1. Accept Facts
When presented with statements known to be true (facts), these must be accepted. This, of course requires the recognition of three classes of facts:
- Empirically verified, or at least verifiable
- Moral boundaries relevant to all people
- Generalizations, which accurately characterize a group (people, things, ideas, etc.), even though individuals within the group may depart from the characterization
2. Be logically consistent
Expression of principles and ideas cannot happen without logic (inferential and deductive). Therefore maintain logical consistency to the best of your ability. If you are inconsistent unknowingly, and this is pointed out, then accept it and attempt to correct it.
3. Own your axioms
Because every principle or idea cannot exist without concepts that are irreducible, seen as self-evidently true, then you DO hold, and reason from, such axiomatic concepts:
- Do not claim to hold axioms that you do not.
- As much as possible, be aware of the axioms that you hold and use.
- When one of your axioms is pointed out, acknowledge it.
- A real, bona fide, axiom can NOT be explained by reason.
4. Respect language
Since words are tools for discussing things, and not the things themselves, then:
- Accept that words and definitions are limited.
- Be as careful with words as you can, so that what you say is as close to what you really mean as possible.
- Use and accept analogies and metaphors, as such.
5. Accept your limits
If your skill or knowledge are insufficient to fully convey your meaning, or to answer a point, accept this humbly, acknowledge it, and stop.