Sean Pitman: I haven’t changed my mind. I still see atheism …

Comment on Ted Wilson: No Room for Evolution as Truth in Adventist Schools by philcromwell.

Sean Pitman: I haven’t changed my mind. I still see atheism as the most logical alternative to Christianity and any other view of God if such views of God are only based on a wishful-thinking type of fideistic faith. Why should one be a Christian or believe that the Bible is anything more than a good moral fable? – or believe that God exists any more than Santa Claus or the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists? For me, it’s because I see real empirical evidence for God’s existence as well as His Signature within the pages of the Bible and within the universe and the world in which I find myself.


I may be a little obsessional but I cannot let this argument go without trying to clarify what you really believe. I am still not following the logic of your argument

You still seem to be saying that Atheism is the most logical alternative to Christianity if that Christianity is not based on science but on some emotion.
You seem to say that if the science does not support the empirical claims of the Bible ie that the earth is around 6000 year old then you will reject the bible and Christianity for;
– on one hand you say atheism (lecture at LSU I have referenced)
– on the other hand you say some Deist position and you have never claimed that you would be an Atheist if you should rejected Adventism and Christianity because of the science. (claims on this thread)

I still see that these are inconsistent despite your response to my initial question.

As I have said before I am a traditional Adventist that accepts historical Adventism claims. These include a high view of scripture that says you can never examine the word of God by science as it is tantamount to making yourself God and assuming you can make a critique of God and His word. We are fallible man subject to sin and cannot assume that infidel position. We are called to accept it and following that acceptance we can properly understand science and the world around us. This means that science is not the all pervasive method that we use to examine our religion but is a way of understanding that depends on our acceptance of the Word of God as the basic way in which we understand the world and any true science. Understood in this way science subservient as it is to the Word of God can never provide a mechanism that would allow us to reject the Word of God. Our defense is always in the Word of God. Do you accept that or not? I worry that you put science above the Bible and to even allow that you could reject the word of God based on science is effectively to deny a high view of scripture, one of the pillars of our faith.

philcromwell Also Commented

Ted Wilson: No Room for Evolution as Truth in Adventist Schools
@Sean Pitman:

I have been following your comments here and at spectrum. I think we need some clarification. I have already expressed some disquiet while endorsing your robust defense of Christianity against people like pauluc. You can read my comments here;

I dont think you have really responded to my concern about subjugation of the bible to scientific evidence. You may not accept higher criticism but I think that arguing for belief in scientific evidence as a basis for rejecting the Bible you are effectively practicing it. Though I think pauluc is foolish on this point he may be right.

You recently said in the comments at
that “No. As long as I saw evidence for a designer behind the fundamental constants of the universe and various features of living things, I would not accept atheism. Given the truth of long ages of the evolutionary struggle for life on this planet, I would probably be a deist of some kind, but not a Christian.”

It seems that Pauluc has some sort of vindetta against you so I think it would be good if you clarified these statements in particular against what you claimed in your lecture at LSU in 2010.
at 8.15 “They argue for their beliefs in Christianity more on internal inspiration or some sort of ethereal seinse of the divine, Grand magesteria. Other terms like that. They cant really put their finger on it they cant test it they cant quantify it. They just have the sense of God. That is more a warm fuzzy feeling that Ive never had I have had indigestion that has given me more stimulus perhaps than those sort of arguments. And they just dont cut it for me. I am speaking to those people like me who dont have this warm fuzzy feeling of God in them. God has not spoken to me I have never not had any divine impression that I can point to and say that is God speaking to me. What cuts if tor me is the physical evidence. If I didnt have the physical evidence I would be an atheist. I tend to sympathize more and agree with those like Richard Dawkins and Provine, William Provine that argue that atheism is the more logical course. And I tend to spympathize with that view more than those views of Collins even though I respect his view I tend to sympathize with Richard Dawkins and Provine and those guys. I think that is more logical of a view if theres no physical tussle of scientific evidence for your religious experience to me that doesnt do much for me. If that makes any sense”.

Have you really changed your mind in terms of atheism as the logical alternative to Christianity? If so I do applaud you. I think you are coming back closer to what I would consider the Adventist position of faith in the Bible as the word of God that has precedence over scientific understandings.

Recent Comments by philcromwell

Believing the Disproven – An Adventure in Science
Just checked this site again this evening and am once again astounded at the arrogance of Pauluc. He seems to attack everyone on this thread including Wesley, Bob, Gene and of course particularly Sean. I appreciate your patience Sean in dealing with each of his silly niggles. I don’t think anyone here really agrees with any of his arguments but I guess it is useful to know how some people who are totally committed to naturalism in science can still imagine they are Christian let alone Adventist. It is now clear that he has not really been listening to what you are actually saying in responding to what I think is becoming a “new fideism”.

This last post in particular is extremely clear that you are talking of how you use empirical evidence to address the empirical claims of the bible. It is very clear from the context that this is about the claims the bible makes about reality that has to be tested against reality. You are rightly advocating an approach that recognized that you cannot provide direct physical, empirical or scientific evidence for some of these things but there are things that the Bible claims such as in prophecy that can be demonstrated by scientific methods and each of these that is verified makes the untestable claims much more likely to be true. This is clearly the way that EG White was asking us to come to faith in God in her comments about the weight of evidence and dealing with doubt.

But what does Pauluc do? He doesn’t really understand the issues and just goes on an on about how you are committed to “enlightenment evidencialism” as the basis for your faith as though that is a bad thing. I don’t think he really appreciates that Adventists have always had a high view of scripture as the Word of God. We believe in Sola Scriptura and know that there can be no conflict between the Bible and science when it is rightly understood. I think Sean you have made it so clear that Faith and science are working hand in hand. As Wesley says sometime faith helps us understand about science and other times the science can increase our faith but they are dependent on each other,

Just wanted to encourage you Sean. As Ted Wilson said at the Autumn Council the Devil really does come to afflict us and interrupt our course and I think that Pauluc is probably just such an instance. Hopefully he will go quiet as he usually does after a series of mischaracterizations and ad hominem attacks.