How Do Near-Death Experiences Help the Mopologists?

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Analytics
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Re: How Do Near-Death Experiences Help the Mopologists?

Post by Analytics »

Dr Moore wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:30 pm
Doctor,
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.
Excellent points, Dr. Moore.

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.
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Re: How Do Near-Death Experiences Help the Mopologists?

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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:33 pm
To follow up, though: which "revealed gospel principles" are allowed to "safely coexist" here? Merely the idea of an afterlife? With all due respect, that doesn't seem very "scholarly." What is this "afterlife" like? How do the NDE folks' anecdotes help to bolster LDS theology? If the Mopologists truly do possess the characteristics you described, wouldn't they want better answers to these questions?
No it isn't scholarly at all, and no it doesn't specifically answer anything. But, it's Mopologists. Your question answers itself. Any line of inquiry that leads squarely to "I don't know" is a solid win, isn't it? The more vague, the better, I think, when blending science and gospel. Believers will connect all of the dots, will feel smart for being "in" on the secret, and they'll thank the Mopologist for teeing it all up with excellent academic contextualizing.
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Re: How Do Near-Death Experiences Help the Mopologists?

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Analytics wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:48 pm
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.
I don’t know about all of your comment, but this part seems true. It’s perfect territory to set out a plausibility line which, for now, can’t be disproven. Perfect. I wonder what happens when sensors and computational biology find an explanation for NDEs??
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Re: How Do Near-Death Experiences Help the Mopologists?

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Analytics wrote: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.
Yeah, the point being, the Mopologists never gave an inch, it was the counter-cult world that withdrew troops or lost interest.
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Re: How Do Near-Death Experiences Help the Mopologists?

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Dr. Scratch wrote:Interesting thoughts, Dr. Moore. To follow up, though: which "revealed gospel principles" are allowed to "safely coexist" here? Merely the idea of an afterlife? With all due respect, that doesn't seem very "scholarly." What is this "afterlife" like? How do the NDE folks' anecdotes help to bolster LDS theology? If the Mopologists truly do possess the characteristics you described, wouldn't they want better answers to these questions?
There's some rich irony here also. DCP purposely avoids any and all Mormon NDE material. Aside from Julie Rowe, there's a book by nuclear engineer Alvin S. Gibson who documents 40 LDS near death experiences. Here's one by Jane Moe, who had an NDE and then converted to the Church. You'll never hear about these folks from DCP. Why? The list goes on and on. How about Lance Richardson?

DCP has silenced their voices.
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Re: How Do Near-Death Experiences Help the Mopologists?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Gadianton wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 12:47 am
Dr. Scratch wrote:Interesting thoughts, Dr. Moore. To follow up, though: which "revealed gospel principles" are allowed to "safely coexist" here? Merely the idea of an afterlife? With all due respect, that doesn't seem very "scholarly." What is this "afterlife" like? How do the NDE folks' anecdotes help to bolster LDS theology? If the Mopologists truly do possess the characteristics you described, wouldn't they want better answers to these questions?
There's some rich irony here also. DCP purposely avoids any and all Mormon NDE material. Aside from Julie Rowe, there's a book by nuclear engineer Alvin S. Gibson who documents 40 LDS near death experiences. Here's one by Jane Moe, who had an NDE and then converted to the Church. You'll never hear about these folks from DCP. Why? The list goes on and on. How about Lance Richardson?

DCP has silenced their voices.
Exactly. And here is another question: Where is the temple material in all of this? Do non-LDS people see the sorts of things that are described in the temple? I ask because I could see the Mopologists using this as an "out"--i.e., they won't discuss any of this because it's "sacred." But it does have a direct bearing on the case that DCP is trying to make.
"If, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14
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Re: How Do Near-Death Experiences Help the Mopologists?

