@Ron: You overestimate my influence with cousins, uncles, and aunts! …

Comment on The Reptile King by Sean Pitman.

@Ron:

You overestimate my influence with cousins, uncles, and aunts! Besides, some of them left, because of what seemed to them the science against the Biblical model of origins, before I was born. It seems kinda hard, therefore, to pin it on my attitude – though some do say I was a pretty ornery baby 😉

Sean

Sean Pitman Also Commented

The Reptile King
Hermeneutics vs. Epistemology

The problem with Phil Brantley’s views is that he really doesn’t deal with epistemology – i.e., how he knows that the Bible is really the Word of God to begin with. Until he does that, there really is no rational basis to blindly accept the Bible as the Word of God over and above the claims of any other religious text – like the Qur’an or the Book of Mormon.

Hermeneutics, the science of determining what an author was trying to say, is not the same thing as epistemology – the science of determining that what the author was trying to say is actually true. Hermeneutics and epistemology go hand-in-hand, but they are not the same thing. Brantely consistently confuses these concepts.

In short, one is forced to make critical choices when one is deciding between competing options. I feel that Brantley has chosen the Bible largely because he was born into Christianity rather than because he has spent much time critically thinking about why he believes what he believes or how he is able to know what he thinks he knows.

It is also for this reason, or so it seems to me, that Brantley fails to understand basic scientific methodology and how it can be universally applied. He is inconsistent in his views and applications of the methods of science and philosophy – and therefore of religion as well. He really doesn’t know why he believes anything. He doesn’t understand the methodology or the logical basis for his epistemology in any realm of thought – except to follow the conclusions of those he considers to be authorities in various disciplines without any real personal understanding of his own that he can put into his own words.

As far as Professor Kent, he is simply trying to have his cake and eat it too. He is only consistent in speaking out of both sides of his mouth…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


The Reptile King
@Wesley Kime:

Anyway, some of us (I am a distant relative of the accused) are more confirmed in the church than ever precisely as a result of not only Dr. Pitman’s attitude, and that of this site, but the facts and evidence he perseveres in presenting.

I really appreciate being part of your family too. Thanks Wes. Hope to see you next week if you’re around…

Sean


The Reptile King
@Ervin Taylor:

And what happens when you and your students one day find out that you’ve fallen for one of the biggest hoaxes in history? – that intelligent design and the Adventist view of creation isn’t just religion for dummies, but is in fact the empirical truth? – and that there was a great deal of evidence supporting this truth all along which you and the professors at LSU hid from your students in order to promote your own personal erroneous philosophies and beliefs under the assumed cloak of Adventist membership and support of the Seventh-day Adventist Church? What happens then?

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
Again, most people, including most non-Christians, consider late-term abortions (abortions within the third trimester of otherwise healthy viable babies) to be murder. There is relatively little argument about this. One doesn’t have to know the “precise point” to know that, after a certain point, abortion is clearly murder. The argument that a baby isn’t alive or really human until the moment that it is born is nonsense in my opinion.

Of course, before the third trimester, things start to get a bit more grey and unclear. Some define the beginnings of human life with the full activity of the brain’s cortex. Others define it with the earliest activity of the brain stem. Others define it as the beginnings of fetal movement or the fetal heartbeat. I might have my own opinions here, but the question I ask myself is at what point would I be willing to convict someone else of murder? – and be willing to put them in prison for it? For me, I wouldn’t be willing to do this until things are overwhelmingly clear that the baby is functioning as a full human being and is viable (which would include full brain activity).

As far as rape or incest is concerned, the resulting pregnancy should be terminated as soon as possible within the first trimester. Waiting for the third trimester is simply not an option because, at this point, it would still be murder to kill a fully-formed baby regardless of its origin…


Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
I agree with you up until your last sentence. It seems very very clear to me that a baby becomes human before it takes its first breath. A baby born at 40 weeks gestation is not somehow inherently “more human” than a baby that is still inside its mother at 39 weeks gestation. At 39 weeks, such a baby is indistinguishable from a baby that has already been born. The location inside or outside of the mother makes absolutely no difference at this point in time and development.

I think, therefore, that we as Christians should avoid both obvious extremes here in this discussion. There are two very clear ditches on both sides of the road here. We should avoid claiming that a baby is not really human until it is actually born at full term, and, at the same time, we should also avoid claiming that full humanity and moral worth is instantly realized at the moment of conception…


Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
Most would agree with you that the baby John the Baptist, before he was born, was, at some point, a real human being who could “leap for joy” (Luke 1:44). Even most non-Christians would agree that a third-trimester abortion is murder. However, this isn’t the real problem here. We are talking about if a single cell or a simple ball of cells is fully “human” and if ending a pregnancy at such an early stage of development is truly a “murder” of a real human being. After all, when conception first takes place a single cell cannot “leap for joy” – or for any other reason. It’s just a single fertilized cell that cannot think or feel or move and has no brain or mind or intelligence of any kind. The same is true of an embryo that consists of no more than an unformed ball of cells for quite some time. Upon what basis, then, is it “murder” to end a pregnancy at this early point in embryological development?


Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
Then you have several different questions to explain. 1) How can a 6 month developed (but dead?), non-human being (from a human mother and father?) , being carried in it’s human mother’s womb, leap for joy because he (it?) recognized the mother of the World’s Savior? ”The dead know nothing, neither have they any more knowledge under the sun.” 2) How can anything dead even move? The opposite of alive is dead. Everything alive has life from God. Dead things don’t grow and they don’t move. Every SDA should know this. The Laws of God are not altered in order to justify killing unborn human beings that He has given life to.


Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
That’s just it. You say that, “The unborn think and feel”. However, an embryo in the earliest stages of development is just a single cell or an unformed ball of cells – with no apparent functional difference than a cluster of cells in my appendix. Such an embryo cannot think or feel or understand anything. There is no mind or intelligence at this point. If it isn’t murder to take out someone’s appendix, how then call it be truly “murder” to end a pregnancy at this point in time? How can you be so sure of yourself here? Based on what moral principle?

Also, people who are clearly “brain dead” need not be maintained indefinitely on life support. They’re just a shell of a body at this point and it is not “murder” to simply take them off the mechanical support of the empty shell of their body. This happens all the time in hospitals – and it is not considered to be “murder” at all… by most medical professionals (even most Christian ones).