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CZ:Summaries of policy arguments

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Generally, Citizendium policy discussion takes place on the Forums, not the wiki. But we might occasionally find it useful to summarize and standardize some arguments on different sides of a controversial Citizendium policy issue--and for that, the wiki will be useful.

The issues



The rules for summarizing policy arguments

  1. Our purpose here is to summarize and standardize arguments--not to argue niggling and idiosyncratic points that would be irrelevant outside the context of a particular person-to-person exchange. In other words, we are dealing with a relatively "universal" question and we are summing up "universal" arguments on each side.
  2. In designing the structure for our debate, simplicity is best: one side presents an argument; the other side presents a reply; there can, in addition, be a rebuttal and counter-rebuttal, but try to avoid this and don't iterate "downward" any further.
  3. As to format, always use headings to summarize arguments (do not simply write "Argument," for example), and precede these headings as follows:
    • Top level: Affirmative or Negative
    • First level: Argument
    • Second level: Reply
    • Third level: Rebuttal
    • Fourth level: Counter-rebuttal
    • There is no fifth level.
  4. These must be excellent, largely fallacy-free formulations of the arguments. This means, among other things, that replies must specifically address the merits of the argument to which it is a reply. In other words, replies must be responsive; one may not simply repeat an irrelevant different argument as a reply to a given argument.
  5. Make only one argument per section.
  6. Consider this page a style template. (But wait...right now, it's a mess and not really a good template for anything.)
  7. We will learn/settle on more rules as we go. Note, some ideas about how to proceed are given on this old Textop wiki page. See also Debatepedia.

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