@Professor Kent: My understanding is that, historically, Adventist fundamental beliefs …

Comment on Elliot Sober: Just Don’t Call the Designer “God” by Sean Pitman.

@Professor Kent:

My understanding is that, historically, Adventist fundamental beliefs have shifted in ways that individuals holding one particular position, including Ellen White herself at times, could have been expelled from the Church by those holding another particular position. There was a time when those of the Church held different views on what 24-hour period of the day should be kept as Sabbath (it wasn’t always sunset to sunset); the Godhead (we once rejected the trinity); and righteousness by faith (we once believed in righteousness by works).

These disagreements occurred before certain agreed positions were so settled in the minds of the founding fathers and mothers of the SDA Church that they became “fundamental” pillars of the SDA faith. The current list of fundamentals was not always as it currently stands. It grew and developed over time. It is only expected that as more information comes clearly to light that the list of important “fundamental” beliefs would also expand over time.

And, as the early Church founders soon discovered, without the maintenance of internal order, discipline, and government within the Church, as based on the concept of “present truth”, as understood by the organized body of believers, the organization soon begins to fragment towards chaos and irrelevance…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Elliot Sober: Just Don’t Call the Designer “God”
@Professor Kent:

Sean, while I could agree with your statement on a prima facie basis, I think one needs to dig a bit deeper here. This statement basically says that we don’t need the Bible or any type of falsifiable evidence or even beliefs to gain admission to heaven, which seems to contradict what you often state (not to mention the purpose of this website). I could be wrong, but I believe that God is able to claim souls who lack knowledge in Him because he can judge whether they would accept Him and Christ’s sacrifice if they had representative knowledge of Him.

Exactly…

It just goes to show that it is motive, not current knowledge or beliefs, that is important when it comes to judging if a person is or is not savable.

This idea does not contradict my efforts to uphold truth as I see it. Just because knowledge is not the basis of salvation does not mean that it isn’t important. Knowledge is the basis of the solid conscious hope of the Gospel message. While one can be saved without ever having a conscious knowledge of this future glory while here on Earth, it sure would be nice to have known while here – right?

I’m not convinced that God saves them because they have “love;” after all, many animals give well-documented evidence of having love, which is an instinct written in the genes of many life forms, including most humans (I’ve met a few who could be exceptions). I suspect that He who knows us in the womb can discern much more than our love, and recognizes what our choice would be given an opportunity to know Him and serve Him.

Our moral choices are based on motive, not knowledge. While animals do express love and devotion to their masters, they cannot appreciate moral freedom as we humans can. They have not been given moral responsibility or choice as we have been given it. Free moral choices are based on the motive of love – of doing unto others as you would like to be treated because of your love for your neighbor.

Remember, it was Jesus who pointed out that all the Law and the Prophets were built on the single “Royal Law”, and James put it, of Love – love to both God and toward our neighbors. Matthew 22:39-40 NIV.

And, as Paul points out, those who love their neighbors as themselves fulfill the Law and are therefore savable – regardless of their knowledge or lack thereof regarding the particulars of God’s existence, the life and death of Jesus, His true character, or any other doctrinal truths while in this life. Romans 13:8-10 NIV.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Elliot Sober: Just Don’t Call the Designer “God”
@Professor Kent:

Like the vast majority of readers here, I don’t need a scientific basis for my faith, and I believe I can be saved by it however “blind” it may be.

Salvation is based on love, not blind faith – or faith of any kind for that matter. It is for this reason that even those who have never heard the name of Jesus or had any real concept of God can be saved according to how they expressed the Royal Law of Love toward their neighbors – a law which has been written on the hearts of all. This is why I believe that there will be a number of very surprised atheists in Heaven someday…

Faith or belief is the basis of conscious hope, but not of salvation. If you have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, you have gained nothing… 1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Elliot Sober: Just Don’t Call the Designer “God”
If Wishes Were Horses…

@ken:

Dear Sean

I’m absolutely fine with the notion of using scientific tests to determine who is God. Would you agree that if science proves the world is older than 6000- 8000 years, then your iteration of God is not the right one?

