Essays

Discover our in-depth essays on all kinds of interesting and important topics

Faith or Famine?

Modern and ancient revelations warn us to be prepared spiritually and temporally for a wide range of potential disasters. But Helena Kleinlien’s presentation uses preparedness as a jumping-off point for spreading all kinds of falsehoods.

Hume and True Skepticism: How Do We Know?

Hume’s basic epistemological framework evaluates things on the basis of their origins. Is this really how people think? More importantly, is this really how people should think? Is this the way of thinking most likely to identify truth or pragmatic value?

Intelligences, Subjective Phenomenology, and Transcendence

Those who have observed mysticism and revelation from a physiological perspective acknowledge that religious experience is a real mental and neurological phenomenon. But the ability of revelation to give us knowledge by which we live our lives remains in doubt.

Hume’s Slight-of-Hand Skepticism

Hume argues that miracles are logically impossible, because they are defined as breaking the laws of nature, and everyone knows through the sum of their empirical observation that breaking the laws of nature is impossible. This method of reconciling contradictory proofs is epistemologically bankrupt.

The Necessity of Suffering in Frankl’s Existentialism

In Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor K. Frankl stops short of saying that suffering is an essential. But in examining each of the sources of meaning Frankl identified, we can see that the suffering endemic to these sources is necessary for them to possess meaning.

Autonomy, Power, and the Possible: A Brief Intellectual History

Given the radically different understandings of human autonomy, the degree to which autonomy is possible and the approach to achieve or to get closer to it depends on each individual thinker’s conception of the forces that oppose autonomy.

Foundation of Our Faith: The First Vision in Church Publication and Film

Did the Restoration begin with Joseph Smith’s First Vision? Or did it begin with the Book of Mormon and the visions of the angel Moroni? The Latter-Day Saint perspective on that question has changed significantly: It took until 1976 for a film featuring the First Vision to be made