A possible God's possible purpose and nature (The nature of a \'Creator\')

by dhw, Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 12:41 (149 days ago)

The article “Milky Way has a twin” raised some questions which might possibly take us into areas we have touched on rather than explored. It may well be that we shan’t make any further progress on the two subjects that form the heading, but I’ll set the ball rolling and we’ll see where it goes.

DAVID: This tells us a galaxy like ours exists and there must be others, and they could contain Earths. It doesn't disturb me if God is sponsoring life/humans in many places.

dhw: If God exists, I’d find it a bit strange that he would confine his interests to a single planet, let alone a single species plus food supply. One can’t help asking why else he would create the billions of galaxies. On the other hand, the more galaxies there are, the more Earths there will be. [Slightly edited here:] And the more Earths there are, the greater the chances of life eventually emerging in its simplest forms (see "extremophiles") and of simple forms starting the process of cooperation which eventually leads to evolution as we know it. But don’t get me wrong: I am still stuck on my fence! :-)

DAVID: That's OK. We agree multiple Earths are possible, even probable.

We do. And if we then speculate on what forms that life might take, we will be confronted by a whole raft of questions. For instance, the subject of a possible God’s purpose immediately springs to mind. If life elsewhere is limited to microbes, what would be the point? A planetful of nothing but bacteria, forever eating whatever there is to be eaten, doesn’t sound like much of a purpose. But – a side issue here – it would certainly strengthen the case for abiogenesis: if conditions were right, the necessary materials would automatically form themselves into primitive life, and perhaps in some cases primitive life would evolve into more complex life. No need for your God. However, we need not discuss that here (you will inevitably and understandably still opt for design), since our subject is going to be your God’s possible purpose and nature, not his existence.

If you believe that God did it all, and there are other Earths with other life forms, the less likely it becomes that we Earthlings are his focal point. Away goes the argument that Earth is special and we were your God’s one and only purpose. “Purpose” has always been a major issue between us. Even as an agnostic, I find it impossible to even think about your God without wondering why he would have created life (including humans, of course), and what this creation tells us about the nature of the creator. Our starting point, then, is the possibility of life elsewhere, and why it doesn’t “disturb” you, despite your belief that we are your God’s one and only purpose for creating the universe. However, for good measure, I will also add a factor which we have never included in our discussions, and that is your belief in an afterlife. That too raises the question why. What aspects of your God’s purpose and/or nature do you think an afterlife might reflect?

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 19:11 (148 days ago) @ dhw

The article “Milky Way has a twin” raised some questions which might possibly take us into areas we have touched on rather than explored. It may well be that we shan’t make any further progress on the two subjects that form the heading, but I’ll set the ball rolling and we’ll see where it goes.

DAVID: This tells us a galaxy like ours exists and there must be others, and they could contain Earths. It doesn't disturb me if God is sponsoring life/humans in many places.

dhw: If God exists, I’d find it a bit strange that he would confine his interests to a single planet, let alone a single species plus food supply. One can’t help asking why else he would create the billions of galaxies.

Why ask? I simple accept what we see as God's wish to create.


DAVID: We agree multiple Earths are possible, even probable.

dhw: We do. And if we then speculate on what forms that life might take, we will be confronted by a whole raft of questions. For instance, the subject of a possible God’s purpose immediately springs to mind. If life elsewhere is limited to microbes, what would be the point? A planetful of nothing but bacteria, forever eating whatever there is to be eaten, doesn’t sound like much of a purpose.

Why do you decide if life is on other Earth's it must be limited to bacteria?

dhw: But – a side issue here – it would certainly strengthen the case for abiogenesis: if conditions were right, the necessary materials would automatically form themselves into primitive life, and perhaps in some cases primitive life would evolve into more complex life.

Why do you jump to the conclusion it must be abiogenesis on these foreign Earths? Why can't God start life elsewhere? That is what I think. It doesn't disturb me. Why can't it even evolve to brilliant humans or their equivalent?

dhw: our subject is going to be your God’s possible purpose and nature, not his existence.

Excellent approach.


dhw: If you believe that God did it all, and there are other Earths with other life forms, the less likely it becomes that we Earthlings are his focal point. Away goes the argument that Earth is special and we were your God’s one and only purpose.

It doesn't 'go away' at all. We Earthlings are special focal point here. We can accept other Earths might be special and support life and might evolve specialized life forms comparable to humans. Why not? Why can't God have several focal points in the universe? It answers you unreasonable weird worry God made the universe unnecessarily too big.

dhw: “Purpose” has always been a major issue between us. Even as an agnostic, I find it impossible to even think about your God without wondering why he would have created life (including humans, of course), and what this creation tells us about the nature of the creator.

Well. What we have covered is we have minds that think, which makes us somewhat equal to God's mind and which allows our abstract theorizing to recognize the concept of a God.

dhw: Our starting point, then, is the possibility of life elsewhere, and why it doesn’t “disturb” you, despite your belief that we are your God’s one and only purpose for creating the universe.

Once we open up the possibility of other Earths with other possible humans, your limited misinterpretation of my overall theology quickly disappears. Human-similar forms doesn't bother me at all, as I've shown above.

dhw: However, for good measure, I will also add a factor which we have never included in our discussions, and that is your belief in an afterlife. That too raises the question why. What aspects of your God’s purpose and/or nature do you think an afterlife might reflect?

We both agree NDE's strongly suggest an afterlife. I have no problem with other human-similar forms having their own afterlife. Why should God treat other forms elsewhere in the universe in a different manner? Human-similar is to understand a thinking mind equal to ours, the extraordinary result of evolution once neurons were created. God has every right to create as many human-similars as He wishes.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Thursday, May 27, 2021, 13:53 (147 days ago) @ David Turell

On this thread, we are trying to work out what your God’s purposes and nature might be, basing our speculations on different possibilities. Previously you argued that he wished to create life because he wished to create humans and their food supply. But if there is no life elsewhere, he just wished to create billions of galaxies because….? If there IS life elsewhere, he wished to create it because…

dhw: If life elsewhere is limited to microbes, what would be the point? A planetful of nothing but bacteria, forever eating whatever there is to be eaten, doesn’t sound like much of a purpose.

DAVID: Why do you decide if life is on other Earth's it must be limited to bacteria?

It’s an “if”!!!! ONE of the possibilities. But it led to me to side-track, because that would strengthen the case for abiogenesis, unless you think your God’s “wish to create” would be satisfied with nothing but bacteria.

dhw: […] if conditions were right, the necessary materials would automatically form themselves into primitive life, and perhaps in some cases primitive life would evolve into more complex life.

DAVID: Why do you jump to the conclusion it must be abiogenesis on these foreign Earths?

It’s not a conclusion! If there is no life, then we are left with the insoluble question of why your God would create billions of galaxies in order to produce us. If there is nothing but primitive life, I am asking why God would bother. And so these two scenarios would strengthen the case (that is not a conclusion) for spontaneous generation. But it is a side issue, and perhaps I should not have raised it.

DAVID: Why can't God start life elsewhere? That is what I think. It doesn't disturb me. Why can't it even evolve to brilliant humans or their equivalent?

It could do. I’m considering all options and their implications for our vision of a possible God.

dhw: If you believe that God did it all, and there are other Earths with other life forms, the less likely it becomes that we Earthlings are his focal point. Away goes the argument that Earth is special and we were your God’s one and only purpose.

DAVID: It doesn't 'go away' at all. We Earthlings are special focal point here. We can accept other Earths might be special and support life and might evolve specialized life forms comparable to humans. Why not? Why can't God have several focal points in the universe? It answers you unreasonable weird worry God made the universe unnecessarily too big.

Yes, if millions of galaxies are home to millions of life forms, the size makes sense. But if you have millions of Earths with millions of human-like life forms, your God will have millions of focal points, and so the claim that we are a “special focal point here” – which has always been your contention – becomes a little unconvincing.

DAVID: What we have covered is we have minds that think, which makes us somewhat equal to God's mind and which allows our abstract theorizing to recognize the concept of a God.

I’m surprised that you use the word “equal”, even if qualified by “somewhat”, but it ties in with the notion that your God may have thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

dhw: Our starting point, then, is the possibility of life elsewhere, and why it doesn’t “disturb” you, despite your belief that we are your God’s one and only purpose for creating the universe.

DAVID: Once we open up the possibility of other Earths with other possible humans, your limited misinterpretation of my overall theology quickly disappears. Human-similar forms doesn't bother me at all, as I've shown above.

The questions I’m asking relate to the different options. No life at all begs the question: why such a big universe? Bacteria only: not much of a purpose, is it? Human-similar: that’s the really interesting one for us: why would he want to create humans? And also, since you believe in an afterlife:

dhw: What aspects of your God’s purpose and/or nature do you think an afterlife might reflect?

DAVID: We both agree NDE's strongly suggest an afterlife. I have no problem with other human-similar forms having their own afterlife. Why should God treat other forms elsewhere in the universe in a different manner? Human-similar is to understand a thinking mind equal to ours, the extraordinary result of evolution once neurons were created. God has every right to create as many human-similars as He wishes.

I am not questioning his right to do whatever he wishes. I am trying to delve into his possible reasons for doing what he does or might do. You emphatically believe that creating humans was his one and only purpose in creating life, and I really can’t believe that you have never asked yourself what might have been his purpose in creating humans or in letting you live on after the death of your body.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Thursday, May 27, 2021, 16:32 (147 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: On this thread, we are trying to work out what your God’s purposes and nature might be, basing our speculations on different possibilities. Previously you argued that he wished to create life because he wished to create humans and their food supply. But if there is no life elsewhere, he just wished to create billions of galaxies because….?

We don't know why God made this universe in this form. In my view God doesn't wish. He has a designer's purpose.

dhw: If there IS life elsewhere, he wished to create it because…

God does not wish. It is possible life is elsewhere and God designed it there. As stated before He may want humans or human-like elsewhere.

dhw: […] if conditions were right, the necessary materials would automatically form themselves into primitive life, and perhaps in some cases primitive life would evolve into more complex life.

DAVID: Why do you jump to the conclusion it must be abiogenesis on these foreign Earths?

dhw: It’s not a conclusion! If there is no life, then we are left with the insoluble question of why your God would create billions of galaxies in order to produce us. If there is nothing but primitive life, I am asking why God would bother. And so these two scenarios would strengthen the case (that is not a conclusion) for spontaneous generation. But it is a side issue, and perhaps I should not have raised it.

It is not a side issue, but your issue that understanding how the universe works in this form is insoluble. Let research go forward to find answers. Current human judgement is often wrong about God's so-called error/mistakes.


DAVID: Why can't God start life elsewhere? That is what I think. It doesn't disturb me. Why can't it even evolve to brilliant humans or their equivalent?

dhw: It could do. I’m considering all options and their implications for our vision of a possible God.

Some of your inventive options are currently without answers from research.


DAVID: We Earthlings are special focal point here. We can accept other Earths might be special and support life and might evolve specialized life forms comparable to humans. Why not? Why can't God have several focal points in the universe? It answers you unreasonable weird worry God made the universe unnecessarily too big.

dhw: Yes, if millions of galaxies are home to millions of life forms, the size makes sense. But if you have millions of Earths with millions of human-like life forms, your God will have millions of focal points, and so the claim that we are a “special focal point here” – which has always been your contention – becomes a little unconvincing.

Why can't God have multiple focal points? Not unconvincing at all. All we can know is this Earth.


dhw: The questions I’m asking relate to the different options. No life at all begs the question: why such a big universe? Bacteria only: not much of a purpose, is it? Human-similar: that’s the really interesting one for us: why would he want to create humans?

We've made multiple guesses as to His purpose. Lets not review.

dhw: And also, since you believe in an afterlife:

dhw: What aspects of your God’s purpose and/or nature do you think an afterlife might reflect?

DAVID: We both agree NDE's strongly suggest an afterlife. I have no problem with other human-similar forms having their own afterlife. Why should God treat other forms elsewhere in the universe in a different manner? Human-similar is to understand a thinking mind equal to ours, the extraordinary result of evolution once neurons were created. God has every right to create as many human-similars as He wishes.

dhw: I am not questioning his right to do whatever he wishes. I am trying to delve into his possible reasons for doing what he does or might do. You emphatically believe that creating humans was his one and only purpose in creating life, and I really can’t believe that you have never asked yourself what might have been his purpose in creating humans or in letting you live on after the death of your body.

It is a matter of acceptance, and your problem of doubt and questioning. It is amazing both you and I are here to debate. Dayenu.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Friday, May 28, 2021, 13:25 (146 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: On this thread, we are trying to work out what your God’s purposes and nature might be, basing our speculations on different possibilities. Previously you argued that he wished to create life because he wished to create humans and their food supply. But if there is no life elsewhere, he just wished to create billions of galaxies because….?

DAVID: We don't know why God made this universe in this form. In my view God doesn't wish. He has a designer's purpose.

May 26 @ 19.11:
dhw: If God exists, I’d find it a bit strange that he would confine his interests to a single planet, let alone a single species plus food supply. One can’t help asking why else he would create the billions of galaxies.

DAVID: Why ask? I simply accept what we see as God's wish to create.

He wished to create billions of galaxies, I ask why, and you tell me he doesn’t wish to create but he has a designer’s purpose. So...if there is no life or only primitive life elsewhere, why do you think he would have designed billions of galaxies?

dhw: If there IS life elsewhere, he wished to create it because...

DAVID: God does not wish. It is possible life is elsewhere and God designed it there. As stated before He may want humans or human-like elsewhere.

He couldn’t have “wished” to create them but he could have “wanted” to create them…and what’s more, he could have created them, and I am asking you why you think he might have done so. What is the point of telling us that your God has a designer’s purpose and then refusing to discuss what that purpose might be!

(I’m skipping the issue of abiogenesis, as that is a different topic.)

DAVID: Why can't God start life elsewhere? That is what I think. It doesn't disturb me. Why can't it even evolve to brilliant humans or their equivalent?

dhw: It could do. I’m considering all options and their implications for our vision of a possible God.

DAVID: Some of your inventive options are currently without answers from research.

Of course. If research had provided the answers, we would not need to discuss any of our subjects.

DAVID: We Earthlings are special focal point here. We can accept other Earths might be special and support life and might evolve specialized life forms comparable to humans. Why not? Why can't God have several focal points in the universe? It answers you unreasonable weird worry God made the universe unnecessarily too big.

dhw: Yes, if millions of galaxies are home to millions of life forms, the size makes sense. But if you have millions of Earths with millions of human-like life forms, your God will have millions of focal points, and so the claim that we are a “special focal point here” – which has always been your contention – becomes a little unconvincing.

DAVID: Why can't God have multiple focal points? Not unconvincing at all. All we can know is this Earth.

True. But it was you who brought our attention to the possibility of life among the other billions of galaxies, and so I thought it might be worth discussing the possible implications. This one seems to be that unless there are more humans out there, even you can't think why he would have designed the billions of galaxies. I thought your explanation that it was simply due to “God’s wish to create” might be well worth developing, but presumably you’ve now decided you’d rather not go down that road! I wonder why.

dhw: The questions I’m asking relate to the different options. No life at all begs the question: why such a big universe? Bacteria only: not much of a purpose, is it? Human-similar: that’s the really interesting one for us: why would he want to create humans?

DAVID: We've made multiple guesses as to His purpose. Lets not review.

dhw: And also, since you believe in an afterlife: What aspects of your God’s purpose and/or nature do you think an afterlife might reflect?

DAVID: It is a matter of acceptance, and your problem of doubt and questioning. It is amazing both you and I are here to debate. Dayenu.

I agree that it’s amazing. But there’s not much point in our being here to debate if you simply say we must accept your belief that God exists, designed every species de novo, his sole intention was to design humans, he must have had a “good” reason for designing all the “bad” bacteria and viruses, and we are going to live on after death but we shouldn’t ask why.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Friday, May 28, 2021, 16:30 (146 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Why ask? I simply accept what we see as God's wish to create.

dhw: He wished to create billions of galaxies, I ask why, and you tell me he doesn’t wish to create but he has a designer’s purpose. So...if there is no life or only primitive life elsewhere, why do you think he would have designed billions of galaxies?

We don't know the answer, but I accept them as part of God's purpose in design.


dhw: If there IS life elsewhere, he wished to create it because...

DAVID: God does not wish. It is possible life is elsewhere and God designed it there. As stated before He may want humans or human-like elsewhere.

dhw: He couldn’t have “wished” to create them but he could have “wanted” to create them…and what’s more, he could have created them, and I am asking you why you think he might have done so. What is the point of telling us that your God has a designer’s purpose and then refusing to discuss what that purpose might be!

Same thought. 'We don't know the answer, but I accept them as part of God's purpose in design.' To know requires more research, not guesses.

DAVID: Why can't God start life elsewhere? That is what I think. It doesn't disturb me. Why can't it even evolve to brilliant humans or their equivalent?

dhw: It could do. I’m considering all options and their implications for our vision of a possible God.

DAVID: Some of your inventive options are currently without answers from research.

dhw: Of course. If research had provided the answers, we would not need to discuss any of our subjects.

DAVID: We Earthlings are special focal point here. We can accept other Earths might be special and support life and might evolve specialized life forms comparable to humans. Why not? Why can't God have several focal points in the universe? It answers you unreasonable weird worry God made the universe unnecessarily too big.

dhw: Yes, if millions of galaxies are home to millions of life forms, the size makes sense. But if you have millions of Earths with millions of human-like life forms, your God will have millions of focal points, and so the claim that we are a “special focal point here” – which has always been your contention – becomes a little unconvincing.

DAVID: Why can't God have multiple focal points? Not unconvincing at all. All we can know is this Earth.

dhw: True. But it was you who brought our attention to the possibility of life among the other billions of galaxies, and so I thought it might be worth discussing the possible implications. This one seems to be that unless there are more humans out there, even you can't think why he would have designed the billions of galaxies. I thought your explanation that it was simply due to “God’s wish to create” might be well worth developing, but presumably you’ve now decided you’d rather not go down that road! I wonder why.

You are implying, without any reason, that God just creates for the sake of creating, when I have clearly proposed God is very purposeful in creating what He wishes to create, as in a goal of humans.


dhw: The questions I’m asking relate to the different options. No life at all begs the question: why such a big universe? Bacteria only: not much of a purpose, is it? Human-similar: that’s the really interesting one for us: why would he want to create humans?

DAVID: We've made multiple guesses as to His purpose. Lets not review.

dhw: And also, since you believe in an afterlife: What aspects of your God’s purpose and/or nature do you think an afterlife might reflect?

DAVID: It is a matter of acceptance, and your problem of doubt and questioning. It is amazing both you and I are here to debate. Dayenu.

dhw: I agree that it’s amazing. But there’s not much point in our being here to debate if you simply say we must accept your belief that God exists, designed every species de novo, his sole intention was to design humans, he must have had a “good” reason for designing all the “bad” bacteria and viruses, and we are going to live on after death but we shouldn’t ask why.

That is the point of Dayenu. You are agnostic, I'm a believer. Why? You want some logical answers to some unanswerable questions. I am willing to accept the unexplained facts and assume our future human research will elucidate God's reasons.

But we are way off the main point. Does the possibility or probability of humans elsewhere cause theological disturbance. It makes Earth humans less special, or does it. I don't think
so.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Saturday, May 29, 2021, 12:23 (146 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Why ask? I simply accept what we see as God's wish to create.
DAVID: In my view God doesn’t wish.
DAVID: God does not wish.

dhw: He wished to create billions of galaxies, I ask why, and you tell me he doesn’t wish to create but he has a designer’s purpose. So...if there is no life or only primitive life elsewhere, why do you think he would have designed billions of galaxies?

DAVID: We don't know the answer, but I accept them as part of God's purpose in design.

We all “accept” their existence. You believe he designed them with a purpose, but without humans you can’t think what that purpose might be.

DAVID: To know requires more research, not guesses.

Of course we don’t “know” the answers. That’s what this website is all about – the questions to which we do not have answers! But you’re happy enough to “guess” that your God’s purpose was to produce humans, as in our third scenario:

DAVID: We Earthlings are special focal point here. We can accept other Earths might be special and support life and might evolve specialized life forms comparable to humans. Why not? Why can't God have several focal points in the universe? It answers you unreasonable weird worry God made the universe unnecessarily too big.

dhw: […] But if you have millions of Earths with millions of human-like life forms, your God will have millions of focal points, and so the claim that we are a “special focal point here” – which has always been your contention – becomes a little unconvincing.

DAVID: Why can't God have multiple focal points? Not unconvincing at all. All we can know is this Earth.

dhw: True. But it was you who brought our attention to the possibility of life among the other billions of galaxies, and so I thought it might be worth discussing the possible implications. This one seems to be that unless there are more humans out there, even you can't think why he would have designed the billions of galaxies. I thought your explanation that it was simply due to “God’s wish to create” might be well worth developing, but presumably you’ve now decided you’d rather not go down that road! I wonder why.

DAVID: You are implying, without any reason, that God just creates for the sake of creating, when I have clearly proposed God is very purposeful in creating what He wishes to create, as in a goal of humans.

It was you who told us that “I simply accept what we see as God's wish to create.” I agree that if he exists, he must have a purpose! And I see no reason why a God who “wishes to create” should not create for the purpose of fulfilling his wish to create. But your guess is that he created the universe in order to create humans, and so I ask why you think your purposeful God would have wanted to create galaxies (a) without life or with only with primitive life, or (b) with humans or their like. Then all of a sudden, your rigid belief in your guess that humans were the purpose turns into a refusal to guess at his purpose for any of these, because that would only be a guess and not knowledge! (“To know requires more research, not guesses.”)

DAVID: It is amazing both you and I are here to debate.

dhw: ...there’s not much point in our being here to debate if you simply say we must accept your belief that God exists, designed every species de novo, his sole intention was to design humans, he must have had a “good” reason for designing all the “bad” bacteria and viruses, and we are going to live on after death but we shouldn’t ask why.

DAVID: […] That is the point of Dayenu. You are agnostic, I'm a believer. Why? You want some logical answers to some unanswerable questions. I am willing to accept the unexplained facts and assume our future human research will elucidate God's reasons.

My agnosticism has nothing to do with it. You believe your own guesses, as listed above – none of which have been confirmed by human research – and you refuse to answer questions about their logicality and to consider alternatives which even you acknowledge as being logical.

DAVID: But we are way off the main point. Does the possibility or probability of humans elsewhere cause theological disturbance. It makes Earth humans less special, or does it. I don't think so.

Yes, the point of this thread is to discuss possible purposes and what they might tell us about your God’s nature. I have listed three options: no life, primitive life, sophisticated life. No life and primitive life leave us with the problem of why God would bother. Sophisticated life knocks on the head the theory that we humans are his only purpose – but that is not a “theological disturbance”. It is a disturbance to your theory that God created the universe just for us humans. And you are still left with the question of what your purposeful God’s purpose might be in creating all these galaxies with no life, primitive life, or human-like life, which somewhat confusingly he wished to create but did not wish to create.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Saturday, May 29, 2021, 19:03 (145 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: We don't know the answer, but I accept them as part of God's purpose in design.

dhw: We all “accept” their existence. You believe he designed them with a purpose, but without humans you can’t think what that purpose might be.

I view the entire universe as fine-tuned to allow life. Like your approach to evolution you are now slicing up the universe into differing unrelated parts. I view it as all related to the purpose of allowing life to appear.

DAVID: You are implying, without any reason, that God just creates for the sake of creating, when I have clearly proposed God is very purposeful in creating what He wishes to create, as in a goal of humans.

dhw> It was you who told us that “I simply accept what we see as God's wish to create.” I agree that if he exists, he must have a purpose!...But your guess is that he created the universe in order to create humans, and so I ask why you think your purposeful God would have wanted to create galaxies (a) without life or with only with primitive life, or (b) with humans or their like. Then all of a sudden, your rigid belief in your guess that humans were the purpose turns into a refusal to guess at his purpose for any of these, because that would only be a guess and not knowledge! (“To know requires more research, not guesses.”)

Of course, to fully understand the universe requires more knowledge from research. We are here on Earth and I've said others like us may be elsewhere. God has created deeply observant, very thoughtful humans. That was obviously a purpose that Adler uses to prove God's existence. The type of universe we have allows life. And all you want is unanswerable answers using your God-given human inquiring mind when such minds in the past have been wrong about what God has invented by claiming poor design.


DAVID: It is amazing both you and I are here to debate.

dhw: ...there’s not much point in our being here to debate if you simply say we must accept your belief that God exists, designed every species de novo, his sole intention was to design humans, he must have had a “good” reason for designing all the “bad” bacteria and viruses, and we are going to live on after death but we shouldn’t ask why.

DAVID: […] That is the point of Dayenu. You are agnostic, I'm a believer. Why? You want some logical answers to some unanswerable questions. I am willing to accept the unexplained facts and assume our future human research will elucidate God's reasons.

dhw: My agnosticism has nothing to do with it. You believe your own guesses, as listed above – none of which have been confirmed by human research – and you refuse to answer questions about their logicality and to consider alternatives which even you acknowledge as being logical.

I believe my own conclusions based on the evidence I have reviewed. You ask me for guessed-at opinions and I have constantly refused and then you blame me for not wanting to discuss. Please accept that much of what you would like to know is unanswerable.


DAVID: But we are way off the main point. Does the possibility or probability of humans elsewhere cause theological disturbance. It makes Earth humans less special, or does it? I don't think so.

dhw: Yes, the point of this thread is to discuss possible purposes and what they might tell us about your God’s nature. I have listed three options: no life, primitive life, sophisticated life. No life and primitive life leave us with the problem of why God would bother. Sophisticated life knocks on the head the theory that we humans are his only purpose – but that is not a “theological disturbance”. It is a disturbance to your theory that God created the universe just for us humans. And you are still left with the question of what your purposeful God’s purpose might be in creating all these galaxies with no life, primitive life, or human-like life, which somewhat confusingly he wished to create but did not wish to create.

The confusion, as usual, is yours. The bold makes the point. My view is not described in the bold. If God wanted to produce humans and they are everywhere in the universe that is OK with my theological theories. If humans are only here that is OK. This universe is fine-tuned for life. I don't question God's work, while you unreasonably do. Wait for research to explain. I can. Can you?

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Sunday, May 30, 2021, 12:40 (145 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: …if there is no life or only primitive life elsewhere, why do you think he would have designed billions of galaxies? [See later for humans elsewhere.]

DAVID: I view the entire universe as fine-tuned to allow life. Like your approach to evolution you are now slicing up the universe into differing unrelated parts. I view it as all related to the purpose of allowing life to appear.

And here I am asking why you think the billions of both extant and extinct galaxies (lifeless or only with primitive life) all had to be created just to allow humans to appear on Earth. Your answer is the same as your answer on evolution (why did your God specially design all the life forms unconnected with humans?): “we don’t know the answer, but I accept them as part of God’s purpose.” No you don’t “accept” – that presupposes you know you are right that they are part of the purpose you impose on him. That is your BELIEF. And you can’t find any logical justification for it.

DAVID: You are implying, without any reason, that God just creates for the sake of creating, when I have clearly proposed God is very purposeful in creating what He wishes to create, as in a goal of humans.

dhw: […] I agree that if he exists, he must have a purpose!...But your guess is that he created the universe in order to create humans, and so I ask why you think your purposeful God would have wanted to create galaxies (a) without life or with only with primitive life, or (b) with humans or their like. Then all of a sudden, your rigid belief in your guess that humans were the purpose turns into a refusal to guess at his purpose for any of these, because that would only be a guess and not knowledge! (“To know requires more research, not guesses.”)

DAVID: Of course, to fully understand the universe requires more knowledge from research. We are here on Earth and I've said others like us may be elsewhere. God has created deeply observant, very thoughtful humans. That was obviously a purpose that Adler uses to prove God's existence. The type of universe we have allows life. And all you want is unanswerable answers using your God-given human inquiring mind when such minds in the past have been wrong about what God has invented by claiming poor design.

On this thread, we are not discussing God’s existence but his possible purpose and nature. “Poor design” is irrelevant. If it will help you to stick to the subject, I will grant you that life is brilliantly designed. I am merely asking you what you think might be the purpose of billions of barren galaxies, and galaxies with nothing but primitive life. And if there are human-type beings elsewhere, what do you think is your purposeful God’s purpose in designing them? We’ll leave out theodicy for now.

DAVID: I believe my own conclusions based on the evidence I have reviewed. You ask me for guessed-at opinions and I have constantly refused and then you blame me for not wanting to discuss. Please accept that much of what you would like to know is unanswerable.

Everything that I would like to know is unanswerable – right through to the existence of God. But you have fixed views, despite the fact that all your conclusions are “guessed-at opinions”. You are quite prepared to guess at your God’s existence, his good intentions, his absolute control, his design of all species “de novo” – despite your belief in “common descent” – as part of his one and only goal to design humans, and his creation of billions of galaxies to allow life to appear, even if that life is confined to one planet in one galaxy. So surely it’s not unfair of me to ask you to explain why you think he would have designed all the galaxies for just one species (plus food supply) or, even if there are more of us elsewhere, why he wanted to design us in the first place? We both agree that if God exists, he must be purposeful, so why do you blame me for wanting to discuss your “guessed-at opinions” and possible alternatives? […]

DAVID: […]This universe is fine-tuned for life. I don't question God's work, while you unreasonably do. Wait for research to explain. I can. Can you?

I do not question the existence of billions of galaxies, which are God’s work if he exists. I question your concept of your purposeful God’s purpose for designing them. You have left the first two options unanswered (no life or just primitive life), and if the third option is correct, you refuse to guess what your purposeful God’s purpose might be in creating human-type life. You did offer an answer to all these questions earlier: “I simply accept what we see as God’s wish to create”. You then denied that God wished for anything, and so perhaps we can clear up some of the confusion if you explain what you meant by “God’s wish to create”.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Sunday, May 30, 2021, 16:17 (144 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I view the entire universe as fine-tuned to allow life. Like your approach to evolution you are now slicing up the universe into differing unrelated parts. I view it as all related to the purpose of allowing life to appear.

dhw: And here I am asking why you think the billions of both extant and extinct galaxies (lifeless or only with primitive life) all had to be created just to allow humans to appear on Earth. Your answer is the same as your answer on evolution (why did your God specially design all the life forms unconnected with humans?): “we don’t know the answer, but I accept them as part of God’s purpose.” No you don’t “accept” – that presupposes you know you are right that they are part of the purpose you impose on him. That is your BELIEF. And you can’t find any logical justification for it.

I have to remind you, I started as an agnostic and developed belief from the evidence in my two books and presented here. Evidence beyond a reasonable doubt for me.


DAVID: Of course, to fully understand the universe requires more knowledge from research. We are here on Earth and I've said others like us may be elsewhere. God has created deeply observant, very thoughtful humans. That was obviously a purpose that Adler uses to prove God's existence. The type of universe we have allows life. And all you want is unanswerable answers using your God-given human inquiring mind when such minds in the past have been wrong about what God has invented by claiming poor design.

dhw: On this thread, we are not discussing God’s existence but his possible purpose and nature...If it will help you to stick to the subject, I will grant you that life is brilliantly designed. I am merely asking you what you think might be the purpose of billions of barren galaxies, and galaxies with nothing but primitive life. And if there are human-type beings elsewhere, what do you think is your purposeful God’s purpose in designing them? We’ll leave out theodicy for now.

And I've told you I do not know why the universe is so huge. It allows life to appear. Explanation requires more human research. What we can say it was God's purpose to create life.


DAVID: I believe my own conclusions based on the evidence I have reviewed. You ask me for guessed-at opinions and I have constantly refused and then you blame me for not wanting to discuss. Please accept that much of what you would like to know is unanswerable.

dhw: Everything that I would like to know is unanswerable – right through to the existence of God. But you have fixed views, despite the fact that all your conclusions are “guessed-at opinions”. You are quite prepared to guess at your God’s existence, his good intentions, his absolute control, his design of all species “de novo” – despite your belief in “common descent” – as part of his one and only goal to design humans, and his creation of billions of galaxies to allow life to appear, even if that life is confined to one planet in one galaxy. So surely it’s not unfair of me to ask you to explain why you think he would have designed all the galaxies for just one species (plus food supply) or, even if there are more of us elsewhere, why he wanted to design us in the first place? We both agree that if God exists, he must be purposeful, so why do you blame me for wanting to discuss your “guessed-at opinions” and possible alternatives?

I know much of what answers you would like to know factually is not known yet. You are always asking for guesswork. The answer still is as from above: "And I've told you I do not know why the universe is so huge. It allows life to appear. Explanation requires more human research. What we can say it was God's [obvious] purpose to create life."


DAVID: […]This universe is fine-tuned for life. I don't question God's work, while you unreasonably do. Wait for research to explain. I can. Can you?

dhw: I do not question the existence of billions of galaxies, which are God’s work if he exists. I question your concept of your purposeful God’s purpose for designing them. You have left the first two options unanswered (no life or just primitive life), and if the third option is correct, you refuse to guess what your purposeful God’s purpose might be in creating human-type life. You did offer an answer to all these questions earlier: “I simply accept what we see as God’s wish to create”. You then denied that God wished for anything, and so perhaps we can clear up some of the confusion if you explain what you meant by “God’s wish to create”.

God is the Creator. Of course He wishes to create. And He doesn't just create anything, but results that achieve His purposes defined as the bush of life and finally humans by the process of a designed evolutionary process.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Monday, May 31, 2021, 11:29 (144 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I view the entire universe as fine-tuned to allow life. Like your approach to evolution you are now slicing up the universe into differing unrelated parts. I view it as all related to the purpose of allowing life to appear.

dhw: And here I am asking why you think the billions of both extant and extinct galaxies (lifeless or only with primitive life) all had to be created just to allow humans to appear on Earth. Your answer is the same as your answer on evolution (why did your God specially design all the life forms unconnected with humans?): “we don’t know the answer, but I accept them as part of God’s purpose.” No you don’t “accept” – that presupposes you know you are right that they are part of the purpose you impose on him. That is your BELIEF. And you can’t find any logical justification for it.

DAVID: I have to remind you, I started as an agnostic and developed belief from the evidence in my two books and presented here. Evidence beyond a reasonable doubt for me.

That is evidence for the existence of your God - not for your theories concerning his possible purpose, method and nature. In any case, why are you telling me this? I started as a practising Jew and became an agnostic. Darwin started as a practising Christian and became an agnostic. Why do you think your history gives your beliefs concerning your God’s purpose and nature more authenticity than any other version, especially when you can’t even find any logic behind some of them but reject other possible explanations which even you agree are logical?

dhw: I am merely asking you what you think might be the purpose of billions of barren galaxies, and galaxies with nothing but primitive life. And if there are human-type beings elsewhere, what do you think is your purposeful God’s purpose in designing them? We’ll leave out theodicy for now.

DAVID: And I've told you I do not know why the universe is so huge. It allows life to appear. Explanation requires more human research. What we can say it was God's [OBVIOUS] purpose to create life.

If God exists, then of course he would have created life on purpose. But you insist on going far, far beyond that obvious statement, and you “guess” the purpose (to create humans), the method (to design millions of life forms de novo that had nothing to do with humans), that your God is always in control, would not have wanted a free-for-all, must have had a “good” or “beneficial” reason for designing murderous bacteria and viruses, and would have designed all the billions of galaxies extant and extinct, lifeless or otherwise, in order to design humans or their like, but we mustn’t ask why because that involves guesswork!

dhw: You did offer an answer to all these questions earlier: “I simply accept what we see as God’s wish to create”. You then denied that God wished for anything, and so perhaps we can clear up some of the confusion if you explain what you meant by “God’s wish to create”.

DAVID: God is the Creator. Of course He wishes to create. And He doesn't just create anything, but results that achieve His purposes defined as the bush of life and finally humans by the process of a designed evolutionary process.

And you guess that the purpose of your purposeful God’s wish to create the whole bush of life (99% of which had no connection with humans), and to finally design humans was….???

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Monday, May 31, 2021, 16:25 (143 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I have to remind you, I started as an agnostic and developed belief from the evidence in my two books and presented here. Evidence beyond a reasonable doubt for me.

dhw: That is evidence for the existence of your God - not for your theories concerning his possible purpose, method and nature. In any case, why are you telling me this? I started as a practising Jew and became an agnostic. Darwin started as a practising Christian and became an agnostic. Why do you think your history gives your beliefs concerning your God’s purpose and nature more authenticity than any other version, especially when you can’t even find any logic behind some of them but reject other possible explanations which even you agree are logical?

We've covered the issue that your concept of God is not my concept and I accept your theories as representative logically of your form of God. You won't accept mine, I assume as too God-like.


dhw: I am merely asking you what you think might be the purpose of billions of barren galaxies, and galaxies with nothing but primitive life. And if there are human-type beings elsewhere, what do you think is your purposeful God’s purpose in designing them? We’ll leave out theodicy for now.

DAVID: And I've told you I do not know why the universe is so huge. It allows life to appear. Explanation requires more human research. What we can say it was God's [OBVIOUS] purpose to create life.

dhw: If God exists, then of course he would have created life on purpose. But you insist on going far, far beyond that obvious statement, and you “guess” the purpose (to create humans), the method (to design millions of life forms de novo that had nothing to do with humans), that your God is always in control, would not have wanted a free-for-all, must have had a “good” or “beneficial” reason for designing murderous bacteria and viruses, and would have designed all the billions of galaxies extant and extinct, lifeless or otherwise, in order to design humans or their like, but we mustn’t ask why because that involves guesswork!

You are simply, unreasonably, questioning why reality exists as it is. My view is God created all of it reasonably for His purposes


dhw: You did offer an answer to all these questions earlier: “I simply accept what we see as God’s wish to create”. You then denied that God wished for anything, and so perhaps we can clear up some of the confusion if you explain what you meant by “God’s wish to create”.

DAVID: God is the Creator. Of course He wishes to create. And He doesn't just create anything, but results that achieve His purposes defined as the bush of life and finally humans by the process of a designed evolutionary process.

dhw: And you guess that the purpose of your purposeful God’s wish to create the whole bush of life (99% of which had no connection with humans), and to finally design humans was….???

So you and I could be here to do battle. If we only could ask God for direct answers. I've offered reasonable answers to your questions which your rigidly closed mind won't accept.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Tuesday, June 01, 2021, 13:27 (142 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I have to remind you, I started as an agnostic and developed belief from the evidence in my two books and presented here. Evidence beyond a reasonable doubt for me.

dhw: That is evidence for the existence of your God - not for your theories concerning his possible purpose, method and nature. In any case, why are you telling me this? I started as a practising Jew and became an agnostic. Darwin started as a practising Christian and became an agnostic. Why do you think your history gives your beliefs concerning your God’s purpose and nature more authenticity than any other version, especially when you can’t even find any logic behind some of them but reject other possible explanations which even you agree are logical?

DAVID: We've covered the issue that your concept of God is not my concept and I accept your theories as representative logically of your form of God. You won't accept mine, I assume as too God-like.

What do you mean by “too God-like”? You have no more idea than I have of what God is like. I offer alternative views, but you simply assume that because you started as an agnostic and ended up as a panentheist, your subjective view of your God’s purpose and nature must be true, and other views are to be dismissed, even if they are logical.

dhw: I am merely asking you what you think might be the purpose of billions of barren galaxies, and galaxies with nothing but primitive life. And if there are human-type beings elsewhere, what do you think is your purposeful God’s purpose in designing them? We’ll leave out theodicy for now.

DAVID: And I've told you I do not know why the universe is so huge. It allows life to appear. Explanation requires more human research. What we can say it was God's [OBVIOUS] purpose to create life.

dhw: If God exists, then of course he would have created life on purpose. But you insist on going far, far beyond that obvious statement, and you “guess” the purpose (to create humans), the method (to design millions of life forms de novo that had nothing to do with humans), that your God is always in control, would not have wanted a free-for-all, must have had a “good” or “beneficial” reason for designing murderous bacteria and viruses, and would have designed all the billions of galaxies extant and extinct, lifeless or otherwise, in order to design humans or their like, but we mustn’t ask why because that involves guesswork!

DAVID: You are simply, unreasonably, questioning why reality exists as it is. My view is God created all of it reasonably for His purposes.

If God exists, then of course he created all of it reasonably for his purposes. And now we are trying to work out what those purposes and his nature might be in the light of what he created. Above I have listed some of your guesses, and I am simply, reasonably, questioning the logic of those guesses.

dhw: You did offer an answer to all these questions earlier: “I simply accept what we see as God’s wish to create”. You then denied that God wished for anything, and so perhaps we can clear up some of the confusion if you explain what you meant by “God’s wish to create”.

DAVID: God is the Creator. Of course He wishes to create. And He doesn't just create anything, but results that achieve His purposes defined as the bush of life and finally humans by the process of a designed evolutionary process.

dhw: And you guess that the purpose of your purposeful God’s wish to create the whole bush of life (99% of which had no connection with humans), and to finally design humans was….???

DAVID: So you and I could be here to do battle. If we only could ask God for direct answers. I've offered reasonable answers to your questions which your rigidly closed mind won't accept.

God created billions of galaxies, and millions of life forms that had no connection with humans, so that you and I could do battle. Of course I see the twinkle in your eye, but alas it only masks your customary avoidance of my questions. No, you have not offered reasonable answers. You can’t explain why, if your God’s purpose was to design you and me and our lunch, he would have created millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with you and me; and you won’t even tell us why he wanted you and me to be here to do battle. I have listed some of your guesses about his purpose, methods and nature, and your “reasonable answer” to my challenges is that God did it your way “reasonably for his purposes”. Maybe he did it another way for different purposes “which your rigidly closed mind won’t accept”.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 01, 2021, 18:21 (142 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: And I've told you I do not know why the universe is so huge. It allows life to appear. Explanation requires more human research. What we can say it was God's [OBVIOUS] purpose to create life.

dhw: If God exists, then of course he would have created life on purpose. But you insist on going far, far beyond that obvious statement, and you “guess” the purpose (to create humans), the method (to design millions of life forms de novo that had nothing to do with humans), that your God is always in control, would not have wanted a free-for-all, must have had a “good” or “beneficial” reason for designing murderous bacteria and viruses, and would have designed all the billions of galaxies extant and extinct, lifeless or otherwise, in order to design humans or their like, but we mustn’t ask why because that involves guesswork!

DAVID: You are simply, unreasonably, questioning why reality exists as it is. My view is God created all of it reasonably for His purposes.

dhw: If God exists, then of course he created all of it reasonably for his purposes. And now we are trying to work out what those purposes and his nature might be in the light of what he created. Above I have listed some of your guesses, and I am simply, reasonably, questioning the logic of those guesses.

We've covered this: Humans are here, a result so unusual Adler uses it as proof of God. What we are is not necessary for natural survivability.


dhw: You did offer an answer to all these questions earlier: “I simply accept what we see as God’s wish to create”. You then denied that God wished for anything, and so perhaps we can clear up some of the confusion if you explain what you meant by “God’s wish to create”.

DAVID: God is the Creator. Of course He wishes to create. And He doesn't just create anything, but results that achieve His purposes defined as the bush of life and finally humans by the process of a designed evolutionary process.

dhw: And you guess that the purpose of your purposeful God’s wish to create the whole bush of life (99% of which had no connection with humans), and to finally design humans was….???

DAVID: So you and I could be here to do battle. If we only could ask God for direct answers. I've offered reasonable answers to your questions which your rigidly closed mind won't accept.

dhw: God created billions of galaxies, and millions of life forms that had no connection with humans, so that you and I could do battle. Of course I see the twinkle in your eye, but alas it only masks your customary avoidance of my questions. No, you have not offered reasonable answers. You can’t explain why, if your God’s purpose was to design you and me and our lunch, he would have created millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with you and me;

Silly, the bush provides our lunch to eat. Without it we starve. You are illogical.

dhw:...and you won’t even tell us why he wanted you and me to be here to do battle. I have listed some of your guesses about his purpose, methods and nature, and your “reasonable answer” to my challenges is that God did it your way “reasonably for his purposes”. Maybe he did it another way for different purposes “which your rigidly closed mind won’t accept”.

All you come with a soft-minded God who has to experiment, learn by experience, and yet that same God invented a universe that allows life and invented life. It can only be seen one way.

possible God's possible purpose and nature:human complaints

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 01, 2021, 20:01 (142 days ago) @ David Turell

Another human author complains:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/evolution-gone-wrong-review-our-fallible-bodies-1162249398...

"In Alex Bezzerides’s entertaining “Evolution Gone Wrong: The Curious Reasons Why Our Bodies Work (or Don’t),” the author’s quest is to determine the origins of the “aches and pains of the masses and why they happen”—not the mechanical causes of our maladies but the evolutionary ones. The explanation, Mr. Bezzerides concludes, may be found in our anatomical shortcomings—“trade-offs” made during our continuing evolutionary history. The result is that even healthy bodies operate at the edge of acceptable performance, while also being prone to fail in predictable ways.

***

"For many individuals, the textbook display of 32 neatly arrayed teeth, systematically configured to produce a perfect Hollywood smile, is at best hopeful and more frequently fictional...So why don’t our teeth fit into our mouths?

***

"...as humans controlled fire, learned to cook, became cooperative, and developed hunting techniques and an accompanying armamentarium of cutting implements, the requirement for robust dentition diminished. We were nevertheless stuck with the legacy of “a mouth full of large teeth.” Jaw and tooth size subsequently began to decrease, yet the distinct genetic programs controlling each led to a disconnect between their relative rates of reduction. While the human jaw enthusiastically embraced its “great shrink,” tooth-size reduction struggled to keep up. Hence the modern tooth-jaw mismatch.

"Our imperfectly functioning eyes suffer similarly from constraints imposed by our distant evolutionary history. More than half of European adults have visual defects, while a quarter of U.S. children require visual correction. The problem, according to Mr. Bezzerides, is that the eyes of our vertebrate ancestors evolved to function underwater. When vertebrates first moved onto land 375 million years ago, their eyes had already existed for more than 100 million years. The reconfiguration of such established biological hardware was not trivial, leaving us with short-sightedness and a range of oddities, including the need to blink up to 14,000 times a day while deploying a Coke can full of lubricating tears.

"The nocturnal nature of the species predating the evolution of mammals may have led to a reduction in the number of photoreceptor types enabling human color perception. While many fish, reptiles and birds perceive color using four types of photoreceptors, we make do with three. As a result, the humble gecko perceives the world in up to a magnificent 100 million shades of technicolor, while we are limited to no more than one million.