If science is able to conclusively demonstrate, in my own understanding of the available evidence, that life has indeed existed on this planet for hundreds of millions of years, then yes, that would indeed falsify my current view of God and of the Christian faith.

This is why my view of religion is a scientific view. It is open to testing and potential falsification. I submit that if one’s religious views are not open to testing or even the potential of falsification that such a religion isn’t more useful than an emotional desire for something to be true.

It’s like the old English proverb and nursery rhyme, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”. Blind faith or blind hope simply isn’t enough to produce anything useful to build something solid upon with which to establish a strong confidence in a bright literal future for yourself or anyone else…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Review of “The Naked Emperor” by Pastor Conrad Vine
I fail to see where you have convincingly supported your claim that the GC leadership contributed to the harm of anyone’s personal religious liberties? – given that the GC leadership does not and could not override personal religious liberties in this country, nor substantively change the outcome of those who lost their jobs over various vaccine mandates. That’s just not how it works here in this country. Religious liberties are personally derived. Again, they simply are not based on a corporate or church position, but rely solely upon individual convictions – regardless of what the church may or may not say or do.

Yet, you say, “Who cares if it is written into law”? You should care. Everyone should care. It’s a very important law in this country. The idea that the organized church could have changed vaccine mandates simply isn’t true – particularly given the nature of certain types of jobs dealing with the most vulnerable in society (such as health care workers for example).

Beyond this, the GC Leadership did, in fact, write in support of personal religious convictions on this topic – and there are GC lawyers who have and continue to write personal letters in support of personal religious convictions (even if these personal convictions are at odds with the position of the church on a given topic). Just because the GC leadership also supports the advances of modern medicine doesn’t mean that the GC leadership cannot support individual convictions at the same time. Both are possible. This is not an inconsistency.


Review of “The Naked Emperor” by Pastor Conrad Vine
Thank you for this update. I really appreciate it and the courage it took to post this…


Dr. John Campbell: mRNA Vaccines Cause Lethal Encephalitis?
Dr. Roger Seheult does make some money from his YouTube Videos, but not nearly what Campbell makes. The fact of the matter is, Campbell started making much more money once he switched from presenting mainstream medical science to promoting conspiracy theories. Promoting conspiracy theories is far more profitable it seems… unfortunately.

As far as your posts, I haven’t blocked any of them thus far. I do find it interesting, however, that you don’t address any of the counterarguments forwarded by Dr. Seheult. Why do you choose to believe a retired nurse, like Campbell, over a practicing pulmonologist who was fighting on the front lines during the height of COVID-19, like Seheult?


Dr. John Campbell: mRNA Vaccines Cause Lethal Encephalitis?

Two brains, locked in on the official narrative. Please look outside of the box. Jesus walked and talked and cared for people outside the box. Follow your leader who warned about deceptions by big pharma and big business as the beast the harlot church rides — Revelation 18:23
“… all nations were deceived by your sorcery (pharmakeia)!
https://revelationscriptures.com/revelation-18-23-babylons-pahamakeia/

You do realize that Ellen White herself promoted various medications and medical therapies of her day that she considered to be helpful in various situations? – to include the use of what was generally regarded as a “poison”, quinine, to prevent malarial infections for missionaries who worked in malaria-infested regions of the world? She wrote, “If quinine will save a life, use quinine.” (Link) She also supported the vaccination of her son William, both as a child and as an adult (despite William having had an adverse reaction to vaccination as a child) (Link). She supported blood transfusion when necessary, despite their risks (Link). And, she even supported using radiation therapy when appropriate, despite its risks (Link). Beyond this, she recognized the advantages of anesthesia during surgery and the use of medicines to relieve the intense pain and suffering of the injured or sick (Link).

