painless evolution
October 7, 2010 — 15:50

Author: Michael Almeida  Category: Uncategorized  Tags: , , ,   Comments: 27

I take as non-starters suggestions such as (i) animals do not feel pain, (ii) animals do feel pain, but it’s not so painful (iii) animals suffer but we will eventually all hold hands in the peaceable kingdom and (iv) animals suffer, but they serve some greater human good, etc. I do not claim that none of these is true. I do claim that no one should believe any of them. But of course animals do and have suffered immensely for millions of years, and it’s to Mike Murray’s [recent credit](http://www.amazon.com/dp/0199237271?tag=ektopos-20) to sharply underscore the importance of this to the problem of evil. It looks to me nearly impossible to respond to this problem without saying nutty things. But I have this (perhaps crazy) argument.
1. There are worlds W in which God predicts or prophesies, before he creates anything, that some divine aims will be achieved through painless, indeterministic, evolution of sentient beings.
2. It is true in W that evolution is a painless, indeterministic process that achieves some divine goals.
3. Since the evolutionary process in W is indeterministic, it is true in W that, possibly, the evolutionary process is painful process that achieves some divine goals (perhaps animals evolve toward carnivorism, for instance)
4. There is a world W’ in which the evolutionary process is a painful process that achieves some divine goals.
5. If there are worlds W’ in which the evolutionary process is painful process that achieves some divine goals, then there is a world in which God coexists with a painful evolutionary process.
6. /:. The following propositions are consistent: God exists, there is a painful evolutionary process that achieves some divine goals.
Now I think (1) and (2) are true. But if they are, then there are genuinely indeterministic worlds in which evolution proceeds painlessly. But if it is a genuinely indeterministic process, then it is possible that things evolve contrary to God’s prediction (though of course God is a perfect predictor). In worlds where things go contrary to God’s prediction, its always been true that God never made such a prediction. So we have two choices. Either we say that there are no genuinely indeterministic worlds in which evolution proceeds painlessly. Or we say that there are worlds in which God exists and there is a painful evolutionary process that achieves some divine goals.

Comments:
  • overseas

    >Since the evolutionary process in W is indeterministic, it is true in W that, possibly, the evolutionary process is painful process that achieves some divine goals (perhaps animals evolve toward carnivorism, for instance)
    I don’t see that this follows. You have physical indeterminism (I assume that’s what you want) just if given the past, there is more than one physically possible future. Thus indeterminism can be constrained, e.g. to remain within those of the physical laws that are non-statistical. If so, God could so constrain an indeterministic evolutionary process that none of the physically possible futures involve pain.

    October 8, 2010 — 10:55
  • Mike Almeida

    You have physical indeterminism (I assume that’s what you want) just if given the past, there is more than one physically possible future. Thus indeterminism can be constrained
    BL, here’s the question. Why wouldn’t it be permissible for God to actualize the world W in which (i) everything goes indeterminsitically right wrt animal welfare and (ii) possibly things go badly? Your observation is, effectively, there could not be such a world, given it’s modal properties (it’s being possibly much worse).
    But I wonder about that. Certainly it is permissible for me to give you wonder drug D if I know (i) D will certainly cure your illness and (ii) it is possible that D kills you.
    The difference between this case and the God case cannot be that, in the world in which things go badly for animals, God exists, but in the case where D kills you, I don’t exist. I hereby stipulate that I do exist in the world in which D kills you. In the world in which D kills you, I do nothing wrong. Similarly, in the world in which things go badly for animals, God does nothing wrong.

    October 8, 2010 — 11:21
  • Anonymous

    Mike,
    You may want to check out Connor Cunningham’s forthcoming (in a few weeks or so) book, Darwin’s Pious Idea: Why the Ultra-Darwinists and Creationists Both Get It Wrong. There’s also a sampler online. It’s the most recent title to address this that I know of (especially in chapter 7).

    October 8, 2010 — 15:49
  • alchemist

    “Now I think (1) and (2) are true. But if they are, then there are genuinely indeterministic worlds in which evolution proceeds painlessly. But if it is a genuinely indeterministic process, then it is possible that things evolve contrary to God’s prediction (though of course God is a perfect predictor)”
    You have given no scale of time (T) in your arguments, but given that 1 states “some divine aims..”, one could believe in world W were God prophesies painless evolution for some divine aims, but given W’s indeterminism, through after time T1, evolution in W becomes painful.
    1. W-T1, painless evolution, some divine aims.
    2. W-T2, painful evolution, divine aims still exist and can be achieved.
    This allows for 1 and 6 to remain true with the establishment of a time scale, which is necessary considering the given topic of evolution (which requires time).
    *Arguments against this idea of time based on an eternal God in which time is not applicable, could be made, but to man’s finite mind, and evolutions requirement of time; time consideration is relevant.

