Re: [asa] Creationists for genocide

From: PvM <>
Date: Tue Aug 28 2007 - 11:51:08 EDT

So far the only incoherence comes from you my dear friend. If you
beleive that it is possible to bild a genocidal ethics from the facts
of evolution then I encourage you to present you argument.

The problem with your 'arguments' are that you ignore what Avalos and
I are telling you. Of course people can use the Bible to create an
'ethic' against genocide, and they can use the same bible to create an
ethic for genocide. It's because the bible cannot provide us
guidelines as to what is just and unjust genocide.

The problem is that opposing sides can both find support in the bible
for their positions, which can create conflict when scarce resources
are involved.

I suggest that we have a serious discussion as to Avalos, lest we want
to resort, like David, to the creation of irrelevant strawmen.

So let's, for David's sake, clarify what is already obvious, even
though he has chosen to make our private discussion public without
consulting me. A minor ethical infraction but still

1. The bible fails as a foundation for many ethics because it lacks an
objective standard and can be used to argue either side.
2. The lack of such a standard can lead to conflict where both sides
appeal to the bible or similar texts to support their actions an
positions. Countless examples exist to varying degrees.
3. Avalos argues that science provides a less subjective ethics
because it is based on evidence. Does this mean that science cannot be
abused either? Of course not.
4. During WWII, the German State Church, the majority of Christians,
supported the Nazis in their actions, while a small minority, the
Confessing Church, opposed it, mostly based on church-state separation
considerations. In other words, the examples cited by David, show that
opposing sides can appeal to the same bible to support their claims.
5. Does this mean that popes and others cannot speak out against
genocide? Of course not, but if they claim that their opposition comes
from biblical considerations then they have a real problem to deal
with, as history has so often shown.

Does it matter that David believes he can formulate an ethics of
genocide based on evolutionary theory, even though he has yet to do
so? Not really.
Until David at least understands Avalos's arguments, David's
objections remain founded in his own strawmen.

So why is it so hard to address these issues raised by Avalos? Perhaps
because as Christians we realize that they may cause discomfort?
Should we avoid such discomfort by rejecting Avalos's claims as
atheistic etc? So far I have found the level of reactions on ASA quite

In Christ
On 8/28/07, David Opderbeck <> wrote:
> At this point, Pim, all I can do is laugh. You are yawning at Pope John
> Paul II as an example of a Biblical ethic against genocide? You seriously
> deny that it's possible to build a genocidal ethic from the facts of
> evolution? You make the statement that "reasonable is a subjective
> standard at best," and I'm employing a strawman when I use it to question
> your position using your own words? You have dug yourself into such a deep
> hole in this discussion that you've become incoherent.
> On 8/27/07, PvM <> wrote:
> > On 8/27/07, David Opderbeck <> wrote:
> > > Just time for a few quick responses:
> > >
> > > 1. I can claim the Bible forms a foundation for rejecting genocide,
> even
> > > when some people have read it to support genocide, because that is a
> > > verifiable historical fact. Pope John Paul II arguably did more to stop
> > > genocide (as perpetrated by atheists in the Soviet Union with the
> presumed
> > > blessing of Darwin as filtered through Marx, BTW), than any other figure
> in
> > > human history. John Paul II's ethics were thoroughly Biblical, and I'm
> > > pretty sure he was aware of the problem texts Avalos cites.
> >
> > Yawn, those are such irrelevant statements of what you believe and
> > appeals to authority. Avalos seems to be quite correct here, there is
> > no real good standard for what is just based on biblical teachings.
> >
> > > 2. Yes, I claim the text of nature can be read to support genocide. Do
> you
> > > deny that? If so, why is your intepretation more reasonable than mine?
> >
> > I surely deny that. As far as your question is concerned why is an
> > interpretation that the bible supports genocide less or more
> > reasonable than one which claims it does not?
> >
> > > Isn't the fact that we can reach differing interpretations of the same
> text
> > > conclusive evidence that the text is worthless as a source of norms? Or
> >
> > It surely makes it hard to claim that it can form a source of norms,
> > worse, it can form a great source of conflicts.
> >
> > > does that logic only apply one way? Or, could it be that the
> possibility of
> > > differing interpretations is an invetable result of the human condition
> and
> > > the variability of all complex texts, which does not necessarily render
> > > every potential reading equally valid?
> >
> > How does one establish which reading is more 'valid'? wishful thinking?
> >
> > > 3. "Reasonable is a subjective standard at best?" Are you claiming
> that
> > > there is nothing objective at all about reason? On what basis, then,
> should
> > > anyone accept Avalos' and your claims about how best to interpret
> scripture,
> > > or about any conclusions of science? Is this just some kind of
> Foucaultian
> > > knowledge/power thing? Or is it that you're restricting "reason" in
> > > positivist fashion to that which is empirically verifiable?
> >
> > Nice strawman.
> >
> > > 4. Before you "sigh," read what I'm writing. The Darwin=genocide claim
> > > stands if we apply your and Avalos' Biblical hermeneutic to the text of
> > > nature.
> >
> > Nope, just because you make this claim does not mean that it stands.
> >
> > > As I reject that hermeneutic, I reject Darwin=genocide as an
> > > absolute, necessary progression.
> >
> > Sigh.
> >
> > So much objections and still missing the point
> >

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Received on Tue Aug 28 11:51:57 2007

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