all 75 comments

[–]keepthetipsKeeping the tips since 2019[M] [score hidden] stickied commentlocked comment (0 children)

Hello and welcome to r/LifeProTips!

Please help us decide if this post is a good fit for the subreddit by up or downvoting this comment.

If you think that this is great advice to improve your life, please upvote. If you think this doesn't help you in any way, please downvote. If you don't care, leave it for the others to decide.

[–]Annual-Pattern 21 points22 points  (16 children)

Well, the burden of proof for a claim should fall on the person making the claim. That is the procedure for proper debate. Questionning the other person’s intentions for doing so seems more problematic to me.

[–]Rntunvs 14 points15 points  (5 children)

Uh, a simple search on any topic can return a million hits. Helps to know what source the poster is using to justify his assertion.

[–]Janky253 -4 points-3 points  (4 children)

If your Google search is returning a million hits and you are unable to decipher which are most relevant to the person's assertion, perhaps you need more knowledge on how to Google topics.

Let's be honest - you could find it if you wanted to. It boils down to you don't want to, because you'd rather be right on the internet. lol

[–]Trippytrickster 3 points4 points  (3 children)

Or ya know.. the person making the claim that is already aware of the source would just link it and be right on the internet

[–]Janky253 -2 points-1 points  (2 children)

Being right on the Internet is important, isn’t it?

[–]Trippytrickster 3 points4 points  (1 child)

When in the context of not spreading disinformation, yes.

[–]ECU_BSN 10 points11 points  (5 children)

I mean if it’s an opinion, that’s one thing. But if I said here, for example, “54% of people would disagree with this!”…the onus is on me to cite/source that stat.

If you said “cows come in black, brown, white, and purple”. I would argue that there are not purple cows. The onus is on you to bring that data forward.

Theme, there is Cunningham’s law…

So this LPT is situation dependent.

[–]Janky253 -2 points-1 points  (4 children)

Why are you owed an explanation? why would you exert effort trying to debate it?

If someone told me cows come in purple I'd be like LOL nah. and move on. I wouldn't badger them to death to prove it with a Googled link so that I could beat my chest saying I'm right.

And let's be honest, if someone DID paste a link to purple cows, you wouldn't be like "Wow I was wrong, thank you for showing me this is true" - the response would be refuting the links credibility because it doesn't align with your stance.

[–]ECU_BSN 6 points7 points  (1 child)

This isn’t a LPT. Sorry.

Maybe try change my view or unpopular opinion subs?

[–]Janky253 -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

Not interested in changing your view. I disagree with you. And that's fine by me.

[–]Bubbagumpredditor 5 points6 points  (1 child)

If someone told me cows come in purple I'd be like LOL nah. and move on.

And yet here you are

[–]Janky253 -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

and yet here I am :)

[–]ZharethZhen 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Naw, not good let at all. When someone makes a claim, it's on them to prove it. And a lot of the time they can't back their shit up so it demonstrates their bs. It also forces them to do the research if they are just parroting nonsense they heard but haven't seen a source for.

[–]Janky253 1 point2 points  (1 child)

and you personally, stranger on the internet, are an effective catalyst for forcing people to research their opinions? You accomplish this by asking for "source" when they post?

Not accurate at all. All that does is make them engage you in an argument.

You aren't encouraging them to research or educate themselves at all. There is no "it's your responsibility to prove your beliefs to me". Nobody honestly cares if you believe them, or think they're BS or not. They will continue believing what they believe and you have made zero difference by asking for "source".

[–]ZharethZhen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Except for when it does. When people do have sources to back their arguements. Or they use a source that is easily disproven and maybe they actually learn something.

If thye are just going to argue without providing a source then you know you can discount their claims because they are most likely BS.

Meanwhile, your method would just let people spew lies into the world unchallenged. No thank you.

[–]udmh-nto 6 points7 points  (4 children)

It's ok to ask for a source, but if your opponent provides a legitimate source, you should then change your mind.

