I am an MSc graduate living in the southwest of the UK. I was born in 1989 and I eat too much sugar.
I blog for the simple reason that I like sharing reasonable but complex ideas and opinions with an audience that is not shy about rebuttal and criticism. I write discussions, debates, polemics and heuristics on an array of things, with an inexplicable focus on religion. I can’t really justify that: I agree with many of my atheist blogger colleagues that religion and the epistemology that underpins pure religion has a potential to be a retrograde force in the world and that immunising fundamentalist, bigoted views against criticism under the guise of “tolerance” is a politically and socially dangerous move. However, I live in the UK and save for extreme global examples like ISIS, we don’t see that kind of discourse actually taking place. Not to mention that I don’t believe that religious communities are actually filled with pure-religion philosophies; it is a source of great comfort that most religious people I have met actually have a great respect for science and ethical discussions that don’t rest on their personal interpretation a Holy Book.
I find religion a fascinating topic. Apologetics and apologists rarely find themselves criticised by other religious people, despite many of them offering patently misleading arguments; they are in violation of the 9th Commandment as can be pretty assured that criticism will not rain down on them. (Their willingness to deceive is also, I’d argue, evidence for their lack of conviction.) Apologist and theologian bloggers often find themselves trespassing on areas of science and ethics, which opens up sincerely interesting topics. I enjoy engaging with that, and I am under no illusion of being a social crusader in my criticism of religion.
I am, however, interested in a vast array of other areas: language, storytelling, food and water security, philosophy, science and social commentary are all areas I enjoy discussing. I plan to start to move away from religious conversation for this reason: there are more immediately important, interesting and polemic discussions to be had.
I used to be a teacher and that has impacted on how I think about blogging. I don’t like writing more than about 1,000 words for a post, even if the topic is quite broad and would lend itself to being an entire book. This is, in part, because I intend to write polemics and heuristics: I want my readers to critically engage with what I’m writing and that’s difficult over a 10,000 word treatise.