Draft Rule 20201103a

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21:50, 6 November 2020 (UTC): This is a DRAFT rule statement for the Bill of Responsibilities

The rule:

  • Attack mistruths, but don't attack your opponent. Seek clarity in truth.

Description[edit | edit source]

Sometimes, your opponent in an online debate seems to be lying. However, they could merely be mistaken. It's almost impossible for you to know which it is. For example:

  • Opponent: we all clearly know that two plus two is five
  • you: no, I'm pretty sure that two plus two is four
  • Opponent: back where I come from, we all CLEARLY learned that two plus two is, in fact, five

Now you (dear reader) have a choice. You could assume your opponent is intentionally misleading you, and is "playing dumb". Or they might just be dumb. Or, maybe there's some clever game involving re-arranging match sticks that makes it possible for "2 + 2 = 5" in the visual representation, and you aren't understanding what your opponent is trying to show you.

As they say on English Wikipedia, please assume good faith. However, when folks are talking about "two plus two", please don't be the difficult person who doesn't arrive at the obvious answer of "four". Assume that everyone around you is part of the same reality that you're part of, and that the combination of two fresh apples and two fresh apples will (in fact) result in four fresh apples in most cases. If someone seems to be insisting that "2+2=5", seek clarification (possibly quietly, in a one-on-one setting), and get them to explain why "2+2=5". They may have a perspective that you don't have. And don't attack them, but seek to figure out where they are coming from.