Re: The Curse - Upon All Creation or Just Mankind?

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Sat Sep 25 2004 - 00:58:38 EDT

Jack - thank you for your response and the insight that comes with it. I
plead guilty to transferral of my experience to a possible
overgeneralization. I really value your response and the gentle reproof
(whether intended or not) that it embodies.

You mention "societal and ultimately Christian values of autonomy,
beneficience, and non maleficence" views. If you don't mind expanding a
bit on what you have said, did you build your present position with the
help of concurrent discussion of some of the relevant issues in your
church environment?


jack syme wrote:

> I am a Christian physician, a neurologist to be exact. I also chair
> a couple of hospital ethics committees, and have a lot of training
> specifically in medical ethics.
> As a neurologist, I deal with end of life decisions frequently, and,
> even more interestingly, with what the definition of death is, and
> what consciousness is.
> But I rarely feel "adrift". I have worked through most of these
> issues long ago. I think the answer to: " is human death inherently
> evil", is clearly no. But I dont know if that really has anything to
> do with my clarity about decisions in this matter, as much as it has
> to do with societal and ultimately Christian values, of autonomy ,
> beneficence, and non maleficence.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Jim Armstrong <>
> Cc: ASA <>
> Sent: Friday, September 24, 2004 4:27 PM
> Subject: Re: The Curse - Upon All Creation or Just Mankind?
> That's an important question to examine because the conclusions
> have such a strong practical bearing on biggie discussions on
> important stuff like end-of-life matters and stem cell research
> (for starters). It's a daunting question to explore in an
> environment where some are all too ready to leap to their feet
> with an instant affirmative answer. But I think the answer is
> "no". In any case, a thoughtful exploration of this question is
> appropriate and timely and very important.
> Just to mention one issue, the present fairly widespread opinion
> (embodying the "yes" answer to your question) seems to leave
> Christian doctors and families who face life or death decisions
> pretty much adrift in a special kind of isolation with their
> decision(s). And, faced with making some kind of decision, all too
> often any choice made will be wrong to some very well-meaning
> people. Something seems to be amiss.
> I think the answer (which took a long time to get to), "no". I
> touched on some of the rationale in a previous post or two.
> An excellent question you pose. But there is one embedded question
> that asks whether death by old age is really different in any
> significant way from death by identifiable, treatable disease?
> Still, an excellent question.
> Or so it seemeth to me... JimA
> Sheila Wilson wrote:
>> One of the four options presented by David Campbell, aka Uncle
>> Joe, says: "Death of animals is not inherently a moral evil."
>> This leads me to the following question: is the physical death of
>> man inherently evil? (Assuming death by old age, of course.) I
>> believe this is the most correct option of the four given.
>> Sheila
>> bivalve <> wrote:
>> > The real question is whether death occurred before the
>> fall. The Bible doesn't say. Inferring that death didn't
>> occur because God said His creation was good is probably
>> wrong. Death is often referred to as a good thing; for
>> example, a seed must be buried in the ground and die before a
>> new plant is grown and we must die to self (crucify our
>> flesh) in order to be obedient to God. Inferring that nothing
>> ever died before the fall is also false because God promised
>> seed time and harvest will never cease as long as the earth
>> endures (Genesis 8:22).
>> >
>> > What is the answer? Can we even discover the answer in this
>> age?
>> Paleontological evidence clearly indicates the death of
>> animals (including predation) long before the existence of
>> humans.
>> At least four explanations exist:
>> Paleontological evidence is incorrect.
>> Death of animals is not inh erently a moral evil.
>> Satan's fall was allowed to affect animals.
>> The state of the world reflected humanity's future fall (cf.
>> salvation of OT believers before Jesus' earthly life).
>> Dr. David Campbell
>> Old Seashells
>> University of Alabama
>> Biodiversity & Systematics
>> Dept. Biological Sciences
>> Box 870345
>> Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0345 USA
>> That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand
>> Exalted Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G.
>> Wodehouse, Romance at Droitgate Spa
>> Sheila McGinty Wilson
Received on Sat Sep 25 01:17:32 2004

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