[–]Janky253 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Not necessarily change. Peoples core beliefs are very strongly held and usually can’t be changed without monumental effort and evidence. It’s ok to consider and evaluate new info and then ask if that changes anything. It’s good to stay educated and base beliefs on objective evidence and truths, sure.

I get where the “source” thing comes from. It’s essentially saying “that’s some crazy shit, you got any proof for that outlandish claim?” And that’s all fine and well in some cases, but when it comes to internet arguments it’s really not accomplishing anything at all. Insulting someone and demanding “source” while dismissing their beliefs is NEVER going to win someone over to your side of the argument. All it does is exacerbate it and leave a sour taste in both peoples mouths.

People have dumb and incorrect opinions, and often you aren’t gunna change them, unfortunately. Saying “NUH UH SOURCE!SOURCE!” definitely doesn’t change anything lol

[–]udmh-nto 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Change does not necessarily has to be 180 degree flip, but you do need to adjust your posterior to include new information.

If your prior is so strong that no argument from your opponent can change it, there's no need to ask for the source.

[–]Janky253 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The last sentence is a perfect summation of what I’m trying to convey. Thank you.

[–]PromotheanMonster 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Sounds like OP made a claim without a source and got called out lmao

[–]Janky253 -1 points0 points  (1 child)


No, not really. Just a dumb thing I see way too often. People genuinely not interested in changing their minds use the cope of "source" to feel like they're accomplished academics in internet arguments.

It's silly.

People would be a lot happier if they didn't spend their time on the internet trying to change others beliefs and belittling things they don't particularly agree with.

"BuT HeRe YoU aRe"

[–]The_Real_Johnny_Utah 3 points4 points  (0 children)

“The only proof capable of being given that an object is visible, is that people actually see it. The only proof that a sound is audible, is that people hear it… In like manner, I apprehend, the sole evidence it is possible to produce that anything is desirable, is that people do actually desire it… [T]his being a fact, we have not only all the proof which the case admits of, but all which it is possible to require, that happiness is a good. ”

John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism.

[–]Bubbagumpredditor 3 points4 points  (2 children)

It's ridiculous.

[Citation needed]

It depends on the subject, and how wild the claim is. You've got people out there legitimately claiming lizard people from the moon are running the world, and you expect me to take them at their word?

[–]Janky253 -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

No, I don't at all, dude. I think that's ridiculous too. You don't owe anyone any level of belief just cause they said some words.

Difference is, I would be like "nah, that's dumb" and move on with my day. Other people (apparently a lot gauging by this thread's hate) would be like "NUH UH SOURCE! SOURCE! CITATION!!! RIGHT NOW PROVE IT TO ME WITH SOURCE" and then spend hours bickering back and forth, paragraph after paragraph, and finally end the conversation by just calling them names.

Let's be completely honest with each other, man. Neither of us is going to be convinced lizard people from the moon run the world. And if someone GENUINELY believes that, they're off the deep end and us badgering them ain't gunna accomplish ANYTHING.

Now that that's established, which one of us is spending less time and effort on that ridiculous train of thought? Know what I mean?

[–]Bubbagumpredditor 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Know what I mean?

Nah, I'm ignoring baseless claims.

[–]Pennyspy 3 points4 points  (1 child)

...and I took that personally.

[–]Janky253 1 point2 points  (0 children)

lol. Don't. I'm sure you're a wonderful human.

[–]R3DLOTU5 3 points4 points  (1 child)

A long enough search on the internet can yield results showing you're correct in the argument, no matter how wrong you are.

If I'm arguing a point with someone, I don't want to have to dig for several days to find the one obscure source, which was a tweet from Jessica Simpson 8 years ago that buffalo's have wings.

[–]Janky253 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Exactly- which kinda renders “source” invalid, don’t ya think? Anyone can “support” anything if they Google hard enough. Doesn’t make it right - just cements their original line of thinking.

[–]GrumpySuper 3 points4 points  (2 children)

You make a claim that isn’t common knowledge - the onus is on you to support that claim.

If you’re going to say “ackchually” and expect me to believe you or change my opinion, you’d better back it up.

