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Comment on Clifford Goldstein: Seventh-day Darwinians, Redux by pauluc.


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Clifford Goldstein: Seventh-day Darwinians, Redux
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Clifford Goldstein: Seventh-day Darwinians, Redux

Major Pitman

I am sorry to say that your knee jerk responses once again are clearly so narrowly focussed that you cannot even reason on the topic. You clearly do not believe or acknowledge that Adventists were supporters of German imperialism and its consequences.

Please read the following extract from a book on the topic

and the link from the review.

@Adventist review

Why would the church apologize if they did no support the actions of Hitler?

You say “I don’t think anyone who really loved his/her neighbor would have been supportive of Hitler’s Holocaust. Many didn’t realize much about Hitler’s ideology when he first took power – including many in the SDA Church within and even outside of Germany during the early stages of WWII”.

I do not think you actually understand the point of Rom 7. We everyone of us are capable of great evil and to pretend we would somehow have acted differently is to deceive ourselves. We all are selfish and sinful to the day we die and all are capable of being moved by propaganda and misinformation and supporting Hitler and the Holocaust. Or of supporting Ugandas current action against gays. Or dare I say vigilante action against teachers at Adventist colleges. Our only salvation is through the grace of God and that does not confer on us perfection in action or thought.

I believe the Adventists that joined the Nazis were all good and honest well meaning people who were simply following orders. Like you they believed in law and order and the importance of structure just as you opined in your last paragraphs. Fanatacism is always a danger whatever the favoured topic and that manifest on this site is no less dangerous. I know you believe you are on a “mission from God” but there is no more dangerous person than one who is fighting a cosmic war for all the normal measures of decent and ethical behaviour become subservient to the cause. I am even more uneasy when one of the leaders as a militarist does not even seem able to critically evaluate the church’s actions and history, acknowledge that the church has episodes of which we should be ashamed and an historical and current position on military action that has been well articulated by its president.

@adventist world

What irony. You personally want to have the right to justify support the American imperial machine against the clear advice of the church but do not want to give the right of dissent to those who seek to honestly follow God in the area of science and religion.

Lastly I think it is totally disingenuous to argue you are not making moral judgements. You are accusing those at LSU and elsewhere who do not accept literalistic interpretation but who have given their lives to support the work and teachings of the SDA church of being dishonest for expecting some reward for their service. To me that is a moral judgement however you may dress it up.

Clifford Goldstein: Seventh-day Darwinians, Redux
@Sean Pitman:

Major Sean Pitman

1] I think you should read a little more on the history of Adventism and Nazis, You quickly gravitate to Goodwins law and invoke concentration camps as a consequence of straying from literalism but you conveniently omit the fact that the Adventist church in Germany was highly supportive of Hitler and must also be held culpable for the consequences.

I don’t think anyone who really loved his/her neighbor would have been supportive of Hitler’s Holocaust. Many didn’t realize much about Hitler’s ideology when he first took power – including many in the SDA Church within and even outside of Germany during the early stages of WWII.

Besides, your point is irrelevant to the concept that the philosophy of Hitler and Nazism was based on racial superiority and social Darwinism. Such ideas are simply not in line with biblical Christianity as interpreted by the SDA Church. They are not in line with the teaching of Christ. Yet, more and more who call themselves “SDA” today are headed down this very same road all over again. Evolutionary ideas logically lead to conclusions of racial superiority and the morality of “survival of the fittest” where the strongest is right by definition.

Sean Pitman

2] Oh how quickly we forget our pacifist origins, a literal reading of Matt 5 and our current official church position on war.

The SDA Church has never taken an official stand on the bearing of arms in the protection of one’s country. It certainly has not taken a stand against anyone serving within the military in the capacity of a medic or a medical officer…

Sean Pitman

3] Apropos of Nazis, Goldstein has been quoted out of context in this thread. If I recall he suggested that Adventist Nazis would be a better fit than Adventist Darwinians. As I pointed about above history has indeed shown that in this he is absolutely correct.

Goldstein was being sarcastic and dramatic to make a point – the very concept of an “Adventist Nazi” is so over the top and so obviously out of line for most people that Cliff’s comparison of “Adventist Darwinian” to this concept is for effect – to make it clear just how ridiculous such a claim really is…

Sean Pitman

4] On the science. Any science. I find it truly remarkable that you, Goldstein and others that flock around this site should know so much and the thousands of scientists that spend all their waking hours trying to understanding the universe should know so little and be so patently wrong. I wonder whether you would think the same if you actually engaged in science rather than viewed it from afar. Would you think the same and have the same arrogance if you had a Herschl index beyond 20. Do you ever pause in a brief moment of introspection, pray or contemplation to consider that maybe you could possibly be wrong in even some minor way.

