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This is a proposal for a new Wikimedia sister project.
Status of the proposal
Technical requirements

Wikireason, wiki debate, is a proposal for a wiki to organize arguments on issues of relevance today. To a limited degree, this is done on Wikipedia with some issues. The article Gun politics in the United States contains some information, for example. Another are the two articles, "Arguments of/against the existence of God". Both of these are in different formats, and neither is widespread throughout wikipedia.

This wiki would give an opportunity to gather, organize, analyze, and collect evidence for all arguments made on such issues, in a consistent format. Wikipedia articles could link to matching topic debates as a reference- and vice-versa.

This would provide a resource that is not available on the internet today. To my knowlege, there are no sites that provide both sides of an issue, on every issue, are free, and have the scope that wikability provides. Furthermore, the non-linear format allows for far better organization than is possible on debate forums.

It has the potential to be a valuable contribution to understanding the issues of our time, thus helping people make informed decisions. It furthermore would provide a background and the perimeters for controversial issues, and finally allows a reference for those engaged in debate.

A possible option for later development is to allow people to record their position on issues. For example, on capital punishment, it is easy to mention the two sides yes or no, but it can be more important to allow people to record which argument they consider convincing.

This will provide an outlet for those Wikipedians who need to express their personal opinion on every issue.

(10-22-2009) Some other websites that attempt to achieve a similar goal are the Ideagraph, Debatepedia, Wiki-Debate, Debatewise,, etc. None of these have nearly the broad audience and recognition as Wikipedia, but they are still young. Each may lack in some respects. For instance, Debatepedia, Debatewise, and are organized around pros and cons. This isn't necessarily a bad organization, but it seems to polarize the discussion into us vs. them. On the contrary, the same people should be writing both the pros and the cons to result in well thought-out reasoning. also seems a bit out of date. The blog "Philosophical Disquisitions" demonstrates how arguments can be deconstructed, but does not allow multiple authors to contribute, nor does take advantage of hyperlinking to combine arguments.

For starters it may be that hype around a certain issue being debated is needed for this method of debate to gain recognition and acceptance. In other words, perhaps we should focus on a specific issue such as health care and not necessarily present the website as a new method for debate in general.

Argument Maps[edit]

Another option would be to use Argument Maps to present and organize the debates. The graphical presentation would help to further differentiate Wikireason from other sites which simply collect opinions. The nature of the Argument Maps would focus attention to the place in the chain where views begin to diverge, e.g., one accepts a fact that the other doesn't yet.

Argument Maps could also allow use of the Argument Interchange Format ontology. This might not only enable transportability but also contribute to a Web 3.0 future. --SteeleJ 22:36, 26 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Proposed by[edit]

Alternative names[edit]

  • Wikiforum
  • Wikiviews
  • Wikilogic
  • Wikipolis
  • Wikidebate
  • Wikireason
  • Wikagora (from the ancient athenian Agora, the square in which many philosophers - including Socrates and Plato - would meet and discuss things).
Archived discussion of names

Related projects/proposals[edit]

Similar proposals

Chains of Reason[edit]


Without knowing about the existing proposal, I spent a few days writing the following offline. I'm adding it here in the hopes that the two can be merged. I seem to have anticipated some of the questions that have already been asked. -- Beland 05:54, 28 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Wikiforum is intended to be a site where:

  • A wide variety of political issues are debated, both broadly and in detail, in theory, and as to implementation.
  • Ethical, philosophical, and religious issues are all fair game.
  • Concise summaries of arguments are available to help people quickly learn what has already been said, and what the major points of view on an issue are.
  • Arguments are refined over time. Bad arguments and bad facts are exposed and discredited, and good arguments are highlighted.

The goals of the site are to:

  • Simply provide a forum for communication on these topics
  • Promote high-quality, grass-roots discussion
  • Help everyone from political leaders to everyday people make more enlightened decisions

How is this different from existing forums?[edit]

There are a lot of places political, religious, and philosophical discussions happen - on talk radio, 24-hour cable news channels, newspaper editorial pages, instant messaging systems, blogs, mailing lists, neighborhood barbecues, bumper stickers, billboards, non-profit advocacy publications and web sites, debate societies, and the halls of power. None of them have all the same features as this forum, though many share some. But Wikiforum is so far, relatively unique.

  • A record of the conversation is kept for later reference.
  • Instead of following the entire discussion from beginning to end, you can instead read a summary of the ideas proposed so far.
  • Critics always get their say, so the discussion is well-rounded, not one-sided.
  • The discussion is unbounded. We can take our time to make up our minds (or to change them), improve our arguments, and do some research. We can take as much space as we need to cover all aspects of an issue, and to do into as much detail as necessary, while still having concise summaries for people who don't want to read a book just to know what people think.
  • It's open. Anyone can make an argument, and anyone can republish the arguments that have been made.
  • It can (could) be structured. Everyone can participate in the only once, easily retrievable ("refindable"), single thread -> no "rethreading" (reposting), ... (--Alien4, de.wikipedia)

How is this different from Wikipedia?[edit]

  • Personal opinions and original research are welcome, in addition to content which summarizes external sources.
  • Opinions can be presented in the most compelling, persuasive manner - not the neutral, third-person style needed to conform to Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy.
  • Unproven and unprovable claims can be freely made (at the risk of inviting rebuttal).
  • Authors may identify themselves, and associate themselves with a particular point of view.
  • Participants that disagree don't edit each others' prose. Instead, like-minded people work together to improve and expand passages that represent common points, refute the arguments of their common opponents, and coordinate real-world action to promote their agenda.
  • Participants rate the value of ideas after reading on a scale of 1 to 10. You can see a global average rating, plus a rating predicting how you will rate the idea based upon how people that have rated ideas similarly to you have rated this one you haven't rated yet.

I think we could apply this technique to deal with vandalism too. If Wikipedia itself used this technique, you could filter the pages to view versions that are unlikely to be vandalized. That is, show me the last post for which the predicted rating exceeds 6.0 based on my rankings of other posts and how those correlate to the article in question. WilliamKF 03:36, 20 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]

How is this different from Wikibate?[edit]

(--Alien4, de.wikipedia)

  • It can be multilingual. No need to artificially separate stuff that belongs together.

Domain names[edit]

  • - (I Hans Lysglimt am the holder of this domain name and willing to work with you guys to this end that happens to be the intention of the domain from start. Also have Contact:

Mailing list links[edit]


People interested[edit]