Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Freedom vs. Commandments

I have always been interested in the unusual dichotomies within the LDS doctrine.  The most often discussed is the mercy vs. justice dilemma.  But another that is very important is the commandment vs. freedom paradox.  It seems like a paradox, because our Father in Heaven gives us commandments at the same time as he claims to grant us freedom.  As a parent, it does seem like an impossible situation to resolve.  I want my children to have freedom so they will learn to be independent and responsible, but at the same time I want to give them rules to protect and guide them.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Polarizing Issues

In history, there have occasionally been issues that so polarized and divided the populace that a realignment of political parties happened.  The biggest drawback I see from these examples is the level of animosity and the lack of respect for moderate voices.  Extremists rule the day, and dialog, compromise, and reason are largely suppressed.  The people tend to gravitate to the extremes rather than to the middle.  People who were believed to be rational tend to act like irrational zealots.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Logical Fallacies - The Fallacy Fallacy

This one is an interesting trap.  When someone argues fallaciously, it is tempting to assume that their point was wrong.  After all, why argue for a true point with fallacies.  But this is not necessarily the case.  When someone rejects an idea because fallacious arguments were used to support it, that someone is making the fallacy fallacy.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Without Natural Affection

Twice in the epistles of Paul (Romans and 2nd Timothy), in a list of transgressions, he includes "without natural affection."  In the letter to the Romans, it is just a few verses after a description of male homosexuality, and so it has been often tied to same gender attraction.  However, also included in both lists are disobedient to parents, boasters, proud, and trucebreakers/covenantbreakers.  It's not like the description of homosexual lusts were any more connected to "without natural affection" than to any of the other transgressions in the list.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Catching Up

When I was a student, I remember sometimes missing class or getting behind in some subject or other.  It was always possible for me to catch up, to make up the missing learning and get back with the class.  But the process was far more difficult, and I always felt like I was barely keeping my head above water, when this happened.  The principle is that it's easier to keep up than to catch up.

Friday, October 11, 2013

One Hundred

This is my one hundredth post here on this blog.  It has been a fascinating experience, as I don't really consider myself a writer.  For those who haven't perused all the past ninety-nine posts, I thought re-introducing myself and summarizing my story would be valuable.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Thoughts on Conference

After ten hours of sitting and watching conference, there's no way I could give a comprehensive assessment of my thoughts and ideas.  But here are a few randomly scattered thoughts.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Why I Love General Conference

I love general conference.  I remember being a kid sitting outside with my father listening to conference on the radio.  We didn't get it on television where we lived.  Now, with the internet, it's available to view all around the world.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Addicted to Semantics

Maybe I'm just being too fussy with semantics, but I think people misuse the word "addicted" quite often.  It's not just a synonym for habit-forming.  I have a habit of eating breakfast every morning.  That doesn't mean I'm addicted to breakfast.