WOW, it provides a solution to the problem of theodicy. If organisms were given the means to design their own ways to survive, God is not responsible for the means that they designed. See above. Now instead of misrepresenting my proposal, please tell us what faults you can find in its logic.

Since the discussion has circled back, from above: "Your solution removes God from managing evolution, contrary to my view. How would we get from bacteria to humans by self-evolving forms doing their own thing? That makes us lucky chance beings. I know how you will howl about this, but I know we are obviously special." And finally survival doesn't drive evolution, God does. You are still using that old tautology, "survival of the fittest". You are still clamped cheek to jowl with Darwin. What I accept of him is he fully championed that we evolved. But his thoughts as to how it happened have not proven out. Not his fault. He didn't know what we now know. You love to bring up the 99% gone. They have to be gone to make room, but also because they were no longer needed as stages of invention. You keep forgetting the major point about bacteria. Why aren't they past history? Because they are a necessary part of the whole design reaching us and still acting in helpful ways.. Your 99% is pure strawman, an empty point. It seems you cannot think from a purpose standpoint as you try to be a theist. I start with a very purposeful God, you don't, a good summary of our difference.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by dhw, Monday, July 19, 2021, 08:36 (138 days ago) @ David Turell

BACTERIAS’ ROLE IN HUMAN BIOMES
DAVID: As usual you take God out of full control. My view includes all organisms that get in the way. The unavoidable need for constant energy creates the problem.

dhw: The unavoidable need for constant energy (= food) is what leads to the battle for survival. In this, every life form has its own means of acquiring energy. And so you are left with a stark choice: either your God invented each life form and its strategies for survival, or he gave them the means of devising their own strategies (which would include changing their own structures) for the same purpose. If he deliberately invented a bacterium which, for instance, would survive by destroying another life form (of course carnivorousness is a prime and direct example of survival by destruction of other life forms), then so be it. But this lies at the heart of the problem of theodicy: we humans don’t like it when we get eaten, and we think it’s “bad”, and so we ask why a good God would invent such nasty things. All I am suggesting is that if he exists, God did not invent them. He only created the means whereby life forms could design their own means of survival. Theodicy problem solved.

DAVID: Your solution removes God from managing evolution, contrary to my view. How would we get from bacteria to humans by self-evolving forms doing their own thing? That makes us lucky chance beings. I know how you will howl about this, but I know we are obviously special.

Why have you changed the subject from theodicy to humans as God’s one and only purpose? This is fully dealt with under “A possible God’s possible purpose and nature”.

DAVID: It seems God did not plan some of them:
https://phys.org/news/2021-07-bacterial-parasites-super-bugs.html
DAVID: God may have designed everyone in the past, but what is happening now is not under His direct control. [..]

dhw: Once again, my thanks for reproducing material that contradicts your own theory. I agree that he cannot be held responsible for events that are out of his control; that is the whole basis of my “solution” to the problem of theodicy. By creating a free-for-all, he did not design anything “good” or “bad”.

DAVID: Right, your God is not in control, so He can't be blamed. Wow, what a solution!!! God who created the universe fine-tuned-for-life, guided the formation of our galaxy and our special Earth that allows life, started life, and did it all by free-for-all. Your analysis about God limps.

dhw: I have never said that fine-tuning etc. was done by free-for-all! If God exists, I accept that he would have designed the conditions for life and the first forms of life. The free-for-all concerns EVOLUTION! And yes, WOW, it provides a solution to the problem of theodicy. If organisms were given the means to design their own ways to survive, God is not responsible for the means that they designed. […] Now instead of misrepresenting my proposal, please tell us what faults you can find in its logic.

Your reply is to repeat your earlier response – that God had to control evolution in order to produce us. That only reproduces your own illogical theory of evolution. Please indicate any logical flaws in my own proposal.

DAVID: And finally survival doesn't drive evolution, God does. […]

Also dealt with under “A possible God…” Even if your God invented all the ways in which animals can eat or be eaten, the purpose of eating is to survive.

DAVID: You love to bring up the 99% gone. They have to be gone to make room, but also because they were no longer needed as stages of invention.

Stages of invention of what? The question is not why they have gone, but why your God designed them in the first place if his only purpose was us. See “A possible God...”

DAVID: You keep forgetting the major point about bacteria. Why aren't they past history? Because they are a necessary part of the whole design reaching us and still acting in helpful ways.

Of course bacteria are necessary to ALL life. I am talking about the life forms that were not necessary for human life! And what has this to do with theodicy?

DAVID: Your 99% is pure strawman, an empty point.

Then why can’t you explain the logic behind your God’s deliberately designing them when his only purpose was to design us plus lunch? See “A possible God…

DAVID: It seems you cannot think from a purpose standpoint as you try to be a theist. I start with a very purposeful God, you don't, a good summary of our difference.

All my theories start out from a purpose, and one of them (experimentation) even adopts your version of that purpose. The free-for-all starts out from your own certainty that your God enjoys creating and watches his creations with interest, which suggests that maybe his purpose in creating life was to provide himself with the enjoyment of creation, with the added interest of the unpredictable (free-for-all instead of puppet show). That is when you dodge from the fallacy of purposelessness to the self-contradiction of moaning about humanization even though you are certain that we mimic God in many ways.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by David Turell @, Monday, July 19, 2021, 20:59 (138 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: It seems God did not plan some of them:
https://phys.org/news/2021-07-bacterial-parasites-super-bugs.html

DAVID: Right, your God is not in control, so He can't be blamed. Wow, what a solution!!! God who created the universe fine-tuned-for-life, guided the formation of our galaxy and our special Earth that allows life, started life, and did it all by free-for-all. Your analysis about God limps.

dhw: I have never said that fine-tuning etc. was done by free-for-all! If God exists, I accept that he would have designed the conditions for life and the first forms of life. The free-for-all concerns EVOLUTION! And yes, WOW, it provides a solution to the problem of theodicy. If organisms were given the means to design their own ways to survive, God is not responsible for the means that they designed. […] Now instead of misrepresenting my proposal, please tell us what faults you can find in its logic.

dhw: Your reply is to repeat your earlier response – that God had to control evolution in order to produce us. That only reproduces your own illogical theory of evolution. Please indicate any logical flaws in my own proposal.

You consider my theory that God chose to evolve us as illogical. I don't and we cannot cross that moat and agree.


DAVID: You love to bring up the 99% gone. They have to be gone to make room, but also because they were no longer needed as stages of invention.

dhw: Stages of invention of what? The question is not why they have gone, but why your God designed them in the first place if his only purpose was us. See “A possible God...”

His purpose was to design us by the method of evolving us from bacteria. Simple theory.


DAVID: Your 99% is pure strawman, an empty point.

dhw: Then why can’t you explain the logic behind your God’s deliberately designing them when his only purpose was to design us plus lunch? See “A possible God…

We go 'round and 'round. I can only repeat, etc.


DAVID: It seems you cannot think from a purpose standpoint as you try to be a theist. I start with a very purposeful God, you don't, a good summary of our difference.

dhw: All my theories start out from a purpose, and one of them (experimentation) even adopts your version of that purpose. The free-for-all starts out from your own certainty that your God enjoys creating and watches his creations with interest, which suggests that maybe his purpose in creating life was to provide himself with the enjoyment of creation, with the added interest of the unpredictable (free-for-all instead of puppet show). That is when you dodge from the fallacy of purposelessness to the self-contradiction of moaning about humanization even though you are certain that we mimic God in many ways.

The bold is your usual distortion. I have guessed that the bold might be true, but admitted I have no solid idea. I have always said 'guesses'.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by dhw, Thursday, July 22, 2021, 13:57 (135 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I have never said that fine-tuning etc. was done by free-for-all! If God exists, I accept that he would have designed the conditions for life and the first forms of life. The free-for-all concerns EVOLUTION! And yes, WOW, it provides a solution to the problem of theodicy. If organisms were given the means to design their own ways to survive, God is not responsible for the means that they designed. […] Now instead of misrepresenting my proposal, please tell us what faults you can find in its logic.

dhw: Your reply is to repeat your earlier response – that God had to control evolution in order to produce us. That only reproduces your own illogical theory of evolution. Please indicate any logical flaws in my own proposal.

DAVID: You consider my theory that God chose to evolve us as illogical. I don't and we cannot cross that moat and agree.

Your illogical theory is that God chose to evolve every life form plus lunches that ever existed, although the only one he wanted to “evolve” was humans plus lunch. But we are now discussing my solution to the problem of “theodicy”. Once again, you fail to reveal one single flaw in the logic of my argument.

DAVID: It seems you cannot think from a purpose standpoint as you try to be a theist. I start with a very purposeful God, you don't, a good summary of our difference.

dhw: All my theories start out from a purpose, and one of them (experimentation) even adopts your version of that purpose. The free-for-all starts out from your own certainty that your God enjoys creating and watches his creations with interest, which suggests that maybe his purpose in creating life was to provide himself with the enjoyment of creation, with the added interest of the unpredictable (free-for-all instead of puppet show). That is when you dodge from the fallacy of purposelessness to the self-contradiction of moaning about humanization even though you are certain that we mimic God in many ways.

DAVID: The bold is your usual distortion. I have guessed that the bold might be true, but admitted I have no solid idea. I have always said 'guesses'.

All our theories are guesses, but in your case, they have become beliefs. You believe your God’s purpose was humans, and you believe that he designed every other life form, so if you say you are certain that we mimic God in many ways, why should I downgrade that to a guess, especially when you contradict yourself a moment later by telling us you know God is not human in any way?

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 22, 2021, 18:40 (135 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Once again, you fail to reveal one single flaw in the logic of my argument.

Your theory is logical if we assume a God who is not purposeful. Your theory and mine must depend on the personality of the God each of us imagines after logical analysis of God's works. Our God's are diametrically opposed in character. Yu must realize this fact.


DAVID: It seems you cannot think from a purpose standpoint as you try to be a theist. I start with a very purposeful God, you don't, a good summary of our difference.

dhw: All my theories start out from a purpose, and one of them (experimentation) even adopts your version of that purpose. The free-for-all starts out from your own certainty that your God enjoys creating and watches his creations with interest, which suggests that maybe his purpose in creating life was to provide himself with the enjoyment of creation, with the added interest of the unpredictable (free-for-all instead of puppet show). That is when you dodge from the fallacy of purposelessness to the self-contradiction of moaning about humanization even though you are certain that we mimic God in many ways.

DAVID: The bold is your usual distortion. I have guessed that the bold might be true, but admitted I have no solid idea. I have always said 'guesses'.

dhw: All our theories are guesses, but in your case, they have become beliefs. You believe your God’s purpose was humans, and you believe that he designed every other life form, so if you say you are certain that we mimic God in many ways, why should I downgrade that to a guess, especially when you contradict yourself a moment later by telling us you know God is not human in any way?

Of course God is not human in any way, except as we guess about His personality as it compares to us. And those guesses depend upon the personality each of us sees in God. I am comfortable in my beliefs, arrived at very logically. Are you comfortable as an agnostic?

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by dhw, Friday, July 23, 2021, 10:47 (134 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Once again, you fail to reveal one single flaw in the logic of my argument.

DAVID: Your theory is logical if we assume a God who is not purposeful.

dhw: All my theories start out from a purpose, and one of them (experimentation) even adopts your version of that purpose. The free-for-all starts out from your own certainty that your God enjoys creating and watches his creations with interest, which suggests that maybe his purpose in creating life was to provide himself with the enjoyment of creation, with the added interest of the unpredictable (free-for-all instead of puppet show). That is when you dodge from the fallacy of purposelessness to the self-contradiction of moaning about humanization even though you are certain that we mimic God in many ways.

DAVID: The bold is your usual distortion. I have guessed that the bold might be true, but admitted I have no solid idea. I have always said 'guesses'.

dhw: All our theories are guesses, but in your case, they have become beliefs. You believe your God’s purpose was humans, and you believe that he designed every other life form, so if you say you are certain that we mimic God in many ways, why should I downgrade that to a guess, especially when you contradict yourself a moment later by telling us you know God is not human in any way?

DAVID: Of course God is not human in any way, except as we guess about His personality as it compares to us.

It is absurd to dismiss logical theories on the grounds that we do not “know” God’s nature, but then to have a fixed belief in a theory because you have a fixed belief in certain human aspects of God’s personality. It is also absurd to tell us you know that although you are certain we “mimic” him in many ways, God is not human in any way!

DAVID: And those guesses depend upon the personality each of us sees in God. I am comfortable in my beliefs, arrived at very logically. Are you comfortable as an agnostic?

Your “very logical” belief leaves you with no explanation for your illogical theory of evolution, and no explanation for theodicy, beyond the fact that you are sure your God has “good intentions” though we don’t know what they might be. Being comfortable is not, I’m afraid, a guarantee of truth. I expect Dawkins is just as comfortable as you.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

by David Turell @, Friday, July 23, 2021, 16:16 (134 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Once again, you fail to reveal one single flaw in the logic of my argument.

DAVID: Your theory is logical if we assume a God who is not purposeful.

dhw: All my theories start out from a purpose, and one of them (experimentation) even adopts your version of that purpose. The free-for-all starts out from your own certainty that your God enjoys creating and watches his creations with interest, which suggests that maybe his purpose in creating life was to provide himself with the enjoyment of creation, with the added interest of the unpredictable (free-for-all instead of puppet show). That is when you dodge from the fallacy of purposelessness to the self-contradiction of moaning about humanization even though you are certain that we mimic God in many ways.

DAVID: The bold is your usual distortion. I have guessed that the bold might be true, but admitted I have no solid idea. I have always said 'guesses'.

dhw: All our theories are guesses, but in your case, they have become beliefs. You believe your God’s purpose was humans, and you believe that he designed every other life form, so if you say you are certain that we mimic God in many ways, why should I downgrade that to a guess, especially when you contradict yourself a moment later by telling us you know God is not human in any way?

DAVID: Of course God is not human in any way, except as we guess about His personality as it compares to us.

dhw: It is absurd to dismiss logical theories on the grounds that we do not “know” God’s nature, but then to have a fixed belief in a theory because you have a fixed belief in certain human aspects of God’s personality. It is also absurd to tell us you know that although you are certain we “mimic” him in many ways, God is not human in any way!

DAVID: And those guesses depend upon the personality each of us sees in God. I am comfortable in my beliefs, arrived at very logically. Are you comfortable as an agnostic?

dhw: Your “very logical” belief leaves you with no explanation for your illogical theory of evolution, and no explanation for theodicy, beyond the fact that you are sure your God has “good intentions” though we don’t know what they might be. Being comfortable is not, I’m afraid, a guarantee of truth. I expect Dawkins is just as comfortable as you.

Are you comfortable?

Theodicy: bacteria seen differently

by David Turell @, Wednesday, August 11, 2021, 15:01 (115 days ago) @ David Turell

A young fecal transplant 'youthens' old mousse brains:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/08/new-poo-new-you-fecal-transplants-reverse-signs...

"As you age, your brain slows down. You may forget where you left your glasses or have trouble picking up a new skill. Now there’s hope from rodent experiments that some of these declines could be reversed—but it takes guts. New research shows a transplant of gut microbes, in the form of feces, from young mice to old ones can turn back the clock on the aging brain.

***

"The bacteria in our intestines influence everything from our daily moods to our overall health. This “gut microbiome” also changes over the course of our lives. But whereas some studies have shown young blood can have rejuvenating effects on old mice, the microbiome’s impact on age-related declines hasn’t been clear.

***

"The first thing the team noticed was that the gut microbiomes of the old mice given young mouse microbes began to resemble those of the younger ones. The common gut microbe Enterococcus became much more abundant in old mice, just as it is in young mice, for example.

"There were changes in the brain as well. The hippocampus of old mice—a region of the brain associated with learning and memory—became more physically and chemically similar to the hippocampus of young mice. The old mice that received young mouse poop also learned to solve mazes faster and were better at remembering the maze layout on subsequent attempts, the team reports today in Nature Aging. None of these effects was seen in old mice given old mouse feces.

“'It’s almost like … we could press the rewind button on the aging process,” says John Cryan, a neuroscientist at University College Cork who led the new study."

Comment: it has been recognized for some time that the gut biome plays a large active role in the body's general economy in a good way. Now here is the nasty surprise. As long as those bugs stay where they are!! If a diverticulum bursts in the sigmoid colon (and the colon is where the gut biome resides) wild peritonitis immediately occurs and easily kills with or without antibiotics. What is acting well suddenly is acting very badly. Not God's fault. Bacteria are both good and bad. It depends upon where they live. It is designed that bacteria are integral part of living for their helpful purposes. They can't help it if they accidently find themselves in the wrong spot. Remember, we also exist with big brains to try to solve these mistakes, thank goodness, or thank God.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Monday, August 16, 2021, 21:36 (110 days ago) @ David Turell

The way Ed Fesser, a Catholic philosopher formally an atheist, does it is employing a Thomist definition of God:

https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/12/4/268/htm

(This i s a very long essay. I'll pluck out some points.)

"I defend the Thomistic view that when one properly understands the nature of God and of his relationship to the world, this so-called logical problem of evil does not arise.

"For the Thomist, when one properly understands what God is and what morality and moral agents are, it simply makes no sense to think of God as less than perfectly good or as morally obligated to prevent the evil that exists. The “problem” rests on a category mistake.

***

"For Thomists and other classical theists, God is utterly distinct from the natural order of things, creating and sustaining it in being ex nihilo while being in no way affected by it in turn. But the “logical problem of evil” implicitly presupposes that God is himself part of the natural order, or at least causally related to it in something like the way that entities within that order are related to one another. Hence, the “problem” rests on a category mistake, so to expose the mistake is to dissolve the problem.

***

"Now, where does God fit into this picture? The answer is that he does not fit into it at all. He is no more a part of the natural order—and thus no more part of the moral order that is a segment of the natural order—than an author is part of a novel or than a painter is part of a painting. Rather, he is the necessary precondition of there being any natural order at all, just as an author is the necessary precondition of there being any novel at all and a painter is a necessary precondition of there being any painting at all. And conceiving of God on the model of a natural substance is like conceiving of an author as an additional character in a novel, or conceiving of a painter as one of the images in a painting.

"That there is indeed something standing outside the natural order as its necessary precondition, and that this something has a divine nature, is argued for by the Thomist in various ways.

