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Beliefs about Reason


“A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking .” ~Steven Wright

  1. Encouraging Ongoing Dialogue: By design, the Idea Stock Exchange does not treat conclusions as endpoints but as starting points for further exploration and discussion. It acknowledges that our understanding of issues can evolve with new information, perspectives, and critical thinking.

  2. Facilitating Diverse Perspectives: The platform is structured to bring together a wide range of viewpoints, challenging users to consider arguments and evidence they might not have encountered otherwise. This diversity combats the intellectual stagnation that can occur when one stops questioning and seeking out new information.

  3. Promoting Critical Thinking: Through its focus on pro/con analysis and evidence-based reasoning, the Idea Stock Exchange fosters an environment where conclusions are continuously scrutinized. This approach aligns with the belief that true understanding requires relentless inquiry and skepticism towards easy answers.

  4. Dynamic Knowledge Building: The Idea Stock Exchange treats knowledge as a collective, dynamic construct rather than a series of individual revelations. It leverages community input, debate, and consensus to refine and expand the collective understanding of complex issues.

  5. Counteracting the Dunning-Kruger Effect: By exposing users to the depth and breadth of knowledge surrounding any given topic, the platform aims to mitigate cognitive biases like the Dunning-Kruger effect, where individuals overestimate their understanding. This exposure encourages humility and a recognition of the value of continuous learning.



"It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it is true". ~Bertrand Russell

The Idea Stock Exchange is deeply rooted in the philosophical principle articulated by Bertrand Russell: "It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it is true." This platform embodies Russell's advocacy for evidence-based reasoning and critical thinking, setting the foundation for its structure and goals in several key ways:

1. Prioritizing Evidence and Reasoning:

The platform encourages users to support their beliefs with evidence and logical reasoning. Just as Russell warns against accepting propositions without basis, the Idea Stock Exchange fosters an environment where claims are scrutinized and must be substantiated.

2. Facilitating Informed Debate:

By aggregating pro/con arguments and evidence regarding various beliefs, the platform ensures that debates are informed and grounded in facts rather than unfounded assertions. This aligns with Russell’s emphasis on having a foundation for beliefs.

3. Encouraging Open-mindedness and Skepticism:

The platform promotes a culture of skepticism in the positive sense encouraged by Russell—questioning and seeking evidence before accepting claims as truth. Users are encouraged to approach each belief with an open mind, ready to revise their views in light of new evidence or compelling arguments.

4. Empowering Users with Diverse Perspectives:

Understanding that a single perspective can be limited or biased, the Idea Stock Exchange provides access to a range of viewpoints. This multiplicity of perspectives helps ensure that beliefs are not accepted without consideration of alternative or opposing evidence, mirroring Russell’s caution against uncritical acceptance.

5. Building a Community Around Evidence-Based Beliefs:

The platform aims to create a community where beliefs are formed and adjusted based on a collective examination of evidence and reasoning. This community-driven approach to knowledge echoes Russell’s idea that beliefs should be held tentatively, ready to be reevaluated as new information emerges.

6. Promoting Intellectual Humility:

By exposing the complexity of issues and the diversity of reasonable opinions, the platform encourages intellectual humility—a recognition that one’s own beliefs may be incomplete or incorrect. This humility is a natural extension of Russell’s warning against unwarranted certainty.

In essence, the Idea Stock Exchange operationalizes Russell’s caution against baseless beliefs by creating a structured environment for the examination, debate, and evolution of ideas. It champions the principle that beliefs should be rooted in evidence and subjected to continuous scrutiny, ensuring that the community moves closer to well-founded understandings on a wide array of topics.



"Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors." ~Thomas H. Huxley

Addressing Thomas H. Huxley's belief that "Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors," the Idea Stock Exchange meticulously structures its approach to dissect and evaluate beliefs through a system of belief scores and logical validity assessments. This framework emphasizes the critical examination of ideas based on evidence and rational discourse rather than adherence to unfounded convictions. Here’s how the platform is designed to operationalize Huxley’s insight:

Development of Belief Scores:

  • Quantitative Evaluation: Beliefs are quantitatively assessed based on the strength, relevance, and logical consistency of pro/con arguments submitted by users. This system discourages the acceptance of beliefs without rational examination.
  • Dynamic Scoring: Scores are dynamic, reflecting ongoing debate and the introduction of new evidence or arguments. This fluidity encourages users to remain open to revising their beliefs in light of stronger evidence or reasoning, combating the rigidity of irrationally held truths.

