Theodicy (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, October 06, 2020, 21:49 (19 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 (18 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 (18 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 (17 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 (17 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 (16 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 (16 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 (15 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 (15 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 (14 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 (14 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 (13 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 (13 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 (12 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 (12 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 (11 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 (11 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 (10 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 (10 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 (10 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 (9 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 (9 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 (8 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 (8 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 (7 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 (7 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (5 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 (4 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 (4 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 (3 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 (3 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 (3 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 (2 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 (1 day, 11 hours, 52 min. 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 (1 day, 2 hours, 44 min. 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 (6 hours, 48 minutes 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 (1 hours, 14 minutes 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.

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