***

"God is non-composite, immutable, and eternal. When a natural substance exercises causal power, it does so in accordance with the laws of nature that describe its characteristic mode of behaving. But God is not governed by laws of nature, since those laws are themselves precisely among the things he causes in creating the natural order that the laws describe.

"For these reasons, the Thomist holds that the language we use when describing God and his causal relationship to the world must be understood in an analogical way, where analogy is a middle ground sort of usage lying between the univocal and equivocal uses of terms.

***

"“Cause” and related terms are, for the Thomist, to be given an analogical interpretation when applied to God. God’s causing the natural order is analogous to a human being’s building a house or making a sculpture, but it is very far from being exactly the same sort of thing as that, given divine immateriality, immutability, eternity, simplicity, etc. Indeed, much of what we have to say about the divine nature is along the lines of apophatic or negative theology—saying what God is not, how radically he differs from the natural order he conserves in being.

***

"...the Thomist view that the terms we predicate of God must be understood in an analogical rather than univocal way. God’s intellect and will are no more like ours than his causality is like ours. For example, God does not come to know things or engage in any sort of reasoning process, because that would entail change, and he is immutable and eternal. What God knows he knows in a single eternal act; and since he is purely actual and thus without potentiality needing actualization, his knowledge and wisdom are perfect. God’s manner of knowing the natural order does not involve any sort of observation of it, because he does not need to be (nor indeed can be, given his immutability) affected by anything distinct from himself in order to know it. Rather, he knows the natural order by knowing himself as the cause of it, just as an author knows the story he has written by virtue of knowing his own mind. Given divine simplicity, we cannot attribute distinct thoughts to God; rather, what he knows he knows in something like a single intellectual act. And so on. God is not impersonal, but neither is he like a human person.

***

"...in the Thomistic view, God is not properly conceived of either on the model of one natural substance acting on others or as a “god of the gaps.” But only if he were conceived of in either of those ways could it make sense to blame him for failing to “intervene” to prevent harm, in the way that a human being governed by natural law might be blamed for failing to intervene to prevent harm from befalling another human being."

Comment: This discussion is at the level of human evil. Bad bugs come from my discussion, but the obvious point is God does not mean for the bugs which are generally useful to be bad, a point I've made. Also carefully note the way God is described. He is never to be humanized in His thoughts. Which is why I use the term purposeful as His major attribute. Note the emphasis on allegorical usage of description. Thus God is connected yet disconnected from His creation. The entire essay explains the points I presented.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 10:39 (109 days ago) @ David Turell

Transferred from Miscellany:

Back to theodicy: fixing genome mistakes
DAVID: [...] Look at your age and mine, and we made it this far with the errors happening. That is a firmly acceptable result, isn't it?

dhw: Once again, you are trying to solve the problem of “evil” by telling us how wonderful everything is. Since we are taking “bad” bacteria and viruses and other forms of disease as our examples, I really cannot believe that as a retired doctor you are unaware of the appalling suffering caused by the bacteria and viruses and malfunctioning bodies in humans all over the world, the vast majority of whom do not live to your age or mine. Why, in your eyes, is their suffering a firmly acceptable result of your God’s deliberate designs (“bad” bacteria and viruses) or lack of control (his “editing mechanisms” frequently fail)?

DAVID: I've given all the answers you need previously. You look at third world populations and lament their plight. Our old age occurred in more advanced civilizations in our countries created by advanced human thinking and endeavor. Our 'luck' is much more than pure luck, obviously. I remind you where advanced human have dominion (as God intended) we do very well. Unfortunately, not all humans are currently equal, and yes, those of us who are in good circumstances should help improve the others.

Well done us. But the problem of theodicy is not solved by telling us how clever we are, or how we richer people should help poorer people. So please explain why your God deliberately designed the bad viruses and bacteria which he knew would cause such appalling suffering.

Feser
Thank you for editing this huge article. In turn I will pick out some salient points.

FESER: “when one properly understands what God is and what morality and moral agents are, it simply makes no sense to think of God as less than perfectly good or as morally obligated to prevent the evil that exists”.

How can Feser possibly know that His understanding is the “proper” one? And why does he talk of “preventing the evil that exists” if he believes that God created everything that exists? The burning question is why your God created evil in the first place, as exemplified by his design of destructive bacteria and viruses (we can take their destructive powers as analogous to the selfish destructive behaviour of us humans).

FESER: But the “logical problem of evil” implicitly presupposes that God is himself part of the natural order, or at least causally related to it in something like the way that entities within that order are related to one another.

Yes, causally related. How can you detach the creator from his creation? Is he or is he not responsible for what he created? That is the problem of theodicy.

FESER: Rather, he is the necessary precondition of there being any natural order at all, just as an author is the necessary precondition of there being any novel at all and a painter is a necessary precondition of there being any painting at all.

Precisely. And if the novel or painting is a mess, who is responsible for the mess? (NB I am not saying the whole world is a mess – I find it exquisitely beautiful in parts, but theodicy focuses on the dark side of life.)

FESER: God’s causing the natural order is analogous to a human being’s building a house or making a sculpture, but it is very far from being exactly the same sort of thing as that, given divine immateriality, immutability, eternity, simplicity….

A good analogy, and I have no idea why he wishes to somehow disown it, or why he should take it for granted that his God is immutable and simple. How does he know that God has always known everything for ever and ever, as opposed to possibly for ever and ever creating, experimenting, coming up with new ideas….?

FESER: For example, God does not come to know things or engage in any sort of reasoning process […] his knowledge and wisdom are perfect. God’s manner of knowing the natural order does not involve any sort of observation of it, because he does not need to be (nor indeed can be, given his immutability) affected by anything distinct from himself in order to know it.

Again, how the heck does Feser know all this? He creates his own vision of God, and thinks this somehow proves that any other vision must be false! ID doesn’t require any reasoning, and his God doesn’t watch us because he knows what we’re doing anyway. It makes you wonder why he bothered to create life and the universe in the first place!

DAVID: […] The entire essay explains the points I presented.

It explains nothing. It merely glosses over the problem of theodicy as you do, by making assumptions about the nature of God. The basic argument: you can’t blame God for creating evil because he is all good. You can’t attribute human thought to him except those human thoughts which categorize him as all good, immutable, all-knowing, simple etc.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 14:43 (109 days ago) @ dhw

Transferred from Miscellany:

DAVID: I've given all the answers you need previously. You look at third world populations and lament their plight. Our old age occurred in more advanced civilizations in our countries created by advanced human thinking and endeavor. Our 'luck' is much more than pure luck, obviously. I remind you where advanced human have dominion (as God intended) we do very well. Unfortunately, not all humans are currently equal, and yes, those of us who are in good circumstances should help improve the others.

dhw: Well done us. But the problem of theodicy is not solved by telling us how clever we are, or how we richer people should help poorer people. So please explain why your God deliberately designed the bad viruses and bacteria which he knew would cause such appalling suffering.

As before, viruses and bacteria are doing good 99% of the time, their main purpose. When they get in the wrong places they are bad.


Feser
Thank you for editing this huge article. In turn I will pick out some salient points.

FESER: “when one properly understands what God is and what morality and moral agents are, it simply makes no sense to think of God as less than perfectly good or as morally obligated to prevent the evil that exists”.

dhw: How can Feser possibly know that His understanding is the “proper” one? And why does he talk of “preventing the evil that exists” if he believes that God created everything that exists? The burning question is why your God created evil in the first place, as exemplified by his design of destructive bacteria and viruses (we can take their destructive powers as analogous to the selfish destructive behaviour of us humans).

FESER: But the “logical problem of evil” implicitly presupposes that God is himself part of the natural order, or at least causally related to it in something like the way that entities within that order are related to one another.

dhw: Yes, causally related. How can you detach the creator from his creation? Is he or is he not responsible for what he created? That is the problem of theodicy.

FESER: Rather, he is the necessary precondition of there being any natural order at all, just as an author is the necessary precondition of there being any novel at all and a painter is a necessary precondition of there being any painting at all.

dhw: Precisely. And if the novel or painting is a mess, who is responsible for the mess? (NB I am not saying the whole world is a mess – I find it exquisitely beautiful in parts, but theodicy focuses on the dark side of life.)

FESER: God’s causing the natural order is analogous to a human being’s building a house or making a sculpture, but it is very far from being exactly the same sort of thing as that, given divine immateriality, immutability, eternity, simplicity….

dhw: A good analogy, and I have no idea why he wishes to somehow disown it, or why he should take it for granted that his God is immutable and simple. How does he know that God has always known everything for ever and ever, as opposed to possibly for ever and ever creating, experimenting, coming up with new ideas….?

FESER: For example, God does not come to know things or engage in any sort of reasoning process […] his knowledge and wisdom are perfect. God’s manner of knowing the natural order does not involve any sort of observation of it, because he does not need to be (nor indeed can be, given his immutability) affected by anything distinct from himself in order to know it.

Again, how the heck does Feser know all this? He creates his own vision of God, and thinks this somehow proves that any other vision must be false! ID doesn’t require any reasoning, and his God doesn’t watch us because he knows what we’re doing anyway. It makes you wonder why he bothered to create life and the universe in the first place!

DAVID: […] The entire essay explains the points I presented.

dhw: It explains nothing. It merely glosses over the problem of theodicy as you do, by making assumptions about the nature of God. The basic argument: you can’t blame God for creating evil because he is all good. You can’t attribute human thought to him except those human thoughts which categorize him as all good, immutable, all-knowing, simple etc.

The article shows how us believers approach thinking about God as a non-human and never consider Him as an experimenter, a spectator of free-for-alls and all your other strange concoctions of God's thoughts. It is why the word allegorical comes up in discussions of attempting to describe him. You try to distort my attempts to describe Him, as humanizing, but all I present is a purposeful God that you then call a derogatory control-freak. Note you are using an allegorical humanizing term. Your so-called theistic hat is wildly askew. The bolds are a perfect example of humanizing God. In the first you want Him spectating. In the second bold you resent being limited in your areas of criticism of God, in which you totally
humanize Him to make your criticisms.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Wednesday, August 18, 2021, 12:34 (108 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] the problem of theodicy is not solved by telling us how clever we are, or how we richer people should help poorer people. So please explain why your God deliberately designed the bad viruses and bacteria which he knew would cause such appalling suffering.

DAVID: As before, viruses and bacteria are doing good 99% of the time, their main purpose. When they get in the wrong places they are bad.

We have taken them as examples of the “evil” which is the fundamental problem of theodicy: if God is omnipotent and perfectly good, how can we explain the existence of evil in the world that he created? You simply dodge the question if you focus all your attention on the good. If he designed the forces of evil, he can hardly be perfectly good. If he is perfectly good, but they simply went their own way independently of his control, he is not omnipotent. I have offered a possible solution to this problem and also an explanation of the vast higgledy-piggledy bush of life forms that have come and gone during the history of evolution: namely, that he created a free-for-all (though retaining the option to dabble if he wanted to). The free-for-all fits in exactly with your proposal that bad viruses and bacteria “get in the wrong places”. You can even draw a parallel with us humans: we are also free to “get in the wrong places”.

FESER
I shan’t repeat the quotes and my comments, as our exchange makes the arguments clear.

DAVID: […] The entire essay explains the points I presented.

dhw: It explains nothing. It merely glosses over the problem of theodicy as you do, by making assumptions about the nature of God. The basic argument: you can’t blame God for creating evil because he is all good. You can’t attribute human thought to him except those human thoughts which categorize him as all good, immutable, all-knowing, simple etc.

DAVID: The article shows how us believers approach thinking about God as a non-human and never consider Him as an experimenter, a spectator of free-for-alls and all your other strange concoctions of God's thoughts. It is why the word allegorical comes up in discussions of attempting to describe him. You try to distort my attempts to describe Him, as humanizing, but all I present is a purposeful God that you then call a derogatory control-freak.

We are discussing Feser’s vision of God as all-good, immutable, all-knowing, all-powerful, simple, doesn’t do any reasoning because his knowledge and wisdom are perfect etc. I ask how Feser knows all this. How do you and he know that God is incapable of experimenting, getting new ideas, learning, deliberately giving up control of evolution, as you believe he deliberately gave up control of human behaviour? I offered you “control freak” as a counter to your silly dismissals of my various alternatives as “bumbling, weak, namby-pamby” etc., but you don’t like it if I use a derogatory term – that is your privilege.

DAVID: Note you are using an allegorical humanizing term. Your so-called theistic hat is wildly askew. The bolds are a perfect example of humanizing God. In the first you want Him spectating.

You have said yourself that you are sure he watches us with interest.

DAVID: In the second bold you resent being limited in your areas of criticism of God, in which you totally humanize Him to make your criticisms.

There are no criticisms of God in any of my alternative theistic theories! I do not regard it as a criticism of God to see him as possibly being comparable - though of course in his uniquely divine manner - to an experimental scientist, or a painter who gets new ideas as he goes along, or a novelist who allows the characters to take over the story. Feser makes similar comparisons (plus a builder). What I resent is Feser’s assumptions – which you obviously share - that God has all the attributes you both want him to have, and that any alternative is to be dismissed, no matter how logically it fits in with life’s history.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Wednesday, August 18, 2021, 15:43 (108 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] the problem of theodicy is not solved by telling us how clever we are, or how we richer people should help poorer people. So please explain why your God deliberately designed the bad viruses and bacteria which he knew would cause such appalling suffering.

DAVID: As before, viruses and bacteria are doing good 99% of the time, their main purpose. When they get in the wrong places they are bad.

dhw: We have taken them as examples of the “evil” which is the fundamental problem of theodicy: if God is omnipotent and perfectly good, how can we explain the existence of evil in the world that he created? You simply dodge the question if you focus all your attention on the good. If he designed the forces of evil, he can hardly be perfectly good. If he is perfectly good, but they simply went their own way independently of his control, he is not omnipotent.

Just as we wander around and do our own thing (free will) bacteria are free to roam. God is not a personal puppeteer just as He doesn't monitor each organic molecule at work.

dhw: I have offered a possible solution to this problem and also an explanation of the vast higgledy-piggledy bush of life forms that have come and gone during the history of evolution: namely, that he created a free-for-all (though retaining the option to dabble if he wanted to). The free-for-all fits in exactly with your proposal that bad viruses and bacteria “get in the wrong places”. You can even draw a parallel with us humans: we are also free to “get in the wrong places”.

Yes life is a free-for-all, but not evolution.


FESER
I shan’t repeat the quotes and my comments, as our exchange makes the arguments clear.

DAVID: […] The entire essay explains the points I presented.

dhw: It explains nothing. It merely glosses over the problem of theodicy as you do, by making assumptions about the nature of God. The basic argument: you can’t blame God for creating evil because he is all good. You can’t attribute human thought to him except those human thoughts which categorize him as all good, immutable, all-knowing, simple etc.

DAVID: The article shows how us believers approach thinking about God as a non-human and never consider Him as an experimenter, a spectator of free-for-alls and all your other strange concoctions of God's thoughts. It is why the word allegorical comes up in discussions of attempting to describe him. You try to distort my attempts to describe Him, as humanizing, but all I present is a purposeful God that you then call a derogatory control-freak.

dhw: We are discussing Feser’s vision of God as all-good, immutable, all-knowing, all-powerful, simple, doesn’t do any reasoning because his knowledge and wisdom are perfect etc. I ask how Feser knows all this. How do you and he know that God is incapable of experimenting, getting new ideas, learning, deliberately giving up control of evolution, as you believe he deliberately gave up control of human behaviour? I offered you “control freak” as a counter to your silly dismissals of my various alternatives as “bumbling, weak, namby-pamby” etc., but you don’t like it if I use a derogatory term – that is your privilege.

This is no defense of your humanizing which is very obvious. Feser asked for limitations in implying various possibilities in descriptions of God.


DAVID: Note you are using an allegorical humanizing term. Your so-called theistic hat is wildly askew. The bolds are a perfect example of humanizing God. In the first you want Him spectating.

dhw: You have said yourself that you are sure he watches us with interest.

Allegorically, not in a human sense.


DAVID: In the second bold you resent being limited in your areas of criticism of God, in which you totally humanize Him to make your criticisms.

dhw: There are no criticisms of God in any of my alternative theistic theories! I do not regard it as a criticism of God to see him as possibly being comparable - though of course in his uniquely divine manner - to an experimental scientist, or a painter who gets new ideas as he goes along, or a novelist who allows the characters to take over the story. Feser makes similar comparisons (plus a builder). What I resent is Feser’s assumptions – which you obviously share - that God has all the attributes you both want him to have, and that any alternative is to be dismissed, no matter how logically it fits in with life’s history.

I'll make my same point. Theists view God in certain ways which limits the expanse of what might be implied as to His thinking and possible intentions. Your approach is uninhibited and wide open to all imaginations possible. You refuse the established limits used by theologians and so to theists, we see the humanizing in our view. Of course you can do whatever you wish, but our discussion then runs at different levels of thought and can never reach agreement.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Thursday, August 19, 2021, 11:35 (107 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] the problem of theodicy is not solved by telling us how clever we are, or how we richer people should help poorer people. So please explain why your God deliberately designed the bad viruses and bacteria which he knew would cause such appalling suffering.

DAVID: As before, viruses and bacteria are doing good 99% of the time, their main purpose. When they get in the wrong places they are bad.

dhw: We have taken them as examples of the “evil” which is the fundamental problem of theodicy: if God is omnipotent and perfectly good, how can we explain the existence of evil in the world that he created? You simply dodge the question if you focus all your attention on the good. If he designed the forces of evil, he can hardly be perfectly good. If he is perfectly good, but they simply went their own way independently of his control, he is not omnipotent.

DAVID: Just as we wander around and do our own thing (free will) bacteria are free to roam. God is not a personal puppeteer just as He doesn't monitor each organic molecule at work.

According to you, he knew these bacteria would cause trouble and tried hard to provide counter measures, but left it to us humans to deal with those he couldn’t cope with. Hardly the hallmark of a God who is always in total control. But see our next exchange:

dhw: I have offered a possible solution to this problem and also an explanation of the vast higgledy-piggledy bush of life forms that have come and gone during the history of evolution: namely, that he created a free-for-all (though retaining the option to dabble if he wanted to). The free-for-all fits in exactly with your proposal that bad viruses and bacteria “get in the wrong places”. You can even draw a parallel with us humans: we are also free to “get in the wrong places”.