Logical Validity Scores:

  • Assessment of Arguments: Each argument presented within the platform is evaluated for its logical validity, ensuring that conclusions are derived from sound reasoning. This process helps identify and correct reasoned errors, fostering a culture of logical rigor.
  • Transparency in Reasoning: By making the logical structure of arguments visible and subject to critique, the platform helps users identify fallacies or weak reasoning that might underpin irrationally held beliefs.

Addressing "Irrationally Held Truths":

  • Evidential Support: The platform requires that claims be supported by evidence, directly challenging irrationally held truths that lack empirical backing.
  • Critical Feedback Loop: Users receive feedback on the logical validity and evidence support of their arguments, providing opportunities for reflection and learning. This feedback mechanism is vital for revealing the potential harm of clinging to baseless beliefs.

Pro/Con Evidence Measurement:

  • Balanced Perspective: By facilitating the presentation and evaluation of both supporting and opposing evidence for any given belief, the platform ensures a balanced examination of issues. This balance is crucial for mitigating the impact of bias in the acceptance of truths.
  • Community-driven Insights: The aggregation of community evaluations and arguments offers a comprehensive view of the belief landscape, allowing users to gauge the consensus and strength of evidence for or against particular beliefs.

The Idea Stock Exchange, inspired by Huxley’s belief, creates a systematic approach to belief evaluation that prioritizes rationality, evidence, and logical coherence. It moves beyond a simplistic binary of right versus wrong, focusing instead on the quality of reasoning and evidence supporting or opposing beliefs. Through this method, the platform aims to diminish the influence of irrationally held truths by fostering an environment where reasoned errors are seen as part of the iterative process of knowledge advancement, ultimately contributing to a more informed and rational public discourse.


"The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments. ~Friedrich Nietzsche


1. Enhances Quality of Discourse:

  • Focused Debate: Argument scores help focus debates on the most robust and well-supported ideas, ensuring that discussions are driven by merit rather than volume or repetition.
  • Reduces Noise: By scoring arguments based on their sub-argument performance, the platform minimizes the impact of irrelevant or poorly constructed claims, reducing noise and enhancing the overall quality of discourse.

2. Promotes Critical Thinking:

  • Encourages Scrutiny: Users are motivated to critically evaluate both their contributions and those of others, leading to a deeper engagement with the subject matter.
  • Identifies Weaknesses: The process of scoring based on sub-arguments highlights weaknesses in reasoning, prompting users to refine their arguments or reconsider their positions.

3. Fosters a Learning Environment:

  • Educational Feedback: Scores provide immediate feedback on the perceived strength of arguments, offering a learning opportunity for users to understand how their reasoning is received and how it could be improved.
  • Demonstrates Argumentation Skills: The system serves as a practical tool for learning effective argumentation, illustrating how strong support and relevance contribute to persuasive, impactful arguments.

4. Encourages Intellectual Honesty:

  • Discourages Gish Gallop: The practice of overwhelming an argument with sheer volume of points, regardless of their relevance or accuracy, is disincentivized. Quality is valued over quantity.
  • Rewards Honesty: Users are encouraged to present arguments they can substantiate, leading to a more honest and transparent exchange of ideas.

5. Cultivates Diverse Perspectives:

  • Broadens Understanding: By evaluating the strength of pro/con sub-arguments, users are exposed to a wide range of perspectives, broadening their understanding of the topic.
  • Encourages Empathy: Engaging with well-argued opposing viewpoints can foster empathy and respect among users, even in disagreement.

6. Dynamic Knowledge Base:

  • Reflects Evolving Understanding: Argument scores can change as new evidence comes to light or as better arguments are made, reflecting a dynamic and evolving understanding of topics.
  • Builds Comprehensive Archives: Over time, the platform compiles a rich archive of arguments on various topics, scored and sorted by their validity and relevance. This becomes a valuable resource for anyone researching or exploring those issues.

