Life in Different Scenarios and other creative questions

How can He disallow it and where is His benevolence?

I was wondering something else as well…

Did Tetrapods like the Tiktaalik have other competitors in the reverse Race to the Sea? If our grandpa never made it to land, what do you think would take its place?

No real competitors (there were probably multiple similar types transitioning at about the same time), but plenty of things filling other niches, like plants and arthropods.

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The difficulty, though, is that if there is no God, then it’s hard to justify the argument that pain or suffering is bad, rather than merely unappealing to me. So it is not a good argument against God; philosophically explaining suffering is a problem for everybody.

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Pain and suffering exists because of free will. If we could not make bad choices, because we were not able to, then thst would mean we had no free will. Same for animals.

Plus not everyone sees it as evil in nature. I don’t believe in natural evil. I don’t use those terms to describe tornadoes or wild animal attacks.

Evolution is a creation that keeps on creating versus a six day creation that was done “10k”
Years ago not resulting in anything new.

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Not that simple.

Take the traditional view that god is the source and creator of all. If god is all powerful, all knowing and all good than he knew how things would play out in all possible worlds. He could have created different worlds, perhaps even an infinity of worlds. For example, he could have created a world with:

  1. Free will and
  2. A world in which all choices don’t lead to evil

The answer would seem to have to be “yes” (such a world with the two points above could exist) otherwise god is not all powerful. However, this causes a problem because god did not. If a religionist wishes to justify what god actually did, he/she/it has to explain how god can justify his actions when he could have done otherwise and it obviously seems better. If one claims that my two points above (and hence a set of worlds with these characteristics) can’t happen, then they have to create a convincing argument on how this is not possible for an all powerful being to do. I call this the problem of evil because of god’s middle knowledge. This makes the problem of evil much more difficult for theists and religionists.

These are difficult issues and no one has ever produced satisfactory arguments to argue for them. The problem of pain/evil is difficult. The problem of pain/evil in the context of god’s middle knowledge is extremely/impossibly difficult.

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It is that simple.

Free will by default means being able to choose good or
bad. Many choose good. Many choose bad. Animals also make choices. This results in instincts , ecology and ect…

For me I’ve never struggled with this. I don’t see why it’s a issue for anyone. I don’t find it difficult at all and I share why often and most seem to see the logic in it.

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As follow-up to my last post. If would be more accurate to say instead of “philosophically explaining suffering is a problem for everybody” that suffering isn’t hard to explain philosophically and empirically for some non-theists (such as atheists) but is simply a problem for everybody is some form. For example, within an atheistic WV, pain and suffering are simply the consequences of a material world experienced by sentient beings, underlying natural processes such as entropy of systems (easy enough to empirically see and test for to validate). Humans, who are sentient beings, experience pain and suffering because of the breakdown/fluctuations/changes/choices of natural systems (their bodies, communities, individuals, human societies, natural processes, etc.). This is not problematic in the same way as for theists and religionists (explaining the logical problem of why an all good/powerful being would create a world having these problems when a world could have been created without any of these (even when free will beings are considered)). Atheists still have the problem of dealing with the practical and natural problem of pain/suffering but not the logical problem as theists and religionists do. So one can’t imply that the problems are symmetric for everyone when there are significant differences between different groups. This is why the problem of pain/suffering has been considered the most devastating problem for religion and the Judeo-Christian view of god in particular.

Contrary to what many theists and religionists might believe, the best that has been mustered against this problem is to show that the logical problem isn’t completely decisive (mainly due to Plantinga’s brilliant arguments). However, this does not prevent the argument from still counting much more against god’s existence. The theist and religionist have prevented the argument from being decisive but very little else. god is still left on the hook for the problem. When combined with ideas regarding god’s middle knowledge, it seems that the problem becomes extremely difficult and probably impossible to refute (even with the most sophisticated arguments that combine soul making theodicies, with free will and the other best of breed theistic arguments).

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Possible to write a science fiction novel about life on a neutron star? Of course. Been done.

“Dragon’s Egg” by Robert Forward.

Possible for there to be life on a neutron star? I don’t think so. It is too lacking in material complexity.

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What are some of the benefits and drawbacks of bird legs?

I think it’s easier to move in the other direction. Why couldn’t God create all those better worlds, and ours as well? Perhaps ours made it above the cut-off where it was better for it to exist than not exist, so they gave it existence? Perhaps our world made the multiverse better than it would otherwise have been. I’m not claiming that’s the case, just that as a logical problem it seems to have an easy out.

It isn’t much different from claiming that God shouldn’t have created everybody, just the best-of-all-possible-people. But maybe God wants to share the gift of being more widely. And maybe a life (and a world) doesn’t have to be best to be better than naught.

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Yes, this is definitely a fruitful line of thinking. However, in the case of this discussion, there is a problem with the traditional view of: God ----> All Powerful + All Knowing + All loving and God’s middle knowledge… These attributes don’t eliminate the possibility of evil but they do cause major problems as we will see. I think there is a reasonable argument to be made that when we are talking about the possibility of best possible worlds, there must be free will/free choice/call it what you will beings. This opens up the possibility of God allowing for evil/pain/suffering but within a particular world that God is not responsible for (the results within that world caused by choices leading to evil/pain/suffering within the world). However, outside the world, before any world is created, God is responsible for all worlds’ possible/actual existence that he actualizes. None of us choose the world’s we are in just the choices we make in them (at least in the traditional view). Since God can choose to create worlds with any of our choices, including worlds with all the right choices, then why are we left in a world in which he does not. For me, this is the fundamental problem of evil/pain/suffering which is the full problem that the religionist faces. Given the traditional ideas of the perfections of God, it would seem to be overkill to multiply things that are imperfect. For example, something that is perfect is complete, something that is imperfect is incomplete. It seems that something that is incomplete can’t add to something that is complete. Do we add to God as incomplete/imperfect beings? Can a finite number add to a infinite number? Likewise, if a world can be actualized that is free and without wrong choices, how does a world add to this that is less than this? One is left within this argument structure trying to argue that something incomplete and imperfect is somehow better than something complete and perfect which seems to go against the nature of God which is supposed to be our ultimate yardstick. It is fine to say there is some type of explanation (this can always be said whether there is or isn’t) but more and more people are becoming skeptical because the coherence and consistency of these types of arguments are getting more convoluted and less believable.

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Other than being tasty, I am sure birds really like having something to stand on. Seriously, just offhand, for flying birds, it is neat how their legs can fold up under them in many species to make for an aerodynamic body shape. Also, for water birds particularly, I understand the arterial and venous blood vessels by being in close proximity in their skinny little legs allows for efficient heat transfer where the blood is cooled going down to the feet by the colder venous blood which absorbs the heat and is warmed as it reenters the circulation, thus conserving body heat…

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Do you think large insectoid ornithopters are possible, like a machine structured like a dragonfly large enough to carry people off the ground and fly about no problem? Also, could a flying machine with wings and a body like an Anomalocaris get off the ground?

That’s awesome! Something else that’s cool about bird legs is that apparently, their knees do face forward; they’re just higher up, so that means they’re walking on their toes the whole time! Still not as uncomfortable as the eternal wall-sit of the penguin…

The problem of evil is essentially a ‘first world problem’ for creatures whose evolutionary progress has resulted in sapience. It isn’t as though that or any other evolutionary outcome could ever have magically transpired free of generation after generation of blood and gore - except in first world day dreams.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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