SEMI-RETIRED
This user is no longer very active on Wikipedia.
Committed identity: a616363661447bd25f0dfda8e323e1b974b4f2a792c9f6091bc411ecc206a54631f088d8137a47c3641bb8094f4b7102812b88da49ce706e5b8a60ac965ea634 is a SHA-512 commitment to this user's real-life identity.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

SalutationEdit

I'm Chrysostom. Or at least that's my handle. I'm a twenty-something American citizen. One thing's certain: I'm no Ernest Hemingway. I've often mused: what's the difference between extreme intelligence and genius or excellence? Creativity. Isaac Newton was creative. Einstein was creative. I may be a genious [sic: as a creationist, I'm surely not a genus!] but I lack the spark of creativity: the best I can ever do is to stand on the shoulders of giants :-)

I study philosophy, theology, religion, and Greek and Roman classical history, and many other things, from languages to advanced mathematics (I love field theories, gauge theories, topology, knot theory, and even game theory and combinatorics). I am trained as an electronics engineer, but credentials don't matter. I never finished high school, and I'm proud of it (and I'm an elitist at the same time: go figure. I may have earned scores of 1600 and 34 on the SAT and ACT respectively, and have pursued higher education: I may have not.

I'm discerning a vocation to the religious life or priesthood (as long as arrogance doesn't disqualify me, because I am right, after all). So much for the "only idiots are religious", "religion is the opiate of the masses" drivel.

I feel attracted to the Jesuits and Dominicans, of which I've yet to decide: once I was certain I was headed for the Society of Jesus, but I've begun to suspect it's too liberal for me to work smoothly in, as the upper and lower mandible instead of two lower mandibles (Meditations 2:1). The more I discern, the more I identify with the mendicant orders, as I have little desire for worldly possessions that can not be used to autodidactic ends. I may even be called to the pastoral priesthood (viz. Priestly Fraternity of St Peter) on some level, albeit not (yet) equivalent to my calling to the scholarly religious life.

I am a strong believer in Neutral Point of View. Whatever my personal feelings on a subject, I do not let it interfere with my professional detachment towards edits made to Wikipedia (unless I fall prey to megalomaniacal point of view: in any case, I at least think I'm neutral). However, all bets are off on my user and talk pages, where neutral writing will be terminated with extreme prejudice.

Some InterestsEdit

My interests include philosophy (specifically metaphysics and ethics, overarchingly, the philosophy of religion, the philosophy of mind and of science) and theology - especially Scholastic or Thomist theology, or "theological philosophy", or "philosophic theology", where the borders between the disciplines become blurred and indistinct. Thus leads to the next subject: a deep and abiding interest and love for religion, which I believe to be the highest and most noble ideal and practise of which Man has ever looked towards and attempted to attain to, for the most part, with some few exceptions: specifically, the Abrahamic religions. I don't have much interest in (which, for me, "not much interest" is best read as "much more interest than the average person") the Eastern religions, Dharmic or Taoic, although I have a relatively deep knowledge of both, specifically Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism (whether Buddhism, or certain schools of Buddhism, were or are sub-sects of Hinduism - or Vedic heresy, as it originally arose almost 3 millennia ago - is neither here nor there) and Jainism. I also have a moderate knowledge of Zoroastrianism (which I first heard about in a very indirect way by reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Nietzsche as a young teenager - and asking myself, "Who is this 'Zarathustra?'"), which does not neatly categorise in to either the Western or Eastern tradition.

I am a "traditionalist" Catholic, but not in the schismatic and reactionary sense that's become attached to the phrase - my views are so liberal as to be called apostasy even in so-called "liberal Islam" (a contradiction in terms). I'm FSSP traditionalist, not SSPX traditionalist.

Epitome of PoliticsEdit

I'm a strong social conservative with a radical centrist or quasi-socialist (that is, social market) view of economics, well described by the label of Christian Democrat if not Christian Socialist, as that ideology was originally conceived - not necessarily how it's evolved in modern Europe - with some elements of traditionalist conservatism. (It's all of the rest of you that are becoming so liberal as to make me appear a reactionary in comparison!)

LanguagesEdit

I have also an interest and an aptitude for languages. I also have a proficiency in the Greek language, which has been bolstered by my continuing efforts to read, and sometimes even translate, the Holy Bible from its original Greek, in the form of the great Septuagint and the writings of the New Testament in the original Greek according to the Textus Receptus, Westcott and Hort, Nestle and Aland, and the United Bible Societies (so, I suppose you could call me an amateur textual critic, but imagine the criticism I would face, holding Matthean priority and the actual possibility of prophecy, miracle, and the deity of Christ - heresy!) and also because it is the liturgical language of my grandmother's church, Eastern Orthodoxy (specifically the Greek Orthodox Church), until I became sick of all of the anti-intellectual sentiment present there, much like in Islam (and maybe imbibed or obtained by osmosis since the seat of the Eastern Orthodox Church has been held in thrall of various Islamic powers for 600 years, since the Sack of Constantinople - Istanbul, under the Mahometans - in 1453) - and yet further because it is the language in which Plato and Aristotle, the forefathers of all the institutions of both Rome and the modern West - including the "prime mover" behind Saint Thomas Aquinas's thought, to which I am greatly indebted - thought and wrote.