DAVID: Yes life is a free-for-all, but not evolution.

How do you know? If your God gives organisms the means of adapting autonomously to different surroundings, why should he not provide them with the means of autonomously inventing new ways of adapting to different surroundings?

FESER

DAVID: Feser asked for limitations in implying various possibilities in descriptions of God.

If Feser is free to inform us that his God is all-good, immutable, all-knowing etc., does that mean he has a divine right to stop me from proposing that God – if he exists – might experiment, get new ideas as he goes along, create a free-for-all? You have said yourself that we can only form our subjective impressions of God by studying his works. These are manifested by a vast bush of life forms which have come and gone, often eating one another, often ravaged by disease, sometimes destroyed by natural disasters, and the vast majority having no link whatsoever with humans. You have agreed that all my alternatives explain the history of life. How do you and Feser know that none of them are correct, and we must all accept your unprovable theory that your God’s nature corresponds exclusively to such human concepts as good, immutable, all-knowing etc.?

DAVID: […] you want Him spectating.

dhw: You have said yourself that you are sure he watches us with interest.

DAVID: Allegorically, not in a human sense.

What on earth does that mean? What does watching with interest symbolize?

DAVID: […] you resent being limited in your areas of criticism of God, in which you totally humanize Him to make your criticisms.

dhw: There are no criticisms of God in any of my alternative theistic theories! I do not regard it as a criticism of God to compare him - in his uniquely divine manner - to an experimental scientist, or a painter who gets new ideas as he goes along, or a novelist who allows the characters to take over the story. Feser makes similar comparisons (plus a builder). What I resent is Feser’s assumptions – which you obviously share - that God has all the attributes you both want him to have, and that any alternative is to be dismissed, no matter how logically it fits in with life’s history.

DAVID: I'll make my same point. Theists view God in certain ways which limits the expanse of what might be implied as to His thinking and possible intentions.

And you think I have tunnel vision! In any case, you are wrong. There are deists who think their God set creation in motion and then left it to run its own course, there are process theologians who believe God is constantly in the process of becoming (i.e. not immutable), experiences and loves the process of changing nature, and is “the great companion – the fellow sufferer who understands” (Oxford Dic. of World Religions), and there are theists who believe in multiple gods that manifest multiple human characteristics. How dare any theist insist that God must only be viewed his way and no other?

DAVID: Your approach is uninhibited and wide open to all imaginations possible.

My approach in all cases has been to find a rational explanation for the history of life as we know it. You have agreed that every single one of my theistic proposals is logical, unlike your own, which leaves you with premises you simply cannot explain.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Thursday, August 19, 2021, 15:06 (107 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Yes life is a free-for-all, but not evolution.

dhw: How do you know? If your God gives organisms the means of adapting autonomously to different surroundings, why should he not provide them with the means of autonomously inventing new ways of adapting to different surroundings?

The bold is your wishful guess


FESER

DAVID: Feser asked for limitations in implying various possibilities in descriptions of God.

dhw: If Feser is free to inform us that his God is all-good, immutable, all-knowing etc., does that mean he has a divine right to stop me from proposing that God – if he exists – might experiment, get new ideas as he goes along, create a free-for-all? You have said yourself that we can only form our subjective impressions of God by studying his works. These are manifested by a vast bush of life forms which have come and gone, often eating one another, often ravaged by disease, sometimes destroyed by natural disasters, and the vast majority having no link whatsoever with humans. You have agreed that all my alternatives explain the history of life. How do you and Feser know that none of them are correct, and we must all accept your unprovable theory that your God’s nature corresponds exclusively to such human concepts as good, immutable, all-knowing etc.?

You have every right to your views of a very humanized God which explain the history of evolution/life very differently than I do. We have outlined our differences.


DAVID: […] you want Him spectating.

dhw: You have said yourself that you are sure he watches us with interest.

DAVID: Allegorically, not in a human sense.

dhw: What on earth does that mean? What does watching with interest symbolize?

He does not watch in a human way.


DAVID: […] you resent being limited in your areas of criticism of God, in which you totally humanize Him to make your criticisms.

dhw: There are no criticisms of God in any of my alternative theistic theories! I do not regard it as a criticism of God to compare him - in his uniquely divine manner - to an experimental scientist, or a painter who gets new ideas as he goes along, or a novelist who allows the characters to take over the story. Feser makes similar comparisons (plus a builder). What I resent is Feser’s assumptions – which you obviously share - that God has all the attributes you both want him to have, and that any alternative is to be dismissed, no matter how logically it fits in with life’s history.

DAVID: I'll make my same point. Theists view God in certain ways which limits the expanse of what might be implied as to His thinking and possible intentions.

dhw: And you think I have tunnel vision! In any case, you are wrong. There are deists who think their God set creation in motion and then left it to run its own course, there are process theologians who believe God is constantly in the process of becoming (i.e. not immutable), experiences and loves the process of changing nature, and is “the great companion – the fellow sufferer who understands” (Oxford Dic. of World Religions), and there are theists who believe in multiple gods that manifest multiple human characteristics. How dare any theist insist that God must only be viewed his way and no other?

You are right about all the different deism/theisms of which I am totally aware. I follow Thomism thought in thinking about God. Thus I read Feser.


DAVID: Your approach is uninhibited and wide open to all imaginations possible.

dhw: My approach in all cases has been to find a rational explanation for the history of life as we know it. You have agreed that every single one of my theistic proposals is logical, unlike your own, which leaves you with premises you simply cannot explain.

You rigidly oppose my point of view. You keep forgetting I accept your theories only if I accept a very humanizing form of a God, which I don't. Please remember the point even if yhou don't like it..

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Friday, August 20, 2021, 11:51 (106 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Yes life is a free-for-all, but not evolution.

dhw: How do you know? If your God gives organisms the means of adapting autonomously to different surroundings, why should he not provide them with the means of autonomously inventing new ways of adapting to different surroundings?

DAVID: The bold is your wishful guess.

So now you even have your God providing bacteria with detailed instructions on how to adapt to every single environment, and how to solve every new problem, from Day One till the end of life on Earth. All these instructions packed into a single cell are just as mind-boggling as God popping in every time bacteria have a new problem to solve. Why don’t you stick to the simple alternative which you embraced so enthusiastically on August 4th in the context of cells creating new antibodies:

dhw: ...he gave our cells the ABILITY to recognize each new threat and to respond to it by creating new antibodies de novo without him having to intervene.

DAVID: You’ve got it!!! The latter portion of your comment is exactly what God did!

So you agree that your God gave cells an autonomous ability to solve problems. Simple.

FESER
DAVID: Feser asked for limitations in implying various possibilities in descriptions of God.

dhw: […] You have agreed that all my alternatives explain the history of life. How do you and Feser know that none of them are correct, and we must all accept your unprovable theory that your God’s nature corresponds exclusively to such human concepts as good, immutable, all-knowing etc.?

DAVID: You have every right to your views of a very humanized God which explain the history of evolution/life very differently than I do. We have outlined our differences.

You and Feser impose an arbitrary list of “limitations” on descriptions of a possible God. If you say he is all-powerful and all-knowing, the rest of us are not allowed to suggest that he might deliberately create something that functions without his control, or that he might experiment and/or learn new things as he goes along. (See below on “humanizing”.) As for your explanation of the history of evolution/life, it has led you to the illogical conclusion that your God individually designed every life form extant and extinct for the one and only purpose of designing sapiens and our food, although the vast majority of those life forms had no connection with sapiens and our food.

DAVID: […] you want Him spectating.

dhw: You have said yourself that you are sure he watches us with interest.

DAVID: Allegorically, not in a human sense.

dhw: What on earth does that mean? What does watching with interest symbolize?

DAVID: He does not watch in a human way.

I don’t suppose he has a pair of eyes peering through a pair of spectacles, but do you or do you not think he has his own means of observing his own creations?

DAVID: Theists view God in certain ways which limits the expanse of what might be implied as to His thinking and possible intentions.

dhw: And you think I have tunnel vision! In any case, you are wrong. There are deists who think their God set creation in motion and then left it to run its own course, there are process theologians who believe God is constantly in the process of becoming (i.e. not immutable), experiences and loves the process of changing nature, and is “the great companion – the fellow sufferer who understands” (Oxford Dic. of World Religions), and there are theists who believe in multiple gods that manifest multiple human characteristics. How dare any theist insist that God must only be viewed his way and no other?

DAVID: You are right about all the different deism/theisms of which I am totally aware. I follow Thomism thought in thinking about God. Thus I read Feser.

All my alternative explanations of life’s history deliberately allow for God – they are compatible with theism. So please stop pretending that your way of thinking is the only way any theist can possibly think about God. Why don’t you focus instead on the reasonableness of the theories?

DAVID: Your approach is uninhibited and wide open to all imaginations possible.

dhw: My approach in all cases has been to find a rational explanation for the history of life as we know it. You have agreed that every single one of my theistic proposals is logical, unlike your own, which leaves you with premises you simply cannot explain.

DAVID: You rigidly oppose my point of view. You keep forgetting I accept your theories only if I accept a very humanizing form of a God, which I don't. Please remember the point even if yhou don't like it.

I don’t like the silly argument that a God who created us could not possibly have endowed us with some of his own attributes. Nor do you, because you agree that he possibly/probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and you are “sure that we mimic Him in many different ways”. But you think you can discredit a logical proposal merely by using the word “humanize” if the “mimicry” does not correspond to the “humanizing” you believe in.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Friday, August 20, 2021, 15:37 (106 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: ...he gave our cells the ABILITY to recognize each new threat and to respond to it by creating new antibodies de novo without him having to intervene.

DAVID: You’ve got it!!! The latter portion of your comment is exactly what God did!

dhw: So you agree that your God gave cells an autonomous ability to solve problems. Simple.

As you twist my words to fit your theory, the autonomous ability comes by simply following His instructions. Of course there is no godly intervention with that arrangement.


FESER
DAVID: Feser asked for limitations in implying various possibilities in descriptions of God.

dhw: […] You have agreed that all my alternatives explain the history of life. How do you and Feser know that none of them are correct, and we must all accept your unprovable theory that your God’s nature corresponds exclusively to such human concepts as good, immutable, all-knowing etc.?

DAVID: You have every right to your views of a very humanized God which explain the history of evolution/life very differently than I do. We have outlined our differences.

dhw: You and Feser impose an arbitrary list of “limitations” on descriptions of a possible God. If you say he is all-powerful and all-knowing, the rest of us are not allowed to suggest that he might deliberately create something that functions without his control, or that he might experiment and/or learn new things as he goes along. (See below on “humanizing”.)

You are allowed any fantasies about God you wish. Some may accept them.


dhw: What on earth does that mean? What does watching with interest symbolize?

DAVID: He does not watch in a human way.

dhw: I don’t suppose he has a pair of eyes peering through a pair of spectacles, but do you or do you not think he has his own means of observing his own creations?

He observes in His Godly way, not in a human sense.


DAVID: You are right about all the different deism/theisms of which I am totally aware. I follow Thomism thought in thinking about God. Thus I read Feser.

dhw: All my alternative explanations of life’s history deliberately allow for God – they are compatible with theism. So please stop pretending that your way of thinking is the only way any theist can possibly think about God. Why don’t you focus instead on the reasonableness of the theories?

I repeat. I agree with your theories if God is humanized.


DAVID: Your approach is uninhibited and wide open to all imaginations possible.

dhw: My approach in all cases has been to find a rational explanation for the history of life as we know it. You have agreed that every single one of my theistic proposals is logical, unlike your own, which leaves you with premises you simply cannot explain.

DAVID: You rigidly oppose my point of view. You keep forgetting I accept your theories only if I accept a very humanizing form of a God, which I don't. Please remember the point even if you don't like it.

dhw: I don’t like the silly argument that a God who created us could not possibly have endowed us with some of his own attributes. Nor do you, because you agree that he possibly/probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and you are “sure that we mimic Him in many different ways”. But you think you can discredit a logical proposal merely by using the word “humanize” if the “mimicry” does not correspond to the “humanizing” you believe in.

We are in an area of discussion imagining how we might be made to mimic Him, but since He is not a human person the mimicry is uncertain.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Saturday, August 21, 2021, 12:54 (105 days ago) @ David Turell

FESER

dhw: You and Feser impose an arbitrary list of “limitations” on descriptions of a possible God. If you say he is all-powerful and all-knowing, the rest of us are not allowed to suggest that he might deliberately create something that functions without his control, or that he might experiment and/or learn new things as he goes along. (See below on “humanizing”.)

DAVID: You are allowed any fantasies about God you wish. Some may accept them.

That’s very kind of you. And of course I will grant you and Feser the same latitude. Since we agree that if God exists, the only way we can get to know him is through his works, perhaps now we can get back to testing our respective “fantasies” against what we know of life’s history.

DAVID: …you want him spectating.

dhw: …you are sure he watches us with interest.

DAVID: Allegorically, not in a human sense.

dhw: What on earth does that mean? What does watching with interest symbolize?

DAVID: He does not watch in a human way.

dhw: I don’t suppose he has a pair of eyes peering through a pair of spectacles, but do you or do you not think he has his own means of observing his own creations?

DAVID: He observes in His Godly way, not in a human sense.

Good. So we now we both have him spectating/watching/observing with interest in a godly way. How does that mean he doesn’t watch us with interest?

DAVID: You are right about all the different deism/theisms of which I am totally aware. I follow Thomism thought in thinking about God. Thus I read Feser.

dhw: All my alternative explanations of life’s history deliberately allow for God – they are compatible with theism. So please stop pretending that your way of thinking is the only way any theist can possibly think about God. Why don’t you focus instead on the reasonableness of the theories?[…]

DAVID: You keep forgetting I accept your theories only if I accept a very humanizing form of a God, which I don't. Please remember the point even if you don't like it.

dhw: I don’t like the silly argument that a God who created us could not possibly have endowed us with some of his own attributes. Nor do you, because you agree that he possibly/probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and you are “sure that we mimic Him in many different ways”. But you think you can discredit a logical proposal merely by using the word “humanize” if the “mimicry” does not correspond to the “humanizing” you believe in.

DAVID: We are in an area of discussion imagining how we might be made to mimic Him, but since He is not a human person the mimicry is uncertain.

So why do you insist that only your “humanization” of him is possible, and dismiss my humanizations because they are humanizations?

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Saturday, August 21, 2021, 15:47 (105 days ago) @ dhw

FESER

DAVID: He observes in His Godly way, not in a human sense.

dhw: Good. So we now we both have him spectating/watching/observing with interest in a godly way. How does that mean he doesn’t watch us with interest?

In Adler's analysis, the odds that He is interested in us is 50/50. I can accept that.


dhw: I don’t like the silly argument that a God who created us could not possibly have endowed us with some of his own attributes. Nor do you, because you agree that he possibly/probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and you are “sure that we mimic Him in many different ways”. But you think you can discredit a logical proposal merely by using the word “humanize” if the “mimicry” does not correspond to the “humanizing” you believe in.

DAVID: We are in an area of discussion imagining how we might be made to mimic Him, but since He is not a human person the mimicry is uncertain.

dhw: So why do you insist that only your “humanization” of him is possible, and dismiss my humanizations because they are humanizations?

You have to create a false concept of our view that we 'humanize' to defend yourself. Our position is He is not ever human in actions or thoughts even if we have to use 'human' terms in our descriptions. Review our past discussions

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Sunday, August 22, 2021, 09:05 (104 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: He observes in His Godly way, not in a human sense.

dhw: Good. So we now we both have him spectating/watching/observing with interest in a godly way. How does that mean he doesn’t watch us with interest?

DAVID: In Adler's analysis, the odds that He is interested in us is 50/50. I can accept that.

Thank you. You yourself wrote that you were sure he is interested in us. I make that 100%. And you even wrote that he “is in the business of creation and enjoys doing it or I think he would stop.” For some reason, though, you reject the possibility that he creates because he wants to have the enjoyment of creating. All part of your non-humanizing humanizing.

dhw: I don’t like the silly argument that a God who created us could not possibly have endowed us with some of his own attributes. Nor do you, because you agree that he possibly/probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and you are “sure that we mimic Him in many different ways”. But you think you can discredit a logical proposal merely by using the word “humanize” if the “mimicry” does not correspond to the “humanizing” you believe in.

DAVID: We are in an area of discussion imagining how we might be made to mimic Him, but since He is not a human person the mimicry is uncertain.

dhw: So why do you insist that only your “humanization” of him is possible, and dismiss my humanizations because they are humanizations?

DAVID: You have to create a false concept of our view that we 'humanize' to defend yourself. Our position is He is not ever human in actions or thoughts even if we have to use 'human' terms in our descriptions. Review our past discussions.

I have reviewed our past discussions and have noted your statements that it is probable/possible that God has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and you are sure that “we mimic him in many different ways”. That does not mean he is a human being. It means that – if he exists – as our creator he has given us certain thought attributes and emotions similar to his.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Sunday, August 22, 2021, 14:49 (104 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: He observes in His Godly way, not in a human sense.

dhw: Good. So we now we both have him spectating/watching/observing with interest in a godly way. How does that mean he doesn’t watch us with interest?

DAVID: In Adler's analysis, the odds that He is interested in us is 50/50. I can accept that.

dhw: Thank you. You yourself wrote that you were sure he is interested in us. I make that 100%. And you even wrote that he “is in the business of creation and enjoys doing it or I think he would stop.” For some reason, though, you reject the possibility that he creates because he wants to have the enjoyment of creating. All part of your non-humanizing humanizing.

I never defined His interest as 100%, as you now wish. God's enjoyment is not like ours. I'm trapped in having to use words with human meanings.


dhw: So why do you insist that only your “humanization” of him is possible, and dismiss my humanizations because they are humanizations?

DAVID: You have to create a false concept of our view that we 'humanize' to defend yourself. Our position is He is not ever human in actions or thoughts even if we have to use 'human' terms in our descriptions. Review our past discussions.

dhw: I have reviewed our past discussions and have noted your statements that it is probable/possible that God has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and you are sure that “we mimic him in many different ways”. That does not mean he is a human being. It means that – if he exists – as our creator he has given us certain thought attributes and emotions similar to his.