Regarding Revelation 18:23, in particular, the term “pharmakeia” is best translated as “sorcery” here. There is no intended advice at all against modern medicine in this passage. What, are you suggesting that medications like antibiotics to treat bacterial infections or insulin to treat diabetes are evil “sorceries”? Again, such arguments only make the Christians who say such things look sensational and irrational – which puts the Gospel Message itself into a bad light for those who are considering following Christ. (Link, Link)

Jesus reached out asking to “let us reason together.”
“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out” (Matthew 12:20).
There is a spirit in the SDA Church that is breaking reeds and putting out wicks.
Not an example of who we say is our leader.

Again, the delegates simply were not so uninformed as you and Pastor Vine are claiming here. They had already heard enough reasons and arguments regarding vaccines to make an intelligent informed decision on this particular topic…

Wilson/ADCOM/Hart disowns members who dare want to “let us reason together” about the Vaccine Statement. Attorney Zirkle’s request stomped by Wilsons command to delegates to vote NO, and by a mal-functioning electronic voting system that would not even register the seconds to Zirkle’s motion. Request to check the electronic voting system was rejected by GC. Not something Jesus would reject.

As already discussed, this isn’t true. Elder Wilson simply doesn’t have the power to command the delegates to do anything. And Zirkle’s motion did in fact receive “seconds” since the internet connection issue was fixed. The electronic voting system simply wasn’t an issue at this GC session as it had been back at the 2015 GC session. You’re simply repeating claims here that aren’t true.

You say without compassion:
Really? Why then haven’t the sudden death rates for adults or young healthy athletes increased since the mRNA vaccines became available?

Why are you accusing me of having no compassion when I simply point out the fact that the actual sudden death rate for adults and young healthy athletes has not increased since the mRNA vaccines became available? – that the rate of these tragic events has not changed? – that, despite these events being true tragedies that are horrible indeed, they are are not being cause by the mRNA vaccines?

You say the vaccine is a risk-benefit decision. I say that each “risk” dying or harmed is a human person, not a throw-away statistic. Where is the informed consent, and information on vaccine adverse affects within the vaccine medicine box? Do you have a copy of what information about the vaccine is provided to patients and doctors?

Everything you do is a risk/reward decision. Even drinking pure clean water can kill you, since water can be toxic if taken into the body beyond its level of toxicity. And, the risks of the mRNA vaccines are well known and have been well-publicized. It’s just that, for most people, the risks of getting infected by the COVID-19 virus was much much greater than getting vaccinated ahead of time.

Article:
Athlete deaths are 1700% higher since Covid 19 vaccine began.

Study finds Athlete Deaths are 1700% higher than expected since Covid-19 Vaccination began

Book: Sudden Deaths in 2020-2021
Children’s Defense Fund, Edward Dowd, Robert Kennedy

Names of athletes who died after vaccine began:
https://airtable.com/shrbaT4x8LG8EbvVG/tbl7xKsSUIOPAa7Mx

Tucker Carlson interview:
https://dailyclout.io/excess-mortality-goes-mainstream-in-earth-shattering-ed-dowd-tucker-carlson-interview/

This is all based on false or misleading information, some of which has been completely fabricated (Link). You’re taking lies for truth and truth for lies here. I’m really sorry that you’ve been do deceived, but that’s the reality of the situation. The voices that you’ve chosen to listen to are, in fact, not telling you the actual truth. And, just a little bit of even-hand investigation would demonstrate this to the candid observer. The claim that young healthy athletes have started dying at much higher rates since the mRNA vaccines became available just isn’t true. This conspiracy theory is flat out wrong, without any basis in actual generally-available empirical data. Here’s a little history behind this particular conspiracy theory:

Ben Swann, who has spread misinformation about the pandemic since 2020, posted on Facebook on Jan. 3 an old video promoting the unsupported theory that there’s a recent surge in athlete deaths. The same day, conservative commentator Liz Wheeler and Dr. Simone Gold — who has peddled dubious cures for COVID-19, anti-vaccination messages and politicized medical misinformation — posted similar claims… Both Wheeler and Gold cited a letter to the editor published in the Scandinavian Journal of Immunology that was co-authored by Dr. Peter McCullough, another prominent purveyor of COVID-19 misinformation. Although its publication may give the letter a veneer of legitimacy, the letter did not include any original research, as suggested by Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson. Rather, it relied upon an arbitrary list of athlete deaths maintained on an anonymous website that we wrote about shortly after it appeared online in late 2021.

