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Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Sic Et Non

“What is Mormon Transhumanism? And is it Mormon?”

1 month 2 weeks ago
    A new article has appeared in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, and I must report that it began to draw impassioned responses before it even appeared:   “What is Mormon Transhumanism? And is it Mormon?”   So, for the record, perhaps I should say something about its genesis.   I was approached […]
Dan Peterson

Once more on women and the priesthood

1 month 2 weeks ago
    As I’ve noted here before, I can think of no real reason not to ordain women — except for the simple and (to me, entirely sufficient) reason that the Lord has not authorized us to do so.  Women are typically just as intelligent and just as competent — if not more so, in […]
Dan Peterson

Self-refuting materialism?

1 month 2 weeks ago
    On Wednesday, I posted a quotation from G. K. Chesterton’s classic 1908 book Orthodoxy:   “Rebelling against everything?”   In my opinion, the point that he was making there is akin to an argument later made by C. S. Lewis and then by Thomas Nagel.   In 2012, Nagel, an eminent professor of […]
Dan Peterson

Three more quotations from the great G. K. Chesterton

1 month 2 weeks ago
    I’m in the mood, so here are three Chesterton passages, all taken from his 1908 book Orthodoxy:   “I felt in my bones; first, that this world does not explain itself. It may be a miracle with a supernatural explanation; it may be a conjuring trick, with a natural explanation. But the explanation […]
Dan Peterson

Islam in Malaysia

1 month 2 weeks ago
    Some preliminary notes on Islam in Malaysia for The Book:   The religious history of the area known today as Malaysia parallels that of Indonesia, which is scarcely surprising, given their geographical proximity to each other.  (The large Indonesian island of Sumatra is separated from Malaysia only by the narrow Straits of Malacca.) […]
Dan Peterson

Thoughts on the Supreme Court of the United States

1 month 2 weeks ago
    President Trump has promised to announce on Monday his nominee for the vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States that’s being left by the departure of Justice Anthony Kennedy.   This is, yes, certainly one occasion when it’s much better, from the standpoint of a serious conservative, to have Donald J. […]
Dan Peterson

“Rebelling against everything”?

1 month 2 weeks ago
    A very insightful comment from a man who generated insights the way a Fourth of July sparkler generates sparks:   “But the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really […]
Dan Peterson

Do Muslims think it perfectly okay to lie to non-Muslims?

1 month 2 weeks ago
    Fairly commonly, I’m told by critics of Islam that Muslims believe it legitimate to lie to non-Muslims (presumably on just about anything).  Thus, supposedly, there’s no value in entering into any contract with Muslims or into any treaty with an Islamic state.  Moreover, according to some, you can never trust Muslims anywhere, ever. […]
Dan Peterson

Amid the food, family, and fireworks, a few thoughts for American Independence Day

1 month 2 weeks ago
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident:  That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of […]
Dan Peterson

“Chimpanzees Can’t Tell Us About Being Human” — But Must Love Dogs

1 month 2 weeks ago
    Humans, we’re sometimes told, are simply (very) slightly modified apes.  After all, we share 98.8% of our genes with chimpanzees!   Well, perhaps.  Some labs put that figure at 96%, others at 95%, and some at only 85%.   Still, that’s a lot.  Isn’t it?   Maybe.  But, according to some sources, we […]
Dan Peterson

Some reflections by scientists on science and religion

1 month 2 weeks ago
    “The best data we have (concerning the Big Bang) are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.” “If there are a bunch of fruit trees, one can say that whoever created these fruit trees wanted […]
Dan Peterson

In the House of Eternity

1 month 2 weeks ago
    Just prior to visiting my parents’ graves at Rose Hills Memorial Park yesterday afternoon, my wife and I paid our respects to my brother’s grave in the San Gabriel Cemetery, adjacent to the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour.  He is my only sibling — though, strictly speaking, my half-brother — and I still […]
Dan Peterson

Reunion

1 month 2 weeks ago
      Rose Hills Memorial Park, in Whittier, California, is apparently the largest cemetery in the United States.  It’s also the resting place of many of my relatives, mostly on my father’s side — including my paternal grandparents, at least three uncles, an aunt, a niece, and a lot of the people that I […]
Dan Peterson

A scientific potpourri

1 month 2 weeks ago
    Archaeology tends to be more difficult than some non-archaeologists appear to think:   “SOMETIMES THE PAST WANTS TO STAY BURIED —The lost standing stones of Devon are still hiding from archaeologists: The Yelland Stone Row remains lost, but new data could reveal an ancient landscape.”   ***   This is encouraging, although I would […]
Dan Peterson

Islam in Indonesia

1 month 2 weeks ago
    One of the two principal tasks that I need to take care of with regard to my manuscript on Islam aimed at Latter-day Saints is to expand it, at least somewhat, from its Arab and even Middle Eastern focus to a broader picture of the Islamic world.  Here’s a first step in that […]
Dan Peterson

Some miscellaneous memories of Joseph Smith

1 month 2 weeks ago
    The quotations below are drawn from Hyrum L. Andrus and Helen Mae Andrus, Personal Glimpses of the Prophet Joseph Smith (American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications, 2009):   Jacob Earl knew Joseph Smith both in Missouri and then in Illinois: Naturally, he was of a cheerful disposition, and I remember when I was with […]
Dan Peterson

“What is so good about Nephi’s name?”

1 month 2 weeks ago
    We knocked off yet another of our must-do traditions on Saturday night.  Well, one of mine, anyway.  We took our niece and a friend of hers to Ruby’s Diner, on the Pacific Coast Highway just south of Newport Beach, on the cliff overlooking the sea.  There, sitting on the bench, we enjoyed burgers […]
Dan Peterson
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