I certainly agree with this point of yours. Similar, but never the same.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Monday, August 23, 2021, 12:52 (103 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: He observes in His Godly way, not in a human sense.

dhw: Good. So we now we both have him spectating/watching/observing with interest in a godly way. How does that mean he doesn’t watch us with interest?

DAVID: In Adler's analysis, the odds that He is interested in us is 50/50. I can accept that.

dhw: Thank you. You yourself wrote that you were sure he is interested in us. I make that 100%. And you even wrote that he “is in the business of creation and enjoys doing it or I think he would stop.” For some reason, though, you reject the possibility that he creates because he wants to have the enjoyment of creating. All part of your non-humanizing humanizing.

DAVID: I never defined His interest as 100%, as you now wish.

If you are sure of something, it ought to = 100%.

DAVID: God's enjoyment is not like ours. I'm trapped in having to use words with human meanings.

How the heck do you know that…other way round… our enjoyment is not like God’s? Why shouldn’t he say to himself: “I like it” and mean exactly the same as we mean when we say “I like it”?

dhw: So why do you insist that only your “humanization” of him is possible, and dismiss my humanizations because they are humanizations?

DAVID: You have to create a false concept of our view that we 'humanize' to defend yourself. Our position is He is not ever human in actions or thoughts even if we have to use 'human' terms in our descriptions. Review our past discussions.

dhw: I have reviewed our past discussions and have noted your statements that it is probable/possible that God has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and you are sure that “we mimic him in many different ways”. That does not mean he is a human being. It means that – if he exists – as our creator he has given us certain thought attributes and emotions similar to his.

DAVID: I certainly agree with this point of yours. Similar, but never the same.

Why my point? I am quoting you! Enjoyment is enjoyment, interest is interest, mimicking is mimicking. Nobody would claim that God is a human being, but if you can speculate on which of his attributes he has created in us, then so can I.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Monday, August 23, 2021, 14:47 (103 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: God's enjoyment is not like ours. I'm trapped in having to use words with human meanings.

dhw: How the heck do you know that…other way round… our enjoyment is not like God’s? Why shouldn’t he say to himself: “I like it” and mean exactly the same as we mean when we say “I like it”?

Just more attempts at humanizing God. We cannot know your statement is in any way probable when applied to God's personality.


dhw: So why do you insist that only your “humanization” of him is possible, and dismiss my humanizations because they are humanizations?

DAVID: You have to create a false concept of our view that we 'humanize' to defend yourself. Our position is He is not ever human in actions or thoughts even if we have to use 'human' terms in our descriptions. Review our past discussions.

dhw: I have reviewed our past discussions and have noted your statements that it is probable/possible that God has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and you are sure that “we mimic him in many different ways”. That does not mean he is a human being. It means that – if he exists – as our creator he has given us certain thought attributes and emotions similar to his.

DAVID: I certainly agree with this point of yours. Similar, but never the same.

dhw: Why my point? I am quoting you! Enjoyment is enjoyment, interest is interest, mimicking is mimicking. Nobody would claim that God is a human being, but if you can speculate on which of his attributes he has created in us, then so can I.


Then just stop assuming His attributes are exactly like ours, or even somewhat. They may even not exist.

Theodicy: another error correction system

by David Turell @, Friday, August 27, 2021, 15:01 (99 days ago) @ David Turell

Improper production of proteins is discarded:

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/373/6558/977.2?utm_campaign=twis_sci_2021-08-26&...

"The assembly of multiprotein complexes inside the cell requires each subunit to be produced at a defined level relative to its partners. Imbalances in subunit synthesis are inevitable, necessitating the elimination of unassembled intermediates. Zavodszky et al. found that a ubiquitin ligase called HERC1 is responsible for marking certain assembly intermediates of the proteasome for degradation. HERC1 finds these intermediates by recognizing a proteasome assembly factor that normally dissociates when assembly is complete. A point mutation in HERC1 that impairs its ability to recognize proteasome assembly intermediates causes neurodegeneration in mice, highlighting the importance of this quality control pathway.

Abstract
"In eukaryotic cells, half of all proteins function as subunits within multiprotein complexes. Imbalanced synthesis of subunits leads to unassembled intermediates that must be degraded to minimize cellular toxicity. Here, we found that excess PSMC5, a subunit of the proteasome base, was targeted for degradation by the HERC1 ubiquitin ligase in mammalian cells. HERC1 identified unassembled PSMC5 by its cognate assembly chaperone PAAF1. Because PAAF1 only dissociates after assembly, HERC1 could also engage later assembly intermediates such as the PSMC4-PSMC5-PAAF1 complex. A missense mutant of HERC1 that causes neurodegeneration in mice was impaired in the recognition and ubiquitination of the PSMC5-PAAF1 complex. Thus, proteasome assembly factors can serve as adaptors for ubiquitin ligases to facilitate elimination of unassembled intermediates and maintain protein homeostasis."

***

Conclusions and perspective

"Unassembled subunits have long been appreciated to be quality-control targets for one of two reasons: either they misfold in the absence of assembly or the exposed assembly interface is recognized by quality-control factors. In both cases, exposed hydrophobic surfaces are thought to be the target for quality control. Our findings reveal a qualitatively different mechanism: Delayed assembly cues ubiquitin ligase recruitment using the associated assembly factor. A major advantage for the cell of such a kinetic competition mechanism is that recognition does not depend on potentially toxic misfolding or aggregation. Instead, a simple delay would be sufficient to trigger elimination of otherwise normal intermediates. By using an assembly factor to identify incomplete products, a ubiquitin ligase can potentially recognize multiple intermediates along the assembly pathway." (my bolds)

Comment: God's quality control. I like that as a title.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Sunday, August 29, 2021, 13:57 (97 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God's enjoyment is not like ours. I'm trapped in having to use words with human meanings.

dhw: How the heck do you know that…other way round… our enjoyment is not like God’s? Why shouldn’t he say to himself: “I like it” and mean exactly the same as we mean when we say “I like it”?

DAVID: Just more attempts at humanizing God. We cannot know your statement is in any way probable when applied to God's personality.

Enjoy: to gain pleasure from something. We cannot know that ANY statement about God’s personality is true, but if you say that you believe your God enjoys creating, what other possible meaning do YOU wish to give to the word?

dhw: I am quoting you! Enjoyment is enjoyment, interest is interest, mimicking is mimicking. Nobody would claim that God is a human being, but if you can speculate on which of his attributes he has created in us, then so can I.

DAVID: Then just stop assuming His attributes are exactly like ours, or even somewhat. They may even not exist.

God may even not exist. But I am offering theories to explain why, if he exists, he might have created the history of life as we know it. Here are some of the things you have at one time or another been sure of: he is always in control, has only one purpose, has good intentions, enjoys creating, watches us with interest. You are perfectly happy to “humanize” him until it is pointed out to you that your “humanization” of him could lead to very different conclusions from your own: e.g. that if he enjoys creating and watches us with interest, his purpose might be to create things that he enjoys creating and watching with interest. But if you wish to add “in his own way”, that’s fine with me.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Sunday, August 29, 2021, 15:38 (97 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: God's enjoyment is not like ours. I'm trapped in having to use words with human meanings.

dhw: How the heck do you know that…other way round… our enjoyment is not like God’s? Why shouldn’t he say to himself: “I like it” and mean exactly the same as we mean when we say “I like it”?

DAVID: Just more attempts at humanizing God. We cannot know your statement is in any way probable when applied to God's personality.

dhw: Enjoy: to gain pleasure from something. We cannot know that ANY statement about God’s personality is true, but if you say that you believe your God enjoys creating, what other possible meaning do YOU wish to give to the word?

I have to use human-meaning words in describing non-human God. It creates problems in your mind and mine as we both interpret meanings.


dhw: I am quoting you! Enjoyment is enjoyment, interest is interest, mimicking is mimicking. Nobody would claim that God is a human being, but if you can speculate on which of his attributes he has created in us, then so can I.

DAVID: Then just stop assuming His attributes are exactly like ours, or even somewhat. They may even not exist.

dhw: God may even not exist. But I am offering theories to explain why, if he exists, he might have created the history of life as we know it. Here are some of the things you have at one time or another been sure of: he is always in control, has only one purpose, has good intentions, enjoys creating, watches us with interest. You are perfectly happy to “humanize” him until it is pointed out to you that your “humanization” of him could lead to very different conclusions from your own: e.g. that if he enjoys creating and watches us with interest, his purpose might be to create things that he enjoys creating and watching with interest. But if you wish to add “in his own way”, that’s fine with me.

I have to use human terms in my descriptions, with no honest attempt to humanize
Him as you do. There is a vast difference between us.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Monday, August 30, 2021, 10:57 (96 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God's enjoyment is not like ours. I'm trapped in having to use words with human meanings.

dhw: How the heck do you know that…other way round… our enjoyment is not like God’s? Why shouldn’t he say to himself: “I like it” and mean exactly the same as we mean when we say “I like it”?

DAVID: Just more attempts at humanizing God. We cannot know your statement is in any way probable when applied to God's personality.

dhw: Enjoy: to gain pleasure from something. We cannot know that ANY statement about God’s personality is true, but if you say that you believe your God enjoys creating, what other possible meaning do YOU wish to give to the word?

DAVID: I have to use human-meaning words in describing non-human God. It creates problems in your mind and mine as we both interpret meanings.

You used the word “enjoy”, and the only meaning of that word that you know is to gain pleasure from something. Why are you now pretending that you didn’t mean that? You are simply making a mockery of language.

DAVID: I have to use human terms in my descriptions, with no honest attempt to humanize Him as you do. There is a vast difference between us.

There is no difference between us, except your claim that when you say God enjoys something, or is interested in something, you don’t mean he enjoys something or is interested in something. When you said that God has good intentions, what did you mean if you did not mean God has good intentions?

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Monday, August 30, 2021, 14:20 (96 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I have to use human-meaning words in describing non-human God. It creates problems in your mind and mine as we both interpret meanings.

dhw: You used the word “enjoy”, and the only meaning of that word that you know is to gain pleasure from something. Why are you now pretending that you didn’t mean that? You are simply making a mockery of language.

What you do not realize is trying to describe God makes a mockery of our language.


DAVID: I have to use human terms in my descriptions, with no honest attempt to humanize Him as you do. There is a vast difference between us.

dhw: There is no difference between us, except your claim that when you say God enjoys something, or is interested in something, you don’t mean he enjoys something or is interested in something. When you said that God has good intentions, what did you mean if you did not mean God has good intentions?

Again God's good intentions may not mean exactly what we mean about ourselves. we've had a long previous discussion ab out how to think of God while using our human terms, the only ones we have.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Tuesday, August 31, 2021, 14:26 (95 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I have to use human-meaning words in describing non-human God. It creates problems in your mind and mine as we both interpret meanings.

dhw: You used the word “enjoy”, and the only meaning of that word that you know is to gain pleasure from something. Why are you now pretending that you didn’t mean that? You are simply making a mockery of language.

DAVID: What you do not realize is trying to describe God makes a mockery of our language.

So what are you proposing? Nobody can know anything about God, right down to the question of his very existence, but if we can’t even use human language to discuss his possible nature and motives, we may as well close down this website.

DAVID: I have to use human terms in my descriptions, with no honest attempt to humanize Him as you do. There is a vast difference between us.

dhw: There is no difference between us, except your claim that when you say God enjoys something, or is interested in something, you don’t mean he enjoys something or is interested in something. When you said that God has good intentions, what did you mean if you did not mean God has good intentions?

DAVID: Again God's good intentions may not mean exactly what we mean about ourselves. we've had a long previous discussion about how to think of God while using our human terms, the only ones we have.

You and I know what we mean by good intentions, all-powerful, all-knowing, purposeful, in control, enjoyment, interest, mimicry etc. But you are only prepared to believe in your personal image of God, as described in human language, and you reject any alternative because alternatives are also in human language! This is no way to conduct a discussion on possible definitions of a possible God!

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Tuesday, August 31, 2021, 16:11 (95 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I have to use human-meaning words in describing non-human God. It creates problems in your mind and mine as we both interpret meanings.

dhw: You used the word “enjoy”, and the only meaning of that word that you know is to gain pleasure from something. Why are you now pretending that you didn’t mean that? You are simply making a mockery of language.

DAVID: What you do not realize is trying to describe God makes a mockery of our language.

dhw: So what are you proposing? Nobody can know anything about God, right down to the question of his very existence, but if we can’t even use human language to discuss his possible nature and motives, we may as well close down this website.

DAVID: I have to use human terms in my descriptions, with no honest attempt to humanize Him as you do. There is a vast difference between us.

dhw: There is no difference between us, except your claim that when you say God enjoys something, or is interested in something, you don’t mean he enjoys something or is interested in something. When you said that God has good intentions, what did you mean if you did not mean God has good intentions?

DAVID: Again God's good intentions may not mean exactly what we mean about ourselves. we've had a long previous discussion about how to think of God while using our human terms, the only ones we have.

dhw: You and I know what we mean by good intentions, all-powerful, all-knowing, purposeful, in control, enjoyment, interest, mimicry etc. But you are only prepared to believe in your personal image of God, as described in human language, and you reject any alternative because alternatives are also in human language! This is no way to conduct a discussion on possible definitions of a possible God!

We had long previous discussions about how to think about God and describe Him. We ended up even disagreeing there after I quoted Feser and you didn't accept Feser. I clearly see your preferred humanizing approach. What theological texts/advise have you used to base your approach?

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Wednesday, September 01, 2021, 10:13 (94 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I have to use human terms in my descriptions, with no honest attempt to humanize Him as you do. There is a vast difference between us.

dhw: There is no difference between us, except your claim that when you say God enjoys something, or is interested in something, you don’t mean he enjoys something or is interested in something. When you said that God has good intentions, what did you mean if you did not mean God has good intentions?

DAVID: Again God's good intentions may not mean exactly what we mean about ourselves. [..]

dhw: You and I know what we mean by good intentions, all-powerful, all-knowing, purposeful, in control, enjoyment, interest, mimicry etc. But you are only prepared to believe in your personal image of God, as described in human language, and you reject any alternative because alternatives are also in human language! This is no way to conduct a discussion on possible definitions of a possible God!

DAVID: We had long previous discussions about how to think about God and describe Him. We ended up even disagreeing there after I quoted Feser and you didn't accept Feser. I clearly see your preferred humanizing approach. What theological texts/advise have you used to base your approach?

I do not study theology. What has that got to do with our discussion? Why don’t you stick to the subject? If the solution to theodicy lies in definition of God, we have to define God. We can only do so in our human language. We both know what our terms mean: your proposed solution to theodicy is that you define God as all-powerful, all-knowing, always in control, with good intentions, but he sometimes loses control, and we don’t yet know what his good intentions are. I offer an alternative solution, which is that he enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, and designed the mechanism which enables them all to design their own means of survival. The resultant free-for-all has produced what we humans consider to be the mixture of good and bad that has led to the problem of theodicy. Nobody knows the truth, but inevitably we both have to use human language to formulate our theories. What’s the problem?

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Wednesday, September 01, 2021, 20:11 (94 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I have to use human terms in my descriptions, with no honest attempt to humanize Him as you do. There is a vast difference between us.

dhw: There is no difference between us, except your claim that when you say God enjoys something, or is interested in something, you don’t mean he enjoys something or is interested in something. When you said that God has good intentions, what did you mean if you did not mean God has good intentions?

DAVID: Again God's good intentions may not mean exactly what we mean about ourselves. [..]

dhw: You and I know what we mean by good intentions, all-powerful, all-knowing, purposeful, in control, enjoyment, interest, mimicry etc. But you are only prepared to believe in your personal image of God, as described in human language, and you reject any alternative because alternatives are also in human language! This is no way to conduct a discussion on possible definitions of a possible God!

DAVID: We had long previous discussions about how to think about God and describe Him. We ended up even disagreeing there after I quoted Feser and you didn't accept Feser. I clearly see your preferred humanizing approach. What theological texts/advise have you used to base your approach?

dhw: I do not study theology. What has that got to do with our discussion? Why don’t you stick to the subject? If the solution to theodicy lies in definition of God, we have to define God. We can only do so in our human language. We both know what our terms mean: your proposed solution to theodicy is that you define God as all-powerful, all-knowing, always in control, with good intentions, but he sometimes loses control, and we don’t yet know what his good intentions are. I offer an alternative solution, which is that he enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, and designed the mechanism which enables them all to design their own means of survival. The resultant free-for-all has produced what we humans consider to be the mixture of good and bad that has led to the problem of theodicy. Nobody knows the truth, but inevitably we both have to use human language to formulate our theories. What’s the problem?

Your solutions define a very humanized God in my view. So we remain apart in our approach to defining God's personality

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Thursday, September 02, 2021, 11:59 (93 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If the solution to theodicy lies in definition of God, we have to define God. We can only do so in our human language. We both know what our terms mean: your proposed solution to theodicy is that you define God as all-powerful, all-knowing, always in control, with good intentions, but he sometimes loses control, and we don’t yet know what his good intentions are. I offer an alternative solution, which is that he enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, and designed the mechanism which enables them all to design their own means of survival. The resultant free-for-all has produced what we humans consider to be the mixture of good and bad that has led to the problem of theodicy. Nobody knows the truth, but inevitably we both have to use human language to formulate our theories. What’s the problem?

DAVID: Your solutions define a very humanized God in my view. So we remain apart in our approach to defining God's personality

QUOTES FROM YOU:
“He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logic”
“His thought patterns and emotions are possibly similar
…(continues: "but that possibility cannot be used to give Him human desires." How do you know?)
“He seems to me to be full of purposeful activity to create what he desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves.”
“I am sure we mimic Him in many ways.”
“I’m sure He likes what he creates, and that He is satisfied in His results as the inventor.”
“God is in the business of creation and enjoys doing it.”
“I’m sure he sees what is going on with His own level of interest.”
“His human attributes IMHO are God-like, His concern for us like our concern for others.”
“He very well could think like us.”

