Who am I? To start, I'm originally from Chicago, now living in Springfield, Illinois. I'm a sports nut: basketball, football and MMA specifically. I love fantasy and sci-fi. My favorite movie is Fight Club. I love tattoos. I'm a gamer geek who plays Dungeons & Dragons and other RPGs. I am a music aficionado; however, unlike our resident rocker Mike D, I have no musical talent aside from a fairly decent singing voice (and an uncanny ability to write hip hop lyrics). I am left-handed, like my fellow skeptical southpaw Tristan.

I am a Bible college graduate. I earned a degree in theology (with heavy emphasis on philosophy and world religions) from Lincoln Christian College (now Lincoln Christian University). I was ordained into Christian ministry, and I maintained a website devoted to Christian apologetics. I spent eight years in professional Christian ministry.

Who am I? Above all else, I am a truth seeker. I always have been. I wanted to believe in god, but I didn't want to just believe: I wanted to have good reason to believe. I wanted knowledge, not just wishful thinking. Because of this, I became a philosopher and a freethinker, which led to my becoming a former minister, an ex-Christian, an agnostic, and eventually an atheist.

I am an intellectual. This does not mean I think I’m a genius; rather, it means I aspire to be an intellectual as Christian author James Sire defines the term:
... Richard Hofstadter gives us a helpful list of the qualities characteristic of intellectual life: "disinterested intelligence, generalizing power, free speculation, fresh observation, creative novelty, radical criticism." 
To be sure, each one of these qualities carries with it an implied ability. It assumes, for example, that one actually could have an intelligence that pursues truth regardless of its implications for one's life or the life of one's community or country. It assumes that one can speculate without the restraints of prejudice, self-interest or prior commitment to a way of life or set of values. It assumes the ability to see with eyes no longer clouded by past vision. It assumes that newness of vision and novelty of notion are, at least for the most part, virtues. And finally, it undermines all of the above by recognizing radical criticism as an essential element, not at the moment noting that if radical criticism is turned back on the other qualities, it is possible that none of them will remain. Radical criticism is indeed the sharpest ax in the intellectual forest, and it has been wielded so well by those masters of the hermeneutic of suspicion - Marx, Freud, Nietzsche... 
Hofstadter distinguishes between intelligence and intellect. Intelligence is simply mental ability, being able to use the mind well in a wide range of circumstances. In this sense, most professionals - lawyers, doctors, editors, accountants, engineers - use their intelligence much of the time. But, says Hofstadter... professionals live "off ideas, not for them." Living off ideas is employing instrumental knowledge: knowledge for the sake of something other than knowledge itself. The intellectual, on the other hand, has an almost religious dedication to ideas as such, which, when it is not balanced by playfulness, can quickly turn into ideological fanaticism. True intellectuals, however, have fun with ideas; they move them around, back and forth, turn them on their heads, submit them to ironic reflection, test them with their imagination and don't get so enamored of their own brilliance that they become nothing more than sophisticated, arrogant prigs. [1]
James Sire was one of my favorite writers when I was a Christian. Even now, his definition of intellectual remains with me. Sire remarks that one who engages in intellectual life must "have an intelligence that pursues truth regardless of its implications." In spite of Sire's admonition to consider intellectual life as a Christian calling, I worked to become the intellectual Sire describes, but following the premise that truth has nothing to fear from scrutiny. Sire himself says intellectuals "speculate without the restraints of prejudice, self-interest or prior commitment to a way of life or set of values." I did exactly as he said to do. Thus, James Sire is, in part, responsible for my eventual acceptance of atheism.

I am a blogger - quite unintentionally, actually. I never meant to create an ongoing blog. At the time, I was entirely unfamiliar with how blogging works. I just needed a place where I could share my thoughts and sort out what I believed (and didn't believe) about god. Because of this, Dead-Logic was born in October, 2009, and it became the vehicle through which I would tell the story of my exodus from religion and speak out as an advocate of critical thinking. Now I have the honor of being part of the team of writers known as SC3PTICS, and the privilege of continuing to speak out on behalf of logic, reason, and the pursuit of truth.

1. James W. Sire, Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), p. 25-26.