Got to love the arguments from authority. “So many smart people disagree with you, how can you be right?” Where’s the explanatory power in that argument? Is it not simply a faith-based argument? Do you know how to explain the evolutionary mechanism beyond very low levels of functional complexity? Do you have any idea as to the likelihood of this mechanism working to produce anything at a given level of functional complexity in a given span of time? Can you actually produce some way to calculate these odds?

I often consider that I might be wrong – even after intensively studying this topic for over 10 years now. The fact is that I simply do not understand what scientists claim is so clearly obvious. As far as I’ve been able to tell, the evolutionary mechanism is clearly statistically untenable beyond very very low levels of functional complexity – I just don’t see how it could work this side of trillions upon trillions of years of time. I’ve asked a lot of very smart scientists to explain it to me and so far no one has been able to explain it in a way that my simple mind could actually comprehend as remotely reasonable. If you know the answer, by all means share it with me. But, for most people, they don’t really know, but simply assume that because so many other smart people claim to know that someone out there must have the answer…

Sean Pitman

5] How do you reconcile a gospel of Grace and acceptance that I read in the Gospels with the exclusionary vision and purge mentality that is manifest on this site and in the writings of Clifford Goldstein. Is your idea of pastoral care simply doctrinal purity or do you think that “feed my sheep” may actually mean showing the Grace compassion and care that seems to be inherent in the Gospel account of the life of Jesus? I know little about the origin of the world but I do know Christian Grace when I see it and I do not see it is the current call for purging or exclusion.

As I’ve pointed out many times before on this website and elsewhere, I’m not accusing anyone of a moral wrong here. I don’t consider doctrinal differences to be inherently moral or immoral. I have very good friends who are agnostic or even ardently atheistic. We get along great. I like them and they like me. The difference is that they don’t claim to be SDA nor do they expect to get a paycheck from the SDA Church for teaching their ideas from the pulpit of an SDA Church or from the front of an SDA classroom. See the difference?

If the Church does not stand for anything as an organization, what’s the point in even having an SDA Church at all? – vs. some non-denominational feel good social-club with a religious twist?

Sean Pitman

Unfortunately Bob Ryan has completely corrupted the salutation “In Christ” to mean “Praise God and pass the ammunition”

I do pray that the Grace of Christ may be manifest in his Church.

Having the grace of Christ does not mean that the Church is therefore obligated to pay anyone and everyone for teaching or preaching just any and all ideas. Hello! That’s a not a recipe for a viable organization. No organization works like that… at least none that last and are actually relevant…

Sean Pitman

Recent Comments by pauluc

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Bob Helm: With that said, I find your views to be spiritually dangerous and often scientifically weak. I detect a lot of smoke in your posts, but very little light. I hope you will continue to ponder these issues and try to have an open mind.

You are most welcome to your opinion and I know you would like nothing better than that anyone who takes Christianity and the Bible seriously but not literally to just go away. It is much better not to know of any possible problems with one current views. It very hard to get to the science when we cannot even agree on what is science. What passes as science on this site is so completely dismissive of its methodological basis and history and is entrained in a specific supernatural world view that allows arbitrary acceptance of any observation as miraculous. I think Roger’s paper may well be relevant to Adventist that believe that Christianity has and must respond to a careful study of physical reality by reconsidering its interpretations of the word of the Lord, but as Sean has indicated you are exception to that characterization. I still do not really understand why you should be interested at all in any science. It seems a bit messy to worry about facts. It really seems an unnecessary bother to argue whether the precambrian/cambrian boundary or the upper cenzoic (is that really what you meant?) as the evidence of a divine intervention.

Dont worry I do have an open mind which is why I still peruse this site to see how more knowledgable fundamentalist Adventists think. I wont worry you further.

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Sean Pitman: So, you do see the need for a police force and a military to maintain civil society, but somehow Christians should not provide what is an otherwise necessary part of that civil society? I’m with Abraham Lincoln on this one when he noted the inconsistency of such a position – like Orthodox Jews paying others to turn their lights on for them on Sabbath

On that logic you should not have any issue with working on Sabbath in any profession serving 24/7. Be that computer support, utilities firefighters. Those giving up those jobs because of inability to have sabbath observance were all deluded. They as Christians should be prepared to “provide what is otherwise a necessary part of civil society”

You cant have it both ways. You cant because of a moral postion claim that Adventists should have exception from working on Sabbath and at the same time deny me the right to consider immoral some occupations that may be very utilitarian in a world full of selfishness and the human acts of evil that comes from that.

