Cogent wikiarguments would stand out starkly from specious wikiarguments. Why? Because it's relatively easy to construct clear, cogent arguments when truth is on your side. But when truth isn't on your side, the best you can do is clever specious arguments.
But even clever specious arguments couldn't possibly survive the vast inquiry an Internet-based wikiarguments system would subject them to--the whole world would be watching and someone would point out flaws and deceptions. Dishonest politicians would no longer be able to hide from us and shrink from inquiry.
The philosophy behind Wikiarguments; why it would revolutionize government
Our current political system, with crucial help from mainstream media, allows and even promotes blatant deception and evasion by our government "representatives". They're never forced to justify their positions with clear, rational arguments (written down so they can be scrutinized).
Currently, sponsors and supporters of unfair legislation typically offer shallow, specious justifications (eagerly and uncritically passed on by mainstream media) and then simply evade inquiry. Mainstream media do little to challenge these specious justifications and when they do, our "representatives" simply spout more specious nonsense until the clock runs out.
A wikiarguments system would prevent this evasion because it would require our "representatives" to not only justify their positions initially, but, more importantly, to defend them from ongoing inquiry using clear, rational written arguments. Unlike the ephemeral TV interviews, "debates" and public statements of our "representatives", their best wikiarguments would always be right there on the Internet subject to scrutiny and inquiry by the American people.
The sheer idiocy of our current political system is easily illustrated. Unlike our Congress, our Supreme Court does give us their best "wikiarguments" - pro and con - to justify their votes (and we can see both sides on the Internet). Imagine if Supreme Court Justices weren't required to justify and defend their conclusions with clear, (written) rational arguments. Suppose they could just vote and evade inquiry. Would we not easily see the assault on truth under such a system? Would we not easily see the sheer idiocy of such a system?
Imagine if scientists weren't required to justify and defend their positions with clear, (written) rational arguments. Suppose they could just present their conclusions and evade inquiry. Would we not easily see the assault on truth under such a system? Would we not easily see the sheer idiocy of such a system?
So why don't we easily see the assault on truth and the sheer idiocy of a political system that allows our "representatives" to evade giving us their best rational arguments for their positions? Is the integrity of our Congressional conclusions somehow less important to our lives than the integrity of our Supreme Court conclusions or our scientists' conclusions?
Is it not sheer idiocy to hold our Supreme Court and scientists to a high standard of truth, completely abandon that standard of truth for our "representatives" and then expect anything other than the immense wake of human suffering -- clearly caused by our corrupt government -- here and throughout the world?
Our "representatives" won't even discuss a health care system that costs half what Americans pay, provides superior health care and covers every citizen! You won't find a clear, rational argument justifying this position anywhere. Is this not sheer idiocy?
America manufactures and sells more weapons of mass destruction than any other nation by far. We spend more on our "defense" budget than all other nations on earth combined! You won't find a clear, rational argument justifying this position anywhere. Is this not sheer idiocy?
Is it not sheer idiocy for us to allow our "representatives" to get away with feeding us lies - as they give billions of our tax dollars to special interests - while causing massive death and mayhem throughout the world?
We must demand a political system that seeks truth, instead of one that hides, manipulates and even manufactures "truth". We must demand a political system that creates policy using rational argument and open debate, instead of one that creates policy using wheeling and dealing, coercion and deception.
A wikiarguments system would hold our "representatives" to a minimum standard of truth and enforce intellectual honesty in government. Surely that would be a revolution.
1 | 2