A reprint from Mormon Matters.
Prepare for the ultimate philosophical smack down between a David and a Goliath! In one corner we have our champ Craig L. Blomberg who I have been told is one of the foremost New Testament scholars in the world. Simply put, he’s brilliant.
Our contender is my former missionary companion who was never anything but a junior companion.
Craig Blomberg comes out of his corner swinging, in How Wide the Divide? His upper-cut is the logical impossibility of the Mormon concept of becoming divine and having more than one Omnipotent “being.” He says,
Even simple logic should suggest that it is contradictory to have more than one omnipotent being; otherwise, for example, not only would God be able to judge me but I would be able to judge God. Both of us could theoretically destroy each other, and then there would be no eternally existing God. (How Wide the Divide? p. 212) Continue reading
[Cross Posted from Sixteen Small Stones]
It’s time to talk about Apostasy. Again.
In this post, however, I want to introduce a new approach to thinking about personal apostasy by drawing what I think are compelling comparisons between apostasy and conspiracy theories.
Conspiracy theories appeal to some very fundamental aspects of human nature and can wield a great deal of influence over people. I believe that a closer look at the appeal and mechanics of conspiracy theories can help illuminate some important aspects of personal apostasy from the church.
My hope is that by exposing these aspects of apostasy I can help not only those members of the church who are dealing with family or friends who have apostatized, but also give pause to those who find themselves being drawn down the path of apostasy, and raise doubts among those who are already a far distance down that path.
Ultimately this is a warning about the limits of reason and logic and the potential dangers of the rational mind.
The concept of conspiracy is deeply ingrained into our entertainment, our political discourse, and even our religion. Conspiracy theories exist among the atheistic as well as religious. They propagate among liberals as well as conservatives, and among the educated as well as the ignorant.
[Thank you to the folks at the Millennial Star for inviting me to participate here by cross posting some of the content from my own blog. It has been several years since I last participated here and I look forward to contributing in a small way. – J. Max Wilson]
One of my favorite definitions of logic comes from Ambrose Bierce’s satirical Devil’s Dictionary: “Logic: n. The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.”
History is a testament to the nearly limitless incapacity of the human misunderstanding. And while each generation reserves a regular chuckle for the naiveté of its ancestors, it is often just as blind to its own errors.
I believe that our minds are not only limited by lack of experience and information. They are fundamentally limited by mortality. Our two eyes can only extrapolate three dimensions, though with some effort we can conceive of a tesseract even if we cannot visualize it in its true form. We can only perceive colors of light within about 380 to 750 nanometer wavelengths, and as a result plants and flowers that exhibit intricate ultraviolet patterns and designs appear to us quite plain and ordinary to our limited vision. Technology allows us discover their patterns by translating the ultraviolet into our visible spectrum, but we are incapable of actually seeing them as they really are.
Reality is not circumscribed by your or my ability to comprehend, conceive of, or perceive it.