Wikipedia:Shouting things loudly does not make them true

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Wikipedia discussions are supposed to be a place for intelligent, rational discourse, with due consideration given to all opinions, dissenting or otherwise. As adults we often assume this type of behavior comes naturally, rather than remembering the lessons on discussion and proper communication we learned as children.

If any of us thinks back we can remember a time as children when we (or at least some other child) simply took a toy or trinket which we wanted, even though it was not ours. When this act was discovered by a parent or authority figure we might have initially responded with a basic, relatively simple explanation.

ME: I found it.

When this statement was questioned, a more complex statement might be furnished in the hopes of improving the believability of the first statement.

ME: I found it under the swing set in the backyard.

However, once questioned with evidence refuting our statements,

AUTHORITY FIGURE: Billy's mother said she saw you take it from his sandbox.

our replies would start to get less explanatory,

ME: Nuh-uh, she's lying.

less well-reasoned,

ME: Billy told her to say that.

and derivative.

ME: He's lying.

Eventually any questions would have been met with the same statement,

ME: He's lying, it's mine!

until, inevitably, our side of the discussion turned into the following:

ME: It's mine. It's mine! It's mine!! It's MINE!!! IT'S MINE!!! IT'S MINE IT'S MINE IT'S MINE IT'S MINE IT'S MINE IT'S MINE IT'S MINE IT'S MINE IT'S MINE IT'S MINE IT'S MINE IT'S MINE IT'S MINE!!!!!!!!!!

While we may look back on these memories with bemusement, we often fail to realize that the discussions we get into as adults can turn into exactly the same sequence of arguments. It is the statement of rationale, the explanation of opinion, and most importantly the consideration we show towards others involved that separates our arguments from those of children. Descending into the childish, simplistic statements of "I'm right, you're wrong" do nothing to further constructive discourse or the weight of our position. The only thing these types of behaviors can earn us is the same thing they did as children: a time-out.

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