A pledge to live by
The universe was born 14 billion years ago and still expanding.
Live and evolution in it are random and chaotic, and we are part of it.
This is our reality, and relativism is none.
Science enlightens me, its method and moral guide me
Honesty and discipline they require.
Reason and skepticism drive my mind.
Rhetoric lost it.
Fallacy and bias I have to fight.
Ideas are my own, but they ask for
Coherence and clarity, falsification and reproducibility.
Evaluation helps me to dig up error.
Courage I need to accept and spread the results.
Trust follows. We all do the same because trust matter.
Justice trumps equality. Cooperation trumps freedom.
They are the answers I need to solve social dilemmas.
This is my code, this is my moral which I hereby pledge to live by, defend and teach. Everyone who took it, I pledge to support and protect.
Update : January 20, 2015
Note : Two major changes. Style and the fundamental idea of social dilemmas
Pledges for science exist (1), however the present pledge has two strong peculiarities which need to be explain to understand its scope:
- The pledge state a dozen of concepts that are common to several communities defending science (rationalist, skeptics, and humanists). For members of those communities, these concepts are nobody’s secret, but they never state them all together in public. The pledge state them explicitly and express them as the binding clue of all members of those communities.
- The pledge claims three moral values bear by science thinking: honesty, discipline, courage. Therefore the pledge claims the right for science based thinking to set foot in the social affair of the society. What do they mean? Courage is to face the consequences of your acts. Discipline is the mental effort needed to reach one’s goal. Honesty is to not lure yourself, and, at some point, people around you (if it’s wrong it’s wrong, no matter who you are or how long you have worked on it). (Don’t bend the reality to your desires).
A pledge is a ritual. Rituals are an important part of human community history, and are strongly anchored in our life. Rituals are essential to any group to ensure their aims and the well-being. Rituals strengthen the group’s identity which lead to promote trust among members, because we trust more easily people which whom we share common values and past actions (The more you look like me -> the more I know how you will react -> you’re not a treat -> I trust you more than any other). Trust elicits cooperation, which is the very value of any groups to achieve their goals.
Books about cooperation, trust, modern strategies in life, social dilemma:
– The Evolution of Co-operation by Robert Axelrod
– Rock, paper, scissors by Len Fisher
The present pledge is an aggregate of concepts whose form is inspired by Haiku, a kind of Japanese poetry. The first draft was in plain text, but it was a long and complex text to read. For non-writers, you have to know that writing difficult concepts in plain text always leads to add many unessential sentences for the sake of clarity. Poetry is often an elegant solution to express numbers of difficult concepts in a condensed form, hence the haiku idea.
How to take the pledge:
This a pledge about sharing common ground concepts about live and society, about being together and to build a better present. There aren’t rules to take the pledge except the obvious ones like respect the law of your country. You are free to take it while jumping from a plane or whispering it while inside a cathedral.
It’s not how you take the pledge, it’s what you think while taking it. The pledge is not a litany, it has a deep meaning which aim to change your mind. The first times you take the pledge try to think about its meanings. A second level would be to think about a particular book that might be linked to themes of the pledge. A third level would be to think about ways to help your community.
Why taking the pledge:
We are leaving in a dark edge. It’s not the first time human civilization cross the line, but it’s our time, our dark age and we have to deal with it the best way we can. The pledge is a call for people to unify around a set of ideas that the pledge states and around a powerful tool to fight darkness, clear and morale thinking based on science thinking.