The Wikipedia Creed
I believe in knowledge. I believe that making knowledge available to others is a good thing. I believe that while inaccuracy and deception may be morally justified on occasions, they are inherently evil. I believe that dispelling ignorance is in general a good thing.
I believe in the Internet. I believe that it offers opportunities for human advancement that outweigh its dangers.
I believe in wikis. They are fun. I'll try not to let anyone else spoil my fun, and if they don't seem to want to have fun too that's their problem. And I'll try very hard not to spoil anyone else's fun, even if they seem not to care about mine.
I believe in improving articles. I believe that no article is perfect, however much I may have worked on it, and will give others the chance to contribute to it too.
I believe in NPOV. I may not know what it means, but I accept that it's not negotiable and I think it can work. I will try to put whatever understanding I do have into practice whenever I edit an article.
I believe in consensus. I don't know what it means either, but I'll try to make it work anyway.
I believe in being polite and considerate to others. I recognise that if I can't do that, Wikipedia doesn't want me. But I also believe in forgiveness, which is just as well because I sometimes wish I hadn't pressed "Publish changes" myself.
I believe in discussion. I will try to initiate and participate in discussions rather than making an article into a battleground, and in that I am able I will try to encourage others to do the same.
I believe (sometimes) in Wikipedia policies and guidelines and I particularly expect administrators (etc) to follow them when exercising their sysop (etc) powers. But I also try to bear in mind what the rules are there for, and notice that whenever we have a consensus that the rules are wrong, we seem to go with the consensus and tidy up the rules later (sometimes).
I don't believe that my primary school grammar teacher or my aunt who speaks only Scots should have the last word on matters of style. When there are differences of opinion as to presentation, I'll try to take my own background into account. But as a contributor my feelings on these matters count just as much as those of any other reader, perhaps even a little more, and I do expect a fair hearing.
I believe in being bold. If I waited to read all the possibly relevant rules, all the talk page archives, and all the possible online sources before doing anything, I'd never do anything. And I'll encourage others to be bold too, even if it sometimes means cleaning up after them just as others sometimes do after my own blunders. But I'll still try to keep these blunders to a minimum, and also learn from them. I want my overall contribution to the project to be a net plus.
I believe in verifiability. It's sobering to find out that something that I've always known was true isn't, but it's also an opportunity to learn something, and to do so is a far better choice than continued ignorance or error. So I'll treat requests for sources and references as opportunities not insults or hindrances.
I'm wrong sometimes, otherwise I wouldn't be human, and right sometimes too, otherwise I wouldn't be here. In building consensus, I will keep open the possibility of changing my own mind as well as working to change the minds of others. (In fact if I'm to be selfish, I benefit more when it's my mind that changes and grows.)
I believe in the project. Wikipedia won't solve all of the world's problems, but I believe it can help to solve some of them, however slightly. Whenever I edit I will focus on the goal of writing an encyclopedia, and use Wikipedia's resources only to advance that goal.
I may not believe Wikipedia is perfect, but...
I believe in Wikipedia.
- If you feel this page reflects your views too, you might consider signing User talk:Andrewa/creed#Believers.
- See also User:Andrewa/Andrew's principle, User:Andrewa/How not to rant and WP:The Parable of the Ants