Wikidebates is an open licence, wiki based debate encyclopaedia. In each debate, arguments “for” and “against” are presented with respective potential refutes, so as to enable each reader to develop an informed and critical opinion of their own.
Wikidebates is the brain-child of the Structured Debate think tank, a French non-profit.
You want to form your opinion on a given topic of debate? You’re looking to better understand the different positions on a topic of debate without spending hours researching arguments scattered throughout the internet? Wikidebates serves exactly that purpose.
Wikidebates is a project to create an encyclopedia of debates functioning on the principle of wikis. Each page brings together the different arguments for and against any number of issues, in order to allow each individual to form his or her own informed opinion on a given topic of debate.
What Wikidebates is
Wikidebates is an encyclopedia
Wikidebates gathers knowledge, presented in a simple, synthetic and organized manner.
Because even if we can find everything or almost everything on the Internet, the information we dispose of is scattered around the four corners of the Web, and is rarely brought together in an organized way.
Wikidebates is an encyclopedia of debates
Contrary to Wikipedia, the pages of Wikidebates don’t give information about any and all subjects, but about debates, questions that we can respond to with arguments.
Because no specific resource specific to debates that allows each individuel to form his or her own informed opinion on a given topic of debate exists.
Wikidebates gathers arguments
Each debate page describes all the arguments for and against a given issue, as well as the objections that can be made against these arguments.
Because the best way to form an opinion is to know the arguments and the counter-arguments to the different positions.
Wikidebates is a wiki
The content of the encyclopedia comes from its users who can modify and enrich the pages in all simplicity.
Because establishing such an encyclopedia is a colossal task, which requires collaboration.
Wikidebates is freely diffused and modified
All the content of the encyclopedia is placed under a Creative Commons license authorizing the diffusion and modification.
Because a collaborative encyclopedia is the fruit of the labors of all, and knowledge is to be shared.
What Wikidebates is not
Wikidebates is not a discussion forum
Wikidebates is an encyclopedia that aims to objectively synthesize the different opinions that we can find on a given topic of debate. It is not a space in which personal opinions can be indiscriminately expressed for the purpose for convincing others.
Because many debate forums exist already and these spaces do not have the same function as an encyclopedia: a forum serves, above all, to allow people to dialogue, while an encyclopedia serves to relay knowledge.
Wikidebates is not a polling site
Wikidebates is not a site that collects the opinions of internet users on a given topic of debate displaying percentages of opinions for and against.
Because the merit of an opinion doesn’t depend on the number of people who agree with it. We can sometimes be right despite what the majority thinks.
Wikidebates is not an encyclopedia of controversies
Contrary to certain sociological approaches to controversies, Wikidebates is not centered on the actors who take part in a controversey, but on arguments.
Because in order to form an opinion on an issue, it is more pertinent to know the details of the arguments invoked than the identity of the debate’s protagonists. Knowing about the latter, and the interests that motivate them, can in some cases help us to better understand certain arguments, but that is not essential to the objectives of Wikidebates.
Wikidebates is a project that currently exists only in French, but its objective is to become a multilingual encyclopedia, like Wikipedia.
Are you interested in this project? Would you like to contribute in English or in another language? Contact us!