***

"A benign creator would surely have designed a respiratory system in a way that did not leave us in perpetual fear of choking. But once again this apparently bizarre arrangement results both from our evolutionary origins—the lungs began as an offshoot of the digestive system—and from the requirement for a descended larynx. This “clunky anatomical fault” may give us a fright every time a “hot dog takes a wrong turn at the intersection,” as Mr. Bezzerides writes, but it also facilitated the origin of human speech.

"Other maladies may be traced back to the origin of bipedalism. We weren’t designed to be erect, and becoming so has caused no end of problems for us, from back pain and torn menisci to sprained ankles. An ostrich has eight bones in its foot, whereas we have 26. A rational designer would never have included such gratuitous largesse. We are constrained and confined by our “evolutionary baggage.'”

Comment: He finds the tradeoffs as mistakes while I see them as brilliant designs which result in creating speaking thinking humans. For example, we know how to pull extra wisdom teeth with our brains.

possible God's possible purpose and nature:human complaints

by dhw, Wednesday, June 02, 2021, 13:25 (141 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Another human author complains:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/evolution-gone-wrong-review-our-fallible-bodies-1162249398...

QUOTE: "In Alex Bezzerides’s entertaining “Evolution Gone Wrong: The Curious Reasons Why Our Bodies Work (or Don’t),” the author’s quest is to determine the origins of the “aches and pains of the masses and why they happen”—not the mechanical causes of our maladies but the evolutionary ones. The explanation, Mr. Bezzerides concludes, may be found in our anatomical shortcomings—“trade-offs” made during our continuing evolutionary history. The result is that even healthy bodies operate at the edge of acceptable performance, while also being prone to fail in predictable ways.

QUOTE: Other maladies may be traced back to the origin of bipedalism. We weren’t designed to be erect, and becoming so has caused no end of problems for us, from back pain and torn menisci to sprained ankles. An ostrich has eight bones in its foot, whereas we have 26. A rational designer would never have included such gratuitous largesse. We are constrained and confined by our “evolutionary baggage”.

DAVID: He finds the tradeoffs as mistakes while I see them as brilliant designs which result in creating speaking thinking humans.

A convincing account of how our evolutionary advances also created problems for our anatomy. It’s a shame that you have included the article under the heading of “A possible God’s possible purpose and nature” – but perhaps you did so in order to distract us from the problem of theodicy. It’s also a shame that the author talks disparagingly of a “rational designer”. You both seem to be obsessed by the idea that the only possible form of God is an all-powerful being who always knows exactly what he wants and how to create it to perfection. You believe it, he doesn’t, and neither of you is prepared to think out of that particular box. I have done my best in the other two posts to offer rational alternatives to this vision of God (if he exists) that fit in logically with life’s history. In particular, the theory of the intelligent cell allows both for theistic and atheistic interpretation, as well as offering a possible solution to some of the difficult theistic questions arising from the theory of evolution itself, including theodicy and these examples of so-called bad design.

possible God's possible purpose and nature:human complaints

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 02, 2021, 15:34 (141 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Another human author complains:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/evolution-gone-wrong-review-our-fallible-bodies-1162249398...

QUOTE: "In Alex Bezzerides’s entertaining “Evolution Gone Wrong: The Curious Reasons Why Our Bodies Work (or Don’t),” the author’s quest is to determine the origins of the “aches and pains of the masses and why they happen”—not the mechanical causes of our maladies but the evolutionary ones. The explanation, Mr. Bezzerides concludes, may be found in our anatomical shortcomings—“trade-offs” made during our continuing evolutionary history. The result is that even healthy bodies operate at the edge of acceptable performance, while also being prone to fail in predictable ways.

QUOTE: Other maladies may be traced back to the origin of bipedalism. We weren’t designed to be erect, and becoming so has caused no end of problems for us, from back pain and torn menisci to sprained ankles. An ostrich has eight bones in its foot, whereas we have 26. A rational designer would never have included such gratuitous largesse. We are constrained and confined by our “evolutionary baggage”.

DAVID: He finds the tradeoffs as mistakes while I see them as brilliant designs which result in creating speaking thinking humans.

dhw: A convincing account of how our evolutionary advances also created problems for our anatomy. It’s a shame that you have included the article under the heading of “A possible God’s possible purpose and nature” – but perhaps you did so in order to distract us from the problem of theodicy. It’s also a shame that the author talks disparagingly of a “rational designer”. You both seem to be obsessed by the idea that the only possible form of God is an all-powerful being who always knows exactly what he wants and how to create it to perfection. You believe it, he doesn’t, and neither of you is prepared to think out of that particular box. I have done my best in the other two posts to offer rational alternatives to this vision of God (if he exists) that fit in logically with life’s history. In particular, the theory of the intelligent cell allows both for theistic and atheistic interpretation, as well as offering a possible solution to some of the difficult theistic questions arising from the theory of evolution itself, including theodicy and these examples of so-called bad design.

Why were you surprised in the other "God's possible purpose" thread I believed in a powerful, purposeful God? Here, as you discuss the author of the book, you note He thinks as I do: God is powerful. Surprise! Most folks as believers or as atheists think of God as I do. This highlights your underlying belief that the only way an imagined God should be is more like us. But the author does think like you in a way. A perfect God shouldn't make mistakes. That is only human perception often proven wrong in the past and will be in the future in a discussion of theodicy.

possible God's possible purpose and nature:human complaints

by dhw, Thursday, June 03, 2021, 12:27 (141 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: He finds the tradeoffs as mistakes while I see them as brilliant designs which result in creating speaking thinking humans.

dhw: A convincing account of how our evolutionary advances also created problems for our anatomy. It’s a shame that you have included the article under the heading of “A possible God’s possible purpose and nature” – but perhaps you did so in order to distract us from the problem of theodicy. It’s also a shame that the author talks disparagingly of a “rational designer”. You both seem to be obsessed by the idea that the only possible form of God is an all-powerful being who always knows exactly what he wants and how to create it to perfection. You believe it, he doesn’t, and neither of you is prepared to think out of that particular box. I have done my best in the other two posts to offer rational alternatives to this vision of God (if he exists) that fit in logically with life’s history. In particular, the theory of the intelligent cell allows both for theistic and atheistic interpretation, as well as offering a possible solution to some of the difficult theistic questions arising from the theory of evolution itself, including theodicy and these examples of so-called bad design.

DAVID: Why were you surprised in the other "God's possible purpose" thread I believed in a powerful, purposeful God? Here, as you discuss the author of the book, you note He thinks as I do: God is powerful. Surprise! Most folks as believers or as atheists think of God as I do.

Of course God, if he exists, is powerful and purposeful! What “surprise” are you talking about?

DAVID: This highlights your underlying belief that the only way an imagined God should be is more like us. But the author does think like you in a way. A perfect God shouldn't make mistakes. That is only human perception often proven wrong in the past and will be in the future in a discussion of theodicy.

You have hit on the point, and then missed it! Both you and the author have espoused the view that God is supposed to be “perfect” and therefore doesn’t make mistakes. He seizes on what he regards as mistakes. It’s not clear from the article whether this means he is an atheist or he is saying that God isn’t perfect. You, on the other hand, believe that God is perfect and therefore what may seem like mistakes are not mistakes, and one day, for example, we shall solve the problem of theodicy by finding out that all the specially designed nasty bugs that have caused untold suffering to man and beast had a a beneficial purpose. All I am doing is offering alternative views of your God and of evolution in an attempt to find logical answers to some of the questions raised by your illogical beliefs, as analysed in the other threads.

possible God's possible purpose and nature:human complaints

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 03, 2021, 18:02 (140 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Why were you surprised in the other "God's possible purpose" thread I believed in a powerful, purposeful God? Here, as you discuss the author of the book, you note He thinks as I do: God is powerful. Surprise! Most folks as believers or as atheists think of God as I do.

dhw: Of course God, if he exists, is powerful and purposeful! What “surprise” are you talking about?

DAVID: This highlights your underlying belief that the only way an imagined God should be is more like us. But the author does think like you in a way. A perfect God shouldn't make mistakes. That is only human perception often proven wrong in the past and will be in the future in a discussion of theodicy.

dhw: You have hit on the point, and then missed it! Both you and the author have espoused the view that God is supposed to be “perfect” and therefore doesn’t make mistakes. He seizes on what he regards as mistakes. It’s not clear from the article whether this means he is an atheist or he is saying that God isn’t perfect. You, on the other hand, believe that God is perfect and therefore what may seem like mistakes are not mistakes, and one day, for example, we shall solve the problem of theodicy by finding out that all the specially designed nasty bugs that have caused untold suffering to man and beast had a a beneficial purpose. All I am doing is offering alternative views of your God and of evolution in an attempt to find logical answers to some of the questions raised by your illogical beliefs, as analysed in the other threads.

Your attempts at logic in regard to God and His works always assume a God with human weaknesses. To repeat I have one fixed view of God who knows exactly what he is doing and follows fixed purposes. Yours is constantly amorphous as you juggle ideas in mid-air, nothing fixed except strong doubts about God's existence.

possible God's possible purpose and nature:human complaints

by dhw, Friday, June 04, 2021, 10:55 (140 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Both you and the author have espoused the view that God is supposed to be “perfect” and therefore doesn’t make mistakes. He seizes on what he regards as mistakes. It’s not clear from the article whether this means he is an atheist or he is saying that God isn’t perfect. You, on the other hand, believe that God is perfect and therefore what may seem like mistakes are not mistakes, and one day, for example, we shall solve the problem of theodicy by finding out that all the specially designed nasty bugs that have caused untold suffering to man and beast had a a beneficial purpose. All I am doing is offering alternative views of your God and of evolution in an attempt to find logical answers to some of the questions raised by your illogical beliefs, as analysed in the other threads.

DAVID: Your attempts at logic in regard to God and His works always assume a God with human weaknesses. To repeat I have one fixed view of God who knows exactly what he is doing and follows fixed purposes. Yours is constantly amorphous as you juggle ideas in mid-air, nothing fixed except strong doubts about God's existence.

I do not regard any of my theories as presenting a God with weaknesses: I do not regard experimental science, a desire to learn something new, creation for the enjoyment of creation, interest in one’s own creations, or the design of a free-for-all as opposed to a puppet show, as weaknesses. You are absolutely correct in calling your views fixed, and this is a major obstacle to any discussion of their illogicalities. You are also absolutely correct in saying that my own theories are not fixed, though I strongly object to the term “amorphous”. Each alternative that I have presented has a very clear shape, and even you accept that each one fits perfectly into the history of life as we know it. As for strong doubts about God’s existence, they are no stronger than my doubts about the ability of chance to fashion the complexities of the living cell, and my doubts about God are also strongly modified by my openness to the possible implications of certain psychic experiences. My seat on the fence is indeed firmly balanced, which is nothing to boast about, because one way or another I am in the wrong. However, someone whose position is fixed should at least be able to provide logical reasons for his beliefs. You do so admirably in defending the argument for God’s existence, but when it comes to your God’s possible purpose and nature, and your theories concerning theodicy and evolution, I would say that “amorphous” is not a bad description, except for your strong and inexplicable belief that every life form and econiche in history was specially designed as "part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” and their food supply.

possible God's possible purpose and nature:human complaints

by David Turell @, Friday, June 04, 2021, 16:08 (139 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Both you and the author have espoused the view that God is supposed to be “perfect” and therefore doesn’t make mistakes. He seizes on what he regards as mistakes. It’s not clear from the article whether this means he is an atheist or he is saying that God isn’t perfect. You, on the other hand, believe that God is perfect and therefore what may seem like mistakes are not mistakes, and one day, for example, we shall solve the problem of theodicy by finding out that all the specially designed nasty bugs that have caused untold suffering to man and beast had a a beneficial purpose. All I am doing is offering alternative views of your God and of evolution in an attempt to find logical answers to some of the questions raised by your illogical beliefs, as analysed in the other threads.

DAVID: Your attempts at logic in regard to God and His works always assume a God with human weaknesses. To repeat I have one fixed view of God who knows exactly what he is doing and follows fixed purposes. Yours is constantly amorphous as you juggle ideas in mid-air, nothing fixed except strong doubts about God's existence.

dhw: I do not regard any of my theories as presenting a God with weaknesses: I do not regard experimental science, a desire to learn something new, creation for the enjoyment of creation, interest in one’s own creations, or the design of a free-for-all as opposed to a puppet show, as weaknesses. You are absolutely correct in calling your views fixed, and this is a major obstacle to any discussion of their illogicalities. You are also absolutely correct in saying that my own theories are not fixed, though I strongly object to the term “amorphous”. Each alternative that I have presented has a very clear shape, and even you accept that each one fits perfectly into the history of life as we know it. As for strong doubts about God’s existence, they are no stronger than my doubts about the ability of chance to fashion the complexities of the living cell, and my doubts about God are also strongly modified by my openness to the possible implications of certain psychic experiences. My seat on the fence is indeed firmly balanced, which is nothing to boast about, because one way or another I am in the wrong. However, someone whose position is fixed should at least be able to provide logical reasons for his beliefs. You do so admirably in defending the argument for God’s existence, but when it comes to your God’s possible purpose and nature, and your theories concerning theodicy and evolution, I would say that “amorphous” is not a bad description, except for your strong and inexplicable belief that every life form and econiche in history was specially designed as "part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” and their food supply.

The bold requires an explanation I've used before. There MUST be a designer to explain the complexity of living biochemistry. But God's purpose can only be inferred from studying
His works. Our inferences differ so our conclusions differ. As a result your imagined God looks nothing like my imagined God.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Wednesday, June 02, 2021, 13:20 (141 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID (transferred from “Miscellany”): Again you return to suggesting God gave them [cells]inventive capacities. Your God-lite approach. […] my God is purposeful and direct, not your namby-pamby wishy-washy humanized form.

The image of God that I am proposing here is both purposeful and direct: his purpose is to create a free-for-all (not just one single species plus food supply), and his direct method is to design cells with the intelligence to work out their own means of survival. This fits in perfectly with the history of life as we know it. If you dismiss such a God as God-lite, namby-pamby and wishy-washy, you should perhaps examine your own values, especially bearing in mind that you believe he gave humans free will to work out their own means of survival.

Chaperones required
DAVID: The design of the origin of life required correcting chaperones and cochaperones from the very beginning. […] the design creation had to have had knowledge aforehand of the impending problem a life based on proteins must have. Therefore a mechanism of chaperoning and cochaperoning exists. Natural events do not have foresight. A designer is required.

dhw: […] you have no more idea than I have about what was present at the beginning. How do you know your designer didn’t design the chaperones when he found out that a life based on proteins WAS CAUSING problems? You will probably say he knows everything and is always in total control. Maybe he doesn’t and isn’t. Maybe he learns as he goes along. And maybe that even underlies his whole motive for and process of creating life.

DAVID: You are again imagining a weak God without knowledge of living biochemistry. In that case, how did He start life?

If he exists, he must have INVENTED living biochemistry. In keeping with your own belief that your God probably/possibly has thought patterns similar to ours, let me ask: Did humans say: “I wanner fly” and immediately come up with the winning formula? Why is it weak, namby-pamby and wishy-washy to experiment and learn new things? Why shouldn’t your God – who according to you had a wish to create - have set out on a project of creation that would lead him both to create and to learn something new, and why shouldn’t our conscious minds be a reflection of the mind of what you believe to be their creator? You are desperate to impose your own image of a God who knows everything, is always in control, has only one goal, always has good intentions...Where do you get these ideas from?

DAVID: And I've told you I do not know why the universe is so huge. It allows life to appear. Explanation requires more human research. What we can say it was God's [OBVIOUS] purpose to create life.

dhw: If God exists, then of course he would have created life on purpose. But you insist on going far, far beyond that obvious statement, and you “guess” the purpose (to create humans), the method (to design millions of life forms de novo that had nothing to do with humans), that your God is always in control, would not have wanted a free-for-all, must have had a “good” or “beneficial” reason for designing murderous bacteria and viruses, and would have designed all the billions of galaxies extant and extinct, lifeless or otherwise, in order to design humans or their like, but we mustn’t ask why because that involves guesswork!

DAVID: You are simply, unreasonably, questioning why reality exists as it is. My view is
God created all of it reasonably for His purposes.

dhw: If God exists, then of course he created all of it reasonably for his purposes. And now we are trying to work out what those purposes and his nature might be in the light of what he created. Above I have listed some of your guesses, and I am simply, reasonably, questioning the logic of those guesses.

DAVID: We've covered this: Humans are here, a result so unusual Adler uses it as proof of God. What we are is not necessary for natural survivability.

I have no quarrel with Adler's logic, and our dispute here is not over God’s existence but over your illogical concepts of his purpose, methods and nature, which you tell us are not covered by Adler.

DAVID: I've offered reasonable answers to your questions which your rigidly closed mind won't accept.

dhw: […] No, you have not offered reasonable answers. You can’t explain why, if your God’s purpose was to design you and me and our lunch, he would have created millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with you and me.

DAVID: Silly, the bush provides our lunch to eat. Without it we starve. You are illogical.

That is the CURRENT bush, which – as you yourself pointed out with perfect logic, and as I have quoted ad nauseam – has no connection with PAST bushes. So why did he create PAST bushes to feed “extinct life” which, in your own words, “has no role in current time”?

dhw:... I have listed some of your guesses about his purpose, methods and nature, and your “reasonable answer” to my challenges is that God did it your way “reasonably for his purposes”. Maybe he did it another way for different purposes “which your rigidly closed mind won’t accept”.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 02, 2021, 15:18 (141 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID (transferred from “Miscellany”): Again you return to suggesting God gave them [cells]inventive capacities. Your God-lite approach. […] my God is purposeful and direct, not your namby-pamby wishy-washy humanized form.

dhw: The image of God that I am proposing here is both purposeful and direct: his purpose is to create a free-for-all (not just one single species plus food supply), and his direct method is to design cells with the intelligence to work out their own means of survival. This fits in perfectly with the history of life as we know it. If you dismiss such a God as God-lite, namby-pamby and wishy-washy, you should perhaps examine your own values, especially bearing in mind that you believe he gave humans free will to work out their own means of survival.

Our free will is part of God's purposeful activities. My view of your God represents my very different view of God from yours. My values are solidly with my view of God.


Chaperones required

DAVID: You are again imagining a weak God without knowledge of living biochemistry. In that case, how did He start life?

d hw: If he exists, he must have INVENTED living biochemistry. In keeping with your own belief that your God probably/possibly has thought patterns similar to ours, let me ask: Did humans say: “I wanner fly” and immediately come up with the winning formula? Why is it weak, namby-pamby and wishy-washy to experiment and learn new things? Why shouldn’t your God – who according to you had a wish to create - have set out on a project of creation that would lead him both to create and to learn something new, and why shouldn’t our conscious minds be a reflection of the mind of what you believe to be their creator? You are desperate to impose your own image of a God who knows everything, is always in control, has only one goal, always has good intentions...Where do you get these ideas from?

Again a perfect description of your very humanized God. The bold questions my belief system. God's works tell me He is as I believe. Your view is God did not know how to create life until He experimented. But He could easily create a life-allowing universe or was that an experiment also?


DAVID: You are simply, unreasonably, questioning why reality exists as it is. My view is
God created all of it reasonably for His purposes.

dhw: If God exists, then of course he created all of it reasonably for his purposes. And now we are trying to work out what those purposes and his nature might be in the light of what he created. Above I have listed some of your guesses, and I am simply, reasonably, questioning the logic of those guesses.

DAVID: We've covered this: Humans are here, a result so unusual Adler uses it as proof of God. What we are is not necessary for natural survivability.

dhw: I have no quarrel with Adler's logic, and our dispute here is not over God’s existence but over your illogical concepts of his purpose, methods and nature, which you tell us are not covered by Adler.

You dragged in concepts not in Adler's argument for God. Why? He is simply one of the strong proofs for God I accept as a part of my belief system.


DAVID: I've offered reasonable answers to your questions which your rigidly closed mind won't accept.

dhw: […] No, you have not offered reasonable answers. You can’t explain why, if your God’s purpose was to design you and me and our lunch, he would have created millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with you and me.

DAVID: Silly, the bush provides our lunch to eat. Without it we starve. You are illogical.

dhw: That is the CURRENT bush, which – as you yourself pointed out with perfect logic, and as I have quoted ad nauseam – has no connection with PAST bushes. So why did he create PAST bushes to feed “extinct life” which, in your own words, “has no role in current time”?

Again spliced up evolution. Bushes of the past fed organisms of the past. Pure logic.


dhw:... I have listed some of your guesses about his purpose, methods and nature, and your “reasonable answer” to my challenges is that God did it your way “reasonably for his purposes”. Maybe he did it another way for different purposes “which your rigidly closed mind won’t accept”.

What God produced in His works demonstrates a God far different from your imagined fumbling form .

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Thursday, June 03, 2021, 12:22 (141 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID (transferred from “Miscellany”): Again you return to suggesting God gave them [cells]inventive capacities. Your God-lite approach. […] my God is purposeful and direct, not your namby-pamby wishy-washy humanized form.

dhw: The image of God that I am proposing here is both purposeful and direct: his purpose is to create a free-for-all (not just one single species plus food supply), and his direct method is to design cells with the intelligence to work out their own means of survival. This fits in perfectly with the history of life as we know it. If you dismiss such a God as God-lite, namby-pamby and wishy-washy, you should perhaps examine your own values, especially bearing in mind that you believe he gave humans free will to work out their own means of survival.

DAVID: Our free will is part of God's purposeful activities.

Then do please tell us your God’s purpose in giving us free will. And please note that creating an evolutionary free-for-all could also be part of your God’s purposeful activities. It depends on what his purpose is!

Chaperones required
DAVID: You are again imagining a weak God without knowledge of living biochemistry. In that case, how did He start life?

dhw: If he exists, he must have INVENTED living biochemistry. In keeping with your own belief that your God probably/possibly has thought patterns similar to ours, let me ask: Did humans say: “I wanner fly” and immediately come up with the winning formula? Why is it weak, namby-pamby and wishy-washy to experiment and learn new things? Why shouldn’t your God – who according to you had a wish to create - have set out on a project of creation that would lead him both to create and to learn something new, and why shouldn’t our conscious minds be a reflection of the mind of what you believe to be their creator? You are desperate to impose your own image of a God who knows everything, is always in control, has only one goal, always has good intentions...Where do you get these ideas from? (David's bold)

DAVID: Again a perfect description of your very humanized God. The bold questions my belief system. God's works tell me He is as I believe.

Whether he is “humanized” or not is irrelevant. You have no more idea that I have about which thought patterns and emotions we might have “inherited” from the being you believe created us. Your beliefs do not answer one single question that I have asked above. Now please tell me how his works disprove my suggestions and prove that your own “humanized” image of him is correct.

DAVID: Your view is God did not know how to create life until He experimented. But He could easily create a life-allowing universe or was that an experiment also?

I am offering experimentation as ONE theory, to explain why he might have created all those billions of galaxies and all those millions of life forms which you cannot explain. I see absolutely no reason why an eternally conscious mind should not wish to have a desire to create something new which he might find interesting. On what grounds do you reject this possibility? (Please don’t come up with “humanization” again – see my previous comment.)

DAVID: Humans are here, a result so unusual Adler uses it as proof of God. What we are is not necessary for natural survivability.

dhw: I have no quarrel with Adler's logic, and our dispute here is not over God’s existence but over your illogical concepts of his purpose, methods and nature, which you tell us are not covered by Adler.

DAVID: You dragged in concepts not in Adler's argument for God. Why? He is simply one of the strong proofs for God I accept as a part of my belief system.

It is you who dragged in Adler in order to divert attention away from your illogical theistic theory of evolution and back to the existence of God.

DAVID: I've offered reasonable answers to your questions which your rigidly closed mind won't accept.

dhw: […] No, you have not offered reasonable answers. You can’t explain why, if your God’s purpose was to design you and me and our lunch, he would have created millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with you and me.

DAVID: Silly, the bush provides our lunch to eat. Without it we starve. You are illogical.

dhw: That is the CURRENT bush, which – as you yourself pointed out with perfect logic, and as I have quoted ad nauseam – has no connection with PAST bushes. So why did he create PAST bushes to feed “extinct life” which, in your own words, “has no role in current time”?

DAVID: Again spliced up evolution. Bushes of the past fed organisms of the past. Pure logic.

Thank you for repeating the obvious absurdity of your theory that your God's purpose was to design you and me and our lunch, and so he designed millions of life forms and their lunches which had no connection with you and me our lunch.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 03, 2021, 17:53 (140 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Our free will is part of God's purposeful activities.

dhw: Then do please tell us your God’s purpose in giving us free will. And please note that creating an evolutionary free-for-all could also be part of your God’s purposeful activities. It depends on what his purpose is!

Our huge brains allow free will of a vast magnitude, compared to other animals. I simply accept it as part of God's purpose in making humans. We ARE His purpose, and His underlying reason is open to guessing provided by theologians' guesses..


Chaperones required

dhw: If he exists, he must have INVENTED living biochemistry. In keeping with your own belief that your God probably/possibly has thought patterns similar to ours, let me ask: Did humans say: “I wanner fly” and immediately come up with the winning formula? Why is it weak, namby-pamby and wishy-washy to experiment and learn new things? Why shouldn’t your God – who according to you had a wish to create - have set out on a project of creation that would lead him both to create and to learn something new, and why shouldn’t our conscious minds be a reflection of the mind of what you believe to be their creator? You are desperate to impose your own image of a God who knows everything, is always in control, has only one goal, always has good intentions...Where do you get these ideas from? (David's bold)

DAVID: Again a perfect description of your very humanized God. The bold questions my belief system. God's works tell me He is as I believe.

dhw: Whether he is “humanized” or not is irrelevant. You have no more idea that I have about which thought patterns and emotions we might have “inherited” from the being you believe created us. Your beliefs do not answer one single question that I have asked above. Now please tell me how his works disprove my suggestions and prove that your own “humanized” image of him is correct.

As above we each have our own positions on God's personality.


DAVID: Your view is God did not know how to create life until He experimented. But He could easily create a life-allowing universe or was that an experiment also?

dhw: I am offering experimentation as ONE theory, to explain why he might have created all those billions of galaxies and all those millions of life forms which you cannot explain. I see absolutely no reason why an eternally conscious mind should not wish to have a desire to create something new which he might find interesting. On what grounds do you reject this possibility? (Please don’t come up with “humanization” again – see my previous comment.)

Can't help it. Your humanized God is not mine.


DAVID: I've offered reasonable answers to your questions which your rigidly closed mind won't accept.

dhw: […] No, you have not offered reasonable answers. You can’t explain why, if your God’s purpose was to design you and me and our lunch, he would have created millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with you and me.

DAVID: Silly, the bush provides our lunch to eat. Without it we starve. You are illogical.

dhw: That is the CURRENT bush, which – as you yourself pointed out with perfect logic, and as I have quoted ad nauseam – has no connection with PAST bushes. So why did he create PAST bushes to feed “extinct life” which, in your own words, “has no role in current time”?

DAVID: Again spliced up evolution. Bushes of the past fed organisms of the past. Pure logic.

dhw: Thank you for repeating the obvious absurdity of your theory that your God's purpose was to design you and me and our lunch, and so he designed millions of life forms and their lunches which had no connection with you and me our lunch.

You needn't repeat your discontinuous slicing and dicing of a continuous evolutionary process which I believe was/is run by God's design.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Friday, June 04, 2021, 10:51 (140 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Our free will is part of God's purposeful activities.

dhw: Then do please tell us your God’s purpose in giving us free will. And please note that creating an evolutionary free-for-all could also be part of your God’s purposeful activities. It depends on what his purpose is!

DAVID: Our huge brains allow free will of a vast magnitude, compared to other animals. I simply accept it as part of God's purpose in making humans. We ARE His purpose, and His underlying reason is open to guessing provided by theologians' guesses.

You “simply accept” that your God deliberately gave us the freedom to do our own thing, but you cannot even consider the possibility that he might have given other organisms the same freedom. You are happy to “guess” that God’s purpose in designing the brontosaurus was to design you and me (all life forms are “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”), but you refuse to guess why he might have designed you and me.

Chaperones required
dhw: [...] Why shouldn’t your God – who according to you had a wish to create - have set out on a project of creation that would lead him both to create and to learn something new, and why shouldn’t our conscious minds be a reflection of the mind of what you believe to be their creator? You are desperate to impose your own image of a God who knows everything, is always in control, has only one goal, always has good intentions...

DAVID: Again a perfect description of your very humanized God. […] . God's works tell me He is as I believe.

dhw: Whether he is “humanized” or not is irrelevant. You have no more idea that I have about which thought patterns and emotions we might have “inherited” from the being you believe created us. […]. Now please tell me how his works disprove my suggestions and prove that your own “humanized” image of him is correct.

DAVID: As above we each have our own positions on God's personality.

Mine are fluid, yours is fixed. Now please tell us how his works disprove my suggestions and prove that your own “humanized” image of him is correct.

DAVID: Your view is God did not know how to create life until He experimented. But He could easily create a life-allowing universe or was that an experiment also?

dhw: I am offering experimentation as ONE theory, to explain why he might have created all those billions of galaxies and all those millions of life forms which you cannot explain. I see absolutely no reason why an eternally conscious mind should not wish to have a desire to create something new which he might find interesting. On what grounds do you reject this possibility? (Please don’t come up with “humanization” again – see my previous comment.)

DAVID: Can't help it. Your humanized God is not mine.

That does not explain why you reject the above possibility.

DAVID: I've offered reasonable answers to your questions which your rigidly closed mind won't accept.

dhw: […] No, you have not offered reasonable answers. You can’t explain why, if your God’s purpose was to design you and me and our lunch, he would have created millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with you and me.

DAVID: Silly, the bush provides our lunch to eat. Without it we starve. You are illogical.

dhw: That is the CURRENT bush, which – as you yourself pointed out with perfect logic, and as I have quoted ad nauseam – has no connection with PAST bushes. So why did he create PAST bushes to feed “extinct life” which, in your own words, “has no role in current time”?

DAVID: Again spliced up evolution. Bushes of the past fed organisms of the past. Pure logic.

dhw: Thank you for recognizing the obvious absurdity of your theory that although your God's purpose was to design you and me and our lunch, he designed millions of life forms and their lunches which had no connection with you and me and our lunch.

DAVID: You needn't repeat your discontinuous slicing and dicing of a continuous evolutionary process which I believe was/is run by God's design.

If you tell us that over millions of years, your God specially created millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with us, and he did so because we would have starved without them, I’m afraid you must expect me to point out that there is a slight problem of logic in your thinking.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Friday, June 04, 2021, 15:58 (139 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Our free will is part of God's purposeful activities.

DAVID: Our huge brains allow free will of a vast magnitude, compared to other animals. I simply accept it as part of God's purpose in making humans. We ARE His purpose, and His underlying reason is open to guessing provided by theologians' guesses.

dhw: You “simply accept” that your God deliberately gave us the freedom to do our own thing, but you cannot even consider the possibility that he might have given other organisms the same freedom. You are happy to “guess” that God’s purpose in designing the brontosaurus was to design you and me (all life forms are “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”), but you refuse to guess why he might have designed you and me.

All independent animals have free will to follow their wishes. We all know that. Why do you accuse me of not knowing that? I've offered guesses as to God's reasons. Why constant repetition seeking for more guesswork?


Chaperones required

DAVID: As above we each have our own positions on God's personality.

dhw: Mine are fluid, yours is fixed. Now please tell us how his works disprove my suggestions and prove that your own “humanized” image of him is correct.

I don't consider my fixed view of God as having Him mimic a humanized form. Your so-called fluidity is exactly how you humanize Him as His desires wander all over the place.


DAVID: I've offered reasonable answers to your questions which your rigidly closed mind won't accept.

dhw: […] No, you have not offered reasonable answers. You can’t explain why, if your God’s purpose was to design you and me and our lunch, he would have created millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with you and me.

DAVID: Silly, the bush provides our lunch to eat. Without it we starve. You are illogical.

dhw: That is the CURRENT bush, which – as you yourself pointed out with perfect logic, and as I have quoted ad nauseam – has no connection with PAST bushes. So why did he create PAST bushes to feed “extinct life” which, in your own words, “has no role in current time”?

DAVID: Again spliced up evolution. Bushes of the past fed organisms of the past. Pure logic.

dhw: Thank you for recognizing the obvious absurdity of your theory that although your God's purpose was to design you and me and our lunch, he designed millions of life forms and their lunches which had no connection with you and me and our lunch.

DAVID: You needn't repeat your discontinuous slicing and dicing of a continuous evolutionary process which I believe was/is run by God's design.

dhw: If you tell us that over millions of years, your God specially created millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with us, and he did so because we would have starved without them, I’m afraid you must expect me to point out that there is a slight problem of logic in your thinking.

I think all of evolution has a connection to us. You are the evolution slicer and dicer. We both admit we came from ancestor Archaea.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Saturday, June 05, 2021, 14:28 (138 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Our huge brains allow free will of a vast magnitude, compared to other animals. I simply accept it as part of God's purpose in making humans. We ARE His purpose, and His underlying reason is open to guessing provided by theologians' guesses.

dhw: You “simply accept” that your God deliberately gave us the freedom to do our own thing, but you cannot even consider the possibility that he might have given other organisms the same freedom. You are happy to “guess” that God’s purpose in designing the brontosaurus was to design you and me (all life forms are “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”), but you refuse to guess why he might have designed you and me.

DAVID: All independent animals have free will to follow their wishes. We all know that. Why do you accuse me of not knowing that? I've offered guesses as to God's reasons. Why constant repetition seeking for more guesswork?

You know perfectly well that I am using human free will as an example of your God deliberately giving up control of his creations. The analogy is with him giving up control over the evolution of species, not with your dog deciding to pee on your carpet.

Chaperones required
DAVID: As above we each have our own positions on God's personality.

dhw: Mine are fluid, yours is fixed. Now please tell us how his works disprove my suggestions and prove that your own “humanized” image of him is correct.

DAVID: I don't consider my fixed view of God as having Him mimic a humanized form. Your so-called fluidity is exactly how you humanize Him as His desires wander all over the place.

You have it the wrong way round. It is we who would “mimic” God. Hence the biblical idea that God made man in his own image. It’s my views (not God) that are fluid, because I offer different theories. But each theory on its own offers a God with a definite “desire”. One possibility is the one you believe in, which is to create beings with rich minds (two of your “guesses” were that he might want us to admire his work and to form a relationship with him) – although you can’t believe that our rich minds could be in any way like his. But if this was his one and only goal, perhaps the reason for his designing all those unconnected life forms was that he was experimenting. Just one way of explaining what you can’t explain. “Fluid”? “Wandering all over the place”?

DAVID: I've offered reasonable answers to your questions which your rigidly closed mind won't accept.

dhw: […] No, you have not offered reasonable answers. You can’t explain why, if your God’s purpose was to design you and me and our lunch, he would have created millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with you and me.

DAVID: Silly, the bush provides our lunch to eat. Without it we starve. You are illogical.

dhw: That is the CURRENT bush, which – as you yourself pointed out with perfect logic, and as I have quoted ad nauseam – has no connection with PAST bushes. So why did he create PAST bushes to feed “extinct life” which, in your own words, “has no role in current time”?

DAVID: Again spliced up evolution. Bushes of the past fed organisms of the past. Pure logic.

dhw: Thank you for recognizing the obvious absurdity of your theory...SEE BOLD ABOVE.

DAVID: You needn't repeat your discontinuous slicing and dicing of a continuous evolutionary process which I believe was/is run by God's design.

dhw: If you tell us that over millions of years, your God specially created millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with us, and he did so because we would have starved without them, I’m afraid you must expect me to point out that there is a slight problem of logic in your thinking.

DAVID: I think all of evolution has a connection to us. You are the evolution slicer and dicer. We both admit we came from ancestor Archaea.

How does that come to mean that your God designed the brontosaurus and his lunch “as part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans”?

The "human complaints" post has now shrunk to the same problem, which you simply continue to dodge.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Saturday, June 05, 2021, 14:49 (138 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: All independent animals have free will to follow their wishes. We all know that. Why do you accuse me of not knowing that? I've offered guesses as to God's reasons. Why constant repetition seeking for more guesswork?

dhw: You know perfectly well that I am using human free will as an example of your God deliberately giving up control of his creations. The analogy is with him giving up control over the evolution of species, not with your dog deciding to pee on your carpet.

I don't accept that God ever gave up any control over evolution. I've never understood your point that God gave evolving organisms the ability to do their own evolving. Why remove God a step away?


Chaperones required
DAVID: As above we each have our own positions on God's personality.

dhw: Mine are fluid, yours is fixed. Now please tell us how his works disprove my suggestions and prove that your own “humanized” image of him is correct.

DAVID: I don't consider my fixed view of God as having Him mimic a humanized form. Your so-called fluidity is exactly how you humanize Him as His desires wander all over the place.

dhw: You have it the wrong way round. It is we who would “mimic” God. Hence the biblical idea that God made man in his own image. It’s my views (not God) that are fluid, because I offer different theories. But each theory on its own offers a God with a definite “desire”. One possibility is the one you believe in, which is to create beings with rich minds (two of your “guesses” were that he might want us to admire his work and to form a relationship with him) – although you can’t believe that our rich minds could be in any way like his. But if this was his one and only goal, perhaps the reason for his designing all those unconnected life forms was that he was experimenting. Just one way of explaining what you can’t explain. “Fluid”? “Wandering all over the place”?

Do you think God experimented to create a fine-tuned-for-life universe or experimented to find a way for life to appear? My God knows exactly how to create whatever He wishes.


DAVID: I've offered reasonable answers to your questions which your rigidly closed mind won't accept.

dhw: […] No, you have not offered reasonable answers. You can’t explain why, if your God’s purpose was to design you and me and our lunch, he would have created millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with you and me.

DAVID: Silly, the bush provides our lunch to eat. Without it we starve. You are illogical.

dhw: That is the CURRENT bush, which – as you yourself pointed out with perfect logic, and as I have quoted ad nauseam – has no connection with PAST bushes. So why did he create PAST bushes to feed “extinct life” which, in your own words, “has no role in current time”?

DAVID: Again spliced up evolution. Bushes of the past fed organisms of the past. Pure logic.

dhw: Thank you for recognizing the obvious absurdity of your theory...SEE BOLD ABOVE.

DAVID: You needn't repeat your discontinuous slicing and dicing of a continuous evolutionary process which I believe was/is run by God's design.

dhw: If you tell us that over millions of years, your God specially created millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with us, and he did so because we would have starved without them, I’m afraid you must expect me to point out that there is a slight problem of logic in your thinking.

DAVID: I think all of evolution has a connection to us. You are the evolution slicer and dicer. We both admit we came from ancestor Archaea.

dhw: How does that come to mean that your God designed the brontosaurus and his lunch “as part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans”?

The "human complaints" post has now shrunk to the same problem, which you simply continue to dodge.

I don't dodge as you illogically respond to my points.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Sunday, June 06, 2021, 09:28 (138 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I don't consider my fixed view of God as having Him mimic a humanized form. Your so-called fluidity is exactly how you humanize Him as His desires wander all over the place.

dhw: You have it the wrong way round. It is we who would “mimic” God. Hence the biblical idea that God made man in his own image. It’s my views (not God) that are fluid, because I offer different theories. But each theory on its own offers a God with a definite “desire”. One possibility is the one you believe in, which is to create beings with rich minds (two of your “guesses” were that he might want us to admire his work and to form a relationship with him) – although you can’t believe that our rich minds could be in any way like his. But if this was his one and only goal, perhaps the reason for his designing all those unconnected life forms was that he was experimenting. Just one way of explaining what you can’t explain. “Fluid”? “Wandering all over the place”?

DAVID: Do you think God experimented to create a fine-tuned-for-life universe or experimented to find a way for life to appear? My God knows exactly how to create whatever He wishes.

I offer this as one way to explain the billions of galaxies extant and extinct, and the millions of life forms extant and extinct, IF your God’s only purpose – as you claim – was to design humans. Your personal image of an all-powerful, all-knowing, always-in-control God prevents you from finding any logical explanation for what you believe was his method of achieving his purpose. On the other hand, if he knows exactly how to create whatever he wishes, then quite clearly he wished to create billions of galaxies and millions of life forms etc. that had no connection with humans! If a purposeful God wished to create life that had no connection with humans, it is clearly illogical to claim that his only purpose was to create humans.

Other problems thrown up by your thinking – apart from the “continuity” problem covered under “Miscellany” - include a God, all of whose works are “for the good”, deliberately designing the bacteria and viruses that cause untold suffering; the bush of past life providing us with lunch, although past lunches were for the past and not for the present; and God as an experimental scientist, a creator who enjoys creating, or the inventor of a mechanism enabling his creations to make their own decisions, being described as “totally illogical”. Quite apart from the “totally”, why are these views of him less logical than a God who knows everything in advance, wants total control, is all that we consider “good” despite designing things that we consider “bad”, and has only one purpose which he pursues by designing things that have no connection with his one and only purpose?

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Sunday, June 06, 2021, 15:46 (137 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I don't consider my fixed view of God as having Him mimic a humanized form. Your so-called fluidity is exactly how you humanize Him as His desires wander all over the place.

dhw: You have it the wrong way round. It is we who would “mimic” God. Hence the biblical idea that God made man in his own image. It’s my views (not God) that are fluid, because I offer different theories. But each theory on its own offers a God with a definite “desire”. One possibility is the one you believe in, which is to create beings with rich minds (two of your “guesses” were that he might want us to admire his work and to form a relationship with him) – although you can’t believe that our rich minds could be in any way like his. But if this was his one and only goal, perhaps the reason for his designing all those unconnected life forms was that he was experimenting. Just one way of explaining what you can’t explain. “Fluid”? “Wandering all over the place”?

DAVID: Do you think God experimented to create a fine-tuned-for-life universe or experimented to find a way for life to appear? My God knows exactly how to create whatever He wishes.

dhw: I offer this as one way to explain the billions of galaxies extant and extinct, and the millions of life forms extant and extinct, IF your God’s only purpose – as you claim – was to design humans. Your personal image of an all-powerful, all-knowing, always-in-control God prevents you from finding any logical explanation for what you believe was his method of achieving his purpose.

It is your illogical response to my theory that is wrong. My all powerful, all purposeful God knew exactly what He was doing. The history of evolution as a process invented and designed by God is perfectly reasonable to believers.

dhw: On the other hand, if he knows exactly how to create whatever he wishes, then quite clearly he wished to create billions of galaxies and millions of life forms etc. that had no connection with humans!

You forgotten how elements were made in the stars and spread by exploding stars. Proven by Fred Hoyle, your countryman. Please remember the universe had to evolve also from the Big Bang. Swiss cheese history doesn't work in honest discussions.

dhw: If a purposeful God wished to create life that had no connection with humans, it is clearly illogical to claim that his only purpose was to create humans.

Way off base considering a universe fine-tuned-for-life.


dhw: Other problems thrown up by your thinking – apart from the “continuity” problem covered under “Miscellany” - include a God, all of whose works are “for the good”, deliberately designing the bacteria and viruses that cause untold suffering; the bush of past life providing us with lunch, although past lunches were for the past and not for the present; and God as an experimental scientist, a creator who enjoys creating, or the inventor of a mechanism enabling his creations to make their own decisions, being described as “totally illogical”. Quite apart from the “totally”, why are these views of him less logical than a God who knows everything in advance, wants total control, is all that we consider “good” despite designing things that we consider “bad”, and has only one purpose which he pursues by designing things that have no connection with his one and only purpose?

Your usual problem of imagining a part human form of God and total confusion about His purposes.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Monday, June 07, 2021, 08:50 (137 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I don't consider my fixed view of God as having Him mimic a humanized form. Your so-called fluidity is exactly how you humanize Him as His desires wander all over the place.

dhw: You have it the wrong way round. It is we who would “mimic” God. Hence the biblical idea that God made man in his own image. It’s my views (not God) that are fluid, because I offer different theories. But each theory on its own offers a God with a definite “desire”. One possibility is the one you believe in, which is to create beings with rich minds (two of your “guesses” were that he might want us to admire his work and to form a relationship with him) – although you can’t believe that our rich minds could be in any way like his. But if this was his one and only goal, perhaps the reason for his designing all those unconnected life forms was that he was experimenting. Just one way of explaining what you can’t explain. “Fluid”? “Wandering all over the place”?

DAVID: Do you think God experimented to create a fine-tuned-for-life universe or experimented to find a way for life to appear? My God knows exactly how to create whatever He wishes.

dhw: I offer this as one way to explain the billions of galaxies extant and extinct, and the millions of life forms extant and extinct, IF your God’s only purpose – as you claim – was to design humans. Your personal image of an all-powerful, all-knowing, always-in-control God prevents you from finding any logical explanation for what you believe was his method of achieving his purpose.

DAVID: It is your illogical response to my theory that is wrong. My all powerful, all purposeful God knew exactly what He was doing. The history of evolution as a process invented and designed by God is perfectly reasonable to believers.

Your usual rush into generalizations that fail to tackle the issue raised by your particular theory. Of course evolution as a process invented and designed by your God is perfectly reasonable – even to agnostics like myself. And an all-powerful, all–purposeful God is equally reasonable. But, for the thousandth time, what is not reasonable is to claim that your all-powerful, all-purposeful God had only one purpose – to design humans – and therefore designed billions of galaxies and millions of life forms etc. which had no connection with humans.

dhw: On the other hand, if he knows exactly how to create whatever he wishes, then quite clearly he wished to create billions of galaxies and millions of life forms etc. that had no connection with humans!

DAVID: You forgotten how elements were made in the stars and spread by exploding stars. Proven by Fred Hoyle, your countryman. Please remember the universe had to evolve also from the Big Bang. Swiss cheese history doesn't work in honest discussions.

That does not explain why your God, whose one purpose was to design humans, had to design billions of galaxies extant and extinct and millions of life forms extant and extinct which had/have no connection with humans. Please stop dodging.

dhw: If a purposeful God wished to create life that had no connection with humans, it is clearly illogical to claim that his only purpose was to create humans.

DAVID: Way off base considering a universe fine-tuned-for-life.

We have discussed the possibility of life in other galaxies, and there were three options: no life, primitive life (nothing but microbes), or sophisticated life. We then went through the implications of all three. Do you really want me to repeat them?

dhw: Other problems thrown up by your thinking – apart from the “continuity” problem covered under “Miscellany” - include a God, all of whose works are “for the good”, deliberately designing the bacteria and viruses that cause untold suffering; the bush of past life providing us with lunch, although past lunches were for the past and not for the present; and God as an experimental scientist, a creator who enjoys creating, or the inventor of a mechanism enabling his creations to make their own decisions, being described as “totally illogical”. Quite apart from the “totally”, why are these views of him less logical than a God who knows everything in advance, wants total control, is all that we consider “good” despite designing things that we consider “bad”, and has only one purpose which he pursues by designing things that have no connection with his one and only purpose?

