One of my Facebook friends, Mark, wrote a note the other day about what he believes and what he stands for. He inspired me and I decided to do the same:
I don't believe in nothing. I believe in grand concepts like the pursuit of love and happiness. I believe in finding simple joys in everyday things.
I embrace knowledge and growth through learning as much as possible. I love science and the scientific method, which although flawed, is still the best tool we've got to understand our fantastic universe and our place in it. I am a citizen scientist.
I require evidence for claims and refuse to accept things on faith or authority. I am a skeptic.
But I am a true skeptic. Many times in the past I've changed my views based on evidence that showed that my old thinking was wrong. I constantly work on detaching my ego from my world view.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and since there is zero credible evidence for any gods or the supernatural, I don't believe in them. I don't believe in the supernatural in any sense. No gods, no heaven, no hell, no demons, no ghosts, no psychic powers. I am a skeptical atheist.
My love of the natural world fills me with wonder, awe and delight at every turn. I am a naturalist.
I have come to understand that critical thinking is vital to our future. If I could give one thing to everyone, it would be the ability to think and reason critically.
I am good for goodness' sake, without god, without the threat of hell or the promise of heavenly reward. I strive to be a good person just because it's the right thing to do, even when it's challenging. I am ethical.
I have developed my own ethical principles based on my role models and everything I've learned through formal and personal education and my interactions with the world and society. I follow the Golden Rule, the Silver Rule and the Platinum Rule as well as several other personal codes.
I understand that the meaning of life is individual and not given to us by anyone. We all need to figure out the meaning of our lives for ourselves.
As far as anyone knows, we get one chance at life. We are here but a brief time. This life is precious and wonderful. Let's make the best of it.
This is a great exercise, to concisely write down what you believe, what you don't, and what you stand for. I highly recommend it. If you'd like to try, feel free to share your beliefs in the comments or by email.