Independent Thinker's Manifesto

There is a rationale for this. Things became very weird in the year 2020. The United States President was impeached. Hong Kong protestors clashed with the Chinese military. Millions of acres of forest, brush, and suburban areas in Australia and the United States. Iran attacked U.S. military bases in Iraq. Two stock market crashes. A pandemic breaks out effecting millions of people all around the world and billions of people lock down in their homes hoping for the best. Race riots break out over the death of a black man allegedly at the hands of a white cop, resulting in mass protests and riots. There have been so many hurricanes that the US National Weather Service ran out of planned names. Accusations of election fraud and mismanagement in the U.S., media outlets imploding over journalistic and editorial disagreements, and a further division in class, race, and social standing emerge. As a consequence there have been no good places for easy access to honest, objective information. The information is around, but one must dig and parse through mounds of data to get to it.

As a result of that people have resorted to taking sides on all issues without any thought, without any consideration for what the full story is, and with more divisiveness than the world has seen in a very long time. As self-proclaimed indepent people we should be ashamed of ourselves. This manifesto serves as a reminder of how to think and act independently in the world, without prior conviction, and with full honesty.

I will not be subjected to or participate in undue anxiety or alarmism unless there is obvious, immediate harm and distress bearing on my loved ones or myself. Unless there is a threat, I will treat people's actions and statements in a considerate manner. I will keep calm and offer reseasonable reactions to the situation.

My actions, decisions, and thoughts will be guided by my faith and philosophy as they have been given careful consideration over my lifetime and line up with what I consider to be morally virtuous. These virtues are grounded in the history or humankind and reveal truths that aren't always articulated well. They will be the guide posts upon which I act and think.

I will resist forced, compelled speech even in instances where I may agree with what is being said. I understand that such compulsion itself is extremely dangerous, and will only deliberately share my beliefs in a thoughtful way. The words that come out of my mouth are my own.

All discourse should be polite, and all opinions should be based on facts and data. I will not anger easily when I disagree with someone, even if they are being beligerent. I will base my opinions on facts and data that I know to be true and reputable, and not on hyperbole.

I will judge people by what they do, not just by what they say. A person's true motivations and intentions are revealed by their actions. Talk is cheap and promises are easy to make. I will observe people in their actions and respond accordingly.

History is exactly that, and nothing can be done to change it. It can be a point of reference and a learning opportunity but it can not be altered. I will learn from the mistakes of the past, and will respect the context of the situation.

I will thoroughly educate myself and not rely solely on news headlines and soundbites. Far too often the real story is lost in the details, or is often ignored because it's not beneficial to the news outlet. Media outlets are unfortunately incentivized in very bad ways, therefore it is up to me to learn the truth behind what's being said and to do so with an open mind.

I will be considerate of others' thoughts and opinions even if they differ than mine. I will always first assume when engaging in debate that their intentions are good and honest. I will listen and respond politely and honestly, but with conviction.

My wallet, feet, and ballot will do the voting. There's more than one way of communicating your beliefs other than blasting social media sites. I refuse to be inundated with political rhetoric from people that are not politicians. I will abandon institutions and organizations who attempt to cram down their ideology or shut out opposing view points.

Tribalism is a dangerous path, and I must resist my natural instincts to blindly take sides. I must remember that my opinions are my own.

Individual liberty should come before everything. Without it, we're never free enough to establish our own thoughts. We must work to preserve individual liberty for ourselves and for others.

I understand that there may be a point at which physical resistance must be employed. This is obviously a last resort for any well-intentioned person and will work to mitigate this until such a point when individual liberty is at stake.

2020-10-07: Initial release