DAVID: Your usual problem of imagining a part human form of God and total confusion about His purposes.

Your usual escape from the problems themselves to vague generalizations: you cannot avoid a “part human” God yourself – I’ve listed some of his characteristics above – and in each of my alternatives there is a clear purpose. The only confusion concerning purpose is your insistence on a single purpose (humans) which your God apparently achieves by designing life forms that have no connection with his purpose.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Monday, June 07, 2021, 15:39 (136 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: It is your illogical response to my theory that is wrong. My all powerful, all purposeful God knew exactly what He was doing. The history of evolution as a process invented and designed by God is perfectly reasonable to believers.

dhw: Your usual rush into generalizations that fail to tackle the issue raised by your particular theory. Of course evolution as a process invented and designed by your God is perfectly reasonable – even to agnostics like myself. And an all-powerful, all–purposeful God is equally reasonable. But, for the thousandth time, what is not reasonable is to claim that your all-powerful, all-purposeful God had only one purpose – to design humans – and therefore designed billions of galaxies and millions of life forms etc. which had no connection with humans.

How were the life-necessary elements created? How do you know so definitely the whole universe was not necessary? My God created the universe as it is following His purposes. You are stop and go as you think about a possible God. Humans are here, note the bold, and only we can think a God might exist. And you deny His purpose. Study His works and accept them as required. Then perhaps your illogical objections will disappear.


dhw: Other problems thrown up by your thinking – apart from the “continuity” problem covered under “Miscellany” - include a God, all of whose works are “for the good”, deliberately designing the bacteria and viruses that cause untold suffering; the bush of past life providing us with lunch, although past lunches were for the past and not for the present; and God as an experimental scientist, a creator who enjoys creating, or the inventor of a mechanism enabling his creations to make their own decisions, being described as “totally illogical”. Quite apart from the “totally”, why are these views of him less logical than a God who knows everything in advance, wants total control, is all that we consider “good” despite designing things that we consider “bad”, and has only one purpose which he pursues by designing things that have no connection with his one and only purpose?

DAVID: Your usual problem of imagining a part human form of God and total confusion about His purposes.

dhw: Your usual escape from the problems themselves to vague generalizations: you cannot avoid a “part human” God yourself – I’ve listed some of his characteristics above – and in each of my alternatives there is a clear purpose. The only confusion concerning purpose is your insistence on a single purpose (humans) which your God apparently achieves by designing life forms that have no connection with his purpose.

My God is not human in any sense. We've been over all of this before, and does not need repeating. Your need to have my God human is only to overcome your obvious humanizing of a weak-god theory who experiments, lets organisms evolve secondhand on their own, decides purposes on the fly and generally comes across as as not sure of himself.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Tuesday, June 08, 2021, 13:20 (135 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: It is your illogical response to my theory that is wrong. My all powerful, all purposeful God knew exactly what He was doing. The history of evolution as a process invented and designed by God is perfectly reasonable to believers.

dhw: Your usual rush into generalizations that fail to tackle the issue raised by your particular theory. Of course evolution as a process invented and designed by your God is perfectly reasonable – even to agnostics like myself. And an all-powerful, all–purposeful God is equally reasonable. But, for the thousandth time, what is not reasonable is to claim that your all-powerful, all-purposeful God had only one purpose – to design humans – and therefore designed billions of galaxies and millions of life forms etc. which had no connection with humans.

DAVID: How were the life-necessary elements created?

That is the origin of life, and over and over again I grant you that those elements may well have been designed by your God. That does not explain THE BOLD!

DAVID: How do you know so definitely the whole universe was not necessary?

Necessary for what?

DAVID: My God created the universe as it is following His purposes. […]

If he exists, then of course he followed his purposes. How does that explain THE BOLD?

DAVID: Humans are here, note the bold, and only we can think a God might exist.

Definitely true. How does that explain THE BOLD?

DAVID: And you deny His purpose. Study His works and accept them as required. Then perhaps your illogical objections will disappear.

I deny your INTERPRETATION of his purpose combined with your INTEPRETATION of his method of achieving that purpose, as set out in THE BOLD, and no amount of dodging will make my logical objections disappear.

I went on to list other problems thrown up by your illogical theories, and also pointed out that your version of God was no more and no less “human” than my own.

DAVID: My God is not human in any sense.

He has good intentions, he wants total control, he knows what’s coming, he wants to create, he is always logical, he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours....Perhaps he wants us to admire his works, to have a relationship with him...

DAVID: We've been over all of this before, and does not need repeating. Your need to have my God human is only to overcome your obvious humanizing of a weak-god theory who experiments, lets organisms evolve secondhand on their own, decides purposes on the fly and generally comes across as not sure of himself.

Why is an experimental scientist “weak”, or a God who wants to see what will happen if he creates intelligences that work things out for themselves, or a God who wants to create things he will enjoy creating? And why are these a purpose “on the fly”, and do you honestly believe that everyone who sets out to create something interesting or to learn something new must automatically be “unsure of himself”?

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 08, 2021, 16:10 (135 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Your usual rush into generalizations that fail to tackle the issue raised by your particular theory. Of course evolution as a process invented and designed by your God is perfectly reasonable – even to agnostics like myself. And an all-powerful, all–purposeful God is equally reasonable. But, for the thousandth time, what is not reasonable is to claim that your all-powerful, all-purposeful God had only one purpose – to design humans – and therefore designed billions of galaxies and millions of life forms etc. which had no connection with humans.

DAVID: How were the life-necessary elements created?

dhw: That is the origin of life, and over and over again I grant you that those elements may well have been designed by your God. That does not explain THE BOLD!

DAVID: How do you know so definitely the whole universe was not necessary?

dhw: Necessary for what?

Obviously to create a universe fine-tuned-for life.


DAVID: Humans are here, note the bold, and only we can think a God might exist.

dhw: Definitely true. How does that explain THE BOLD?

The bold is your weird illogical complaint. It is my logically developed position.

dhw: I went on to list other problems thrown up by your illogical theories, and also pointed out that your version of God was no more and no less “human” than my own.

DAVID: My God is not human in any sense.

dhw: He has good intentions, he wants total control, he knows what’s coming, he wants to create, he is always logical, he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours....Perhaps he wants us to admire his works, to have a relationship with him...

We must use human terms to describe a non-human God. That doesn't make my God in any way similar to your very humanized version.


DAVID: We've been over all of this before, and does not need repeating. Your need to have my God human is only to overcome your obvious humanizing of a weak-god theory who experiments, lets organisms evolve secondhand on their own, decides purposes on the fly and generally comes across as not sure of himself.

dhw: Why is an experimental scientist “weak”, or a God who wants to see what will happen if he creates intelligences that work things out for themselves, or a God who wants to create things he will enjoy creating? And why are these a purpose “on the fly”, and do you honestly believe that everyone who sets out to create something interesting or to learn something new must automatically be “unsure of himself”?

Once again you present an amorphous God who is very human, not like the God-image true believers have. You are from the outside looking in, asking for a changed God not in the accepted form. Your approach is why can't He be this way not that way? Is agnosticism just querulous?

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Wednesday, June 09, 2021, 11:51 (135 days ago) @ David Turell

Evolution of the universe(transferred from “Miscellany”)

DAVID: The universe had to evolve just as life did when the universe reached a point of fine-tuning to allow life. dhw with his human brain attempts to question God's reasons for a universe that looks like ours does. It allows him to question God's existence. We may never find all of God's reasons. That doesn't cause Him to disappear, does it?

dhw: Your usual desperate attempt to divert attention from your illogical theories by pretending that I am trying to get rid of God. I AM AN AGNOSTIC. I query your illogical theory of evolution, and I offer alternative THEISTIC theories. My reasons for not embracing theism have nothing to do with these discussions.

DAVID: Your alternative theistic theories do not offer a god-like God.

Firstly, my theistic theories do not “question God’s existence”, secondly you have no more idea of what God is like than anyone else, and thirdly you persistently distort my alternative views of God, as you do next:

DAVID: (initially referring to cellular intelligence) I still don't understand why you want a God who does things secondhand. Another example of your weak-god theistic theories.

I don’t “want” anything. I doubt your theory that your God individually preprogrammed or dabbled every innovation etc. in the whole of life’s history, and I find it incompatible with your belief that his only purpose was to create humans. An alternative would be that he wanted and deliberately designed an autonomous system to produce the endless variety of life forms etc. that make up the history of life as we know it. If he gets what he wants, how does that make him weak?

DAVID: Most God-believing folks view Him as all powerful, all knowing, past present and future, all purposeful, etc. You always weaken and modify and make Him amorphous.

I don’t know why you are kow-towing to “most God-believing folks” when you pride yourself on your rejection of conventional religion, but in any case the image I have offered you above still has him as all-powerful and all purposeful, but deliberately creating something that he does not wish to control (as you accept when you insist that he gave humans free will). And I thought your objections were to the possible “human” thought patterns this image entails, which is the exact opposite of “amorphous”. It’s you who object to solid characteristics – though only when they differ from those you attribute to your God (e.g. he always has good intentions).

dhw:. Of course evolution as a process invented and designed by your God is perfectly reasonable – even to agnostics like myself. And an all-powerful, all–purposeful God is equally reasonable. But, for the thousandth time, what is not reasonable is to claim that your all-powerful, all-purposeful God had only one purpose – to design humans – and therefore designed billions of galaxies and millions of life forms etc. which had no connection with humans.

DAVID: How were the life-necessary elements created?

dhw: That is the origin of life, and over and over again I grant you that those elements may well have been designed by your God. That does not explain THE BOLD!

DAVID: Humans are here, note the bold, and only we can think a God might exist.

dhw: Definitely true. How does that explain THE BOLD?

DAVID: The bold is your weird illogical complaint. It is my logically developed position.

Yet again: If your God’s only goal was to design H. sapiens (plus food supply), why would he have individually designed millions of life forms plus food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with H. sapiens? You have admitted you cannot explain such “logic”, but it is your fixed belief, and that is why we agreed to drop the subject.

dhw: I went on to list other problems thrown up by your illogical theories, and also pointed out that your version of God was no more and no less “human” than my own.

DAVID: My God is not human in any sense.

dhw: He has good intentions, he wants total control, he knows what’s coming, he wants to create, he is always logical, he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours....Perhaps he wants us to admire his works, to have a relationship with him...

DAVID: We must use human terms to describe a non-human God. That doesn't make my God in any way similar to your very humanized version.

Of course it doesn’t. But I presume you are using words that mean what they say, and their meaning describes a “humanized” version which is different from the alternative “humanized” versions I offer. You have no criteria enabling you to inform us that your “humanized” version is any more authentic than any other “humanized” version, and sadly your version lands you with the bolded theory which you can’t explain, the theodicy problem which you can’t explain, billions of galaxies which you can’t explain, and therefore with little option other than to repeat the rigid beliefs and the various digressions that now make up the bulk of the relevant threads. :-(

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 09, 2021, 13:21 (134 days ago) @ dhw

Evolution of the universe(transferred from “Miscellany”)

DAVID: Your alternative theistic theories do not offer a god-like God.

dhw: Firstly, my theistic theories do not “question God’s existence”, secondly you have no more idea of what God is like than anyone else, and thirdly you persistently distort my alternative views of God, as you do next:

DAVID: (initially referring to cellular intelligence) I still don't understand why you want a God who does things secondhand. Another example of your weak-god theistic theories.

dhw: I don’t “want” anything. I doubt your theory that your God individually preprogrammed or dabbled every innovation etc. in the whole of life’s history, and I find it incompatible with your belief that his only purpose was to create humans. An alternative would be that he wanted and deliberately designed an autonomous system to produce the endless variety of life forms etc. that make up the history of life as we know it. If he gets what he wants, how does that make him weak?

As before I've done designs, and secondhand attempts don't work, as in telling the architect what is wanted and getting a mess.


DAVID: Most God-believing folks view Him as all powerful, all knowing, past present and future, all purposeful, etc. You always weaken and modify and make Him amorphous.

dhw: I don’t know why you are kow-towing to “most God-believing folks” when you pride yourself on your rejection of conventional religion, but in any case the image I have offered you above still has him as all-powerful and all purposeful, but deliberately creating something that he does not wish to control (as you accept when you insist that he gave humans free will). And I thought your objections were to the possible “human” thought patterns this image entails, which is the exact opposite of “amorphous”. It’s you who object to solid characteristics – though only when they differ from those you attribute to your God (e.g. he always has good intentions).

Our free will is not in any way equivalent to designing de novo forms in evolution


DAVID: How were the life-necessary elements created?

dhw: That is the origin of life, and over and over again I grant you that those elements may well have been designed by your God. That does not explain THE BOLD!

God's goal of creating humans is obvious, as argued by Adler.

Yet again: If your God’s only goal was to design H. sapiens (plus food supply), why would he have individually designed millions of life forms plus food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with H. sapiens? You have admitted you cannot explain such “logic”, but it is your fixed belief, and that is why we agreed to drop the subject.

Thank you, but you re-raised it.


dhw: I went on to list other problems thrown up by your illogical theories, and also pointed out that your version of God was no more and no less “human” than my own.

DAVID: My God is not human in any sense.

dhw: He has good intentions, he wants total control, he knows what’s coming, he wants to create, he is always logical, he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours....Perhaps he wants us to admire his works, to have a relationship with him...

DAVID: We must use human terms to describe a non-human God. That doesn't make my God in any way similar to your very humanized version.

dhw: Of course it doesn’t. But I presume you are using words that mean what they say, and their meaning describes a “humanized” version which is different from the alternative “humanized” versions I offer. You have no criteria enabling you to inform us that your “humanized” version is any more authentic than any other “humanized” version, and sadly your version lands you with the bolded theory which you can’t explain, the theodicy problem which you can’t explain, billions of galaxies which you can’t explain, and therefore with little option other than to repeat the rigid beliefs and the various digressions that now make up the bulk of the relevant threads. :-(

Those of us who believe don't think God's works have to be explained, and that results in your conjuring up a God who seems unsure of himself as He experiments with possible advances.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Thursday, June 10, 2021, 13:47 (133 days ago) @ David Turell

Evolution of the universe(transferred from “Miscellany”)
dhw: I doubt your theory that your God individually preprogrammed or dabbled every innovation etc. in the whole of life’s history, and I find it incompatible with your belief that his only purpose was to create humans. An alternative would be that he wanted and deliberately designed an autonomous system to produce the endless variety of life forms etc. that make up the history of life as we know it. If he gets what he wants, how does that make him weak?

DAVID: As before I've done designs, and secondhand attempts don't work, as in telling the architect what is wanted and getting a mess.

As before, I see no analogy here. God presumably didn’t give you instructions on what to design – he gave you the mechanism to design what you wanted to design, and the independent intelligence to use the mechanism. I propose that if he exists, he did the same for other life forms. They do not have to design what he wants them to design. It’s left to them to decide. There is no “second-hand”! He would have provided both you and other organisms with the mechanism and the independent intelligence to use it (as you agreed earlier, but hurriedly rescinded).

DAVID: Most God-believing folks view Him as all powerful, all knowing, past present and future, all purposeful, etc. You always weaken and modify and make Him amorphous.

dhw: I don’t know why you are kow-towing to “most God-believing folks” when you pride yourself on your rejection of conventional religion, but in any case the image I have offered you above still has him as all-powerful and all purposeful, but deliberately creating something that he does not wish to control (as you accept when you insist that he gave humans free will). And I thought your objections were to the possible “human” thought patterns this image entails, which is the exact opposite of “amorphous”. It’s you who object to solid characteristics – though only when they differ from those you attribute to your God (e.g. he always has good intentions).

DAVID: Our free will is not in any way equivalent to designing de novo forms in evolution.

Dealt with above. As usual you dodge all my main points.

DAVID: God's goal of creating humans is obvious, as argued by Adler.

Yet again: If your God’s only goal was to design H. sapiens (plus food supply), why would he have individually designed millions of life forms plus food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with H. sapiens? You have admitted you cannot explain such “logic”, but it is your fixed belief, and that is why we agreed to drop the subject.

DAVID: Thank you, but you re-raised it.

It is you who constantly re-raise it with your repeated focus on the individual bits and pieces of your theory and your refusal to put them all together and recognize that they do not fit. Hence the bold, and hence your endless dodges. […]

DAVID: Those of us who believe don't think God's works have to be explained, and that results in your conjuring up a God who seems unsure of himself as He experiments with possible advances.

But you DO try to explain God’s works! You explain the great variety of life forms etc. as being individually designed by your God, and the reason you give is that he designed each of them as part of his one and only purpose to design humans, although 99% of them had no connection with humans. What according to you does not have to be explained is the total incompatibility of these premises. As for my alternatives, experimentation is only one of them, and I have no idea why you should think that experimentation and willingness to try out and to learn new things denotes lack of self-confidence. I keep challenging this and other such silly denigrations, but you merely repeat them – presumably as part of your great repertoire of dodges to avoid facing up to the questions you are so reluctant to answer.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 10, 2021, 19:30 (133 days ago) @ dhw

Evolution of the universe(transferred from “Miscellany”)

DAVID: As before I've done designs, and secondhand attempts don't work, as in telling the architect what is wanted and getting a mess.

dhw: As before, I see no analogy here. God presumably didn’t give you instructions on what to design – he gave you the mechanism to design what you wanted to design, and the independent intelligence to use the mechanism. I propose that if he exists, he did the same for other life forms. They do not have to design what he wants them to design. It’s left to them to decide. There is no “second-hand”! He would have provided both you and other organisms with the mechanism and the independent intelligence to use it

Your view of God is not mine. If God has purposes for evolutionary advances, of course allowing organisms to do their own designs won't fit His goals and are secondhand.


DAVID: Our free will is not in any way equivalent to designing de novo forms in evolution.

dhw: Dealt with above. As usual you dodge all my main points.

Your tired 'dodge' complaint again. Our free will cannot be compared to tight design control of evolution itself. I can certainly complain about your poor comparison.

DAVID: Those of us who believe don't think God's works have to be explained, and that results in your conjuring up a God who seems unsure of himself as He experiments with possible advances.

dhw: But you DO try to explain God’s works! You explain the great variety of life forms etc. as being individually designed by your God, and the reason you give is that he designed each of them as part of his one and only purpose to design humans, although 99% of them had no connection with humans.

There you go again! When you've agreed to stop it.

dhw: What according to you does not have to be explained is the total incompatibility of these premises. As for my alternatives, experimentation is only one of them, and I have no idea why you should think that experimentation and willingness to try out and to learn new things denotes lack of self-confidence.

My God knows exactly what He wants to accomplish and has done it. Quite an obvious comparison

dhw: I keep challenging this and other such silly denigrations, but you merely repeat them – presumably as part of your great repertoire of dodges to avoid facing up to the questions you are so reluctant to answer.

I don't denigrate. I have specific beliefs you don't accept, which is your right.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Friday, June 11, 2021, 12:22 (133 days ago) @ David Turell

Evolution of the universe(transferred from “Miscellany”)
DAVID: As before I've done designs, and secondhand attempts don't work, as in telling the architect what is wanted and getting a mess.

dhw: As before, I see no analogy here. God presumably didn’t give you instructions on what to design – he gave you the mechanism to design what you wanted to design, and the independent intelligence to use the mechanism. I propose that if he exists, he did the same for other life forms. They do not have to design what he wants them to design. It’s left to them to decide. There is no “second-hand”! He would have provided both you and other organisms with the mechanism and the independent intelligence to use it

DAVID: Your view of God is not mine. If God has purposes for evolutionary advances, of course allowing organisms to do their own designs won't fit His goals and are secondhand.

Same again, but let’s pin it down to your actual belief: you think your God’s only purpose was to create humans and their lunch. And so “of course allowing organisms to do their own designs” would not fit his goal (singular). And that is what makes nonsense of your theory, because you cannot explain why a God whose only purpose was to design humans and their lunch should have designed millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans and their lunch! So either his purpose was not to design humans etc., or he did not design the millions of life forms etc. which had no connection with humans etc.

DAVID: Most God-believing folks view Him as all powerful, all knowing, past present and future, all purposeful, etc. You always weaken and modify and make Him amorphous.

dhw: I don’t know why you are kow-towing to “most God-believing folks” when you pride yourself on your rejection of conventional religion, but in any case the image I have offered you above still has him as all-powerful and all purposeful, but deliberately creating something that he does not wish to control (as you accept when you insist that he gave humans free will). And I thought your objections were to the possible “human” thought patterns this image entails, which is the exact opposite of “amorphous”. It’s you who object to solid characteristics – though only when they differ from those you attribute to your God (e.g. he always has good intentions).

DAVID: Our free will is not in any way equivalent to designing de novo forms in evolution.

dhw: Dealt with above. As usual you dodge all my main points.

DAVID: Your tired 'dodge' complaint again. Our free will cannot be compared to tight design control of evolution itself. I can certainly complain about your poor comparison.

The dodge is the fact that you have picked on free will (a parenthesis) and ignored the rest of my post, in which I challenge your complaint that my alternative theories depict an “amorphous” God who is not all-powerful and all-purposeful. As regards free will, as you know perfectly well, the analogy concerns your God’s willingness to give up control.

DAVID: Those of us who believe don't think God's works have to be explained, and that results in your conjuring up a God who seems unsure of himself as He experiments with possible advances.

dhw: But you DO try to explain God’s works! You explain the great variety of life forms etc. as being individually designed by your God, and the reason you give is that he designed each of them as part of his one and only purpose to design humans, although 99% of them had no connection with humans.

DAVID: There you go again! When you've agreed to stop it.

It is impossible to stop it when you continuously try to make out that your view of God's purpose and method (i.e. your theory of evolution) is logical, and you then distort and denigrate the alternative theories that I propose.

dhw: As for my alternatives, experimentation is only one of them, and I have no idea why you should think that experimentation and willingness to try out and to learn new things denotes lack of self-confidence.

DAVID: My God knows exactly what He wants to accomplish and has done it. Quite an obvious comparison.

A God who wanted a free-for-all knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish and did it. Alternatively, if his aim was to produce a particular life form that had never existed before, why do you think it denotes personal insecurity if he tries different ways of producing the novelty?

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Friday, June 11, 2021, 19:49 (132 days ago) @ dhw

Evolution of the universe(transferred from “Miscellany”)

DAVID: Your view of God is not mine. If God has purposes for evolutionary advances, of course allowing organisms to do their own designs won't fit His goals and are secondhand.

dhw: Same again, but let’s pin it down to your actual belief: you think your God’s only purpose was to create humans and their lunch. And so “of course allowing organisms to do their own designs” would not fit his goal (singular). And that is what makes nonsense of your theory, because you cannot explain why a God whose only purpose was to design humans and their lunch should have designed millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans and their lunch! So either his purpose was not to design humans etc., or he did not design the millions of life forms etc. which had no connection with humans etc.

Same simple, same again response. My God chose to evolve us from bacteria and did so by creating the giant bush of life we see, partially to give an expected huge human population a proper food supply, all logical from a belief standpoint.


DAVID: Most God-believing folks view Him as all powerful, all knowing, past present and future, all purposeful, etc. You always weaken and modify and make Him amorphous.

dhw: I don’t know why you are kow-towing to “most God-believing folks” when you pride yourself on your rejection of conventional religion, but in any case the image I have offered you above still has him as all-powerful and all purposeful, but deliberately creating something that he does not wish to control (as you accept when you insist that he gave humans free will). And I thought your objections were to the possible “human” thought patterns this image entails, which is the exact opposite of “amorphous”. It’s you who object to solid characteristics – though only when they differ from those you attribute to your God (e.g. he always has good intentions).

DAVID: Our free will is not in any way equivalent to designing de novo forms in evolution.

dhw: Dealt with above. As usual you dodge all my main points.

DAVID: Your tired 'dodge' complaint again. Our free will cannot be compared to tight design control of evolution itself. I can certainly complain about your poor comparison.

dhw: The dodge is the fact that you have picked on free will (a parenthesis) and ignored the rest of my post, in which I challenge your complaint that my alternative theories depict an “amorphous” God who is not all-powerful and all-purposeful.

Your amorphous God is exactly how He appears to me, when compared to the purposeful God I envision. That is not a dodge. You've had that answer many times.

dhw: As regards free will, as you know perfectly well, the analogy concerns your God’s willingness to give up control.

Control over design of new structure is vastly different than human free will being allowed, all structures now designed with it present. Material vs. immaterial.

DAVID: There you go again! When you've agreed to stop it.

dhw: It is impossible to stop it when you continuously try to make out that your view of God's purpose and method (i.e. your theory of evolution) is logical, and you then distort and denigrate the alternative theories that I propose.

In any debate the opponents certainly discount alternative theories and sow how they are distortions or unreasonable extrapolations of known facts


dhw: As for my alternatives, experimentation is only one of them, and I have no idea why you should think that experimentation and willingness to try out and to learn new things denotes lack of self-confidence.

DAVID: My God knows exactly what He wants to accomplish and has done it. Quite an obvious comparison.

dhw: A God who wanted a free-for-all knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish and did it.

A God who uses a free-for-all has no idea of the ensuing endpoint.

dhw: Alternatively, if his aim was to produce a particular life form that had never existed before, why do you think it denotes personal insecurity if he tries different ways of producing the novelty?

Once again a God who doesn't know how to achieve His purposes. Do you think He experimented before finding a form of universe fine-tuned for life? Why not just present your God as confused and bumbling? That is no distortion of what you attempt to present about God's personage.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Saturday, June 12, 2021, 09:40 (132 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] you cannot explain why a God whose only purpose was to design humans and their lunch should have designed millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans and their lunch! So either his purpose was not to design humans etc., or he did not design the millions of life forms etc. which had no connection with humans etc.

DAVID: Same simple, same again response. My God chose to evolve us from bacteria and did so by creating the giant bush of life we see, partially to give an expected huge human population a proper food supply, all logical from a belief standpoint.

There you go again! How can all the extinct branches of the giant bush of life over 3+ thousand million years have been individually designed, even partially, in order to provide food for humans who did not even exist at the time? You have already agreed umpteen times that past food supplies were for the past, not the present.

dhw: I challenge your complaint that my alternative theories depict an “amorphous” God who is not all-powerful and all-purposeful.

DAVID: Your amorphous God is exactly how He appears to me, when compared to the purposeful God I envision. That is not a dodge. You've had that answer many times.

And I have pointed out to you that a God who deliberately creates a free-for-all is just as purposeful as a God who only wants to design one life form (plus lunch) but designs millions of life forms (plus lunches) that have no connection with the only one he wants to design. You try to avoid telling us his possible purpose for designing us, and you kid yourself that you don’t endow him with human thought patterns, so you would really like your image of him to be “amorphous”! And although you agree that he enjoys creating, if I propose that his purpose might be to create something he will enjoy creating, you reject the idea. Perhaps not amorphous enough for you?

dhw: As regards free will, as you know perfectly well, the analogy concerns your God’s willingness to give up control.

DAVID: Control over design of new structure is vastly different than human free will being allowed, all structures now designed with it present. Material vs. immaterial.

You don’t seem to have grasped the point of the analogy. If God gave humans free will to act autonomously, it means he deliberately gave up control. We do our own thing. You object to the idea of an evolutionary free-for-all on the grounds that in your view, your God would not want to give up control of evolution. If he is willing to give up control of one life form (perhaps to see what behaviour we humans would come up with – who knows?), then why insist that he would not be willing to give up control over all life forms (perhaps to see what new forms they would come up with – who knows?). The principle of giving up control is the analogy.

DAVID: There you go again! When you've agreed to stop it [= repeating David’s illogical theory of evolution]

dhw: It is impossible to stop it when you continuously try to make out that your view of God's purpose and method (i.e. your theory of evolution) is logical, and you then distort and denigrate the alternative theories that I propose.

DAVID: In any debate the opponents certainly discount alternative theories and show how they are distortions or unreasonable extrapolations of known facts.

But they should not distort the theories themselves: my theories and my logic are never an attempt to exclude God, the God I present is both powerful and purposeful, and terms such as weak, namby-pamby, wishy-washy etc. are an irrational denigration of my alternatives: a God who experiments, or a God who wants to create a free-for-all, will provide us – as you readily admit – with a logical explanation of the history of life as we know it.

DAVID: A God who uses a free-for-all has no idea of the ensuing endpoint.

That could be part of the attraction.

dhw: Alternatively, if his aim was to produce a particular life form that had never existed before, why do you think it denotes personal insecurity if he tries different ways of producing the novelty?

DAVID: Once again a God who doesn't know how to achieve His purposes. Do you think He experimented before finding a form of universe fine-tuned for life? Why not just present your God as confused and bumbling? That is no distortion of what you attempt to present about God's personage.

Experimentation is a perfectly normal way for inventors to achieve their purposes, so does that make them all confused and bumbling? Part of the joy of creation is also trying out new things. You can’t explain why your God designed billions of galaxies extinct and extant in order to produce one planet that could sustain life. At least experimentation will provide you with a possible explanation.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Saturday, June 12, 2021, 16:12 (131 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Same simple, same again response. My God chose to evolve us from bacteria and did so by creating the giant bush of life we see, partially to give an expected huge human population a proper food supply, all logical from a belief standpoint.

dhw: There you go again! How can all the extinct branches of the giant bush of life over 3+ thousand million years have been individually designed, even partially, in order to provide food for humans who did not even exist at the time? You have already agreed umpteen times that past food supplies were for the past, not the present.

There you go again, chopping evolution into unrelated time segments.


dhw: As regards free will, as you know perfectly well, the analogy concerns your God’s willingness to give up control.

DAVID: Control over design of new structure is vastly different than human free will being allowed, all structures now designed with it present. Material vs. immaterial.

dhw: You don’t seem to have grasped the point of the analogy. If God gave humans free will to act autonomously, it means he deliberately gave up control. We do our own thing.

Every animal on Earth does its own thing.

dhw: You object to the idea of an evolutionary free-for-all on the grounds that in your view, your God would not want to give up control of evolution. If he is willing to give up control of one life form (perhaps to see what behaviour we humans would come up with – who knows?), then why insist that he would not be willing to give up control over all life forms (perhaps to see what new forms they would come up with – who knows?). The principle of giving up control is the analogy.

And my complaint is your weak analogy. Purposeful design to reach a goal is very different than designing most animals and us who then act on their/our own.

DAVID: In any debate the opponents certainly discount alternative theories and show how they are distortions or unreasonable extrapolations of known facts.

dhw: But they should not distort the theories themselves: my theories and my logic are never an attempt to exclude God, the God I present is both powerful and purposeful, and terms such as weak, namby-pamby, wishy-washy etc. are an irrational denigration of my alternatives: a God who experiments, or a God who wants to create a free-for-all, will provide us – as you readily admit – with a logical explanation of the history of life as we know it.

A complete distortion of my objection to your God. Let's call it a dodge. Note the bold. I have repeatedly told you I think you theories are logical only if a humanized God is accepted as the source. The terms I use about your form of God describes my impression of your form of God. You call mine a control freak! I can't use the approach but you can. OK?


DAVID: A God who uses a free-for-all has no idea of the ensuing endpoint.

dhw: That could be part of the attraction.

To a purposeless God. So you wrote your plays with no known ending to tie it together?


dhw: Alternatively, if his aim was to produce a particular life form that had never existed before, why do you think it denotes personal insecurity if he tries different ways of producing the novelty?

DAVID: Once again a God who doesn't know how to achieve His purposes. Do you think He experimented before finding a form of universe fine-tuned for life? Why not just present your God as confused and bumbling? That is no distortion of what you attempt to present about God's personage.

dhw: Experimentation is a perfectly normal way for inventors to achieve their purposes, so does that make them all confused and bumbling? Part of the joy of creation is also trying out new things. You can’t explain why your God designed billions of galaxies extinct and extant in order to produce one planet that could sustain life. At least experimentation will provide you with a possible explanation.

Explanation only of a God who is an inventor and who doesn't know how to create answers. Not my God, or the God of most believers

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Sunday, June 13, 2021, 10:57 (131 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Same simple, same again response. My God chose to evolve us from bacteria and did so by creating the giant bush of life we see, partially to give an expected huge human population a proper food supply, all logical from a belief standpoint.

dhw: There you go again! How can all the extinct branches of the giant bush of life over 3+ thousand million years have been individually designed, even partially, in order to provide food for humans who did not even exist at the time? You have already agreed umpteen times that past food supplies were for the past, not the present.

DAVID: There you go again, chopping evolution into unrelated time segments.

There you go again, dodging the issue. How can past food supplies for past organisms that had no connection with humans have been essential for humans?

dhw: You object to the idea of an evolutionary free-for-all on the grounds that in your view, your God would not want to give up control of evolution. If he is willing to give up control of one life form (perhaps to see what behaviour we humans would come up with – who knows?), then why insist that he would not be willing to give up control over all life forms (perhaps to see what new forms they would come up with – who knows?). The principle of giving up control is the analogy.

DAVID: And my complaint is your weak analogy. Purposeful design to reach a goal is very different than designing most animals and us who then act on their/our own.

Let me put the above parentheses to you again. Hypothetical purpose based on your belief that God gave man free will:
GOD: Let’s see what intelligent human beings will do if I give them the freedom to behave as they like.
Hypothetical purpose based on my proposal of cellular intelligence:
GOD: Let’s see what life forms cells will produce if I give them the means to do their own designing.
In both cases, your God deliberately gives up control. I know you don’t believe it, but that is because you have a fixed idea of what your God wanted and did. My suggestion that he wanted a free-for-all, and therefore created a free-for-all, fits in perfectly with the history of life, with all its higgledy-piggledy comings and goings.

DAVID: In any debate the opponents certainly discount alternative theories and show how they are distortions or unreasonable extrapolations of known facts.

dhw: But they should not distort the theories themselves: my theories and my logic are never an attempt to exclude God, the God I present is both powerful and purposeful, and terms such as weak, namby-pamby, wishy-washy etc. are an irrational denigration of my alternatives: a God who experiments, or a God who wants to create a free-for-all, will provide us – as you readily admit – with a logical explanation of the history of life as we know it.

DAVID: A complete distortion of my objection to your God. Let's call it a dodge. Note the bold. I have repeatedly told you I think you theories are logical only if a humanized God is accepted as the source.

And I have repeatedly told you that the God of my theories is no more humanized than your own.

DAVID: The terms I use about your form of God describes my impression of your form of God. You call mine a control freak! I can't use the approach but you can. OK?

Not OK! It’s the other way round! You dismiss my alternative theories on the grounds that although they are logical, they “humanize” God. I then point out that your own theories also “humanize” God (hence the “control freak”) but are illogical. (See also “Miscellany”.) As for distortion, you call the God of my theories purposeless, but he simply has a different purpose from yours. I also propose that he is powerful. However, he is willing to experiment and to learn new things – hardly what any of us would call “weak”, “namby-pamby”, “confused” and “bumbling”.

DAVID: A God who uses a free-for-all has no idea of the ensuing endpoint.

dhw: That could be part of the attraction.

DAVID: To a purposeless God. So you wrote your plays with no known ending to tie it together?

You clearly have little grasp of the creative processes. The analogy is far better than you think. When I start to write a play or a story, I normally have no idea how it will end. Part of the fascination of the whole creative process is finding out where it will lead. Perhaps this is one of those “thought patterns” you have said we probably/possibly share with God.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Sunday, June 13, 2021, 18:31 (130 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: There you go again, chopping evolution into unrelated time segments.

dhw: There you go again, dodging the issue. How can past food supplies for past organisms that had no connection with humans have been essential for humans?

I dodge nothing. Each early bush fed each early population. This current bush feeds us. Simple logic looking at a continuous evolutionary process from bacteria to us. Stop slicing!


DAVID: And my complaint is your weak analogy. Purposeful design to reach a goal is very different than designing most animals and us who then act on their/our own.

dhw: Let me put the above parentheses to you again. Hypothetical purpose based on your belief that God gave man free will:
GOD: Let’s see what intelligent human beings will do if I give them the freedom to behave as they like.
Hypothetical purpose based on my proposal of cellular intelligence:
GOD: Let’s see what life forms cells will produce if I give them the means to do their own designing.
In both cases, your God deliberately gives up control. I know you don’t believe it, but that is because you have a fixed idea of what your God wanted and did. My suggestion that he wanted a free-for-all, and therefore created a free-for-all, fits in perfectly with the history of life, with all its higgledy-piggledy comings and goings.

Again you have demonstrated an imaginary God fit to your doubts about Him. My fixation is to analyze historical facts of God's works and accept what He did with purpose. My
God know the outcome. We are here, very different than anything else ever appearing. Therefore we are an obvious goal. Adler's reasoning. You are imagining an amorphous God. That is your rigid position. We are arguing about totally different Gods, that we have chosen to
believe in, only yours is without belief.


DAVID: In any debate the opponents certainly discount alternative theories and show how they are distortions or unreasonable extrapolations of known facts.

dhw: But they should not distort the theories themselves: my theories and my logic are never an attempt to exclude God, the God I present is both powerful and purposeful, and terms such as weak, namby-pamby, wishy-washy etc. are an irrational denigration of my alternatives: a God who experiments, or a God who wants to create a free-for-all, will provide us – as you readily admit – with a logical explanation of the history of life as we know it.

DAVID: A complete distortion of my objection to your God. Let's call it a dodge. Note the bold. I have repeatedly told you I think you theories are logical only if a humanized God is accepted as the source.

dhw: And I have repeatedly told you that the God of my theories is no more humanized than your own.

You can distort my version of God any way you wish, but I present a very purposeful God who keeps on His course, and you call Him a control freak. Just because there are human control freaks doesn't make Him human. And free will among all animals with a brain shows we are not automatons. Her certainly lets us do our own thing. Your quote above: "GOD: Let’s see what intelligent human beings will do if I give them the freedom to behave as they like." fits the point.


DAVID: A God who uses a free-for-all has no idea of the ensuing endpoint.

dhw: That could be part of the attraction.

DAVID: To a purposeless God. So you wrote your plays with no known ending to tie it together?

dhw: You clearly have little grasp of the creative processes. The analogy is far better than you think. When I start to write a play or a story, I normally have no idea how it will end. Part of the fascination of the whole creative process is finding out where it will lead. Perhaps this is one of those “thought patterns” you have said we probably/possibly share with God.

Beautiful description of a writer's imagination. Perhaps why I've never tried fiction. I would want a conceived endpoint to tie it all together. Explains our differences about our God's personality. Personal history: as an older brother in the back seat on long car trips, I told him made up tales with no known ending to keep him interested, not "are we there yet?"
:-)

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Monday, June 14, 2021, 14:43 (129 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: How can past food supplies for past organisms that had no connection with humans have been essential for humans?

DAVID: I dodge nothing. Each early bush fed each early population. This current bush feeds us. Simple logic looking at a continuous evolutionary process from bacteria to us. Stop slicing!

But the evolutionary process did not lead solely from bacteria to us, and that is the problem you keep dodging! If all your God wanted was us, why did he specially design all the millions of life forms and food supplies that had nothing to do with us? Stop dodging!

dhw: My suggestion that he wanted a free-for-all, and therefore created a free-for-all, fits in perfectly with the history of life, with all its higgledy-piggledy comings and goings.

DAVID: Again you have demonstrated an imaginary God fit to your doubts about Him.

Nothing whatsoever to do with my doubts about his existence, if that’s what you mean. Another of your dodges. You have agreed that my alternatives fit in with the history.

DAVID: My fixation is to analyze historical facts of God's works and accept what He did with purpose.

Of course what he did would have been with purpose. I would also expect the results to fit in with the purpose, and the result was thousands of millions of years of comings and goings, 99% of which had no connection with humans.

DAVID: My God know the outcome. We are here, very different than anything else ever appearing. Therefore we are an obvious goal. Adler's reasoning.

Again you say “an obvious goal”. That = one goal. What were the other goals? We are very similar in many ways to our animal ancestors, since so many of our basic physical components and instincts are the same, but yes, our minds are vastly superior. How does that come to mean that your God specially designed the brontosaurus because he wanted to specially design us?

DAVID: You are imagining an amorphous God.

“Amorphous” means having no shape or features. How can you possibly endow him with features and not associate him with human attributes? Why are enjoyment of creation, or experimentation, or the desire for a free-for-all “amorphous”? They are no more and no less amorphous or “humanized” than your theory of single-mindedness (only one purpose - humans), and a desire for total control.

DAVID: You can distort my version of God any way you wish, but I present a very purposeful God who keeps on His course, and you call Him a control freak.

I present a very purposeful God who 1) keeps on his course to allow a free-for-all, or 2) experiments to design a being like himself. Always purposeful, always on his course. Meanwhile, do you deny that you believe he wished to control the production of every life form, econiche, lifestyle, natural wonder etc.?

DAVID: Just because there are human control freaks doesn't make Him human.

Of course not. As you so rightly agreed previously, it is probable/possible that he has thought patterns and emotions and attributes similar to ours. That doesn’t mean he is a human being.

DAVID: And free will among all animals with a brain shows we are not automatons. He certainly lets us do our own thing.

Precisely. He was happy enough NOT to control our behaviour. And so, by analogy, I propose that he might also have been happy enough to give organisms the means to design their own adaptations, major and minor, not to mention their own lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders.

DAVID: A God who uses a free-for-all has no idea of the ensuing endpoint.

dhw: That could be part of the attraction.

DAVID: To a purposeless God. So you wrote your plays with no known ending to tie it together?

dhw: You clearly have little grasp of the creative processes. The analogy is far better than you think. When I start to write a play or a story, I normally have no idea how it will end. Part of the fascination of the whole creative process is finding out where it will lead. Perhaps this is one of those “thought patterns” you have said we probably/possibly share with God.

DAVID: Beautiful description of a writer's imagination. Perhaps why I've never tried fiction. I would want a conceived endpoint to tie it all together. Explains our differences about our God's personality.

Why should what you want be what your God wants? When you read a book, do you want to know the end of the story before you start? Please answer. Perhaps he enjoys the excitement of DISCOVERY, just as I do when I’m writing. You offered the analogy, and I am explaining to you how it may well fit in with your God’s own thought patterns.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Monday, June 14, 2021, 18:07 (129 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I dodge nothing. Each early bush fed each early population. This current bush feeds us. Simple logic looking at a continuous evolutionary process from bacteria to us. Stop slicing!

dhw: But the evolutionary process did not lead solely from bacteria to us, and that is the problem you keep dodging! If all your God wanted was us, why did he specially design all the millions of life forms and food supplies that had nothing to do with us? Stop dodging!

No dodge. Tell us what we would eat if planted/created on Earth with nothing to eat?


DAVID: My God know the outcome. We are here, very different than anything else ever appearing. Therefore we are an obvious goal. Adler's reasoning.

dhw: Again you say “an obvious goal”. That = one goal. What were the other goals? We are very similar in many ways to our animal ancestors, since so many of our basic physical components and instincts are the same, but yes, our minds are vastly superior. How does that come to mean that your God specially designed the brontosaurus because he wanted to specially design us?

Another goal was food supply. The human goal was an endpoint of an evolutionary process which was created from one stage to the next, each stage supporte4d by ecosystems of food supply.


DAVID: You can distort my version of God any way you wish, but I present a very purposeful God who keeps on His course, and you call Him a control freak.

dhw: I present a very purposeful God who 1) keeps on his course to allow a free-for-all, or 2) experiments to design a being like himself. Always purposeful, always on his course. Meanwhile, do you deny that you believe he wished to control the production of every life form, econiche, lifestyle, natural wonder etc.?

I won't deny my vision of a very purposeful God who knows exactly what He is doing on teh way to His goals.


DAVID: And free will among all animals with a brain shows we are not automatons. He certainly lets us do our own thing.

dhw: Precisely. He was happy enough NOT to control our behaviour. And so, by analogy, I propose that he might also have been happy enough to give organisms the means to design their own adaptations, major and minor, not to mention their own lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders.

Your form of God, not mine.

DAVID: To a purposeless God. So you wrote your plays with no known ending to tie it together?

dhw: You clearly have little grasp of the creative processes. The analogy is far better than you think. When I start to write a play or a story, I normally have no idea how it will end. Part of the fascination of the whole creative process is finding out where it will lead. Perhaps this is one of those “thought patterns” you have said we probably/possibly share with God.

DAVID: Beautiful description of a writer's imagination. Perhaps why I've never tried fiction. I would want a conceived endpoint to tie it all together. Explains our differences about our God's personality.

dhw: Why should what you want be what your God wants? When you read a book, do you want to know the end of the story before you start? Please answer.

Of course not, I don't read the last chapter first.

dhw: Perhaps he enjoys the excitement of DISCOVERY, just as I do when I’m writing. You offered the analogy, and I am explaining to you how it may well fit in with your God’s own thought patterns.

My version of God knows exactly what He is doing and where He is going. Again your humanized version appears. Why do you want Him so human He mirrors us? His person is not in any way like ours

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, 11:38 (129 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My God know the outcome. We are here, very different than anything else ever appearing. Therefore we are an obvious goal. Adler's reasoning.

dhw: Again you say “an obvious goal”. That = one goal. What were the other goals? We are very similar in many ways to our animal ancestors, since so many of our basic physical components and instincts are the same, but yes, our minds are vastly superior. How does that come to mean that your God specially designed the brontosaurus because he wanted to specially design us?

DAVID: Another goal was food supply. The human goal was an endpoint of an evolutionary process which was created from one stage to the next, each stage supported by ecosystems of food supply.

I have always included food supply. Please explain why your God could not have specially designed humans and their food supply without first designing the brontosaurus and its food supply, plus the 99% of other organisms and their food supplies that had no connection with humans.

DAVID: You can distort my version of God any way you wish, but I present a very purposeful God who keeps on His course, and you call Him a control freak.

dhw: I present a very purposeful God who 1) keeps on his course to allow a free-for-all, or 2) experiments to design a being like himself. Always purposeful, always on his course. Meanwhile, do you deny that you believe he wished to control the production of every life form, econiche, lifestyle, natural wonder etc.?

DAVID: I won't deny my vision of a very purposeful God who knows exactly what He is doing on teh way to His goals.

So you agree that your version is a control freak. Meanwhile, what are the other goals apart from humans and their food supply? Why do you believe that a God whose goal is to create a free-for-all is not purposeful and does not know what he is doing on the way to fulfilling his goal of a free-for-all?

DAVID: And free will among all animals with a brain shows we are not automatons. He certainly lets us do our own thing.

dhw: Precisely. He was happy enough NOT to control our behaviour. And so, by analogy, I propose that he might also have been happy enough to give organisms the means to design their own adaptations, major and minor, not to mention their own lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders.

