Today I was directed to a thread on the Atheism Plus Forums. I decided to copy and paste the whole damned thing because I wanted to comment on each point individually.
My comments are in red.
The A+ Guide to Good Faith
Post by piegasm » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:01 pm
The following are some guidelines for how to avoid giving the appearance of arguing in bad faith based on suggestions made in this thread. These are not rules per se; just a list of things that are likely to set off troll alarm bells. Arguing in bad faith is grounds for moderator action so these items should be regarded as strong suggestions.
So, by this logic, appearing to argue in bad faith is ok?
1. Ask questions rather than spout opinions.
2. Lurk Moar. Learn the standards and conventions of our community before getting involved in conversations, especially ones that are already contentious.
In other words, see how others got banned in the thread and don't do the same.
3. a) Explicitly state what you would deem acceptable evidence.
b) When your criteria have been met, accept that you are likely wrong and try to reformulate your opinion based on this new information.
So, if I state what criteria I would deem acceptable as evidence, and then, once that critera has been met, I am wrong? How exactly does that work?
4. Cite your sources, especially if that evidence is core to an argument. "I thought someone with a name like this said something along the lines of that," does not a good argument make. "Project Implicit at Harvard studies implicit associations, and they say [statement with link to paper or article in which they say it]," on the other hand, does.
Irony Alert #2
5. a) Be wary of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. If you haven't studied something much, chances are you actually don't have a good understanding of it.
Irony Alert #3
b) Assume that those with more personal experience in an area know more than you do about it.
So according to this, any personal experience trumps someone who has studied something? A personal bias could not possibly be unreliable could it?
This is especially true in areas of gender, race, and other axes of oppression where you are privileged. If you've lived an upper-middle-class lifestyle all your life, you don't know what it's like to live below the poverty line. If you're a cis man, you don't know what it's like to be a cis woman, a trans woman, a trans man, or genderqueer. If you're white in North America, you don't know what it's like to face racism. And so on.
So we have to state what our life experiences are in order to have an opinion that would be considered valid? In other words, submit your memoirs before posting?
1. a) Assert with certainty things that are open to question.
Irony Alert #4
b) Respond to objections to the aforementioned assertions by repeating or restating said assertions.
Irony Alert #5
2. a) Dismiss evidence because it doesn't fit the set of arbitrary, magical conditions you've formulated.
Irony Alert #6
b) Refuse to explicitly state what you would deem acceptable evidence.
Irony Alert #7
c) Reformulate your question so as to invalidate the evidence you've been given.
Irony Alert #8 - (Fuck, I am running out of Irony Alerts here!)
3. Demand that others educate you when your questions would be just as easily answered with a Wikipedia search.
But if personal experience trumps studying something, then how is someone supposed to research it on Wikipedia? Are all members of A+ required to submit a Wiki entry so it can be searched and used as educational purposes?
4. Insist that others are wrong because you're right. "You're wrong because [reasons]" is fine.
So no to 'you are wrong but I am right', but yes to 'you are wrong because you are an MRA, Troll, Misogynist... um, ok...
5. Refuse to even consider the possibility that another's take on the situation may be valid.
So again, personal opinions are valid and can trump research and facts... ok.
6. Assume that everyone else is wrong or not understanding you when faced with multiple objections to your claims.
Just assume you are wrong because 10 people on A+ don't either understand you, or choose to ignore a rational argument.
7. Declare your arguments to be rational and objective and/or declare all counterarguments to be irrational and biased.
Even if they are... Just don't do this. It makes the A+ crowd cranky.
8. Use claims of "logic" and "reason" to deflect criticism. You are human and your assessment of the situation is not necessarily correct.
Again, this can trigger crankiness because of the heavy irony here.
9. a) Begin a post or topic with predictions that you will be flamed for disagreeing with the intent to execute a gotcha when people disagree with you.
Ah, so psychics are not allowed. Got it.
b) Enter this space knowing you hold opinions which many here disagree with and then come over all affronted when people disagree with you.
In other words, don't go on the forums with any logic or actual facts. It confuses them.
10. "Helicopter" into a multi-page thread just to drop off your opinion on the OP. This is a discussion forum; not a pontification forum.
No opinions allowed!... But... Oh fucking irony!
11. Use loaded language.
Translation: Don't say anything that they don't like. Or just avoid the damned place all together.
These guidelines are open to modification as need arises.
In other words, when we don't like you, or the things you say, we will ignore this list entirely and do what ever we feel like. Basically we'll just keep acting the way we always have, so fuck you!