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Party Principles

To create a foundation-focused party of reason - a party focused not on our political platforms but the foundation underneath our platforms, or the method of how we think - two fundamental questions had to be answered: what is reason? How does a person of reason think?

First Question: What is reason?

 

Reason is the mind’s ability to break down barriers between ignorance and truth. In contrast, dogma is the mind’s ability to erect barriers to protect our opinion of the truth. To break down those barriers, reason must convince a mind that truth is difficult to find and prove. To do this, reason raises the standard of evidence beyond certainty’s reach so that there is always room for doubt and never room for certainty. As a result, no idea is ever proven beyond all doubt. So, no matter how much evidence is discovered, a truth is never proven beyond all doubt and so should continue to be challenged, which is what truth wants. Only false ideas fear being challenged.

Second question: How does a person of reason think? 

Since they use a standard of evidence that is beyond certainty’s reach, a person of reason is intellectually humble and they admit that they could be either partly or completely wrong on everything they believe. A person of reason could be right on everything, but they are willing to admit that they could be wrong because there is always room for doubt and never room for certainty. Secondly, because there is always room for doubt, a person of reason challenges the credibility of their own beliefs, and they challenge their own views more than they challenge anybody else’s beliefs. A person of reason’s goal is a worldview that consists of nothing but truth. They understand that there are probably false ideas in their thinking, so they constantly try to expose the false in their own views so they can remove it and make room for truth.

Thirdly, since a person of reason wants help in finding the false in their own worldview, they welcome other people challenging their beliefs. They don’t resent their views being challenged. Instead, because they don’t trust themselves to find all the false ideas in their own thinking, they appreciate it. Lastly, since they are constantly trying to find the false ideas in their own system of beliefs, a person of reason sees their worldview as a work that is always in progress and their mind is open to being changed.

In short, a person of reason sets the standard of evidence beyond certainty’s reach so that there is always room for doubt and never room for certainty. Since there is always room for doubt, they are intellectually humble and admit they could be wrong, challenge their own views, welcome others challenging their beliefs, and see their worldview as a work that is always in progress, so their mind is forever open to being changed.

The Logos Party Paradigm

In light of the above understanding of reason, to explain the Logos Party's standard of reason and simplify the difference between dogmatic platform-based parties and a foundation-focused reason-based party, the Logos Party developed the Three-tiered Paradigm: the foundation, the pillars and the platform.

The foundation, the party’s method of determining truth (epistemology), are the Rules of Reason, ten principles that, though not conclusive, provide a good understanding of how the Logos Party believes a person of reason thinks. Along with the Pillars of Progress, the Rules of Reason provide the foundation on which members build their personal platforms. Below is also listed the Doctrines of Dogma, which, principle for principle, are the antithesis of the Rules of Reason.

Rules of Reason

1.    Science is the most reliable path to truth.

2.    Truth wants to be challenged; only false ideas fear doubt.

3.    Challenge your own beliefs and admit you could be wrong.

4.    Renounce certainty.

5.    Revising your beliefs is okay.

6.    Place the burden of proof on yourself.

7.    Nothing is sacred.

8.    Truth is more important than hope.

9.    Faith and doubt are allies.    

10.  Principled compromise is a reliable path to progress.   

Doctrines of Dogma

1. Follow science unless it contradicts your views.

2. Truth wants to be protected from doubt.

3. Never challenge your own views or admit you could be wrong.

4. Claim certainty.

5. Never change any of your beliefs.

6. Do not burden yourself with providing objective evidence.

7. The sacred is unchallengeable.

8. Whatever gives you hope is truth.    

9. Faith and doubt are enemies.

10. Never compromise.  

1.  Science is the most reliable path to truth.

In his work The Age of Reason, the great writer of the Revolutionary War Thomas Paine wrote, “Man cannot make principles; he can only discover them.” Likewise, I don’t think humans created science. I believe we discovered the method that allowed us to find truth and then called that method “science.” Science, more than any other method, constantly raises the epistemological rim, keeping the standard of evidence well out of certainty’s reach, in order to filter out false or weak theories and maintain a constant presence of doubt. I think the scientific method is not only the most reliable path to truth, but maybe the only path.

2. Truth wants to be challenged; only false ideas fear doubt.

Truth wants to be tested by the toughest epistemological standards because truth cannot be disproven: trying to do so will only strengthen its claim to being truth. Only false ideas fear skepticism because being challenged might expose their falsehood. Truth wants the rim raised high. It wants Truth’s Terminator to try and destroy it. Thomas Paine expressed this idea eloquently when he wrote, “It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.”  

3.   Challenge your own beliefs and admit you could be wrong.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.” Likewise, a member of the Logos Party, a Logosan, challenges the credibility of their own views just as much as (if not more than) they challenge other people’s beliefs, never fearing their beliefs being disproven. Instead, they welcome being refuted because if one of his views is false, he wants to know so that he can discard it and make room for truth. Jefferson also wrote, “He who knows best knows how little he knows.” Likewise, a Logosan understands the limits of his knowledge and admit that his beliefs could be wrong. This is a sign of intellectual maturity, and it keeps his mind open to finding truth if his current belief on an issue is ever found to be false.

4.  Renounce certainty.

Since reason sets the standard of evidence beyond certainty’s reach, renouncing certainty is fundamental to being a person and party of reason. Voltaire wrote, “Doubt is uncomfortable, but certainty is ridiculous.” Throughout history, there have been many ideas that many people felt certain were true but have since been disproven. Centuries from now, many of the beliefs that people feel certain are true today will probably be proven false. So, since history has shown that the feeling of certainty seems like an unreliable gauge for determining truth, the Logos Party renounces the feeling of certainty. The epistemological rim is always higher than what certainty can reach. For the Logos Party, certainty is ridiculous, an intellectual vice that prohibits progress and prevents us from seeing the flaws in our own beliefs. A Logosan wants to see the flaws in their own worldview. 