    October 8, 2010 — 16:25
  • Mike Almeida

    Thanks for the link, anon.

    October 8, 2010 — 18:33
  • Mike Almeida

    Alchemist,
    I’m not sure the argument needs to specify times. What needs to be true is that, in worlds where God predicts that all goes indeterministically well, it is possible that some indetermnistic event occurs contrary to the prediction. This, more clearly, is an event e that occurs in W’ and is contrary to the prediction in W. That’s possible (as far as I can see and as far as I’ve ever been convinced to the contrary). Indeterministic events are similar in relevant ways to libertarian free actions, which can be contrary (in the way noted) to God’s knowledge, predictions, and prophecies. For what its worth, they cannot occur contrary to God’s fiats, however.

    October 8, 2010 — 18:39
  • alchemist

    Semantics clarification: Mike, how would you define God’s prophecies compared to God’s fiats?
    “This, more clearly, is an event e that occurs in W’ and is contrary to the prediction in W. That’s possible…”
    I agree, this statement is possible, and our finite minds “need” to see this contradiction in order to have empirical knowledge of our free actions and an indeterminist God. However, depending on our views of God’s knowledge and power, and our interpretations of religious texts where we find our definitions of God, I think it is important to come to a conclusion that allows for an indeterministic, yet non-contrary God. I would be very interested to see a proof that allows for this (indeterminist and non-contrary God) without a unit of time.
    *in my very limited philosophy experience, in religious and many times more eternal topics, time is not and does not need to be a consideration. But, when “science” (the definition here is debatable), specifically topics like evolution, enter the conversation, time allows for reasonable removable of contradiction when considering a divinity interacting with a physical world.

    October 8, 2010 — 21:09
  • overseas

    Why wouldn’t it be permissible for God to actualize the world W in which (i) everything goes indeterminsitically right wrt animal welfare and (ii) possibly things go badly? Your observation is, effectively, there could not be such a world, given it’s modal properties (it’s being possibly much worse).
    >sorry, but that’s not what I meant. I made no claim about permissibility, nor even about the possibility of the world you mention. You asserted that something followed from a world’s being indeterministic. My claim was simply that this does not follow- that it is (metaphysically) possible that your premises be true and your conclusion false.

    October 9, 2010 — 1:48
  • Mike Almeida

    sorry, but that’s not what I meant. I made no claim about permissibility, nor even about the possibility of the world you mention. You asserted that something followed from a world’s being indeterministic. My claim was simply that this does not follow- that it is (metaphysically) possible that your premises be true and your conclusion false.
    That was me making the conversational assumptions I thought necessary to make the comment come out true (or close). What you are claiming is not so simple. Your claim is this (my emphasis),
    I don’t see that this follows. You have physical indeterminism (I assume that’s what you want) just if given the past, there is more than one physically possible future. Thus indeterminism can be constrained, e.g. to remain within those of the physical laws that are non-statistical. If so, God could so constrain an indeterministic evolutionary process that none of the physically possible futures involve pain.
    If a world W is genuinely indeterministic (I said) then it will be true in W that there is a world W’ such that things go terribly wrong in W’. There is suffering, animals are preying on one another, nature is red in tooth and claw, etc.
    You say something that’s true. You say that God COULD so constrain an indeterministic evolutionary process that none of the physically possible futures involves pain. But this does not affect my conclusion, which is that, given the indetermnistic processes in W, there is a world W’ in which things go wrong. I agree God could act in a way that W’ is not actualized from W. But that’s consistent with the proposition that God could also act in a way that W’ is actualized. These are both possibilities in W’.
    Now you might say (I’m not attributing this view to you) that God WOULD act in such a way to prevent the actualization of W’ from W. Maybe that’s true. But whether W’ is actualizable from W is a different question from whether W’ is possible in W. You might make the claim stronger: you might say that God would prevent the actualization of any world like W’ from any world like W. But whether W’ is actualizable from any proper subset of worlds W is independent of the question of whether W’ is a possible world. All I need is the fact that W’ is a possible world that includes (i) God and (ii) evolutionary suffering; in that case (i) and (ii) are consistent.