DAVID: Your form of God, not mine.

I know your beliefs are fixed. I am merely pointing out that if he was willing to give up control of our behaviour, it should not be inconceivable that he was also willing to give up control of evolution. At least that would offer you an explanation for all the different, higgledy-piggledy, non-human varieties of life forms that came and went, and it would relieve you of the problem of why your God with his good intentions deliberately designed all the murderous bacteria and viruses that cause so much suffering.

dhw: You clearly have little grasp of the creative processes. The analogy is far better than you think. When I start to write a play or a story, I normally have no idea how it will end. Part of the fascination of the whole creative process is finding out where it will lead. Perhaps this is one of those “thought patterns” you have said we probably/possibly share with God.

DAVID: Beautiful description of a writer's imagination. Perhaps why I've never tried fiction. I would want a conceived endpoint to tie it all together. Explains our differences about our God's personality.

dhw: Why should what you want be what your God wants? When you read a book, do you want to know the end of the story before you start? Please answer.

DAVID: Of course not, I don't read the last chapter first.

So it’s possible that your God also has the pleasure of following stories without knowing the ending in advance.

dhw: Perhaps he enjoys the excitement of DISCOVERY, just as I do when I’m writing. You offered the analogy, and I am explaining to you how it may well fit in with your God’s own thought patterns.

DAVID: My version of God knows exactly what He is doing and where He is going. Again your humanized version appears. Why do you want Him so human He mirrors us? His person is not in any way like ours.

You have no more idea what he is like than I do. But why do you think my version has him mirroring us? I am proposing that some of OUR characteristics mirror HIS – not the other way round! If he exists, HE is the creator. A lot of humans know exactly what they are doing and where they are going, but you have just given us an analogy between your God’s creativity and my own. Why do you now assume that your analogy is wrong, and that there is no way your God could enjoy the same excitement of creativity and discovery that I enjoy?

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, 21:43 (128 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Another goal was food supply. The human goal was an endpoint of an evolutionary process which was created from one stage to the next, each stage supported by ecosystems of food supply.

dhw: I have always included food supply. Please explain why your God could not have specially designed humans and their food supply without first designing the brontosaurus and its food supply, plus the 99% of other organisms and their food supplies that had no connection with humans.

I have to remind you, an evolutionary process builds new stages from the old and in our case this evolution adds complexity at each stage. Brontos are part of a stage.


DAVID: I won't deny my vision of a very purposeful God who knows exactly what He is doing on the way to His goals.

dhw: So you agree that your version is a control freak. Meanwhile, what are the other goals apart from humans and their food supply? Why do you believe that a God whose goal is to create a free-for-all is not purposeful and does not know what he is doing on the way to fulfilling his goal of a free-for-all?

Free-for-alls by definition have no specific goal in sight. You are not logical.


DAVID: And free will among all animals with a brain shows we are not automatons. He certainly lets us do our own thing.

dhw: Precisely. He was happy enough NOT to control our behaviour. And so, by analogy, I propose that he might also have been happy enough to give organisms the means to design their own adaptations, major and minor, not to mention their own lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders.

DAVID: Your form of God, not mine.

dhw: I know your beliefs are fixed. I am merely pointing out that if he was willing to give up control of our behaviour, it should not be inconceivable that he was also willing to give up control of evolution. At least that would offer you an explanation for all the different, higgledy-piggledy, non-human varieties of life forms that came and went, and it would relieve you of the problem of why your God with his good intentions deliberately designed all the murderous bacteria and viruses that cause so much suffering.

It doesn't compare. Control over forms advancing to human beings is not the same as organisms controlling their everyday activity. Again, no logic.

dhw: Why should what you want be what your God wants? When you read a book, do you want to know the end of the story before you start? Please answer.

DAVID: Of course not, I don't read the last chapter first.

dhw: So it’s possible that your God also has the pleasure of following stories without knowing the ending in advance.

dhw: Perhaps he enjoys the excitement of DISCOVERY, just as I do when I’m writing. You offered the analogy, and I am explaining to you how it may well fit in with your God’s own thought patterns.

DAVID: My version of God knows exactly what He is doing and where He is going. Again your humanized version appears. Why do you want Him so human He mirrors us? His person is not in any way like ours.

dhw: You have no more idea what he is like than I do. But why do you think my version has him mirroring us? I am proposing that some of OUR characteristics mirror HIS – not the other way round! If he exists, HE is the creator. A lot of humans know exactly what they are doing and where they are going, but you have just given us an analogy between your God’s creativity and my own. Why do you now assume that your analogy is wrong, and that there is no way your God could enjoy the same excitement of creativity and discovery that I enjoy?

I doubt it. You are humanizing the God I think about. Keep your God, I'll keep mine. We both have a right to our own versions.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 11:45 (128 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Another goal was food supply. The human goal was an endpoint of an evolutionary process which was created from one stage to the next, each stage supported by ecosystems of food supply.

dhw: I have always included food supply. Please explain why your God could not have specially designed humans and their food supply without first designing the brontosaurus and its food supply, plus the 99% of other organisms and their food supplies that had no connection with humans.

DAVID: I have to remind you, an evolutionary process builds new stages from the old and in our case this evolution adds complexity at each stage. Brontos are part of a stage.

Dodge, dodge, dodge. I have to remind you that if you believe in common descent, ALL life forms were once new “stages” built from the old, but 99% of the stages had no connection with humans. You have said yourself that brontos had no direct connection to humans. They were a “stage” on a different branch of the bush.

DAVID: I won't deny my vision of a very purposeful God who knows exactly what He is doing on the way to His goals.

dhw: So you agree that your version is a control freak. Meanwhile, what are the other goals apart from humans and their food supply? Why do you believe that a God whose goal is to create a free-for-all is not purposeful and does not know what he is doing on the way to fulfilling his goal of a free-for-all?

DAVID: Free-for-alls by definition have no specific goal in sight. You are not logical.

You’re fond of the phrase “slicing and dicing”, and that is precisely what you are doing. The subject is God’s goal. His goal would be the joy/excitement/pleasure of watching what the free-for-all will lead to. You accidentally hit on it when you drew the analogy with my own creative processes.

dhw: I know your beliefs are fixed. I am merely pointing out that if he was willing to give up control of our behaviour, it should not be inconceivable that he was also willing to give up control of evolution. At least that would offer you an explanation for all the different, higgledy-piggledy, non-human varieties of life forms that came and went, and it would relieve you of the problem of why your God with his good intentions deliberately designed all the murderous bacteria and viruses that cause so much suffering.

DAVID: It doesn't compare. Control over forms advancing to human beings is not the same as organisms controlling their everyday activity. Again, no logic.

That is not the comparison I am drawing! You chicken out of telling us what you think is your God’s purpose in creating us with our free will. So here’s one possibility: he’s done it because he’s interested in seeing what we do with our free will. Why would he give cell communities the freedom to create their own designs? One possibility: he’s done it because he’s interested in seeing what they do with their freedom to create their own designs. That is the comparison. Furthermore, since you have no doubt that your God is interested in his creations, there is no logical reason why you should reject the idea that he created them because he wanted something that would interest him. The theory at least offers solutions to the two bolded problems above, which you are so desperate to ignore.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 20:09 (127 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I have to remind you, an evolutionary process builds new stages from the old and in our case this evolution adds complexity at each stage. Brontos are part of a stage.

dhw: Dodge, dodge, dodge. I have to remind you that if you believe in common descent, ALL life forms were once new “stages” built from the old, but 99% of the stages had no connection with humans. You have said yourself that brontos had no direct connection to humans. They were a “stage” on a different branch of the bush.

That is not what I have proposed above. Of course there is no direct connection with stages that are far apart in time.


DAVID: I won't deny my vision of a very purposeful God who knows exactly what He is doing on the way to His goals.

dhw: So you agree that your version is a control freak. Meanwhile, what are the other goals apart from humans and their food supply? Why do you believe that a God whose goal is to create a free-for-all is not purposeful and does not know what he is doing on the way to fulfilling his goal of a free-for-all?

DAVID: Free-for-alls by definition have no specific goal in sight. You are not logical.

dhw: You’re fond of the phrase “slicing and dicing”, and that is precisely what you are doing. The subject is God’s goal. His goal would be the joy/excitement/pleasure of watching what the free-for-all will lead to. You accidentally hit on it when you drew the analogy with my own creative processes.

Again a very humanized God who MUST have human pleasures to watch an uncontrolled developing melee with an unknown but potentially exciting outcome. Like a cricket match


dhw: I know your beliefs are fixed. I am merely pointing out that if he was willing to give up control of our behaviour, it should not be inconceivable that he was also willing to give up control of evolution. At least that would offer you an explanation for all the different, higgledy-piggledy, non-human varieties of life forms that came and went, and it would relieve you of the problem of why your God with his good intentions deliberately designed all the murderous bacteria and viruses that cause so much suffering.

DAVID: It doesn't compare. Control over forms advancing to human beings is not the same as organisms controlling their everyday activity. Again, no logic.

dhw: That is not the comparison I am drawing! You chicken out of telling us what you think is your God’s purpose in creating us with our free will. So here’s one possibility: he’s done it because he’s interested in seeing what we do with our free will.

Our giant brains allow us to decide to study God's works. Perhaps it is a way He allows us the challenge of figuring His methods of creation. Only a guess!!!

dhw: Why would he give cell communities the freedom to create their own designs? One possibility: he’s done it because he’s interested in seeing what they do with their freedom to create their own designs. That is the comparison. Furthermore, since you have no doubt that your God is interested in his creations, there is no logical reason why you should reject the idea that he created them because he wanted something that would interest him. The theory at least offers solutions to the two bolded problems above, which you are so desperate to ignore.

Why shouldn't I ignore you invented problems about a God I believe in? I've answered your current proposal about God's interests above: "a very humanized God who MUST have human pleasures to watch an uncontrolled developing melee with an unknown but potentially exciting outcome. Like a cricket match"

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Thursday, June 17, 2021, 11:25 (127 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I have to remind you, an evolutionary process builds new stages from the old and in our case this evolution adds complexity at each stage. Brontos are part of a stage.

dhw: Dodge, dodge, dodge. I have to remind you that if you believe in common descent, ALL life forms were once new “stages” built from the old, but 99% of the stages had no connection with humans. You have said yourself that brontos had no direct connection to humans. They were a “stage” on a different branch of the bush.

DAVID: That is not what I have proposed above. Of course there is no direct connection with stages that are far apart in time.

And there is no connection between branches. There is in fact no connection at all, apart from common descent from the first cells, which is why it is patently absurd to claim that all extinct life forms were “part of the goal to evolve [design] humans” plus lunch.

DAVID: I won't deny my vision of a very purposeful God who knows exactly what He is doing on the way to His goals.

dhw: […] Why do you believe that a God whose goal is to create a free-for-all is not purposeful and does not know what he is doing on the way to fulfilling his goal of a free-for-all?

DAVID: Free-for-alls by definition have no specific goal in sight. You are not logical.

dhw: You’re fond of the phrase “slicing and dicing”, and that is precisely what you are doing. The subject is God’s goal. His goal would be the joy/excitement/pleasure of watching what the free-for-all will lead to. You accidentally hit on it when you drew the analogy with my own creative processes.

DAVID: Again a very humanized God who MUST have human pleasures to watch an uncontrolled developing melee with an unknown but potentially exciting outcome. Like a cricket match.

As usual, you shift your ground when cornered. The history of evolution’s comings and goings, with 99% of life forms etc. having no connection with humans, suggests a free-for-all, and so maybe that’s what God wanted – i.e. it was his purpose. THAT is logical, and so back you go to your silly “humanized” argument. Why does it never occur to you that if your God created us, WE may have inherited some of HIS characteristics? Yes, the excitement of not knowing the outcome would be excellent motivation for him to create a free-for-all. This time, you have bravely made your own guess as to his purpose in creating us:

DAVID: Our giant brains allow us to decide to study God's works. Perhaps it is a way He allows us the challenge of figuring His methods of creation. Only a guess!!!

Do tell us your guess as to why he might want us to study his works and figure out his methods.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 17, 2021, 18:55 (126 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Dodge, dodge, dodge. I have to remind you that if you believe in common descent, ALL life forms were once new “stages” built from the old, but 99% of the stages had no connection with humans. You have said yourself that brontos had no direct connection to humans. They were a “stage” on a different branch of the bush.

I know. But all branches go back to Archaea. You lack any concept of continuity. Each stage must have branches of food supply. Brontos are now birds and lizards, here with us and supplying food. Back in bronto's time we were mouse sized, but on the way. That was our stage at the time.


DAVID: That is not what I have proposed above. Of course there is no direct connection with stages that are far apart in time.

dhw: And there is no connection between branches. There is in fact no connection at all, apart from common descent from the first cells, which is why it is patently absurd to claim that all extinct life forms were “part of the goal to evolve [design] humans” plus lunch.

Again slicing and dicing.


DAVID: I won't deny my vision of a very purposeful God who knows exactly what He is doing on the way to His goals.

dhw: […] Why do you believe that a God whose goal is to create a free-for-all is not purposeful and does not know what he is doing on the way to fulfilling his goal of a free-for-all?

DAVID: Free-for-alls by definition have no specific goal in sight. You are not logical.

dhw: You’re fond of the phrase “slicing and dicing”, and that is precisely what you are doing. The subject is God’s goal. His goal would be the joy/excitement/pleasure of watching what the free-for-all will lead to. You accidentally hit on it when you drew the analogy with my own creative processes.

DAVID: Again a very humanized God who MUST have human pleasures to watch an uncontrolled developing melee with an unknown but potentially exciting outcome. Like a cricket match.

dhw: As usual, you shift your ground when cornered.

Never shifting from my fixed positions. God does not have human desires, which below you supply again:

dhw: The history of evolution’s comings and goings, with 99% of life forms etc. having no connection with humans, suggests a free-for-all, and so maybe that’s what God wanted – i.e. it was his purpose. THAT is logical, and so back you go to your silly “humanized” argument. Why does it never occur to you that if your God created us, WE may have inherited some of HIS characteristics? Yes, the excitement of not knowing the outcome would be excellent motivation for him to create a free-for-all. This time, you have bravely made your own guess as to his purpose in creating us:

DAVID: Our giant brains allow us to decide to study God's works. Perhaps it is a way He allows us the challenge of figuring His methods of creation. Only a guess!!!

dhw: Do tell us your guess as to why he might want us to study his works and figure out his methods.

He might have wanted to create creatures who would try to figure out how He did it. Just more guessing. He certainly doesn't want us to have that ability for His own self-gratification from recognition of Him by us, recognizing His greatness.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Friday, June 18, 2021, 13:12 (125 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Dodge, dodge, dodge. I have to remind you that if you believe in common descent, ALL life forms were once new “stages” built from the old, but 99% of the stages had no connection with humans. You have said yourself that brontos had no direct connection to humans. They were a “stage” on a different branch of the bush.

DAVID: I know. But all branches go back to Archaea. You lack any concept of continuity. Each stage must have branches of food supply. Brontos are now birds and lizards, here with us and supplying food. Back in bronto's time we were mouse sized, but on the way. That was our stage at the time.

So although past food supplies were for the past and extinct life has no role in current time, every life form in the history of life’s huge bush was specially and individually designed as part of the goal of specially designing humans plus lunch. You have no idea why your all-powerful God chose this method of designing humans plus lunch, which were all he actually wanted to design in the first place, but you find it logical.

DAVID: I won't deny my vision of a very purposeful God who knows exactly what He is doing on the way to His goals.

dhw: […] Why do you believe that a God whose goal is to create a free-for-all is not purposeful and does not know what he is doing on the way to fulfilling his goal of a free-for-all?

DAVID: Free-for-alls by definition have no specific goal in sight. You are not logical.

dhw: You’re fond of the phrase “slicing and dicing”, and that is precisely what you are doing. The subject is God’s goal. His goal would be the joy/excitement/pleasure of watching what the free-for-all will lead to. You accidentally hit on it when you drew the analogy with my own creative processes.

DAVID: Again a very humanized God who MUST have human pleasures to watch an uncontrolled developing melee with an unknown but potentially exciting outcome. Like a cricket match.

dhw: As usual, you shift your ground when cornered.

DAVID: Never shifting from my fixed positions. God does not have human desires, which below you supply again:

You attacked the logic behind my proposal that God’s purpose was a free-for-all. Your attack was a dislocated piece of reasoning, and so you shifted the argument back to your silly “humanization”. And how do you know that we do not have desires similar to your God's?

dhw: Why does it never occur to you that if your God created us, WE may have inherited some of HIS characteristics? Yes, the excitement of not knowing the outcome would be excellent motivation for him to create a free-for-all. This time, you have bravely made your own guess as to his purpose in creating us:

DAVID: Our giant brains allow us to decide to study God's works. Perhaps it is a way He allows us the challenge of figuring His methods of creation. Only a guess!!!

dhw: Do tell us your guess as to why he might want us to study his works and figure out his methods.

DAVID: He might have wanted to create creatures who would try to figure out how He did it. Just more guessing. He certainly doesn't want us to have that ability for His own self-gratification from recognition of Him by us, recognizing His greatness.

He “certainly” doesn’t….? How the heck do you know? You’re very fond of telling me what most believers believe. Why do you think they built their churches and mosques, and what do you think they base their beliefs on? Why do you think he would want us to study his works anyway?

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Friday, June 18, 2021, 21:00 (125 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: ... You have said yourself that brontos had no direct connection to humans. They were a “stage” on a different branch of the bush.

DAVID: I know. But all branches go back to Archaea. You lack any concept of continuity. Each stage must have branches of food supply. Brontos are now birds and lizards, here with us and supplying food. Back in bronto's time we were mouse sized, but on the way. That was our stage at the time.

dhw: So although past food supplies were for the past and extinct life has no role in current time, every life form in the history of life’s huge bush was specially and individually designed as part of the goal of specially designing humans plus lunch. You have no idea why your all-powerful God chose this method of designing humans plus lunch, which were all he actually wanted to design in the first place, but you find it logical.

What is logical is my accepting God's works, of which evolution is one. I can't ask Him why He chose to evolve us, but it is my assumption He did.


DAVID: I won't deny my vision of a very purposeful God who knows exactly what He is doing on the way to His goals.

dhw: […] Why do you believe that a God whose goal is to create a free-for-all is not purposeful and does not know what he is doing on the way to fulfilling his goal of a free-for-all?

DAVID: Free-for-alls by definition have no specific goal in sight. You are not logical.

dhw: You’re fond of the phrase “slicing and dicing”, and that is precisely what you are doing. The subject is God’s goal. His goal would be the joy/excitement/pleasure of watching what the free-for-all will lead to. You accidentally hit on it when you drew the analogy with my own creative processes.

DAVID: Again a very humanized God who MUST have human pleasures to watch an uncontrolled developing melee with an unknown but potentially exciting outcome. Like a cricket match.

dhw: As usual, you shift your ground when cornered.

DAVID: Never shifting from my fixed positions. God does not have human desires, which below you supply again:

dhw: You attacked the logic behind my proposal that God’s purpose was a free-for-all. Your attack was a dislocated piece of reasoning, and so you shifted the argument back to your silly “humanization”. And how do you know that we do not have desires similar to your God's?

How do you know we do?

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Saturday, June 19, 2021, 11:20 (125 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: ... You have said yourself that brontos had no direct connection to humans. They were a “stage” on a different branch of the bush.

DAVID: I know. But all branches go back to Archaea. You lack any concept of continuity. Each stage must have branches of food supply. Brontos are now birds and lizards, here with us and supplying food. Back in bronto's time we were mouse sized, but on the way. That was our stage at the time.

dhw: So although past food supplies were for the past and extinct life has no role in current time, every life form in the history of life’s huge bush was specially and individually designed as part of the goal of specially designing humans plus lunch. You have no idea why your all-powerful God chose this method of designing humans plus lunch, which were all he actually wanted to design in the first place, but you find it logical.

DAVID: What is logical is my accepting God's works, of which evolution is one. I can't ask Him why He chose to evolve us, but it is my assumption He did.

And it is your assumption that he also individually designed millions of other life forms and their lunches etc. which had no connection with humans, but you can’t ask him why he did so although his one and only purpose was to design us and our lunch. You just have to accept that you have no idea why he would choose such a method to fulfil such a purpose, and you expect others to accept it too.

DAVID: I won't deny my vision of a very purposeful God who knows exactly what He is doing on the way to His goals.

dhw: […] Why do you believe that a God whose goal is to create a free-for-all is not purposeful and does not know what he is doing on the way to fulfilling his goal of a free-for-all?

DAVID: Free-for-alls by definition have no specific goal in sight. You are not logical.

dhw: You’re fond of the phrase “slicing and dicing”, and that is precisely what you are doing. The subject is God’s goal. His goal would be the joy/excitement/pleasure of watching what the free-for-all will lead to. You accidentally hit on it when you drew the analogy with my own creative processes.

DAVID: God does not have human desires [...]

dhw: […] how do you know that we do not have desires similar to your God's?

DAVID: How do you know we do?

I don’t. That is why I offer alternative theories to explain the course of evolution. You reject all my alternatives as if you knew God’s nature: “God does not have human desires.” Your personal beliefs, stated as if they were facts, do not offer any reason at all for rejecting logical alternatives to your own illogical theories about his nature, purposes and methods.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Saturday, June 19, 2021, 15:47 (124 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: What is logical is my accepting God's works, of which evolution is one. I can't ask Him why He chose to evolve us, but it is my assumption He did.

dhw: And it is your assumption that he also individually designed millions of other life forms and their lunches etc. which had no connection with humans, but you can’t ask him why he did so although his one and only purpose was to design us and our lunch. You just have to accept that you have no idea why he would choose such a method to fulfil such a purpose, and you expect others to accept it too.

I can't help you with my God. I simply accept His works. You question His existence.


DAVID: I won't deny my vision of a very purposeful God who knows exactly what He is doing on the way to His goals.

dhw: […] Why do you believe that a God whose goal is to create a free-for-all is not purposeful and does not know what he is doing on the way to fulfilling his goal of a free-for-all?

DAVID: Free-for-alls by definition have no specific goal in sight. You are not logical.

dhw: You’re fond of the phrase “slicing and dicing”, and that is precisely what you are doing. The subject is God’s goal. His goal would be the joy/excitement/pleasure of watching what the free-for-all will lead to. You accidentally hit on it when you drew the analogy with my own creative processes.

DAVID: God does not have human desires [...]

dhw: […] how do you know that we do not have desires similar to your God's?

DAVID: How do you know we do?

dhw: I don’t. That is why I offer alternative theories to explain the course of evolution. You reject all my alternatives as if you knew God’s nature: “God does not have human desires.” Your personal beliefs, stated as if they were facts, do not offer any reason at all for rejecting logical alternatives to your own illogical theories about his nature, purposes and methods.

Your humanized God always appears to lack purpose. An unguided free-for-all 'on purpose', by definition, has no idea where it will end up. Where is the purposeful result of an evolutionary process headed somewhere by free-for-all?

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Sunday, June 20, 2021, 09:37 (124 days ago) @ David Turell

Transferred from “Miscellany

DAVID: You describe how evolution happens and then complain about the mechanism. His method is evolving bacteria to human in stages.

dhw: My complaint is your constant attempts to dodge the fact that according to you his only purpose was to design humans and their lunch, and his “method” entailed individually designing millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles, natural wonders and lunches that had no connection with humans.

DAVID: Again you describe evolution and claim God should not have done it that way, but He did.

“That way” is specially designing millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with his purpose, as bolded above. I don’t say he shouldn’t have “done it” that way, and you certainly can’t say he did! That way is totally illogical, and therefore I propose alternative theistic explanations (see below) for ALL the life forms and lunches which we know exist/existed. You agree over and over again that these all fit in logically with the history of evolution.

DAVID: My total argument is from that position. No wonder you cannot accept belief in God with your line of reasoning. God, in charge of all creation, chose to evolve everything that ever existed with a goal of producing humans at the end.

You claim that he designed all 99% of non-human-related life forms etc. “as part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” plus lunch, as bolded above. I suggest that if he exists and his goal was humans, maybe he was experimenting, or maybe he didn’t start out with the goal of humans, or maybe he set out to create a free-for-all and see what it would produce. All these proposals are theistic and fit in logically with the history of evolution, as you agree. Please stop hiding behind my agnosticism as if that gave any sort of credence to the illogical theory which you like to state as if it were a fact.

DAVID: What is logical is my accepting God's works, of which evolution is one. I can't ask Him why He chose to evolve us, but it is my assumption He did.

dhw: And it is your assumption that he also individually designed millions of other life forms and their lunches etc. which had no connection with humans, but you can’t ask him why he did so although his one and only purpose was to design us and our lunch. You just have to accept that you have no idea why he would choose such a method to fulfil such a purpose, and you expect others to accept it too.

DAVID: I can't help you with my God. I simply accept His works. You question His existence.

Another of your dead-end escape routes, when you know perfectly well that all my alternative explanations of evolution allow for the existence of God. You do not “simply accept his works”. You have determined that he had one purpose etc., as bolded above. Please stop pretending that my agnosticism justifies the illogicality of your theory.

DAVID: God does not have human desires [...]

dhw: […] how do you know that we do not have desires similar to your God's?

DAVID: How do you know we do?

dhw: I don’t. That is why I offer alternative theories to explain the course of evolution. You reject all my alternatives as if you knew God’s nature: “God does not have human desires.” Your personal beliefs, stated as if they were facts, do not offer any reason at all for rejecting logical alternatives to your own illogical theories about his nature, purposes and methods.

DAVID: Your humanized God always appears to lack purpose. An unguided free-for-all 'on purpose', by definition, has no idea where it will end up. Where is the purposeful result of an evolutionary process headed somewhere by free-for-all?

Back you go to your other escape route – God only has the humanizing aspects you allow him to have (always in control, single-minded, always has good intentions), but he can’t have any that I propose. You have ignored my previous answer to your objection to a free-for-all, so here we go again. The basis would be your God’s love of creation (which you admit) and his interest in what he has created (which you admit). The proposal is that his purpose in creating would therefore be to provide himself with things that would interest him. And, following your analogy of the creative process, it is far more interesting to create something unpredictable than to know exactly what is coming next. Hence the free-for-all. For all we know, of course, the free-for-all itself might turn out to have a perfectly logical ending – though I have to say, the only one I can envisage is pretty horrifying!

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Sunday, June 20, 2021, 15:20 (123 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Again you describe evolution and claim God should not have done it that way, but He did.

dhw: “That way” is specially designing millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with his purpose, as bolded above. I don’t say he shouldn’t have “done it” that way, and you certainly can’t say he did! That way is totally illogical, and therefore I propose alternative theistic explanations (see below) for ALL the life forms and lunches which we know exist/existed. You agree over and over again that these all fit in logically with the history of evolution.

Same illogical point. My view is still simple. God, as Creator, evolved humans from bacteria, and I simply accept the entire history of evolution. I've never understood your objections. They always sound as if 'God did it wrong'.


dhw: You claim that he designed all 99% of non-human-related life forms etc. “as part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” plus lunch, as bolded above. I suggest that if he exists and his goal was humans, maybe he was experimenting, or maybe he didn’t start out with the goal of humans, or maybe he set out to create a free-for-all and see what it would produce. All these proposals are theistic and fit in logically with the history of evolution, as you agree. Please stop hiding behind my agnosticism as if that gave any sort of credence to the illogical theory which you like to state as if it were a fact.

So your objection is I don't accept your version of God's reasons and purposes. My God has purpose and your God isn't sure of what He is doing. Our views of who God is differs widely. and that is a reasonable difference. I am sure of my belief, as you search for yours. You started this website to search for ideas, possibly answers, and you are still searching.


DAVID: I can't help you with my God. I simply accept His works. You question His existence.

dhw: Another of your dead-end escape routes, when you know perfectly well that all my alternative explanations of evolution allow for the existence of God. You do not “simply accept his works”. You have determined that he had one purpose etc., as bolded above. Please stop pretending that my agnosticism justifies the illogicality of your theory.

Illogical only to you, so you keep searching.


DAVID: God does not have human desires [...]

dhw: […] how do you know that we do not have desires similar to your God's?

DAVID: How do you know we do?

dhw: I don’t. That is why I offer alternative theories to explain the course of evolution. You reject all my alternatives as if you knew God’s nature: “God does not have human desires.” Your personal beliefs, stated as if they were facts, do not offer any reason at all for rejecting logical alternatives to your own illogical theories about his nature, purposes and methods.

DAVID: Your humanized God always appears to lack purpose. An unguided free-for-all 'on purpose', by definition, has no idea where it will end up. Where is the purposeful result of an evolutionary process headed somewhere by free-for-all?

dhw: Back you go to your other escape route – God only has the humanizing aspects you allow him to have (always in control, single-minded, always has good intentions), but he can’t have any that I propose. You have ignored my previous answer to your objection to a free-for-all, so here we go again. The basis would be your God’s love of creation (which you admit) and his interest in what he has created (which you admit). The proposal is that his purpose in creating would therefore be to provide himself with things that would interest him. And, following your analogy of the creative process, it is far more interesting to create something unpredictable than to know exactly what is coming next. Hence the free-for-all. For all we know, of course, the free-for-all itself might turn out to have a perfectly logical ending – though I have to say, the only one I can envisage is pretty horrifying!

How does a free-for-all process of evolution end up with you and I? Chance? You've rejected chance in a very large part and design has stopped you from being a pure atheist. I've made certain decisions arriving at my God-accepting point of view. As a result our individual views of God widely differ, and as a result the debate continues. I don't have 'escape routes', but a very different view of God than you do. Mine is well-defined and yours whatever you decide He should be. Example: Above your God has to create to interest Himself so His self-satisfaction becomes a necessary event. A totally different view of a possibly existing God than mine. My God creates with pure purpose.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Monday, June 21, 2021, 09:06 (123 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Again you describe evolution and claim God should not have done it that way, but He did.

dhw: “That way” is specially designing millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with his purpose […] . I don’t say he shouldn’t have “done it” that way, and you certainly can’t say he did! That way is totally illogical, and therefore I propose alternative theistic explanations (see below) for ALL the life forms and lunches which we know exist/existed. You agree over and over again that these all fit in logically with the history of evolution.

DAVID: Same illogical point. My view is still simple. God, as Creator, evolved humans from bacteria, and I simply accept the entire history of evolution. I've never understood your objections. They always sound as if 'God did it wrong'.

Your view is not simple, and you impose an illogical theory on the history of evolution. According to you, your God also “evolved” [= directly designed] millions of life forms, their lunches, lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders from bacteria, and 99% of them had no connection with humans and their lunch, although his one and only purpose was to evolve (= design) us and our lunch. It’s not “God did it wrong” – it’s “you must have interpreted it wrong”. Especially since you insist that your God acts logically!

dhw: […] Please stop hiding behind my agnosticism as if that gave any sort of credence to the illogical theory which you like to state as if it were a fact.

DAVID: So your objection is I don't accept your version of God's reasons and purposes.

No it isn’t. My objection is to the illogicality of your own theory, and to your pretence that my own theories (which you agree are logical) can be dismissed because I am an agnostic.

DAVID: My God has purpose and your God isn't sure of what He is doing. Our views of who God isdiffers widely. and that is a reasonable difference. I am sure of my belief, as you search for yours. You started this website to search for ideas, possibly answers, and you are still searching.

In all my theistic theories, my God has purpose. In one of them (experimenting), he isn’t sure how to get what he wants (a being like himself). What is wrong with that? Yes, you are sure of your belief in the illogical theory bolded above. And yes, I’m still searching. How does that come to mean that your illogical belief is the only possible solution to the mysteries I wish I could solve?

DAVID: Your humanized God always appears to lack purpose. An unguided free-for-all 'on purpose', by definition, has no idea where it will end up. Where is the purposeful result of an evolutionary process headed somewhere by free-for-all?

dhw: Back you go to your other escape route – God only has the humanizing aspects you allow him to have (always in control, single-minded, always has good intentions), but he can’t have any that I propose. You have ignored my previous answer to your objection to a free-for-all, so here we go again. The basis would be your God’s love of creation (which you admit) and his interest in what he has created (which you admit). The proposal is that his purpose in creating would therefore be to provide himself with things that would interest him. And, following your analogy of the creative process, it is far more interesting to create something unpredictable than to know exactly what is coming next. Hence the free-for-all. […]

DAVID: How does a free-for-all process of evolution end up with you and I? Chance? You've rejected chance in a very large part and design has stopped you from being a pure atheist.

I don’t know how often you want me to repeat all the alternative answers I have offered, NONE of which allow for chance as the driving force of evolution. The answers are all in what you called “an excellent review of my thoughts” under “Miscellany”, and which you now proceed to ignore.

DAVID: […]. I don't have 'escape routes', but a very different view of God than you do. Mine is well-defined and yours whatever you decide He should be. Example: Above your God has to create to interest Himself so His self-satisfaction becomes a necessary event. A totally different view of a possibly existing God than mine. My God creates with pure purpose.

What on earth is “pure purpose”? You have allowed him only one purpose, as bolded above. What’s “pure” about that? You even say that perhaps he created us so that we could study and admire his works, and you are certain that he enjoys creating and is interested in his creations. But although in the past you have agreed that he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, you cannot bear the thought that perhaps our human search for what you call “self-satisfaction” might mirror his. I recall on another occasion your suggesting that he might have created us in order to have a relationship with us. What possible relationship could there be if we have no thought patterns and emotions in common?

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Monday, June 21, 2021, 18:41 (122 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Same illogical point. My view is still simple. God, as Creator, evolved humans from bacteria, and I simply accept the entire history of evolution. I've never understood your objections. They always sound as if 'God did it wrong'.

dhw: Your view is not simple, and you impose an illogical theory on the history of evolution. According to you, your God also “evolved” [= directly designed] millions of life forms, their lunches, lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders from bacteria, and 99% of them had no connection with humans and their lunch, although his one and only purpose was to evolve (= design) us and our lunch. It’s not “God did it wrong” – it’s “you must have interpreted it wrong”. Especially since you insist that your God acts logically!

The history of evolution is what God created. I start with that point. We were created from original Archaea. You've agreed God could choose to do it that way. Since we are here it is obvious we were a goal. Supporting that idea is Adler's point of how unusual we are. Nothing illogical if one accepts God is the Creator. We evolved, so God must have evolved us for us to be here. 99% had to disappear replaced by more complex forms as evolution proceeded from simple to very complex. I find, as always, your totally illogical complaint seems to be something you threw against the wall to see if it would stick. Life must have a supply of energy to survive. All eras of evolution had their own bushes of energy supply. What is your alternative for God? Direct creation of humans? Please tell us your alternative to produce humans from bacteria.

dhw: In all my theistic theories, my God has purpose. In one of them (experimenting), he isn’t sure how to get what he wants (a being like himself). What is wrong with that? Yes, you are sure of your belief in the illogical theory bolded above. And yes, I’m still searching. How does that come to mean that your illogical belief is the only possible solution to the mysteries I wish I could solve?

Please answer my question above


DAVID: […]. I don't have 'escape routes', but a very different view of God than you do. Mine is well-defined and yours whatever you decide He should be. Example: Above your God has to create to interest Himself so His self-satisfaction becomes a necessary event. A totally different view of a possibly existing God than mine. My God creates with pure purpose.

dhw: What on earth is “pure purpose”? You have allowed him only one purpose, as bolded above. What’s “pure” about that? You even say that perhaps he created us so that we could study and admire his works, and you are certain that he enjoys creating and is interested in his creations. But although in the past you have agreed that he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, you cannot bear the thought that perhaps our human search for what you call “self-satisfaction” might mirror his. I recall on another occasion your suggesting that he might have created us in order to have a relationship with us. What possible relationship could there be if we have no thought patterns and emotions in common?

I am sure we mimic Him in many ways as your statement shows, but just how much is unknown. As for 'pure purpose' my definition is simple. God knows what He wants and must produce and does it. Again I cannot know His reasons for His choice of production goal/goals or the choice of method. You conjure up a battery of guesses about Him which creates an amorphous humanized version of Him, never my image. All we can do is imagine Him, based on His works..

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Tuesday, June 22, 2021, 14:15 (121 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My view is still simple. God, as Creator, evolved humans from bacteria, and I simply accept the entire history of evolution. I've never understood your objections. They always sound as if 'God did it wrong'.

dhw: Your view is not simple, and you impose an illogical theory on the history of evolution. According to you, your God also “evolved” [= directly designed] millions of life forms, their lunches, lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders from bacteria, and 99% of them had no connection with humans and their lunch, although his one and only purpose was to evolve (= design) us and our lunch. It’s not “God did it wrong” – it’s “you must have interpreted it wrong”. […]

DAVID: The history of evolution is what God created. I start with that point. We were created from original Archaea. You've agreed God could choose to do it that way. Since we are here it is obvious we were a goal.

The history of evolution is a huge bush of life with millions of branches extant and extinct. Since you insist that your God designed every species individually, every individual species that is or was here must have been a goal. The only goal you have come up with is that he designed them so that we could eat them although we weren’t actually here to do so.

DAVID: Supporting that idea is Adler's point of how unusual we are. Nothing illogical if one accepts God is the Creator. We evolved, so God must have evolved us for us to be here.

And he must have evolved (= designed) every other life form so that it could be here or could have been here at the time when it was here.

DAVID: 99% had to disappear replaced by more complex forms as evolution proceeded from simple to very complex.

What was the point in designing the 99% if all he wanted to do was design the line that led with increasing complexity from bacteria to us and lunch?

DAVID: I find, as always, your totally illogical complaint seems to be something you threw against the wall to see if it would stick. Life must have a supply of energy to survive.

Yes, all life forms need food. That does not mean that for 3+ billion years your God specially designed all life forms plus lunch for the sole purpose of designing us and our lunch.

DAVID: All eras of evolution had their own bushes of energy supply.

Yes indeed. How does that make them all “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” and their lunch?

DAVID: What is your alternative for God? Direct creation of humans? Please tell us your alternative to produce humans from bacteria.

Of course if he is all-powerful, as you and your fellow Creationists believe, he must have been capable of designing us and our lunch directly – as in the Bible. That is your alternative, and it’s why Darwin’s theory caused such a kerfuffle. And it’s still a problem for you, because you can’t explain why he would have chosen such an indirect method (evolution), let alone the rest of your bolded theory. If God exists, he wanted evolution – that is agreed. What is not agreed, and is illogical, is that he only wanted humans plus lunch and therefore created all the forms etc. that had nothing to do with humans. The alternatives, apart from direct creation, lie not in his wish for evolution but in the different explanations of his purpose and method. And you don’t need me to repeat my list again, do you?

dhw: ...although in the past you have agreed that he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, you cannot bear the thought that perhaps our human search for what you call “self-satisfaction” might mirror his. I recall on another occasion your suggesting that he might have created us in order to have a relationship with us. What possible relationship could there be if we have no thought patterns and emotions in common?

DAVID: I am sure we mimic Him in many ways as your statement shows, but just how much is unknown. As for 'pure purpose' my definition is simple. God knows what He wants and must produce and does it. Again I cannot know His reasons for His choice of production goal/goals or the choice of method. You conjure up a battery of guesses about Him which creates an amorphous humanized version of Him, never my image. All we can do is imagine Him, based on His works.

I’m glad you’re now sure that if he exists, we have some of his attributes. And I share your certainty that he would know what he wants and would produce it. Unfortunately your humanized version of him (one goal, all-powerful, always in control, good intentions) leaves you unable to explain why he produced millions of life forms etc. that had no connection with his goal, why with his total control he produced errors that he could not control, and why with his good intentions he specially designed viruses and bacteria that cause appalling suffering. I offer logical alternatives which you reject for no reason other than the fact that they do not correspond to your fixed guess at what human-type attributes he might have.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 22, 2021, 19:33 (121 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The history of evolution is what God created. I start with that point. We were created from original Archaea. You've agreed God could choose to do it that way. Since we are here it is obvious we were a goal.

dhw: Since you insist that your God designed every species individually, every individual species that is or was here must have been a goal. The only goal you have come up with is that he designed them so that we could eat them although we weren’t actually here to do so.

A pure nonsense view splitting up evolution into unrelated eras as usual.


DAVID: 99% had to disappear replaced by more complex forms as evolution proceeded from simple to very complex.

dhw: What was the point in designing the 99% if all he wanted to do was design the line that led with increasing complexity from bacteria to us and lunch?

He did not wish to limit Himself to one line. That is your weird view. The other branches are lunch.

DAVID: What is your alternative for God? Direct creation of humans? Please tell us your alternative to produce humans from bacteria.


dhw: Of course if he is all-powerful, as you and your fellow Creationists believe, he must have been capable of designing us and our lunch directly – as in the Bible. That is your alternative, and it’s why Darwin’s theory caused such a kerfuffle. And it’s still a problem for you, because you can’t explain why he would have chosen such an indirect method (evolution), let alone the rest of your bolded theory. If God exists, he wanted evolution – that is agreed. What is not agreed, and is illogical, is that he only wanted humans plus lunch and therefore created all the forms etc. that had nothing to do with humans. The alternatives, apart from direct creation, lie not in his wish for evolution but in the different explanations of his purpose and method. And you don’t need me to repeat my list again, do you?

You go back to your illogical view of God that He has tunnel vision and can only see a goal of humans.


dhw:...although in the past you have agreed that he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, you cannot bear the thought that perhaps our human search for what you call “self-satisfaction” might mirror his. I recall on another occasion your suggesting that he might have created us in order to have a relationship with us. What possible relationship could there be if we have no thought patterns and emotions in common?

DAVID: I am sure we mimic Him in many ways as your statement shows, but just how much is unknown. As for 'pure purpose' my definition is simple. God knows what He wants and must produce and does it. Again I cannot know His reasons for His choice of production goal/goals or the choice of method. You conjure up a battery of guesses about Him which creates an amorphous humanized version of Him, never my image. All we can do is imagine Him, based on His works.

dhw: I’m glad you’re now sure that if he exists, we have some of his attributes. And I share your certainty that he would know what he wants and would produce it. Unfortunately your humanized version of him (one goal, all-powerful, always in control, good intentions) leaves you unable to explain why he produced millions of life forms etc. that had no connection with his goal, why with his total control he produced errors that he could not control, and why with his good intentions he specially designed viruses and bacteria that cause appalling suffering. I offer logical alternatives which you reject for no reason other than the fact that they do not correspond to your fixed guess at what human-type attributes he might have.

Your blindness to the need for energy to supply living organisms is amazing. As above, He is not tunnel-visioned as shown by creating a bush for all to eat.. God does not produce errors. The living system He created has the ability to make errors, and He knew it and designed editing systems that work amazingly well. Viruses may help in evolutionary design and most bacteria are our helpers. All you can see is the dark side. You should be thankful you are here. Deyanu.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 11:38 (121 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: What was the point in designing the 99% if all he wanted to do was design the line that led with increasing complexity from bacteria to us and lunch?

DAVID: He did not wish to limit Himself to one line. That is your weird view. The other branches are lunch.

How can all the other branches have been lunch for humans if humans were not there? Are you really telling us that he specially designed the first ancestors of houseflies and mosquitoes and elephants and vipers and mice and vultures and the duckbilled platypus so that he could carry on specially designing their successors and their successors etc. until millions and millions of years later we could tuck into the current products? (See below for the impact of this on your general theory.)

DAVID: What is your alternative for God? Direct creation of humans? Please tell us your alternative to produce humans from bacteria.

dhw: Of course if he is all-powerful, as you and your fellow Creationists believe, he must have been capable of designing us and our lunch directly – as in the Bible. That is your alternative, and it’s why Darwin’s theory caused such a kerfuffle. And it’s still a problem for you, because you can’t explain why he would have chosen such an indirect method (evolution), let alone the rest of your bolded theory. If God exists, he wanted evolution – that is agreed. What is not agreed, and is illogical, is bbthat he only wanted humans plus lunch and therefore created all the forms etc. that had nothing to do with humans.bb The alternatives, apart from direct creation, lie not in his wish for evolution but in the different explanations of his purpose and method. And you don’t need me to repeat my list again, do you?

DAVID: You go back to your illogical view of God that He has tunnel vision and can only see a goal of humans.

I’m delighted that you recognize such a theory as tunnel vision, but this is an extraordinary case of mistaken identity. That is YOUR view! You keep telling us that every life form etc. was “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” and their lunch! So now you have given yourself a double brain-blocker: not only do you have no idea why he chose to “evolve” humans (= design them in itsy-bitsy stages) instead of creating them directly, but also you have no idea why he chose to evolve (itsy-bitsy design) every item on our menu, plus all the items that are not on our menu.

dhw:...although in the past you have agreed that he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, you cannot bear the thought that perhaps our human search for what you call “self-satisfaction” might mirror his. I recall on another occasion your suggesting that he might have created us in order to have a relationship with us. What possible relationship could there be if we have no thought patterns and emotions in common?

DAVID: I am sure we mimic Him in many ways as your statement shows, but just how much is unknown. As for 'pure purpose' my definition is simple. God knows what He wants and must produce and does it. Again I cannot know His reasons for His choice of production goal/goals or the choice of method. You conjure up a battery of guesses about Him which creates an amorphous humanized version of Him, never my image. All we can do is imagine Him, based on His works.

dhw: I’m glad you’re now sure that if he exists, we have some of his attributes. And I share your certainty that he would know what he wants and would produce it. Unfortunately your humanized version of him (one goal, all-powerful, always in control, good intentions) leaves you unable to explain why he produced millions of life forms etc. that had no connection with his goal, why with his total control he produced errors that he could not control, and why with his good intentions he specially designed viruses and bacteria that cause appalling suffering. I offer logical alternatives which you reject for no reason other than the fact that they do not correspond to your fixed guess at what human-type attributes he might have.

DAVID: Your blindness to the need for energy to supply living organisms is amazing. As above, He is not tunnel-visioned as shown by creating a bush for all to eat.

All life forms need food. It is your tunnel vision that every life form was designed as part of the goal of producing humans and their lunch!

DAVID: God does not produce errors. The living system He created has the ability to make errors, and He knew it and designed editing systems that work amazingly well. Viruses may help in evolutionary design and most bacteria are our helpers. All you can see is the dark side. You should be thankful you are here. Deyanu.

So your all-powerful, always-in-control God invented a system which contained errors that he could not control, designed editing systems which sometimes work but sometimes don’t, and your explanation for the "dark side" (= the problem of theodicy) is that we should be thankful for the bright side.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 18:37 (120 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: He did not wish to limit Himself to one line. That is your weird view. The other branches are lunch.

dhw: How can all the other branches have been lunch for humans if humans were not there?