You see how I hang on to every word of yours! And yes, we remain apart because your “very humanized” view of God is different from my “very humanized” alternative proposals. “Humanization” is irrelevant in all our discussions, as is the fact that we both use human language, and I hope this list will put an end to your constant attempts to use “humanization” in order to justify your opposition to perfectly logical theories. So now would you please explain what logical flaw you have found in my proposed solution to the problem of theodicy.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 02, 2021, 17:59 (93 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your solutions define a very humanized God in my view. So we remain apart in our approach to defining God's personality

dhw: QUOTES FROM YOU:
“He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logic”
“His thought patterns and emotions are possibly similar
…(continues: "but that possibility cannot be used to give Him human desires." How do you know?)

How do you know He does have human desires?

dhw: “He seems to me to be full of purposeful activity to create what he desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves.”
“I am sure we mimic Him in many ways.”
“I’m sure He likes what he creates, and that He is satisfied in His results as the inventor.”
“God is in the business of creation and enjoys doing it.”
“I’m sure he sees what is going on with His own level of interest.”
“His human attributes IMHO are God-like, His concern for us like our concern for others.”
“He very well could think like us.”

These quotes are couched in terms of possibility. God is not human and my analysis of His personality from His works show determination and purpose and direct intention to reach His goals, a primary one of which is sapiens and very obvious from our highly unusual abilities compared to any other organism.


dhw: You see how I hang on to every word of yours! And yes, we remain apart because your “very humanized” view of God is different from my “very humanized” alternative proposals. “Humanization” is irrelevant in all our discussions, as is the fact that we both use human language, and I hope this list will put an end to your constant attempts to use “humanization” in order to justify your opposition to perfectly logical theories. So now would you please explain what logical flaw you have found in my proposed solution to the problem of theodicy.

My 'humanizing' that you attempt to invent is because I am trapped in the words I have to use. God is in no way human, but may well have human attributes as we study Him. Your God's actions are perfectly logical if one assumes He is unsure of himself, needs to experiment, and wants to set up free-for-alls for His enjoyment in watching the fracas, all humanizing traits. And I agree your theories fit the history when viewed from the point of your version of God. Conclusion: we see God totally differently.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Friday, September 03, 2021, 10:35 (92 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your solutions define a very humanized God in my view. So we remain apart in our approach to defining God's personality.

I produced a long list of quotes in which David agreed that his God certainly/probably/possibly has human traits and emotions.

DAVID: How do you know He does have human desires?

I don’t. I simply offer alternative theories to explain evolution and theodicy. How do you know that he exists/individually designed every life form and food bush/his sole purpose was to design humans and their food bush? You don’t. And unfortunately, your theory leads to a question of logic which you cannot answer. That is why you fall back on the “humanization” argument, which becomes irrelevant in the light of all the quotes.

DAVID: These quotes are couched in terms of possibility.

That is the nature of theories, except that most of your terms are not of possibility but of fact and/or of your personal certainty.

DAVID: God is not human and my analysis of His personality from His works show determination and purpose and direct intention to reach His goals, a primary one of which is sapiens and very obvious from our highly unusual abilities compared to any other organism.

You have categorically stated repeatedly that his only goal was to produce sapiens (do you want another list of quotes?) – epitomized by your claim that all other life forms were “part of the goal of evolving [=designing] humans” and their food. “A primary goal” means there are other primary goals. If that is what you now believe, please tell us his other primary goals. Meanwhile, all my alternative theories also show determination and purpose and ”direct intention to reach His goals.”

DAVID: My 'humanizing' that you attempt to invent is because I am trapped in the words I have to use.

It is impossible for us to discuss any subject without using words. Nobody “trapped” you into saying any of the above quotes, and you and I both know exactly what the words mean.

DAVID: God is in no way human, but may well have human attributes as we study Him.

Thank you – another quote for my list.

DAVID: Your God's actions are perfectly logical if one assumes He is unsure of himself, needs to experiment, and wants to set up free-for-alls for His enjoyment in watching the fracas, all humanizing traits. And I agree your theories fit the history when viewed from the point of your version of God. Conclusion: we see God totally differently.

I reject “unsure of himself”, but the other terms are correct, and I’m glad you understand them. There is no language problem, and your “humanizations” are no less “human” than my own, but are different. Your conclusion is therefore also correct, and so you are left only with the problem that your vision of God leads you to an illogical theory of evolution and an explanation of theodicy which amounts to no more than that you don’t have one, but you believe the future will reveal your God’s good intentions. My own theory offers a clear explanation of theodicy, but you have ignored my request that you point out any logical flaw in it.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Saturday, September 04, 2021, 00:06 (92 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: How do you know He does have human desires?

dhw: I don’t. I simply offer alternative theories to explain evolution and theodicy. How do you know that he exists/individually designed every life form and food bush/his sole purpose was to design humans and their food bush? You don’t. And unfortunately, your theory leads to a question of logic which you cannot answer. That is why you fall back on the “humanization” argument, which becomes irrelevant in the light of all the quotes.

I reject the bold. I have NEVER seen anything illogical except as how you seem to invent it. What I can't answer is Why God chose evolution of humans from bacteria, but I counter that with the clear evidence He prefers to evolve His creations.

DAVID: God is not human and my analysis of His personality from His works show determination and purpose and direct intention to reach His goals, a primary one of which is sapiens and very obvious from our highly unusual abilities compared to any other organism.

dhw: You have categorically stated repeatedly that his only goal was to produce sapiens (do you want another list of quotes?) – epitomized by your claim that all other life forms were “part of the goal of evolving [=designing] humans” and their food. “A primary goal” means there are other primary goals. If that is what you now believe, please tell us his other primary goals. Meanwhile, all my alternative theories also show determination and purpose and ”direct intention to reach His goals.”

What is wrong with God having a goal of producing humans with consciousness, and decides to produce them by evolving them by design Archaea?


DAVID: My 'humanizing' that you attempt to invent is because I am trapped in the words I have to use.

dhw: It is impossible for us to discuss any subject without using words. Nobody “trapped” you into saying any of the above quotes, and you and I both know exactly what the words mean.

But do the human words have the same meaning when applied to non-human God?


DAVID: Your God's actions are perfectly logical if one assumes He is unsure of himself, needs to experiment, and wants to set up free-for-alls for His enjoyment in watching the fracas, all humanizing traits. And I agree your theories fit the history when viewed from the point of your version of God. Conclusion: we see God totally differently.

dhw: I reject “unsure of himself”, but the other terms are correct, and I’m glad you understand them. There is no language problem, and your “humanizations” are no less “human” than my own, but are different. Your conclusion is therefore also correct, and so you are left only with the problem that your vision of God leads you to an illogical theory of evolution and an explanation of theodicy which amounts to no more than that you don’t have one, but you believe the future will reveal your God’s good intentions. My own theory offers a clear explanation of theodicy, but you have ignored my request that you point out any logical flaw in it.

I've told you your theodicy solution implies a weak God. My strong purposeful God recognized errors can happen and has editing corrections in place, working as best they can.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Saturday, September 04, 2021, 09:08 (91 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My 'humanizing' that you attempt to invent is because I am trapped in the words I have to use.

dhw: It is impossible for us to discuss any subject without using words. Nobody “trapped” you into saying any of the above quotes, and you and I both know exactly what the words mean.

DAVID: But do the human words have the same meaning when applied to non-human God?

It is you and I who are using the words. When you say you are sure your God enjoys creating and watches us with interest, is all-powerful and full of good intentions, you know perfectly well what you mean. The question is not what the words mean - we both know what they mean - but whether the statement is true or not!

DAVID: Your God's actions are perfectly logical if one assumes He is unsure of himself, needs to experiment, and wants to set up free-for-alls for His enjoyment in watching the fracas, all humanizing traits. And I agree your theories fit the history when viewed from the point of your version of God. Conclusion: we see God totally differently.

dhw: I reject “unsure of himself”, but the other terms are correct, and I’m glad you understand them. There is no language problem, and your “humanizations” are no less “human” than my own, but are different. Your conclusion is therefore also correct, and so you are left only with the problem that your vision of God leads you to an illogical theory of evolution and an explanation of theodicy which amounts to no more than that you don’t have one, but you believe the future will reveal your God’s good intentions. My own theory offers a clear explanation of theodicy, but you have ignored my request that you point out any logical flaw in it.

DAVID: I've told you your theodicy solution implies a weak God. My strong purposeful God recognized errors can happen and has editing corrections in place, working as best they can.

I haven’t the slightest idea why you should regard a God who creates a free-for-all as “weak” or as lacking in purpose. On the other hand, a God whose design contains errors, and who puts in corrections, which sometimes work and sometimes don’t, seems to me anything but all-powerful. Weak and strong have nothing to do with the subject anyway. The question is why does evil exist if God is all-good? Your answer: because he’s strong and tries to correct errors, and one day we shall find out his good intentions for deliberately creating “bad” things. My suggestion: he gave all life forms the freedom to pursue their own means of survival, and so what we call “bad” is the consequence of that freedom, epitomized by the manner in which some humans use their freedom to further their self-interest at the expense of others.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Saturday, September 04, 2021, 18:06 (91 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: But do the human words have the same meaning when applied to non-human God?

dhw: It is you and I who are using the words. When you say you are sure your God enjoys creating and watches us with interest, is all-powerful and full of good intentions, you know perfectly well what you mean. The question is not what the words mean - we both know what they mean - but whether the statement is true or not!

But they mean descriptions in human terms. God is not human, so how do they apply?


DAVID: I've told you your theodicy solution implies a weak God. My strong purposeful God recognized errors can happen and has editing corrections in place, working as best they can.

dhw: I haven’t the slightest idea why you should regard a God who creates a free-for-all as “weak” or as lacking in purpose. On the other hand, a God whose design contains errors, and who puts in corrections, which sometimes work and sometimes don’t, seems to me anything but all-powerful. Weak and strong have nothing to do with the subject anyway. The question is why does evil exist if God is all-good? Your answer: because he’s strong and tries to correct errors, and one day we shall find out his good intentions for deliberately creating “bad” things. My suggestion: he gave all life forms the freedom to pursue their own means of survival, and so what we call “bad” is the consequence of that freedom, epitomized by the manner in which some humans use their freedom to further their self-interest at the expense of others.

I can certainly accept this view, since I have previously proposed that when good bacteria venture into bad places they act badly. Your statement conflates two different issues. We are agreeing ( I think) on freedom of action causing trouble, but biochemical mistakes are a very different issue, and you do not seem to understand the speed requires means some molecule will not act properly, miss-fold or whatever other mistake can happen. I think God could only make life this way. Errorless biochemical life cannot exist.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Sunday, September 05, 2021, 09:06 (90 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: But do the human words have the same meaning when applied to non-human God?

dhw: It is you and I who are using the words. When you say you are sure your God enjoys creating and watches us with interest, is all-powerful and full of good intentions, you know perfectly well what you mean. The question is not what the words mean - we both know what they mean - but whether the statement is true or not!

DAVID: But they mean descriptions in human terms. God is not human, so how do they apply?

They apply to your God in exactly the same way as they apply to us, because as you rightly say over and over again in different words and degrees, the creation (us) certainly/probably/ possibly mimics the creator. The Bible puts it rather nicely: he created us in his image. I reckon most of us would not interpret that as meaning that he and we have two eyes, ears, arms and legs. Do you really not understand the meaning of the terms you have used above?

dhw: The question is why does evil exist if God is all-good? Your answer: because he’s strong and tries to correct errors, and one day we shall find out his good intentions for deliberately creating “bad” things. My suggestion: he gave all life forms the freedom to pursue their own means of survival, and so what we call “bad” is the consequence of that freedom, epitomized by the manner in which some humans use their freedom to further their self-interest at the expense of others.

DAVID: I can certainly accept this view, since I have previously proposed that when good bacteria venture into bad places they act badly. Your statement conflates two different issues. We are agreeing (I think) on freedom of action causing trouble…..

Wonderful! Thank you for accepting the concept of a free-for-all as a solution to the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: ...but biochemical mistakes are a very different issue, and you do not seem to understand the speed requires means some molecule will not act properly, miss-fold or whatever other mistake can happen. I think God could only make life this way. Errorless biochemical life cannot exist.

I understand. I am only surprised that your all-powerful God was apparently unable to find an errorless way of designing life (I’d prefer to imagine that he actually wanted to create it this way...I’ll explain why if you’d like me to), and that he apparently even provided ways of correcting some of the errors, but despite his omnipotence couldn’t manage it with some, and so apparently left it to us humans to do what he couldn’t do.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Sunday, September 05, 2021, 15:03 (90 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: But do the human words have the same meaning when applied to non-human God?

dhw: It is you and I who are using the words. When you say you are sure your God enjoys creating and watches us with interest, is all-powerful and full of good intentions, you know perfectly well what you mean. The question is not what the words mean - we both know what they mean - but whether the statement is true or not!

DAVID: But they mean descriptions in human terms. God is not human, so how do they apply?

dhw: They apply to your God in exactly the same way as they apply to us, because as you rightly say over and over again in different words and degrees, the creation (us) certainly/probably/ possibly mimics the creator. The Bible puts it rather nicely: he created us in his image. I reckon most of us would not interpret that as meaning that he and we have two eyes, ears, arms and legs. Do you really not understand the meaning of the terms you have used above?

My terms have the same meaning your terms have. The problem of application to God still apply. I take the 'image' as totally mental.


dhw: The question is why does evil exist if God is all-good? Your answer: because he’s strong and tries to correct errors, and one day we shall find out his good intentions for deliberately creating “bad” things. My suggestion: he gave all life forms the freedom to pursue their own means of survival, and so what we call “bad” is the consequence of that freedom, epitomized by the manner in which some humans use their freedom to further their self-interest at the expense of others.

DAVID: I can certainly accept this view, since I have previously proposed that when good bacteria venture into bad places they act badly. Your statement conflates two different issues. We are agreeing (I think) on freedom of action causing trouble…..

dhw: Wonderful! Thank you for accepting the concept of a free-for-all as a solution to the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: ...but biochemical mistakes are a very different issue, and you do not seem to understand the speed requires means some molecule will not act properly, miss-fold or whatever other mistake can happen. I think God could only make life this way. Errorless biochemical life cannot exist.

dhw: I understand. I am only surprised that your all-powerful God was apparently unable to find an errorless way of designing life (I’d prefer to imagine that he actually wanted to create it this way...I’ll explain why if you’d like me to), and that he apparently even provided ways of correcting some of the errors, but despite his omnipotence couldn’t manage it with some, and so apparently left it to us humans to do what he couldn’t do.

I have no idea what you prefer to imagine about God, b ut I am convinced God could do no better with this form of life He created. Can there be any other form? I doubt it.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Monday, September 06, 2021, 08:57 (89 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: But do the human words have the same meaning when applied to non-human God?

dhw: It is you and I who are using the words. When you say you are sure your God enjoys creating and watches us with interest, is all-powerful and full of good intentions, you know perfectly well what you mean. The question is not what the words mean - we both know what they mean - but whether the statement is true or not! […]

DAVID: My terms have the same meaning your terms have. The problem of application to God still apply. I take the 'image' [God created us in his image] as totally mental.

We agree that the image is mental, and that we both understand what our terms mean. So when you say your God enjoys creating and watches us with interest, the problem of application to God is NOT the meaning of the words, but whether the statement is true or not! So please stop using the limitations of human language as a reason for rejecting your own suggestions concerning your God’s nature.

dhw: The question is why does evil exist if God is all-good? Your answer: because he’s strong and tries to correct errors, and one day we shall find out his good intentions for deliberately creating “bad” things. My suggestion: he gave all life forms the freedom to pursue their own means of survival, and so what we call “bad” is the consequence of that freedom, epitomized by the manner in which some humans use their freedom to further their self-interest at the expense of others.

DAVID: I can certainly accept this view, since I have previously proposed that when good bacteria venture into bad places they act badly. Your statement conflates two different issues. We are agreeing (I think) on freedom of action causing trouble…..

dhw: Wonderful! Thank you for accepting the concept of a free-for-all as a solution to the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: ...but biochemical mistakes are a very different issue, and you do not seem to understand the speed requires means some molecule will not act properly, miss-fold or whatever other mistake can happen. I think God could only make life this way. Errorless biochemical life cannot exist.

dhw: I understand. I am only surprised that your all-powerful God was apparently unable to find an errorless way of designing life (I’d prefer to imagine that he actually wanted to create it this way...I’ll explain why if you’d like me to), and that he apparently even provided ways of correcting some of the errors, but despite his omnipotence couldn’t manage it with some, and so apparently left it to us humans to do what he couldn’t do.

DAVID: I have no idea what you prefer to imagine about God, but I am convinced God could do no better with this form of life He created. Can there be any other form? I doubt it.

So you are convinced that your all-powerful God’s powers are limited, but he kindly left us humans to solve some of the problems he couldn’t solve.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Monday, September 06, 2021, 15:58 (89 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I can certainly accept this view, since I have previously proposed that when good bacteria venture into bad places they act badly. Your statement conflates two different issues. We are agreeing (I think) on freedom of action causing trouble…..

dhw: Wonderful! Thank you for accepting the concept of a free-for-all as a solution to the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: ...but biochemical mistakes are a very different issue, and you do not seem to understand the speed requires means some molecule will not act properly, miss-fold or whatever other mistake can happen. I think God could only make life this way. Errorless biochemical life cannot exist.

dhw: I understand. I am only surprised that your all-powerful God was apparently unable to find an errorless way of designing life (I’d prefer to imagine that he actually wanted to create it this way...I’ll explain why if you’d like me to), and that he apparently even provided ways of correcting some of the errors, but despite his omnipotence couldn’t manage it with some, and so apparently left it to us humans to do what he couldn’t do.

DAVID: I have no idea what you prefer to imagine about God, but I am convinced God could do no better with this form of life He created. Can there be any other form? I doubt it.

dhw: So you are convinced that your all-powerful God’s powers are limited, but he kindly left us humans to solve some of the problems he couldn’t solve.

I believe the creation of our type of life results in a biochemical system which must act at such high speed, molecules, which are constantly changing in response to changing forces that act upon them, on rare occasion make a mistake. The system obviously works as evidenced by our advanced ages without mistakes.. The mistakes are actually exceedingly rare, but the consequences are so awful they seem to result in a problem bigger than it really is. If this s the best God can do, there can be no better.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Tuesday, September 07, 2021, 11:11 (88 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: My suggestion: he gave all life forms the freedom to pursue their own means of survival, and so what we call “bad” is the consequence of that freedom, epitomized by the manner in which some humans use their freedom to further their self-interest at the expense of others.