In summary, the use of argument scores based on pro/con sub-arguments' performance significantly enriches the discourse within the Idea Stock Exchange. It not only elevates the quality of discussions but also fosters a culture of critical thinking, learning, and respect for diverse viewpoints, all while maintaining a focus on intellectual honesty and the dynamic nature of knowledge.



Putting reasons to agree and disagree in separate columns allows us to do some cool things.




Reasons to agree 


  1.  Enhanced Clarity and Organization:
    1. Structured Comparison: Separating reasons into pro and con columns allows for a direct comparison of arguments, facilitating a clearer understanding of the positions and their relative strengths.
    2. Prioritization of Arguments: Ranking reasons within each column by their perceived strength or relevance highlights the most compelling arguments, making it easier for readers to assess the core issues at play.
  2. Algorithmic Analysis and Scoring:
    1. Dynamic Scoring Systems: Algorithms can analyze the number and quality of reasons in each column, assigning a dynamic score to the main idea based on the balance of evidence and argument strength. This quantifies the debate in a way that's transparent and responsive to new information.
    2. Google Duel for Idea Strength: A "Google duel" could compare the prevalence and persuasive power of arguments for and against, using search engine metrics as a proxy for the idea's overall strength or popularity in the broader discourse.
  3. Interactive and Democratic Engagement:
    1. User Ratings: Allowing users to rate reasons enhances engagement and provides a democratic assessment of each argument's persuasive power, contributing to or detracting from the main idea's overall score.
    2. Evidence-Based Consensus: User interaction with the argument scores helps build a consensus based on evidence and rational debate, rather than loudness or rhetorical skill.
  4. Historical and Intellectual Integration:
    1. Incorporating Wisdom Across Ages: Placing historical and contemporary arguments side by side in this structured format allows for timeless wisdom to be applied to modern issues, enriching the debate with a depth of perspective.
    2. Truth-Oriented Discourse: Following Abraham Lincoln’s ethos of aligning with truth, this format champions an unbiased exploration of issues, ensuring that the pursuit of truth is paramount over winning an argument.
  5. Thorough Investigation of Ideas:
    1. Comprehensive Exploration: Lists of pro and con reasons encourage exhaustive investigation of a topic, ensuring that no aspect is overlooked and that discussions are not derailed by tactics like topic-shifting or monopolizing the conversation.
    2. Constructive Dialogue: By structuring debates around listed arguments, the platform prevents shouting matches and promotes a reasoned exchange of ideas, where every contribution is valued and considered on its merits.
  6. Fostering Understanding and Respect:
    1. Acknowledging Opposing Views: Providing space for all arguments allows individuals to feel heard and respected, crucial for constructive discourse.
    2. Rational Debate: The format's emphasis on listing and addressing each side's best arguments encourages a culture of rational debate, where the goal is mutual understanding and truth-seeking rather than merely winning an argument. 
  7.  We should organize reason to agree and disagree with ideas into two separate columns.
  8. Putting reasons to agree and disagree in separate columns, could let you create a computer algorithm that gives points to the main idea, depending on things like the number of reasons to agree & disagree.
  9. Every issue should have it's own website with a comprehensive list of reasons to agree or disagree.
  10. Putting reasons to agree and disagree in separate columns allows me to put the best reasons at the top of each column
  11. Could allow me to perform a Google duel between all the items that agree and disagree, which could represent the overall strength of the idea.
  12. I could let people rate the reasons to agree or disagree, were the overall score of the reasons that agree contribute to the idea, and the overall score of the reasons that disagree take away from the score of the main idea.
  13. I could assign a score to each reason based on the number of reasons that agree with it. The overall score of the reasons in the "reasons to agree" category would contribute to the overall score of the main idea.
  14. This will allow us to talk to our ancestors, and include all the smart things that they said, about issues that we still face today. As we start thinking about this, we can see why a web site like the history channel may want to adopt it. What does Abraham Lincoln have to say about issues we are facing today?
  15. Like Abraham Lincoln said, it is not so important that we pray that God is on ourside, but that we are on God's side. The same thing about the truth. We shoudn't work to try to prove that the truth is on our side, but that we are on the truth's side. If we have a truth promoting forum, then it is safe to investigate both sides of an issue. We have nothing to fear from those who would disagree with us, as long as we are on the side of truth, and we have a format that alows for rational debate. Using lists of reasons to agree or disagree is a very good way of thouroughly investigating an issue, without letting either side hi-jack the discusion, by changing the topic, talking too long. Each side should bring their best arguments, and list them on a page. If we are not in a shouting mach, or competing for a limited amount of time, why not thoroughly investigate an idea? We don't need to silence the other side, we just need to prove that they are wrong.
  16. Usually, one point won't convince someone they are wrong. Everyone needs to feel that they got all of their reasons out on the table. We are not discounting people's beliefs, we are responding to them.
