5.  Revising your beliefs is okay.

The Logos Party believes that it is ignorant to close ourselves off to the possibility of being wrong, because we would be denying ourselves the chance to gain greater knowledge. If we cannot yet be in possession of truth on a particular subject because the truth has not yet been discovered, then we will at least be open-minded and be in possession of wisdom. A Logos Party member believes their worldview could always be better, so their beliefs are always in progress. Because of this, it is not only okay to revise our beliefs, it is expected.

6.  Place the burden of proof on yourself.

A Logosan does not wait for someone else to put the burden of proof on them. He puts it on himself. They not only expect other people to test their views by a high standard and provide credible evidence, but also hold themselves to the same standard. They set the rim just as high for their own beliefs as they do for others, maybe higher. A Logosan does not have a double standard, raising the rim to test other people’s views, while lowering the rim when testing their own.

7. Nothing is sacred.

Everything—from religions, to political ideologies, to cultures, sports teams, et cetera— is considered sacred to somebody. If something was not challenged because someone else considered it sacred, nothing would ever be challenged. It is fitting that the word “sacred” is so similar to the word “scared,” because a person who calls their beliefs sacred is probably afraid their sacred beliefs could be wrong. They hope the label of “sacredness” will protect that belief from being challenged and exposed. In the Logos Party, the idea closest to being sacred is that nothing is sacred, therefore everything should be relentlessly challenged, especially our own views. ​

8.     Truth is more important than hope.

 

Hope is necessary for the world, but truth is more important to the world because truth is what fixes problems. Hope is not confirmation of truth.  Something does not have to be true for it to give hope, nor does it have to inspire hope in order to be true. Often, a painful truth can cause hopelessness. The Logos Party tries to first find truth, even if painful, and then figures out how to find hope within the context of reality.

9.     Faith and doubt are allies.

In the search for truth, faith and doubt are on the same team. Doubt helps us challenge an idea’s credibility and understand what little we know. Faith does not erase doubt. Instead, it bridges the canyon of doubt, helping us step out into uncertainty in search of finding answers to the questions doubt raises. In other words: doubt shows us the limits of our knowledge, and faith (with reason) helps take us beyond those limits. The common enemy of both faith and doubt is dogma. 

10.  Principled compromise is a reliable path to progress.

No person or party has a monopoly on good ideas. If we have any chance at seeing the whole picture and collectively moving forward in progress, then we require other people’s viewpoints, especially those different than our own. The culture of compromise within the Logos Party fosters within members a willingness to listen to new ideas, try to understand opposing views, and collaborate toward a shared goal as long as all are willing to make principled compromises. As President Ford said, “Compromise is the oil that makes governments go.”

The Pillars of Progress

On top of the foundation of the Rules of Reason are the four Pillars of Progress, which are wisdom, logic, passion and humility. The more we understand the limits of our knowledge, the wiser we become. As Benjamin Franklin wrote, “The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.” Then, we must be humble enough to publicly admit those limits. Logic is the method that allows us to go beyond those limits and gain greater knowledge. Progress requires passion, but passion guided by reason. Similarly, Benjamin Franklin allegedly wrote, "If passion guides you, let reason hold the reigns."

On top of the Pillars of Progress, each Logos Party member builds their personal platform of political beliefs, which are their views on issues like the economy, national security, foreign policy, the environment, energy, education and social issues. Each party member is encouraged to promote their personal views. But each member understands that their platform beliefs are held accountable by the Rules of Reason and Pillars of Progress on which they build their political worldview. 

 

The Logos Party has no platform of policies it endorses. It promotes only the Rules of Reason and the Pillars of Progress. That means that when promoting their personal platform beliefs, a member speaks only on behalf of themselves. Members can only claim to speak on behalf of the Logos Party when promoting the Rules of Reason and the Pillars of Progress.

 

In the Logos Party there is no expectation of conformity in political beliefs. Party member’s platforms could be as diverse as the number of members in the party. As long as each member conforms to the Rules of Reason and Pillars of Progress, then diversity of beliefs strengthens the party because differences of opinion help hold members intellectually accountable.

Constructive Criticism

 

The only type of criticism acceptable by Logosans—either inwardly toward one another or outwardly toward non-members—is constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is defined as, “the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work of others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one, with the goal of improving a person instead of degrading them.” Constructive criticism is not a Rule of Reason, but is the atmosphere in which the Rules of Reason thrive.

Culture of Change and Progress

 

Etched on one of the walls of the Jefferson Memorial is this quote that is credited to Thomas Jefferson:

"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind."

Similarly, the Logos Party believes that if a political party is built on reason, then each member will regularly reexamine and modify their views in light of new evidence and an ever-changing culture so that their beliefs can “go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind” and “keep pace with the times.” That is one of the reasons why there is an official Logos Party foundation and pillars, which probably will not change, but no official Logos Party platform, which, for every member, probably should change over time. The goal of the Logos Party is to provide a culture whereby party members can feel comfortable changing their platform views a little or a lot, slow or quickly, in light of new information they encounter.

The Logos Party cares about platform issues like national security, the economy and foreign policy. But, the party cares far more about the foundation of reason on which each member builds their platform. In other words, in the Logos Party the method of decision-making is more important than the decisions that are made. The Logos Party believes that building on a foundation of reason will lead to good platform beliefs. And, if our beliefs are not as good as they could be, which they probably never are, then the decision-making process of ruthless reason is a self-correcting method that assures us never-ending progress towards bettering our beliefs. In short, the Logos Party does not claim to provide the best answers on all policy issues. Instead, the Logos Party claims to provide the framework of decision-making for finding all the best answers.