IV. KNOWLEDGE AND BELIEF
1. An actuality is a pure state of existence apart from the perception of it by any living organism.
2. A reality is the accurate perception of an actuality by any healthy living organism. This will be qualified to some extent by previous experience and by the perceptual apparatus of the organism.
3. A fact is the conceptual representative of a reality.
4. Facts are the building blocks of correct thinking.
5. Logic is the process of correct thinking, the natural method used to arrange the building blocks provided by facts.
6. Knowledge is the correct natural correlation of facts by means of logic, the finished structure.
7. Truth is the broad and meaningful apprehension of knowledge.
8. Wisdom is the loving and just reaction to truth.
9. A belief, in the pure sense, is an attempt to extrapolate beyond what is known.
10.The amount and strength of an individual's beliefs is inversely proportional to the amount of his knowledge.
11. Philosophy is used to create a feeling of personal integrity and wholeness by attempting to extrapolate beyond available facts. Correct reactions are based upon facts, not upon philosophy.
12. Most philosophy is merely the "explanation" that people lacking facts offer to justify their own particular emotional reaction to their environment. The only worthwhile philosophy is a comprehensive overview of all available factual data fused by love, heroic idealism, good moral character, and courage. This involves an eclectic approach to the attainment of wisdom, not a slavish adherence to "isms" of any kind, including the fashionable zeitgeist of well entrenched science.
13. The spiritual development of an individual in the long term can only be judged by the net effect of his behavior upon himself, all other organisms, and the environment.
14. Spiritual development on an individual basis, has absolutely nothing to do with a person's race, color, nationality, sex, or age. It may have everything to do with a person's true "creed" in specific instances, because a person's "beliefs" determines his behavior.
15. Prejudice is the random generalization that an individual member of a group probably possesses a particular characteristic which is alleged to, but may or may not, be especially common among members of the group. This applies to groups based upon race, nationality, sex, and age. This also applies in the case of creed, but to a lesser degree, because the members of any given religion usually do in some measure possess an important common characteristic - their "beliefs."
16. A person's spiritual development is reflected by his goal orientation. This will, via self justification, determine his "beliefs." A person's "beliefs" determine his behavior. A person's behavior, in the context of a totally free society and without the intervention of fate, will completely determine his situation.
17. The freedom of belief in society is absolutely necessary for the individual to reach the level of manifestation natural to his degree of self development.
18. Freedom of belief does not preclude our attempting to educate those whose "beliefs" cause them to feel justified in habitually encroaching upon the liberty of others. This includes unnecessary insult.
19. People of positive spiritual development do not persist in "beliefs" which seem to justify unjust encroachment upon others. People of negative spiritual development often persist in any "beliefs" which seem to promote their interests even if such "beliefs" put them in opposition to logic, known science, and simple human decency.
20. The only "creed" a truth seeker needs is a loving and just reaction to the total of his knowledge. This should be well organized, systematically increased, and periodically contemplated. It is appropriate to have an area of belief which seems to be the most plausible extrapolation beyond factual data. This area however, must never fall prey to dogmatism and must be subject to immediate revision to accommodate new factual data. It is also appropriate for this to incorporate the heroic myths of one's ancestors, not as a matter of irrational belief, but for the archetypal inspiration and sense of rootedness conferred.