Unlike most people, I love being corrected. I always have. This is because I am head-over-heels in love with truth. I want to know things. I don’t want to believe in falsehoods and I don’t care who gets the credit for discovery. I only care that the facts get out. It not only bothers me when people disrespect truth, but when other people are actually hurt by their ill-informed actions. Those in positions of authority (whether parents, teachers, employers, or government officials) are especially problematic. They hurt me, they hurt others, and most importantly, they offend my beloved facts and logic.
If I ask questions, it is not to make you look foolish; it is so I can learn and understand. I don’t mind questions. If I interject some random fact into conversation, it is not to show off; it is to educate, entertain, and better everyone involved (including myself). I don’t mind hearing interesting news. If I call out your lies, it is not to hurt you; it is only to defend those you hope to take advantage of. I hope that others would defend me in the same way.
While I have many opinions of which I am sure, there are many more things on which I merely lean one way or the other, and many more things on which I have no opinion at all. My lack of commitment to one school of thought or another is neither a rejection of that school, nor is it submission to a rival school. It simply means I do not know. I am perfectly happy to have a mystery still unsolved. I would rather not know than “know” the wrong thing. I am forever learning.
All truth is the same truth. Good science will agree with good religion and vice versa. Each is a different path to the same thing. So it is with philosophy and math. All form a single, coherent world. I do not compartmentalize contradictory worldviews. Not everything can be true. Just as science can tell us how a dandelion “works,” science is also a perfectly legitimate way to understand how God works. Theology is the dissection and measurement of the spiritual world.
I am not a mindless follower of others. I do not join groups first and then adopt their positions as my own second. I arrive at my own conclusions first, and rarely, if ever, get around to joining a group at all. The reputations of those who agree (or disagree) with me mean nothing.
I love debate. What better way is there to test the truth of some idea than run it by another person who tries to shoot it down? Debate is first a fact-finding exercise, and only an opportunity to look smart a distant second. I’ve never denied having an ego, but where the truth is concerned, it is the farthest thing from my mind. I never defend “my” position; I defend the “right” one. If I am ever wrong, the best way to defeat me is with facts. I don’t think you’re wrong because I disagree with you, I disagree with you because you’re wrong.
When I observe others debating some issue, I might not always know all the underlying facts or the educational credentials of the speakers, but I can always recognize unsound reasoning when I hear it. It matters not who is loudest or who was the better actor in pretending to believe their claims. By seeking out and listening to every side of every issue, I learn which set of foundational facts everyone agrees on and then discard any conclusion that does not follow from the facts. This way, while I cannot tell when someone lies outright, I can spot half-truths and spin miles away.
I am often called arrogant or argumentative and it happens at the most surprising times. All I want to do is learn and I sometimes assume that others want the same. This gets me into a lot of trouble. I am told that I always think I’m right by people who also always think they are right. The irony is lost on them. Really, I just want to see the truth prevail.
Hopefully this clears up some misconceptions.
My name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small.