Pledge of Reason

I hereby Pledge

that I will always remain open
to the possibility
that everything I believe and hold to be true
might be wrong;

that I will always oblige myself
to continuously and relentlessly
justify logically
to myself
my every conviction;

that if I ever feel afraid
to engage openly and honestly
in a debate or conversation
for fear of having my convictions shaken
I shall uncompromisingly read this
as a sign
that my convictions are probably wrong;

and Concede

that if I ever express
a sentiment that boils down to
‘nothing you say could ever change my mind’
I shall from that point forward
be regarded as a fanatic
and not be taken seriously.

If you read that you are now my witness of having taken the pledge and if you agree with me that these are valuable positions to stand by in the world today please feel free to take it yourself by reblogging this.

Thank you.

19 thoughts on “Pledge of Reason

    • No, it can not. Logic can of course certainly lead you to conclusions that are wrong though. Any logical reasoning can only ever be as reliable as the information it is based on, and that is precisely the reason for why it is important to constantly reavaluate everything you think you know and be open to the possibilty that everything you think you know could be wrong.


    • ‘~A’ can mean different things in different systems of notation but I will assume you meant it as either an approximation or an equivalence relation and answer that. Correct me if you meant something else.

      A is indeed not ~A and never can be in any absolute sense, which means that ~A will always be the best we get. We can do our best though to find the most accurate ~A ultimately available to us, and that lim ~A will always be arrived at through the process of logical reasoning.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That is a pretty good answer. You do not seem like a Pretentious Bum at all to me.

    “I hereby Pledge that I will always remain open
    to the possibility that everything I believe and hold to be true
    might be wrong”
    Including A is not ~A ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Including A is not ~A?”
      Of course. Ultimately everything and anything is possible.

      We are in every moment of our lives choosing to believe in one of an infinite number of possible ‘truths’ in relation to all relevant information we posses and all the ‘truths’ we have previously chosen to believe in. It can be discussed, at length, what’s reasonable or not in terms of how you go about choosing what to believe in, but I believe that most important of all is that you remain humble to the fact that ultimately you could be wrong about everything and allow for the possibility, however remote, that anyone might change your mind about anything.

      I see or hear almost anywhere I look now the attitude of ‘that is what I believe and nothing you say could ever change my mind’ and it scares and saddens me because that is the attitude of fanatics and extremists. That’s what inspired me to write this piece.

      “You do not seem like a Pretentious Bum at all to me.”
      Thanks, that’s reassuring. 😉
      No, the ‘Pretentious Bum’ thing is in reference to what you feel like, in my experience, a whole lot of the time, trying to take yourself seriously as an author. I posted a poem about it here a while back. Perhaps it’s unnecessarily comfusing as a tagline for the whole blog but on the other hand it seems to grab people’s attention.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi,
      I think that in the strictest sense you are correct in saying that all cognition is subjective. However, regarding the reasoning in the post as a whole I think that you have failed to account for a couple of important aspects, which have resulted in your conclusions being somewhat off the mark, or at least drawn a step too far:

      Human beings, as a result of our ability to communicate with each other on a cognitive level, do not have cognition only as individuals. Every individual human, as you said, have a unique cognitive perspective but because these perspectives are, as you said, similar enough to appear to make sense to each other human beings are continuously comparing notes and compiling collective cognitive perspectives. Humanity does thus not consist merely of an array of isolated individual ‘cognizers’ but also of a vastly greater number of collective cognitive processes on various levels an a resulting aggregate collective cognition that is shared by all of mankind, to different degrees, and that vastly transcends what any individual could be capable of.

      The scientific awareness ultimately lies outside human cognition, is, in every meaningful sense, ultimately objective and serves to further objectivize human cognition. Science is of course a language by which humans make available knowledge which would otherwise be not but the laws of nature that it ultimately describes excists entirely independent of human cognition. How advanced our science can get is of course ultimately limited by our ability to construct relevant instruments, interpret the resulting information, and in the end of course by our capacity for even grasping what questions to ask, but to any more advanced sentient being that might follow in humanity’s wake our science will never appear to be fundamentally incorrect, only very basic.

      Now, I said that science is ultimately objective ‘in every meaningful sense’ and what I meant by that is that it will stand up to independent verification by all cognitive beings in any world we could ever possibly make sense of at all. There is of course ultimately the possibility that everything that science appears to be telling us is an illusion but for all such scenarios nothing more can really be said than simply that anything is possible. The entire existence of matter and the phenomenon of its perception by cognitive beings could ultimately be nothing more than an anomalous ripple effect in a vibration that’s spinning in infinity, but there is really nothing more you can do with that thought than to simply acknowledge its possibility.


    • Ok.

      The statements in the first paragraph are possible, but to call them ‘true’ would be jumping to premature conclusions.
      Your logical reasoning in the paragraph is correct but the question you are answering has some assumptions already built in to it that needs consideration on their own.

      For example, you talk about that which is ‘actually existing’, but no cognizer can objectively cognize. Now answer these questions for me:

      How can we know that such an absolute objective truth exists? Isn’t it in fact equally possible that all subjective cognizers are entirely correct in there own way? Imagine for instance that cognition ultimately is limited only by some basic laws and that all cognitive perspectives, no matter how different from each other, are all correct, as long as they don’t violate these basic laws.

      What is the relevance of a hypothetical ‘actual existence’ that by definiton can’t be cognized? Does something that no cognizer can be aware of in fact actually exist in any meaningful way?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That is a better way. Thanks. In this way of dialogue (rather than debate or argument) I may learn something.

    ” but the question you are answering has some assumptions already built in to it that needs consideration on their own.For example, you talk about that which is ‘actually existing’,”

    Yes, you are quite right. I started with the assumption that there is existence.. This is also right that it has to be established first.

    I will try to establish that here. My exact word was ‘what exists’. It is very important to not to change the words as this post is written very carefully and slightest change can ruin the meaning.
    Now, what exists can be any sort of existence, known or unknown to humans, and not only material things.
    You are asking a question and your asking a question implies that you exist. So this proves the existence of something.


    • ‘No apparatus of cognition sees what is actually existing as it really is’

      Those are your exact words that I was refering to.

      And no, you do not have to justify the assumption that something at all exists, but that’s not all you have assumed.
      You have also assumed that there is an absolute existence that is self-evident and self-relevant, and of which all ‘apparatus of cognition’ can only get a limited subjective perception. Thus you have also assumed that there is a meaningful difference between ‘actual existence’ and ‘perceived existence’. These assumptions you do need to motivate.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s