@Professor Kent: Your argument and Bob’s argument suffer from the …

Comment on LSU, Pacific Union Conference and North American Division Sued by Sean Pitman.

@Professor Kent:

Your argument and Bob’s argument suffer from the same Pickle. You have insisted repeatedly that claims in scripture of a flat earth, or a square actually being a circle, would invalidate scripture because we know these to be empirically false. When I point out that the claim of resurrecting a long-dead human body is also empirically false, you then argue there is no empirical evidence that an intelligent mind cannot do it. Brilliant.

Beyond this, there is good empirical evidence that the greater the intelligence the greater the creative potential when it comes to producing functionally complex machines.

Your argument is like arguing that there is no scientific explanation for the existence of chocolate cake. That’s only true if you’re trying to find a mindless non-intelligent origin for the chocolate cake.

Let’s go back, then, to your original argument. There is no empirical evidence that an intelligent mind cannot make the earth flat, or a square into a circle. God could do either one of these in an instant, and then return them to the current, empirically known state. Through lack of consistency, you’ve destroyed your own argument.

That’s not the argument Professor. The argument is that it would be illogical of God to say that what is obviously a square to us is really a circle or that what is obviously a sphere is really a flat pancake. The argument isn’t if God could turn a square into a circle or a sphere into a flat disk.

I can turn a square into a circle myself. However, I would be hard pressed to convince a first grader that what looked like a square was really a circle or that a circle was really a square. Such is based on redefining terms so that they are meaningless to others using a given language system. God must speak to us in our language if He wishes to be understood.

The argument isn’t if God could make the Earth flat as a pancake. Of course He could. That’s not the question. The question is if God called something flat that wasn’t flat from our perspective, it wouldn’t make any sense to us in our language and from our understanding of things.

Consider that God could suddenly make the American Indians have DNA from the lost tribes of Israel! – a seeming confirmation of the claims of the Book of Mormon. Of course, that would be deceptive on the part of God now wouldn’t it? – changing things to match a historical prediction that didn’t really happen?

That’s why empirical evidence really does play a role for many people in what is or is not rational to believe. Are there leaps of faith that are required to believe anything? Sure. But, evidence makes the leap more trustworthy and less blind.

So, God is consistent with us in that He appeals to our minds in ways that are consistent with how He programmed us to think… i.e., rationally.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com

Sean Pitman Also Commented

LSU, Pacific Union Conference and North American Division Sued
@Professor Kent:

Sean Pitman:

“Phil Brantley, in particular, has argued that prophecy should not be used as an external evidence of the Divine origin of the Bible – that historical sciences cannot be used as a basis for testing the credibility of the Bible’s prophecies.

Prof. Kent:

Here are your own words to Phil Brantley:

“When I’ve asked you this question before you eventually cited prophecy and your own experience with God and his Word as evidence that is undeniable to you.” – Sean Pitman

And how did Brantley respond? Do you remember? I couldn’t believe it myself. But, this is what he said:

“Practitioners of the historical-grammatical hermeneutic do not object to documenting fulfillment of prophecy by reference to external data, because in so doing one is not necessarily putting Scripture to the test. This is because the prophecy is considered true and correct, irrespective of whether it has been fulfilled…

Dr. Pitman, you correctly note that the authority of Scripture and its various authors is validated by numerous authorities within Scripture itself. But you then smuggle in the notion that because Scripture is validated in this way, we can also put Scripture to the test by reference to extrabiblical empirical data.

Let me broaden my previous point. Not only science data (Gen. 3:17-18, Rom. 8: 20-21), but the counsel of other spirits (Is. 8:19; 1 John 4:1-3); tradition (Matt. 15: 3, 6); human philosophy (Col. 2:8); human knowledge (1 Tim. 6: 20), reason and emotions (Gen. 3: 1-6, Prov. 14:12), miracles and fantastical occurrences that we observe (Rev. 13:13, 16:13-14), the inspired writings of Ellen White (Matt. 7:15-23, 1 Thes. 5:20-21 and her own testimony), fulfillments of extrabiblical prophecies that we document and verify (Matt 7: 15-23), the voice of God as we preceive it (Is. 8:20), the counsel of the Holy Spirit as we perceive it (Is. 8:20), etc., all must be held subservient to the authority of the Word of God.

We are not at liberty to put Scripture to the test by reference to any extrabiblical empirical data…

I am sorry Dr. Pitman, but the sixteen evidentiary items that I list arise out of Scripture and are not dependent upon external data in such a way that such external data puts Scripture to the test…”

http://www.old.spectrummagazine.org/blog/2011/04/26/open-letter-educate-truth

So, there you have it. According to Brantley the Bible is true irrespective of if its prophecies or any other statements regarding the empirical world are or are not fulfilled in reality. How is this not the very definition of empirically-blind faith?

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


LSU, Pacific Union Conference and North American Division Sued
@Professor Kent:

Sean, you’re rehashing your same old arguments over and over. The Bible does NOT clearly articulate that the Earth is flat; it does NOT clearly articulate that a square is really just a circle. Sure, these would contradict empirical reality.

