Taking a specific position in any kind of debate helps prevent position dancing and is more likely to result in a productive discussion -- i.e. one that is a mutual search for truth based on available evidence. On some topics where there is frequent disagreement, it may be helpful to create a position quiz if one does not already exist.
Issuepedia strongly encourages individuals to post position statements, either here or elsewhere, on as many issues as they have time or energy to address. Issuepedia is available as a venue for wiki-based discussion of such positions.
Positions can be:
- defended or undefended
- firmly-held or tentative
- open to discussion or closed for discussion
Eventually, we would like to have a template and icons for users to indicate these attributes on their Position Statement pages.
Defense of Opinions
Although defense of opinions is not required, we do recommend it; undefended opinions may be subject to attack for reasons which have nothing to do with the actual reason the opinion is held. For those who wish to question undefended opinions, however, we recommend the following actions:
- asking the opinion-holder for a defense before attacking
- posting your own (presumably contrary) opinion, and putting in a link to the opinion(s) you disagree with (and possibly others with which you do agree, for a more comprehensive index of thought on the subject at hand)
Discussion of Opinions
While we prefer opinions to be open to discussion, we respect the individual's right to withhold their reasons for holding an opinion. However, we cannot prevent other individuals from discussing said opinions and making guesses as to the holder's motivations. We encourage those who do not wish to discuss their opinions to at least give a summary of their motives for holding the opinion: "personal involvement", for example, or "religious reasons" (preferably naming the religion in question).
see also category:position statements
- Julia Sweeney
- MadKatter: answers to a survey, but comes to much the same thing
- Maryscott O'Connor: My Left Wing Manifesto
- Rosa Carson (as of ~1999 -- maybe she would be willing to post an updated version?)