Pre-humans had pre-lunches in each stage. How silly can hour objections become? All cover in past discussions.

DAVID: What is your alternative for God? Direct creation of humans? Please tell us your alternative to produce humans from bacteria.

dhw: Of course if he is all-powerful, as you and your fellow Creationists believe, he must have been capable of designing us and our lunch directly – as in the Bible. That is your alternative, and it’s why Darwin’s theory caused such a kerfuffle. And it’s still a problem for you, because you can’t explain why he would have chosen such an indirect method (evolution), let alone the rest of your bolded theory. If God exists, he wanted evolution – that is agreed. What is not agreed, and is illogical, is bbthat he only wanted humans plus lunch and therefore created all the forms etc. that had nothing to do with humans.bb The alternatives, apart from direct creation, lie not in his wish for evolution but in the different explanations of his purpose and method. And you don’t need me to repeat my list again, do you?

DAVID: You go back to your illogical view of God that He has tunnel vision and can only see a goal of humans.

dhw: I’m delighted that you recognize such a theory as tunnel vision, but this is an extraordinary case of mistaken identity. That is YOUR view!

No, not my view, but my view of yours. God's goal of finally reaching humans by evolution from bacteria does not close His eyes to the need for all of the branches producing needed food energy along the way.

dhw: you have no idea why he chose to “evolve” humans (= design them in itsy-bitsy stages) instead of creating them directly,

It is you who seems to want direct creation. I don't attempt to know why God evolved us. I simply accept the history God created.

dhw: but also you have no idea why he chose to evolve (itsy-bitsy design) every item on our menu, plus all the items that are not on our menu.

Food supply, an obvious need, blind to you.


DAVID: God does not produce errors. The living system He created has the ability to make errors, and He knew it and designed editing systems that work amazingly well. Viruses may help in evolutionary design and most bacteria are our helpers. All you can see is the dark side. You should be thankful you are here. Deyanu.

dhw: So your all-powerful, always-in-control God invented a system which contained errors that he could not control, designed editing systems which sometimes work but sometimes don’t, and your explanation for the "dark side" (= the problem of theodicy) is that we should be thankful for the bright side.

We should be thankful. Aren't you for being here?

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Thursday, June 24, 2021, 11:47 (120 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: He did not wish to limit Himself to one line. That is your weird view. The other branches are lunch.

dhw: How can all the other branches have been lunch for humans if humans were not there?

DAVID: Pre-humans had pre-lunches in each stage. How silly can hour objections become? All cover in past discussions.

Of course pre-humans had lunch. And 99% of them are extinct and had no connection with humans.

DAVID: What is your alternative for God? Direct creation of humans? Please tell us your alternative to produce humans from bacteria.

dhw: Of course if he is all-powerful, as you and your fellow Creationists believe, he must have been capable of designing us and our lunch directly – as in the Bible. That is your alternative, and it’s why Darwin’s theory caused such a kerfuffle. And it’s still a problem for you, because you can’t explain why he would have chosen such an indirect method (evolution), let alone the rest of your bolded theory. If God exists, he wanted evolution – that is agreed. What is not agreed, and is illogical, is that he only wanted humans plus lunch and therefore created all the forms etc. that had nothing to do with humans. The alternatives, apart from direct creation, lie not in his wish for evolution but in the different explanations of his purpose and method. And you don’t need me to repeat my list again, do you?

DAVID: You go back to your illogical view of God that He has tunnel vision and can only see a goal of humans.

dhw: I’m delighted that you recognize such a theory as tunnel vision, but this is an extraordinary case of mistaken identity. That is YOUR view!

DAVID: No, not my view, but my view of yours. God's goal of finally reaching humans by evolution from bacteria does not close His eyes to the need for all of the branches producing needed food energy along the way.

But why did he specially design all of the branches and their lunches if his only goal was to design humans and their lunch? You asked me for an alternative, and I gave it to you: direct creation of humans and their lunch – as mooted in the Bible. But we both believe that didn’t happen, and you admit that have no idea why your God chose instead to specially design millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans. Why do you keep glossing over your belief that he designed all the life forms etc. (you keep using the word “evolve”), and why do you keep trying to brush aside your repeated admission of the fact that you can’t explain why your God would choose such a method to achieve such a purpose?

DAVID: It is you who seems to want direct creation. I don't attempt to know why God evolved us. I simply accept the history God created.

I don’t “want” direct creation. I am pointing out that your interpretation of your God’s purpose and nature does not fit in with the facts of history. You don’t “attempt to” explain why God would do it your way because you can’t think of any possible reason, but you simply refuse to acknowledge that your interpretation of purpose and method might be wrong.

DAVID: God does not produce errors. The living system He created has the ability to make errors, and He knew it and designed editing systems that work amazingly well. Viruses may help in evolutionary design and most bacteria are our helpers. All you can see is the dark side. You should be thankful you are here. Deyanu.

dhw: So your all-powerful, always-in-control God invented a system which contained errors that he could not control, designed editing systems which sometimes work but sometimes don’t, and your explanation for the "dark side" (= the problem of theodicy) is that we should be thankful for the bright side.

DAVID: We should be thankful. Aren't you for being here?

Of course I am. But we are not discussing how happy and grateful we are. Our subject is a possible God’s possible purpose and nature, and it is clear from this response that you would rather not bother with all the above inconsistencies in your rigid beliefs! Ah well, I can't say I blame you.
If your answer's a bodge,
Then it's better to dodge.

(Westminster proverb):-)

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 24, 2021, 18:33 (119 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: No, not my view, but my view of yours. God's goal of finally reaching humans by evolution from bacteria does not close His eyes to the need for all of the branches producing needed food energy along the way.

dhw: But why did he specially design all of the branches and their lunches if his only goal was to design humans and their lunch? You asked me for an alternative, and I gave it to you: direct creation of humans and their lunch – as mooted in the Bible. But we both believe that didn’t happen, and you admit that have no idea why your God chose instead to specially design millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans. Why do you keep glossing over your belief that he designed all the life forms etc. (you keep using the word “evolve”), and why do you keep trying to brush aside your repeated admission of the fact that you can’t explain why your God would choose such a method to achieve such a purpose?

Yes, I use design and evolve interchangeably. It is all the same to me. I don't have to know why God chose to design an evolutionary process. I don't brush it aside since it doesn't matter. The issue as to why He decided to create us is certainly discussable and we have offered our guesses with no concrete conclusions, but taht can only be par for the course.


DAVID: It is you who seems to want direct creation. I don't attempt to know why God evolved us. I simply accept the history God created.

dhw: I don’t “want” direct creation. I am pointing out that your interpretation of your God’s purpose and nature does not fit in with the facts of history. You don’t “attempt to” explain why God would do it your way because you can’t think of any possible reason, but you simply refuse to acknowledge that your interpretation of purpose and method might be wrong.

Very strange comment. I don't try to explain God's choice of creating evolution, as it matters only to you. The facts of history are simply that we are here, a highly unusual result of chance evolution. Adler can explain it to you. My interpretation is logically taken directly from historical facts. That it differs from yours is not surprising.


DAVID: We should be thankful. Aren't you for being here?

dhw: Of course I am. But we are not discussing how happy and grateful we are. Our subject is a possible God’s possible purpose and nature, and it is clear from this response that you would rather not bother with all the above inconsistencies in your rigid beliefs! Ah well, I can't say I blame you.
If your answer's a bodge,
Then it's better to dodge.

(Westminster proverb):-)

The inconsistencies are only your illogical thinking. If God is the Creator, He creates what He wishes in any way HE wishes. And that is what I accept as what happened. I represent here my view of the personage God is. Your imagined God-personage is vastly different and you have ae a perfect right to that view. In our discussions please remember that. My God is highly purposeful and therefore controlling, and yours is best described as unsure of where He is going and what He should create. ;-)

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Friday, June 25, 2021, 11:43 (119 days ago) @ David Turell

Dhw: why did he specially design all of the branches and their lunches if his only goal was to design humans and their lunch? You asked me for an alternative, and I gave it to you: direct creation of humans and their lunch – as mooted in the Bible. But we both believe that didn’t happen, and you admit that have no idea why your God chose instead to specially design millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans. Why do you keep glossing over your belief that he designed all the life forms etc. (you keep using the word “evolve”), and why do you keep trying to brush aside your repeated admission of the fact that you can’t explain why your God would choose such a method to achieve such a purpose?

DAVID: Yes, I use design and evolve interchangeably. It is all the same to me. I don't have to know why God chose to design an evolutionary process.

Since this discussion is about a possible God’s possible nature etc. I am accepting the premise of God’s existence. I also accept evolution, so the question raised by the bold is not why he chose to design an evolutionary process, but why you think he chose specially to design millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles, strategies, natural wonders etc, if his only purpose was to design humans and their lunch. Please stop dodging!

DAVID: I don't brush it aside since it doesn't matter. The issue as to why He decided to create us is certainly discussable and we have offered our guesses with no concrete conclusions, but taht can only be par for the course.

Why he might have decided to create us is a separate issue from the problem of why, if his only goal was to create us and our lunch, he created millions etc. etc. (see the bold). Your only answer is that all life forms have to eat. An obvious truth which does not explain why, if his only purpose was to design humans etc. (see the bold)

DAVID: It is you who seems to want direct creation. I don't attempt to know why God evolved us. I simply accept the history God created.

dhw: I don’t “want” direct creation. I am pointing out that your interpretation of your God’s purpose and nature does not fit in with the facts of history. You don’t “attempt to” explain why God would do it your way because you can’t think of any possible reason, but you simply refuse to acknowledge that your interpretation of purpose and method might be wrong.

DAVID: Very strange comment. I don't try to explain God's choice of creating evolution, as it matters only to you. The facts of history are simply that we are here, a highly unusual result of chance evolution. Adler can explain it to you. My interpretation is logically taken directly from historical facts. That it differs from yours is not surprising.

The simple truth is that we are here, our lunch is here, lots of non-human-lunch life forms are also here, and millions of life forms and lunches used to be here – all specially designed by your God, according to you, although the only connection they had to us was that they had DNA.

DAVID: We should be thankful. Aren't you for being here?

dhw: Of course I am. But we are not discussing how happy and grateful we are. Our subject is a possible God’s possible purpose and nature, and it is clear from this response that you would rather not bother with all the above inconsistencies in your rigid beliefs! Ah well, I can't say I blame you.
If your answer's a bodge,
Then it's better to dodge.
(Westminster proverb)
:-)

DAVID: The inconsistencies are only your illogical thinking. If God is the Creator, He creates what He wishes in any way HE wishes. And that is what I accept as what happened.

Precisely. But that does not mean that he created what you think he wished in the way that you think he wished. The inconsistency lies in the bold, which you continue to dodge.

DAVID: I represent here my view of the personage God is. Your imagined God-personage is vastly different and you have ae a perfect right to that view. In our discussions please remember that. My God is highly purposeful and therefore controlling, and yours is best described as unsure of where He is going and what He should create.

I offer different alternative versions, all of which are highly purposeful but not necessarily controlling, and all of which fit in logically with life’s history as we know it. We agree that any view of your God’s personality can only be extrapolated from his works. And that is why the only recourse you have when presenting your view is to dodge the inconsistencies, and hope that one day humans will prove that you are right. Apart from your illogical theory of evolution, I listed some of the inconsistencies a couple of days ago:

dhw: So your all-powerful, always-in-control God invented a system which contained errors that he could not control, designed editing systems which sometimes work but sometimes don’t, [I’d better specify that despite his good intentions he also designed murderous viruses and bacteria] and your explanation for the "dark side" (= the problem of theodicy) is that we should be thankful for the bright side.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Friday, June 25, 2021, 18:34 (118 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Yes, I use design and evolve interchangeably. It is all the same to me. I don't have to know why God chose to design an evolutionary process.

dhw: Since this discussion is about a possible God’s possible nature etc. I am accepting the premise of God’s existence. I also accept evolution, so the question raised by the bold is not why he chose to design an evolutionary process, but why you think he chose specially to design millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles, strategies, natural wonders etc, if his only purpose was to design humans and their lunch. Please stop dodging!

Not a dodge. My theory is God chose to evolve us from bacteria. Why are y9u so puzzled by that idea? He did what He had to do along the way.

DAVID: It is you who seems to want direct creation. I don't attempt to know why God evolved us. I simply accept the history God created.

dhw: I don’t “want” direct creation. I am pointing out that your interpretation of your God’s purpose and nature does not fit in with the facts of history. You don’t “attempt to” explain why God would do it your way because you can’t think of any possible reason, but you simply refuse to acknowledge that your interpretation of purpose and method might be wrong.

DAVID: Very strange comment. I don't try to explain God's choice of creating evolution, as it matters only to you. The facts of history are simply that we are here, a highly unusual result of chance evolution. Adler can explain it to you. My interpretation is logically taken directly from historical facts. That it differs from yours is not surprising.

dhw: The simple truth is that we are here, our lunch is here, lots of non-human-lunch life forms are also here, and millions of life forms and lunches used to be here – all specially designed by your God, according to you, although the only connection they had to us was that they had DNA.

Current lunch is necessary, as you usually forget. God created evolution to produce us from bacteria and provided life's necessary energy to be eaten.


DAVID: The inconsistencies are only your illogical thinking. If God is the Creator, He creates what He wishes in any way HE wishes. And that is what I accept as what happened.

dhw: Precisely. But that does not mean that he created what you think he wished in the way that you think he wished. The inconsistency lies in the bold, which you continue to dodge.

I can't dislodge any of my thoughtful conclusions about God. I can't be brainwashed by your illogical complaints.


DAVID: I represent here my view of the personage God is. Your imagined God-personage is vastly different and you have ae a perfect right to that view. In our discussions please remember that. My God is highly purposeful and therefore controlling, and yours is best described as unsure of where He is going and what He should create.

dhw: I offer different alternative versions, all of which are highly purposeful but not necessarily controlling, and all of which fit in logically with life’s history as we know it. We agree that any view of your God’s personality can only be extrapolated from his works. And that is why the only recourse you have when presenting your view is to dodge the inconsistencies, and hope that one day humans will prove that you are right. Apart from your illogical theory of evolution, I listed some of the inconsistencies a couple of days ago:

dhw: So your all-powerful, always-in-control God invented a system which contained errors that he could not control, designed editing systems which sometimes work but sometimes don’t, [I’d better specify that despite his good intentions he also designed murderous viruses and bacteria] and your explanation for the "dark side" (= the problem of theodicy) is that we should be thankful for the bright side.

Your view is to list a series of problems human thinking describes as bad results from God's creating ability. Many so-called mistakes of bad design have be en shown to be the best way to go. I'm the optimist about God, you the pessimist

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Saturday, June 26, 2021, 08:09 (118 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Yes, I use design and evolve interchangeably. It is all the same to me. I don't have to know why God chose to design an evolutionary process.

dhw: Since this discussion is about a possible God’s possible nature etc. I am accepting the premise of God’s existence. I also accept evolution, so the question raised […] is not why he chose to design an evolutionary process, but why you think he chose specially to design millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles, strategies, natural wonders etc, if his only purpose was to design humans and their lunch. Please stop dodging!

DAVID: Not a dodge. My theory is God chose to evolve us from bacteria. Why are you so puzzled by that idea? He did what He had to do along the way.

I am not in the least puzzled by that idea. I am puzzled by your refusal to recognize that if he exists, he must also have chosen to evolve every other life form, and even you are puzzled (since you have no explanation) by the idea that he “had to” specially design millions of now extinct life forms, econiches, lifestyles etc. along the way, although 99% of them had no connection with humans or our lunch.

DAVID: […] The facts of history are simply that we are here, a highly unusual result of chance evolution. Adler can explain it to you. My interpretation is logically taken directly from historical facts. That it differs from yours is not surprising.

dhw: The facts of history are that we are here, our lunch is here, lots of non-human-lunch life forms are also here, and millions of life forms and lunches used to be here – according to you ALL specially designed by your God, although we plus lunch were his only purpose, and yet the only connection they had to us was that they had DNA.

DAVID: Current lunch is necessary, as you usually forget. God created evolution to produce us from bacteria and provided life's necessary energy to be eaten

I never forget my lunch, but every lunch is necessary for every life form. That does not mean that every extinct life form and its lunch was necessary for humans and our lunch. Please stop dodging.

DAVID: The inconsistencies are only your illogical thinking. If God is the Creator, He creates what He wishes in any way HE wishes. And that is what I accept as what happened.

dhw: Precisely. But that does not mean that he created what you think he wished in the way that you think he wished. The inconsistency lies in the bold, which you continue to dodge.

DAVID: I can't dislodge any of my thoughtful conclusions about God. I can't be brainwashed by your illogical complaints.

Your thoughtful conclusion is that you have no idea why your God would have chosen the combined purpose and method you believe in, you keep admitting it, but you can’t face the fact that it might mean that at least part of your theory must be wrong.

dhw: (re David’s inconsistencies, apart from his theory of evolution): So your all-powerful, always-in-control God invented a system which contained errors that he could not control, designed editing systems which sometimes work but sometimes don’t, [I’d better specify that despite his good intentions he also designed murderous viruses and bacteria] , and your explanation for the "dark side" (= the problem of theodicy) is that we should be thankful for the bright side.

DAVID: Your view is to list a series of problems human thinking describes as bad results from God's creating ability. Many so-called mistakes of bad design have be en shown to be the best way to go. I'm the optimist about God, you the pessimist.

You agree that there are errors, you yourself insist that your God designed the murderous bacteria and viruses, and it was you who raised the problem of theodicy in the first place. Your solution to all these problems is to look on the bright side. If we pretend these problems aren’t there, then they won’t be there. This is a wonderful new branch of philosophy, already embraced by some of our politicians. It needs a name. How about headinsandism, or blinkerism, or…perish the thought…turellism? :-(

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Saturday, June 26, 2021, 15:36 (117 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Not a dodge. My theory is God chose to evolve us from bacteria. Why are you so puzzled by that idea? He did what He had to do along the way.

dhw: I am not in the least puzzled by that idea. I am puzzled by your refusal to recognize that if he exists, he must also have chosen to evolve every other life form, and even you are puzzled (since you have no explanation) by the idea that he “had to” specially design millions of now extinct life forms, econiches, lifestyles etc. along the way, although 99% of them had no connection with humans or our lunch.

Same empty confusion. If God is in change, history shows exactly what you object to. It is your same tunnel-vison of how God might work. All the stages and branches you object to are/were required to develop complexity stepwise and offers a required huge food supply along the way.

DAVID: Current lunch is necessary, as you usually forget. God created evolution to produce us from bacteria and provided life's necessary energy to be eaten

dhw: I never forget my lunch, but every lunch is necessary for every life form. That does not mean that every extinct life form and its lunch was necessary for humans and our lunch. Please stop dodging.

DAVID: The inconsistencies are only your illogical thinking. If God is the Creator, He creates what He wishes in any way HE wishes. And that is what I accept as what happened.

dhw: Precisely. But that does not mean that he created what you think he wished in the way that you think he wished. The inconsistency lies in the bold, which you continue to dodge.

DAVID: I can't dislodge any of my thoughtful conclusions about God. I can't be brainwashed by your illogical complaints.

dhw: Your thoughtful conclusion is that you have no idea why your God would have chosen the combined purpose and method you believe in, you keep admitting it, but you can’t face the fact that it might mean that at least part of your theory must be wrong.

I fashion my theories from the available evidence seen in God's works. I don't question His possible reasoning.


dhw: (re David’s inconsistencies, apart from his theory of evolution): So your all-powerful, always-in-control God invented a system which contained errors that he could not control, designed editing systems which sometimes work but sometimes don’t, [I’d better specify that despite his good intentions he also designed murderous viruses and bacteria] , and your explanation for the "dark side" (= the problem of theodicy) is that we should be thankful for the bright side.

DAVID: Your view is to list a series of problems human thinking describes as bad results from God's creating ability. Many so-called mistakes of bad design have been shown to be the best way to go. I'm the optimist about God, you the pessimist.

dhw: You agree that there are errors, you yourself insist that your God designed the murderous bacteria and viruses, and it was you who raised the problem of theodicy in the first place. Your solution to all these problems is to look on the bright side. If we pretend these problems aren’t there, then they won’t be there. This is a wonderful new branch of philosophy, already embraced by some of our politicians. It needs a name. How about headinsandism, or blinkerism, or…perish the thought…turellism? :-(

Yes, as you note, I recognize and accept the problems raised by the issue of theodicy. I don't pretend the problems raised are not there. Why do you pretend I did that? Unfair!! My view of God is that He knows what He is doing and what has to be done. We keep explaining away the issues human judgment thinks, before adequate research, the so-called mistakes. My optimistic view is we will continue to logically explain God's questionable works. You present a pessimistic muddle forgetting the power of our God-given brain. Turellism certainly exists in the minds of those searching scientists who present all the fodder for discussion I present and interpret from a Godly viewpoint.;-)

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Sunday, June 27, 2021, 09:37 (117 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Not a dodge. My theory is God chose to evolve us from bacteria. Why are you so puzzled by that idea? He did what He had to do along the way.

dhw: I am not in the least puzzled by that idea. I am puzzled by your refusal to recognize that if he exists, he must also have chosen to evolve every other life form, and even you are puzzled (since you have no explanation) by the idea that he “had to” specially design millions of now extinct life forms, econiches, lifestyles etc. along the way, although 99% of them had no connection with humans or our lunch.

DAVID: Same empty confusion. If God is in change, history shows exactly what you object to. It is your same tunnel-vison of how God might work. All the stages and branches you object to are/were required to develop complexity stepwise and offers a required huge food supply along the way.

I don’t object to the stages and branches! They are facts. I object to the theory that all of them were “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” and our lunch.

DAVID: I can't dislodge any of my thoughtful conclusions about God. I can't be brainwashed by your illogical complaints.

dhw: Your thoughtful conclusion is that you have no idea why your God would have chosen the combined purpose and method you believe in, you keep admitting it, but you can’t face the fact that it might mean that at least part of your theory must be wrong.

DAVID: I fashion my theories from the available evidence seen in God's works. I don't question His possible reasoning.

It is not HIS reasoning that you don’t question. It is your own: namely, that your God had only one purpose (us plus our lunch) and therefore “had to” design millions of other life forms and lunches that had nothing to do with us.

dhw: You agree that there are errors, you yourself insist that your God designed the murderous bacteria and viruses, and it was you who raised the problem of theodicy in the first place. Your solution to all these problems is to look on the bright side. If we pretend these problems aren’t there, then they won’t be there. This is a wonderful new branch of philosophy, already embraced by some of our politicians. It needs a name. How about headinsandism, or blinkerism, or…perish the thought…turellism? :-(

DAVID: Yes, as you note, I recognize and accept the problems raised by the issue of theodicy. I don't pretend the problems raised are not there. Why do you pretend I did that? Unfair!!

In response to my efforts to find an explanation for theodicy, you wrote: “All you can see is the dark side. You should be thankful you are here.” Theodicy IS the problem of the dark side. And your solution (apart from your faith that one day it will be shown that the dark side is actually good, because you believe your God’s intentions are always good) is to look on the bright side, which I can only take to mean that we should forget about the dark side.

DAVID: My view of God is that He knows what He is doing and what has to be done.

I have no doubt that if he exists, he knows what he is doing. I presume “what has to be done” refers to your theory that he couldn’t have designed us plus lunch without designing millions of life forms and lunches that had nothing to do with us plus our lunch.

DAVID: We keep explaining away the issues human judgment thinks, before adequate research, the so-called mistakes. My optimistic view is we will continue to logically explain God's questionable works. You present a pessimistic muddle forgetting the power of our God-given brain. Turellism certainly exists in the minds of those searching scientists who present all the fodder for discussion I present and interpret from a Godly viewpoint.

It was you who introduced the term “errors”, but claimed they were inevitable and were therefore not God’s fault. The problem of theodicy is not confined anyway to what you regard as errors. There is no pessimistic muddle: I have actually used my (perhaps God-given) brain to try and explain why all the “nasties” that create the problem of theodicy exist (i.e. through his possible decision to create a free-for-all). But instead of considering the logic of this explanation, you prefer to revert to the silly “humanizing” argument – as if 1) it is possible to discuss motives and methods without some sort of humanization, 2) as if you didn’t humanize him yourself, and 3) as if you hadn’t agreed repeatedly that he probably/possibly and, last week, surely has some human attributes. (See also under “Miscellany”). Your alternative solution to theodicy is to look on the bright side.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Sunday, June 27, 2021, 14:52 (116 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Same empty confusion. If God is in change, history shows exactly what you object to. It is your same tunnel-vison of how God might work. All the stages and branches you object to are/were required to develop complexity stepwise and offers a required huge food supply along the way.

dhw: I don’t object to the stages and branches! They are facts. I object to the theory that all of them were “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” and our lunch.

Even if your God has no goals, the one I believe in has. Adler and I view our unusual result of evolution as the primary clue for that conclusion.

DAVID: Yes, as you note, I recognize and accept the problems raised by the issue of theodicy. I don't pretend the problems raised are not there. Why do you pretend I did that? Unfair!!

dhw: In response to my efforts to find an explanation for theodicy, you wrote: “All you can see is the dark side. You should be thankful you are here.” Theodicy IS the problem of the dark side. And your solution (apart from your faith that one day it will be shown that the dark side is actually good, because you believe your God’s intentions are always good) is to look on the bright side, which I can only take to mean that we should forget about the dark side.

Wrong take. I raised the issue.


DAVID: We keep explaining away the issues human judgment thinks, before adequate research, the so-called mistakes. My optimistic view is we will continue to logically explain God's questionable works. You present a pessimistic muddle forgetting the power of our God-given brain. Turellism certainly exists in the minds of those searching scientists who present all the fodder for discussion I present and interpret from a Godly viewpoint.

dhw: It was you who introduced the term “errors”, but claimed they were inevitable and were therefore not God’s fault. The problem of theodicy is not confined anyway to what you regard as errors. There is no pessimistic muddle: I have actually used my (perhaps God-given) brain to try and explain why all the “nasties” that create the problem of theodicy exist (i.e. through his possible decision to create a free-for-all). But instead of considering the logic of this explanation, you prefer to revert to the silly “humanizing” argument – as if 1) it is possible to discuss motives and methods without some sort of humanization, 2) as if you didn’t humanize him yourself, and 3) as if you hadn’t agreed repeatedly that he probably/possibly and, last week, surely has some human attributes. (See also under “Miscellany”). Your alternative solution to theodicy is to look on the bright side.

I do not consider a free-for-all, giving up control, as God-like. My view of your weak humanized God is not a silly notion, but a true analysis of the image you present. That He must have some mental attributes that mimics our human attributes or we mimic Him is reasonable, but in no way humanizes Him, a personage like no other person.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Monday, June 28, 2021, 13:57 (115 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My theory is not disconnected through accepting God's works. [...]

dhw: In the context of life’s evolution, God’s works - if he exists - consist of every form of life that ever existed (no matter how they were all produced). And so you accept every form of life that ever existed! Your theory is that every form of life was specially designed as “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” and their lunch, although 99% of them had no connection with humans or their lunch. Please stop conflating your God’s works with your theory about why and how he produced them.

DAVID: Stop giving us your tunnel-visioned God. The giant bush of life, produced by God was necessary to fill out His plans for evolution. The bold fits.

But according to you, he only had one plan for evolution, which was to design H. sapiens plus lunch. That is your tunnel vision, and you have repeatedly admitted that you cannot explain why he chose the method bolded above. If you can’t explain it, then maybe at least part of your theory is wrong.

DAVID: God is my belief as to why we are here. How do you explain us?

I repeated the three theistic explanations that I have been offering you for the last few years: 1) experimentation; 2) the idea for humans came late on in the history; 3) a deliberately designed free-for-all in which the rudimentary intelligence of individual cells led to all the subsequent complexities, culminating in ourselves. You have agreed that all these explanations (unlike your own) fit in logically with the history of evolution.

DAVID: Logical only for a weak humanized God: has to experiment, no initial goals, no control over goals (free-for-all), as I've explained before, and you always avoid mentioning. Do not distort my position about hour God.

The silly “humanization” argument is dealt with below. Experimentation would explain why – if we were his goal – he “had to” (your expression) design the rest of the bush. “No initial goals” is your distortion. You are sure that he loves creating and is interested in his creations, and I propose that this may constitute his goal in creating an ever changing variety, culminating in the most interesting of all forms: a fully conscious being. The free-for-all would be part of the interest – to see where his invention would lead (though he could always dabble if he wished), as opposed to knowing everything in advance. I have never avoided mentioning goals, and the free-for-all is a deliberate sacrifice of control. Please do not distort the various alternative explanations that I offer for the history of evolution, including us.

DAVID: […] I have agreed your theories are logical only if applied to your humanized God. Obviously you position is so weak, you must leave out that part of my thinking.

dhw: I have never left out this silly objection. You have agreed in the past that your God probably/possibly has patterns of thought and emotions similar to ours, and you confirmed this only last week: “I am sure we mimic him in many ways as your statement shows, but just how much is unknown.” So you humanize him as a control freak who is single-minded, has one purpose, knows how to achieve it, plans it all advance, and always has good intentions. You even compare yourself to him through your experience of designing things.

DAVID: You can't make my God 'human' by calling Him a 'control freak' a small percentage of humans, when God is anything but human. The god you describe is unsure of Himself, not in any sense God-like. And later: That He must have some mental attributes that mimic our human attributes or we mimic Him is reasonable, but in no way humanizes Him, a personage like no other person.

I am not making your God “human”. I am pointing out that you have chosen to endow him with different human characteristics from mine. A God who decides to create life as an interesting free-for-all, or who likes to experiment, and who can even learn as he goes along, is not weak, or namby-pamby or unsure of himself. You are sure that we mimic him in many ways. But you are only prepared to accept one way and one goal, even though you have no idea why your always-in-control, know-it-all, well-intentioned God would choose to separately design millions of life forms etc. that have no connection with humans, in order to separately design humans plus lunch.

dhw: In response to my efforts to find an explanation for theodicy, you wrote: “All you can see is the dark side. You should be thankful you are here.” Theodicy IS the problem of the dark side. And your solution (apart from your faith that one day it will be shown that the dark side is actually good, because you believe your God’s intentions are always good) is to look on the bright side, which I can only take to mean that we should forget about the dark side.

DAVID: Wrong take. I raised the issue.

Yes, you raised the issue, and now all you want us to do is forget about it, look on the bright side, and be thankful we are here. The rest of your post is already covered above.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Monday, June 28, 2021, 15:09 (115 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I have never left out this silly objection. You have agreed in the past that your God probably/possibly has patterns of thought and emotions similar to ours, and you confirmed this only last week: “I am sure we mimic him in many ways as your statement shows, but just how much is unknown.” So you humanize him as a control freak who is single-minded, has one purpose, knows how to achieve it, plans it all advance, and always has good intentions. You even compare yourself to him through your experience of designing things.

DAVID: You can't make my God 'human' by calling Him a 'control freak' a small percentage of humans, when God is anything but human. The god you describe is unsure of Himself, not in any sense God-like. And later: That He must have some mental attributes that mimic our human attributes or we mimic Him is reasonable, but in no way humanizes Him, a personage like no other person.

dhw: I am not making your God “human”. I am pointing out that you have chosen to endow him with different human characteristics from mine. A God who decides to create life as an interesting free-for-all, or who likes to experiment, and who can even learn as he goes along, is not weak, or namby-pamby or unsure of himself. You are sure that we mimic him in many ways. But you are only prepared to accept one way and one goal, even though you have no idea why your always-in-control, know-it-all, well-intentioned God would choose to separately design millions of life forms etc. that have no connection with humans, in order to separately design humans plus lunch.

I can't endow God who is a personage like no other person with any real human attributes as you do. You are trying to force them into my description. God is not a person. We have some attributes that seem to be similar. We both can think, we both can plan a design and make it. But His scale is much grander. Here I tend to follow most of religions' descriptions of His personage. You don't. Where I differ from religious thought is the issue of His pure love of us. He created us but there is no way to know if He loves us. He may create just to create, nothing more. As for lunch , the whole bush is our lunch, and your using it as a complaint is totally illogical.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 09:16 (115 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I am not making your God “human”. I am pointing out that you have chosen to endow him with different human characteristics from mine. A God who decides to create life as an interesting free-for-all, or who likes to experiment, and who can even learn as he goes along, is not weak, or namby-pamby or unsure of himself. You are sure that we mimic him in many ways. But you are only prepared to accept one way and one goal, even though you have no idea why your always-in-control, know-it-all, well-intentioned God would choose to separately design millions of life forms etc. that have no connection with humans, in order to separately design humans plus lunch.

DAVID: I can't endow God who is a personage like no other person with any real human attributes as you do. You are trying to force them into my description. God is not a person. We have some attributes that seem to be similar. We both can think, we both can plan a design and make it. But His scale is much grander. Here I tend to follow most of religions' descriptions of His personage. You don't. Where I differ from religious thought is the issue of His pure love of us. He created us but there is no way to know if He loves us. He may create just to create, nothing more.

Of course God is not a person. But if you want to discuss his purposes and methods, as well as the subject of theodicy, it is totally impossible to do so without also including human attributes, i.e. attributes which we “inherit” from him. What do you mean by “real” attributes? Why is wanting total control less humanly “real” than not wanting control? Of course his scale is grander: do you really think I’m proposing that creating a universe and life is on the same scale as creating a painting or inventing a rocket? You say there is no way to know if he loves us. And yet you are sure that he has good intentions. You say he may create just to create. Why is it beyond belief, then, that he may create – as you have said yourself – because he enjoys creating, and since you have said yourself that you believe he watches his creations with interest, why is it beyond belief that he might have created them because he wanted something he could watch with interest?

DAVID: As for lunch, the whole bush is our lunch, and your using it as a complaint is totally illogical.

This is perhaps the most ridiculous of all your efforts to defend your theory. The whole bush comprises millions of life forms, econiches, lunches, strategies, lifestyles and natural wonders, the vast majority of which are extinct and had no connection with us and our lunch. In your own words: “Extinct life has no role in current time” and “The current bush is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” How then can it be logical that the whole bush is our lunch?

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 18:44 (114 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I can't endow God who is a personage like no other person with any real human attributes as you do. You are trying to force them into my description. God is not a person. We have some attributes that seem to be similar. We both can think, we both can plan a design and make it. But His scale is much grander. Here I tend to follow most of religions' descriptions of His personage. You don't. Where I differ from religious thought is the issue of His pure love of us. He created us but there is no way to know if He loves us. He may create just to create, nothing more.

Of course God is not a person. But if you want to discuss his purposes and methods, as well as the subject of theodicy, it is totally impossible to do so without also including human attributes, i.e. attributes which we “inherit” from him. What do you mean by “real” attributes? Why is wanting total control less humanly “real” than not wanting control? Of course his scale is grander: do you really think I’m proposing that creating a universe and life is on the same scale as creating a painting or inventing a rocket? You say there is no way to know if he loves us. And yet you are sure that he has good intentions. You say he may create just to create. Why is it beyond belief, then, that he may create – as you have said yourself – because he enjoys creating, and since you have said yourself that you believe he watches his creations with interest, why is it beyond belief that he might have created them because he wanted something he could watch with interest?

All of your statement is valid, but we can never know how much is really true. My view of His personality is obviously not yours so we will not meet in the middle.


DAVID: As for lunch, the whole bush is our lunch, and your using it as a complaint is totally illogical.

dhw: This is perhaps the most ridiculous of all your efforts to defend your theory. The whole bush comprises millions of life forms, econiches, lunches, strategies, lifestyles and natural wonders, the vast majority of which are extinct and had no connection with us and our lunch. In your own words: “Extinct life has no role in current time” and “The current bush is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” How then can it be logical that the whole bush is our lunch?

My sentence above is current tense. Stop distortions. Your quotes from me fits that view and are correct. No point in further response.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Wednesday, June 30, 2021, 12:23 (114 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I can't endow God who is a personage like no other person with any real human attributes as you do. You are trying to force them into my description. God is not a person. We have some attributes that seem to be similar. We both can think, we both can plan a design and make it. But His scale is much grander. Here I tend to follow most of religions' descriptions of His personage. You don't. Where I differ from religious thought is the issue of His pure love of us. He created us but there is no way to know if He loves us. He may create just to create, nothing more.

dhw: Of course God is not a person. But if you want to discuss his purposes and methods, as well as the subject of theodicy, it is totally impossible to do so without also including human attributes, i.e. attributes which we “inherit” from him. What do you mean by “real” attributes? Why is wanting total control less humanly “real” than not wanting control? Of course his scale is grander: do you really think I’m proposing that creating a universe and life is on the same scale as creating a painting or inventing a rocket? You say there is no way to know if he loves us. And yet you are sure that he has good intentions. You say he may create just to create. Why is it beyond belief, then, that he may create – as you have said yourself – because he enjoys creating, and since you have said yourself that you believe he watches his creations with interest, why is it beyond belief that he might have created them because he wanted something he could watch with interest?

DAVID: All of your statement is valid, but we can never know how much is really true. My view of His personality is obviously not yours so we will not meet in the middle.

Thank you. Of course we can’t know what is true. That is why we theorize, but some theories make more sense than others. And so we discuss them to see if they fit in with whatever facts we do know. I find that your theory does not fit in with the facts, and have explained why, whereas you find that my alternatives do fit in, but do not correspond to the image you have of your God. However, your conciliatory tone here is much appreciated.

DAVID: As for lunch, the whole bush is our lunch, and your using it as a complaint is totally illogical.

dhw: This is perhaps the most ridiculous of all your efforts to defend your theory. The whole bush comprises millions of life forms, econiches, lunches, strategies, lifestyles and natural wonders, the vast majority of which are extinct and had no connection with us and our lunch. In your own words: “Extinct life has no role in current time” and “The current bush is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” How then can it be logical that the whole bush is our lunch?

DAVID: My sentence above is current tense. Stop distortions. Your quotes from me fits that view and are correct. No point in further response.

Your original statement is an obfuscation. The problem you cannot solve is why your God would have chosen to specially design the WHOLE bush - which includes all the extinct life forms and their lunches that had no connection with humans and their lunch - if his only purpose was to design current life forms and the current bush. It is the WHOLE bush of life that makes your theory illogical.

Back to theodicy and David’s theories: Using good viruses
DAVID: It must be remembered, in God's creation there are both good and bad viruses, and we have God-given brains to learn how to use them. And think of bacteriophages, viruses that kill bacteria.

You seem to have misunderstood the problem of theodicy, which is the incompatibility of “bad” things with the concept of God as an omnipotent, perfectly “good” being. Your solution to the problem appears to be along the lines of: “Thank you, God, for deliberately designing all the good viruses and bacteria that relieve some of the appalling suffering caused by your deliberate design of bad viruses and bacteria.” Not much of a solution, is it?

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 30, 2021, 20:27 (113 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: All of your statement is valid, but we can never know how much is really true. My view of His personality is obviously not yours so we will not meet in the middle.

dhw: Thank you. Of course we can’t know what is true. That is why we theorize, but some theories make more sense than others. And so we discuss them to see if they fit in with whatever facts we do know. I find that your theory does not fit in with the facts, and have explained why, whereas you find that my alternatives do fit in, but do not correspond to the image you have of your God. However, your conciliatory tone here is much appreciated.

We are not attack dogs. You have your vision of God and I have mine.


DAVID: My sentence above is current tense. Stop distortions. Your quotes from me fits that view and are correct. No point in further response.

dhw: Your original statement is an obfuscation. The problem you cannot solve is why your God would have chosen to specially design the WHOLE bush - which includes all the extinct life forms and their lunches that had no connection with humans and their lunch - if his only purpose was to design current life forms and the current bush. It is the WHOLE bush of life that makes your theory illogical.

The bold is your constant misinterpretation. Humans were/are His eventual goal. He started with Archaea and viruses. They are still necessarily here as part of the total production. Still a confused view slicing and dicing the whole 3.8 byo evolutionary process.


Back to theodicy and David’s theories: Using good viruses
DAVID: It must be remembered, in God's creation there are both good and bad viruses, and we have God-given brains to learn how to use them. And think of bacteriophages, viruses that kill bacteria.

dhw: You seem to have misunderstood the problem of theodicy, which is the incompatibility of “bad” things with the concept of God as an omnipotent, perfectly “good” being. Your solution to the problem appears to be along the lines of: “Thank you, God, for deliberately designing all the good viruses and bacteria that relieve some of the appalling suffering caused by your deliberate design of bad viruses and bacteria.” Not much of a solution, is it?

You don't seem to realize I feel there is no current solution, but I look to future research to solve the issues we raise about God. I don't know if God is 'good' or 'loving'. That goes back to religion's teachings and they are us, knowing no more than we do about Him. I'm delighted we are here, but it is possible God is just creating for the sake of creating, nothing more.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Thursday, July 01, 2021, 09:17 (113 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: All of your statement is valid, but we can never know how much is really true. My view of His personality is obviously not yours so we will not meet in the middle.

dhw: Thank you. Of course we can’t know what is true. That is why we theorize, but some theories make more sense than others. And so we discuss them to see if they fit in with whatever facts we do know. I find that your theory does not fit in with the facts, and have explained why, whereas you find that my alternatives do fit in, but do not correspond to the image you have of your God. However, your conciliatory tone here is much appreciated.

DAVID: We are not attack dogs. You have your vision of God and I have mine.

I do not have one vision of God – I offer alternatives. Your own vision of him – all-powerful, always in control, one purpose only, plus “good intentions” – conflicts with the history of life, which has him “having to” design life forms and lunches etc. that have no connection with his one purpose, and which exacerbates the problem of theodicy through your insistence that he deliberately designed some of the “bad”, though you hope that somehow the bad will turn out to be good (see below).

dhw: Your original statement [“The whole bush is our lunch”] is an obfuscation. The problem you cannot solve is why your God would have chosen to specially design the WHOLE bush - which includes all the extinct life forms and their lunches that had no connection with humans and their lunch -if his only purpose was to design current life forms and the current bush. It is the WHOLE bush of life that makes your theory illogical.

DAVID: The bold is your constant misinterpretation. Humans were/are His eventual goal. He started with Archaea and viruses. They are still necessarily here as part of the total production. Still a confused view slicing and dicing the whole 3.8 byo evolutionary process.

We are not talking about archaea and viruses! This comment is part of your constant obfuscation, as you dodge the question of why, if his only goal was humans plus lunch, he specially designed all the past life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans.

Back to theodicy and David’s theories: Using good viruses
DAVID: It must be remembered, in God's creation there are both good and bad viruses […]

dhw: You seem to have misunderstood the problem of theodicy, which is the incompatibility of “bad” things with the concept of God as an omnipotent, perfectly “good” being. Your solution to the problem appears to be along the lines of: “Thank you, God, for deliberately designing all the good viruses and bacteria that relieve some of the appalling suffering caused by your deliberate design of bad viruses and bacteria.” Not much of a solution, is it?

DAVID: You don't seem to realize I feel there is no current solution, but I look to future research to solve the issues we raise about God. I don't know if God is 'good' or 'loving'. That goes back to religion's teachings and they are us, knowing no more than we do about Him. I'm delighted we are here, but it is possible God is just creating for the sake of creating, nothing more.

You hope that science will one day prove that your God’s special design of what we believe to be bad will turn out to be good. However, your last comment is excellent news. If it is possible that he is just creating for the sake of creating, it must also be possible that he is creating because – as you have said before – he enjoys doing so and is interested in his creations. Since no one knows his nature, thoughts and purposes, it must therefore also be possible that his reason for creating is to provide himself with an activity he enjoys as well as developments and events that he will find interesting.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 01, 2021, 17:55 (112 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: We are not attack dogs. You have your vision of God and I have mine.

dhw: I do not have one vision of God – I offer alternatives.

Which are always weak and humanized. W e will never agree on who God is.

DAVID: The bold is your constant misinterpretation. Humans were/are His eventual goal. He started with Archaea and viruses. They are still necessarily here as part of the total production. Still a confused view slicing and dicing the whole 3.8 byo evolutionary process.

dhw: We are not talking about archaea and viruses! This comment is part of your constant obfuscation, as you dodge the question of why, if his only goal was humans plus lunch, he specially designed all the past life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans.

And my constant response is God evolved us from Archaea, which, if you accepted that concept, would remove all your objections. I can't answer why He chose that method as answered ad nauseum. It is my theory, not obfuscation, which I would note implies I am not debating honestly.


Back to theodicy and David’s theories: Using good viruses
DAVID: It must be remembered, in God's creation there are both good and bad viruses […]

dhw: You seem to have misunderstood the problem of theodicy, which is the incompatibility of “bad” things with the concept of God as an omnipotent, perfectly “good” being. Your solution to the problem appears to be along the lines of: “Thank you, God, for deliberately designing all the good viruses and bacteria that relieve some of the appalling suffering caused by your deliberate design of bad viruses and bacteria.” Not much of a solution, is it?

DAVID: You don't seem to realize I feel there is no current solution, but I look to future research to solve the issues we raise about God. I don't know if God is 'good' or 'loving'. That goes back to religion's teachings and they are us, knowing no more than we do about Him. I'm delighted we are here, but it is possible God is just creating for the sake of creating, nothing more.

dhw: You hope that science will one day prove that your God’s special design of what we believe to be bad will turn out to be good. However, your last comment is excellent news. If it is possible that he is just creating for the sake of creating, it must also be possible that he is creating because – as you have said before – he enjoys doing so and is interested in his creations. Since no one knows his nature, thoughts and purposes, it must therefore also be possible that his reason for creating is to provide himself with an activity he enjoys as well as developments and events that he will find interesting.

Again, back to a really human form of a God, all pure guesswork ignoring the magnitude of His creations

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Friday, July 02, 2021, 08:52 (112 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We are not attack dogs. You have your vision of God and I have mine.

dhw: I do not have one vision of God – I offer alternatives.

DAVID: Which are always weak and humanized. We will never agree on who God is.

It’s as if our correspondence concerning “weak” and “humanized” had never taken place. I see nothing weak, for instance, in a God who deliberately creates a self-generating bush of life forms which he can watch with interest. I do not know why this should be regarded as more “humanized” than your God, who deliberately controls every development in evolution, which he watches with interest.

DAVID: […] Humans were/are His eventual goal. He started with Archaea and viruses. They are still necessarily here as part of the total production. Still a confused view slicing and dicing the whole 3.8 byo evolutionary process.

dhw: We are not talking about archaea and viruses! This comment is part of your constant obfuscation, as you dodge the question of why, if his only goal was humans plus lunch, he specially designed all the past life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans.

