Monday, April 04, 2011

Skeptic's Checklist

To be considered while listening to arguments and proposals:

  1. Are there any overstatements?

  2. Are the comparisons appropriate or is this a case of "apples and oranges?"

  3. Are important facts missing?

  4. Is there a lack of balance?

  5. Are there any weasel words?

  6. Are the assumptions valid?

  7. Do the timelines make sense?

  8. Do the "facts" withstand scrutiny?

  9. Do the examples support the generalizations?

  10. Is there a false choice?

  11. Is a straw man argument being used?

  12. Is the opposition's argument being fairly presented?

  13. Is there a play on emotions?

  14. Do you feel uncomfortable with any aspect of the presentation?

  15. Has this person been reliable in the past?

  16. Has there been sufficient coordination?

  17. Are there any loopholes?

  18. Is it too complicated?

  19. What are the weak points?

  20. Are you being rushed?

  21. What are the vague areas?

  22. Where do the numbers come from?

  23. Is there agreement on the terminology and the definitions?

  24. What values are being emphasized?

  25. What are the unintended consequences?


bob said...

Is the person making a promise the one who has to keep it.

Michael Wade said...


Great addition.