    October 9, 2010 — 7:49
  • Steve Jeffers

    How would ‘painless’ evolution work?
    Evolution depends on selection pressures. There have to be winners and losers – individuals who get the food, evade predators and survive long enough to mate and protect their young.
    If there’s enough fruit for one monkey and there are two monkeys, either one of them dies or they share and both of them die. If a tiger chases two monkeys, the fastest monkey gets away, the other gets eaten (or the tiger starves).
    Even in situations where there are boundless resources – bacteria in a lab given as much food as they can eat, say – even a fractional advantage leads to some lines thriving and others dying off.

    October 11, 2010 — 19:40
  • Mike Almeida

    If there’s enough fruit for one monkey and there are two monkeys, either one of them dies or they share and both of them die. If a tiger chases two monkeys, the fastest monkey gets away, the other gets eaten (or the tiger starves).
    None of this requires th experience of any pain. None of it even requires consciousness. All that’s required is the right sorts of behavioral responses to adverse or positive stimuli. You can run computer programs with bits of programing responding in evolutionarily advantageous ways to other bits of programing. This was the point of the ‘tit for tat’ program. No consciousness (or pain) necessary.

    October 12, 2010 — 8:00
  • Joshua Rasmussen

    Mike, clever argument.
    Perhaps someone could reply that while it is indeed possible for God and painful evolution to co-exist, this isn’t “feasible” (to borrow a term from Tom Flint). It isn’t feasible because God freely wouldn’t permit such a thing. This reply won’t work, however, because if this counterfactual of divine freedom is contingent, then that means there will be a galaxy of worlds in which God does freely permit such a thing, and we might well be in that galaxy. So, it’s not an easy argument to escape, which is why it’s clever. 🙂

    October 12, 2010 — 10:31
  • Mike Almeida

    Hey Josh,
    One way to stave off the intuition that God wouldn’t actualize such a world–or more exactly, the intuition that such a world wouldn’t be so much as possible–is to point up that the gratuitous evil in the animal-suffering world is such that we can give it a point. It needn’t be pointless. In this way you get (i) God can actualize a painless, indeterministic evolution world and (ii) we can give a point to the suffering of non-human animals in worlds where the indeterministic process goes bad.

    October 12, 2010 — 12:42
  • Steve Jeffers

    “None of this requires the experience of any pain. None of it even requires consciousness.”
    Hmmmm … I appreciate I’m stumbling into a large and well-developed area here, but ‘suffer’ here can’t be limited to immediate physical pain, surely? ‘Suffering’ surely has to cover any loss relative to evolutionary competitors. ‘Starving to death’, even if the monkey is wired up so it smiles all the way to the grave, is suffering. We wouldn’t consider we’d ended suffering in a famine just by issuing morphine.
    Evolution only works if there are winners and losers. Given that, it encourages strategies designed to win. But there have to be losers for evolution to occur. A loser ‘suffers’ a loss, even if he doesn’t yelp or weep.

    October 12, 2010 — 14:03
  • Mike Almeida

    Evolution only works if there are winners and losers
    Steve,
    The point is tendentious in several ways. The locution ‘winners and losers’ is misleading in evolutionary contexts. Those who survive needn’t be winners in any sense more interesting than that they are suitable to their enviornment. So, liars and cheaters have survival value in contexts where truth-tellers do not. Are truth-tellers losers? Setting that aside, I do assume that the only evolutionary suffering that matters to God is painful suffering. There is a view of suffering under which one suffers when one’s preferences are not satisfied (one prefers to live and is killed, for instance). But this notion of suffering is not salient in discussions of worlds God might actualize. Maybe it ought to be given more attention.

