Sunday, September 20, 2009

Korihor's Philosophical Tapestry

Nathan Richardson at LDSPhilosopher.com has done a great job analyzing the philosophy of the antichrist Korihor, and Alma's response in unraveling it, in the 30th chapter of the Book of Alma, in the Book of Mormon. It consists of 3 parts, introductions of each can be found here. An excerpt:
While teaching among the Nephites, Korihor lays out a variety of complaints he has about the doctrines taught in the Church of Christ. He asserts that there is no life after death, that guilt is caused by a frenzied mind rather than a conscience, and that prophecies are just foolish traditions.

Alma could have taken the same shotgun approach that Korihor used, peppering Korihor with detailed counter-arguments to each of his assertions. The first time I read Alma 30, that is what I was expecting, or at least hoping for. I thought, “Alma could explain near-death-experiences as evidence of life after death,” or, “Maybe he’ll talk about ‘Natural Law’ or what C. S. Lewis calls ‘the Tao’ as evidence that everyone naturally discerns basic good and evil without it necessarily being inculcated,” or, “He might explain some ancient prophecies that had come true as evidence of their divine origin.”

In fact, Alma could have even brought up his encounter with an angel. He could have said, “Korihor, I have seen a divine being, so I do know they exist.” But Alma did none of this.

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