Wesley, Please forgive me if I don’t follow what seems …

Comment on La Sierra University Looking for New Biology Professor by Ron.

Wesley, Please forgive me if I don’t follow what seems to me to be very tortured logic.

Truth is truth regardless of whether you believe it or not. In fact I once heard someone define reality as that which remains after you no longer believe in it.

I think you go astray in your logic when you assert that coercing belief in truth makes it no longer true. Coercion does not alter what is true, it just makes it impossible to independently verify truth. That in turn leaves us very vulnerable to the risk of deception.

For me, I would much rather take the risk of questioning and doubting truth, than the risk of believing in presumably true dogma because I believe truth will stand the test, whereas if I fail to question the truth because it has become dogma, I run the risk of unwittingly believing in the error of a well meaning clergy with no mechanism to identify the error. It is the intellectual equivalent of committing the unpardonable sin because there is no remedy.

Questioning truth has a remedy. Believing in a false dogma doesn’t. Turning truth into a true dogma doesn’t accomplish anything other than to increase the risk.

To quote Christ, “You study the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life”. It is possible that the Bible isn’t saying exactly what you think it is. The only way to know the truth of it is through questioning. Coercion prevents the questioning.

Ron Also Commented

La Sierra University Looking for New Biology Professor
@Faith: Faith, questioning something is not blind faith. I think that is actually how faith ceases to be blind. I would assert that those who are open to both, exploring the possibility of, and at the same time doubting evolution are on more solid ground than those who blindly accept either creation or evolution. At least when they finally come to a conclusion they will know why they believe what they believe.

La Sierra University Looking for New Biology Professor
@Wesley Kime:
Truth may still be truth, but it becomes dogma the instant you try to enforce it with sanctions, because when you do that, you loose the ability to prove that the truth is in fact true, because there is no longer any one to take the other side of the argument and really explore the issue. There may be other more legitimate explanations that are even better, but you will never discover them because no one can open the discussion.

La Sierra University Looking for New Biology Professor
@Stephen Ferguson:
Steve, I don’t know. I have been advocating for it, but there seems to be little support for it in today’s SDA church. I love my church, but I can no longer keep silent and it is getting to the point that I don’t think I can legitimately support such a repressive organization with my Tithe.

Since the church claims that our teachers are really “ministers” responsible for teaching church doctrine in the place of science, then I guess I will use my Tithe to pay my daughter’s tuition at Andrews, but she graduates this year, and after that, I don’t know what to do. Maybe I will try to find some other charity.

I think Mrs. White gave us an example and set a precedent when she gave her Tithe to the widow of one of our early ministers when she disagreed with church policy.

Since all the committees of the church are controlled by the clergy, that seems to be the only avenue of protest available to the average layman.

Recent Comments by Ron

Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation

Sean Pitman: No one is demanding that they “get out of the church”. . . . . anti-Adventist views on such a fundamental level.

You don’t see how characterizing a dedicated believer’s understanding of truth as “fundamentally anti-Adventist” would drive them out of the church?

I guess that explains why you don’t see that what you are doing here is fundamentally wrong.

Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation

Professor Kent: Nothing saddens me more than the droves who leave the Church when they learn that many of their cherished beliefs regarding this evidence don’t hold up so well to scrutiny.

I agree. I am sure that Sean and Bob don’t mean to undermine faith in God, but every time they say that it is impossible to believe in God and in science at the same time, I feel like they are telling me that any rational person must give up their belief in God, because belief in God and rationality can’t exist in the same space. Who would want to belong to that kind of a church?

Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation

Sean Pitman: and have little if anything to do with the main point of their prophetic claims

And by analogy, this appears to be a weak point in the creation argument. Who is to decide what the main point is?

It seems entirely possible that in trying to make Gen. 1 too literal, that we are missing the whole point of the story.

Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation
Regarding falsifying the existence of God through the miraculous:

While it is true that one can’t falsify the existance of God and the Biblical miracles at a philosophical level, it seems to me that it is possible to falsify it at a practical level. For instance prayer for healing. How many families who pray for a miracle for a loved one in the Intensive Care Unit receive a miracle?

While the answer to that question doesn’t answer the question of the existence of God at a philosophical level, it does answer the question at a practical level. After 36 years of medical practice I can say definitively that at a practical level when it comes to miracles in the ICU, God does not exist. Even if a miracle happens latter today, it wouldn’t be enough to establish an expectation for the future. So at a practicle level it seems it is possible level to falsify the existence od God, or at least prove His nonintervention which seems to me to be pretty much the same thing at a functional level.

Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation
@Sean Pitman:
Sean, what is your definition of “Neo-darwinism” as opposed to “Darwinism” as opposed to “evolution”?