|This unofficial guidance essay contains comments and advice of one or more Wikipedia contributors. It is not a Wikipedia policy or guideline, although it may be consulted for assistance. It may contain opinions that are shared by few or no other editors; potential measure of how the community views this essay may be gained by consulting the history and talk pages, and checking what links here.|
|This page in a nutshell: Cherry-picking aspects of ambiguous and inconsistent policies and guidelines to defend a JDLI argument is still a JDLI argument.|
Rationalized JDLI, or RJDLI, arguments are arguments that appear to be based in policy and guidelines, but in fact are personal preferences ostensibly justified in policy and guidelines by cherry picking and interpreting aspects of policy and guidelines in a manner that happens to support the personal preference. RJDLI arguments may be formed intentionally or unintentionally. When RJDLI is suspected, please AGF.
RJDLI is often difficult to distinguish from legitimate policy based arguments, especially if the argument in question is taken in isolation from how the person has argued in other situations. RJDLI can sometimes be identified through inconsistent application of policy. For example, arguing that aspect A trumps B in one situation, and that B trumps A in another, is characteristic of RJDLI.
To avoid RJDLI, form arguments based on policy and guidelines in a consistent fashion.
To reduce the incidence of RJDLI, work on limiting and reducing the level of ambiguity and contradiction among our policies and guidelines. The more precise, consistent and clear our polices and guidelines are, the less fodder they provide for RJDLI arguments.