DAVID: I can certainly accept this view […]We are agreeing (I think) on freedom of action causing trouble...

dhw: Wonderful! Thank you for accepting the concept of a free-for-all as a solution to the problem of theodicy.

I think it’s important not to lose sight of this agreed solution to the problem of theodicy before we move onto your preferred subject of mistakes in the system your God designed.

dhw: I am [...] surprised that your all-powerful God was apparently unable to find an errorless way of designing life (I’d prefer to imagine that he actually wanted to create it this way...I’ll explain why if you’d like me to), and that he apparently even provided ways of correcting some of the errors, but despite his omnipotence couldn’t manage it with some, and so apparently left it to us humans to do what he couldn’t do.

DAVID: I have no idea what you prefer to imagine about God, but I am convinced God could do no better with this form of life He created. Can there be any other form? I doubt it.

dhw: So you are convinced that your all-powerful God’s powers are limited, but he kindly left us humans to solve some of the problems he couldn’t solve.

DAVID: I believe the creation of our type of life results in a biochemical system which must act at such high speed, molecules, which are constantly changing in response to changing forces that act upon them, on rare occasion make a mistake. The system obviously works as evidenced by our advanced ages without mistakes. The mistakes are actually exceedingly rare, but the consequences are so awful they seem to result in a problem bigger than it really is. If this s the best God can do, there can be no better.

You don’t have to “believe” in it. That is the system that exists. What you believe is that your all-powerful God was incapable of devising a system that did not make these “awful” mistakes, and although he did his best to provide corrections, they don’t always work and so he left us humans to try and do what he couldn’t do. As for advanced ages, there are plenty of folk that don’t live to an advanced age. It might be useful if you would name some of the “awful” consequences for us, so that we can decide for ourselves how rare these diseases are. Meanwhile, I suggest that maybe he WANTED a system that would make mistakes. You are always saying that a God who experiments, gets new ideas, wants a free-for-all etc. is “weak” and “namby-pamby”, but frankly a God who designs a system with errors that he is incapable of controlling seems a little odd for a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Tuesday, September 07, 2021, 15:38 (88 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: My suggestion: he gave all life forms the freedom to pursue their own means of survival, and so what we call “bad” is the consequence of that freedom, epitomized by the manner in which some humans use their freedom to further their self-interest at the expense of others.

DAVID: I can certainly accept this view […]We are agreeing (I think) on freedom of action causing trouble...

dhw: Wonderful! Thank you for accepting the concept of a free-for-all as a solution to the problem of theodicy.

I think it’s important not to lose sight of this agreed solution to the problem of theodicy before we move onto your preferred subject of mistakes in the system your God designed.

As long as free-for-all refers to freedom of action, and not evolutionary advances

DAVID: I believe the creation of our type of life results in a biochemical system which must act at such high speed, molecules, which are constantly changing in response to changing forces that act upon them, on rare occasion make a mistake. The system obviously works as evidenced by our advanced ages without mistakes. The mistakes are actually exceedingly rare, but the consequences are so awful they seem to result in a problem bigger than it really is. If this s the best God can do, there can be no better.

dhw: You don’t have to “believe” in it. That is the system that exists. What you believe is that your all-powerful God was incapable of devising a system that did not make these “awful” mistakes, and although he did his best to provide corrections, they don’t always work and so he left us humans to try and do what he couldn’t do. As for advanced ages, there are plenty of folk that don’t live to an advanced age. It might be useful if you would name some of the “awful” consequences for us, so that we can decide for ourselves how rare these diseases are. Meanwhile, I suggest that maybe he WANTED a system that would make mistakes. You are always saying that a God who experiments, gets new ideas, wants a free-for-all etc. is “weak” and “namby-pamby”, but frankly a God who designs a system with errors that he is incapable of controlling seems a little odd for a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing.

The system comes with mistakes as we agree. I'll stick with my statement above, not your skewed take.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Wednesday, September 08, 2021, 12:39 (87 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Wonderful! Thank you for accepting the concept of a free-for-all as a solution to the problem of theodicy.

dhw:I think it’s important not to lose sight of this agreed solution to the problem of theodicy before we move onto your preferred subject of mistakes in the system your God designed.

DAVID: As long as free-for-all refers to freedom of action, and not evolutionary advances.

Of course the problem of good versus evil has nothing to do with that of the causes of speciation. However, in the context of your God’s nature, if he is happy to allow freedom of action, it is clear that he is willing to give up control of his creations, and so in principle there is no reason to suppose that this willingness to give up control does not apply to the way in which life evolves.

DAVID: The mistakes are actually exceedingly rare, but the consequences are so awful they seem to result in a problem bigger than it really is. If this s the best God can do, there can be no better.

dhw: […] It might be useful if you would name some of the “awful” consequences for us, so that we can decide for ourselves how rare these diseases are. Meanwhile, I suggest that maybe he WANTED a system that would make mistakes. You are always saying that a God who experiments, gets new ideas, wants a free-for-all etc. is “weak” and “namby-pamby”, but frankly a God who designs a system with errors that he is incapable of controlling seems a little odd for a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing.

DAVID: The system comes with mistakes as we agree. I'll stick with my statement above, not your skewed take.

Your statement above tells us that mistakes are exceedingly rare. Please tell us what “exceedingly rare” awful diseases are caused by the errors in your God’s design, and please tell us what is “skewed” in my take.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Wednesday, September 08, 2021, 15:18 (87 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Wonderful! Thank you for accepting the concept of a free-for-all as a solution to the problem of theodicy.

dhw:I think it’s important not to lose sight of this agreed solution to the problem of theodicy before we move onto your preferred subject of mistakes in the system your God designed.

DAVID: As long as free-for-all refers to freedom of action, and not evolutionary advances.

dhw: Of course the problem of good versus evil has nothing to do with that of the causes of speciation. However, in the context of your God’s nature, if he is happy to allow freedom of action, it is clear that he is willing to give up control of his creations, and so in principle there is no reason to suppose that this willingness to give up control does not apply to the way in which life evolves.

I knew you'd sneak it back in. I don't accept that thought. My God knows what He wishes to create by design.


DAVID: The mistakes are actually exceedingly rare, but the consequences are so awful they seem to result in a problem bigger than it really is. If this s the best God can do, there can be no better.

dhw: […] It might be useful if you would name some of the “awful” consequences for us, so that we can decide for ourselves how rare these diseases are. Meanwhile, I suggest that maybe he WANTED a system that would make mistakes. You are always saying that a God who experiments, gets new ideas, wants a free-for-all etc. is “weak” and “namby-pamby”, but frankly a God who designs a system with errors that he is incapable of controlling seems a little odd for a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing.

DAVID: The system comes with mistakes as we agree. I'll stick with my statement above, not your skewed take.

dhw: Your statement above tells us that mistakes are exceedingly rare. Please tell us what “exceedingly rare” awful diseases are caused by the errors in your God’s design, and please tell us what is “skewed” in my take.

I don't have any figures of incidence, but from my thirty + years of medical practice I saw almost none. Read about them, in the medical journals to be aware.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Thursday, September 09, 2021, 11:40 (86 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Wonderful! Thank you for accepting the concept of a free-for-all as a solution to the problem of theodicy.

dhw:I think it’s important not to lose sight of this agreed solution to the problem of theodicy before we move onto your preferred subject of mistakes in the system your God designed.

DAVID: As long as free-for-all refers to freedom of action, and not evolutionary advances.

dhw: Of course the problem of good versus evil has nothing to do with that of the causes of speciation. However, in the context of your God’s nature, if he is happy to allow freedom of action, it is clear that he is willing to give up control of his creations, and so in principle there is no reason to suppose that this willingness to give up control does not apply to the way in which life evolves.

DAVID: I knew you'd sneak it back in. I don't accept that thought. My God knows what He wishes to create by design.

So does a God who wishes to design a free-for-all. I “sneak it back”, because if God exists, it is only natural that we should wonder about his nature and his purposes. Theodicy is only one aspect of the great mystery.

DAVID: The mistakes are actually exceedingly rare, but the consequences are so awful they seem to result in a problem bigger than it really is. If this s the best God can do, there can be no better.

dhw: […] It might be useful if you would name some of the “awful” consequences for us, so that we can decide for ourselves how rare these diseases are. Meanwhile, I suggest that maybe he WANTED a system that would make mistakes. You are always saying that a God who experiments, gets new ideas, wants a free-for-all etc. is “weak” and “namby-pamby”, but frankly a God who designs a system with errors that he is incapable of controlling seems a little odd for a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing.

DAVID: The system comes with mistakes as we agree. I'll stick with my statement above, not your skewed take.

dhw: Your statement above tells us that mistakes are exceedingly rare. Please tell us what “exceedingly rare” awful diseases are caused by the errors in your God’s design, and please tell us what is “skewed” in my take.

DAVID: I don't have any figures of incidence, but from my thirty + years of medical practice I saw almost none. Read about them, in the medical journals to be aware.

I am clearly out of touch, then. I thought cancer was one of the diseases that was caused by disorder among cells (= errors in the system). And do please tell me what was “skewed” in the bolded sentence above.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 09, 2021, 16:12 (86 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I knew you'd sneak it back in. I don't accept that thought. My God knows what He wishes to create by design.

dhw: So does a God who wishes to design a free-for-all. I “sneak it back”, because if God exists, it is only natural that we should wonder about his nature and his purposes. Theodicy is only one aspect of the great mystery.

DAVID: The mistakes are actually exceedingly rare, but the consequences are so awful they seem to result in a problem bigger than it really is. If this s the best God can do, there can be no better.

dhw: […] It might be useful if you would name some of the “awful” consequences for us, so that we can decide for ourselves how rare these diseases are. Meanwhile, I suggest that maybe he WANTED a system that would make mistakes. You are always saying that a God who experiments, gets new ideas, wants a free-for-all etc. is “weak” and “namby-pamby”, but frankly a God who designs a system with errors that he is incapable of controlling seems a little odd for a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing.

DAVID: The system comes with mistakes as we agree. I'll stick with my statement above, not your skewed take.

dhw: Your statement above tells us that mistakes are exceedingly rare. Please tell us what “exceedingly rare” awful diseases are caused by the errors in your God’s design, and please tell us what is “skewed” in my take.

DAVID: I don't have any figures of incidence, but from my thirty + years of medical practice I saw almost none. Read about them, in the medical journals to be aware.

dhw: I am clearly out of touch, then. I thought cancer was one of the diseases that was caused by disorder among cells (= errors in the system). And do please tell me what was “skewed” in the bolded sentence above.

I wasn't thinking of cancer, which I know caused your wife's death and makes you sensitive to that issue. Cancer is the result of mistakes in the fact that we are constantly reproducing ourselves, part of our system of enjoying life. Th reproduction is part of making sure our tissues are fresh. The skew is your constant negative take on God. We are here, discussing, the best system He could produce. I think it is the only way it can work. Not that God is limited, just that nothing better can be created. That there can be a better system is human judgement, not fact. Keep that in mind as you complain about God.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Friday, September 10, 2021, 12:18 (85 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] You are always saying that a God who experiments, gets new ideas, wants a free-for-all etc. is “weak” and “namby-pamby”, but frankly a God who designs a system with errors that he is incapable of controlling seems a little odd for a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing.

DAVID: The system comes with mistakes as we agree. I'll stick with my statement above, not your skewed take.

dhw: Your statement above tells us that mistakes are exceedingly rare. Please tell us what “exceedingly rare” awful diseases are caused by the errors in your God’s design, and please tell us what is “skewed” in my take.

DAVID: I don't have any figures of incidence, but from my thirty + years of medical practice I saw almost none. Read about them, in the medical journals to be aware.

dhw: I am clearly out of touch, then. I thought cancer was one of the diseases that was caused by disorder among cells (= errors in the system). And do please tell me what was “skewed” in the bolded sentence above.

DAVID: I wasn't thinking of cancer, which I know caused your wife's death and makes you sensitive to that issue. Cancer is the result of mistakes in the fact that we are constantly reproducing ourselves, part of our system of enjoying life.

Sorry, but this sounds to me like a disease caused by mistakes in the system. "Exceedingly rare"?

DAVID: The skew is your constant negative take on God. We are here, discussing, the best system He could produce. I think it is the only way it can work. Not that God is limited, just that nothing better can be created.

We are talking about theodicy – the question of why “bad” exists in a world created by a God who is said to be all “good”. You yourself introduced the subject of “mistakes” in the system (just one of many types of “bad” – you also have him deliberately designing murderous bacteria and viruses) – and then you moan because I raise the subject of “bad”! Of course you are limiting your God! You even claim that he tries to correct the errors but sometimes fails and so has left it to us to find ways of doing what he couldn’t do!

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Friday, September 10, 2021, 17:06 (85 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Friday, September 10, 2021, 17:12

dhw: […] You are always saying that a God who experiments, gets new ideas, wants a free-for-all etc. is “weak” and “namby-pamby”, but frankly a God who designs a system with errors that he is incapable of controlling seems a little odd for a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing.

DAVID: The system comes with mistakes as we agree. I'll stick with my statement above, not your skewed take.

dhw: Your statement above tells us that mistakes are exceedingly rare. Please tell us what “exceedingly rare” awful diseases are caused by the errors in your God’s design, and please tell us what is “skewed” in my take.

DAVID: I don't have any figures of incidence, but from my thirty + years of medical practice I saw almost none. Read about them, in the medical journals to be aware.

dhw: I am clearly out of touch, then. I thought cancer was one of the diseases that was caused by disorder among cells (= errors in the system). And do please tell me what was “skewed” in the bolded sentence above.

DAVID: I wasn't thinking of cancer, which I know caused your wife's death and makes you sensitive to that issue. Cancer is the result of mistakes in the fact that we are constantly reproducing ourselves, part of our system of enjoying life.

dhw: Sorry, but this sounds to me like a disease caused by mistakes in the system. "Exceedingly rare"?

Considering the constant turnover of living cells, even the mistakes that lead to cancer are the result of rare errors in the system.


DAVID: The skew is your constant negative take on God. We are here, discussing, the best system He could produce. I think it is the only way it can work. Not that God is limited, just that nothing better can be created.

dhw: We are talking about theodicy – the question of why “bad” exists in a world created by a God who is said to be all “good”. You yourself introduced the subject of “mistakes” in the system (just one of many types of “bad” – you also have him deliberately designing murderous bacteria and viruses) – and then you moan because I raise the subject of “bad”! Of course you are limiting your God! You even claim that he tries to correct the errors but sometimes fails and so has left it to us to find ways of doing what he couldn’t do!

Exactly. God knew errors would happen and designed very careful but not perfect editing systems. Your extreme negativity toward God shows clearly. Of course I introduced the issue of theodicy, which is evidence it doesn't turn me against God. God initiated life with the best system available that could be designed. It must use molecules that change shape to perform differing functions, responding to forces to do so. Under that high speed system mistakes can happen.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Saturday, September 11, 2021, 13:04 (84 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Your statement above tells us that mistakes are exceedingly rare. Please tell us what “exceedingly rare” awful diseases are caused by the errors in your God’s design.

DAVID: I don't have any figures of incidence, but from my thirty + years of medical practice I saw almost none

dhw: I thought cancer was one of the diseases that was caused by disorder among cells (= errors in the system).

DAVID: […] Cancer is the result of mistakes in the fact that we are constantly reproducing ourselves, part of our system of enjoying life.

dhw: Sorry, but this sounds to me like a disease caused by mistakes in the system. "Exceedingly rare"?

DAVID: Considering the constant turnover of living cells, even the mistakes that lead to cancer are the result of rare errors in the system.

I’m only surprised that you consider cancer to be an extremely rare awful disease.

dhw: […] You are always saying that a God who experiments, gets new ideas, wants a free-for-all etc. is “weak” and “namby-pamby”, but frankly a God who designs a system with errors that he is incapable of controlling seems a little odd for a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing.
dhw: [...] Please tell me what is “skewed” in my take.

DAVID: The skew is your constant negative take on God. We are here, discussing, the best system He could produce. I think it is the only way it can work. Not that God is limited, just that nothing better can be created.

dhw: We are talking about theodicy – the question of why “bad” exists in a world created by a God who is said to be all “good”. You yourself introduced the subject of “mistakes” in the system (just one of many types of “bad” – you also have him deliberately designing murderous bacteria and viruses) – and then you moan because I raise the subject of “bad”! Of course you are limiting your God! You even claim that he tries to correct the errors but sometimes fails and so has left it to us to find ways of doing what he couldn’t do!

DAVID: Exactly. God knew errors would happen and designed very careful but not perfect editing systems.

This doesn’t sound like an all-powerful, all-knowing God to me.

DAVID: Your extreme negativity toward God shows clearly. Of course I introduced the issue of theodicy, which is evidence it doesn't turn me against God.

It is not negativity towards God but negativity towards your theory! According to you, your all-powerful, all-good God designed a system that makes mistakes he can’t control, and designed “bad” bacteria and viruses he can’t control! I have proposed a different theory. He didn’t WANT to control the “bad” bacteria and viruses, and he didn’t WANT a perfect system, and – to continue the same theory - he didn’t WANT just one species and its food. I am proposing that the world and the history we know is what he WANTED. Nothing is permanent, species come and go, individuals come and go, all in a deliberately designed free-for-all. The problem of theodicy – if God is all good, why is there bad in the world? – simply disappears. What is bad for us is good for the bacteria and viruses that kill us. God himself (if he exists) is neither good nor bad. Such “humanizing” judgements are irrelevant and meaningless. He creates the free-for-all, and then lets it take its course. That doesn’t turn me against him! I am delighted to be part of the passing show, and I recognize that my very transience and that of all things material are integral to their value, whether there is a God or not.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Saturday, September 11, 2021, 15:29 (84 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Sorry, but this sounds to me like a disease caused by mistakes in the system. "Exceedingly rare"?

DAVID: Considering the constant turnover of living cells, even the mistakes that lead to cancer are the result of rare errors in the system.

dhw: I’m only surprised that you consider cancer to be an extremely rare awful disease.

