This is my ethical philosophy that I always express everywhere I may go.
I am a dedicated SKEPTIC. I question everything I see, not taking what I am told at face value, but demanding proof, evidence, and corroborations before I accept something as true. It does not matter what the source of a claim is, I treat all parties the same. When it comes to skepticism, I don’t discriminate politically or religiously! I doubt everything!
Another thing I am adamant about is my sense of HONOR, which I hold more dear to me than my life. It allows for no exceptions whatsoever. So even though I have lost friends or even made enemies for standing up for my honor, I do not care. If I see someone who comes across to me as a liar, a bully, or just plain rude and stupid, then I usually try to fight back. If I see someone doing or saying things that damage the credibility of the causes I happen to believe in, I deeply take offense at that because I want those causes to be protected, even at the expense of picking fights with those who are unworthy to support those causes. I believe in consistent standards of right and wrong and so I see no point in ever excusing something that is wrong because the wrongdoer is otherwise a friendly or nice guy. That’s how corruption sets in.
Part of my being honorable is refusing to paint the members of any group, whether political, religious, or national, with the same brush. My friends may include all kinds of people, such as conservatives, liberals, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans, athiests, Americans, Europeans, Asians, Australians, meat-eaters and vegetarians. That diversity I deeply treasure. Once I recognize that another soul is honorable, no matter what else may be true of that person, I embrace him as a brother or sister. But if I discover a fellow American, a fellow non-theist, a fellow liberal, or a fellow Star Trek fan to be dishonorable in his behavior, he becomes my enemy, and so I distrust and shun him afterwards.
Because I am honorable, I sometimes willingly concede points made by my opponents in debates with them. This should never be seen as a sign of weakness. When I know I am right about something, I will fight to the bitter end to support my case and discredit my opponent because in some cases I do see my battles as a struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, or ignorance and knowledge. But I am also willing at times to listen to my opponent and consider his point of view, especially if that person is known by me to be honorable. If we do not listen to others, how can we ever grow in knowledge?
No matter how great the pressure, I feel that one must never “sell out”. It is being able to stand up to the urge to conform to the shallow desires and priorites of others who have a limited vision that makes one truly heroic. I choose my friends according to my ideals; I never bend my ideals for the sake of keeping friends.