Skeptical Desiderata

Go skeptically amidst the lies and the guile, and take comfort in whatever rationality there may be.
As far as possible, without being an asshole, question established orthodoxies and fatuous argument. Speak your truth quietly and clearly even to the dull and ignorant, for though it conflicts with the evidence, they too have their story.
Avoid creationists and climate change deniers, for they are vexatious to rational argument and their minds are lost. You will argue with them in vain and become bitter.
Enjoy your small victories. Keep interested in your local blogs and groups, however humble; they are the force that propels the changing attitudes of our time.
Exercise caution in your medical choices, for the world is full of quackery. But let this not blind you to what progress there is, and remember that many persons strive for scientific rigour. Everywhere life is full of enquiry.
Be yourself, unless evidence suggests that you should be otherwise. Especially, do not feign knowledge you do not have. Do not be skeptical about love, even though it can be couched in terms of evolutionary psychology, for you shall have less fun.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the falsehoods of youth, and remember that confirmation bias still plies its trade within you. Nurture an appreciation of being wrong, for you undoubtedly still hold to some cherished untruth.
Do not distress yourself with religious fundamentalists. Their convictions are born of their time in history, and it is for the world at large to leave them behind.
Beyond a wholesome questioning, be gentle with yourself. Write that blog entry, but try to get outside too.
You are a child of the universe, made of the same stuff as trees and stars, and whether or not it is clear to you, the universe is expanding with or without your help.
Therefore be at peace with rationality, even if your idea of it scarcely overlaps that of your neighbour’s. And whatever campaign you wage to lift the veil of ignorance, remember to take time out for science fiction. Use sunscreen.
With all of its sham, chicanery and prescientific beliefs, it is still a beautiful world.
You are a skeptic, so be happy.

By Matthew Willey, with apologies to Max Ehrman

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Nice one!

Nice one!

For sure!

Ditto.