Essay:I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki
“”In fact, i consider myself exsptionally more of a rational man than those of the likes of Rationalwikie and the Libral/Luvvie-Left Bum tart's.
|—Anglo-Saxon Foundation member "Harold Godwinsson"|
"I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" cry the critics, usually BoNs, whenever RW says something they don't like. For how can a site that calls itself rational not see the obvious superiority of whites, the efficacy of homeopathy, the advantages of libertarianism or the truth of the Bible? Needless to say, these critics get jumped on with a range of opposing arguments, which of course they
cannot answer can answer, but choose not to.
- Because I subscribe to this bullshit, a "rational wiki" should provide evidence for the rational mind.
I am right, you are wrong
The trouble is, no one ever believes they are thinking irrationally. This is quite easily demonstrated, because whether we like it or not, in the mind of pretty much every single person in the world is a little script that reads like so:
“”I am right, everything I think is right. This much is obvious because I wouldn't think something if it was wrong, would I? If I could point to an opinion of mine and say "that's wrong, and very irrational" I would simply stop thinking it and discard it. As this is empirically true, we can safely define "right" as "whatever I think" - making whatever I think right. Therefore, if you don't think exactly like me, you are very much wrong by definition. QED bitches.
This leads to an impasse where two (or more) parties can believe, quite firmly, that they are being rational and the other is being irrational. Basically, when someone is accusing you of being irrational, they're merely accusing you of disagreeing with them, and of not following and adhering to their own standards of evidence and version of rationality. "Rational" as a word doesn't just mean an appeal to logic and reason (though anyone putting too much trust in a dictionary would undoubtedly spit this definition back repeatedly), it also possesses extra connotations and implications. Specifically it suggests that a "rational" person, far from just "appealling to logic and reason" is very much intellectually superior and absolutely 100% correct and justified - almost invariably this is the more important thing to think of, because who needs logic and reason when you can be on a rationalist high-horse! This can be seen very clearly when a critic or BoN finds a sympathetic ear and praises the agreeing user for their "rationality".
Calm and rational
There is also a small but significant confusion between appearing rational and appearing as a calm, zen-like figure of reason - so those with a sharp tongue or a good eye for snark may well be accused of being "irrational" too regardless of their actual content. But again, this isn't the case and accusing someone of being "irrational" for using laconic or foul language is merely a style-over-substance fallacy.
With respect to all this, "Rational" Wiki was probably a bad choice of words to use in hindsight; but "Skeptic Wiki" was already taken, "Skeptical Empiricist Wiki" isn't that catchy and "Liberapedia" is just plain embarrassing (by name and nature), so what else could it have been? The "why do you call it RATIONALWiki?!?" statement is possibly one of the laziest criticisms that it is possible to make.