Prolegomena

I won’t be putting a whole lot of personal information here.  In a typical post you won’t see me talking about how wonderful my wife, daughter, and cats are (though they are wonderful), or about how my day was, or what color shoes I wear.  Having had some negative experiences in my early years on the Net, I am leery about having too much personal stuff out where it’s accessible to third parties besides myself and my family and friends.

However, I will be discussing various things on this blog, and I think it’s always fair to let people know where you’re coming from intellectually and ideologically (I use “ideologically” not in the sense of an ideologue–I despise those and try to avoid “ideology” in the bad sense–but in more neutral terms of worldview).  My views will become obvious over time anyway, but it never hurts to start with some basic disclosure.

My main training is science in general and math in particular.  My degree is in math, with substantial physics as well, and a little bit of chemistry and biology.  I don’t claim to be a brilliant mathematician by any means; but it does inform my thinking on science and other areas.  I have no patience for bad or bogus science, and have a mildly skeptical temperament.  However, I’d describe myself, following Marcello Truzzi, as more a “zetetic”.  That is, while I’m inclined to seek proof and not willing to buy into any wacko thing that comes down the road, I do try to keep an open mind, and I think there may be more to some so-called “paranormal” phenomena than is admitted by some in conventional science.

In short, I try to be neither a starry-eyed, fluffy-bunny believer nor a hard-headed, out-to-debunk-everything super-skeptic. 

Religiously, I am Roman Catholic (though for reasons I’ll discuss in the future, I prefer to leave the “Roman” off).  Liturgically I’m almost reactionary, as I am fond of the Latin Mass (at least in theory–in principle I’ve been to few that edified me), though I’m OK with the so-called Novus Ordo, too.  Theologically I incline more in favor of Orthodox apophatic theology.  I used to be inclined to Thomism-Aristotelianism, but have reverted back more to what I think was always my default temperament of being Platonic (neo-, meso-, paleo–they’re all good).  I agree with the Church on most doctrine, but would take a minimalist approach as to what actually comprises doctrine.  I am ambivalent about infallibility as usually construed (long story for another time).  I am a cautious universalist (also a long story for another time).

I should point out that I converted to Catholicism as an adult, after a not-particularly religious upbringing and after having studied most major world religions.  I’m sympathetic to Buddhism and to a lesser degree Hinduism.  My feelings about Judaism and Islam fluctuate, but I find Zoroastrianism interesting.  I’ve always had great respect for Daoism, and have gained an appreciation for Confucianism as I’ve grown older.  My feelings about Gnosticism have fluctuated–I’m in a somewhat pro-Gnostic frame of mind lately, while trying to stay not too far on the fringe of orthodoxy.

Philosophically I’m drawn to Platonism in its various forms.  I have always been a definite mathematical Platonist, and I think that strong intuition informs much of my thought in other areas.  I’m not too crazy about most philosophies from the Renaissance onward, especially that of the 20th Century.

In terms of the things that interest me, I’m all over the  place.

This post is not exhaustive, but it’s a start!

Posted on 22/06/2011, in Blogging and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I bet you like Sufism too, judging from your choice of website patron. BTW I like your posts on the American Conservative’s Rod Dreher blog.

  1. Pingback: Le Coeur a Ses Raisons « The Chequer-board of Nights and Days

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