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Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Sic Et Non

Authoritarianism in the Middle East

1 month 4 weeks ago
    Another snippet:   The second political tradition characteristic of the Middle East is authoritarianism. This means that a single ruler or an elite group (often a “tribe,” in the sense just mentioned) has virtually unlimited political power concentrated in its hands, without being bound by either a constitution or by the will of […]
Dan Peterson

Scientific discoveries as religious discoveries

1 month 4 weeks ago
    “This sense of wonder leads most scientists to a Superior Being – der Alte, the Old One, as Einstein affectionately called the Deity – a Superior Intelligence, the Lord of all Creation and Natural Law.” –Abdus Salam, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in electroweak theory (quoted from his article […]
Dan Peterson

Temples to dot the earth

1 month 4 weeks ago
    Just in case you haven’t been keeping up with President Russell M. Nelson’s “global ministry tour,” here are a few recent items about it:   “President Nelson Completes Africa Tour in Zimbabwe: Prophet makes fourth stop on global ministry tour”   (Here’s some slight information on the forthcoming Harare Zimbabwe Temple.)   “President Nelson […]
Dan Peterson

“Consistent with what I know about science”

1 month 4 weeks ago
    I think it worth calling attention to prominent scientists who are religious believers not because I think their existence proof that there is a God but because they refute the assertions of some that theistic belief is blatantly incompatible with science.   The scientists to whom I call attention may or may not […]
Dan Peterson

Evidence and Proof

1 month 4 weeks ago
    Fairly often, critics demand “proof” from me that the claims of Mormonism are true.   But I don’t believe that such “proof” exists.   To be more precise, I don’t believe that objective, publicly verifiable proof exists, of the type — rather like a proof in geometry — that would compel assent from […]
Dan Peterson

Opening notes toward a primer on today’s Middle East

1 month 4 weeks ago
    Continuing a bit more with my first pass through a manuscript that I hope to finish within the next six months or so:   The Middle East is a mess. That is perhaps the most obvious fact about the area. It is, possibly, the worst-governed region on the globe. Or perhaps it just […]
Dan Peterson

A note on the culture wars

2 months ago
    Flying yesterday evening from Paris to Amman, my wife and I found ourselves sitting on the airplane among a large number of people who, from their name tags and paraphernalia, as well as from their comments, were obviously coming to the Middle East for an Evangelical Protestant tour of the Holy Land.  Many […]
Dan Peterson

Another anti-Muslim distortion of a passage in the Qur’an

2 months ago
    I’ve been enjoying myself in this space with responding to an anti-Islamic Facebook image or meme that was sent to me a week or so ago.  It was presented to me as supporting evidence for an angry comment about my article on Islam in the April issue of the Ensign.   It bears […]
Dan Peterson

Truman Madsen on the Temple

2 months ago
    Truman Madsen, who died in 2009 and whom I greatly miss, changed the direction of my life at a crucial stage, when I was a high school student in California.  I probably would not have attended Brigham Young University absent a particular encounter with him.  Eventually, he became a faculty colleague, and then […]
Dan Peterson

The Wonder of It All

2 months ago
    Gerald L. Schroeder, an American Jew who now lives and teaches in Jerusalem, earned B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in nuclear physics and in earth and planetary sciences.  The following passage is taken from his book God According to God: A Scientist Discovers We’ve Been Wrong About […]
Dan Peterson

What about the recent attack on Syria?

2 months ago
    Several people have asked me for my opinion of the recent American and British and French airstrikes against Syria.  So I guess I’ll give it.   But I preface what I’m about to say with the explanation that I’ve been extraordinarily busy of late, and, so, have not really been following the news […]
Dan Peterson

“Nature is skewed toward life.”

2 months ago
    Gerald L. Schroeder earned B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in nuclear physics and in earth and planetary sciences.  An American and an Orthodox Jew, he now lives in Jerusalem.  Here are a couple of passages from pages 44-45 of his book God According to God: A Scientist […]
Dan Peterson

Another dishonest bit of anti-Islamic propaganda

2 months ago
    The anti-Islamic Facebook image or meme that was sent to me the other day, and on which I’ve been occasionally commenting since then, includes twelve quotations from the Qur’an — or, anyway, twelve quotations that are purportedly from the Qur’an — that have been carefully selected (out of a book that’s roughly comparable […]
Dan Peterson

Stephen T. Davis on the doctrine of hell (Part 2)

2 months ago
    For quite a few years now, I’ve been a fan of the work of Stephen T. Davis, the Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College in California.  Lately, I’ve been enjoying his 2015 book After We Die: Theology, Philosophy, and the Question of Life after Death.   Here’s a brief passage […]
Dan Peterson

President Nelson circles the globe

2 months ago
    A nice piece from the inimitable Jeff Lindsay, of Shanghai:   “Don’t Ignore Complexity: A Broad Look at a Basic Book of Mormon Issue”   ***   “Prophet Visits the Holy Land: President Nelson continues global ministry tour in Jerusalem”   “President Nelson Arrives in Africa: Prophet visits Nairobi, Kenya”   This one has […]
Dan Peterson

“Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.”

2 months ago
    I return, for a moment, to an inspection of the quotations (and purported quotations) from the Qur’an that are included in a Facebook image or meme that was sent to me (yet again) a few days ago.  They have been carefully selected (from a book that’s roughly the length of the New Testament), […]
Dan Peterson

“Endless Forms Most Beautiful”

2 months ago
    An Israeli-American and an Orthodox Jew, Gerald L. Schroeder currently teaches at Jerusalem’s College of Jewish Studies.  He earned B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in nuclear physics and in earth and planetary sciences.   Here are a couple of passages from his book God According to God: A […]
Dan Peterson

The Wisdom of the Nobel Prize

2 months ago
    I think that we can all confidently say now that there will be no more new scientific discoveries.  The data are all in.  The fundamental facts are known.  There will be no future changes, no surprises.  It’s just a matter of filling in the details a bit, and developing some new technology.   […]
Dan Peterson

A favorite story, and some wise words, from early Islamic history

2 months ago
    Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, died unexpectedly and rather suddenly in 632 A.D., after only a brief illness.   When the news reached ‘Umar that Muhammad was gone, ‘Umar, who was a very strong man who would later rule over the entire Islamic empire as the second successor, or caliph, to the Prophet, seems […]
Dan Peterson
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1 hour 40 minutes ago
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