Musing (adjective): characterized by reflection or deep thought.

Musing Millennials is a place to discuss our ever-changing world and the ideas that define our shared reality. It’s a place where independent thought and civility are valued above all else. My goal is to foster an environment where readers can explore topics that will help them live a well-informed and purspose-driven life.

At some point you are likely to read a blog post, advice column or discussion that you disagree with. This is a positive aspect of my project. Interacting with ideas which contradict your own is an essential exercise in the pursuit of truth. I encourage you to critique our content in the comments section or submit a response post.

Ultimately, I hope this project helps me to grow my understanding of the world and contribute to society. Please contact me if you’d like to author a guest post or suggest an idea to explore.

-Brian

Ten Commandments for Independent Thinkers

Several months ago, I stumbled across Bertrand Russell’s “Ten Commandments of Liberal Inquiry.” These commandments were orginally published in Russell’s 1951 NYT Magazine article entitled The Best Answer to Fanaticism- Liberalism. While Russell advocated for classical liberalism and freedom of thought in this 67 year-old article, his commandments are still applicable in 2018 across the idealogical spectrum.

While I do not agree with all ten, I still think they should be required reading for modern Americans. I found Commandments I, VI, IX and X particularly helpful and enlightening during an era marked by insanity and divisiveness.

I. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

II. Do not think it worthwhile to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.

III. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.

IV. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

V. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

VI. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.

VII. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

VIII. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

IX. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

X. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness

How could you apply Russell’s “Ten Commandments” in your personal life. Do you find them helpful to your individual pursuit of truth? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section.

-Brian Norman