Lets for a moment step back from lala land. Where are we and where did we come from on this thread?

1] You posted a rehash of all your usual arguments in response to an article about the more mainstream Adventist positions that may impact the way Adventism reacts to conventional science. All very straight forward.
2] The contention was that Adventism has accepted process for the orgin and evolution of the inanimate world. The birth and death of galaxys and stars and planets in black holes supernova and impacts of spiralling planets. This is where it gets really strange.
3] You contend that Adventism has always accepted the conclusions of that process but then expand on your view of the process which involves a little bit of order and natural law but large amounts of magic. God waited a few billions years until the interstellar material generated by the big band condensed into planets onto which God created life mature and complete. This included Heaven the place of his throne-room which he populated with physical being angels which it is implied have both mass and composition and metabolism.
4] When it was suggested that the same processes and natural law resulted in life on this planet this was claimed inconceivable and would never be done by any process involving life and death. Instead the life we see now is in reality designed to live for ever and has be chemically changed because it is deprived of a particular form of nutrient from a tree that existed on the Earth some 6000 years ago.
5] The inconguity of practicing medicine by the principles of process of natural law and the technology resulting from both the processes of the innanimate and the animate world rather than accepting the much more important process of divine intervention seems to be completely obsure.
6] When someone says that the process of life and death that gave us the physical substance of our universe is also the basis of the creation of life here he must be animal hating sadistic psychopath who cannot belieive in a God of love and grace and is lying when he says that non-violence characterizes the children of the heavenly father for one must always recognize that peace and freedom are only obtained over the bodies of 1/3 of the angels of heaven and the eternal physical and violent struggle against those who would practice violence.

I really cannot understand you Sean. Your ways are way beyond me. I am just sorry that Bob seems to be drawn into your twighlight zone.


Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
@Sean Pitman: sorry but your curious amalgam of magic and biology is not really comprehensible to me as a biologist or as a Christian . it. is neither logical or biologically feasible

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Sean Pitman: However, according to the Bible and Ellen White, before the Fall God specifically directed nature so that all sentient life was protected in a manner that there was no suffering or death. By eating from the “Tree of Life” God provided constant renewal and regeneration that worked against what would otherwise be inevitable entropic changes, decay, and death. It was by deliberately stepping away from the true Source of eternal life that mankind stepped away from God and into the full workings of mindless natural law alone – which does in fact inevitably lead to suffering and death.

And this interpretation is precisely why you need a theodicy. Where is the justice in killing all for the sake of the sins of one woman+man? It makes no sense logically. If they were conditionally immortal because of eating of the tree of life then did all the animals in all the world congregate around this tree like beasts around a water hole on the serengeti. how exactly do you as you are wont to do translate the account into a literal reality. And which beast had to come and eat. Or was it symbolic? Oh now that’s a thought.

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Sean Pitman: Come on now. Even I can imagine limitations to reproduction or the turnover of sentient carbon-based life. Surely you can at least imagine something similar? I know God can since such a world is described in the Bible and in the writings of Ellen White. Think about it…

Of course I have. This is not simply about reproduction. That is trivial. This is about metabolic process. Show me a carbon based life form that does not grow or metabolize anything and I will show you an organism in stasis as a spore “living” millions of year in amber. That is; effectively dead.

Real life cannot exist without metabolic process in a carbon based world and God has sanctified all this by a process of making good out of evil from the death of one comes life for others. Just as in the biological world so in the spiritual. By his death we have life. Just as God sanctified the practice of sacrifice of appeasement practiced by most cultures for thousands of years before and showed that in the Judeo-Christian tradition these same acts of sacrifice were emblematic of a monotheistic God that would become incarnate and bring life from death. So also he took the preceding accounts of creation derived as they were of the mesopotamian valley and recast it as an account of the monotheistic God who is above all but comes and dwells among us to become one of us. Participating in our life and death but showing us the importance of the transcendent life of the spirit that supercedes carbon based life and its inherent death. It is no fairy tale of 6 impossible things before breakfast. It is not pie in the sky by and by. It is rooted in a real world and it is about the transcendence of love and grace that is acted out in a real physical world by the incarnate God and us as we follow as His disciples.

That is the message I get from the images and visions of the Canon and EG White. But of course I read it for the message that it conveys not as a scientific text. That is where we fundamentally differ.