An attorney for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints predicts secularism will be one of the most significant obstacles facing the LDS Church over the coming decade.
William F. Atkin, associate general counsel for the LDS Church, made the prognostication Saturday during an address at the 2010 J. Reuben Clark Law Society Conference on the University of Utah campus.
“When governments become neutral towards religion, we see less and less protection of religion and religious activities,” he said. “Secularism in the world is neutral at best towards religions and hostile at worst. We’re seeing more and more that it is hostile, not just neutral, towards religion.”
In the United States, secularism could result in changing how the tax code treats nonprofit religious organizations.
“We think there’s going to be a tightening now of what kind of entities get tax-exempt status,” Atkin said. “Maybe churches are no longer going to be viewed as such a positive influence in society — therefore (maybe) they’re not going to be granted tax-exempt status.”
For weeks, I’ve been prodding people to vote for this blog in the 2009 William Law X-Mormon Awards. Well, my incessant nagging paid off—we won! We won two Brodies! My post “Watching LDS General Conference so you don’t have to” was awarded “Best Humor Piece,” and we collectively won “Best New Blog.”
I was troubled the other day by one of my friends who though unreligious had an abiding belief in demons and ghosts. I have found the best way to fell a tree is to strike at its roots and so I researched into the subject of demons and in more particular the great demon himself, Satan.
Known by many names: Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, The Great Serpent/Dragon , the Morning Star, The Fallen One, and the Prince of Darkness, has played a central role in the development of the major three religions and thus the history of the world. Satan’s roots began in the Torah and are of particular note in the Book of Job. Hebrews didn’t see Satan as an evil demigod but rather saw him as a prosecutor of the law. For all intents and purposes the Hebrew word from which Satan is derived literally means adversary or prosecutor. The Hebrews viewed Satan as an agent for God who held the power of good and evil. Just as prosecutors are agents of the state. He was merely fulfilling his duty as prosecutor when he accused Job of being pure only on account of being spoiled by God.
Alternate title: “The Problem With Supernatural Explanations”
People often tell me “science can’t prove that God does not exist, because you can’t prove a negative”. How often?
Ok, it’s really not that often.
It’s said that you can’t prove a negative because you can’t exhaustively examine and eliminate every place in the universe, so you can’t be 100% certain that something does not exist. Interestingly enough, however, the claim that “you can’t prove a negative” is itself an unrestricted negative. It effectively says “there are no proofs of unrestricted negatives”. If so, then no one can prove that no one can prove an unrestricted negative. And if no one can prove that no one can prove an unrestricted negative, then it must be logically possible to prove an unrestricted negative. The claim is self-refuting.
It should not only be possible to prove a negative, but I intend to show that a number of them have already been proven.