DAVID: And my constant response is God evolved us from Archaea, which, if you accepted that concept, would remove all your objections. I can't answer why He chose that method as answered ad nauseum.

And that is the nub of the whole debate! We both accept that ALL life forms descended from Archaea, but you claim that he specially designed ALL life forms (plus lunch), although he only wanted one (plus lunch). It is this latter part of your theory – the one you can’t explain – which I object to, and the objection is not removed by our agreement that all forms of life are descended from Archaea.

DAVID: It is my theory, not obfuscation, which I would note implies I am not debating honestly.

Time and again, you focus on common descent – which we agree on – and leave out the rest of your theory (you “can’t answer” the question why he would choose your method to achieve your interpretation of his purpose). I don’t know why you persist in doing so. Once you accept that your fixed belief in your theory provides you with an insoluble problem of logic, we can move on. Your objections to my logical alternatives are irrelevant to the illogicality of your theory.

Back to theodicy and David’s theories: Using good viruses
DAVID: It must be remembered, in God's creation there are both good and bad viruses […]

dhw: You seem to have misunderstood the problem of theodicy, which is the incompatibility of “bad” things with the concept of God as an omnipotent, perfectly “good” being. Your solution to the problem appears to be along the lines of: “Thank you, God, for deliberately designing all the good viruses and bacteria that relieve some of the appalling suffering caused by your deliberate design of bad viruses and bacteria.” Not much of a solution, is it?

DAVID: You don't seem to realize I feel there is no current solution, but I look to future research to solve the issues we raise about God. I don't know if God is 'good' or 'loving'. That goes back to religion's teachings and they are us, knowing no more than we do about Him. I'm delighted we are here, but it is possible God is just creating for the sake of creating, nothing more.

dhw: You hope that science will one day prove that your God’s special design of what we believe to be bad will turn out to be good. However, your last comment is excellent news. If it is possible that he is just creating for the sake of creating, it must also be possible that he is creating because – as you have said before – he enjoys doing so and is interested in his creations. Since no one knows his nature, thoughts and purposes, it must therefore also be possible that his reason for creating is to provide himself with an activity he enjoys as well as developments and events that he will find interesting.

DAVID: Again, back to a really human form of a God, all pure guesswork ignoring the magnitude of His creations.

Absolutely nothing to do with the magnitude of his creations, which is all the more reason to believe that he must enjoy creating, and enjoyment of creation might therefore be his motive for creating the process of evolution. ALL theories are “pure guesswork”, but at least some fit in logically with the history of life as we know it. What do you mean by “really” human? You keep agreeing that we must have inherited certain attributes from him, but you can only accept him having those attributes (the control freak with good intentions) that fit in with your image of him!

BACK TO THEODICY
DAVID: We continue to learn that bacteria, the starters of life, are still here to help.

Some bacteria are here to help, while other bacteria are here to destroy. That epitomizes the problem of theodicy. The article also raises the whole question of the extent to which the emotions and behaviour of any organism, including ourselves, is affected by factors beyond our control.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Friday, July 02, 2021, 16:47 (111 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: We are not attack dogs. You have your vision of God and I have mine.

dhw: I do not have one vision of God – I offer alternatives.

DAVID: Which are always weak and humanized. We will never agree on who God is.

dhw: It’s as if our correspondence concerning “weak” and “humanized” had never taken place. I see nothing weak, for instance, in a God who deliberately creates a self-generating bush of life forms which he can watch with interest. I do not know why this should be regarded as more “humanized” than your God, who deliberately controls every development in evolution, which he watches with interest.

Just shows you do not understand my humanizing argument. Our correspondence never cleared that up. Simply a God who gives up control is a humanized God. God always knows what He wants to achieve and does it. That is the God I believe in.

dhw: We are not talking about archaea and viruses! This comment is part of your constant obfuscation, as you dodge the question of why, if his only goal was humans plus lunch, he specially designed all the past life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans.

DAVID: And my constant response is God evolved us from Archaea, which, if you accepted that concept, would remove all your objections. I can't answer why He chose that method as answered ad nauseum.

dhw: And that is the nub of the whole debate! We both accept that ALL life forms descended from Archaea, but you claim that he specially designed ALL life forms (plus lunch), although he only wanted one (plus lunch). It is this latter part of your theory – the one you can’t explain – which I object to, and the objection is not removed by our agreement that all forms of life are descended from Archaea.

The bold is your constant confusion about my view. God had a goal of producing humans, and understood how to do it as shown in the history of evolution as He DESIGNED it. I believe in a DESIGNER. THAT is my EXPLANATION. What is not explained?


DAVID: It is my theory, not obfuscation, which I would note implies I am not debating honestly.

Time and again, you focus on common descent – which we agree on – and leave out the rest of your theory (you “can’t answer” the question why he would choose your method to achieve your interpretation of his purpose). I don’t know why you persist in doing so. Once you accept that your fixed belief in your theory provides you with an insoluble problem of logic, we can move on. Your objections to my logical alternatives are irrelevant to the illogicality of your theory.

Answered directly above. We are now arguing about who is Really illogical. I pick you.


Back to theodicy and David’s theories: Using good viruses

dhw: You hope that science will one day prove that your God’s special design of what we believe to be bad will turn out to be good. However, your last comment is excellent news. If it is possible that he is just creating for the sake of creating, it must also be possible that he is creating because – as you have said before – he enjoys doing so and is interested in his creations. Since no one knows his nature, thoughts and purposes, it must therefore also be possible that his reason for creating is to provide himself with an activity he enjoys as well as developments and events that he will find interesting.

DAVID: Again, back to a really human form of a God, all pure guesswork ignoring the magnitude of His creations.

dhw: Absolutely nothing to do with the magnitude of his creations, which is all the more reason to believe that he must enjoy creating, and enjoyment of creation might therefore be his motive for creating the process of evolution.

God does not have to be in a position of 'must enjoy'. Why humanize Him?

BACK TO THEODICY
DAVID: We continue to learn that bacteria, the starters of life, are still here to help.

dhw: Some bacteria are here to help, while other bacteria are here to destroy. That epitomizes the problem of theodicy. The article also raises the whole question of the extent to which the emotions and behaviour of any organism, including ourselves, is affected by factors beyond our control.

Yes.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Saturday, July 03, 2021, 09:09 (111 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We are not attack dogs. You have your vision of God and I have mine.

dhw: I do not have one vision of God – I offer alternatives.

DAVID: Which are always weak and humanized. We will never agree on who God is.

dhw: It’s as if our correspondence concerning “weak” and “humanized” had never taken place. I see nothing weak, for instance, in a God who deliberately creates a self-generating bush of life forms which he can watch with interest. I do not know why this should be regarded as more “humanized” than your God, who deliberately controls every development in evolution, which he watches with interest.

DAVID: Just shows you do not understand my humanizing argument. Our correspondence never cleared that up. Simply a God who gives up control is a humanized God. God always knows what He wants to achieve and does it. That is the God I believe in.

If I believed in God (but I do not disbelieve in him), I would also believe that he knows what he wants to achieve and does it. One of my theories is that he wanted to create the ever changing bush of life, with all its unexpected branches and strategies and natural wonders that we know exist and existed, and that in order to do so, he gave cells the intelligence to design all the life forms and behaviours which make them so interesting both to us and to him. Like yourself, I believe that we may have inherited thought patterns and emotions from him, or as you put it more recently: “I am sure we mimic him in many ways (…) but just how much is unknown.” Of course it is, but in view of your own certainty that we mimic him, it is patently absurd to dismiss a theory that fits in logically with the history of life, merely on the grounds that it involves thought patterns and emotions similar to our own.

dhw: […] you dodge the question of why, if his only goal was humans plus lunch, he specially designed all the past life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans.

DAVID: And my constant response is God evolved us from Archaea, which, if you accepted that concept, would remove all your objections. I can't answer why He chose that method as answered ad nauseum. (dhw’s bold)

dhw: And that is the nub of the whole debate! We both accept that ALL life forms descended from Archaea, but you claim that he specially designed ALL life forms (plus lunch), although he only wanted one (plus lunch). It is this latter part of your theory – the one you can’t explain – which I object to, and the objection is not removed by our agreement that all forms of life are descended from Archaea.

DAVID: The bold is your constant confusion about my view. God had a goal of producing humans, and understood how to do it as shown in the history of evolution as He DESIGNED it. I believe in a DESIGNER. THAT is my EXPLANATION. What is not explained?

What is not explained is precisely what you have just admitted you can’t explain: namely, his “method” of designing humans plus lunch by first designing millions of life forms and lunches that had nothing to do with humans plus lunch. The alternatives I have offered you all involve a DESIGNER, and you have agreed that all of them logically cover the part of your theory that you cannot explain.

Back to theodicy and David’s theories: Using good viruses
DAVID: […] It is possible God is just creating for the sake of creating, nothing more.

dhw: You hope that science will one day prove that your God’s special design of what we believe to be bad will turn out to be good. However, your last comment is excellent news. If it is possible that he is just creating for the sake of creating, it must also be possible that he is creating because – as you have said before – he enjoys doing so and is interested in his creations. Since no one knows his nature, thoughts and purposes, it must therefore also be possible that his reason for creating is to provide himself with an activity he enjoys as well as developments and events that he will find interesting.

DAVID: Again, back to a really human form of a God, all pure guesswork ignoring the magnitude of His creations.

dhw: Absolutely nothing to do with the magnitude of his creations, which is all the more reason to believe that he must enjoy creating, and enjoyment of creation might therefore be his motive for creating the process of evolution.

DAVID:God does not have to be in a position of 'must enjoy'. Why humanize Him?

"Must" here is a deduction, not a compulsion, and why not? How can you possibly talk about purposes without “humanizing” him? And do you honestly imagine your God as an emotionless mind simply creating without any feelings – although elsewhere you have expressed your certainty that he enjoys creating and is interested in what he creates? When pushed, you even come up with possible “humanized” reasons why he wanted to design humans (see “Miscellany” under “Neutron star”), and you have him kindly providing possible antidotes to the diseases his specially created viruses and bacteria have created - because he has "good intentions".
You object to my "humanizing" him because some of my humanizations conflict with your own, though you can find no fault in the logic which explains those parts of your theories which you can't explain.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 03, 2021, 15:54 (110 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Just shows you do not understand my humanizing argument. Our correspondence never cleared that up. Simply a God who gives up control is a humanized God. God always knows what He wants to achieve and does it. That is the God I believe in.

dhw: If I believed in God (but I do not disbelieve in him), I would also believe that he knows what he wants to achieve and does it. One of my theories is that he wanted to create the ever changing bush of life, with all its unexpected branches and strategies and natural wonders that we know exist and existed, and that in order to do so, he gave cells the intelligence to design all the life forms and behaviours which make them so interesting both to us and to him. Like yourself, I believe that we may have inherited thought patterns and emotions from him, or as you put it more recently: “I am sure we mimic him in many ways (…) but just how much is unknown.” Of course it is, but in view of your own certainty that we mimic him, it is patently absurd to dismiss a theory that fits in logically with the history of life, merely on the grounds that it involves thought patterns and emotions similar to our own.

You have repeated, as expected, your humanized view of God.


DAVID: The bold is your constant confusion about my view. God had a goal of producing humans, and understood how to do it as shown in the history of evolution as He DESIGNED it. I believe in a DESIGNER. THAT is my EXPLANATION. What is not explained?

dhw: What is not explained is precisely what you have just admitted you can’t explain: namely, his “method” of designing humans plus lunch by first designing millions of life forms and lunches that had nothing to do with humans plus lunch. The alternatives I have offered you all involve a DESIGNER, and you have agreed that all of them logically cover the part of your theory that you cannot explain.

The point is I don't have to explain why God chose to evolve us. It is/was His choice. Your logical thoughts all come from the desires of a humanized God. 'Round and 'round. we will never agree.


Back to theodicy and David’s theories: Using good viruses

DAVID: Again, back to a really human form of a God, all pure guesswork ignoring the magnitude of His creations.

dhw: Absolutely nothing to do with the magnitude of his creations, which is all the more reason to believe that he must enjoy creating, and enjoyment of creation might therefore be his motive for creating the process of evolution.

DAVID:God does not have to be in a position of 'must enjoy'. Why humanize Him?

dhw: "Must" here is a deduction, not a compulsion, and why not? How can you possibly talk about purposes without “humanizing” him? And do you honestly imagine your God as an emotionless mind simply creating without any feelings – although elsewhere you have expressed your certainty that he enjoys creating and is interested in what he creates? When pushed, you even come up with possible “humanized” reasons why he wanted to design humans (see “Miscellany” under “Neutron star”), and you have him kindly providing possible antidotes to the diseases his specially created viruses and bacteria have created - because he has "good intentions".
You object to my "humanizing" him because some of my humanizations conflict with your own, though you can find no fault in the logic which explains those parts of your theories which you can't explain.

Explained above. Your humanized God has logical intentions.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Sunday, July 04, 2021, 09:35 (110 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: […] Simply a God who gives up control is a humanized God. God always knows what He wants to achieve and does it. That is the God I believe in.

dhw: If I believed in God (but I do not disbelieve in him), I would also believe that he knows what he wants to achieve and does it. One of my theories is that he wanted to create the ever changing bush of life, […] and that in order to do so, he gave cells the intelligence to design all the life forms and behaviours which make them so interesting both to us and to him. […] in view of your own certainty that we mimic him, it is patently absurd to dismiss a theory that fits in logically with the history of life, merely on the grounds that it involves thought patterns and emotions similar to our own.

DAVID: You have repeated, as expected, your humanized view of God.

And you have repeated, most disappointingly, your refusal to consider any “human thought patterns and emotions” other than those which you believe your God might possess, regardless of how they fit in with the history of life.

dhw: You claim that he specially designed ALL life forms (plus lunch), although he only wanted one (plus lunch) […]

You responded: “I can’t answer why he chose that method.”

DAVID: The bold is your constant confusion about my view. God had a goal of producing humans, and understood how to do it as shown in the history of evolution as He DESIGNED it. I believe in a DESIGNER. THAT is my EXPLANATION. What is not explained?

dhw: What is not explained is precisely what you have just admitted you can’t explain: namely, his “method” of designing humans plus lunch by first designing millions of life forms and lunches that had nothing to do with humans plus lunch. The alternatives I have offered you all involve a DESIGNER, and you have agreed that all of them logically cover the part of your theory that you cannot explain.

DAVID: The point is I don't have to explain why God chose to evolve us. It is/was His choice. Your logical thoughts all come from the desires of a humanized God. 'Round and 'round. we will never agree.

We go round and round because you continue to leave out the point that you admit you can’t explain, which is not “why he chose to evolve us”, but why- if his only aim was to design us and our lunch - he chose to specially design millions of life forms, natural wonders etc. that had no connection with us.

Back to theodicy and David’s theories: Using good viruses
DAVID: Again, back to a really human form of a God, all pure guesswork ignoring the magnitude of His creations.

dhw: Absolutely nothing to do with the magnitude of his creations, which is all the more reason to believe that he must enjoy creating, and enjoyment of creation might therefore be his motive for creating the process of evolution.

DAVID:God does not have to be in a position of 'must enjoy'. Why humanize Him?

dhw: "Must" here is a deduction, not a compulsion, and why not? See “Miscellany”.

Privileged planet
DAVID: For life fine-tuning is one requirement, but a special Earth orbiting a special star is just as important. It doesn't answer dhw's strange concern as to why God made the universe so huge and filled with so many weird processes if He only wanted humans. His same concern applies to why the bush of evolved life is so big. My view is God knew what had to be created to achieve His goals. dhw somehow knows better.

Why “strange” concern? If God exists, I agree that he would have known precisely what had to be created to achieve his goal(s). (I don’t know why you revert to plural goals, when you insist that there was only one: humans plus lunch). And the zillions of extinct and extant stars and planets, and the vast bush of extinct life forms etc. do not logically support the claim that his one and only goal was to design humans plus lunch.The billions of galaxies that have nothing to do with us or with any life suggest either that there is no design and no God, and our one privileged planet among zillions is the product of a stroke of luck, or – if your all-knowing, all-powerful God exists - he had more in mind than only creating humans plus lunch. I do not "know better". I admit to having no knowledge at all, which is why I propose different theories. However, you reject them all and adhere rigidly to just one – as if you knew better.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 04, 2021, 15:36 (109 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You have repeated, as expected, your humanized view of God.

dhw: And you have repeated, most disappointingly, your refusal to consider any “human thought patterns and emotions” other than those which you believe your God might possess, regardless of how they fit in with the history of life.

As usual I propose the results of my God's personality and you propose yours. Note I have accepted your theories for your humanized God but only in that context.


dhw: You claim that he specially designed ALL life forms (plus lunch), although he only wanted one (plus lunch) […]

You responded: “I can’t answer why he chose that method.”

DAVID: The point is I don't have to explain why God chose to evolve us. It is/was His choice. Your logical thoughts all come from the desires of a humanized God. 'Round and 'round. we will never agree.

dhw: We go round and round because you continue to leave out the point that you admit you can’t explain, which is not “why he chose to evolve us”, but why- if his only aim was to design us and our lunch - he chose to specially design millions of life forms, natural wonders etc. that had no connection with us.

And you continue a baseless objection. God, as the Creator, created all of our reality, which included evolution of humans from bacteria. What is there to attempt to explain? We have to accept what exists as what God wanted to exist. And accept the history of the processes. You are a non-acceptor. It is your problem.


Privileged planet
DAVID: For life fine-tuning is one requirement, but a special Earth orbiting a special star is just as important. It doesn't answer dhw's strange concern as to why God made the universe so huge and filled with so many weird processes if He only wanted humans. His same concern applies to why the bush of evolved life is so big. My view is God knew what had to be created to achieve His goals. dhw somehow knows better.

dhw: Why “strange” concern? If God exists, I agree that he would have known precisely what had to be created to achieve his goal(s). (I don’t know why you revert to plural goals, when you insist that there was only one: humans plus lunch). And the zillions of extinct and extant stars and planets, and the vast bush of extinct life forms etc. do not logically support the claim that his one and only goal was to design humans plus lunch. The billions of galaxies that have nothing to do with us or with any life suggest either that there is no design and no God, and our one privileged planet among zillions is the product of a stroke of luck, or – if your all-knowing, all-powerful God exists - he had more in mind than only creating humans plus lunch. I do not "know better". I admit to having no knowledge at all, which is why I propose different theories. However, you reject them all and adhere rigidly to just one – as if you knew better.

Answered above. You well define our differences in patterns of thought. The only way to evolve humans from bacteria seems the one that we are shown from God's created history of evolution. And all living matter requires daily lunch, which you don't seem to worry about, but I'll bet you had yours.. I'm glad you know what God had in mind other than what we know He produced as you guess in the bold. We can only work with what He produced, and how do you know the whole of the universe is not necessary to produce the life-giving Earth? Why not think of the concept that what is here is required? But you prefer to badger history.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Monday, July 05, 2021, 09:19 (109 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: As usual I propose the results of my God's personality and you propose yours. Note I have accepted your theories for your humanized God but only in that context.

In what context? I have proposed logical theistic theories to explain the history of life, and these entail human thought patterns that are different from the human thought patterns that underlie your own illogical theory.

dhw: You claim that he specially designed ALL life forms (plus lunch), although he only wanted one (plus lunch) […]
You responded: “I can’t answer why he chose that method.”

DAVID: The point is I don't have to explain why God chose to evolve us. It is/was His choice. Your logical thoughts all come from the desires of a humanized God. 'Round and 'round. we will never agree.

dhw: We go round and round because you continue to leave out the point that you admit you can’t explain, which is not “why he chose to evolve us”, but why- if his only aim was to design us and our lunch - he chose to specially design millions of life forms, natural wonders etc. that had no connection with us.

DAVID: And you continue a baseless objection. God, as the Creator, created all of our reality, which included evolution of humans from bacteria. What is there to attempt to explain? We have to accept what exists as what God wanted to exist. And accept the history of the processes. You are a non-acceptor. It is your problem.

You have just agreed that all my theories logically explain “all of our reality”, i.e. the whole “history of the processes” of evolution, whereas you admit that your own theory does NOT explain the whole history: “I can’t answer why he chose that method”. You are a “non-acceptor” of the whole history, which contradicts your personal interpretation of “what God wanted to exist”.

Privileged planet
DAVID: For life fine-tuning is one requirement, but a special Earth orbiting a special star is just as important. It doesn't answer dhw's strange concern as to why God made the universe so huge and filled with so many weird processes if He only wanted humans. His same concern applies to why the bush of evolved life is so big. My view is God knew what had to be created to achieve His goals. dhw somehow knows better.

dhw: Why “strange” concern? If God exists, I agree that he would have known precisely what had to be created to achieve his goal(s). (I don’t know why you revert to plural goals, when you insist that there was only one: humans plus lunch). And the zillions of extinct and extant stars and planets, and the vast bush of extinct life forms etc. do not logically support the claim that his one and only goal was to design humans plus lunch. […] I do not "know better". I admit to having no knowledge at all, which is why I propose different theories. However, you reject them all and adhere rigidly to just one – as if you knew better.

DAVID: The only way to evolve humans from bacteria seems the one that we are shown from God's created history of evolution. And all living matter requires daily lunch, which you don't seem to worry about, but I'll bet you had yours.

We agree that all organisms, including humans, evolved from bacteria. Firstly, that does not mean that your God individually designed each organism. Secondly, it does not mean that he did so for the sole purpose of designing humans. Thirdly, the fact that all living matter requires lunch does not mean that your God designed all living matter plus lunch “as part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” plus our lunch. Please stop dodging.

DAVID: […] We can only work with what He produced, and how do you know the whole of the universe is not necessary to produce the life-giving Earth? Why not think of the concept that what is here is required? But you prefer to badger history.

I have just stated explicitly that I have no knowledge at all, including whether God exists or not, which is why I propose different theories. You stick to one theory and although one moment you accept the logic of all my alternatives, the next moment you revert back to your rigid belief in your own.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Monday, July 05, 2021, 17:28 (108 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: As usual I propose the results of my God's personality and you propose yours. Note I have accepted your theories for your humanized God but only in that context.

dhw: In what context? I have proposed logical theistic theories to explain the history of life, and these entail human thought patterns that are different from the human thought patterns that underlie your own illogical theory.

The context is your imagined humanized God.


DAVID: And you continue a baseless objection. God, as the Creator, created all of our reality, which included evolution of humans from bacteria. What is there to attempt to explain? We have to accept what exists as what God wanted to exist. And accept the history of the processes. You are a non-acceptor. It is your problem.

dhw: You have just agreed that all my theories logically explain “all of our reality”, i.e. the whole “history of the processes” of evolution, whereas you admit that your own theory does NOT explain the whole history: “I can’t answer why he chose that method”. You are a “non-acceptor” of the whole history, which contradicts your personal interpretation of “what God wanted to exist”.

What an odd off-point response! His reason for creating history is NOT THE HISTORY itself!!!


Privileged planet

DAVID: The only way to evolve humans from bacteria seems the one that we are shown from God's created history of evolution. And all living matter requires daily lunch, which you don't seem to worry about, but I'll bet you had yours.

dhw: We agree that all organisms, including humans, evolved from bacteria. Firstly, that does not mean that your God individually designed each organism. Secondly, it does not mean that he did so for the sole purpose of designing humans. Thirdly, the fact that all living matter requires lunch does not mean that your God designed all living matter plus lunch “as part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” plus our lunch. Please stop dodging.

Your dodge is you accept nothing, and question everything but that is your right. It seems I have no right to arrive at a belief which you call dodging.


DAVID: […] We can only work with what He produced, and how do you know the whole of the universe is not necessary to produce the life-giving Earth? Why not think of the concept that what is here is required? But you prefer to badger history.

dhw: I have just stated explicitly that I have no knowledge at all, including whether God exists or not, which is why I propose different theories. You stick to one theory and although one moment you accept the logic of all my alternatives, the next moment you revert back to your rigid belief in your own.

Stop distorting my acceptance of your logical use of your humanized form of God

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Tuesday, July 06, 2021, 09:02 (108 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: As usual I propose the results of my God's personality and you propose yours. Note I have accepted your theories for your humanized God but only in that context.

dhw: In what context? I have proposed logical theistic theories to explain the history of life, and these entail human thought patterns that are different from the human thought patterns that underlie your own illogical theory.

DAVID: The context is your imagined humanized God.

The context is our efforts to explain a possible God’s motives and method for the creation of life and evolution. Neither of us can do more than ”imagine” what these might be, and any explanation must inevitably involve the attribution of human thought patterns to this possible God. You are “sure we mimic him in many ways”, so it is a question of which ways – not a question of whether there ARE any ways. You accept the logic of all my alternative theories, and you cannot find any logical pattern in your own theory. If we assume that God acts logically, that should be sufficient to create doubts about your theory.

dhw: You have just agreed that all my theories logically explain “all of our reality”, i.e. the whole “history of the processes” of evolution, whereas you admit that your own theory does NOT explain the whole history: “I can’t answer why he chose that method”. You are a “non-acceptor” of the whole history, which contradicts your personal interpretation of “what God wanted to exist”.

DAVID: What an odd off-point response! His reason for creating history is NOT THE HISTORY itself!!!

But you refuse to consider the whole history in your interpretation of your God’s purpose and method. That is why (see next item below) you constantly harp on your God’s decision to “evolve” (= design) humans plus lunch from bacteria, and you leave out or gloss over the fact that in your theory he also took the decision to “evolve” (= design) every other life form plus lunch, although 99% of them had no connection with humans.

Privileged planet
DAVID: The only way to evolve humans from bacteria seems the one that we are shown from God's created history of evolution. And all living matter requires daily lunch, which you don't seem to worry about, but I'll bet you had yours.

dhw: We agree that all organisms, including humans, evolved from bacteria. Firstly, that does not mean that your God individually designed each organism. Secondly, it does not mean that he did so for the sole purpose of designing humans. Thirdly, the fact that all living matter requires lunch does not mean that your God designed all living matter plus lunch “as part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” plus our lunch. Please stop dodging.

DAVID: Your dodge is you accept nothing, and question everything but that is your right. It seems I have no right to arrive at a belief which you call dodging.

My approach is not a dodge. I accept the theory of evolution, and I try to find possible explanations for how it works. As an agnostic, I also include the possibility of your God as the creator of the whole process. My different explanations are the very opposite of dodging, whereas your defence of your own theory constantly sees you ignoring the WHOLE history of life, and focusing solely on humans and their lunch. When you do consider the WHOLE history, you are forced to admit that you cannot explain it in terms of your interpretation of your God’s purpose and method. That should be the end of the discussion.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 06, 2021, 18:14 (107 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The context is your imagined humanized God.

dhw: The context is our efforts to explain a possible God’s motives and method for the creation of life and evolution. Neither of us can do more than ”imagine” what these might be, and any explanation must inevitably involve the attribution of human thought patterns to this possible God. You are “sure we mimic him in many ways”, so it is a question of which ways – not a question of whether there ARE any ways. You accept the logic of all my alternative theories, and you cannot find any logical pattern in your own theory.

Your usual useless distortion. Your humanized God does produce logical theories, based on His primary personality as very human. My non-human God does not tell me why He chose to evolve humans from bacteria. There is a vast difference in our individual approaches to God. Mine are no more illogical than yours. We start on a level playing field in thinking about God and head into two very different directions. Using my God, my theories are just as logical as yours. For some reason you are totally blind to this.


dhw: You have just agreed that all my theories logically explain “all of our reality”, i.e. the whole “history of the processes” of evolution, whereas you admit that your own theory does NOT explain the whole history: “I can’t answer why he chose that method”. You are a “non-acceptor” of the whole history, which contradicts your personal interpretation of “what God wanted to exist”.

DAVID: What an odd off-point response! His reason for creating history is NOT THE HISTORY itself!!!

dhw: But you refuse to consider the whole history in your interpretation of your God’s purpose and method. That is why (see next item below) you constantly harp on your God’s decision to “evolve” (= design) humans plus lunch from bacteria, and you leave out or gloss over the fact that in your theory he also took the decision to “evolve” (= design) every other life form plus lunch, although 99% of them had no connection with humans.

The entire early bush and late bush are required for food and each stage is a developing stage of increasing complexity. The relationship is the definition of how to evolve. God evolved everything as I view it.


Privileged planet

DAVID: Your dodge is you accept nothing, and question everything but that is your right. It seems I have no right to arrive at a belief which you call dodging.

dhw: My approach is not a dodge. I accept the theory of evolution, and I try to find possible explanations for how it works. As an agnostic, I also include the possibility of your God as the creator of the whole process. My different explanations are the very opposite of dodging, whereas your defence of your own theory constantly sees you ignoring the WHOLE history of life, and focusing solely on humans and their lunch. When you do consider the WHOLE history, you are forced to admit that you cannot explain it in terms of your interpretation of your God’s purpose and method. That should be the end of the discussion.

The bolded part above is your constant distortion. In my view of God, I do not have to defend or interpret His choice to evolve us from bacteria. You object to God as the designer of reality, while recognizing design exists in biology. Enjoy your picket fence.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Wednesday, July 07, 2021, 11:51 (107 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The context is your imagined humanized God.

dhw: The context is our efforts to explain a possible God’s motives and method for the creation of life and evolution. Neither of us can do more than ”imagine” what these might be, and any explanation must inevitably involve the attribution of human thought patterns to this possible God. You are “sure we mimic him in many ways”, so it is a question of which ways – not a question of whether there ARE any ways. You accept the logic of all my alternative theories, and you cannot find any logical pattern in your own theory.

DAVID: Your usual useless distortion. Your humanized God does produce logical theories, based on His primary personality as very human. My non-human God does not tell me why He chose to evolve humans from bacteria.

My alternatives are logical because they all present a possible God’s possible purpose and nature in a manner that explains the known history of life. Why do you try to distinguish between human and “very” human? You have admitted that your God’s personality can only be described in human terms, and he is just as humanized as my alternatives. You wrote:
DAVID: Of course I must discuss a non-human God in humans personality terms.
There is a vast difference in our individual approaches to God. Mine are no more illogical than yours. […] Using my God, my theories are just as logical as yours. For some reason you are totally blind to this.

You cannot explain why your humanized God, who only wanted to design humans plus lunch, proceeded to design millions of life forms, lunches etc. that had no connection with humans and their lunch. You admit that you can’t explain it, so why are you claiming that it is just as logical as my alternative theistic theories, which you have accepted as being logical?

dhw: […] you refuse to consider the whole history in your interpretation of your God’s purpose and method. That is why (see next item below) you constantly harp on your God’s decision to “evolve” (= design) humans plus lunch from bacteria, and you leave out or gloss over the fact that in your theory he also took the decision to “evolve” (= design) every other life form plus lunch, although 99% of them had no connection with humans.

DAVID: The entire early bush and late bush are required for food and each stage is a developing stage of increasing complexity. The relationship is the definition of how to evolve. God evolved everything as I view it.

By “evolve” let us remember you mean “specially design”. And oops, once again you have left out the section of your theory that renders it illogical, namely that your God specially designed every life form etc. “as part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” and their lunch.

Privileged planet
dhw: […] When you do consider the WHOLE history, you are forced to admit that you cannot explain it in terms of your interpretation of your God’s purpose and method.That should be the end of the discussion.

DAVID: The bolded part above is your constant distortion. In my view of God, I do not have to defend or interpret His choice to evolve us from bacteria.

No, but if your theory is to make sense, you need to explain why a God whose one and only purpose was to design humans and their lunch proceeded first to design millions of life forms etc. that had no connection with humans. You admit that you can’t do so, and so you distort the argument as if any criticism was directed at God, whereas of course it is directed at your illogical theory.

DAVID: You object to God as the designer of reality, while recognizing design exists in biology. Enjoy your picket fence.

In none of these discussions on the possible nature and purpose of a possible God do I object to God as the designer of reality. That is another of your escape routes, as you try to dodge the illogicality of your own theistic theory of evolution.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 07, 2021, 15:14 (106 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You cannot explain why your humanized God, who only wanted to design humans plus lunch, proceeded to design millions of life forms, lunches etc. that had no connection with humans and their lunch. You admit that you can’t explain it, so why are you claiming that it is just as logical as my alternative theistic theories, which you have accepted as being logical?

Copied from today miscellany: My image of your God, based on what He does, is that He is very human in thought and planning. The difference is I don't view my God as human or having human desires. Using the human terms we have to use is a truism.


dhw: […] you refuse to consider the whole history in your interpretation of your God’s purpose and method. That is why (see next item below) you constantly harp on your God’s decision to “evolve” (= design) humans plus lunch from bacteria, and you leave out or gloss over the fact that in your theory he also took the decision to “evolve” (= design) every other life form plus lunch, although 99% of them had no connection with humans.

DAVID: The entire early bush and late bush are required for food and each stage is a developing stage of increasing complexity. The relationship is the definition of how to evolve. God evolved everything as I view it.

dhw: By “evolve” let us remember you mean “specially design”. And oops, once again you have left out the section of your theory that renders it illogical, namely that your God specially designed every life form etc. “as part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” and their lunch.

Nothing is illogical in stating God chose to produce us by evolving us from bacteria by designing each step.

Privileged planet
dhw: […] When you do consider the WHOLE history, you are forced to admit that you cannot explain it in terms of your interpretation of your God’s purpose and method.That should be the end of the discussion.

DAVID: The bolded part above is your constant distortion. In my view of God, I do not have to defend or interpret His choice to evolve us from bacteria.

dhw: No, but if your theory is to make sense, you need to explain why a God whose one and only purpose was to design humans and their lunch proceeded first to design millions of life forms etc. that had no connection with humans. You admit that you can’t do so, and so you distort the argument as if any criticism was directed at God, whereas of course it is directed at your illogical theory.

DAVID: You object to God as the designer of reality, while recognizing design exists in biology. Enjoy your picket fence.

dhw: In none of these discussions on the possible nature and purpose of a possible God do I object to God as the designer of reality. That is another of your escape routes, as you try to dodge the illogicality of your own theistic theory of evolution.

The problem in this discussion is I really don't understand what you claim is illogical in believing God chose to create us by evolving us from bacteria, designing step by step.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Thursday, July 08, 2021, 11:43 (106 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Of course I must discuss a non-human God in humans personality terms.

dhw: Then would you please stop criticizing me for using human personality terms when you do exactly the same, and instead focus on the logic of our respective theories.

dhw: You cannot explain why your humanized God, who only wanted to design humans plus lunch, proceeded to design millions of life forms, lunches etc. that had no connection with humans and their lunch. You admit that you can’t explain it, so why are you claiming that it is just as logical as my alternative theistic theories, which you have accepted as being logical?

DAVID: Copied from today miscellany: My image of your God, based on what He does, is that He is very human in thought and planning. The difference is I don't view my God as human or having human desires. Using the human terms we have to use is a truism.

So when you say your God knows exactly what he wants, plans it in advance, wants and keeps total control, is driven by a single purpose (to create humans and their lunch, perhaps so they will admire his works, or he can have a relationship with them), enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, always has “good” intentions and therefore must have had good reasons for designing “bad” viruses and bacteria, and you are sure we mimic him, you don’t actually mean that he has any of these human attributes but you are merely using human terms. Whereas if I suggest that he knows what he wants, wants the ever changing bush of life we know from history, enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, we have no idea whether his intentions are “good”, especially against the background of evil, and I am sure that if he exists we mimic him, this makes him “very human”. And therefore your illogical theory of evolution is correct, whereas my alternative logical theories are not even to be considered.

dhw: […] you refuse to consider the whole history in your interpretation of your God’s purpose and method. That is why (see next item below) you constantly harp on your God’s decision to “evolve” (= design) humans plus lunch from bacteria, and you leave out or gloss over the fact that in your theory he also took the decision to “evolve” (= design) every other life form plus lunch, although 99% of them had no connection with humans.

DAVID: The entire early bush and late bush are required for food and each stage is a developing stage of increasing complexity. The relationship is the definition of how to evolve. God evolved everything as I view it.

dhw: By “evolve” let us remember you mean “specially design”. And oops, once again you have left out the section of your theory that renders it illogical, namely that your God specially designed every life form etc. bb“as part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” and their lunch.

DAVID: Nothing is illogical in stating God chose to produce us by evolving us from bacteria by designing each step.

No. What is illogical is the belief that your all-knowing, all-powerful, all-controlling God’s one and only purpose was to produce us and our lunch, and so he proceeded to “evolve” (= design) millions of life forms, lunches etc. etc. that had no connection with us. THIS is what you yourself find inexplicable. I seem to have said this before.

Privileged planet
DAVID: You object to God as the designer of reality, while recognizing design exists in biology. Enjoy your picket fence.

dhw: In none of these discussions on the possible nature and purpose of a possible God do I object to God as the designer of reality. That is another of your escape routes, as you try to dodge the illogicality of your own theistic theory of evolution.

DAVID: The problem in this discussion is I really don't understand what you claim is illogical in believing God chose to create us by evolving us from bacteria, designing step by step.

No. What is illogical is the belief that your all-knowing, all-powerful, all-controlling God’s one and only purpose was to produce us and our lunch, and so he proceeded to “evolve” (= design) millions of life forms, lunches etc. etc. that had no connection with us. THIS is what you yourself find inexplicable. I seem to have said this before.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 08, 2021, 15:42 (105 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Copied from today miscellany: My image of your God, based on what He does, is that He is very human in thought and planning. The difference is I don't view my God as human or having human desires. Using the human terms we have to use is a truism.

dhw: So when you say your God knows exactly what he wants, plans it in advance, wants and keeps total control, is driven by a single purpose (to create humans and their lunch, perhaps so they will admire his works, or he can have a relationship with them), enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, always has “good” intentions and therefore must have had good reasons for designing “bad” viruses and bacteria, and you are sure we mimic him, you don’t actually mean that he has any of these human attributes but you are merely using human terms. Whereas if I suggest that he knows what he wants, wants the ever changing bush of life we know from history, enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, we have no idea whether his intentions are “good”, especially against the background of evil, and I am sure that if he exists we mimic him, this makes him “very human”. And therefore your illogical theory of evolution is correct, whereas my alternative logical theories are not even to be considered.

You neatly left out the main parts of your God's humanized intentions: experimenting, letting organisms do their own designs, enjoying a free-for-all, deciding on making humans somewhere along the way. I've considered your form of God and agreed all your theories about that style God fits your theories about that God's actions. You have never looked at my God, as I looked at yours, with you just full derision and rejection.


DAVID: Nothing is illogical in stating God chose to produce us by evolving us from bacteria by designing each step.

dhw: No. What is illogical is the belief that your all-knowing, all-powerful, all-controlling God’s one and only purpose was to produce us and our lunch, and so he proceeded to “evolve” (= design) millions of life forms, lunches etc. etc. that had no connection with us. THIS is what you yourself find inexplicable. I seem to have said this before.

Yes, same muddle as before. The history of evolution is what God produced on the way to creating us. Your version of my God is that He has no idea of what He is doing.


Privileged planet
DAVID: You object to God as the designer of reality, while recognizing design exists in biology. Enjoy your picket fence.

dhw: In none of these discussions on the possible nature and purpose of a possible God do I object to God as the designer of reality. That is another of your escape routes, as you try to dodge the illogicality of your own theistic theory of evolution.

DAVID: The problem in this discussion is I really don't understand what you claim is illogical in believing God chose to create us by evolving us from bacteria, designing step by step.

dhw:n No. What is illogical is the belief that your all-knowing, all-powerful, all-controlling God’s one and only purpose was to produce us and our lunch, and so he proceeded to “evolve” (= design) millions of life forms, lunches etc. etc. that had no connection with us. THIS is what you yourself find inexplicable. I seem to have said this before.

Yes, same muddle as before. The history of evolution is what God produced on the way to creating us. Your version of my God is that He has no idea of what He is doing. Not inexplicable, just history.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Friday, July 09, 2021, 11:10 (105 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My image of your God, based on what He does, is that He is very human in thought and planning. The difference is I don't view my God as human or having human desires. Using the human terms we have to use is a truism.

dhw: So when you say your God knows exactly what he wants, plans it in advance, wants and keeps total control, is driven by a single purpose (to create humans and their lunch, perhaps so they will admire his works, or he can have a relationship with them), enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, always has “good” intentions and therefore must have had good reasons for designing “bad” viruses and bacteria, and you are sure we mimic him, you don’t actually mean that he has any of these human attributes but you are merely using human terms. Whereas if I suggest that he knows what he wants, wants the ever changing bush of life we know from history, enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, we have no idea whether his intentions are “good”, especially against the background of evil, and I am sure that if he exists we mimic him, this makes him “very human”. And therefore your illogical theory of evolution is correct, whereas my alternative logical theories are not even to be considered.

DAVID: You neatly left out the main parts of your God's humanized intentions: experimenting, letting organisms do their own designs, enjoying a free-for-all, deciding on making humans somewhere along the way. I've considered your form of God and agreed all your theories about that style God fits your theories about that God's actions. You have never looked at my God, as I looked at yours, with you just full derision and rejection.

They are not the main parts! They are three alternative theistic theories, and each one – as you keep admitting - logically explains the ever changing bush of life in relation to a possible God’s possible intentions. You have rejected them all on the grounds that they make God “very human”, and my reply is in no way full of derision and rejection but highlights your “humanizing”, which is no different from mine. It is therefore absurd for you to reject my alternatives on the grounds that they “humanize” God. It is doubly absurd to reject them when you yourself cannot provide a logical reason for your own theory as bolded below.

Just to clarify the distinctions between the three theistic alternatives: experimentation allows for your interpretation of your God’s purpose (humans) but also explains the non-human bush which you can’t explain; a God who gets new ideas as he goes along also explains the non-human bush; a deliberate free-for-all not only explains the bush but also offers a possible solution to the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: Nothing is illogical in stating God chose to produce us by evolving us from bacteria by designing each step.

dhw: No. What is illogical is the belief that your all-knowing, all-powerful, all-controlling God’s one and only purpose was to produce us and our lunch, and so he proceeded to “evolve” (= design) millions of life forms, lunches etc. etc. that had no connection with us. THIS is what you yourself find inexplicable. I seem to have said this before.

DAVID: Yes, same muddle as before. The history of evolution is what God produced on the way to creating us. Your version of my God is that He has no idea of what He is doing.

The history of evolution is that of a vast bush of life forms extant and extinct, of which we are the latest. The history does not tell us that every preceding life form etc. was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” plus their lunch. That is your inexplicable interpretation of the history, as bolded above, which you constantly try to edit out of your responses.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Friday, July 09, 2021, 15:41 (104 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: So when you say your God knows exactly what he wants, plans it in advance, wants and keeps total control, is driven by a single purpose (to create humans and their lunch, perhaps so they will admire his works, or he can have a relationship with them), enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, always has “good” intentions and therefore must have had good reasons for designing “bad” viruses and bacteria, and you are sure we mimic him, you don’t actually mean that he has any of these human attributes but you are merely using human terms. Whereas if I suggest that he knows what he wants, wants the ever changing bush of life we know from history, enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, we have no idea whether his intentions are “good”, especially against the background of evil, and I am sure that if he exists we mimic him, this makes him “very human”. And therefore your illogical theory of evolution is correct, whereas my alternative logical theories are not even to be considered.

DAVID: You neatly left out the main parts of your God's humanized intentions: experimenting, letting organisms do their own designs, enjoying a free-for-all, deciding on making humans somewhere along the way. I've considered your form of God and agreed all your theories about that style God fits your theories about that God's actions. You have never looked at my God, as I looked at yours, with you just full derision and rejection.

dhw: They are not the main parts! They are three alternative theistic theories, and each one – as you keep admitting - logically explains the ever changing bush of life in relation to a possible God’s possible intentions. You have rejected them all on the grounds that they make God “very human”, and my reply is in no way full of derision and rejection but highlights your “humanizing”, which is no different from mine. It is therefore absurd for you to reject my alternatives on the grounds that they “humanize” God. It is doubly absurd to reject them when you yourself cannot provide a logical reason for your own theory as bolded below.

Your various theories all make your God come across as very human. That is my considered impression.


dhw: Just to clarify the distinctions between the three theistic alternatives: experimentation allows for your interpretation of your God’s purpose (humans) but also explains the non-human bush which you can’t explain; a God who gets new ideas as he goes along also explains the non-human bush; a deliberate free-for-all not only explains the bush but also offers a possible solution to the problem of theodicy.

The bush is food as you admit. Stop using it as a lame objection.


DAVID: Nothing is illogical in stating God chose to produce us by evolving us from bacteria by designing each step.

dhw: No. What is illogical is the belief that your all-knowing, all-powerful, all-controlling God’s one and only purpose was to produce us and our lunch, and so he proceeded to “evolve” (= design) millions of life forms, lunches etc. etc. that had no connection with us. THIS is what you yourself find inexplicable. I seem to have said this before.

DAVID: Yes, same muddle as before. The history of evolution is what God produced on the way to creating us. Your version of my God is that He has no idea of what He is doing.

dhw: The history of evolution is that of a vast bush of life forms extant and extinct, of which we are the latest. The history does not tell us that every preceding life form etc. was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” plus their lunch. That is your inexplicable interpretation of the history, as bolded above, which you constantly try to edit out of your responses.

My whole theory: Every life form that preceded us was part of a process that ended up producing us. That is what God did and what I am claiming was His plan to produce us. You object to God as the designer of the steps of evolution. What is edited out? One item: the bush is required food

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Saturday, July 10, 2021, 07:53 (104 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My image of your God […] is that He is very human in thought and planning. […] I don’t view my God as human or having human desires. Using the human terms we have to use is a truism.

I gave you a full answer, showing that your interpretation of your God was just as human as mine. And so you switched to complaining that I had left out my theories. And so I summarized my theories, to which you replied:

DAVID: Your various theories all make your God come across as very human. That is my considered impression.

You have gone straight back to the same silly argument you used before, and so I may as well repeat my reply and ask you please to read it and compare the descriptions:
dhw: So when you say your God knows exactly what he wants, plans it in advance, wants and keeps total control, is driven by a single purpose (to create humans and their lunch, perhaps so they will admire his works, or he can have a relationship with them), enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, always has “good” intentions and therefore must have had good reasons for designing “bad” viruses and bacteria, and you are sure we mimic him, you don’t actually mean that he has any of these human attributes but you are merely using human terms. Whereas if I suggest that he knows what he wants, wants the ever changing bush of life we know from history, enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, we have no idea whether his intentions are “good”, especially against the background of evil, and I am sure that if he exists we mimic him, this makes him “very human”. And therefore your illogical theory of evolution is correct, whereas my alternative logical theories are not even to be considered.

