David Goodger’s Personal Beliefs

pronounced:like “Badger”, but Good!
email:goodger@python.org

A collection of truths, axioms, and biases.

Contents

Worldview

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I am a naturalist/rationalist/humanist/Bright:

A bright is an individual whose worldview is naturalistic (free from supernatural and mystical elements).

(I don’t like the label “atheist” because it describes only an absence, a negative. If I labelled myself an atheist it would only describe what I am not: I don’t believe in supernatural creators. This is true, but it’s only the consequence of what I do believe, which is much more important. When asked [e.g. on a census form] what my religion is, I answer "none"; atheism is not a religion, it is the absence of religion.)

I am an ethical, moral person. My ethics and morals come from respect, love, and awe for the nature of the universe, society, and for life itself.

I “believe” in science, but it is a rational and flexible belief, based on evidence and reproducible, verifiable, and falsifiable experiment. The essential difference, as I see it, is this: science is evidence without faith, while religion is faith without evidence. I try to remain open-minded: I am willing to entertain the idea that I am wrong, and I am willing re-examine my beliefs, given compelling new evidence. But as Carl Sagan stated,

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Rather than stating “I believe in science,” it may be better to state that “I trust the process of science and the scientific method,” because science works. Given enough time and resources, I could reproduce the experiments and observations that have produced our understanding of the laws of nature.

I am generally tolerant of religions, superstitions, and other supernatural belief systems -- even though I find them irrational and misguided at best -- as long as it is kept personal. What I cannot tolerate is someone imposing their worldview on me or on others.

Parenting

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A great book for new parents is The First Three Years of Life, by Burton L. White. Rather than giving a cookie-cutter recipie for all kids (who are all different), it gives insight into the thought processes of children from newborns to 3 years of age, and tips for humane discipline. A newborn’s cry is very different from a 1-year-old’s cry.

Marriage

Operating Systems

Windows users are simply the unfortunates who have never tried Macs. They should be pitied, and they should be enlightened.

Software

Programming

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Miscellaneous