Post by Analytics »

Gadianton wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 12:47 am
Dr. Scratch wrote:Interesting thoughts, Dr. Moore. To follow up, though: which "revealed gospel principles" are allowed to "safely coexist" here? Merely the idea of an afterlife? With all due respect, that doesn't seem very "scholarly." What is this "afterlife" like? How do the NDE folks' anecdotes help to bolster LDS theology? If the Mopologists truly do possess the characteristics you described, wouldn't they want better answers to these questions?
There's some rich irony here also. DCP purposely avoids any and all Mormon NDE material. Aside from Julie Rowe, there's a book by nuclear engineer Alvin S. Gibson who documents 40 LDS near death experiences. Here's one by Jane Moe, who had an NDE and then converted to the Church. You'll never hear about these folks from DCP. Why? The list goes on and on. How about Lance Richardson?

DCP has silenced their voices.
NDE’s are a fascinating glimpse into the realm of life after death.

Mormon NDE’s make Mormons look gullible and provincial. Do they provide any alleged revelatory insight into anything the least bit interesting? If so, they are coming from unauthorized sources and are hence invalid.

The downside risk to acknowledging them isn’t worth any potential upside.
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Re: How Do Near-Death Experiences Help the Mopologists?

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https://www.ldsliving.com/What-Role-Sho ... th/s/85305

In our day, if stories of near death experiences contain anything more or less than the saving, atoning power of Jesus Christ they should be ignored as the Church has concluded.
The rest of the article really places some tight restrictions on NDEs and how they should be noted among members.

- Doc
Clinton King commenting on SeN: "My (perhaps) uncommon personal opinion: I find it easier to doubt the accuracy of carbon dating than the historicity of the Book of Abraham narrative." Good, Lord.
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Re: How Do Near-Death Experiences Help the Mopologists?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Analytics wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:15 am

NDE’s are a fascinating glimpse into the realm of life after death.

Mormon NDE’s make Mormons look gullible and provincial. Do they provide any alleged revelatory insight into anything the least bit interesting? If so, they are coming from unauthorized sources and are hence invalid.

The downside risk to acknowledging them isn’t worth any potential upside.
That's a great point, Analytics: are NDEs correlated?
"If, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14
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Re: How Do Near-Death Experiences Help the Mopologists?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:59 am
https://www.ldsliving.com/What-Role-Sho ... th/s/85305

In our day, if stories of near death experiences contain anything more or less than the saving, atoning power of Jesus Christ they should be ignored as the Church has concluded.
The rest of the article really places some tight restrictions on NDEs and how they should be noted among members.

- Doc
Doctor Cam, you neglected to quote some of the most important points:
Near-death experiences, if they happen at all, are not meant for public consumption or sharing as we have so often been reminded through Joseph Smith’s prophetic instruction:

“Let us be faithful and silent and if God gives you a manifestation, keep it to yourselves” (see History of the Church 2:309).

And, “I will inform you that it is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the church, or any one, to receive instructions for those in authority, higher than themselves. But if any person have a vision or a visitation from a heavenly messenger, it must be for his (or her) own benefit and instruction” (HC 1:338, emphasis added).
(emphasis added)

Wow. Let that sink in for a moment. Joseph Smith himself--i.e., the *protagonist* of the upcoming Witnesses movie--said as plainly as can be: "it must be for his (or her) own benefit and instruction." And yet here is Dr. Peterson, trying to drum up clicks and views by exploiting *other* people's NDEs! How shameful! And this isn't even scratching the surface in terms of the "idolatry" and attempting to profit, off of JS's sacred visions via the "Witnesses" movie.

Regardless, Dr. Peterson shouldn't be sharing these "manifestations"--especially on his public blog. This is a direct contradiction of the Prophet's instructions--it's straight-up insubordination, is what it is. I think Dean Robbers is turning out to be correct yet again that this is a kind of "apostasy." I wonder: have the Heartlanders been alerted to the fact that "Sic et Non" is blatantly ignoring directives issued by Joseph Smith himself? Do the Brethren know about this?

And it really has to sting that the article that you linked to, Dr. Cam, was written by Dr. Taylor Halverson--a major contributor to "Interpreter."
"If, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14
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