Commandments of rational debate


Staff member
Dec 16, 2015
Found this elsewhere today, thought I'll post it here as a good reminder to myself and everyone else to keep the debate on this forum rational and thus intellectually stimulating.
Feel free to point me to it when I ignore it!

"The 12 Commandments of Rational Debate"

1. Thou shall not attack a person's character but the argument itself. ("Ad hominem")

2. Thou shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person's argument in order to make it easier to attack. ("Straw Man Fallacy)

3. Thou shall not use small numbers to represent the whole. ("Hasty Generalization")

4. Thou shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. ("Begging the Question")

5. Thou shall not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause. ("Post Hoc/False Claim")

6. Thou shall not reduce the argument down to two possibilities. ("Fake Dichotomy")

7. Thou shall not argue that because of our ignorance that the claim must be true or false. ("Ad Ignorantiam")

8. Thou shall not lay the burden of proof onto him who is questioning the claim. ("Burden of Proof Reversal")

9. Thou shall not assume "this" follows "that" when "it" has no logical connection. ("Non Sequitur")

10. Thou shall not claim that because a premise is popular, therefore, it must be true. ("Bandwagon Fallacy" / "Argumentum ad populum")

11. Thou shall not appeal to an outside party to claim support. ("Appeal to Authority")

12. Thou shall not claim moral authority. ("Moral high ground fallacy")
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Staff member
Aug 28, 2015
14. Do not invent details about a claim, refute these details and thereby presume to have refuted the original claim.

15. Do not refute claims that were never made.
For example: that xthinblocks helps latency.