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Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Sic Et Non

Cover your ears and close your eyes!

1 month 1 week ago
    “Philosophise this – psychology research by philosophers is robust and replicates better than other areas of psychology”   ***   “The fate of giant planets depends on where they grow up: The more crowded and chaotic their initial environment, the more likely they are to move out.”   ***   “Our Postmodern World: Science Is Political […]
Dan Peterson

“Faith, Water, Food, and Air”

1 month 1 week ago
    The latest installment of my now (alas) biweekly column in the Deseret News appeared fairly early on Thursday, though I’m now behind:   “Faith, water, food and air”   ***   An interview with Dana Pike regarding “Israel’s Kings” is now up on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   Israel’s Kings with […]
Dan Peterson

From “Eothen”

1 month 1 week ago
    Curiously, I still haven’t read the entirety of Alexander Kinglake’s 1844 book Eothen; or Traces of travel brought home from the East.  But one particular passage — a fictional conversation between an English visitor and an Ottoman (Osmanli) pasha by means of a somewhat manic-depressive dragoman (an early form of travel guide and translator) […]
Dan Peterson

“Human Zoos”

1 month 1 week ago
    I’ve just finished my debate here at FreedomFest 2018 with Michael Shermer, on the topic of “Is Faith Compatible with Reason?”   I was quite satisfied with the way things went.   The debate was recorded by C-SPAN BookTV.  I don’t know when it will be broadcast.   ***   I tend libertarian, […]
Dan Peterson

The first night at FreedomFest 2018

1 month 1 week ago
    Well, we’re finally in Las Vegas for FreedomFest 2018.   In fact, we’re just back from a smallish private dinner (there were about twenty of us) including such folks as John Mackay, Michael Shermer, Mark Skousen, Daniele Struppa, Deirdre McCloskey, Grover Norquist, Steve Forbes, Lisa Sparks, Larry Elder, Doug Casey, and George Will.   Needless to […]
Dan Peterson

Religion in Iran (C)

1 month 1 week ago
    Continuing with my little series of posts on religion in Iran:   The central texts in the religion of Zoroastrianism are the Avesta, which includes the Gathas (the purported writings of Zoroaster himself) and which gives its name to a sacred form of the Old Persian language called Avestan, and the Yasna, the scripture.   Zoroaster […]
Dan Peterson

“O brave new world, that has such people in’t.”

1 month 1 week ago
    We’ve just walked back from the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, directly adjacent to the Old Globe in Balboa Park.  We saw a production of William Shakespeare’s last play, The Tempest.  It’s a favorite of ours.   This was a good, solid production, but I confess that I didn’t absolutely love it.   It […]
Dan Peterson

Skeptical Thoughts

1 month 1 week ago
    Two items from some accumulated notes for another of my manuscripts:   (1)   The English poet Rupert Brooke wittily satirized the concept of a life to come as baseless wish fulfillment in his poem “Heaven”:   Fish (fly-replete, in depth of June, Dawdling away their wat’ry noon) Ponder deep wisdom, dark or […]
Dan Peterson

Something from Hugh Nibley and something from Jacob Hamblin

1 month 1 week ago
    We: Dear Father, whenever the end is scheduled to be, can’t you give us an extension of time? He: Willingly. But tell me first, what will you do with it?  We: Well . . . ah . . . we will go on doing pretty much what we have been doing; after all, […]
Dan Peterson

Angels in the sky above San Diego County

1 month 1 week ago
    So it’s Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.  I confess that I was beginning to hope for Amy Coney Barrett, but Kavanaugh will, I’m sure, be a superb Justice.  I’m pleased.   ***   Just back from Hob Nob Hill, where we had dinner with friends.  (Amazingly, notwithstanding my richly deserved reputation for […]
Dan Peterson

Religion in Iran (B)

1 month 1 week ago
    Some more notes for The Book:   What is sometimes called “the Proto-Iranic religion” and then its subsequent derivatives, Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism dominated Iran through the Median, Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian eras.  When the Sasanid dynasty fell to Arab invaders in, however, Iran began a gradual process of Islamization that was remarkably complete. […]
Dan Peterson

Three paragraphs on BYU’s late Middle Eastern Texts Initiative

1 month 1 week ago
    One of the topics that I will need to address in my forthcoming book on the Middle East, the Arabs, and Islam for a predominantly Latter-day Saint audience is the Islamic Translation Series (ITS), which I conceived and founded, and which expanded into the broader Middle Eastern Texts Initiative (METI) before new leadership […]
Dan Peterson

The near-death experience “tunnel” (A)

1 month 1 week ago
    From another of my partially completed manuscripts:   Among the most famous of his elements is Moody’s fifth.  Many of those he interviewed told of being drawn very rapidly through some kind of dark space – a cave, a passageway, an enclosure, a valley, or, very commonly, a tunnel.  Often, this appeared to […]
Dan Peterson

“Darwin’s House of Cards”

1 month 1 week ago
    I recently finished reading a book that I think some of you might find quite interesting:   Darwin’s House of Cards: A Journalist’s Odyssey Through the Darwin Debates   The Amazon.com summary does a good job, so I think I’ll just quote it here:  “In this provocative history of contemporary debates over evolution, […]
Dan Peterson

“All sentient beings have been formed so as to enjoy . . . happiness.”

1 month 1 week ago
    We’ve had various friends staying with us here.  One stayed for the first week.  Another came over from Arizona and spent a couple of nights with us.  She left today, and my brother’s youngest son and his wife and their three children — my late brother’s grandchildren — are with us now.  We […]
Dan Peterson

A few more SCOTUS notes

1 month 1 week ago
    For an earlier post on the same subject, see   “Thoughts on the Supreme Court of the United States”   News reports indicate that President Trump will name his nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court of the United States come Monday evening.   It’s urgent, therefore, if I’m intending […]
Dan Peterson

LDS Church News, Mostly (But Not Quite Entirely)

1 month 1 week ago
    The most recent iteration of the bi-weekly Hamblin/Peterson column in the Deseret News has appeared.  Reading it has not yet been certified unhealthy:   “The last Jewish high priest”   ***   A new curricular development in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I look forward to seeing these materials:   […]
Dan Peterson

Why I’m Unworthy of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

1 month 1 week ago
    Nearly two weeks ago, having just returned from watching a documentary about the late children’s television host Fred Rogers, I remarked here on this blog that I had never been a fan of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, had probably never watched an entire episode, and didn’t really enjoy what I had seen:   “A […]
Dan Peterson

Religion in Iran (A)

1 month 2 weeks ago
    Rough notes for The Book:   Iran – officially, since 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran, but also historically known as Persia – is the home of one of the greatest and richest civilizations of human history.  That civilization began with the Elamite kingdoms of the fourth millennium before Christ, but it began […]
Dan Peterson

Chesterton on the Mormons

1 month 2 weeks ago
    I’ve quoted the great G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) several times lately.  This has apparently disturbed some of my critics.   One of them suspects that I may be unaware of the fact that Chesterton was a Roman Catholic apologist who probably didn’t think very highly of Mormonism.   And, indeed, it stunned me […]
Dan Peterson
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