Where I Come From
I’m a middle-aged guy born in early 1973. My parents divorced when I was about 12. Despite being the son of a deacon in the Episcopal church, I came to seriously question the existence of God by the time I was 16. In college, I started out an agnostic, then became an atheist, and finally got involved with New Age/Spiritism beliefs. During that time I was quite liberal. It was during this phase that I came to believe in the reality of the supernatural through various tests I conducted. It was only later that I realized the spirits I was communicating with were actually demons who wanted to influence or control me. My fear of them when I realized their true nature led me to cry out to God, and began a very slow process towards becoming a Christian several years later. Since then, I’ve attended church in a wide variety of denominations and have respect for almost all of them.
Of course, I didn’t just spend time in college exploring spiritual beliefs. I also majored in math, going on to get my master’s degree with an emphasis in logic. I taught math while in graduate school, and have taught both college and high school math since then. For the last ten years, I’ve worked as a programmer in various languages using a variety of databases.
The result of all that is I approach Christianity from a highly analytical mindset. I enjoy studying apologetics, for example. I like to see how the Old and New Testaments fit together. I like to see how science and archaeology support a Biblical understanding of the world.
My hobbies include video games, board games, role-playing games, reading (sci fi, fantasy, and romance), and writing. I’m also very interested in politics, especially economics, and Japanese culture. In all those things, I bring my mathematical perspective to bear.
The theme of my life can be summed up as this: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” I see mathematics as one of the purest forms of truth there is. I see the Bible as God’s revealed truth for us. I overcame seasonal depression by facing unpleasant truths in my personal life. I want to discover truth where I can, and help others understand it as well. This doesn’t mean I’m not wrong at times, but it does mean I have a clear goal.
The only way to be sure of the truth of a thing is this: to make my case for what I believe, and see if others can poke holes in it or not. As a result, I enjoy debating. While I like discussing things with people I agree with, they are usually the least likely to find flaws in my reasoning. So I regularly debate those who disagree with me, especially liberals about politics/economics. Since I used to be a liberal, it’s pretty easy to understand that perspective for me and find flaws in their reasoning.
Unfortunately, not everyone I’ve attempted to debate with follows the “rules” of reasoning and debate I would wish them to. I’ve seen discussions go in circles several ways, including devolving into personal attacks, turning into a series of increasingly irrelevant objections, complete changes of topic, and many other things. Those, more than anything else, drive me nuts. I love a good debate, but to have that, both sides have to agree on proper behavior.
If I put forth an idea and the counter is a logical fallacy, expect to be called on it. While I’m often happy to discuss most anything, it’s only possible to discuss one thing at a time and keep track of what’s being said. And, of course, I hope everyone out there will hold me to the same standard.