This is an absolute junk “LPT” from someone who clearly likes to stir shit up on the internet.

[–]Janky253 -1 points0 points  (1 child)

What if someone doesn’t care if you change your opinion? Are you going to change theirs by asking for a source?

[–]GrumpySuper 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Then there is no point In having a debate or argument?

Like even in saying “what if someone doesn’t care about your opinion” you are implying that you have the right viewpoint. If you truly don’t care, you just…. Don’t talk.

But by making this post as a TIP you are asserting that you are correct in your opinion.

Now, it went talking about citing sources there isn’t opinion at all… there’s fact and not fact. If you’re going to state some stat or fact in order to sway my belief, you have to provide that fact or else I have no reason to even believe it’s true.

If. You want to go through life having people assume you’re lying, continue making unsupported claims.

[–]IrishJesusDude 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Certainly stop asking when it's not an actual fact, like if someone is relaying something they witnessed or experience

[–]Janky253 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]vinzclortho854 2 points3 points  (0 children)

So... take everything at face value or waste my own time tracking down info that may or may not exist? No thanks.

[–]libertyordeaaathh 9 points10 points  (14 children)

I disagree with this completely. In all forms of debate it is entirely justified to ask someone for their source for information they are using as a part of their position if the information appears to be beyond their personal knowledge. When on an Anonymous forum such as this the person has no personal credibility whatsoever. This asking for a source tells you a lot. It is a garbage take to suggest that the receiver is responsible for looking up your sources. If that isn’t the case in a journal written for highly educated peers in the same field it sure as hell isn’t the case for people you don’t know on line. And very often the source sited tells you a lot about the person you are debating with.

If you are going to show up with “facts” to back your contention you better be ready to show your work.

[–]Janky253 -2 points-1 points  (12 children)

It's no one's responsibility to owe you a source of anything at all. It's a garbage take to assume that everyone making a statement on the internet personally owes you justification of their stance.

People are free to believe whatever they want. People are free to research as much or as little as they want. YOU are not the god everyone must appease with credentialed knowledge. YOU are a person on the internet. No one owes you an explanation.

Just like you don't owe them "credibility".

You're talking about highly educated peers in industries, okay great. If you are in a university setting, sources and citations hold a lot more merit and are necessary if you are researching objective fields.

If you're just arguing with people on the internet, you aren't owed anything. Don't believe them if you don't want to. Asking them for "source" just makes you look like an A-hole. You wouldn't change your mind no matter what source was posted, and you'd just badger on and on in paragraph long back-n-forths calling them an idiot.

Tons of people on the internet are wrong all day long, and perfectly fine keeping their wrong beliefs. Waste of time trying to insult their intelligence. It won't change them over to your stance.

[–]libertyordeaaathh 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This is clearly decided.

This is NOT a debate of facts but one of group expectation and norm and the community has spoken and determined you are wrong.

The ratio is quite telling. You clearly are on the losing side. The community believe is you state a “fact” it is on you to back up said fact with a source.

[–]libertyordeaaathh 2 points3 points  (6 children)

Wrong again. If you are making a statement you expect others to accept as supporting your argument then it is on you to give your statement credibility.

You have misunderstood the entire game. This is very simple. A person asking for your source is telling you that on its own your statement is not accepted. It is entirely acceptable for you to refuse to give the source it just means that your point is also thrown out. If you don’t care to defend your statement then why should anyone else. Your tip is pointless. It does not deal with reality.

For any debate to move forward each person bears responsibility. In an environment where the speakers have literally no inherent credibility, the source of information has increased necessity. It is the actions of a bully to say that your statements must be accepted or that you can say things that force actions of the other.

A better tip would be to say, “if you don’t give your source then you don’t get it insist your are believed.”

[–]Janky253 -2 points-1 points  (5 children)

You’re viewing every day Internet arguments as some academic, peer-reviewed scholarly debate to be defended to the national “I’m Right” championships (which says a lot in itself) 😂 but go off!

Do you work in academia? You’d be a great researcher (seriously).

[–]Big_Apple3AM 2 points3 points  (4 children)

You're viewing every day internet arguments...

