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We should give scores to arguments and conclusions

Reasons to agree

  1. What you do not measure you can not improve. If we don't evaluate ideas and arguments we can not promote good arguments, we can't reward those who use good logic, and verifiable information.
  2. Giving scores to an idea is really the only way to evaluate them. Even if you don't right a score down, you are subconsciously evaluating arguments against each other. Giving them a score is the only way to allow your scores transparent.
  3. The goal of this website is to help people make decisions. Listing all the reasons to agree and disagree is too overwhelming to handle all at once. A better way would be to give each argument a score, and let a user decide if they agree or disagree with all the scores for all the sub-arguments... then you add all the sub arguments, to determine the total score for the idea. Each person would have their own score for each of the sub arguments, and total score, but you would average everyone's to track an idea's amount of approval over time.
  4. People in our society don't like evaluating ideas. We are told that each conclusion is valid. Each argument is valid. It feels rude to tell people their logic is bad. However this is a recipe for mass chaos. Some logic is bad. The people who are all confident that other people's logic is bad, are often the worse offenders. But finally with this website we have the capability to have reasons to agree or disagree with each argument, and the capability to put these arguments on the same page, and finally we have the capability to see which arguments are valid, and which ones are not. But we just need to go one more step, and start giving bad scores to bad arguments. It might feel rude at first, but nothing is final. Each conclusion will have its own page, and so it's amount of support will change over time, and so no one should feel wrong, or feel that decisions are final... all decisions scores are just snapshots of total support and opposition to an idea at a particular time... Its nothing to be afraid of...
  5. Quality can sometimes be hard to define, and can be subjective, but this shouldn't stop us from trying. Their are people who study logic. There is a limited number of types of logical fallacies. These are all well defined, and easy to understand. It would be easy to accuse an argument of a logical fallacy, and easy to determine if the accusation is accurate. It would be easy to give people scores based on how good they are at identifying arguments that turn out to have large degree of agreement of following, or not following a logical fallacy.
  6. Allowing us to give an argument or conclusion a score can make this website more fun and social. It would be fun to see what scores other people give arguments, and conclusions. It would be interesting to see which ideas consistently have high scores, and which ones have low scores. It would be interesting to see which conclusions you support, that have low level of support. It would be cool if your scores that you gave were used to map you on a political spectrum, and could be used to identify people on the website that are similar. When you vote to support or oppose an idea, it puts your skin in the game, and would probable cause you to have more ownership, and work harder to improve the quality of the site.

Reasons to disagree

  1. It will take too much computer programming to give each belief and argument an ID, and create a relationship database that identifies each argument as a reason to support or oppose other arguments, and then track scores for each argument. It would take too much work to create a label that identifies links as better ways of saying the same thing. It would be hard to create a label for an idea, argument, concept, or conclusion. You can't just use a sentence as a label.

Interest, values, and assumptions of those who agree

Interest & Values of those who disagree

Score based on the number of reasons to agree vs reasons to disagree

For each reason we should track the number of reasons to agree and disagree with it. This will result in a conclusion at the top of a page, with columns for reasons to agree and reasons to disagree, as shown below:

  • Reasons to agree: +4
  • Reasons to disagree: -2
  • Reasons to agree with reasons to agree: +6
  • Reasons to disagree with reason to agree: 0
  • Reasons to agree with reasons to disagree: -2
  • Reasons to disagree with reasons to disagree: 0
  • Total: +6

Reasons to agree

  • RtA#1: Reasons to agree #1
  • RtA#2: Reasons to agree #2

Reasons to disagree

  • TtD#1: Reasons to disagree#1
  • TtD#2: Reasons to disagree#2

However reason to agree (RtA#1) will also have reasons to agree and disagree with them. Using this format RTA#1, as shown above, is used to support Conclusion #1. If you clicked on RtA#1, you would have a new page with reasons to agree and disagree with it. In this situation a reason to agree with RtA#1 would also support Conclusion #1. Also a reason to disagree with RtA#1 would weaken conclusion #1. Obviously a reason to agree with RtD#1 would weaken Conclusion #1, and a reason to disagree with RtD#1 would strengthen Conclusion #1.

For simple math I suggest we just count all the reasons to agree that tree out beneath a belief. However in the future, when we have computers to do our math for us, an argument that is once removed could have 1 point, and an argument that is twice removed could have 1/2 a point and so on.

  • Score =
    • Additional of reasons to agree,
    • Subtraction of reasons to disagree,
    • Addition of reasons to agree with reasons to agree,
    • Subtractions of reason to disagree with reasons to agree,
    • Subtractions of reasons to agree with reasons to disagree, and
    • Addition of reasons to disagree with reasons to disagree.

So what do we do with the scores? How do we know that the ideas with better scores are really better ideas? We don't, but what you don't measure you can't improve. Mankind may never be able to come up with a forum that uses an algorithm to promote better ideas, but I would like to try.

At some level we all know that if we don't promote good arguments and demote bad arguments we will have a less useful website. The problem becomes how do you define a good argument and how do you define bad one. Obviously a good argument uses good data and good logic. At some point if someone uses bad logic, or bad facts, people should post reasons to disagree with their argument. I believe that if we create a forum that allows people to post reasons to disagree and agree with arguments, arguments that are based on sound logic, and good facts will have more reasons to agree with them and fewer reasons to disagree with them.

So what do we do with arguments that have high scores? We move them to the top of the page? Do we delete arguments with low scores? Of course not, we just move them to the bottom of the lists of reasons to agree and disagree. This is like evolution, in that the best arguments get access to better real-estate.


I believe we should track the number of reasons to agree and disagree with each belief. At first this sounds stupid, because some arguments are better than others. And so just because you have a lot of stupid arguments to support a belief doesn't mean that it is correct, if there are just a few valid reasons to oppose a conclusion. However, if you count reasons to agree with reasons to agree, bad arguments won't have as much force.

For instance a reasons to agree with a reason to agree will support the original conclusion.

Example: Mankind causes some global warming

Reasons to agree

Reasons to disagree

A reason to believe that C02 causes global warming might be that: in 1861, John Tyndal published laboratory results identifying CO2 as a greenhouse gas that absorbed heat rays (longwave radiation). From this example the belief that C02 causes global warming is strengthened by the number of reasons to agree with it, and this belief can strengthen other arguments, such as the belief that mankind is causing global warming by releasing C02.

Bertrand Russell said, "It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it is true". At some point ideas with more reasons to support them are more valid than those ideas with fewer reasons to support them. If not those reasons that are used, will be more valid, if they have more reasons to support them, and so on...

That is why I think we should at least start counting the number of reasons to agree and disagree with each idea. Myclob 12:34, 28 August 2011 (EDT)

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