As we explained before, the list includes students, professionals, amateurs, coaches and retirees. It includes people who died by suicide, car crash and drug overdose. The list does not — in nearly all cases — include the vaccination status of the deceased, let alone prove any causal relationship between vaccines and the deaths. In fact, as we’ve previously reported, some of the deaths initially listed happened before the vaccines had even become available to the age category for the person listed.

Wheeler and Gold, though, each shared an image that highlighted a portion of the letter comparing the number of deaths listed on the anonymous website with the number of sudden cardiac deaths among athletes that had appeared in academic literature over a 38-year period as compiled in a 2006 paper. The two figures reflect different criteria. One number is very broad and includes anyone with a passing relationship to sports who died for any reason since 2021, while the other is conspicuously narrow and includes only the deaths of athletes that were analyzed in English-language academic research papers.

Although the comparison they make is meaningless, Wheeler and Gold leave the false impression that there’s been a surge in deaths and further the baseless narrative that there’s been an increase in athlete injuries and deaths since the COVID-19 vaccines became available.

But the surge is fiction. It doesn’t exist.

“There is no uptick in sudden cardiac arrest or death in athletes due to COVID-19 or from COVID vaccinations. This is total misinformation,” Dr. Jonathan Drezner told us in an emailed statement. Drezner is the director of the UW Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology at the University of Washington, editor in chief of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, and a team physician for the Seattle Seahawks, the OL Reign soccer team and the University of Washington Huskies.

More than 2,000 children and adolescents in the U.S. die from sudden cardiac arrest every year, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and two-thirds of the deaths “occur during exercise or activity.” Among young athletes, sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death, according to CHOP.

Drezner said his center monitors “all cases and all causes” of sudden cardiac arrest or death in athletes by working with the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “[T]here is no change,” he said.

The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research catalogs injuries for high school and college athletes, and its most recent report covers the 2020-21 school year. It shows that 21 athletes died while playing their sport that year.

COVID-19 vaccines were available to everyone 16 and over in the U.S. by April 2021, so the overlap between the period covered by the report and the period in which vaccines were widely available to young people was relatively small. We reached out to the center to find out if the data collected for the 2021-2022 school year has indicated any increase in deaths.

The center’s director, Dr. Kristen Kucera, told us that so far, “the numbers are the same and it’s actually fewer than we captured in 2018-19.”

For context, the center reported 19 deaths in 2019-20, 25 deaths in 2018-19 and 21 deaths in 2017-18.

Similarly, Dr. Robert Cantu, the center’s medical director, told us in an emailed statement that he’s seen no increase in athlete deaths and called the claims “misinformation.”

“The statistics don’t bear out that there’s been an increase in events among athletes,” Dr. Curt Daniels, professor of cardiovascular medicine and director of the sports cardiology program at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, told us in a phone interview.

The field of sports cardiologists who oversee the health of athletes is relatively small, Daniels said. “We talk and communicate all the time,” he said, and none of his colleagues has flagged a rise in sudden cardiac arrest.

“There’s been no increase,” he said.

Also, Daniels noted, there’s a high vaccination rate among athletes in part because many organizations require vaccination to participate. He noted that a rare side effect of the mRNA vaccines is heart inflammation, or myocarditis, which has primarily affected young men between 12 and 24 years old after a second dose, as we’ve explained before. The risk is highest for males ages 16 to 17, at 106 cases per million doses after the second dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those cases have appeared to resolve faster and have better clinical outcomes when compared with the more common cases of myocarditis caused by viral infection, including from the virus that causes COVID-19. Despite that, anti-vaccine campaigners have distorted the rare vaccine side effect as being more common than it is, using that misrepresentation in claims about increases in athlete deaths.

