Wikievidentialism

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This page in a nutshell: Wikievidentialists favor the use of logic and facts to settle all content disputes in which the truth (or probably truth) can be objectively determined. They reject the use of appeals to emotion (e.g. "What will the children think if they are exposed to these facts?") and other fallacious techniques of persuasion.

Wikievidentialism is the wiki-philosophy that competing claims should be settled by reference to evidence, rather than with reference to concerns such as "What will people think about the encyclopedia if we take this stance?" Wikievidentalists take a critical rationalist approach to content disputes, and are willing to reject scientific mainstream theories if the evidence suggests that the scientific consensus is incorrect. They believe, for instance, that in some cases it would be appropriate to point out that the scientific community generally takes a certain stance, but that the weight of the evidence suggests that they are wrong. Thus, wikievidentialists reject certain aspects of verifiability and reliable source policy as being susceptible to argumentum ad populum, argumentum ad verecundiam and possibly even argumentum ad consequentiam (e.g. "If p is correct, then Wikipedia can state that p is correct without either (1) stating incorrect information or (2) contradicting the scientific consensus in a way that would bring discredit upon the project. Therefore, p is correct.")

Wikievidentialists recognize that some matters are not subject to dispassionate, purely scientific inquiry. For example, the question of how important a given subject is, and therefore how much weight it should receive in more general articles, is a personal judgment. Depending on the governance model of the project (e.g. wikimobocracy or wikidespotism), the decision will have to be settled in accordance with the preferences of some decision-maker or group of decision-makers. Evidence cannot determine what ultimate a person finds "good" or "bad" or of varying degrees of importance, but it can shed light on whether a given course of action would tend to further or hinder a set of ultimate goals. It can provide information as to relative costs and benefits of different actions, by whatever standard of satisfaction a person has.