Monday, June 13, 2016

A Gesture of Love from "The Friend"?

This month’s cover of The Friend (a children’s magazine published by the LDS church) shows two children eating a watermelon. It’s a terrific drawing, but, at least at first glance, not that different from what you might expect to see on the cover of a children’s magazine. However, upon closer inspection, I noticed two things that make me smile.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Wisdom from "Spotlight"

In the movie Spotlight, (which is about the Boston Globe’s investigation of the sex abuse scandal within the Catholic church), there’s an interesting conversation between reporter Michael Rezendes and Richard Sipe, a former Catholic priest who helped the Globe with their investigation:

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Near-Death Experiences

One of the foundational teachings of most religions, including my own, is that some part of us — usually called the “spirit” or “soul” — continues to live after physical death. Near-death experiences (NDEs) strengthen my faith that this is true.

I recognize that NDEs do not prove there is an afterlife. It is certainly possible that NDEs are caused by nothing more than physical changes in a stressed or dying brain. I have read about a number of proposed materialist explanations for NDEs, such as the release of endorphins or other opioids, lowered levels of oxygen, increased levels of carbon dioxide, imperfect anesthesia, etc. Personally, however, I don’t find these explanations particularly compelling.

The following are some of the most notable NDEs that I’ve read about (and for which the proposed materialist explanations seem inadequate):