The Society’s prime directive is this:
The Society shall not issue issue any statement or opinion regarding any particular doctrine of politics or religion, with these exceptions:
1. The Society will freely publish its general opinion that all human activity, aside from the responsible use of the human imagination, should be conducted in a manner that is consistent with and responsible to realityReality -- the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them. .
2. Wherever religious or political doctrines purport to directly contradict RBT doctrine—such as when certain religions and/or scientists opine that humans do not have free will but are forced by nature to behave badly—SRBT may issue statements openly in opposition to those notions.
Why is this our Prime Directive?
It is because in the real world, most people are ill-equipped for debating things in the steady open-mindedness suggested by Aristotle:
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
Unfortunately, a great many people are apt to become defensive and irrational when their ideas and beliefs are contradicted. This is called the Backfire EffectBackfire Effect -- When people react to disconfirming evidence by strengthening their beliefs, as opposed to correcting their beliefs accordingly.. If SRBT were to make it a habit to go about the world contradicting a million unrealities, it would certainly be seen as highly offensive. It is our goal, therefore, to promote a valid system of thinking, by which anyone who wishes to exert the necessary effort, may arrive at sound and valid conclusions, decisions, and beliefs in any field of interest to him or her. We shall refrain in our publications from taking any official position that seeks to persuade people as to what to believe, and shall focus instead on teaching them how to make such decisions for themselves in a way that is consistent, logical, unbiased, and tethered to reality.
To give a rough analogy, it is as if we were selling vacuum cleaners in a store. Our customers who are impressed with what we have to offer will buy our vacuums and then take them home to do their own cleaning. We do not offend them by presuming to come into their homes to do the cleaning for them, pointing out how messy their houses are. The only place we will risk offense, therefore, is at the very top-level issues that must be demonstrated to be false in order for someone to understand why RBT is necessary and good. About these, we are quite prepared to debate–and even to offend, should it come to that.
Among such top-level realities worth the risk of offense are:
- Reality exists.
- Humans have the free will of choice.
- Humans should be responsible for the choices they make and should correct themselves when they discover that they are wrong.
- Humans are quite capable of changing their paradigms and thoughts.
- Humans can overcome cognitive biases.
- Humans can learn the mindware necessary for RBT.