I said rare errors!! Cancer is all too common as result, but thanks to a God-given brain we are curing over 80%

dhw: We are talking about theodicy – the question of why “bad” exists in a world created by a God who is said to be all “good”. You yourself introduced the subject of “mistakes” in the system (just one of many types of “bad” – you also have him deliberately designing murderous bacteria and viruses) – and then you moan because I raise the subject of “bad”! Of course you are limiting your God! You even claim that he tries to correct the errors but sometimes fails and so has left it to us to find ways of doing what he couldn’t do!

DAVID: Exactly. God knew errors would happen and designed very careful but not perfect editing systems.

This doesn’t sound like an all-powerful, all-knowing God to me.

DAVID: Your extreme negativity toward God shows clearly. Of course I introduced the issue of theodicy, which is evidence it doesn't turn me against God.

dhw: It is not negativity towards God but negativity towards your theory! According to you, your all-powerful, all-good God designed a system that makes mistakes he can’t control, and designed “bad” bacteria and viruses he can’t control! I have proposed a different theory. He didn’t WANT to control the “bad” bacteria and viruses, and he didn’t WANT a perfect system, and – to continue the same theory - he didn’t WANT just one species and its food. I am proposing that the world and the history we know is what he WANTED. Nothing is permanent, species come and go, individuals come and go, all in a deliberately designed free-for-all. The problem of theodicy – if God is all good, why is there bad in the world? – simply disappears. What is bad for us is good for the bacteria and viruses that kill us. God himself (if he exists) is neither good nor bad. Such “humanizing” judgements are irrelevant and meaningless. He creates the free-for-all, and then lets it take its course. That doesn’t turn me against him! I am delighted to be part of the passing show, and I recognize that my very transience and that of all things material are integral to their value, whether there is a God or not.

This fits Adler's estimate that the possibility of God caring about each of us is 50/50. But the other side of Adler uses our exceptionalism to prove God exists. I'm still with Adler. God works with purpose, and your free-for-all makes Him pointless. We will never agree here.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Sunday, September 12, 2021, 11:14 (83 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Considering the constant turnover of living cells, even the mistakes that lead to cancer are the result of rare errors in the system.

dhw: I’m only surprised that you consider cancer to be an extremely rare awful disease.

DAVID: I said rare errors!! Cancer is all too common as result, but thanks to a God-given brain we are curing over 80%.

What do you mean by “rare errors”, if the errors cause a disease that is common? Every instance of the disease is the result of an error! Your second comment reinforces your theory that your God could not prevent or correct some errors, and therefore left it to us humans to do what he couldn’t do. And yet you think he is all-powerful.

DAVID: Your extreme negativity toward God shows clearly. Of course I introduced the issue of theodicy, which is evidence it doesn't turn me against God.

dhw: According to you, your all-powerful, all-good God designed a system that makes mistakes he can’t control, and designed “bad” bacteria and viruses he can’t control! I have proposed a different theory. He didn’t WANT to control the “bad” bacteria and viruses, and he didn’t WANT a perfect system, and – to continue the same theory - he didn’t WANT just one species and its food. I am proposing that the world and the history we know is what he WANTED. Nothing is permanent, species come and go, individuals come and go, all in a deliberately designed free-for-all. The problem of theodicy – if God is all good, why is there bad in the world? – simply disappears. What is bad for us is good for the bacteria and viruses that kill us. God himself (if he exists) is neither good nor bad. Such “humanizing” judgements are irrelevant and meaningless. He creates the free-for-all, and then lets it take its course. That doesn’t turn me against him! I am delighted to be part of the passing show, and I recognize that my very transience and that of all things material are integral to their value, whether there is a God or not.

DAVID: This fits Adler's estimate that the possibility of God caring about each of us is 50/50. But the other side of Adler uses our exceptionalism to prove God exists…..

Good for Adler, and I’m delighted that my theory fits in with his.

DAVID: I'm still with Adler. God works with purpose, and your free-for-all makes Him pointless. We will never agree here.

I have always agreed that God, if he exists, works with purpose. But unless you tell me what his purpose was for producing humans, his production of humans becomes pointless! Your certainty that he enjoys creating, and watches his creations with interest, suggests to me that his purpose was to give himself the enjoyment of creating and to provide himself with interesting things to watch. And we humans, with our vast potential, must be very interesting to watch. Does Adler tell you what was God’s purpose for creating humans and all the life forms not connected with humans?

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Sunday, September 12, 2021, 15:23 (83 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Considering the constant turnover of living cells, even the mistakes that lead to cancer are the result of rare errors in the system.

dhw: I’m only surprised that you consider cancer to be an extremely rare awful disease.

DAVID: I said rare errors!! Cancer is all too common as result, but thanks to a God-given brain we are curing over 80%.

dhw: What do you mean by “rare errors”, if the errors cause a disease that is common? Every instance of the disease is the result of an error! Your second comment reinforces your theory that your God could not prevent or correct some errors, and therefore left it to us humans to do what he couldn’t do. And yet you think he is all-powerful.

You will remember molecular errors are rare when viewed against the constant high speed turnover of molecular shapes in trillions of cells in over seven billion humans. When cancer happens it all adds up to 20% of illnesses.


DAVID: Your extreme negativity toward God shows clearly. Of course I introduced the issue of theodicy, which is evidence it doesn't turn me against God.

dhw: According to you, your all-powerful, all-good God designed a system that makes mistakes he can’t control, and designed “bad” bacteria and viruses he can’t control! I have proposed a different theory. He didn’t WANT to control the “bad” bacteria and viruses, and he didn’t WANT a perfect system, and – to continue the same theory - he didn’t WANT just one species and its food. I am proposing that the world and the history we know is what he WANTED. Nothing is permanent, species come and go, individuals come and go, all in a deliberately designed free-for-all. The problem of theodicy – if God is all good, why is there bad in the world? – simply disappears. What is bad for us is good for the bacteria and viruses that kill us. God himself (if he exists) is neither good nor bad. Such “humanizing” judgements are irrelevant and meaningless. He creates the free-for-all, and then lets it take its course. That doesn’t turn me against him! I am delighted to be part of the passing show, and I recognize that my very transience and that of all things material are integral to their value, whether there is a God or not.

DAVID: This fits Adler's estimate that the possibility of God caring about each of us is 50/50. But the other side of Adler uses our exceptionalism to prove God exists…..

dhw: Good for Adler, and I’m delighted that my theory fits in with his.

DAVID: I'm still with Adler. God works with purpose, and your free-for-all makes Him pointless. We will never agree here.

dhw: I have always agreed that God, if he exists, works with purpose. But unless you tell me what his purpose was for producing humans, his production of humans becomes pointless! Your certainty that he enjoys creating, and watches his creations with interest, suggests to me that his purpose was to give himself the enjoyment of creating and to provide himself with interesting things to watch. And we humans, with our vast potential, must be very interesting to watch. Does Adler tell you what was God’s purpose for creating humans and all the life forms not connected with humans?

You have listed my guesses, and Adler gives none except the obvious. God produced human consciousness and we are so unusual God must exist.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Monday, September 13, 2021, 12:09 (82 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I’m only surprised that you consider cancer to be an extremely rare awful disease.

DAVID: I said rare errors!! Cancer is all too common as result, but thanks to a God-given brain we are curing over 80%.

dhw: What do you mean by “rare errors”, if the errors cause a disease that is common? Every instance of the disease is the result of an error! Your second comment reinforces your theory that your God could not prevent or correct some errors, and therefore left it to us humans to do what he couldn’t do. And yet you think he is all-powerful.

DAVID: You will remember molecular errors are rare when viewed against the constant high speed turnover of molecular shapes in trillions of cells in over seven billion humans. When cancer happens it all adds up to 20% of illnesses.

Our subject is theodicy – if God is all “good”, why is there so much “bad” in the world? If one of the many forms of “bad” is an awful disease, you are not answering the question by telling us that the disease is only 20% of illnesses, or that the “bad” is only rare compared to the “good”.

dhw: I have always agreed that God, if he exists, works with purpose. But unless you tell me what his purpose was for producing humans, his production of humans becomes pointless! Your certainty that he enjoys creating, and watches his creations with interest, suggests to me that his purpose was to give himself the enjoyment of creating and to provide himself with interesting things to watch. And we humans, with our vast potential, must be very interesting to watch. Does Adler tell you what was God’s purpose for creating humans and all the life forms not connected with humans?

DAVID: You have listed my guesses, and Adler gives none except the obvious. God produced human consciousness and we are so unusual God must exist.

So please stop hiding behind Adler. For the sake of all these discussions about theodicy, and about the possible nature and purposes of a possible God, we have to assume that God exists! And yes indeed, among your guesses was your certainty that God enjoys creating and that he watches us with interest. Why do you think this excludes the possibility that his purpose for creating life was to give himself the joy of creating, and to provide himself with something interesting to watch?

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Monday, September 13, 2021, 16:01 (82 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I’m only surprised that you consider cancer to be an extremely rare awful disease.

DAVID: I said rare errors!! Cancer is all too common as result, but thanks to a God-given brain we are curing over 80%.

dhw: What do you mean by “rare errors”, if the errors cause a disease that is common? Every instance of the disease is the result of an error! Your second comment reinforces your theory that your God could not prevent or correct some errors, and therefore left it to us humans to do what he couldn’t do. And yet you think he is all-powerful.

DAVID: You will remember molecular errors are rare when viewed against the constant high speed turnover of molecular shapes in trillions of cells in over seven billion humans. When cancer happens it all adds up to 20% of illnesses.

dhw: Our subject is theodicy – if God is all “good”, why is there so much “bad” in the world? If one of the many forms of “bad” is an awful disease, you are not answering the question by telling us that the disease is only 20% of illnesses, or that the “bad” is only rare compared to the “good”.

It depends on whether the glass is half empty or half full


dhw: I have always agreed that God, if he exists, works with purpose. But unless you tell me what his purpose was for producing humans, his production of humans becomes pointless! Your certainty that he enjoys creating, and watches his creations with interest, suggests to me that his purpose was to give himself the enjoyment of creating and to provide himself with interesting things to watch. And we humans, with our vast potential, must be very interesting to watch. Does Adler tell you what was God’s purpose for creating humans and all the life forms not connected with humans?

DAVID: You have listed my guesses, and Adler gives none except the obvious. God produced human consciousness and we are so unusual God must exist.

dhw: So please stop hiding behind Adler. For the sake of all these discussions about theodicy, and about the possible nature and purposes of a possible God, we have to assume that God exists! And yes indeed, among your guesses was your certainty that God enjoys creating and that he watches us with interest. Why do you think this excludes the possibility that his purpose for creating life was to give himself the joy of creating, and to provide himself with something interesting to watch?

Your God wants to pleasure Himself. Lets assume He is self-centered. He may just do His work is the alternate view and that is my view. It all depends upon the God one envisions.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 10:41 (81 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You will remember molecular errors are rare when viewed against the constant high speed turnover of molecular shapes in trillions of cells in over seven billion humans. When cancer happens it all adds up to 20% of illnesses.

dhw: Our subject is theodicy – if God is all “good”, why is there so much “bad” in the world? If one of the many forms of “bad” is an awful disease, you are not answering the question by telling us that the disease is only 20% of illnesses, or that the “bad” is only rare compared to the “good”.

DAVID: It depends on whether the glass is half empty or half full.

No it doesn’t! The problem of theodicy is not one of proportions! You seem to think that if the world was 51% “good” and 49% “bad”, that would mean the world is all “good”, and so the problem of theodicy disappears!

DAVID: You have listed my guesses, and Adler gives none except the obvious. God produced human consciousness and we are so unusual God must exist.

dhw: So please stop hiding behind Adler. For the sake of all these discussions about theodicy, and about the possible nature and purposes of a possible God, we have to assume that God exists! And yes indeed, among your guesses was your certainty that God enjoys creating and that he watches us with interest. Why do you think this excludes the possibility that his purpose for creating life was to give himself the joy of creating, and to provide himself with something interesting to watch?

DAVID: Your God wants to pleasure Himself. Lets assume He is self-centered. He may just do His work is the alternate view and that is my view. It all depends upon the God one envisions.

“He may just do his work” removes any purpose from his work, and you are the one who keeps hammering home that your God is purposeful! Creating humans – which you say is his one and only goal – is not a purpose in itself. He has to have a purpose for creating us – and the same applies to every other life form that ever existed, whether he designed them directly or created a mechanism to give them the freedom to design themselves. Of course one’s view of God depends on one’s view of God! And you have yourself told us he enjoys creating and he watches his creations with interest. So there’s one possible purpose. What’s wrong with it? You think a possible purpose is that your God wants us to admire his work, and maybe even to have a relationship with us. What’s wrong with that? Why must you use a negative term like “self-centred”, which denotes selfishness, lack of concern for others? When you helped your patients, and they expressed their gratitude and admiration for your brilliant work, did that turn you into a selfish brute? Why must you turn enjoyment of creation into “pleasure himself”, which sounds almost like masturbation? Anyway, let’s hear some more purposes that you imagine might have motivated your purposeful God.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 16:39 (81 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: So please stop hiding behind Adler. For the sake of all these discussions about theodicy, and about the possible nature and purposes of a possible God, we have to assume that God exists! And yes indeed, among your guesses was your certainty that God enjoys creating and that he watches us with interest. Why do you think this excludes the possibility that his purpose for creating life was to give himself the joy of creating, and to provide himself with something interesting to watch?

DAVID: Your God wants to pleasure Himself. Lets assume He is self-centered. He may just do His work is the alternate view and that is my view. It all depends upon the God one envisions.

dhw: “He may just do his work” removes any purpose from his work, and you are the one who keeps hammering home that your God is purposeful! Creating humans – which you say is his one and only goal – is not a purpose in itself. He has to have a purpose for creating us – and the same applies to every other life form that ever existed, whether he designed them directly or created a mechanism to give them the freedom to design themselves. Of course one’s view of God depends on one’s view of God! And you have yourself told us he enjoys creating and he watches his creations with interest. So there’s one possible purpose. What’s wrong with it? You think a possible purpose is that your God wants us to admire his work, and maybe even to have a relationship with us. What’s wrong with that? Why must you use a negative term like “self-centred”, which denotes selfishness, lack of concern for others? When you helped your patients, and they expressed their gratitude and admiration for your brilliant work, did that turn you into a selfish brute? Why must you turn enjoyment of creation into “pleasure himself”, which sounds almost like masturbation? Anyway, let’s hear some more purposes that you imagine might have motivated your purposeful God.

What you have mentioned about my quotes concerning God's thoughts behind his actions are all my guesswork, which you always forget to mention. My view of God is that He is obviously extremely clear as what He wants and produces it. We are His final result as He evolved the universe, the Earth, started and evolved life to final produce us. His image in my mind is nothing like your proposed thoughts He has as you present His personality. I don't need to list all the humanizing ways about God you imagine for Him. We cannot know if God does what He does for any sense of pleasing Himself in what He creates. We are then at a level of how humans think about themselves, and that cannot translate to God who is not human in any way. This is why I stay at a level of guesswork when thinking of His motives. We are the endpoint of all God has done. We are/were His purpose. We are the only creation that can recognize His existence and what He did. What He wanted to do or needed to do is our broad difference in thinking about Him.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 12:10 (80 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] you have yourself told us he enjoys creating and he watches his creations with interest. So there’s one possible purpose. What’s wrong with it? You think a possible purpose is that your God wants us to admire his work, and maybe even to have a relationship with us. What’s wrong with that? Why must you use a negative term like “self-centred”, which denotes selfishness, lack of concern for others? […] Why must you turn enjoyment of creation into “pleasure himself”, which sounds almost like masturbation? Anyway, let’s hear some more purposes that you imagine might have motivated your purposeful God.

DAVID: What you have mentioned about my quotes concerning God's thoughts behind his actions are all my guesswork, which you always forget to mention.

Of course it's guesswork. All your proposals and mine are "guesswork". Do you now wish to tell us that your guesswork and your fixed beliefs and your theories are a load of rubbish because they're guesswork, and we shouldn't discuss them any more?

DAVID: My view of God is that He is obviously extremely clear as what He wants and produces it. We are His final result as He evolved the universe, the Earth, started and evolved life to final produce us.

I agree. I have no objection to the fact that we are the latest life form to have evolved. However, you have agreed that all my proposals are logical theistic explanations of what he wants and how he produces it– in contrast to your own theory/proposal/ guess that his one and only purpose was to produce us, and therefore he first produced countless life forms plus foods that had no connection with us.

DAVID: His image in my mind is nothing like your proposed thoughts He has as you present His personality. I don't need to list all the humanizing ways about God you imagine for Him. We cannot know if God does what He does for any sense of pleasing Himself in what He creates. We are then at a level of how humans think about themselves, and that cannot translate to God who is not human in any way. This is why I stay at a level of guesswork when thinking of His motives.

We cannot know anything about God, including whether he exists. All I have done is take up two of your guesses and suggested that they might reflect his purpose. Why do you dismiss your own guesses? And what do you mean by “not human in any way”, when you have agreed over and over again that he probably/possibly has thought patterns similar to ours, and you are sure that we “mimic” him in many ways?

DAVID: We are the endpoint of all God has done. We are/were His purpose. We are the only creation that can recognize His existence and what He did.

And there you go again. His purpose according to you was to create a creature who would recognize His existence and what He did. Why would he want that? And why, yet again, if we were his one and only purpose, did he specially design all the life forms that had no connection with us?

Theodicy: protection from mutations

by David Turell @, Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 15:32 (80 days ago) @ dhw

Found in Archaea:

https://www.science.org/content/article/antiaging-advice-single-celled-creatures-build-...

"Microbes that live in hot springs and hydrothermal vents have long fascinated scientists for their ability to survive at temperatures exceeding 100°C. Now, these “extremophiles” are piquing interest for another reason: They may hold a clue to longevity in much more complex creatures, including people.

"A genetic mutation that keeps the proteinmaking machinery of these tiny organisms from making mistakes can extend life span in flies, worms, and yeast engineered to have the same DNA change, researchers have found. The discovery suggests errors in protein synthesis may be an important driver of aging—and a target for future drugs that promote healthier aging.

***

"Many studies of the causes of aging and disease have focused on the accumulation of mutations in genes—the blueprints for a cell’s proteins and other molecules. Far fewer have looked at glitches in how each blueprint gets translated, which can create faulty proteins, says Ivana Bjedov, a biologist at University College London who led the new work. “I always felt sorry for little proteins.”

