About Ivan W.

Ivan Wolfe teaches rhetoric at Arizona State University. He has a PhD in English from the University of Texas - Austin, and a BA and MA in English (with minors in Classical Greek, Music, and Philosophy) from BYU. He has several credits on various Christmas albums aimed at the LDS market, several essays in Open Court's Popular Culture and Philosophy series, and various book reviews in academic and popular venues. He also competes in Scottish Highland Games and mud run/obstacle course races, and he can deadlit over double his bodyweight (his last PR was just shy of 500 pounds). He is currently married to Lisa Renee Wolfe. He has five kids and four stepkids.

Accusations of bigotry are objectively worse than accusations of apostasy.

In the back and forth between the more progressive and the somewhat conservative blogs and voices in the online Mormon blog universe (aka bloggernacle), one common complaint is that the conservatives accuse the progressives of apostasy (not following the prophets, ignoring the scriptures, mingling the gospel with false philosophies) and the progressives accuse the conservatives of bigotry (racism, misogyny, sexiism, homophobia).

This is true. In my own limited, subjective experience, the accusations of apostasy tend to be implied whereas the accusations of bigotry are more explicit – and accusations of apostasy tend to be more general (“Failing to support the Proclamation on the Family is apostasy”), whereas accusations of bigotry call people out by name (“John Doe is a racist for failing to support immigration reform”), but I could be wrong in my impressions here, and my argument doesn’t hang on these observations.

However, I don’t think accusations of bigotry and apostasy are equal opposites.  In fact, I think the accusations of bigotry are objectively worse because they can destroy lives, whereas accusations of apostasy are at best (outside of certain rarefied instances) annoyances.

Continue reading

Tribes and whatnot

Sometimes it’s depressing how we just divide up into tribes and assume the worst sort of faith on “the other side” and only the best of faith on “our side.”

“The children of God have more in common then they have differences.”

― Henry B. Eyring

Too bad so few of us actually believe this. Continue reading

Book Review: Death and the Afterlife, Samuel Scheffler et al.

Review
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Title: Death and the Afterlifezzzz
Author: Samuel Scheffler
Editor: Niko Kolodny
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Genre: Philosophy
Year Published: 2013
Number of Pages: 224
Binding: Hardcover
ISBN10: 0199982503
ISBN13: 978-0199982509
Price: $29.95

Reviewed by Ivan Wolfe for the Association for Mormon Letters

A book like this really requires a lengthy, long form book review, preferably at least as long as the shortest essay in the book (12 pages). Given the constraints of the review process at AML, and leaning on my minor in philosophy in college, I trust that I can let interested readers know if they would enjoy reading this book. Continue reading