The whole point was to show that your God was every bit as human as my alternative versions, even to the extent of repeating certain characteristics, and yet you dismiss my alternative theories of evolution on the grounds that they make God human. You then switched the focus by complaining that I had left out the actual theories which you dismiss as humanizations.

dhw: Just to clarify the distinctions between the three theistic alternatives: experimentation allows for your interpretation of your God’s purpose (humans) but also explains the non-human bush which you can’t explain; a God who gets new ideas as he goes along also explains the non-human bush; a deliberate free-for-all not only explains the bush but also offers a possible solution to the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: The bush is food as you admit. Stop using it as a lame objection.

Of course the bush is food, but you cannot explain why your God, whose only purpose was to design humans and their food, proceeded to design millions of non-human life forms and their food, 99% of which had no connection with humans. Why do you keep dodging?

DAVID: Nothing is illogical in stating God chose to produce us by evolving us from bacteria by designing each step.
The history of evolution is what God produced on the way to creating us. Your version of my God is that He has no idea of what He is doing.

dhw: The history of evolution is that of a vast bush of life forms extant and extinct, of which we are the latest. The history does not tell us that every preceding life form etc. was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” plus their lunch. That is your inexplicable interpretation of the history, as bolded above, which you constantly try to edit out of your responses.

DAVID: My whole theory: Every life form that preceded us was part of a process that ended up producing us.

This is the same dodge, and it is anything but your WHOLE theory! You focus on an obvious fact, and leave out all the aspects of your theory that make it illogical. Yes, the process of evolution ended up producing all the different forms of life, and we were the last species (so far) to emerge from it. But that does not mean that every previous life form and piece of food was individually designed by your God, or was part of your God’s one and only goal of designing us and our food! Please stop dodging!

DAVID: That is what God did and what I am claiming was His plan to produce us. You object to God as the designer of the steps of evolution. What is edited out? One item: the bush is required food.

Once more: You claim that his plan to produce us and our food was first of all not to produce us and our food but to produce lots of life forms and foods that had no connection with us – and this in spite of the fact that he is all-powerful, all-knowing, and always in control. It is possible that your God designed all the steps of evolution, but it is not logical to claim that the purpose of all the steps of evolution that led to all the life and food forms which have disappeared and which had no connection with humans was to enable your God to design humans and their food. You continue to take us round in circles in your effort to avoid admitting that this theory is illogical, even though you keep admitting that you can’t explain it.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 10, 2021, 15:30 (103 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your various theories all make your God come across as very human. That is my considered impression.

dhw: You have gone straight back to the same silly argument you used before, and so I may as well repeat my reply and ask you please to read it and compare the descriptions:
dhw: So when you say your God knows exactly what he wants, plans it in advance, wants and keeps total control, is driven by a single purpose (to create humans and their lunch, perhaps so they will admire his works, or he can have a relationship with them), enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, always has “good” intentions and therefore must have had good reasons for designing “bad” viruses and bacteria, and you are sure we mimic him, you don’t actually mean that he has any of these human attributes but you are merely using human terms. Whereas if I suggest that he knows what he wants, wants the ever changing bush of life we know from history, enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, we have no idea whether his intentions are “good”, especially against the background of evil, and I am sure that if he exists we mimic him, this makes him “very human”. And therefore your illogical theory of evolution is correct, whereas my alternative logical theories are not even to be considered.

dhw: The whole point was to show that your God was every bit as human as my alternative versions, even to the extent of repeating certain characteristics, and yet you dismiss my alternative theories of evolution on the grounds that they make God human. You then switched the focus by complaining that I had left out the actual theories which you dismiss as humanizations.

dhw: Just to clarify the distinctions between the three theistic alternatives: experimentation allows for your interpretation of your God’s purpose (humans) but also explains the non-human bush which you can’t explain; a God who gets new ideas as he goes along also explains the non-human bush; a deliberate free-for-all not only explains the bush but also offers a possible solution to the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: The bush is food as you admit. Stop using it as a lame objection.

dhw: Of course the bush is food, but you cannot explain why your God, whose only purpose was to design humans and their food, proceeded to design millions of non-human life forms and their food, 99% of which had no connection with humans. Why do you keep dodging?

DAVID: Nothing is illogical in stating God chose to produce us by evolving us from bacteria by designing each step.
The history of evolution is what God produced on the way to creating us. Your version of my God is that He has no idea of what He is doing.

dhw: The history of evolution is that of a vast bush of life forms extant and extinct, of which we are the latest. The history does not tell us that every preceding life form etc. was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” plus their lunch. That is your inexplicable interpretation of the history, as bolded above, which you constantly try to edit out of your responses.

DAVID: My whole theory: Every life form that preceded us was part of a process that ended up producing us.

dhw: This is the same dodge, and it is anything but your WHOLE theory! You focus on an obvious fact, and leave out all the aspects of your theory that make it illogical. Yes, the process of evolution ended up producing all the different forms of life, and we were the last species (so far) to emerge from it. But that does not mean that every previous life form and piece of food was individually designed by your God, or was part of your God’s one and only goal of designing us and our food! Please stop dodging!

DAVID: That is what God did and what I am claiming was His plan to produce us. You object to God as the designer of the steps of evolution. What is edited out? One item: the bush is required food.

dhw: Once more: You claim that his plan to produce us and our food was first of all not to produce us and our food but to produce lots of life forms and foods that had no connection with us – and this in spite of the fact that he is all-powerful, all-knowing, and always in control. It is possible that your God designed all the steps of evolution, but it is not logical to claim that the purpose of all the steps of evolution that led to all the life and food forms which have disappeared and which had no connection with humans was to enable your God to design humans and their food. You continue to take us round in circles in your effort to avoid admitting that this theory is illogical, even though you keep admitting that you can’t explain it.

Once again, I don't try to explain why God evolved us. It is your problem. You may try to describe my God as human, but those are just terms, not real organized impressions of His personality, but the way you describe my God is exactly my view! Knows exactly what He is doing, exact goals in mind. Sure He is a control freak in human terms at the level of evolving exactly what He wants, while yours muddles along with experimenting and watching wandering free-for-alls. We will always disagree. Stop bringing up your objections and I'll stop also.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Sunday, July 11, 2021, 12:26 (103 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You claim that his plan to produce us and our food was first of all not to produce us and our food but to produce lots of life forms and foods that had no connection with us – and this in spite of the fact that he is all-powerful, all-knowing, and always in control. It is possible that your God designed all the steps of evolution, but it is not logical to claim that the purpose of all the steps of evolution that led to all the life and food forms which have disappeared and which had no connection with humans was to enable your God to design humans and their food. You continue to take us round in circles in your effort to avoid admitting that this theory is illogical, even though you keep admitting that you can’t explain it.

DAVID: Once again, I don't try to explain why God evolved us. It is your problem.

Once again, that is not my problem, and as always you edit your theory to leave out those parts which contradict one another. The problem is not confined to why he evolved [= designed] US! The problem is why, if we and our lunch were his one and only purpose, why did he specially design all the life forms and lunches that had no connection with us?

DAVID: You may try to describe my God as human, but those are just terms, not real organized impressions of His personality, but the way you describe my God is exactly my view! Knows exactly what He is doing, exact goals in mind.

Of course they are terms. How else can you describe a personality? I don’t know what you mean by “organized impressions”. You offer descriptive terms, and I offer descriptive terms, and yours are every bit as humanizing as mine. Therefore “humanizing” is no reason to reject a theory.

DAVID: Sure He is a control freak in human terms at the level of evolving exactly what He wants, while yours muddles along with experimenting and watching wandering free-for-alls.

As always, you miss the point that I offer alternative views, and you simply try to find deprecatory ways of describing them. A scientist or inventor experimenting with different ideas in order to create something that has never existed before sounds totally positive to me, but you call it “muddling along”. A God who learns new things and develops new ideas does not seem to me to be weak or namby-pamby. You are sure that your God enjoys creating and watching his creations, but you simply refuse to conceive of the possibility that the enjoyment and interest might be enhanced by creating a “free-for-all” rather than a puppet show in which he pulls all the strings.

DAVID: We will always disagree. Stop bringing up your objections and I'll stop also.

It’s not possible to stop so long as you continue to insist that your God designed every life form plus lunch etc. for the sole purpose of producing us, although nearly all of those life forms and lunches had no connection with us. Your theory crops up in at least half the topics we discuss, from natural wonders such as ant bridges and weaverbirds’ nests through to the development of the human brain. Your fixed concept of God’s purpose and nature leads you to reject every alternative theistic theory of evolution for the feeblest of reasons – that although they all fit in with life’s history, they entail human attributes that are different from the human attributes you think he has. See “Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently” for an interesting development of this issue.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 11, 2021, 16:11 (102 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Once again, I don't try to explain why God evolved us. It is your problem.

dhw: Once again, that is not my problem, and as always you edit your theory to leave out those parts which contradict one another. The problem is not confined to why he evolved [= designed] US! The problem is why, if we and our lunch were his one and only purpose, why did he specially design all the life forms and lunches that had no connection with us?

And my always answer is God chose to evolve us from bacteria, and you have admitted it is God's right to do that.


DAVID: You may try to describe my God as human, but those are just terms, not real organized impressions of His personality, but the way you describe my God is exactly my view! Knows exactly what He is doing, exact goals in mind.

dhw: Of course they are terms. How else can you describe a personality? I don’t know what you mean by “organized impressions”. You offer descriptive terms, and I offer descriptive terms, and yours are every bit as humanizing as mine. Therefore “humanizing” is no reason to reject a theory.

When it turns God into a mainly human-thinking personality, it does. Your God is nowhere like my God in any way.


DAVID: Sure He is a control freak in human terms at the level of evolving exactly what He wants, while yours muddles along with experimenting and watching wandering free-for-alls.

dhw: As always, you miss the point that I offer alternative views, and you simply try to find deprecatory ways of describing them. A scientist or inventor experimenting with different ideas in order to create something that has never existed before sounds totally positive to me, but you call it “muddling along”. A God who learns new things and develops new ideas does not seem to me to be weak or namby-pamby. You are sure that your God enjoys creating and watching his creations, but you simply refuse to conceive of the possibility that the enjoyment and interest might be enhanced by creating a “free-for-all” rather than a puppet show in which he pulls all the strings.

Once again you have presented your vision of a wishy-washy bumbling along sort-of God who doesn't seem t know how to invent. Yet we have a universe designed fine-tuned to allow life by our God, but not yours.


DAVID: We will always disagree. Stop bringing up your objections and I'll stop also.

dhw: It’s not possible to stop so long as you continue to insist that your God designed every life form plus lunch etc. for the sole purpose of producing us, although nearly all of those life forms and lunches had no connection with us. Your theory crops up in at least half the topics we discuss, from natural wonders such as ant bridges and weaverbirds’ nests through to the development of the human brain. Your fixed concept of God’s purpose and nature leads you to reject every alternative theistic theory of evolution for the feeblest of reasons – that although they all fit in with life’s history, they entail human attributes that are different from the human attributes you think he has. See “Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently” for an interesting development

Your don't realize your images of God denigrates the image religious folk have. Your is a lesser God.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Monday, July 12, 2021, 10:37 (102 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Once again, I don't try to explain why God evolved us. It is your problem.

dhw: Once again, that is not my problem, and as always you edit your theory to leave out those parts which contradict one another. The problem is not confined to why he evolved [= designed] US! The problem is why, if we and our lunch were his one and only purpose, did he specially design all the life forms and lunches that had no connection with us?

DAVID: And my always answer is God chose to evolve us from bacteria, and you have admitted it is God's right to do that.

Yes, your always answer is to ignore the bold, because you have no answer to the question.

DAVID: You may try to describe my God as human, but those are just terms, not real organized impressions of His personality, but the way you describe my God is exactly my view! Knows exactly what He is doing, exact goals in mind.

dhw: Of course they are terms. How else can you describe a personality? I don’t know what you mean by “organized impressions”. You offer descriptive terms, and I offer descriptive terms, and yours are every bit as humanizing as mine. Therefore “humanizing” is no reason to reject a theory.

DAVID: When it turns God into a mainly human-thinking personality, it does. Your God is nowhere like my God in any way.

But your version is every bit as humanizing as my various alternatives, and unfortunately leads you to the bolded theory above, which makes no sense even to you. That is why you have to ignore it in your replies and resort to the silly humanizing argument. […]

DAVID: Once again you have presented your vision of a wishy-washy bumbling along sort-of God who doesn't seem t know how to invent. Yet we have a universe designed fine-tuned to allow life by our God, but not yours.

He does know how to invent. All three versions explain the process whereby he might have invented the whole bush of life! The third theory – the “free-for-all” – actually has him directly inventing precisely what he wanted to invent: not even experimenting or getting new ideas as he goes along. As for the first two, I have no idea why you consider experimentation, learning, and new ideas to denote wishy-washy bumbling. Since you are sure we mimic God, does that mean you regard all experimental scientists, artists, writers, inventors as wishy-washy and bumbling if they do not know every detail of their work before they even start it?

DAVID: We will always disagree. Stop bringing up your objections and I'll stop also.

dhw: It’s not possible to stop so long as you continue to insist that your God designed every life form plus lunch etc. for the sole purpose of producing us, although nearly all of those life forms and lunches had no connection with us. Your theory crops up in at least half the topics we discuss, from natural wonders such as ant bridges and weaverbirds’ nests through to the development of the human brain. Your fixed concept of God’s purpose and nature leads you to reject every alternative theistic theory of evolution for the feeblest of reasons – that although they all fit in with life’s history, they entail human attributes that are different from the human attributes you think he has. See “Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently” for an interesting development

DAVID: You don't realize your images of God denigrates the image religious folk have. Your is a lesser God.

Since when did you follow “religious folk”? You pride yourself on your refusal to side with them on the image of a “loving” God, although you have no doubt that his intentions are good. In any case, which religious folk are you talking about? Deists? Hindus? Muslims? Shintos? Christians? Panentheists? We were both raised as Jews, whose image of God (if you follow the teachings of the OT) I find terrifying. Besides, you are sure your God enjoys creating, and watches his creations with interest.I suggest he enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, and therefore may have created his creations out of enjoyment and wanting something to watch with interest. How does this make my proposal "lesser" than yours? Please don’t try to dodge the illogicality of your theory of evolution by hiding behind religion.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Monday, July 12, 2021, 16:03 (101 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Once again, that is not my problem, and as always you edit your theory to leave out those parts which contradict one another. The problem is not confined to why he evolved [= designed] US! The problem is why, if we and our lunch were his one and only purpose, did he specially design all the life forms and lunches that had no connection with us?

DAVID: And my always answer is God chose to evolve us from bacteria, and you have admitted it is God's right to do that.

dhw: Yes, your always answer is to ignore the bold, because you have no answer to the question.

Your bold is a description of the process of evolution. Again, does God have the right to evolve us?


DAVID: Once again you have presented your vision of a wishy-washy bumbling along sort-of God who doesn't seem t know how to invent. Yet we have a universe designed fine-tuned to allow life by our God, but not yours.

dhw: He does know how to invent. All three versions explain the process whereby he might have invented the whole bush of life! The third theory – the “free-for-all” – actually has him directly inventing precisely what he wanted to invent: not even experimenting or getting new ideas as he goes along. As for the first two, I have no idea why you consider experimentation, learning, and new ideas to denote wishy-washy bumbling. Since you are sure we mimic God, does that mean you regard all experimental scientists, artists, writers, inventors as wishy-washy and bumbling if they do not know every detail of their work before they even start it?

You don't seem to grasp the concept of inferring God's personage from the way He approaches projects. I have simply told you how your God appears to me.


DAVID: We will always disagree. Stop bringing up your objections and I'll stop also.

dhw: It’s not possible to stop so long as you continue to insist that your God designed every life form plus lunch etc. for the sole purpose of producing us, although nearly all of those life forms and lunches had no connection with us. Your theory crops up in at least half the topics we discuss, from natural wonders such as ant bridges and weaverbirds’ nests through to the development of the human brain. Your fixed concept of God’s purpose and nature leads you to reject every alternative theistic theory of evolution for the feeblest of reasons – that although they all fit in with life’s history, they entail human attributes that are different from the human attributes you think he has. See “Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently” for an interesting development

DAVID: You don't realize your images of God denigrates the image religious folk have. Yours is a lesser God.

dhw: Since when did you follow “religious folk”? You pride yourself on your refusal to side with them on the image of a “loving” God, although you have no doubt that his intentions are good. In any case, which religious folk are you talking about? Deists? Hindus? Muslims? Shintos? Christians? Panentheists? We were both raised as Jews, whose image of God (if you follow the teachings of the OT) I find terrifying. Besides, you are sure your God enjoys creating, and watches his creations with interest.I suggest he enjoys creating, watches his creations with interest, and therefore may have created his creations out of enjoyment and wanting something to watch with interest. How does this make my proposal "lesser" than yours? Please don’t try to dodge the illogicality of your theory of evolution by hiding behind religion.

You don't seem to grasp the concept of inferring God's personage from the way He approaches projects. I have simply told you how your God appears to me. For me God is an amazing mind who designed our reality, knows exactly what He wants to accomplish and does it, without wanting something to watch, something to experiment with, or to give Himself enjoyment. He does it without any self-purpose. If He watches our actions at all, He is simply watching. Does He love us as religion say? There is no way of knowing. I don't know why He wanted to create this reality and evolve us. You can't know either. The bold you keep repeating is totally illogical, a problem you somehow invent from a distorted analysis of whom God might be.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, 11:30 (101 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] as always you edit your theory to leave out those parts which contradict one another. The problem is not confined to why he evolved [= designed] US! bbbThe problem is why, if we and our lunch were his one and only purpose, did he specially design all the life forms and lunches that had no connection with us?

DAVID: Your bold is a description of the process of evolution. Again, does God have the right to evolve us?

God can do what he likes. The process of evolution is organisms descending from earlier organisms, with changes that lead to new species. If God exists, we agree that he would have invented this process. That does not mean that he engineered every change himself, or that he did so for the sole purpose of designing humans and their lunch. Please stop ignoring those parts of your theory which you admit you cannot explain.

DAVID: Once again you have presented your vision of a wishy-washy bumbling along sort-of God who doesn't seem t know how to invent.

dhw: He does know how to invent. All three versions explain the process whereby he might have invented the whole bush of life! The third theory – the “free-for-all” – actually has him directly inventing precisely what he wanted to invent: not even experimenting or getting new ideas as he goes along. As for the first two, I have no idea why you consider experimentation, learning, and new ideas to denote wishy-washy bumbling. Since you are sure we mimic God, does that mean you regard all experimental scientists, artists, writers, inventors as wishy-washy and bumbling if they do not know every detail of their work before they even start it?

DAVID: You don't seem to grasp the concept of inferring God's personage from the way He approaches projects. I have simply told you how your God appears to me.

Hence my question, now bolded but not yet answered.

DAVID: For me God is an amazing mind who designed our reality, knows exactly what He wants to accomplish and does it…

Agreed.I also admire scientists, artists and inventors etc., who may mimic your God as they experiment, get new ideas, create exactly what they want. Do you call them bumbling and wishy-washy?

DAVID: …without wanting something to watch, something to experiment with, or to give Himself enjoyment. He does it without any self-purpose. If He watches our actions at all, He is simply watching.

Now you have your God creating without wanting anything at all except, according to you, humans and their lunch, though he wants to create them too for no reason. Such a God might just as well not exist. Instead of calling him God, call him Nature. However, elsewhere you have been sure that he enjoys creating and watches us with interest, and you insist that he has good intentions, that he provides possible cures for the diseases he has unavoidably created, and you agree that he possibly/probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and we definitely mimic him in many ways, and you have even suggested that he wants us to admire his work and to have a relationship with him. In your desperation to ignore the illogicality of your theory of evolution, and to sneer at alternative theories by using derogatory vocabulary, you entangle yourself in a web of self-contradiction. What is it that you are sure we “mimic” if he is emotionless and has no purpose (apart from wanting humans plus their lunch)?

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, 15:51 (100 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] as always you edit your theory to leave out those parts which contradict one another. The problem is not confined to why he evolved [= designed] US! bbbThe problem is why, if we and our lunch were his one and only purpose, did he specially design all the life forms and lunches that had no connection with us?

DAVID: Your bold is a description of the process of evolution. Again, does God have the right to evolve us?

dhw: God can do what he likes. The process of evolution is organisms descending from earlier organisms, with changes that lead to new species. If God exists, we agree that he would have invented this process. That does not mean that he engineered every change himself, or that he did so for the sole purpose of designing humans and their lunch. Please stop ignoring those parts of your theory which you admit you cannot explain.

This disagreement is quite clear. I think God designed everything in our reality. I cannot know why God decided to create anything. My belief is based on many sources of evidence as shown in my books. I reached a level of proof beyond reasonable doubt. All reached logically. I find your complaint as your problem, in not appreciating the evidence as I do. I remain as critical of your complaint as you do mine


DAVID: Once again you have presented your vision of a wishy-washy bumbling along sort-of God who doesn't seem t know how to invent.

dhw: He does know how to invent. All three versions explain the process whereby he might have invented the whole bush of life! The third theory – the “free-for-all” – actually has him directly inventing precisely what he wanted to invent: not even experimenting or getting new ideas as he goes along. As for the first two, I have no idea why you consider experimentation, learning, and new ideas to denote wishy-washy bumbling. Since you are sure we mimic God, does that mean you regard all experimental scientists, artists, writers, inventors as wishy-washy and bumbling if they do not know every detail of their work before they even start it?

DAVID: You don't seem to grasp the concept of inferring God's personage from the way He approaches projects. I have simply told you how your God appears to me.

dhw: Hence my question, now bolded but not yet answered.

In your bold you try to defend your image of God by describing what humans do. God is not human and He may 'know every detail' in advance. More evidence of your humanizing God.


DAVID: …without wanting something to watch, something to experiment with, or to give Himself enjoyment. He does it without any self-purpose. If He watches our actions at all, He is simply watching.

dhw: Now you have your God creating without wanting anything at all except, according to you, humans and their lunch, though he wants to create them too for no reason. Such a God might just as well not exist. Instead of calling him God, call him Nature. However, elsewhere you have been sure that he enjoys creating and watches us with interest, and you insist that he has good intentions, that he provides possible cures for the diseases he has unavoidably created, and you agree that he possibly/probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and we definitely mimic him in many ways, and you have even suggested that he wants us to admire his work and to have a relationship with him. In your desperation to ignore the illogicality of your theory of evolution, and to sneer at alternative theories by using derogatory vocabulary, you entangle yourself in a web of self-contradiction. What is it that you are sure we “mimic” if he is emotionless and has no purpose (apart from wanting humans plus their lunch)?

We have no idea how we compare to God or God to us. All of your statement covers much of what we have discussed slanted to show your disbeliefs. As a starting point, I prefer to think of God emotionless since I can not know his exact emotional state. I have offered you my opinions, as you quote, to flesh out discussions, but underneath I know they are pure supposition. What I do know is God is not human in any way, while you constantly apply a humanistic form to hHis thoughts.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 11:22 (100 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Again, does God have the right to evolve us?

dhw: God can do what he likes. The process of evolution is organisms descending from earlier organisms, with changes that lead to new species. If God exists, we agree that he would have invented this process. That does not mean that he engineered every change himself, or that he did so for the sole purpose of designing humans and their lunch. Please stop ignoring those parts of your theory which you admit you cannot explain.

DAVID: This disagreement is quite clear. I think God designed everything in our reality. I cannot know why God decided to create anything. My belief is based on many sources of evidence as shown in my books. I reached a level of proof beyond reasonable doubt. All reached logically. I find your complaint as your problem, in not appreciating the evidence as I do. I remain as critical of your complaint as you do mine.

As usual, you change the subject. Our dispute is over the illogicality of having an all-powerful God, whose only purpose is to design humans plus lunch, for some unknown reason designing millions of life forms etc. that have no connection with humans. The belief you are referring to and the logic and the level of proof, concern the existence of God, not your illogical theory of evolution as bolded above and to which I have offered three logical THEISTIC theories. Please stop this silly dodging.

DAVID: Once again you have presented your vision of a wishy-washy bumbling along sort-of God who doesn't seem t know how to invent.

dhw: […] I have no idea why you consider experimentation, learning, and new ideas to denote wishy-washy bumbling. Since you are sure we mimic God, does that mean you regard all experimental scientists, artists, writers, inventors as wishy-washy and bumbling if they do not know every detail of their work before they even start it?

DAVID: You don't seem to grasp the concept of inferring God's personage from the way He approaches projects. I have simply told you how your God appears to me.

dhw: Hence my question, now bolded but not yet answered.

DAVID: In your bold you try to defend your image of God by describing what humans do. God is not human and He may 'know every detail' in advance. More evidence of your humanizing God.

The dispute is not over what God may or may not know, but over your insistence that the three alternatives I offer make him weak, wishy-washy and bumbling. You have no more idea than I have of his true nature or the real reason for all the non-human designs or even for the human designs. You offer your own humanizing theory in your own human terms. Neither of us can use any other terms. So do you regard human experimenting, learning, having new ideas, or creating precisely what one wants to create as weak, wishy-washy and bumbling? If not, why should you apply such insulting human terms to the various versions of God that I am offering?

DAVID: …without wanting something to watch, something to experiment with, or to give Himself enjoyment. He does it without any self-purpose. If He watches our actions at all, He is simply watching.

dhw: […] In your desperation to ignore the illogicality of your theory of evolution, and to sneer at alternative theories by using derogatory vocabulary, you entangle yourself in a web of self-contradiction. What is it that you are sure we “mimic” if he is emotionless and has no purpose (apart from wanting humans plus their lunch)?

DAVID: We have no idea how we compare to God or God to us. All of your statement covers much of what we have discussed slanted to show your disbeliefs.

Each of my alternative theories is theistic. Not believing is not the same as disbelieving, and my agnosticism does not help you to defend your illogical theory and does invalidate the logic of my own theistic theories.

DAVID: As a starting point, I prefer to think of God emotionless since I can not know his exact emotional state. I have offered you my opinions, as you quote, to flesh out discussions, but underneath I know they are pure supposition.

Correct. Your whole theory concerning God’s single purpose (humans), advance knowledge of everything, design of every life form plus lunch, total control over evolution, good intentions etc. is pure supposition and has no more validity than my own proposals.

DAVID: What I do know is God is not human in any way, while you constantly apply a humanistic form to His thoughts.

How can you possibly “know” that? Read your own words: “I am sure we mimic him in many ways…but just how much is unknown.” “In many ways” now becomes “in no way”. You are sure that we have certain traits in common, but you know we don’t.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 16:44 (99 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: This disagreement is quite clear. I think God designed everything in our reality. I cannot know why God decided to create anything. My belief is based on many sources of evidence as shown in my books. I reached a level of proof beyond reasonable doubt. All reached logically. I find your complaint as your problem, in not appreciating the evidence as I do. I remain as critical of your complaint as you do mine.

dhw: As usual, you change the subject. Our dispute is over the illogicality of having an all-powerful God, whose only purpose is to design humans plus lunch, for some unknown reason designing millions of life forms etc. that have no connection with humans. The belief you are referring to and the logic and the level of proof, concern the existence of God, not your illogical theory of evolution as bolded above and to which I have offered three logical THEISTIC theories. Please stop this silly dodging.

I have answered your objections by saying God designed everything before humans appeared and humans. Your complaint is against His designing.

DAVID: In your bold you try to defend your image of God by describing what humans do. God is not human and He may 'know every detail' in advance. More evidence of your humanizing God.

dhw: The dispute is not over what God may or may not know, but over your insistence that the three alternatives I offer make him weak, wishy-washy and bumbling. You have no more idea than I have of his true nature or the real reason for all the non-human designs or even for the human designs. You offer your own humanizing theory in your own human terms. Neither of us can use any other terms. So do you regard human experimenting, learning, having new ideas, or creating precisely what one wants to create as weak, wishy-washy and bumbling? If not, why should you apply such insulting human terms to the various versions of God that I am offering?

You simply refuse to accept the obvious. We each think of God totally differently.

DAVID: We have no idea how we compare to God or God to us. All of your statement covers much of what we have discussed slanted to show your disbeliefs.

dhw: Each of my alternative theories is theistic. Not believing is not the same as disbelieving, and my agnosticism does not help you to defend your illogical theory and does invalidate the logic of my own theistic theories.

Your theistic theories are not my theories. Our Gods are totally different.


DAVID: As a starting point, I prefer to think of God emotionless since I can not know his exact emotional state. I have offered you my opinions, as you quote, to flesh out discussions, but underneath I know they are pure supposition.

Correct. Your whole theory concerning God’s single purpose (humans), advance knowledge of everything, design of every life form plus lunch, total control over evolution, good intentions etc. is pure supposition and has no more validity than my own proposals.

DAVID: What I do know is God is not human in any way, while you constantly apply a humanistic form to His thoughts.

dhw: How can you possibly “know” that? Read your own words: “I am sure we mimic him in many ways…but just how much is unknown.” “In many ways” now becomes “in no way”. You are sure that we have certain traits in common, but you know we don’t.

The wrong 'know' is questioned. I recognize your descriptions of God's actions and purposes as quite humanizing. I agree I cannot 'know' God, but only can develop my view of Him as I analyze His works.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Thursday, July 15, 2021, 10:46 (99 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: This disagreement is quite clear. I think God designed everything in our reality. I cannot know why God decided to create anything. My belief is based on many sources of evidence as shown in my books. I reached a level of proof beyond reasonable doubt. All reached logically. I find your complaint as your problem, in not appreciating the evidence as I do. I remain as critical of your complaint as you do mine.

dhw: As usual, you change the subject. Our dispute is over the illogicality of having an all-powerful God, whose only purpose is to design humans plus lunch, for some unknown reason designing millions of life forms etc. that have no connection with humans. The belief you are referring to and the logic and the level of proof, concern the existence of God, not your illogical theory of evolution [...] to which I have offered three logical THEISTIC theories. Please stop this silly dodging.

DAVID: I have answered your objections by saying God designed everything before humans appeared and humans. Your complaint is against His designing.

There is no end to your dodging. First you switch to God’s existence, and now you repeat ONE part of your theory (God designed every life form) and leave out the other: if humans plus lunch were his only purpose, why would he have designed all the life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans? It is the illogicality of such combined beliefs that constitute my complaint. You know this, so I don’t know why you keep playing these silly dodging games! [...]

DAVID: [...] you try to defend your image of God by describing what humans do. God is not human and He may 'know every detail' in advance. More evidence of your humanizing God.

dhw: The dispute is not over what God may or may not know, but over your insistence that the three alternatives I offer make him weak, wishy-washy and bumbling. You have no more idea than I have of his true nature or the real reason for all the non-human designs or even for the human designs. You offer your own humanizing theory in your own human terms. Neither of us can use any other terms. So do you regard human experimenting, learning, having new ideas, or creating precisely what one wants to create as weak, wishy-washy and bumbling? If not, why should you apply such insulting human terms to the various versions of God that I am offering?

DAVID: You simply refuse to accept the obvious. We each think of God totally differently.

Of course that is obvious, and we question each other’s views. So please tell me why you think experimentation, learning, having new ideas, or creating precisely what one wants to create – all of which provide logical theistic explanations for the history of evolution – should be regarded as weak, wishy-washy and bumbling. The terms have the same meaning, whether you apply them to humans or to God.

DAVID: We have no idea how we compare to God or God to us. All of your statement covers much of what we have discussed slanted to show your disbeliefs.

dhw: Each of my alternative theories is theistic. Not believing is not the same as disbelieving, and my agnosticism does not help you to defend your illogical theory and does invalidate the logic of my own theistic theories.

DAVID: Your theistic theories are not my theories. Our Gods are totally different.

Obviously. That does not justify your dismissal of my theistic theories on the grounds of my agnosticism, and it still doesn’t provide an explanation for the dislocated beliefs that underpin your own theory as bolded earlier.

DAVID: As a starting point, I prefer to think of God emotionless since I can not know his exact emotional state. I have offered you my opinions, as you quote, to flesh out discussions, but underneath I know they are pure supposition.

dhw: Correct. Your whole theory concerning God’s single purpose (humans), advance knowledge of everything, design of every life form plus lunch, total control over evolution, good intentions etc. is pure supposition and has no more validity than my own proposals.

DAVID: What I do know is God is not human in any way, while you constantly apply a humanistic form to His thoughts.

dhw: How can you possibly “know” that? Read your own words: “I am sure we mimic him in many ways…but just how much is unknown.” “In many ways” now becomes “in no way”. You are sure that we have certain traits in common, but you know we don’t.

DAVID: The wrong 'know' is questioned. I recognize your descriptions of God's actions and purposes as quite humanizing. I agree I cannot 'know' God, but only can develop my view of Him as I analyze His works.

And I recognize YOUR descriptions of God’s actions as quite humanizing, and I recognize your agreement that he and we possibly/probably/definitely have thought patterns and emotions in common. What I cannot recognize is the logic behind your certainty that we mimic him in many ways, but your knowledge that he is not human in any way.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 15, 2021, 18:03 (98 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I have answered your objections by saying God designed everything before humans appeared and humans. Your complaint is against His designing.

dhw: There is no end to your dodging. First you switch to God’s existence, and now you repeat ONE part of your theory (God designed every life form) and leave out the other: if humans plus lunch were his only purpose, why would he have designed all the life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans? It is the illogicality of such combined beliefs that constitute my complaint. You know this, so I don’t know why you keep playing these silly dodging games! [...]

You know my theory fully, but you always complain if I leave something out.


DAVID: You simply refuse to accept the obvious. We each think of God totally differently.

dhw: Of course that is obvious, and we question each other’s views. So please tell me why you think experimentation, learning, having new ideas, or creating precisely what one wants to create – all of which provide logical theistic explanations for the history of evolution – should be regarded as weak, wishy-washy and bumbling. The terms have the same meaning, whether you apply them to humans or to God.

Obvious. Your God's actions are the actions of humans, not of a determined purposeful God who knows His goals in advance.

DAVID: What I do know is God is not human in any way, while you constantly apply a humanistic form to His thoughts.

dhw: How can you possibly “know” that? Read your own words: “I am sure we mimic him in many ways…but just how much is unknown.” “In many ways” now becomes “in no way”. You are sure that we have certain traits in common, but you know we don’t.

DAVID: The wrong 'know' is questioned. I recognize your descriptions of God's actions and purposes as quite humanizing. I agree I cannot 'know' God, but only can develop my view of Him as I analyze His works.

dhw: And I recognize YOUR descriptions of God’s actions as quite humanizing, and I recognize your agreement that he and we possibly/probably/definitely have thought patterns and emotions in common. What I cannot recognize is the logic behind your certainty that we mimic him in many ways, but your knowledge that he is not human in any way.

My point is we cannot know if He is human in any way at all. This results in our separate visions of God as totally different.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Friday, July 16, 2021, 12:52 (98 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You know my theory fully, but you always complain if I leave something out.

Of course I do, because it’s the COMBINATION of your beliefs that is illogical. You always focus on one aspect of your theory that makes sense in itself, and leave out the rest. For argument’s sake, I am accepting that God exists. We agree that humans evolved from bacteria, it is possible that humans were your God’s goal, it is possible that he designed everything, and it is possible that he is all-powerful and knows exactly what he wants and how to get it. What does not make sense is that if humans plus lunch were his one and only goal, and he is all-powerful etc., why would he design all the life forms etc. that had no connection with humans plus lunch?You have no idea why, and so you keep dodging the question.

DAVID: You simply refuse to accept the obvious. We each think of God totally differently.

dhw: Of course that is obvious, and we question each other’s views. So please tell me why you think experimentation, learning, having new ideas, or creating precisely what one wants to create – all of which provide logical theistic explanations for the history of evolution – should be regarded as weak, wishy-washy and bumbling. The terms have the same meaning, whether you apply them to humans or to God.

DAVID: Obvious. Your God's actions are the actions of humans, not of a determined purposeful God who knows His goals in advance.

One of my theories – all of which you agree give a logical explanation of life's higgledy-piggledy bush – offers you a determined purposeful God whose goal is to create the ever changing bush by inventing a mechanism that will produce all the changes without his intervention (unless he wishes to dabble). The experimenting God would also be determined and purposeful, and would be experimenting in order to fulfil his goal. The learn-as-you-go God, coming up with new ideas, has the goal of finding out what happens if...The fact that all three options can be mimicked by humans does not answer my question why you consider them all to be weak, wishy-washy and bumbling.

DAVID: What I do know is God is not human in any way, while you constantly apply a humanistic form to His thoughts.

dhw: How can you possibly “know” that? Read your own words: “I am sure we mimic him in many ways…but just how much is unknown.” “In many ways” now becomes “in no way”. You are sure that we have certain traits in common, but you know we don’t. […]

DAVID:[…] My point is we cannot know if He is human in any way at all. This results in our separate visions of God as totally different.

Nobody can possibly know God’s nature, and so you have no right to claim that you “know God is not human in any way”. That claim becomes doubly absurd when you also tell us you are sure we humans “mimic him in many ways”. You are sure we do, but you know we don’t! It’s time you dropped this whole “humanizing” argument, since it is impossible to discuss God’s nature without speculating on attributes that we may have inherited from him (if he exists).

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Friday, July 16, 2021, 18:52 (97 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You know my theory fully, but you always complain if I leave something out.

dhw: Of course I do, because it’s the COMBINATION of your beliefs that is illogical. You always focus on one aspect of your theory that makes sense in itself, and leave out the rest. For argument’s sake, I am accepting that God exists. We agree that humans evolved from bacteria, it is possible that humans were your God’s goal, it is possible that he designed everything, and it is possible that he is all-powerful and knows exactly what he wants and how to get it.

Makes sense and we agree. The rest is nonsense:

dhw: What does not make sense is that if humans plus lunch were his one and only goal, and he is all-powerful etc., why would he design all the life forms etc. that had no connection with humans plus lunch?You have no idea why, and so you keep dodging the question.

Humans were an endpoint for God, not your tunnel-visioned interpretation of His thoughts. I have always viewed your take as desiring God to do direct creation. Why He wanted us to appear as a the result of evolution and why He chose to evolve us as His choice of method, each of us can only guess at. That 'I have no idea why' does not negate the theory.


DAVID: You simply refuse to accept the obvious. We each think of God totally differently.

dhw: Of course that is obvious, and we question each other’s views. So please tell me why you think experimentation, learning, having new ideas, or creating precisely what one wants to create – all of which provide logical theistic explanations for the history of evolution – should be regarded as weak, wishy-washy and bumbling. The terms have the same meaning, whether you apply them to humans or to God.

DAVID: Obvious. Your God's actions are the actions of humans, not of a determined purposeful God who knows His goals in advance.

dhw: One of my theories – all of which you agree give a logical explanation of life's higgledy-piggledy bush – offers you a determined purposeful God whose goal is to create the ever changing bush by inventing a mechanism that will produce all the changes without his intervention (unless he wishes to dabble). The experimenting God would also be determined and purposeful, and would be experimenting in order to fulfil his goal. The learn-as-you-go God, coming up with new ideas, has the goal of finding out what happens if...The fact that all three options can be mimicked by humans does not answer my question why you consider them all to be weak, wishy-washy and bumbling.

Your theories about God as expressed above create a personality for a God who comes across to me as you state: " weak, wishy-washy and bumbling". That is the picture I imagine. Sorry, but you can 't change my mind. My vision of God and His actions is totally different.


DAVID: What I do know is God is not human in any way, while you constantly apply a humanistic form to His thoughts.

dhw: How can you possibly “know” that? Read your own words: “I am sure we mimic him in many ways…but just how much is unknown.” “In many ways” now becomes “in no way”. You are sure that we have certain traits in common, but you know we don’t. […]

DAVID:[…] My point is we cannot know if He is human in any way at all. This results in our separate visions of God as totally different.

dhw: Nobody can possibly know God’s nature, and so you have no right to claim that you “know God is not human in any way”. That claim becomes doubly absurd when you also tell us you are sure we humans “mimic him in many ways”. You are sure we do, but you know we don’t! It’s time you dropped this whole “humanizing” argument, since it is impossible to discuss God’s nature without speculating on attributes that we may have inherited from him (if he exists).

Please stick with "nobody can know God's nature". That is true, beyond any doubt. As a result I try as little humanizing as possible. Realize all the rest is guesswork, and we can go on discussing guesswork if you wish but it is not productive especially since we both view God's personality so differently.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Saturday, July 17, 2021, 13:54 (96 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: What does not make sense is that if humans plus lunch were his one and only goal, and he is all-powerful etc., why would he design all the life forms etc. that had no connection with humans plus lunch? You have no idea why, and so you keep dodging the question.

DAVID: Humans were an endpoint for God, not your tunnel-visioned interpretation of His thoughts.

Throughout this discussion, you have repeated that humans were his goal from the very start, and you have even claimed that every life form was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” (plus our lunch). It is YOUR tunnel vision that is under scrutiny. The word endpoint is an obfuscation, since it can simply mean the last thing to be produced. No one would argue that at least so far, sapiens are the latest arrivals. That does not, of course, mean that everything else existed only for the sake of humans plus lunch.

DAVID: I have always viewed your take as desiring God to do direct creation. Why He wanted us to appear as a the result of evolution and why He chose to evolve us as His choice of method, each of us can only guess at. That 'I have no idea why' does not negate the theory.

It is not just his choice to “evolve us”. According to you, “evolve” means specially design - he designs every stage from common ancestor to us – but he also chose to “evolve” (= specially design) every other life form that preceded us although, according to you, his only purpose was to evolve (= specially design) us plus lunch. You don’t know why he would have chosen such an illogical way of reaching his one and only goal, but sometimes you insist that it is logical, and at other times you simply edit your theory by leaving out one or other of these conflicting beliefs. I do not “desire” God to do anything. I have offered you three alternative theories to explain why he did NOT create humans directly, you accept that they are logical, but you reject them because they entail “humanizations” that are different from your own.

dhw: The fact that all three options can be mimicked by humans does not answer my question why you consider them all to be weak, wishy-washy and bumbling.

DAVID: Your theories about God as expressed above create a personality for a God who comes across to me as you state: "weak, wishy-washy and bumbling". That is the picture I imagine. Sorry, but you can't change my mind. My vision of God and His actions is totally different.

It is not a picture but a judgement. You would not use such insulting terms to describe an experimental scientist, inventor, or artist, and it is a totally irrational way of trying to wriggle out of the fact that you yourself agree that each of the theories explains the bush of past life which you cannot explain.

DAVID:[…] My point is we cannot know if He is human in any way at all. This results in our separate visions of God as totally different.

dhw: Nobody can possibly know God’s nature, and so you have no right to claim that you “know God is not human in any way”. That claim becomes doubly absurd when you also tell us you are sure we humans “mimic him in many ways”. You are sure we do, but you know we don’t! It’s time you dropped this whole “humanizing” argument, since it is impossible to discuss God’s nature without speculating on attributes that we may have inherited from him (if he exists).

DAVID: Please stick with "nobody can know God's nature". That is true, beyond any doubt.

Of course it’s true. That is why it is totally absurd for you claim that you “know God is not human in any way”.

DAVID: As a result I try as little humanizing as possible. Realize all the rest is guesswork, and we can go on discussing guesswork if you wish but it is not productive especially since we both view God's personality so differently.

Your guesswork includes your certainty that we mimic your God in many ways although you know that we do not mimic him in any way, a theory of evolution which makes no sense even to you, the dismissal of alternative theories which make perfect sense to you, and it continues all the way through to the very existence of God, plus his good intentions. All our theories and all everybody else’s theories can be regarded as guesswork, since nobody knows the truth, and if they are therefore “not productive”, we may as well stop all discussions and all theorizing. You would never have joined this website if you thought that discussing the different “guesses” was unproductive, or perhaps you still haven’t cottoned on to the fact that your own theories are “guesses”!;-)

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 17, 2021, 18:29 (96 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Throughout this discussion, you have repeated that humans were his goal from the very start, and you have even claimed that every life form was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” (plus our lunch). It is YOUR tunnel vision that is under scrutiny. The word endpoint is an obfuscation, since it can simply mean the last thing to be produced. No one would argue that at least so far, sapiens are the latest arrivals. That does not, of course, mean that everything else existed only for the sake of humans plus lunch.

God designing each stage gives us the appearance of natural evolution. You agree we Are currently the endpoint. Since I believe God is in control of everything, and you disagree, there will be no neutral ground.


DAVID: I have always viewed your take as desiring God to do direct creation. Why He wanted us to appear as a the result of evolution and why He chose to evolve us as His choice of method, each of us can only guess at. That 'I have no idea why' does not negate the theory.

dhw: It is not just his choice to “evolve us”. According to you, “evolve” means specially design - he designs every stage from common ancestor to us – but he also chose to “evolve” (= specially design) every other life form that preceded us although, according to you, his only purpose was to evolve (= specially design) us plus lunch. You don’t know why he would have chosen such an illogical way of reaching his one and only goal, but sometimes you insist that it is logical, and at other times you simply edit your theory by leaving out one or other of these conflicting beliefs. I do not “desire” God to do anything. I have offered you three alternative theories to explain why he did NOT create humans directly, you accept that they are logical, but you reject them because they entail “humanizations” that are different from your own.

Your view is well-stated, but one I do not accept in any way, especially since you have agreed God can do anything He wishes to do.

DAVID: Your theories about God as expressed above create a personality for a God who comes across to me as you state: "weak, wishy-washy and bumbling". That is the picture I imagine. Sorry, but you can't change my mind. My vision of God and His actions is totally different.

dhw: It is not a picture but a judgement. You would not use such insulting terms to describe an experimental scientist, inventor, or artist, and it is a totally irrational way of trying to wriggle out of the fact that you yourself agree that each of the theories explains the bush of past life which you cannot explain.

Of course it is a considered judgement based on your God's wishes. I explain the bush as food


DAVID: Please stick with "nobody can know God's nature". That is true, beyond any doubt.

dhw: Of course it’s true. That is why it is totally absurd for you claim that you “know God is not human in any way”.

