I endeavor to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures faithful to reason.

My cause of action exists in the pursuit of justice over laws and institutions that exploit, manipulate, and dominate.

My body is inviolable, subject to my will alone.

My feelings are mine, alone. 

I respect the freedom of others, including their freedom to offend me.

To encroach upon the freedoms of another forgoes my freedoms.

My beliefs conform to the best scientific understanding of the world. 

I take care never to distort scientific facts to fit my ideas.

I do my best to rectify and resolve any mistake I make.

Each of my guiding principles exists to inspire virtue, goodness, honor, decency, and integrity.

My spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice prevails over my attitudes, beliefs, customs, traditions, and values.

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Comment by Loren Miller on April 24, 2016 at 9:06am

A note, here regarding Point One:

I endeavor to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures faithful to reason.

I would say that, at least on initial contact, that same compassion and empathy needs to be employed toward those whose reason has been co-opted by irrational belief.  Not all of these people are the snake-oil salesmen who rightfully deserve our derision.   A great many of these are victims, either of their education / indoctrination or a pervasive environment of purposeful ignorance which has left them less than capable of challenging the dominant point of view.  This is the approach Peter Boghossian takes in his attempt to deprogram believers with both deft method and personal consideration.  We need to remember that people we admire, people like Dan Barker and Seth Andrews and Matt Dillahunty started out not just as believers but hard-core believers, yet are now among the strongest on our side of the ledger.  And we need to remember that we can present the horse with the water.  The horse will choose whether it wants to drink.

We also need to recognize when we are banging our head against an implacable wall as well.  Debates with the likes of Ken Ham or Sye Ten Bruggencate or any of those who have a vested interest in the stupidity they promulgate must be weighed against the collateral benefits which may be realized.  The been-there-done-that test should be deployed, especially when such arguments in multiple iterations are easily available on YouTube and similar venues on given topics.

If we value reason, we need to USE reason and be careful of pat statements which may be problematic.

Comment by Loren Miller on April 23, 2016 at 6:47pm

Damned good, Joan ... and I gladly concur on all points.



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