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Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Sic Et Non

Another quick thought about scientism

2 weeks 5 days ago
    Aristotle famously distinguished four types of causation: efficient causation, material causation, formal causation, and final causation.   The difference between them can be illustrated very easily with reference to, say, Michelangelo’s well-known statue of the young David of the Old Testament, about to fight the giant Goliath.   Let’s take the material cause […]
Dan Peterson

Men Who Knew

2 weeks 6 days ago
    “I beheld with my eyes. And handled with my hands the gold plates from which it was translated. I also beheld the Interpreters.”  (Oliver Cowdery) Quoted in Reuben Miller, Diary (October 21, 1848), quoted in Richard Lyman Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling: A Cultural Biography of Mormonism’s Founder (New York City: Vintage, 2007), 78.   […]
Dan Peterson

“Muslim Identity” (Part 10)

2 weeks 6 days ago
    I close this little series with the tenth and final installment of an article that I originally wrote for Richard C. Martin, et al., eds.,  Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), on the subject of “Muslim Identity”:   The Persistence of Islamic Identity Through the […]
Dan Peterson

A note on scientism

2 weeks 6 days ago
    I have occasionally used the term scientism here on this blog.   Some of my critics claim that, by scientism, I mean science that has come to conclusions of which I disapprove, or that conflict with my religious beliefs.   This isn’t even remotely accurate.   Mistaken science is still science.  Unpleasant scientific […]
Dan Peterson

“Muslim Identity” (Part 9)

3 weeks ago
    What follows is the ninth (and penultimate) installment of an article that I originally wrote for Richard C. Martin, et al., eds.,  Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), on the subject of “Muslim Identity”:   Iran, the ancient Persia, resembled Egypt in its long and […]
Dan Peterson

Adolf Hitler and Charles Darwin

3 weeks ago
    The most recent iteration of the bi-weekly column that Bill Hamblin and I write for the Deseret News was published on 20 July 2018.  Titled “Was Hitler Religious?” and following Richard Weikart’s book Hitler’s Religion: The Twisted Beliefs that Drove the Third Reich (Regnery History, 2016), we set forth the claim that Hitler was neither […]
Dan Peterson

“Is Faith Compatible with Reason?”

3 weeks ago
    Another passage from Joseph Smith comes to mind as I think about our various friends and neighbors who have been, are, or soon will be serving as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around the world:   “A man filled with the love of God, is not content with […]
Dan Peterson

“Muslim Identity” (Part 8)

3 weeks 1 day ago
    Below is the eighth installment of an article that I wrote for Richard C. Martin, et al., eds.,  Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), on the subject of “Muslim Identity”:   The Mughal Empire Founded in 1526 and lasting until the mid-eighteenth century, the Mughal […]
Dan Peterson

“Go ye into all the world”

3 weeks 1 day ago
    My wife and I have reached that point in our lives where many of our friends are retiring and/or serving missions.   This afternoon, we attended a sacrament meeting in another ward and stake where former neighbors of ours spoke.  It was their missionary “farewell.”  They’re heading off for two years to Berlin, […]
Dan Peterson

Kepler, Theology, and the Solar System

3 weeks 1 day ago
    I’m sometimes assured that even religious scientists don’t allow religion to infect their science.  Instead, they compartmentalize it and keep it strictly separate from their rational thinking.  And this, say such critics of religion, is the best case scenario.  More commonly, religion is the irrational enemy of science.   James Hannam’s book The […]
Dan Peterson

“Muslim Identity” (Part 7)

3 weeks 2 days ago
    This is the seventh installment of an article that I wrote for Richard C. Martin, et al., eds.,  Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), on the subject of “Muslim Identity”:   Local patriotism did appear in Egypt, somewhat later than in Turkey, largely under the […]
Dan Peterson

“How to Grow Crops on Mars”

3 weeks 2 days ago
    A potentially fascinating discovery:   “What does Mars’ lake mean for the search for life on the Red Planet?  The water body, if confirmed, could potentially harbor microbes”   It seems somehow inappropriate to call it “earth-shattering.”   Along related lines, what about this piece?   “How to Grow Crops on Mars”   […]
Dan Peterson

Irreplaceable You (and You, and You)

3 weeks 2 days ago
    As we waited in line for the ferry from Mill Bay to Brentwood Bay this afternoon, we watched as an elderly gentleman from the car in line behind us got out and began to pick wild blackberries from the bushes along the road.  After he had a cup full of them, he started […]
Dan Peterson

“Muslim Identity” (Part 6)

3 weeks 3 days ago
    This is the sixth installment of an article that I wrote for Richard C. Martin, et al., eds.,  Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), on the subject of “Muslim Identity”:   Among the Arabs The Young Ottoman thinker Namik Kemal argued that separatist movements would […]
Dan Peterson

Of friends and their service around the world

3 weeks 3 days ago
    We’re just back from several hours of whale watching out of Tofino, on the western coast of Vancouver Island.  There was a fair amount of fog, but we still managed to see otters and a couple of bald eagles.  Mostly, though, we followed a grazing gray whale for a considerable distance, getting several […]
Dan Peterson

“Muslim Identity” (Part 5)

3 weeks 3 days ago
    Here’s a fifth installment from an article that I wrote for Richard C. Martin, et al., eds.,  Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), on the subject of “Muslim Identity”:   A disastrous war with Russia nearly ended the Ottoman state in 1877, and the difficult […]
Dan Peterson

The Perils of Pre-Modern Medicine, with an Eye to Brigham Young

3 weeks 3 days ago
    “Doctors and their medicines I regard as a deadly bane to any community. . . . I am not very partial to doctors. . . . I can see no use for them unless it is to raise grain or go to mechanical work.”  (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 4:109 [3 August 1869]) […]
Dan Peterson

“Without any of those contracted feelings”

3 weeks 4 days ago
    The latest installment of my now bi-weekly column in the Deseret News has appeared.  I’m actually a bit late in calling attention to it — which I regret, because it’s slightly time-sensitive.  But life interferes, sometimes.  Anyway, here’s a link:   “A feast to learn about the Restoration”   I hope that you […]
Dan Peterson

“Muslim Identity” (Part 4)

3 weeks 4 days ago
    Here’s a fourth portion of an article that I wrote for Richard C. Martin, et al., eds.,  Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), on the subject of “Muslim Identity”:   In partial reaction, the Ottoman government attempted to establish “Ottomanism” as the legal basis of […]
Dan Peterson

The Reactionary Renaissance (Part C)

3 weeks 5 days ago
    James Hannam earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at Oxford University and followed that up with a Ph.D. in the history of science from the University of Cambridge.  In his book The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution (Washington DC: Henry Regnery, 2011), Dr. Hannam contends that the European Middle […]
Dan Peterson
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5 hours 21 minutes ago
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