My new rules for discussing conspiracy theories

This seems like a good way of proceeding.

1. If you’re trying to convince me of something pertaining to a field that I don’t have any expertise in (which would mainly be anything outside of philosophy and theology, and maybe some history), then I will only be convinced you’re right if you can convince me that you have a consensus of the experts on your side. Just so you’re forewarned.

This is so because I don’t have the time to educate myself to a level of expertise in the field you want to discuss, and unless I’m something of an expert myself then I don’t consider myself qualified to disagree with the expert consensus. I don’t say the expert consensus is never wrong or can never be questioned, only that it’s probably a waste of time if the people doing the questioning are not themselves experts. You think you’ve educated yourself to the level of expertise, and I commend you for your truly remarkable self-esteem. I will not believe that is true, however, unless you publish something in a peer-reviewed journal in the field, which should be no great trouble if you’re as qualified as you think, and you will certainly not lack motivation to publish, since you think so many of the experts are obviously wrong and easily shown to have misunderstood something important.

2. We can still have a conversation if you really want to, knowing rule number one, but before we do, you have to tell me, clearly and specifically, what it would take to convince you that you’re wrong. What evidence would be compelling to you, if any?

Probably peer-reviewed science, controlled experiments, and mountains of expert explanations will not convince you. If that’s the case, though, it would be helpful for you to admit it before we start, and to tell me what sort of higher-quality standard of evidence you are looking for. Keep in mind that blogs, YouTube videos, podcasts, social media posts, and random anecdotal testimony are not high quality evidence, and even if it was then there is as much evidence against you as there is for you.

3. If there is any sort of evidence that could convince you, the last thing you will have to do is to show me that you have tried to find such evidence against your position and have good reasons for saying it doesn’t exist or isn’t convincing for some reason.

You aren’t serious about your beliefs if you’ve never looked to see what the best evidence is against them. That would show you’re either deeply lazy or scared of the truth, and neither is something I would welcome in a conversation partner, as you can understand.

That’s it. That should be easy enough to manage, right?

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