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About Honest Argument

This is a place where people gather to discuss topics big and small, to hash out complete arguments. What makes this site especially useful is that the arguments are mapped out visually, in tree diagrams of supporting and refuting assertions, until the arguments reach their natural conclusions.

The arguing, of course, is not the point of the site, but simply the means of getting there - exposing the half-truths, untruths and fallacies that the hacks use to convince you that their side is right. Just as importantly, nobody gets to hide from inconvenient facts, or assertions that fail to fit neatly into their belief systems.

Understanding Through Argument

"If we insist on argument as the essence of education, we will defend democracy not as the most efficient but as the most educational form of government, one that extends the circle of debate as widely as possible and thus forces all citizens to articulate their views, to put their views at risk, and to cultivate the virtues of eloquence, clarity of thought and expression, and sound judgment."
Christopher Lasch, The Revolt of the Elites, p. 170

Lasch was writing about democracy, of course, but what we find most compelling is the idea of argument as the superior method of understanding. We have all been exposed to argument in one form or another during our formal education - compare and contrast essays, for example. The real world, however, has been far less accomodating.

Existing media doesn't fully inform its audience. Traditional news media can suffer from biases, budget and time constraints and a devotion to "he said, she said" journalism - often from vested interests - that tends to convey a false equivalence to the different sides of the issues.

Opinion journalism - OpEd columns, talk radio, etc - is, by its very nature, advocacy. That doesn't necessarily make it wrong, but advocacy almost always underplays or simply ignores opposing views.

Blogs and other fora on the net serve as individual nodes in a great and widespread conversation - often interacting with the traditional media. But the scattered nature of the various thoughts - among multiple blog ecologies - is also a flaw.

Diagramming Arguments

Argument diagrams incorporate two powerful advantages in helping to understand complex issues:

Honest Argument imposes structure and comprehensiveness on Arguments. It forces participants into intellectual sandboxes where all of the facts and all of the opinions are laid out in one place for all to see, and those facts and opinions stand or fall on their own merit.

At the same time, the point-counterpoint structure of the Arguments eases and enhances understanding of complex issues. The relationships between the various pros and cons are displayed visually. Logical fallacies are idenitified when they arise. And Arguments interrelate to form even more complex Arguments.

How the Site Works

Users create Arguments from their own ideas, or from Argument Requests. Once Arguments are voted through, all registered users can add nodes to the Arguments. Users keep adding nodes until the Argument reaches its natural conclusion.

How You Can Participate

Just register and dive in. Search Arguments and comment on them or add nodes. Or create your own Argument or Argument Request, but please read Creating Arguments prior to creating an Argument.

There are only Two Commandments that you need to remember on this site:

Violation of either of these Two Commandments will result in a suspension or removal of participation privileges on the site.

Need More Help?

For more help, read the following

Thanks for stopping by. We hope that you enjoy your time here and come back often.

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