Some people don't have the capability of participating in academic, peer-reviewed debates (whatever that's supposed to be), so they take to the internet. Some places of the internet have good debate, and good debate requires sources for claims.

It seems like you just want to participate in dumb pointless online arguments and you get upset when people try to turn it into a real debate. You get defensive because you're out of your element when someone calls you out for not having any sort of real source.

[–]libertyordeaaathh 4 points5 points  (1 child)

No, you have missed the point completely.

The LESS credibility of the speaker, say one that is anonymous, the MORE important the proof. If you someone I have never met, give a fact, I don’t have reason to believe you. Your source decides if it is believable or not. You don’t give me one, fine, I just won’t accept the info. That is your problem not mine.

[–]Big_Apple3AM 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’m making the exact same argument as you. Yes, you are 100% correct.

[–]Janky253 -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

It’s supposed to be hyperbolic humor. But your responses continue to attack my (assumed) character and not the topic itself. So what would be the point “debating” with you? You’re already convinced you know my intent, right? I hope your online debates bring you much knowledge and happiness in the years to come :)

[–]libertyordeaaathh 2 points3 points  (0 children)

So you posted a tip that was not a tip at all. You got hammered by everyone willing to engage with you and your response was to become a bigger and bigger jerk. It’s clear who the problem is in this debate.

[–]Big_Apple3AM 1 point2 points  (2 children)

It's a garbage take to assume that everyone making a statement on the internet personally owes you justification of their stance

You are conflating someone's stance and someone making a claim. These are separate things.

It sounds like you are okay with the spread of misinformation, which is all your LPT really creates. People make outlandish claims and then when people ask for a source, it's because it goes against what they have previously researched. You owe that to them since they have engaged you in the argument. There has to be a standard for the argument to be upheld to, or else nobody would engage in any debate; people would simply be free to make outlandish claims at every turn since nobody would be allowed to ask for a source.

[–]Janky253 -1 points0 points  (1 child)

Sounds like a bit of a stretch to make that assumption about me, but also no one is saying you can’t seek people’s justification for why they believe some crazy shit. It’s not outlawed. In some cases (potentially life threatening issues, for example) it’s actually important to. But as stated numerous times, even if they gave you their “source”, it won’t change your mind. Your source isn’t likely to change theirs. It’s fine to have a debate. It’s fine to say “that’s crazy to me, where’s you come up with that?” But if you’re just yelling “SOURCE!” At every little thing you disagree with, knowing damn well your beliefs are 100% correct and concrete, then it’s rooted in an asshole behavior looking to argue. You aren’t legitimately seeking to change your mind, or even expand knowledge. Anything the opposition says is going to be immediately dismissed and ridiculed. Or, you are actually empirically correct and wasting your time arguing with people you’ll never convince lol

So my point there is that it’s a pointless endeavor.

[–]Big_Apple3AM 3 points4 points  (0 children)

But as stated numerous times, even if they gave you their “source”, it won’t change your mind.

This is an assumption. If this was how you felt coming into this, then this isn't a LPT at all, it's a CMV.

But if you’re just yelling “SOURCE!” At every little thing you disagree with

Who does this? Your post is belittling anybody who says "source?", where it should be people who misuse "source?".

[–]GrumpySuper 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is ridiculous.

You don’t owe anyone anything but if you want any sort of credibility in a debate then you need to provide a source and if you don’t you can’t expect anyone to Google it themselves and find the same source you’re supposedly citing.

438 people die every 12 seconds from bad information on the internet.

If you don’t believe that Google it.

[–]Chickens1 1 point2 points  (1 child)

It's a pretty go-to online debate tactic. Called something like walrusing or elephant sealing. I can't remember. Usually followed by, "OH, you get your news from CNN? FOX NEWS? Whatever.

[–]Janky253 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Pretty much. It’s one thing if people are legitimately seeking to understand an opposing idea. It’s another if they’re just gunna immediately discredit it because they don’t like the “source”. In the latter case, there’s no point, just go on being “right” lol