Empiricism

The natural world is the Yoan Bible. It is the Word of Yo, Yos pure expression. Christianity, as a contrasting example, looks toward the Judeo-Christian Bible as the final word of God. But their Bible is just a collection of writings by imperfect people. Yoans look to the natural world. The True "Word of God" surrounds us. Yos message is everywhere we look, we merely need to open our eyes to see it.

Empiricism is how we open our eyes. We place our faith in senses given to us (or "designed into" us) by Yo (through eons of natural selection). Personal verification is the foundation of all belief.

From our understanding of Empiricism, we derive the Tenth of our Ten Sacred Principles:

Yoans are not guided by dogmatically proclaimed, fixed truths. All Yoans turn to the court of their personal, direct experience of the world and then, employing the Open Source Truth Process, join together in our collective attempt to formulate the current (best we can do at the moment, unfixed, and open to further revision by the community) Open Source Truths (OST's) that guide us in our pursuit of these Sacred Goals.

The forever evolving set of OST's that the community has come to embrace (or is currently debating and developing) is the Growing Holy Open Source Truth, or "The Holy GHOST" of Yoism.

A Yoan Saint, (Ben Goldacre) Demonstrates Sacred Empiricism


The Prayer of Saint Francis (Crick)


If video fails to play, left-click here; to download, right-click.

The Full List of the Seven Main Beliefs




Empiricism FAQ

  1. What do we mean by "empiricism?"
  2. How can we be certain the beliefs of Yoism are "true" (empirically valid)?
  3. If empiricism is the foundation of all belief, what if we gain some new experience that challenges the beliefs of Yoism?
  4. Is it OK to believe things because the community believes them and you trust the community, even if you have no direct experience supporting the belief?


  1. What do we mean by empiricism?

    What we mean by empiricism is simply this: All that can be considered known (all that can be considered true) is provable or verifiable by direct experience—including sensory experience of the "external," intersubjective world, as well as "internal," private sensations and feelings—or logically follows from facts that can be directly experienced.

    The Kalama Sutta: The Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry
    The Buddha's instruction to the Kalamas explains that empiricism—in the form of a spirit of free inquiry—must provide the basis for knowing what to believe.

    David Hume On Miracles
    A classic essay explaining why non-empirical approaches to knowledge are almost sure to lead you to false beliefs.

    Immanuel Kant on Enlightenment
    In this brief essay, Immanuel Kant lays out his vision for a collective, empirically based exploration of Reality.

    Open Source
    Here, we show how Yoism—following an ancient Socratic formula for a collective search for truth that, today, is being actualized in the exploding open source movement today—embodies the empirical approach.

  2. How can we be certain the beliefs of Yoism are "true" (empirically valid)?

    We can't. That is, we cannot know for sure whether the current Open Source Truth is the closest approximation to truth available, until we test it against our own experiences and challenge it with other ways of trying to limn and understand Reality. This is the definition of Truth: the clearest expression of a system of ideas and beliefs that is most consistent with our past, present, and future experiences (of Reality). We do know for sure that, unlike other religions, the Yoan community is committed to empiricism and to continually refining and updating our beliefs based on what can be shown to be true or untrue.

  3. If empiricism is the foundation of all belief, what if we gain some new experience that challenges the beliefs of Yoism?

    First, we know the beliefs of Yoism are empirically accurate because they are verifiable by our own personal experience. When one becomes a Yoan, yo takes on the responsibility of learning the Yoan beliefs and understanding them. If yo finds something which doesn't make sense or seems unsupported by yos own experience, then yo should discuss the point with others until one of two things happen: yo comes to a better understanding of the issue and sees how it does make sense, or yo will find that the Yoan doctrine really does need to be changed. It is then yos responsibility to write up a proposal for that change. In fact, we hope you will have experiences that challenge Yoan beliefs and that these will lead you to propose modifications to the Open Source Truth that will move the entire community closer to the Truth.

  4. Is it OK to believe things because the community believes them and you trust the community even if you have no direct experience supporting the belief?

    Yes, of course. We cannot verify everything ourselves. However, as in any situation, one must always be cautious when deciding whom to trust. It is always wise to be extra skeptical about claims you cannot personally verify, especially if the source of the information presents other claims that do not jibe with your experience and/or the self-interest of the speaker is strongly tied to the specific truth claim.


Here are the basic tools for deciding
what to believe and what to reject.



The Full List of the Seven Main Beliefs