Saturday, February 09, 2013

Humanist’s Hippocratic Oath

by Gary Berg-Cross

Following the mortgage meltdown that prompted the current crisis were those theoretical constructs known as financial models Emanuel Derman and Paul Wlmott had an article that appeared in Bloomberg Business week called “The Modelers' Hippocratic Oath”

In the article they listed the oath and I thought it might be of interest and amusing to the Secular and Humanist community and adapted it slightly as a more pragmatic. Of course we have many obvious principles in the various Humanist Manifesto's but the oath is a bit more general and might be thought of as aimed at some thinking behind the principles as well as communication about such principles.

Humanist’s Hippocratic Oath

~ I will remember that I didn't make the physical or social world, and they don’t exist to make my musings and opinions look good.

~ Though I will use my knowledge and experience to boldly write about important issues, I will not be overly impressed by my attempts.

~ I will never sacrifice reality for elegant language and simplifications without explaining why I have done so.

~ Nor will I give the people who use my idea false comfort about their completeness and accuracy. Instead, I will endeavor to make explicit my assumptions and oversights.

~ I understand (and hope) that if done well my work may eventually have significant effects on my community, society and its economy, many of them beyond my comprehension.
And of course, "First do no harm."



No comments: