Oath of Eratosthenes

For the matter under discussion, and throughout the course of that discussion, I pledge to apply my thoughts to all of it and my feelings to none of it; to know what I can personally prove, nothing more and nothing less; and to believe what I can solidly infer from what I know, nothing more and nothing less. I will not be told what to think. Not by those who have power over me, who claim to have power over me, who aspire to have power over me, by persons possessing honors, credentials, pedigrees, awards or fame.

I understand the difference between an article of faith and a logical inference. I shall withhold both of those, from whatever beliefs directly contradict known fact. My power of inference will be applied only to those questions that can be decided by inference alone; and my inferences shall be decided as if my personal fortune, and other things precious to me, depended on them.

I shall admit my error quickly when demonstrated to be in error, but I shall harbor no ambitions toward being erroneous. I claim no monopoly on truth, and will grant no such monopoly to others.

I will not bully, intimidate or coerce, nor will I modify my own viewpoints because of someone else’s bullying, intimidation or coercion. I will lend no greater weight to a statement just for being concise or amusing, or lesser weight to a statement just for being bloated or monotonous.

I will apply the most vigorous scrutiny where I perceive others have failed to do so. But I understand scrutiny has nothing to do with actually disclaiming anything. Scrutiny is a process and not an outcome.

I shall comprehend, at all times, the critical distinction between proving A, and failing to prove !A. I shall not assign benefit-of-doubt to one side of a dispute, or to the other side, in order to please others, nor will I try to bludgeon others into doing that.

I shall faithfully distinguish between the subjective and the objective, between knowing things and believing things, and between feeling and thought.

Above all, I will know for myself without anyone else pointing it out, that if I should violate any of the above, I will no longer be standing in the House of Eratosthenes.