Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Traditio- Blake Ostler

As a religious person, a question I am asked, and I assume others are asked as well, is how do you know that your religion, rather than the other religions, is correct? Many people will make an appeal to an experience they had when praying about a certain text, or a feeling they got while listening to a sermon, or another experience that confirms, subjectively, that what they have been thinking about is true, or has some truth in it.

The counter to this is that many religions have members who claim religious experiences, so the fact that you had one means very little; there is no way to show that your experience was true and the others were not. This is a fair argument, but does it follow from this that religious experiences mean nothing?

To answer this question, I am posting a presentation of my friend and mentor Blake Ostler at the 2007 FairMormon conference. Blake is a lawyer, philosopher, and theologian who has written Exploring Mormon Thought: The Attributes of God, Exploring Mormon Thought: The Problems of Theism And the Love of God , Exploring Mormon Thought: Of God and Gods, and Fire on the Horizon: A Mediation on the Endowment and Love of Atonement. I am not just trying to be provocative when I state that not only is Blake one of the brightest minds and clearest thinkers in Mormonism, but he is also one of the most charitable people I know. I do not agree with Blake on everything, but he is always willing to listen to what I have to say, and vice versa, and I always leave our conversations with a desire to go and learn more about various subjects. Blake truly is one in a million.

Hope you all enjoy his presentation.

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