    October 12, 2010 — 19:05
  • Steve Jeffers

    “I do assume that the only evolutionary suffering that matters to God is painful suffering.”
    OK … so two men, A and B, have stolen a million dollars but are cornered by a vicious guard dog. A has time to take a lot of morphine. B doesn’t. A is torn limb from limb as the tiger eats him. The morphine means A feels nothing. B grabs the bag of money, and it’s so heavy that it gives him a mild shoulder sprain to heft it. Nevertheless, he escapes with the money, which he uses to woo A’s girlfriend and flies off with her to a country with no extradition treaty where they have lots of children.
    And God considers B to have suffered, but not A, because B sprained his shoulder?
    It is possible to ‘lie and cheat’ to gain evolutionary advantage. They’re emotionally loaded words, and we’re into the realm of animal consciousness, but a stick insect ‘deceives’ predators into thinking it’s nothing edible. Animals puff themselves up and put on displays to scare away predators and/or attract mates.
    In evolutionary terms, the whole and unavoidable point is that you ‘win’ if you pass on your genes, ‘lose’ if you don’t. That’s literally all there is to it.
    That’s the challenge the evolutionary model offers to theism – not just that it contradicts all the creation myths, it’s that it has one very simple imperative: ‘come up with strategies to pass on your genes’.
    There may be other advantages to a good life for humans. The Christian models offer eternal rewards in the afterlife, for example. Some also offer palaces, a job for life and legal immunity for celibate priests. But these are not evolutionary advantages.
    Using the broader definition of suffering, it would be impossible to actualize a world with ‘painless evolution’. (1) has to be false because there have to be winners and losers.
    A world of ‘painless evolution’ in the narrower sense could be actualized only by God setting it up to completely negate the ability of every individual to feel pain. But if just one individual developed even a tiny ability to feel or even conceptualize pain, it would have an immense evolutionary advantage. It would get hungry and so seek out food first, it would have a stronger incentive to avoid being eaten or placing itself in danger.
    And it would only need to be relative pain – a mild stomach rumble just before it starved – as long as it could pass that trait on to its offspring.
    Evolution would allow that trait to emerge through random mutation. Unless God intervened to block random mutations. At which point – at the very latest – it’s not evolution in anything like the sense we understand the word. It’s certainly not ‘indeterministic’ as defined in (1). Again, (1) has to be false.

    October 13, 2010 — 7:20
  • Mike Almeida

    And God considers B to have suffered, but not A, because B sprained his shoulder?
    Hard to say. Maybe A will suffer some emotional pain.
    That’s the challenge the evolutionary model offers to theism – not just that it contradicts all the creation myths, it’s that it has one very simple imperative: ‘come up with strategies to pass on your genes’.
    I don’t even discuss theories of creation, so I’m not sure what this has to do with the post. But evolution is perfectly consistent with creation.
    Using the broader definition of suffering, it would be impossible to actualize a world with ‘painless evolution’. (1) has to be false because there have to be winners and losers.
    No. Obviously, you can have evolution without consciousness, since it happens every day. You can have evolution without living things, for that matter. There’s nothing in principle impossible about silicon-based machines evolving.
    But if just one individual developed even a tiny ability to feel or even conceptualize pain, it would have an immense evolutionary advantage.
    Not so. The causal role that pain plays can be played by any number of non-conscious states of a machine.

    October 13, 2010 — 8:05
  • Steve Jeffers

    “I don’t even discuss theories of creation, so I’m not sure what this has to do with the post. But evolution is perfectly consistent with creation.”
    ‘Before he creates anything’ in (1). In this context, the creation of living beings/man, rather than the initial creation of the universe.
    I also think ‘perfectly’ is something of an exaggeration. The standard Darwinian model and the Biblical account, for example, contradict each other. They can be reconciled, but by no means necessarily or ‘perfectly’.
    “No. Obviously, you can have evolution without consciousness.”
    Yes, but (1) specifies ‘sentient’.
    “Not so. The causal role that pain plays can be played by any number of non-conscious states of a machine.”
    Here I agree. We could have evolved alarm systems that warned us our body was being injured without causing us pain. A fuel gauge on a car can register that the car is running out of fuel without the car feeling pain. We could have evolved a similar system.
    I’d argue that evolution would refine that – we’d evolve the equivalent of a warning light, or a warning bleep better to alert us of the urgency. ‘Pain’ (and the threat of it) is a highly effective way of alerting us – so quick, we can snatch our hand away from the boiling water before our conscious minds even registered it was wet.
    There might be other ways just as effective. Offhand, I can’t think of an example that’s actually evolved.

    October 13, 2010 — 10:38
  • Mike Almeida

    Right. I stipulate in (1) that God creates the world, since I’m worried about the problem of evil. I don’t talk about (and am not worried about) theories of creation. Concerning consciousness, I said that evolution does not require consciousness in response to your assertion that, Using the broader definition of suffering, it would be impossible to actualize a world with ‘painless evolution’. (1) has to be false because there have to be winners and losers. That claim is false. I do say in (1) that 1.There are worlds W in which God predicts or prophesies, before he creates anything, that some divine aims will be achieved through painless, indeterministic, evolution of sentient beings. That’s perfectly possible. As I said, lots of other physical states/events can play the role pain plays. The reflexive response to painful stimuli need not involve an actual pain-state. Machines that detect what produces pain in us–fire, for instance–also respond by avoiding/eliminating the painful stimuli. Obviously, even primitive alarms detect fire and put them out without experiencing pain.