DAVID: As a result I try as little humanizing as possible. Realize all the rest is guesswork, and we can go on discussing guesswork if you wish but it is not productive especially since we both view God's personality so differently.

dhw: Your guesswork includes your certainty that we mimic your God in many ways although you know that we do not mimic him in any way, a theory of evolution which makes no sense even to you,


How dare you tell me my theory of evolution makes no sense. Accepting God's role, it makes perfect sense to me.

dhw: the dismissal of alternative theories which make perfect sense to you, and it continues all the way through to the very existence of God, plus his good intentions. All our theories and all everybody else’s theories can be regarded as guesswork, since nobody knows the truth, and if they are therefore “not productive”, we may as well stop all discussions and all theorizing. You would never have joined this website if you thought that discussing the different “guesses” was unproductive, or perhaps you still haven’t cottoned on to the fact that your own theories are “guesses”!;-)

I know we cannot known the truth absolutely, but we can study evidence and reach a conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt as Adler and I have. We can analyze the evidence as I have present it but you constantly doubt my analysis which shows us no one can remove your doubts. ;-)

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Sunday, July 18, 2021, 09:23 (96 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Throughout this discussion, you have repeated that humans were his goal from the very start, and you have even claimed that every life form was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” (plus our lunch). It is YOUR tunnel vision that is under scrutiny. The word endpoint is an obfuscation, since it can simply mean the last thing to be produced. No one would argue that at least so far, sapiens are the latest arrivals. That does not, of course, mean that everything else existed only for the sake of humans plus lunch.

DAVID: God designing each stage gives us the appearance of natural evolution. You agree we Are currently the endpoint. Since I believe God is in control of everything, and you disagree, there will be no neutral ground.

“Endpoint” only in the sense that we are the latest species to appear. You believe that we were the one and only purpose from the very beginning, and you believe that your God designed not only every stage from bacteria to humans and their food, but every stage from bacteria to every other life form that has ever existed, the vast majority of which had no connection with humans or with their food. It is this combination of beliefs that makes no sense if your God is in control of everything. You have no idea why he would have chosen such a method to fulfil such a purpose.

DAVID: That 'I have no idea why' does not negate the theory.[…]

dhw: […] I have offered you three alternative theories to explain why he did NOT create humans directly, you accept that they are logical, but you reject them because they entail “humanizations” that are different from your own.

DAVID: Your view is well-stated, but one I do not accept in any way, especially since you have agreed God can do anything He wishes to do.

And since he can do anything he wishes to do (assuming he exists), I would suggest that of the three alternatives, a free-for-all would provide the best explanation for the fact that so many life forms which have no connection with humans have been and gone, as all of them either fail or succeed in the great battle for survival.

DAVID: Your theories about God as expressed above create a personality for a God who comes across to me as you state: "weak, wishy-washy and bumbling". That is the picture I imagine.

dhw: It is not a picture but a judgement. You would not use such insulting terms to describe an experimental scientist, inventor, or artist, and it is a totally irrational way of trying to wriggle out of the fact that you yourself agree that each of the theories explains the bush of past life which you cannot explain.

DAVID: Of course it is a considered judgement based on your God's wishes. I explain the bush as food.

It is a subjective collection of terms which would be insulting if used of experimental scientists, inventors, artists etc. As for food, all forms of life are potential food for all other forms of life, and this obvious fact does not in any way explain why, if your God’s one and only purpose was to design humans and their food, he would have designed all the extinct forms of life and food that had no connection with humans.


DAVID: […] I try as little humanizing as possible. Realize all the rest is guesswork, and we can go on discussing guesswork if you wish but it is not productive especially since we both view God's personality so differently.

dhw: Your guesswork includes your certainty that we mimic your God in many ways although you know that we do not mimic him in any way, a theory of evolution which makes no sense even to you…

DAVID: How dare you tell me my theory of evolution makes no sense. Accepting God's role, it makes perfect sense to me.

But you have no idea why he would have chosen YOUR interpretation of his method to achieve YOUR interpretation of his purpose! How can it make sense to you if you can’t find any logical explanation?

dhw: […] All our theories and all everybody else’s theories can be regarded as guesswork, since nobody knows the truth, and if they are therefore “not productive”, we may as well stop all discussions and all theorizing. You would never have joined this website if you thought that discussing the different “guesses” was unproductive, or perhaps you still haven’t cottoned on to the fact that your own theories are “guesses”!

DAVID: I know we cannot known the truth absolutely, but we can study evidence and reach a conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt as Adler and I have. We can analyze the evidence as I have present it but you constantly doubt my analysis which shows us no one can remove your doubts.

As usual, you skip the rest of the argument and cling to the one point that you and Adler defend so potently: that the complexity of life and especially of the human mind provide convincing evidence of design, and therefore convincing evidence of a designer. I have always accepted this, and it is one major reason why I cannot embrace atheism. But it does not explain the theory bolded above.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 18, 2021, 15:10 (95 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your view is well-stated, but one I do not accept in any way, especially since you have agreed God can do anything He wishes to do.

dhw: And since he can do anything he wishes to do (assuming he exists), I would suggest that of the three alternatives, a free-for-all would provide the best explanation for the fact that so many life forms which have no connection with humans have been and gone, as all of them either fail or succeed in the great battle for survival.

Here is a major point of disagreement. You are still stuck with Darwinist 'survival' as a driving force. If God makes each new stage and dying is built-in, survival drives nothing and as a driving force is only theory, not ever proven. My view of the battle is eat or be eaten simply as a necessary food supply.


DAVID: Your theories about God as expressed above create a personality for a God who comes across to me as you state: "weak, wishy-washy and bumbling". That is the picture I imagine.

dhw: It is not a picture but a judgement. You would not use such insulting terms to describe an experimental scientist, inventor, or artist, and it is a totally irrational way of trying to wriggle out of the fact that you yourself agree that each of the theories explains the bush of past life which you cannot explain.

DAVID: Of course it is a considered judgement based on your God's wishes. I explain the bush as food.

dhw: It is a subjective collection of terms which would be insulting if used of experimental scientists, inventors, artists etc. As for food, all forms of life are potential food for all other forms of life, and this obvious fact does not in any way explain why, if your God’s one and only purpose was to design humans and their food, he would have designed all the extinct forms of life and food that had no connection with humans.

Your usual illogical statement. If God designs each successive stage, as I believe, all previous steps end up with humans, so the whole process is connected. >


DAVID: […] I try as little humanizing as possible. Realize all the rest is guesswork, and we can go on discussing guesswork if you wish but it is not productive especially since we both view God's personality so differently.

dhw: Your guesswork includes your certainty that we mimic your God in many ways although you know that we do not mimic him in any way, a theory of evolution which makes no sense even to you…

DAVID: How dare you tell me my theory of evolution makes no sense. Accepting God's role, it makes perfect sense to me.

dhw: But you have no idea why he would have chosen YOUR interpretation of his method to achieve YOUR interpretation of his purpose! How can it make sense to you if you can’t find any logical explanation?

Same stepwise logic: If God is in control as Creator, and we are here, He created us. We look to history to see how, and we see we evolved from bacteria, so that is the method He chose. Obviously explained even if we do not know why God chose that method over others. Your bold is a weak objection. Why He did it His way is your problem not mine.


dhw: […] All our theories and all everybody else’s theories can be regarded as guesswork, since nobody knows the truth, and if they are therefore “not productive”, we may as well stop all discussions and all theorizing. You would never have joined this website if you thought that discussing the different “guesses” was unproductive, or perhaps you still haven’t cottoned on to the fact that your own theories are “guesses”!

DAVID: I know we cannot known the truth absolutely, but we can study evidence and reach a conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt as Adler and I have. We can analyze the evidence as I have present it but you constantly doubt my analysis which shows us no one can remove your doubts.

dhw: As usual, you skip the rest of the argument and cling to the one point that you and Adler defend so potently: that the complexity of life and especially of the human mind provide convincing evidence of design, and therefore convincing evidence of a designer. I have always accepted this, and it is one major reason why I cannot embrace atheism. But it does not explain the theory bolded above.

Answered above

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Monday, July 19, 2021, 08:22 (95 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your view is well-stated, but one I do not accept in any way, especially since you have agreed God can do anything He wishes to do.

dhw: And since he can do anything he wishes to do (assuming he exists), I would suggest that of the three alternatives, a free-for-all would provide the best explanation for the fact that so many life forms which have no connection with humans have been and gone, as all of them either fail or succeed in the great battle for survival.

DAVID: Here is a major point of disagreement. You are still stuck with Darwinist 'survival' as a driving force. If God makes each new stage and dying is built-in, survival drives nothing and as a driving force is only theory, not ever proven. My view of the battle is eat or be eaten simply as a necessary food supply.

And what do you think the food supply is necessary for if it’s not survival? And why do you think your God would design all the different ways in which life forms adapt to different environments, catch what they eat, avoid being eaten, protect themselves against the environment, if the purpose was not their survival? And still you avoid the question of why your God designed all these different life forms and strategies if the only species he WANTED to design was humans plus their food. […]

DAVID: Your usual illogical statement. If God designs each successive stage, as I believe, all previous steps end up with humans, so the whole process is connected.

Each successive stage of WHAT? Why would he design each successive stage from bacteria to trilobites and brontosauruses and mosquitoes and ants and their bridges and weaverbirds and their nests, and every other organism and natural wonder extant and extinct that ever lived on every branch of the great bush of life if his only purpose was to design each successive stage from bacteria to humans? The connection is the on-going process of evolution as it branches out from the first cells, but the branches do NOT all lead to humans plus lunch!

dhw: […] you have no idea why he would have chosen YOUR interpretation of his method to achieve YOUR interpretation of his purpose! How can it make sense to you if you can’t find any logical explanation?

DAVID: Same stepwise logic: If God is in control as Creator, and we are here, He created us.

And one way or another, directly (dabbling) or indirectly (by creating the mechanism for a free-for-all), he created every other life form, and according to you every other life form was part of the goal of creating us, even though they lived and died without any connection to us.

DAVID: We look to history to see how, and we see we evolved from bacteria, so that is the method He chose.

And so did every life form! We both believe in evolution, and if your God exists, then of course he chose evolution for EVERY life form, not just humans! You never stop editing your theory in order to leave out the bits you can’t explain.

Thank you for dropping the pointless discussion concerning your dismissal of my logical alternatives on the grounds that in your view God as an experimental scientist, inventor or artist is weak, wishy-washy and bumbling.

DAVID: […] I try as little humanizing as possible. Realize all the rest is guesswork, and we can go on discussing guesswork if you wish but it is not productive especially since we both view God's personality so differently.

dhw: […] All our theories and all everybody else’s theories can be regarded as guesswork, since nobody knows the truth, and if they are therefore “not productive”, we may as well stop all discussions and all theorizing. You would never have joined this website if you thought that discussing the different “guesses” was unproductive, or perhaps you still haven’t cottoned on to the fact that your own theories are “guesses”!

DAVID: I know we cannot known the truth absolutely, but we can study evidence and reach a conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt as Adler and I have. We can analyze the evidence as I have present it but you constantly doubt my analysis which shows us no one can remove your doubts.

dhw: As usual, you skip the rest of the argument and cling to the one point that you and Adler defend so potently: that the complexity of life and especially of the human mind provide convincing evidence of design, and therefore convincing evidence of a designer. I have always accepted this, and it is one major reason why I cannot embrace atheism. But it does not explain the theory bolded above.

DAVID: Answered above.

With non-answers as you continue to dodge the issue.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Monday, July 19, 2021, 20:39 (94 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Here is a major point of disagreement. You are still stuck with Darwinist 'survival' as a driving force. If God makes each new stage and dying is built-in, survival drives nothing and as a driving force is only theory, not ever proven. My view of the battle is eat or be eaten simply as a necessary food supply.

dhw: And what do you think the food supply is necessary for if it’s not survival? And why do you think your God would design all the different ways in which life forms adapt to different environments, catch what they eat, avoid being eaten, protect themselves against the environment, if the purpose was not their survival?

A non-answer. My point is survival doesn't drive evolution.

dhw: And still you avoid the question of why your God designed all these different life forms and strategies if the only species he WANTED to design was humans plus their food.

The only way God wished to design us was by designing us step by step thru evolution. He have admitted He has that right.

DAVID: Your usual illogical statement. If God designs each successive stage, as I believe, all previous steps end up with humans, so the whole process is connected.

dhw: Each successive stage of WHAT?...The connection is the on-going process of evolution as it branches out from the first cells, but the branches do NOT all lead to humans plus lunch!

Each successive stage of complex organisms. The branch to humans is known. The rest is food.


DAVID: We look to history to see how, and we see we evolved from bacteria, so that is the method He chose.

dhw: And so did every life form! We both believe in evolution, and if your God exists, then of course he chose evolution for EVERY life form, not just humans! You never stop editing your theory in order to leave out the bits you can’t explain.

My theory is fully explained by stating God chose to evolve us from bacteria. Nothing is left out.


dhw: Thank you for dropping the pointless discussion concerning your dismissal of my logical alternatives on the grounds that in your view God as an experimental scientist, inventor or artist is weak, wishy-washy and bumbling.

You brought it up again. My opinion has not changed.

DAVID: I know we cannot known the truth absolutely, but we can study evidence and reach a conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt as Adler and I have. We can analyze the evidence as I have present it but you constantly doubt my analysis which shows us no one can remove your doubts.

dhw: As usual, you skip the rest of the argument and cling to the one point that you and Adler defend so potently: that the complexity of life and especially of the human mind provide convincing evidence of design, and therefore convincing evidence of a designer. I have always accepted this, and it is one major reason why I cannot embrace atheism. But it does not explain the theory bolded above.

DAVID: Answered above.

dhw: With non-answers as you continue to dodge the issue.

You consider them as non-answers, because questions have no merit in my eyes.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Thursday, July 22, 2021, 13:07 (91 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Here is a major point of disagreement. You are still stuck with Darwinist 'survival' as a driving force. If God makes each new stage and dying is built-in, survival drives nothing and as a driving force is only theory, not ever proven. My view of the battle is eat or be eaten simply as a necessary food supply.

dhw: And what do you think the food supply is necessary for if it’s not survival? And why do you think your God would design all the different ways in which life forms adapt to different environments, catch what they eat, avoid being eaten, protect themselves against the environment, if the purpose was not their survival?

DAVID: A non-answer. My point is survival doesn't drive evolution.

Not survival but the NEED to find ways of surviving or improving ways of surviving. Even if you think your God designed every single method, the reason for eating, adapting, hunting, self-defence etc. is to improve chances of survival, and it is absurd to say that the reason for something is not a driving force.

Venus sea sponge
QUOTE: "That lingering could help the filter feeders catch more plankton. And because Venus’s-flower-baskets can reproduce sexually, it could also enhance the chances that free-floating sperm encounter eggs, the researchers say."

DAVID: the is no way this developed step wise by chance mutations. To protect the organism from damage by uncontrolled currents tis had to be designed all at once. Tentative adaptations would have had current damage the organism. Try to deny a designer with this example.

When have I ever proposed chance mutations for such developments? You could hardly have a better example of the manner in which Shapiro’s intelligent cells could design methods of improving their chances of survival. Please note the emphasis on MORE plankton, and ENHANCING the chances of reproduction. You claim to believe in common descent: so why can’t you believe that earlier forms caught LESS plankton and were LESS productive?

dhw: And still you avoid the question of why your God designed all these different life forms and strategies if the only species he WANTED to design was humans plus their food.

DAVID: The only way God wished to design us was by designing us step by step thru evolution. He have admitted He has that right.

And still you narrow the discussion to humans and ignore the question of why he individually designed every stage of every other life form in the history of life, including the vast numbers that had no connection with humans!

DAVID: If God designs each successive stage, as I believe, all previous steps end up with humans, so the whole process is connected.

dhw: Each successive stage of WHAT?...The connection is the on-going process of evolution as it branches out from the first cells, but the branches do NOT all lead to humans plus lunch!

DAVID: Each successive stage of complex organisms. The branch to humans is known. The rest is food.

The rest is food for what? All the branches of all the complex organisms that had no connection with humans had to have food. How does that come to mean that all the branches that had no connection with humans were “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” plus their food?

DAVID: My theory is fully explained by stating God chose to evolve us from bacteria. Nothing is left out.

Your statement does not explain why he chose to evolve every other life form plus food from bacteria if his only goal was to evolve humans plus food.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 22, 2021, 18:20 (91 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: A non-answer. My point is survival doesn't drive evolution.

dhw: Not survival but the NEED to find ways of surviving or improving ways of surviving. Even if you think your God designed every single method, the reason for eating, adapting, hunting, self-defence etc. is to improve chances of survival, and it is absurd to say that the reason for something is not a driving force.

Does survival force changes that drive evolution to advance? There is no evidence, just Darwinist proposals. That is my point you leave unchallenged as pure theory.


Venus sea sponge
QUOTE: "That lingering could help the filter feeders catch more plankton. And because Venus’s-flower-baskets can reproduce sexually, it could also enhance the chances that free-floating sperm encounter eggs, the researchers say."

DAVID: there is no way this developed step wise by chance mutations. To protect the organism from damage by uncontrolled currents this had to be designed all at once. Tentative adaptations would have had current damage the organism. Try to deny a designer with this example.

dhw: When have I ever proposed chance mutations for such developments? You could hardly have a better example of the manner in which Shapiro’s intelligent cells could design methods of improving their chances of survival. Please note the emphasis on MORE plankton, and ENHANCING the chances of reproduction. You claim to believe in common descent: so why can’t you believe that earlier forms caught LESS plankton and were LESS productive?

I implied none of your statement.


DAVID: If God designs each successive stage, as I believe, all previous steps end up with humans, so the whole process is connected.

dhw: Each successive stage of WHAT?...The connection is the on-going process of evolution as it branches out from the first cells, but the branches do NOT all lead to humans plus lunch!

DAVID: Each successive stage of complex organisms. The branch to humans is known. The rest is food.

dhw: The rest is food for what? All the branches of all the complex organisms that had no connection with humans had to have food. How does that come to mean that all the branches that had no connection with humans were “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” plus their food?

The multiple branches are all part of ecosystems thatt help supply food for an enormous human population.


DAVID: My theory is fully explained by stating God chose to evolve us from bacteria. Nothing is left out.

dhw: Your statement does not explain why he chose to evolve every other life form plus food from bacteria if his only goal was to evolve humans plus food.

It is amazing you don't recognize that what I state is how evolution works!!! Same tired old illogical complaint.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Friday, July 23, 2021, 10:33 (91 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My point is survival doesn't drive evolution.

dhw: Not survival but the NEED to find ways of surviving or improving ways of surviving. Even if you think your God designed every single method, the reason for eating, adapting, hunting, self-defence etc. is to improve chances of survival, and it is absurd to say that the reason for something is not a driving force.

DAVID: Does survival force changes that drive evolution to advance? There is no evidence, just Darwinist proposals. That is my point you leave unchallenged as pure theory.

Please tell us what is the purpose of adapting to new conditions, and improving methods of finding food and of self-protection, if it is not to improve chances of survival.

Venus sea sponge
QUOTE: "That lingering could help the filter feeders catch more plankton. And because Venus’s-flower-baskets can reproduce sexually, it could also enhance the chances that free-floating sperm encounter eggs, the researchers say."

DAVID: there is no way this developed step wise by chance mutations. To protect the organism from damage by uncontrolled currents this had to be designed all at once. Tentative adaptations would have had current damage the organism. Try to deny a designer with this example.

dhw: When have I ever proposed chance mutations for such developments? You could hardly have a better example of the manner in which Shapiro’s intelligent cells could design methods of improving their chances of survival. Please note the emphasis on MORE plankton, and ENHANCING the chances of reproduction. You claim to believe in common descent: so why can’t you believe that earlier forms caught LESS plankton and were LESS productive?

DAVID: I implied none of your statement.

You claimed “it had to be designed all at once” – as if there were no predecessors, and this was creation “de novo”.

dhw: All the branches of all the complex organisms that had no connection with humans had to have food. How does that come to mean that all the branches that had no connection with humans were “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” plus their food?

DAVID: The multiple branches are all part of ecosystems that help supply food for an enormous human population.

How can all the past multiple branches and ecosystems have supplied food for the present human population? How often must I quote you? “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” And “Extinct life has no role in current time.

DAVID: My theory is fully explained by stating God chose to evolve us from bacteria. Nothing is left out.

dhw: Your statement does not explain why he chose to evolve every other life form plus food from bacteria if his only goal was to evolve humans plus food.

DAVID: It is amazing you don't recognize that what I state is how evolution works!!! Same tired old illogical complaint.

It is amazing that you should think “evolution works” by God individually designing every life form and food supply that ever existed solely for the purpose of designing H. sapiens and his food supply.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Friday, July 23, 2021, 16:03 (90 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Does survival force changes that drive evolution to advance? There is no evidence, just Darwinist proposals. That is my point you leave unchallenged as pure theory.

dhw: Please tell us what is the purpose of adapting to new conditions, and improving methods of finding food and of self-protection, if it is not to improve chances of survival.

Agreed, but doesn't answer my conjecture that survival doesn't drive evolution. Why dodge?


Venus sea sponge

dhw: When have I ever proposed chance mutations for such developments? You could hardly have a better example of the manner in which Shapiro’s intelligent cells could design methods of improving their chances of survival. Please note the emphasis on MORE plankton, and ENHANCING the chances of reproduction. You claim to believe in common descent: so why can’t you believe that earlier forms caught LESS plankton and were LESS productive?

DAVID: I implied none of your statement.

dhw: You claimed “it had to be designed all at once” – as if there were no predecessors, and this was creation “de novo”.

Yes, I did. You want test and see what might work. Can any such survive the experimentation ?


dhw: All the branches of all the complex organisms that had no connection with humans had to have food. How does that come to mean that all the branches that had no connection with humans were “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” plus their food?

DAVID: The multiple branches are all part of ecosystems that help supply food for an enormous human population.

dhw: How can all the past multiple branches and ecosystems have supplied food for the present human population? How often must I quote you? “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” And “Extinct life has no role in current time.

All truisms. What are you proving from the quotes?


DAVID: My theory is fully explained by stating God chose to evolve us from bacteria. Nothing is left out.

dhw: Your statement does not explain why he chose to evolve every other life form plus food from bacteria if his only goal was to evolve humans plus food.

DAVID: It is amazing you don't recognize that what I state is how evolution works!!! Same tired old illogical complaint.

dhw: It is amazing that you should think “evolution works” by God individually designing every life form and food supply that ever existed solely for the purpose of designing H. sapiens and his food supply.

Your total non-belief in God is showing. Your theist/ non-theist balance is markedly toward atheism. I would think you would be more 50/50

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Saturday, July 24, 2021, 06:33 (90 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Does survival force changes that drive evolution to advance? There is no evidence, just Darwinist proposals. That is my point you leave unchallenged as pure theory.

dhw: Please tell us what is the purpose of adapting to new conditions, and improving methods of finding food and of self-protection, if it is not to improve chances of survival.

DAVID: Agreed, but doesn't answer my conjecture that survival doesn't drive evolution. Why dodge?

Evolution is the result of changes in organisms. You agree that the purpose of those changes is to improve organisms’ chances of survival. I think that for most of us, the purpose is the driving force behind any action. How the action is performed is another subject.

Venus sea sponge
dhw: Please note the emphasis on MORE plankton, and ENHANCING the chances of reproduction. You claim to believe in common descent: so why can’t you believe that earlier forms caught LESS plankton and were LESS productive?

DAVID: I implied none of your statement.

dhw: You claimed “it had to be designed all at once” – as if there were no predecessors, and this was creation “de novo”.

DAVID: Yes, I did. You want test and see what might work. Can any such survive the experimentation?

Since I believe in common descent, I see no reason to assume that the sponge’s ancestors were unable to survive before their descendants found ways of catching MORE plankton and MORE eggs. The improved version would then have taken over from the earlier version by a process known as natural selection.

DAVID: The multiple branches are all part of ecosystems that help supply food for an enormous human population.

dhw: How can all the past multiple branches and ecosystems have supplied food for the present human population? How often must I quote you? “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” And “Extinct life has no role in current time.”

DAVID: All truisms. What are you proving from the quotes?

The question you can’t answer is why your God created all the past branches that had no connection with humans, and so your “truisms” show that it is sheer nonsense to claim that all the branches helped to supply food for humans.

DAVID: My theory is fully explained by stating God chose to evolve us from bacteria. Nothing is left out.

dhw: Your statement does not explain why he chose to evolve every other life form plus food from bacteria if his only goal was to evolve humans plus food.

DAVID: It is amazing you don't recognize that what I state is how evolution works!!! Same tired old illogical complaint.

dhw: It is amazing that you should think “evolution works” by God individually designing every life form and food supply that ever existed solely for the purpose of designing H. sapiens and his food supply.

DAVID: Your total non-belief in God is showing. Your theist/ non-theist balance is markedly toward atheism. I would think you would be more 50/50.

I have offered you three theistic explanations for the way “evolution works”, and you have rejected them on the grounds that they endow God with different human characteristics from those with which you endow him. Please stop pretending that your illogical theory is the only possible way in which evolution can work, and please stop pretending that three alternative theistic theories = atheism.

xxx

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently
Since you have chosen to ignore all the arguments in my last post, there is no point in giving your question a thread of its own.

DAVID: I am comfortable in my beliefs, arrived at very logically. Are you comfortable as an agnostic?

dhw: Your “very logical” belief leaves you with no explanation for your illogical theory of evolution, and no explanation for theodicy, beyond the fact that you are sure your God has “good intentions” though we don’t know what they might be. Being comfortable is not, I’m afraid, a guarantee of truth. I expect Dawkins is just as comfortable as you.

DAVID: Are you comfortable?

I started this website because I was uncomfortable with Dawkins’ one-sided presentation of his case against God. I am equally uncomfortable with your one-sided presentation of your case for God and, in particular, with your various fixed beliefs concerning your God’s purpose and nature, and with your totally illogical theory concerning the history of evolution. I am neither comfortable nor uncomfortable with my ever firmer conviction that I will never know the truth unless there is an afterlife and a God reveals himself.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 24, 2021, 16:04 (89 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Agreed, but doesn't answer my conjecture that survival doesn't drive evolution. Why dodge?

dhw: Evolution is the result of changes in organisms. You agree that the purpose of those changes is to improve organisms’ chances of survival.

I specifically do not agree that the force behind evolution is survival. It is design.


Venus sea sponge

dhw: You claimed “it had to be designed all at once” – as if there were no predecessors, and this was creation “de novo”.

DAVID: Yes, I did. You want test and see what might work. Can any such survive the experimentation?

dhw: Since I believe in common descent, I see no reason to assume that the sponge’s ancestors were unable to survive before their descendants found ways of catching MORE plankton and MORE eggs. The improved version would then have taken over from the earlier version by a process known as natural selection.

Pure unadulterated Darwinism. Common descent simply means the new came from older designs. Natural selection is pure theory without proof, a ;iomp back to survival of teh fi ttest..

dhw: It is amazing that you should think “evolution works” by God individually designing every life form and food supply that ever existed solely for the purpose of designing H. sapiens and his food supply.

DAVID: Your total non-belief in God is showing. Your theist/ non-theist balance is markedly toward atheism. I would think you would be more 50/50.

dhw: I have offered you three theistic explanations for the way “evolution works”, and you have rejected them on the grounds that they endow God with different human characteristics from those with which you endow him. Please stop pretending that your illogical theory is the only possible way in which evolution can work, and please stop pretending that three alternative theistic theories = atheism.

We will continue full disagreement here.


xxx

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently
Since you have chosen to ignore all the arguments in my last post, there is no point in giving your question a thread of its own.

DAVID: I am comfortable in my beliefs, arrived at very logically. Are you comfortable as an agnostic?

dhw: Your “very logical” belief leaves you with no explanation for your illogical theory of evolution, and no explanation for theodicy, beyond the fact that you are sure your God has “good intentions” though we don’t know what they might be. Being comfortable is not, I’m afraid, a guarantee of truth. I expect Dawkins is just as comfortable as you.

DAVID: Are you comfortable?

dhw: I started this website because I was uncomfortable with Dawkins’ one-sided presentation of his case against God. I am equally uncomfortable with your one-sided presentation of your case for God and, in particular, with your various fixed beliefs concerning your God’s purpose and nature, and with your totally illogical theory concerning the history of evolution. I am neither comfortable nor uncomfortable with my ever firmer conviction that I will never know the truth unless there is an afterlife and a God reveals himself.

Dawkins has his form of atheistic logic and I have my form of theistic logic. You invited me here and you got what you desired, a theistic battler. It has given you a great amount of scientific education , but not changed your rigid mind. I'm not surprised. Yu do not understand the meaning of design at an educated depth. See today's ID commentary on understanding design.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Sunday, July 25, 2021, 13:37 (88 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Agreed, but doesn't answer my conjecture that survival doesn't drive evolution. Why dodge?

dhw: Evolution is the result of changes in organisms. You agree that the purpose of those changes is to improve organisms’ chances of survival.

DAVID: I specifically do not agree that the force behind evolution is survival. It is design.

Which comes first, the purpose or the design? There is no point in designing something if you do not have a purpose! This ties up with two of your constant distortions of my alternative theistic theories. ALL of them are based on purpose, and ALL of them entail design. This particular discussion depends entirely on what you mean by “force”, so let’s drop the term. I propose instead: evolutionary adaptations and innovations are designed for the purpose of improving chances of survival. We can then discuss what does the designing and, if you wish to go further, you can ask what is the purpose of improving chances of survival, i.e. what is the purpose of life itself?

Venus sea sponge
dhw: Since I believe in common descent, I see no reason to assume that the sponge’s ancestors were unable to survive before their descendants found ways of catching MORE plankton and MORE eggs. The improved version would then have taken over from the earlier version by a process known as natural selection.

DAVID: Pure unadulterated Darwinism. Common descent simply means the new came from older designs. Natural selection is pure theory without proof, a ;iomp back to survival of teh fi ttest..

Why do you assume that EVERY aspect of Darwin’s theory must be wrong? Yes, common descent means the new came from older designs. I see no reason why you should reject the possibility that the Venus sea sponge we know descended from some earlier form of sponge that was not so complex and efficient. Natural selection is pure common sense: if (b) works more efficiently than (a), it is natural that (b) is more likely to survive than (a).

dhw: It is amazing that you should think “evolution works” by God individually designing every life form and food supply that ever existed solely for the purpose of designing H. sapiens and his food supply.

DAVID: Your total non-belief in God is showing. Your theist/ non-theist balance is markedly toward atheism. I would think you would be more 50/50.

dhw: I have offered you three theistic explanations for the way “evolution works”, and you have rejected them on the grounds that they endow God with different human characteristics from those with which you endow him. Please stop pretending that your illogical theory is the only possible way in which evolution can work, and please stop pretending that three alternative theistic theories = atheism.

DAVID: We will continue full disagreement here.

How can you possibly regard it as atheistic for me to offer you three logical theistic alternatives to your one illogical theistic theory?

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently
DAVID: I am comfortable in my beliefs, arrived at very logically. Are you comfortable as an agnostic?

dhw: Your “very logical” belief leaves you with no explanation for your illogical theory of evolution, and no explanation for theodicy, beyond the fact that you are sure your God has “good intentions” though we don’t know what they might be. Being comfortable is not, I’m afraid, a guarantee of truth. I expect Dawkins is just as comfortable as you.

DAVID: Are you comfortable?

dhw: I started this website because I was uncomfortable with Dawkins’ one-sided presentation of his case against God. I am equally uncomfortable with your one-sided presentation of your case for God and, in particular, with your various fixed beliefs concerning your God’s purpose and nature, and with your totally illogical theory concerning the history of evolution. I am neither comfortable nor uncomfortable with my ever firmer conviction that I will never know the truth unless there is an afterlife and a God reveals himself.

DAVID: Dawkins has his form of atheistic logic and I have my form of theistic logic. You invited me here and you got what you desired, a theistic battler. It has given you a great amount of scientific education , but not changed your rigid mind. I'm not surprised. You do not understand the meaning of design at an educated depth. See today's ID commentary on understanding design.

You have indeed been my science teacher, for which I am deeply grateful, but you have failed to understand that the theories you extrapolate from your scientific knowledge are open to diametrically opposed conclusions: they are not scientific, and there are many experts in all fields of science who would disagree profoundly with your conclusions. You have also deliberately ignored the fact that throughout all our discussions, I have repeatedly stated that I ACCEPT THE LOGIC OF THE DESIGN ARGUMENT. Please stop pretending that I don’t, and please stop using this pretence as a diversion from the aspects of your beliefs that I am challenging.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 25, 2021, 14:57 (88 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I specifically do not agree that the force behind evolution is survival. It is design.

dhw: Which comes first, the purpose or the design? There is no point in designing something if you do not have a purpose! This ties up with two of your constant distortions of my alternative theistic theories. ALL of them are based on purpose, and ALL of them entail design. This particular discussion depends entirely on what you mean by “force”, so let’s drop the term. I propose instead: evolutionary adaptations and innovations are designed for the purpose of improving chances of survival. We can then discuss what does the designing and, if you wish to go further, you can ask what is the purpose of improving chances of survival, i.e. what is the purpose of life itself?

You've just thrown out God. My view of evolution is totally diffferent with God running it and survival playas n o role.


Venus sea sponge

DAVID: Pure unadulterated Darwinism. Common descent simply means the new came from older designs. Natural selection is pure theory without proof, a ;iomp back to survival of teh fi ttest..

dhw: Why do you assume that EVERY aspect of Darwin’s theory must be wrong? Yes, common descent means the new came from older designs. I see no reason why you should reject the possibility that the Venus sea sponge we know descended from some earlier form of sponge that was not so complex and efficient. Natural selection is pure common sense: if (b) works more efficiently than (a), it is natural that (b) is more likely to survive than (a).

Your common sense is not proof. The Venus sponge may well have come from simpler designs.


dhw: How can you possibly regard it as atheistic for me to offer you three logical theistic alternatives to your one illogical theistic theory?

I view your theories as mostly on the atheistic side. Your so-called logical theistic theories come from a very humanized God IMHO you imagine.


Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

DAVID: Dawkins has his form of atheistic logic and I have my form of theistic logic. You invited me here and you got what you desired, a theistic battler. It has given you a great amount of scientific education , but not changed your rigid mind. I'm not surprised. You do not understand the meaning of design at an educated depth. See today's ID commentary on understanding design.

dhw: You have indeed been my science teacher, for which I am deeply grateful, but you have failed to understand that the theories you extrapolate from your scientific knowledge are open to diametrically opposed conclusions: they are not scientific, and there are many experts in all fields of science who would disagree profoundly with your conclusions. You have also deliberately ignored the fact that throughout all our discussions, I have repeatedly stated that I ACCEPT THE LOGIC OF THE DESIGN ARGUMENT. Please stop pretending that I don’t, and please stop using this pretence as a diversion from the aspects of your beliefs that I am challenging.

As a physician I was trained as a scientist to fairly evaluate scientific papers. I know you accept the design argument, the one thing I know that keeps you agnostic. I accept that God is the designer, which then allows me to propose His purposes, the chief of which is to produce us. This is so divergent from your conclusions, we will continue to discuss our disagreements.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Monday, July 26, 2021, 06:39 (88 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I specifically do not agree that the force behind evolution is survival. It is design.

dhw: Which comes first, the purpose or the design? There is no point in designing something if you do not have a purpose! This ties up with two of your constant distortions of my alternative theistic theories. ALL of them are based on purpose, and ALL of them entail design. This particular discussion depends entirely on what you mean by “force”, so let’s drop the term. I propose instead: evolutionary adaptations and innovations are designed for the purpose of improving chances of survival. We can then discuss what does the designing and, if you wish to go further, you can ask what is the purpose of improving chances of survival, i.e. what is the purpose of life itself?

DAVID: You've just thrown out God. My view of evolution is totally different with God running it and survival plays no role.

Of course I haven’t thrown out God! What makes you think that God can’t design adaptations and innovations in order to improve organisms’ chances of survival? If that is not their purpose, then what is? As I have said above, we can then move on to discuss the purpose of their survival (e.g. according to you, to provide food for all the humans who were not yet there, although “extinct life has no role in current time”).

Venus sea sponge
DAVID: Pure unadulterated Darwinism. Common descent simply means the new came from older designs. Natural selection is pure theory without proof, a jump back to survival of the fittest..

dhw: Why do you assume that EVERY aspect of Darwin’s theory must be wrong? Yes, common descent means the new came from older designs. I see no reason why you should reject the possibility that the Venus sea sponge we know descended from some earlier form of sponge that was not so complex and efficient. Natural selection is pure common sense: if (b) works more efficiently than (a), it is natural that (b) is more likely to survive than (a).

DAVID: Your common sense is not proof. The Venus sponge may well have come from simpler designs.

Thank you for this concession, which I find vastly more believable than your “de novo creation” theory. Nothing is “proven”, but if you think it unlikely that a more efficient organ/organism is likely to supplant its less efficient ancestor, then do tell us why.

dhw: How can you possibly regard it as atheistic for me to offer you three logical theistic alternatives to your one illogical theistic theory?

DAVID: I view your theories as mostly on the atheistic side. Your so-called logical theistic theories come from a very humanized God IMHO you imagine.

How can you call a so-called "humanized" God atheistic? Do you really think you have a monopoly on knowledge of God’s purpose and nature, and any different theory is atheistic?

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently
DAVID: Dawkins has his form of atheistic logic and I have my form of theistic logic. You invited me here and you got what you desired, a theistic battler. It has given you a great amount of scientific education , but not changed your rigid mind. I'm not surprised. You do not understand the meaning of design at an educated depth. See today's ID commentary on understanding design.

dhw: You have indeed been my science teacher, for which I am deeply grateful, but you have failed to understand that the theories you extrapolate from your scientific knowledge are open to diametrically opposed conclusions: they are not scientific, and there are many experts in all fields of science who would disagree profoundly with your conclusions. You have also deliberately ignored the fact that throughout all our discussions, I have repeatedly stated that I ACCEPT THE LOGIC OF THE DESIGN ARGUMENT. Please stop pretending that I don’t, and please stop using this pretence as a diversion from the aspects of your beliefs that I am challenging.

DAVID: As a physician I was trained as a scientist to fairly evaluate scientific papers. I know you accept the design argument, the one thing I know that keeps you agnostic.

Then will you please stop pretending that I don’t. And please note that I also include psychic experiences. And I’m sure all scientists see themselves as “fairly” evaluating scientific papers, including folk like Dawkins who reach diametrically opposite conclusions from yours.

DAVID: I accept that God is the designer, which then allows me to propose His purposes, the chief of which is to produce us. This is so divergent from your conclusions, we will continue to discuss our disagreements.

You have always insisted that producing us was his only purpose, though you qualify that by saying that everything else was designed to be our food, including all the extinct branches that had no connection with us and our food. Yes, we will continue to discuss our disagreements over the purposes and nature of a possible God, even though your new dodge is to claim that any concept of God that differs from yours comes under the category of atheism.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Monday, July 26, 2021, 18:51 (87 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You've just thrown out God. My view of evolution is totally different with God running it and survival plays no role.

dhw: Of course I haven’t thrown out God! What makes you think that God can’t design adaptations and innovations in order to improve organisms’ chances of survival? If that is not their purpose, then what is?

Still no real response to my point. The purpose of ever-complex stages of organisms from a bacterial start is to finally design fully thinking humans. Individual survival serves that real purpose, but makes no direct contribution to evolution as a process.


Venus sea sponge

DAVID: Your common sense is not proof. The Venus sponge may well have come from simpler designs.

dhw: Thank you for this concession, which I find vastly more believable than your “de novo creation” theory. Nothing is “proven”, but if you think it unlikely that a more efficient organ/organism is likely to supplant its less efficient ancestor, then do tell us why.

I don't. Evolution is an advance to more efficient forms by God's design.


Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

DAVID: As a physician I was trained as a scientist to fairly evaluate scientific papers. I know you accept the design argument, the one thing I know that keeps you agnostic.

dhw: Then will you please stop pretending that I don’t. And please note that I also include psychic experiences. And I’m sure all scientists see themselves as “fairly” evaluating scientific papers, including folk like Dawkins who reach diametrically opposite conclusions from yours.

And Egnor who agrees with me, or me with him. 40% of physicians are believers.


DAVID: I accept that God is the designer, which then allows me to propose His purposes, the chief of which is to produce us. This is so divergent from your conclusions, we will continue to discuss our disagreements.

dhw: You have always insisted that producing us was his only purpose, though you qualify that by saying that everything else was designed to be our food, including all the extinct branches that had no connection with us and our food. Yes, we will continue to discuss our disagreements over the purposes and nature of a possible God, even though your new dodge is to claim that any concept of God that differs from yours comes under the category of atheism.

Most of your beliefs fit atheism , as I view them. I know your belief problems include NDE's

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 13:33 (86 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You've just thrown out God. My view of evolution is totally different with God running it and survival plays no role.

dhw: Of course I haven’t thrown out God! What makes you think that God can’t design adaptations and innovations in order to improve organisms’ chances of survival? If that is not their purpose, then what is?

DAVID: Still no real response to my point. The purpose of ever-complex stages of organisms from a bacterial start is to finally design fully thinking humans. Individual survival serves that real purpose, but makes no direct contribution to evolution as a process.

So God only wanted to design humans plus lunch and therefore designed all the other organisms and their lunches, most of which had nothing to do with humans. And the fact that evolutionary adaptations and innovations enable organisms to survive, and lead to new species, shows us that survival makes no direct contribution to evolution.

Venus sea sponge
DAVID: Your common sense is not proof. The Venus sponge may well have come from simpler designs.

dhw: Thank you for this concession, which I find vastly more believable than your “de novo creation” theory. Nothing is “proven”, but if you think it unlikely that a more efficient organ/organism is likely to supplant its less efficient ancestor, then do tell us why.

DAVID: I don't. Evolution is an advance to more efficient forms by God's design.

And so more efficient forms do NOT replace less efficient forms. The less efficient forms just happen to die out. Sheer coincidence!

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently
DAVID: As a physician I was trained as a scientist to fairly evaluate scientific papers. I know you accept the design argument, the one thing I know that keeps you agnostic.

dhw: Then will you please stop pretending that I don’t. And please note that I also include psychic experiences. And I’m sure all scientists see themselves as “fairly” evaluating scientific papers, including folk like Dawkins who reach diametrically opposite conclusions from yours.

DAVID: And Egnor who agrees with me, or me with him. 40% of physicians are believers.

So 60% aren’t, which makes it absurd for you to use your “fair evaluation” of science as a support for your minority views.

DAVID: I accept that God is the designer, which then allows me to propose His purposes, the chief of which is to produce us. This is so divergent from your conclusions, we will continue to discuss our disagreements.

dhw: You have always insisted that producing us was his only purpose, though you qualify that by saying that everything else was designed to be our food, including all the extinct branches that had no connection with us and our food. Yes, we will continue to discuss our disagreements over the purposes and nature of a possible God, even though your new dodge is to claim that any concept of God that differs from yours comes under the category of atheism.

DAVID: Most of your beliefs fit atheism , as I view them. I know your belief problems include NDE's.

Then you have no idea what agnosticism is all about. I do not have beliefs as regards God’s existence or nature or purpose. I offer different theories. I find those concerning a first cause equally unsatisfactory. As regards NDEs, they are not the only psychic experiences people can have. There is a wide range, and even allowing for fraud and for self-deception, I take some of them extremely seriously.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 15:39 (86 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Still no real response to my point. The purpose of ever-complex stages of organisms from a bacterial start is to finally design fully thinking humans. Individual survival serves that real purpose, but makes no direct contribution to evolution as a process.

dhw: So God only wanted to design humans plus lunch and therefore designed all the other organisms and their lunches, most of which had nothing to do with humans. And the fact that evolutionary adaptations and innovations enable organisms to survive, and lead to new species, shows us that survival makes no direct contribution to evolution.

That summarized my belief.


Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently

DAVID: And Egnor who agrees with me, or me with him. 40% of physicians are believers.

dhw: So 60% aren’t, which makes it absurd for you to use your “fair evaluation” of science as a support for your minority views.

When 90% of scientists are atheists, 40% of physicians is impressive, strongly influenced by the miracle of the human body.


DAVID: Most of your beliefs fit atheism , as I view them. I know your belief problems include NDE's.

dhw: Then you have no idea what agnosticism is all about. I do not have beliefs as regards God’s existence or nature or purpose. I offer different theories. I find those concerning a first cause equally unsatisfactory. As regards NDEs, they are not the only psychic experiences people can have. There is a wide range, and even allowing for fraud and for self-deception, I take some of them extremely seriously.

Thank you for further explanation of your agnosticism.

A possible God's possible purpose and nature

by dhw, Wednesday, July 28, 2021, 10:15 (86 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Still no real response to my point. The purpose of ever-complex stages of organisms from a bacterial start is to finally design fully thinking humans. Individual survival serves that real purpose, but makes no direct contribution to evolution as a process.

dhw: So God only wanted to design humans plus lunch and therefore designed all the other organisms and their lunches, most of which had nothing to do with humans. And the fact that evolutionary adaptations and innovations enable organisms to survive, and lead to new species, shows us that survival makes no direct contribution to evolution.

DAVID: That summarized my belief.

So the process whereby the quest for survival leads to adaptations etc. which in turn lead to new species proves that the quest for survival makes no contribution to the evolution of new species. I don’t think this theory of yours is going to find many followers.

Transferred from Miscellany
dhw: Please tell us why you think [edited later] adaptation to new conditions, new methods of catching prey, defence strategies, dealing with disease etc. have no connection with survival, and why you are convinced that less efficient life forms are just as likely to survive as more efficient life forms.

DAVID: You are still confused about my view of survival as it relates to evolution. All organisms try to survive as you describe, and forms live or die by bad genes or bad luck with Raup supporting bad luck. Species die out for many reasons.

The subject is not the causes of extinction, though I propose that one of these is that a more efficient life form is likely to replace its less efficient antecedent. I have asked you why you think the less efficient form is just as likely to survive as its more efficient form. See above for your belief that adaptations, new methods etc., designed to improve chances of survival and leading to new species, have no connection with the evolution of new species.

Theodicy: bad bacteria seen differently
DAVID: And Egnor who agrees with me, or me with him. 40% of physicians are believers.

dhw: So 60% aren’t, which makes it absurd for you to use your “fair evaluation” of science as a support for your minority views.

DAVID: When 90% of scientists are atheists, 40% of physicians is impressive, strongly influenced by the miracle of the human body.

But it doesn’t exactly confirm that your “fair” evaluation of science makes the other 90% of opposing evaluations unfair.

DAVID: Most of your beliefs fit atheism , as I view them. I know your belief problems include NDE's.

dhw: Then you have no idea what agnosticism is all about. I do not have beliefs as regards God’s existence or nature or purpose. I offer different theories. I find those concerning a first cause equally unsatisfactory. As regards NDEs, they are not the only psychic experiences people can have. There is a wide range, and even allowing for fraud and for self-deception, I take some of them extremely seriously.

DAVID: Thank you for further explanation of your agnosticism.

I hope this will mark the end of your assertions that any theistic theory contrary to your own is atheistic.

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