Personal Axioms

Adar Kahiri
Published: June 4, 2020
Last Updated: June 4, 2020

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

Introduction

Ever since I can remember, I've questioned the orthodoxy around me. It started with questioning the existence of a God, which my family assured me was real, and has progressed to questioning all sorts of opinions, ideologies, and beliefs.

While I have a few deeply held convictions, most of my opinions are loosely-held, and often I have a hard time forming opinions which I consider a truly fair conclusion to a rigorous analysis of the issues at hand.

In fact, I've often wondered how people manage to have so many strongly-held views about all sorts of topics. Unsurprisingly, the answer is that many, if not most people1 don't actually take the time to think deeply about their opinions, and instead simply parrot things they've heard someone say or read in some article. They might have taken the time to think more deeply about a few issues, most of which probably affect them, but no more.

The obvious reason for why this happens is because it takes a lot of effort to develop a nuanced opinion about any issue, let alone all of the points of contention, political and otherwise, which we face on a daily basis.

And so, in an effort to reduce the time and effort it takes me to form nuanced opinions about various things, I've decided to try something new.

I figured that if I could develop a set of personal axioms which I can then just assume are true in any given situation, that would greatly expedite the process of reasoning through the situation and coming to a conclusion.

Granted, this isn't a particularly novel idea. 'Personal/company values' are a common notion, Ray Dalio has essentially built his brand upon the idea of 'personal and career principles', and all sorts of philosophies most certainly operate on a set of axioms.

Despite all of this, I still think this is an idea worth pursuing for a number of reasons:

  1. Not knowing much about philosophy, I'm in a somewhat good position to arrive at conclusions which are less tainted by the thoughts of others. This isn't to say that my conclusions will be better than those of philosophical giants, of course, but that it will force me to come up with my own methods for analyzing the world, which I think is valuable.
  2. If I succeed, I'll have a really awesome framework for developing opinions.

This is a project that will take a while, and so I'll be continuously adding new axioms onto this compilation as I develop them. If you happen to read this and have thoughts, I'd love to hear them :).

1. Including myself, though I'd like to believe I think about things at least somewhat deeply.