    October 13, 2010 — 14:38
  • Steve Jeffers

    “I don’t talk about (and am not worried about) theories of creation.”
    I mentioned it because usually the conflict between evolution and creation concentrates on the origin story – that it’s all about Adam and Eve and six day creations.
    I think the conflict is far more fundamental – evolution requires winners and losers. If you accept the broader definition of pain as loss, you have to accept that losers suffer pain (by definition).
    The tautology of ‘survival of the fittest’ is that there are evolutionary advantages to those who are best suited to their environment, and disadvantages to those who don’t. ‘Survival of the fittest’ has an unsaid ‘and eventual annihilation of the less fit’.
    ‘Painless evolution’ is a contradiction in terms in those circumstances.
    If pain is limited to ‘immediate physical pain’, this need not apply. But it’s such a limited definition as to be absurd – a caterpillar paralyzed by a wasp so that the wasp’s larvae feed on its flesh might lack the intelligence to understand that’s what’s happening, even if it did it wouldn’t ‘feel pain’, but the lack of immediate physical pain seems small beer when you’re scoring the result. It is disadvantaged. You specify ‘sentient’ – I doubt that ‘I am being eaten alive is bad for me in pretty well all circumstances’ requires much sentience.
    “Concerning consciousness, I said that evolution does not require consciousness in response to your assertion that, Using the broader definition of suffering, it would be impossible to actualize a world with ‘painless evolution’.”
    Yes. And by doing so, you’re contradicting your own initial statement, which specified ‘sentient’.
    Evolution does not require consciousness. Your argument, though, is premised on it. I don’t think it needs to be, but it’s the argument you’re making.
    “Obviously, even primitive alarms detect fire and put them out without experiencing pain.”
    Yes. Which is the point I made about the fuel gauge. A population of ‘gauged’ individuals is possible, as a temporary state. I don’t think it’s a stable strategy, for the reasons I stated.

    October 15, 2010 — 7:12
  • Steve Jeffers

    I’ll try to nail down my issue here.
    1. Evolution is impossible without a selection / deselection process. There have to be ‘winners’ and ‘losers’.
    2. A loser suffers, by definition.
    3. ‘Painless’ excludes any possible form of suffering, by definition.
    4. A painless world could not possibly contain losers.
    5. ‘Painless evolution’ is impossible.

    October 15, 2010 — 11:50
  • Mike Almeida

    I reject (3). The stipulative notion of suffering you describe requires no painful experiences at all. I reject (4): a painless world could contain lots of losers. Indeed, evolution on the scale of fruitflies involves losers but no pain at all. I’m not sure about (1), since it is not clear to me what it means. If you mean ‘natural selection’ is necessary to evolution, I reject (1), too. There could be mechanisms at work other than natural selection. So, naturally, I reject your conclusion.