  •  No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the sum of his knowledge.
  • Ayn Rand

  • "Everything should be as simple as it is; but not simpler."
  • Albert Einstein








I think we should use the online debate format I explain below, to allow users to post reasons to agree and disagree with his beliefs.




The current online discussion forums cause more conflict than they solve. There are many reasons that these online discussion forums are so frustrating. Internet forums that do not try and organize the different aspects of a debate are much like an argument where no one is in charge, and everyone can instantly change the subject. Sure the internet offers everyone a voice, but a voice without order is just noise.




A car with multiple searing weals would not work. Thread type discussion forums that allow each new post to change the subject will never get anywhere.




However we can allow everyone to “talk” at once if we allow users to organize their contributions. For instance if we give one page per issue, we could then allow users to interact with that issue by posting their comments within a column of reasons to agree or within the reasons to disagree column.




This simple innovation of allowing people to tag the innovation of allowing people to tag their post as a reason to agree or disagree will revolutionize the way we debate, come to conclusions, and think.




Allowing people to categorize their arguments as a reason to agree or disagree will allow us to compare the number of reasons to agree or disagree with a belief.




Of course the quality of the reasons to agree or disagree with a belief is as important as the number of reasons to agree or disagree with that belief. There are many ways to evaluate or allow users to the quality of a reason to agree or disagree with an idea.




Counting scheme’s can be devised to reflect the cumulative perceived validity of all the reasons to agree or disagree with an idea. For example each reason to agree or disagree could be assigned a value based on user feedback resulting in a numerical value for each reason, and therefore a total score for the reasons to agree vs. disagree.




An additional and more elegant way to evaluate the validity of each reason to agree or disagree is to allow users to provide reasons to agree and disagree with them.




This type of discussion forum will allow a significant leap forward by integrating statistical analysis techniques with debate forums. For instance confidence intervals can be assigned to each belief based on the number of reasons posted, the percent difference between reasons to agree vs. disagree, the amount of variance between.




Using lists that try to get to the main point quickly, do not allow for advertising. And that is what is being done when someone uses a lot of words to describe their idea… they are advertising. But when you use lists of reasons to agree or disagree, the issue becomes clear. You see the complexity. People don't want to see that there are good reasons to agree or disagree with both sides. They want to stick with their prejudices and previous conclusions. They want to gloss over everything with a nice wordy paragraph that hides the shortcomings of their thinking with wordiness.






The Need For This Site




"Everything should be as simple as it is; but not simpler." ''- Albert Einstein



I would like to create an internet revolution with presidential campaigns for the presidency. I'm sure a lot of you would too. Some people think that previous elections had effective online campaign for president. The fact that they were able to send millions of spam messages every day does not impress me. These people could have just went to his website and read his ideas. Thousands of Idiots are able to send out millions of Viagra advertisements every day, and we don't try and make presidents out of them. Substance is more important than just using a new technology.


I don't know about you, but I am not impressed with our ability to all recycle the same old news stories. Aleister Crowley said, "To read a newspaper is to refrain from reading something worthwhile. The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter". I'm not saying that what we are righting on our blogs is canned chatter, I'm just saying that the format of the blog does not lend itself well to improvement or organization.


Contrary to the field of dreams, just because you build it, does not mean they will come.


With the proper funding, this website could become much more than the typical discussion group, or blog. Click on the explanation to your right, to learn more. 




Explaining this website one letter at a time

A`, B`, C`, D`, E`, F`, G`, H`, I`, J`, K`, L`, M`, N`, O`, P`, Q`, R`, S`, T`, U`, V`, W`, X`, Y`, Z`


Also See

Alphabetical Listing of Debate Reform Thesis Statements




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