For this same reason - that of historical research in to the Scriptures - I have an low-intermediate (likely 1.5) proficiency in Biblical Hebrew, so that I might read the Masoretic text of the Old Testament, even though the Masoretic text dates to a later period, and preserves a less ancient recension of a different textual tradition than the LXX, which often agrees with the Dead Sea Scrolls over against the MT. I can read the script of Aramaic (and Syriac), but insofar as understanding goes, it's limited to cognates in Hebrew and Arabic and similarities in grammar: I am unable to read the Aramaic sections of the Bible, such as much of The Book of Daniel the Prophet or targumim or the ancient Syriac translation, the Peshitta, with any proficiency.

For many reasons, one similar, I embarked on the study of Latin: both because it is the liturgical language of my own church, the Roman Catholic, and out of a great love and respect for the civilisation and institutions of Ancient Rome and its people (albeit viewed through rose-colored spectacles, as there was probably just as much sexual promiscuity, immorality, and corruption in all levels of society then as there is today) and all of the developments it either developed directly or helped to incubate, including the beautiful Christian religion that bloomed within its borders even under oppressive persecution (not the best chapter of Rome's history). I'm still not sure whether I love Catholicism because it is Roman, or whether I love Rome because it gave its namesake to Catholicism, or a co-mingling - literally, a con-fusion, in the original sense of the term - of both.

To my regret, I placed little importance on non-English languages for much of my early life for myriad reasons, and even became actively hostile to them at one point to better "fit in" to American culture. Due to this, my linguistic abilities have undergone attrition, and I can not speak nor write them nearly as well as I might have been able to: also, I could be over-reacting by comparing my abilities in other languages to those I have with English, in which case they must by necessity seem to me to be inferior, even if they are not in fact.

I have an intermediate to advanced knowledge of Arabic as well, it being the liturgical language of Islam. Rote memorisation for the recitation of the Koran in ritualised prayers, and later in its Classical form to be able to read and understand the Koran: it is a belief of Islam that the only "true" Koran is in Arabic, and all translations of the Koran are actually "interpretations" or tafsir (this is why so many translations are named something like "The Message of the Qur'an" or "The Koran Interpreted"). I achieved my goal and read, and understood, the Koran - insofar as it can be understood, about 15% of it being nonsensical no matter the skill of the interpreter.

Computer ScienceEdit

I am also a trained computer scientist and electronic engineer, with a specific focus on information security. I am a Fellow of (ISC)^2. I am proficient in Assembly language (MASM32), C, C++ and Visual Basic, although I don't know enough Javascript, HTML/XML or CSS combined to cobble together a workable webpage. As this indicates, I have an interest in low-level programming, which is where all of the interesting stuff (and more) is: I have barely any interest in higher-level programming or the languages used to perform most of it, such as Java.

Statement of Faith: We believe "the cloud" is already outdated and outmoded, a marketing term which is an ill-fated attempt to resurrect the mainframe-terminal paradigm instead of the modern server-client model, although we believe this mainframe paradigm under a different name may be the way of the future for the technologically illiterate - moving towards ever thicker servers and thinner clients - but we, as the technologically inclined privacy and security advocates and fanatics, users of TOR, full-disk encryption and process and systems virtualization, members of the EFF, will never accept it, demanding that our data be our own, stored in a medium that we have physical access to. We also believe that MMORPG games are socially deleterious to the point of bordering on evil, insidiously replacing reality with virtuality. Amen.

AwardsEdit

  Clear Truth Award
This is a trophy for your valuable contributions here at the Wikipedia.

I hope you like it and be inspired to contribute more. So that people like me can be enlightened. Keep up the good work. :) Brendon is here 19:46, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

  Astrum horrei - The Original Gratuitous Barnstar of RM Consensus
Everybody pat their own back. Nicely conducted everyone - I take back my grumpiness at Jeffro. [Awarded multiply on the Twenty-ninth of March in the Year of our Lord two thousand and twelve, for unanimous consensus finally reached after 4 contentious RMs] In ictu oculi (talk) 14:00, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
  The Teamwork Barnstar
For your diligent attempts to collaborate on Genesis creation narrative. Your willingness to work in good faith with other editors is really appreciated!   — Jess· Δ 02:25, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
  The Christianity Barnstar
Thanks for all your contributions to WikiProject:Christianity related articles! Keep up the good work! With regards, AnupamTalk 02:40, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
  The Original Barnstar
This barnstar is awarded to everyone who did not - whatever their opinion - contribute to the discussion about Wikipedia and SOPA. Thank you for not being a part of the discussion. Awarded by JohnChrysostom, since everyone else has one. JohnChrysostom (talk) 17:40, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  You Found Me!
This user has found Chibi-anime-Girl's Secret Page! Who will be next? Can you find my Secret Page? Ver. 2.5
  Chubbennaitor's Hidden Barnstar
This user has found Chubbennaitor's Secret Page and proudly exhibits this award. See if you can find the hay-coloured pin in a haystack link?Ver. 2.5
  The Half Barnstar
For collaborative editing of English Standard Version by User:Basileias and User:JohnChrysostom 23:49, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
  The Surreal Barnstar
Dear JohnChrysostom, thank you for your kind comments about me recently. I appreciate your efforts in demonstrating to the community the positive things that I've added to Wikipedia and my intention to make this encyclopedia a better place. It means more to me than words can describe. Your friend, AnupamTalk 17:52, 9 May 2012 (UTC)