    October 15, 2010 — 11:59
  • Steve Jeffers

    OK, we’re going around in circles a little, and I think we might be nearing the point where we’re doing nothing but repeating ourselves.
    “I reject (3). The stipulative notion of suffering you describe requires no painful experiences at all.”
    But … isn’t that the problem you were originally trying to solve? You’ve subsequently defined pain as immediate, physical, personal pain, refining that to mean ‘as suffered by an intelligent being’. To me, ‘painless’ means ‘entirely without pain’, or at the very least ‘entirely without significant pain’.
    “I reject (4): a painless world could contain lots of losers. Indeed, evolution on the scale of fruitflies involves losers but no pain at all.”
    Again … you originally stated ‘sentient’. We’re in the realm of animal consciousness. And we’re back to drugged or non-sensitive populations, as if the problem with pain is the symptom, not the cause. A world where human women handed over their babies to be eaten, without feeling anything, and then the community ate them live, wouldn’t be OK because the baby didn’t feel the teeth go in. Particularly because, if it was a painless world, those people wouldn’t even feel hungry. You’d say God would look at that and think ‘that’s a satisfactory answer to the pain problem’.
    More to the point, evolution is a dynamic system – that is not a stable strategy.
    “I’m not sure about (1), since it is not clear to me what it means. If you mean ‘natural selection’ is necessary to evolution, I reject (1), too. There could be mechanisms at work other than natural selection.”
    … but I think this is your basic problem. Natural selection is basically synonymous with evolution. Anyone who suggests otherwise now is way outside the realms of mainstream science. Either an ID advocate, a crank or someone from before DNA was discovered looking for a mechanism. If we’re talking about ‘evolution’ as understood by modern science, we’re talking about natural selection. If we’re not … we’ll, we might as usefully discuss how the warp drives in Star Trek work, or how Superman can fly.
    In any case, any form of genetic change requires selection, because breeding requires selection. Winners and losers.
    A painless world wouldn’t eliminate one subset of pain, it would be painless. By saying ‘fruitflies don’t feel pain’, you’re agreeing with (i) and (ii) that you explicitly reject at the start.
    To solve the problem that actual animals feel pain, you’ve invoked a putative version of evolution to explain how a subset of pain would not happen in a parallel universe if you roll the dice often enough.
    Ironically, you’ve come up with a solution less satisfying than the Adam and Eve myth, which states that God had a painless world all sorted out and then man came along and ruined it. That actually has parallels with evolutionary theory – that a hawk in a population of doves would prosper, as outlined in The Selfish Gene.
    I think, as a general rule, that any theory that makes creationist myth and Richard Dawkins look like they’re singing from the same hymn sheet is probably a long way from its target.

    October 16, 2010 — 6:22
  • Mike Almeida

    We’ve reached the point of zero marginal utility for posting. This is the last thing I’m going to post on this discussion, since it’s getting a bit trollish. I skimmed maybe a few paragraphs of your last post. The suggestion that natural selection is synonymous with evolution is not even close to being true. The synonymy claim is flat false, and I have no idea why I’m wasting time talking about it. Even intepreting the claim generously as stating nothing about synonymy, but rather that all evolution requires natural selection, it is still flatly false. See R. A. Fisher for an emphatic and classic statement. To take one recent example, see Jerry Fodor. Jerry Fodor does not reject evolution, but he does deny natural selection. Evolution is not natural selection.
    Otherwise, all I can tell you is that you (not I) offered this argument. My brief comments are interpolated below in italics.
    1. Evolution is impossible without a selection / deselection process. There have to be ‘winners’ and ‘losers’.
    2. A loser suffers, by definition.
    Premise (2) is your stipulation. Not mine.
    3. ‘Painless’ excludes any possible form of suffering, by definition.
    Premise (3) is false, given what you say about losing just above in premise (2). If we are supposed to be adopting that def., then it is just false that X is painless iff. X involves no suffering. This fails left to right since someone/something can experience no pain and yet lose (and so by (2) suffer). Fruitflies expereince evolutionary loses without experiencing pain. So, they suffer (on your view) since they lose, but they do not experience pain. I don’t know how to be any clearer on this.
    4. A painless world could not possibly contain losers.
    Premise (4) is false. There are possible worlds in which no living thing experiences any pain, but evolution occurs, so there are losers with no pain.

    October 16, 2010 — 13:59
  • David Warwick

    I do admit I am struggling with your initial argument, but have been entertained by your subsequent defence of it.
    Is it fair to say your argument isn’t so much one about animal pain specifically, but God’s predictions? Am I right that the core of your argument is this sentence from your opening post:
    [I]In worlds where things go contrary to God’s prediction, its always been true that God never made such a prediction.[/I]
    And, so, applied to our world, in which animal pain exists, it means God never predicted a painless world?

    October 17, 2010 — 7:04
  • Mike Almeida

    Hi David,
    The idea is that IF God is permitted to actualize an genuinely indetermnsitic world W where there is painless suffering, then he is permitted to actualize an indetermnistic world W’ where there is painful suffering. Indeed, the existence of W entails the existence of W’. We’re in W’, or something close.

    October 17, 2010 — 10:22
  • David Warwick

    I’m sorry to seek clarification – ‘permitted’ in this context means ‘permitted by logic’? That he has the choice or the choice not?
    I don’t really understand the wonder drug example you gave, and I feel that if I did I’d understand your argument.
    If that doctor had the power of prediction, he would know the outcome. Either he has the ability to preempt that – he predicts the pill will kill his patient, so doesn’t prescribe it; or his prediction locks him into a course of action – he knows he will kill his patient.
    Does your “predicts or prophesies, before he creates anything” in the initial statement mean ‘before He inevitably creates it’, or ‘while He’s considering His options’?

    October 17, 2010 — 12:53