Excellent points, Dr. Moore.Dr Moore wrote: ↑Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:30 pmDoctor,
I have seen a few such posts in recent years. Not all of them, to be sure, but enough to take away an impression. In my view, a few roles are served by writing about NDEs.
First, and foremost: parallelomania. Something wonderfully undeniable that happens after death. We each have a spirit. We take memories with us. We don't just vanish. You fill in the gaps. Second: science. NDE stories offer an extremely rare body of evidence through which science and notions of revealed gospel principles can safely coexist in the same conversation. And third: mien. The Mopologists want to be perceived as academics with a curious character and open-mindedness to explore the frontiers of evidence.
The narrative in my head is that 30 years ago the enemies were the Walter-Martinish-Concerned-Christian anti-Mormons. One of the things Walter Martin and his ilk understood is that Christians need enemies, and with the Mormon church growing so impressively back then, the Mormons were a great enemy.
But there were some bigger currents in the world of conservative fear. The first was the alliance of Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich who convinced redneck America that liberals and intellectuals are the real enemy. As fear of liberals and intellectuals grew, the need to fear Mormons dissipated. Then in 2001, Muslims also became a feared enemy. With all these new enemies, Christians stopped worrying about Mormons.
Driven by the same 2001 events, a group of intellectuals basically said, "You know what? Religion can actually be a dangerous thing, and given what we now know about reality through science, we can confidently say that traditional revealed religion is false. Full stop. Religion is no longer a valid open question, and we aren't doing the world any favors by politely ignoring the patently false things that religionists say about the world."
While the world was shifting around them and they were left feeling neglected and irrelevant by the Christian community, Mormons needed to find a new enemy of their own. Because of DCP's academic background, Muslims weren't a suitable enemy. But fearing atheists and intellectuals fit Mormon needs fine. This had the added benefit of allowing them to join with mainstream Christians in solidarity against the left, including the convenience of being able to tune into mainstream propaganda sources to satisfy their need for fear and hate.
When the apologists trained their sites onto atheists, they found their traditional approaches of distraction and nitpicking could accentuate, say, a new atheist mistakenly inferring that a tenured professor at UCLA should be referred to as "Dr. Brodie" rather than "Professor Brodie." Despite this, they quickly learned that new atheists were formidable. Unlike Christians, the new atheists did not live in their own glass houses.
Given this reality, the mopologists decided to retrench. They are no longer trying to prove that their specific religious claims are true. Merely that they are plausible in some general way.
Despite the fact that mainstream science has overwhelmingly concluded that substance dualism is implausible, NDEs are a real phenomenon that can be studied. And if you don't understand that much about neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and physics, and if you are selective in the evidence you consider, then NDEs can be construed as evidence for the supernatural. From their retrenched position, proving this point in general would be a huge win.