About Proof class…
You know, looking back, I realized that during the process – I was cursing and swearing at every single thing that didn’t make sense. I doubted that God could ever intervene in my life through Proof as I worked through the coursework… The way I was working on my Proof assignments didn’t seem Godly at all!
Now that I can wrap the course up, having understood what the theorems were trying to say, and giving my best attempt at trying to prove the theorems I can now finally do some navel-gazing.
- Proof is no doubt an extremely rigorous and challenging mathematics course that stretched my mind EVERY SINGLE CLASS. There was not one single one that I felt that I wasn’t learning some difficult new concepts.
- Beyond just math, Proof is also the course that made me rethink God and religion, how we go about “proving” things sufficiently… This coupled with the Historical Immersion Course I’m taking in Geometry actually speaks a lot about the way conceive concepts like numbers, math, abstractions, and truth in both a historical and proof-based manner. It was historic, beautiful, difficult. How did Euclid formalize so much in his lifetime? Where did he get the spark to start proving in a first-principles manner? I stand in awe.
- I realized that so much of what we prove is based on starting points and definitions. If we don’t have a good handle on the axioms/definitions, then how do we build up from there?
- That realization helped me say, look. I recognize that I can’t exactly prove the existence of God through “miracles” or impossible events all the time… The existence of suffering, free will, evil… These things can’t really be explained when juxtaposed right next to the idea of a Good God. Instead of looking for external validation, I needed to verify the internal coherency of religion. That is, to accept the claims of Genesis, of Jesus dying on the cross as axioms – claims that seem obviously true.
- That started me on a regular schedule of bible reading, of reaching out to friends wanting to learn more about Christianity.
- Proof is also the course that I hate – because the terminologies are so confusing, there is a right answer which you need to arrive at but the path isn’t clear. Hence, as with most problem-based courses, there’s a lot of wasted time just trying things and realizing how I failed on that path and troubleshooting what went wrong.
- The last 4 days helped me realize that the biggest jewels in my life are probably the friends and people that God has placed in my life. They encourage me to grow in faith, they offer me help in my coursework earnestly, they are my listening ear, they keep me in check so that I’m living life Good – I hope in the eudaimonic sense. He helps me through them.
Is God trying to tell me to do more of these courses which might spur me to reconsider religion?
Or 1 time is enough and the stress is a sign that I shouldn’t be doing more of these courses if the way I do the work isn’t Godly (Frustration, vexation, fear, anxiety, unhappiness, confusion)?