Friday, July 19, 2013

A Safe Date

I dated a ton before my mission.  One time I even had 8 dates during the same week (I might have had to stretch the definition of "date" a bit for that -- I counted homework dates where we got a snack afterwards).  I recall talking to a mission companion about how much I enjoyed those dates.  This particular companion had known me before the mission and laughed.  He explained to me that the girls enjoyed dating me because I was "safe."  Somehow I broadcasted to the girls around me that dating me would be just for fun -- I was not into drama and going steady and all that.  My companion explained that it was like when girls liked dating gay guys -- they were safe dates, free from drama and stress.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Logical Fallacies - Appeal to Authority

Okay, now we get to a real confusing one.  Almost everything everyone believes is based on trust in some authority figure.  Most people haven't actually performed the gold foil experiment that demonstrates the existence of atoms, or even know someone who has.  But we're taught about them by teachers who were taught them by professors, who were taught about them in their own classes, etc.  There's simply not enough time or resources for everyone to experience everything, so we have to use trusted sources, teachers, encyclopedia articles, and other such authority figures.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Writing vs. Speaking

I looked back on my mission journal, and saw again how my writing looked very clinical.  I don't put very much emotion into it.  Mainly, I have lists of schedules and milestones.  I talk about doctrine a bit, and it reads rather didactically.  However, when I talked to people as a missionary, I was very fluid.

I look at my blog now, and I see some of the same things.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


When I was young, I didn't have a great sense of belonging.  I didn't feel like I belonged in any particular group of peers.  I often satisfied that need through reading, as I often identified with the characters in books more closely than those in the real world.  But also, I'm not sure I felt that need as strongly as others.  I rather relished my "outsider" status, at least in my own eyes.  But the need to belong was still there.  As I grew through my teen years, I developed a much better sense of community, and had a great group of friends.  And while I still feel like I didn't exactly "belong," I felt friendship and appreciation, which were what I really needed.  I think, some may feel that to honestly feel like I belonged, I would have had to reveal my gay orientation to a group of friends, and that was not going to happen.  But even then, I'm not sure I would have really belonged.  Or maybe I'm misunderstanding.  What does it mean to belong?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Cogito Ergo Sum

I think, therefore I am.  Thus said Rene deCarte, the famous mathematician and philosopher.  If I didn't exist, I couldn't question my existence, so I must exist.  However, I can't know your thoughts.  This puzzle has yet to reach a logical conclusion.  How do we know anything beyond our own existence?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Logical Fallacies - Appeal to Popularity

"If everybody else walked off the edge of a cliff, would you?"  You've probably heard some form of that phrase.  It is a warning about the appeal to popularity, the attempt to prove a point simply because it is a popular belief.  Sometimes it sounds like peer pressure (everybody is doing it).  But in it's purest form, it is an appeal to some common belief as evidence for its truth.