"Key to translation is the ribosome, the cellular machinery that uses DNA’s instructions to assemble amino acids into proteins. When the ribosome makes a mistake, the resulting proteins may fold improperly, stick to other proteins, and sometimes cause damage to cells. (Misfolded or aggregated proteins are implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and others.) Cells routinely find and dispose of faulty proteins, yet this maintenance process breaks down as we age.

"So, would fewer translation mistakes increase longevity? Until the current study, “There was no proof that you could take an animal, improve translational fidelity, and make it live longer,” Gorbunova says.

"Bjedov and her team looked to a part of the ribosome known to be critical for accurate translation: a protein called RPS23. While analyzing genetic data from species across the tree of life—from cows to gut microbes—the researchers found the same amino acid at a key position in this ribosomal protein. But there was an exception: Certain species of single-celled organisms called archaea that thrive in extremely hot and acidic environments had a mutation that replaced this amino acid with another.

"Curious about the effects of this mutation, the researchers used the gene editor CRISPR to swap it into RPS23 genes of yeast, fruit flies, and the tiny roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. Organisms with the mutation had fewer protein synthesis errors than unmodified controls. All three types of organisms could also survive at higher temperatures.

"Most strikingly, the yeast cells, flies, and worms lived between 9% and 23% longer, the team reports today in Cell Metabolism. The mutants also seemed healthier as they aged: Compared with the control counterparts, older flies with the mutation were better able to climb and older modified worms produced more offspring.

"That improving protein synthesis with just one mutation also increased life span is “a pleasant surprise,” says Vadim Gladyshev, a molecular biologist at Harvard Medical School. In studies of aging and longevity, he says, “It’s easy to make things worse [with a single mutation], but it’s much more difficult to make them better.”

***

"Also unclear is why—if the mutation is so beneficial—only certain archaea species have it. One possibility: The genetic alteration comes with costs that might outweigh its benefits in less extreme environments. Hot conditions make proteins more prone to misfolding, which puts extra pressure on an organism to make accurate proteins, Cabreiro says. Putting the mutation into yeast, flies, and worms delayed their growth, he and his colleagues found. That could be costly if an organism needs to develop quickly to compete with other species for resources. (my bold)

Comment: This research can be applied to God's purposes in stopping translation errors. Note my bold. dhw will ask why God didn't do more. The answer is in the paragraph above concerning slowed growth.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 15:36 (80 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: What you have mentioned about my quotes concerning God's thoughts behind his actions are all my guesswork, which you always forget to mention.

dhw: Of course it's guesswork. All your proposals and mine are "guesswork". Do you now wish to tell us that your guesswork and your fixed beliefs and your theories are a load of rubbish because they're guesswork, and we shouldn't discuss them any more?

Just remember it is all guesswork when you quote them as supposed truth.


DAVID: His image in my mind is nothing like your proposed thoughts He has as you present His personality. I don't need to list all the humanizing ways about God you imagine for Him. We cannot know if God does what He does for any sense of pleasing Himself in what He creates. We are then at a level of how humans think about themselves, and that cannot translate to God who is not human in any way. This is why I stay at a level of guesswork when thinking of His motives.

dhw: We cannot know anything about God, including whether he exists. All I have done is take up two of your guesses and suggested that they might reflect his purpose. Why do you dismiss your own guesses? And what do you mean by “not human in any way”, when you have agreed over and over again that he probably/possibly has thought patterns similar to ours, and you are sure that we “mimic” him in many ways?

Remember, possible or probable and mimicking are guesse


DAVID: We are the endpoint of all God has done. We are/were His purpose. We are the only creation that can recognize His existence and what He did.

dhw: And there you go again. His purpose according to you was to create a creature who would recognize His existence and what He did. Why would he want that? And why, yet again, if we were his one and only purpose, did he specially design all the life forms that had no connection with us?

Your old problem: God chose to evolve us as history shows.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Thursday, September 16, 2021, 11:38 (79 days ago) @ David Turell

Protection from mutations
QUOTE: Also unclear is why—if the mutation is so beneficial—only certain archaea species have it. One possibility: The genetic alteration comes with costs that might outweigh its benefits in less extreme environments. Hot conditions make proteins more prone to misfolding […] (David’s bold)

DAVID: This research can be applied to God's purposes in stopping translation errors. Note my bold. dhw will ask why God didn't do more. The answer is in the paragraph above concerning slowed growth.

So God creates translation errors, and stops them by creating alterations which can cause more errors. May I humbly suggest that the whole process works in reverse: that organisms adapt to their conditions, and an adaptation that works in one environment won’t work in another. If God exists, it’s all part of his great design of a free-for-all.

DAVID: What you have mentioned about my quotes concerning God's thoughts behind his actions are all my guesswork, which you always forget to mention.

dhw: Of course it's guesswork. All your proposals and mine are "guesswork". Do you now wish to tell us that your guesswork and your fixed beliefs and your theories are a load of rubbish because they're guesswork, and we shouldn't discuss them any more?

DAVID: Just remember it is all guesswork when you quote them as supposed truth.

I’ve just agreed that it is all guesswork, but you express your guesses as beliefs (= supposed truth), whereas I present alternative theories, not fixed beliefs. You’ve now resorted to the fact that we can’t know the truth as a means of avoiding discussion of your own fixed beliefs and their illogical implications.

dhw: We cannot know anything about God, including whether he exists. All I have done is take up two of your guesses and suggested that they might reflect his purpose. Why do you dismiss your own guesses? And what do you mean by “not human in any way”, when you have agreed over and over again that he probably/possibly has thought patterns similar to ours, and you are sure that we “mimic” him in many ways?

DAVID: Remember, possible or probable and mimicking are guesses.

Once again: The existence of your God is also a guess, as are all your other fixed beliefs, such as his sole purpose being humans, his individual design of every life form, including all those that had no connection with humans, his good intentions, his omnipotence, his omniscience. How can you have such fixed beliefs when you know they are all guesses? And why do you try to dismiss those of your guesses that I use to formulate images of a possible God’s possible nature and purpose?

DAVID: We are the endpoint of all God has done. We are/were His purpose. We are the only creation that can recognize His existence and what He did.

dhw: And there you go again. His purpose according to you was to create a creature who would recognize His existence and what He did. Why would he want that? And why, yet again, if we were his one and only purpose, did he specially design all the life forms that had no connection with us?

DAVID: Your old problem: God chose to evolve us as history shows.

Your old problem: you can't answer the bolded question, and so you dodge it by leaving out half of your theory (we were his only purpose, and so he designed all those life forms that had no connection with us). This dodge and the dismissal of your own guesses if they don't fit in with your fixed beliefs make it all the more apparent that you cannot find any logic in your own theories of evolution and of theodicy.:-(

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 16, 2021, 17:48 (79 days ago) @ dhw

Protection from mutations
QUOTE: Also unclear is why—if the mutation is so beneficial—only certain archaea species have it. One possibility: The genetic alteration comes with costs that might outweigh its benefits in less extreme environments. Hot conditions make proteins more prone to misfolding […] (David’s bold)

DAVID: This research can be applied to God's purposes in stopping translation errors. Note my bold. dhw will ask why God didn't do more. The answer is in the paragraph above concerning slowed growth.

dhw: So God creates translation errors, and stops them by creating alterations which can cause more errors. May I humbly suggest that the whole process works in reverse: that organisms adapt to their conditions, and an adaptation that works in one environment won’t work in another. If God exists, it’s all part of his great design of a free-for-all.

Starts with false premise. Errors are spontaneous, not God's doing. Free-for-all is from your imagined strange unrecognizable god.


DAVID: What you have mentioned about my quotes concerning God's thoughts behind his actions are all my guesswork, which you always forget to mention.

dhw: Of course it's guesswork. All your proposals and mine are "guesswork". Do you now wish to tell us that your guesswork and your fixed beliefs and your theories are a load of rubbish because they're guesswork, and we shouldn't discuss them any more?

DAVID: Just remember it is all guesswork when you quote them as supposed truth.

dhw: I’ve just agreed that it is all guesswork, but you express your guesses as beliefs (= supposed truth), whereas I present alternative theories, not fixed beliefs. You’ve now resorted to the fact that we can’t know the truth as a means of avoiding discussion of your own fixed beliefs and their illogical implications.

We all have our own imagined visions of God. Of course I have fixed logical beliefs, whioe you are amorphous.


dhw: We cannot know anything about God, including whether he exists. All I have done is take up two of your guesses and suggested that they might reflect his purpose. Why do you dismiss your own guesses? And what do you mean by “not human in any way”, when you have agreed over and over again that he probably/possibly has thought patterns similar to ours, and you are sure that we “mimic” him in many ways?

DAVID: Remember, possible or probable and mimicking are guesses.

dh: Once again: The existence of your God is also a guess, as are all your other fixed beliefs, such as his sole purpose being humans, his individual design of every life form, including all those that had no connection with humans, his good intentions, his omnipotence, his omniscience. How can you have such fixed beliefs when you know they are all guesses? And why do you try to dismiss those of your guesses that I use to formulate images of a possible God’s possible nature and purpose?

My God fits logical conclusion s from His works.


DAVID: We are the endpoint of all God has done. We are/were His purpose. We are the only creation that can recognize His existence and what He did.

dhw: And there you go again. His purpose according to you was to create a creature who would recognize His existence and what He did. Why would he want that? And why, yet again, if we were his one and only purpose, did he specially design all the life forms that had no connection with us?

DAVID: Your old problem: God chose to evolve us as history shows.

dhw: Your old problem: you can't answer the bolded question, and so you dodge it by leaving out half of your theory (we were his only purpose, and so he designed all those life forms that had no connection with us). This dodge and the dismissal of your own guesses if they don't fit in with your fixed beliefs make it all the more apparent that you cannot find any logic in your own theories of evolution and of theodicy.:-(

Why can 't you accept that point that God chose to evolve us from bacteria over a long time. It is entirely logical to me. Your illogical complaint escapes me.

Theodicy: how cells really work, organized chaos

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 16, 2021, 19:41 (79 days ago) @ David Turell

The latest cellular research:

https://www.quantamagazine.org/biologists-rethink-the-logic-behind-cells-molecular-sign...

"Recently, by looking closely at the protein interactions within one key developmental pathway that shapes the embryos of humans and other complex animals, Elowitz and his co-workers have caught a glimpse of what the logic of complex life is really like. This pathway is a riot of molecular promiscuity that would make a libertine blush, where the component molecules can unite in many different combinations. It might seem futile to hope that this chaotic dance could convey any coherent signal to direct the fate of a cell. Yet this sort of helter-skelter coupling among biomolecules may be the norm, not some weird exception. In fact, it may be why multicellular life works at all.

***

"Yet this apparent chaos of interacting components is really a sophisticated signal-processing system that can extract information reliably and efficiently from complicated cocktails of signaling molecules. “Understanding cells’ natural combinatorial language could allow us to control [them] with much greater specificity than we have now,” he said. (my bold)

***

"What Elowitz and others are now bringing to light is how BMPs pull off this trick of being so mercurial while also behaving predictably enough for organisms to stake their lives on them. These qualities seem to emerge from the layers upon layers of complexity in the composition of the BMP system, and the flexible, variable affinities of those elements for one another. Paradoxically, the complexity makes the system both more precise and more reliable.

***

"It’s not simply the case, however, that each BMP dimer has designated receptors to which it binds like a lock and key. In fact, these molecules aren’t terribly choosy: Each BMP dimer may stick to several different pairs of receptor subunits with varying degrees of avidity. It’s a combinatorial system, in which the components can be assembled in many ways: less like locks and keys, more like Lego bricks.

***

"The possible permutations are exhausting to contemplate. How can the BMP pathway ever deliver a specific directive to guide a cell’s fate? With so much complexity, “it took a little unconventional thought to approach the problem,” said James Linton, a research scientist in Elowitz’s group.

***

"The interactions, although promiscuous, were far from “anything goes.” Certain BMPs had nearly interchangeable effects, but others did not. In some cases, one BMP plus two receptor subunits worked as well as an assembly of three different components. An assembly might work as well with one BMP swapped for another, but only if the receptor stayed the same. Sometimes two swapped components had independent effects, and their combined effect was a simple sum. Sometimes the effects mutually reinforced one another or canceled each other out.

***

“Our working hypothesis is that these ligand-receptor combinations have the potential to be more cell-type-specific than individual molecules,” said Elowitz.

***

:A pathway involving the family of proteins called Wnt, for example, often seems to operate alongside BMP signaling. “If you find BMP at work somewhere, it’s very likely that you’ll find Wnt,” Linton said. Sometimes the pathways are mutually antagonistic and sometimes they enhance each other. If the Wnt pathway follows similar combinatorial rules — a possibility that still needs to be explored experimentally, Elowitz stresses — then BMP and Wnt might help to refine each other’s signaling.

"Elowitz and his colleagues think that in this way, these kinds of combinatorial rules could represent a widespread “design principle” of the molecular wiring of cells.

***

“'Given that promiscuity did not have to exist, but is ubiquitous, the simplest and most reasonable assumption is that it is providing some functional capability,” Elowitz said.

"He thinks that capability is, at root, information processing. “Just as neurons wired together through axons and dendrites can perform complex information processing, so too can proteins wired together through biochemical interactions,” he said. It’s an insight that other scientists have also drawn from their studies of biochemical networks. (my bold)

***

"Heidi Klumpe, a member of Elowitz’s group said, “We think the cells are doing a more complex computation than previously thought.'”

Comment: if life works on organized chaos as it now seems, no wonder mistakes happen. This is the only system of life we know, and perhaps the only one that can work that God could create. And note information is processed. Massive article hard to edit. Read it all for full comprehension.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by dhw, Friday, September 17, 2021, 13:37 (78 days ago) @ David Turell

Protection from mutations
QUOTE: Also unclear is why—if the mutation is so beneficial—only certain archaea species have it. One possibility: The genetic alteration comes with costs that might outweigh its benefits in less extreme environments. Hot conditions make proteins more prone to misfolding […] (David’s bold)

DAVID: This research can be applied to God's purposes in stopping translation errors. Note my bold. dhw will ask why God didn't do more. The answer is in the paragraph above concerning slowed growth.

dhw: So God creates translation errors, and stops them by creating alterations which can cause more errors. May I humbly suggest that the whole process works in reverse: that organisms adapt to their conditions, and an adaptation that works in one environment won’t work in another. If God exists, it’s all part of his great design of a free-for-all.

DAVID: Starts with false premise. Errors are spontaneous, not God's doing. Free-for-all is from your imagined strange unrecognizable god.

If God created life from scratch, then clearly he created a system that would produce errors. If the errors are spontaneous and not of his doing, he must have created a free-for-all! Nobody knows what your God is like, so how can you possibly call my proposal “strange unrecognizable” – just because I propose that he may have designed a free-for-all instead of a puppet show?

Organized chaos
QUOTE: This pathway is a riot of molecular promiscuity that would make a libertine blush, where the component molecules can unite in many different combinations. It might seem futile to hope that this chaotic dance could convey any coherent signal to direct the fate of a cell. Yet this sort of helter-skelter coupling among biomolecules may be the norm, not some weird exception. In fact, it may be why multicellular life works at all.

What a wonderful description of how a free-for-all would work! Molecules and hence cells can unite in many different combinations (chaos) but they all work (organized), and that would explain how multicellular life diversifies into different species.

DAVID: if life works on organized chaos as it now seems, no wonder mistakes happen. This is the only system of life we know, and perhaps the only one that can work that God could create.

Of course mistakes happen in a free-for-all. And maybe that is precisely what your God wanted to create. Without “mistakes”, every creature would live for ever and ever! And theodicy problem also solved: God left his invention to develop in all the different ways we know of from life’s history, creating what was “good” for them, even if it was “bad” for others.

DAVID: What you have mentioned about my quotes concerning God's thoughts behind his actions are all my guesswork[…]

dhw[…] but you express your guesses as beliefs (= supposed truth), whereas I present alternative theories, not fixed beliefs. You’ve now resorted to the fact that we can’t know the truth as a means of avoiding discussion of your own fixed beliefs and their illogical implications.

DAVID: We all have our own imagined visions of God. Of course I have fixed logical beliefs, whioe you are amorphous.

In relation to the history of life and to theodicy, your fixed beliefs are so amorphous as to require an explanation from God, since you can’t find any logic behind his design of extinct life forms that have no connection with what you believe to have been his purpose (us), and your explanation of “bad” is that one day we shall find out that it’s all part of his “good intentions”.

DAVID: Remember, possible or probable and mimicking are guesses.

dhw: […] why do you try to dismiss those of your guesses that I use to formulate images of a possible God’s possible nature and purpose?

DAVID: My God fits logical conclusions from His works.

Your guesses include thought patterns similar to ours, enjoyment of creation, watching his creations with interest, wanting us to recognize his work, and wanting a relationship with him. Why do you try to dismiss them all when I use them to link his works to his purpose?

dhw: […] the dismissal of your own guesses if they don't fit in with your fixed beliefs make it all the more apparent that you cannot find any logic in your own theories of evolution and of theodicy.

DAVID: Why can't you accept that point that God chose to evolve us from bacteria over a long time. It is entirely logical to me. Your illogical complaint escapes me.

What you desperately try to escape from is your fixed belief that your God deliberately designed the “evolution” of ALL life forms from bacteria, including countless life forms that had no connection with humans (plus food), although his one and only purpose was to design humans (plus food). Please stop editing your theory in order to leave out its illogical components.

Theodicy: solution lies in definition of God

by David Turell @, Friday, September 17, 2021, 15:27 (78 days ago) @ dhw

Protection from mutations

DAVID: Starts with false premise. Errors are spontaneous, not God's doing. Free-for-all is from your imagined strange unrecognizable god.

dhw: If God created life from scratch, then clearly he created a system that would produce errors. If the errors are spontaneous and not of his doing, he must have created a free-for-all! Nobody knows what your God is like, so how can you possibly call my proposal “strange unrecognizable” – just because I propose that he may have designed a free-for-all instead of a puppet show?

You forget God recognized the possible error problem and our biochemical system is full of constant editing systems. Conclusion: God wanted a controlled system. You would not be your age if your body ran