Mavaddat Javid (mavaddat) wrote in veggie_debate,
Mavaddat Javid

Some thoughts on Rule #3 ("No one is right.")

As a student of philosophy, I find the rule "3. No one is right. This is about opinions," somewhat intriguing, but troubling in its wording. But let me hold that thought for a moment. It is obvious that the intent of this rule is to ensure that no one's opinion is marginalized or labeled "clearly wrong" or idiotic. The author of this rule was apparently trying to create a community where ideas were discussed seriously and carefully. I entirely share this perspective with the author.

Now about the wording. To try to cultivate an environment of serious discussion by stating "no one is right," is not only unnecessary (as demonstrated in the wording of my previous and last paragraphs), it is also inconsistent, and ultimately self-defeating to the very end it purports to achieve! Let me explain. To make the statement "no one is right" is synonymous to saying "it is true that no one is right", or in other words, "it is right that no one is right." I hope the inconsistency is becoming more clear now. If not, I will spell it out: there is a direct contradiction in supposing that no one can be right, while claiming special exception to this rule in order to make the rule! This is worse than just a fallacy of special pleading, it is also a complete contradiction. It's like saying, "I am telling you a lie," or other such paradoxes.

There are more problems with the wording, such as the fact that, if no one is right, why should anyone take anyone else seriously? If this forum is only about the spewing out of "opinions" then by what standard should any opinion be weighed against another? If we claim that "no one is right," then there is no such standard! Arguments will be reduced to "I think being a vegetarian is good" or "I think being a vegetarian is bad". And if that's going to be the best we got, we may as well shut the forum down right now. But wait! There's a better way to get the point across...

May I suggest replacing the wording in Rule #3 with something like "Please take everyone's opinion seriously. Disparaging remarks will not be tolerated. Use passionately rational argumentation, not impetuous rants."
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