I was reading through Classical Thought (Vol. 1 in OUP's History of Western Philosphy) this morning, and the thought struck me how similar the Mormon view of the world is to the Homeric world view presented by the author. Both mix frequent supernatural events and interventions in with natural laws and forces as part of a comprehensive explanation of what happens in the world. It extends to personal events and fortunes as well as the fates of nations. Here's an interesting quote:
Those who look at the world in a Homeric way will find it easy to reconcile their outlook with their experience and observation. If I get caught in a storm at sea, perhaps I have offended Poseidon and it will blow over if I make a sacrifice to him. If the storm does not blow over, my belief is not refuted, since I have other explanations ready. Perhaps Poseidon was too angry to be appeased, or my sacrifice was too small, or another god intervened, or this particular storm "just happened" with no particular divine cause. If I hold this sort of view, it will be difficult to refute me by observation; indeed, I may well claim that naturalist assumptions about general laws violate the evidence of observation.
(p. 32). In a similar way, everything that happens to a person — good, bad, or ugly — fits nicely within the Mormon "mixed world view." [Note: There were a couple of related Bloggernacle discussions about the role of naturalism/supernaturalism in LDS belief about six months ago ... links?]