For those who develop myocarditis, stressing the heart with intense physical activity could create an arrhythmia resulting in a cardiac event, Daniels said.

“And, in fact,” Daniels said, “we have not seen an increase in events.”

So, he said, if the vaccines were causing an increase in sudden deaths, “we would be seeing it here and we’re not.” (Link)

Yet, you don’t accept any data that is contrary to your position. Why not? Upon what basis do you believe the claims of known conspiracy theorists over the observation of the vast majority of experts in this particular field of study? I mean, how credible are those that you’re referencing here?

Tucker Carlson, in particular, admits that he lies on his program for entertainment purposes (Link, Link). Robert Kennedy consistently makes completely false and outrageous claims and promotes innumerable conspiracy theories – most of which are completely ludicrous. Drs. Peter McCullough and Robert Malone aren’t much better, spouting off endless tin-hat just-so conspiracy theories and misinformation about COVID-19 and the mRNA viruses. Yet, these are the types of people that you are citing to support your positions here? Can’t you do any better than this?

I know you will say that all the above are non-worthy opinions compared to the experts’ opinions in the above article. Every opinion that differs is immediately discarded.

It’s not that these differing opinions haven’t been very carefully and thouroughly considered. It’s just that they’ve all turned out to be wrong. The actual data that is currently in hand very clearly falsifies the claims that you’ve been forwarding – all of them. How then, do you explain away what seems to be the very strong weight evidence that I’ve provided to you that appears to effectively falsify your positions here?

Dealing with narcissists who think they are empathic:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SCLRtTAGHE

Again, you accuse me of narcissism and lack of empathy with great confidence – without actually knowing me or my true heart or motivations. What makes you so confident that I care not about reducing serious injuries or saving lives? How could you possibly think yourself clear to make such God-like accusations? Are such moral judgments and accusations really Christlike? I mean, even though I think that what you’re promoting is actually hurting people and putting their very lives at risk, I don’t accuse you of evil motives. I think that you honestly and sincerely believe what you believe – that you are honestly trying to help people. Why can’t you offer me the same benefit of the doubt here? – at least with regard to my own motivations and personal morality?


Review of “The Naked Emperor” by Pastor Conrad Vine
Again, it wasn’t Ted Wilson nor the members of ADCOM who voted down Zirkle’s motion – nor did they force or unduly coerce the vote of the delegates in Session. Also, it isn’t true that the vaccine issue hadn’t been adequately discussed for the benefit of the delegates – or that the delegates didn’t have already enough information to make an informed decision. I’d say that they were much more informed on this topic than Pastor Vine gives them credit for.

Now, I’ve very sorry you feel like you do and I can understand your honest confusion since what you’re hearing from anti-vax conspiracy theorists is truly scary stuff. However, the voices that you’re referencing truly are misleading you – telling you things that simply aren’t true. Your latest example of this, from Dr. James L. Marcum, is no better than Dr. Peter McCullough. He makes many claims that are simply false or misleading. Now, Dr. Marcum certainly comes across as very caring and kind, and I’m sure that he is. The only problem here is that he’s wrong – flat out wrong in what he’s telling you. And, this has resulted, no doubt, in a great many long-term injuries and deaths that could have been avoided. Kindness and sincerity isn’t enough here. True kindness will take the time to carefully investigate the actual weight of currently available scientific evidence and present it in an honest even-handed manner. That’s not what Drs. McCullough and Marcum have been doing – not at all.

In short, when your health and life are on the line, would you rather have a doctor with a wonderful bedside manner who isn’t giving you the best available information, or a doctor who may not be as smooth or delicate with his/her words, but who is actually giving you the best available information?

You see, I’m not trying to be mean or harsh here. I’m just truly trying to save lives and prevent long-term injuries. That’s what I’m trying to do. And, I’m sure you’re trying to do the same thing, and I appreciate that. It’s just that you don’t have good scientific evidence to back up your position…