And would undermine Biblical credibility at the same time…

But the Bible DOES clearly, unequivocally, and passionately articulate that a dead human body can come back to life, which DOES clearly and unequivocally contradict empirical reality.

The Bible doesn’t say that the dead can come back to life through any mindless naturalistic process. Such a claim would contradict known empirical reality. What the Bible says is that the dead can come back to life only if some extremely intelligent God or God-like being is involved in the process.

There is nothing in science that challenges such a claim. On the contrary, science actually supports the idea that highly complex machines do not self-assemble themselves but require the input of an equal level of outside informational complexity.

Again, I point out to you that the best available scientific evidence supports the “Turtles all the way up” concept… right in line with the Biblical claim that such demonstrations required the input of God-like powers of intelligence and creativity.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


LSU, Pacific Union Conference and North American Division Sued
@Professor Kent:

I urge you not to diminish the capacity of the Holy Spirit to inform the heart and convict the soul. Our God can do far more for us than we can ever accomplish from our own careful investigation and research. The “right answers” become irrelevant when there is but one answer we need to get straight: we submit ourselves to God and His plan for us.

While the Holy Spirit does enable the mind to grasp truth, the Holy Spirit does not bypass our God-given abilities think and reason. Rather, the Holy Spirit enhances these abilities as we strive to use them to God’s glory.

God does not expect us to turn off our minds or our abilities to think rationally and consider evidence. Rather, God enhances these abilities so that we can grasp the true meaning of the evidence that He has provided to us in abundance as a basis for an intelligent trust in His Word.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
Yeah, well, it might help to actually understand the primary data one is looking at before one makes up his/her mind… which Dr. McCullough clearly doesn’t understand – particularly when it comes to the meaning of the VAERS data.


Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
If you’re going to just present one side of an issue, just do that. Don’t bother citing your “academic” credentials and history of “always” trying to present a balanced perspective. And, don’t complain about others, like the mainstream media, doing the very same thing that you’re doing – presenting only one side of an issue.

Beyond this minor point, have you nothing of real substance or interest to say about the actual primary claims being made? about all the scientific data that appears to strongly counter the sensational claims that Dr. McCullough’s presented in this video?


Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
Then don’t complain about others doing exactly what you’re doing…

Anyway, the real issue with the video is that the main claims are almost all completely false and those that are true are presented in a very misleading manner – which has the potential to harm or even kill people. That’s the real problem.

Now, I know that you’re a registered nurse and lifestyle director of the Eden Valley Institute of Wellness in Loveland, Colorado. And, that’s great! I would suggest to you, however, that excellent health would also help someone do very well with the mRNA vaccines. But why not just rely on excellent health alone? Doesn’t the Adventist Health Message completely negate the need for vaccines? Well, no, it doesn’t. I know of several very healthy vegans who have been seriously sicked by COVID-19 with some having sustained permanent and progressive injuries – and some have even died. So, I would suggest to do both – to follow the Health Message as carefully as possible and to take the mRNA vaccines. This will provide the greatest level of protection possible to our Adventist brothers and sisters. It’s certainly what Mrs. White advocated in her own day when smallpox was killing many people. She certainly wasn’t opposed to the smallpox vaccine and supported her own son William White getting vaccinated, along with his staff and associates (Link). And, her own secretary (D. E. Robinson) wrote that Mrs. White was also vaccinated for smallpox (Link).


Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
That’s just it. Scott didn’t claim to “be providing a neutral platform”. He just complained about others not doing so, and then didn’t do so himself. He said that,

“I believe that everybody needs to hear both sides. My background in academics was in history, I was a history teacher. I got into ministry later in life… but I come from that academic background of dialogue and inquiry. And, as a history teacher, whenever I notice that maybe one side was getting a little more play and imbalance, and the other side had some valid and interesting things to bring to the table, whether I agreed with them or not, I would always want to give air to that other side – to let people think and evaluate for themselves and grant people that they are capable, that they are individuals with a mind, and can evaluate the evidence for themselves.”

Yet, immediately after saying all this about being all even-handed with presenting a topic, he immediately says that in this particular video, he’s “Looking forward to hearing another side of this discussion” – without actually evenhandedly presenting and/or discussing both sides for his audience to “evaluate the evidence for themselves”.

Again, I don’t mind if someone wants to present one particular side of a discussion. However, when someone states, upfront, that they are an “academic” who is all into presenting data on both sides of an issue so that people can make up their own minds, it comes across as a bit non-academic when only one side is then presented without any time given for anyone on the other side to address and give their own take on the claims being made.


COVID-19 and Vaccines – Update
As I’ve asked others, why do you think that the overall “all-cause” death rate in the United States, and around the world, suddenly spiked in March of 2020 if this pandemic we’re in is really no big deal? – if the death rates have been so exaggerated as you claim? If not for the COVID-19 pandemic, what else has killed off more than 600,000 people so far in this country alone (3.9 million worldwide)? – beyond what would usually be expected? (Link)

I’m sorry, but Dr. McCullough is basing his position off of a false interpretation of the VAERS data (maintained by the FDA and CDC by the way) and false interpretations of a few other papers as well, which he evidently doesn’t understand.