Chains of Reason

Chains of Reason is currently just an idea

That idea is an online platform for a new form of discourse.

Just as Wikipedia is a collaborative platform for the presentation of knowledge, Chains of Reason would be a collaborative platform for the presentation of arguments. Although, whereas Wikipedia only presents established knowledge, it would be possible to present both established and original arguments on Chains of Reason.

Also like Wikipedia, the site would use wiki software, be run on a nonprofit basis, and be ad-free.

The presentation format

Arguments would be presented as a series of small logical steps. Each step would consist of two premises followed by a conclusion, with the conclusion of each step prior to the last step also being the first premise of the next step. The chain of reasoning would be displayed as in the following example:

  1. Brain activity is the interaction and motion of matter in the brain.

  1. The interaction and motion of matter is dictated solely by the laws of physics.

⬇️

  1. Brain activity is dictated solely by the laws of physics.

  1. Some brain activity underlies the decision-making process.

⬇️

  1. The decision-making process is ultimately dictated solely by the laws of physics.

  1. If the decision-making process is ultimately dictated solely by the laws of physics then we don't have free will.

⬇️

  1. We don't have free will.

A new form of discourse

Discourse between people about their contrary beliefs, however polite, is normally adversarial, as each person tries to demonstrate that their belief is correct and their opponent's belief is wrong. But Chains of Reason would be a platform for a collaborative discourse between people about their contrary beliefs. That is, just as people on Wikipedia with contrary beliefs collaborate on articles related to those beliefs, people on Chains of Reason with contrary beliefs would collaborate on the presentation of arguments for and against those beliefs. The only debate on the platform would be about how best to accurately, clearly and concisely present each argument. Although, it would be possible for an argument to be presented as a counterargument to a step in another argument by linking from the latter to the former.

Who's behind Chains of Reason?

The basic idea of Chains of Reason was devised by me, Derrick Farnell.

Want to get involved?

If you'd like to help develop this idea, and the website, email me at derrick@chainsofreason.org or join the discussion at the Chains of Reason subreddit.

There's also a Twitter account.