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The Debunking Handbook in Icelandic

Posted on 14 May 2015 by Guest Author

This is a guest post by Heiðar Guðnason.

Whenever a hot topic or current events are discussed, especially in the comment section of social media newspapers there seems to be a tendency to make blatant and uncritical remarks. Some people even go so far as claiming that they have their own private opinions, not realizing they also act on them. This kind of mindset and the statements that follow are all too common in today´s social media. The “Hrakningahandbók” (Debunkers Handbook) serves as a guide not only to help debunk such statements but also to make one aware of his or her innate prejudices.

It helps applying a critical mindset whenever reviewing or making statements – not to accept them without proper arguments. However, this process or critical mindset is not always easy. Take for example when there is no scientific consensus or certain views go against one's worldview. It is when confronted with these kinds of threats that critical thinking is at its most importance, not jumping on the cherry picking bandwagon just because the arguments go against what you already believe.

The “true” debunkers' agenda is not to undermine or dispute opinions whenever they see fit, but to keep an open mind – including innate beliefs – weighing in the evidence and making an informed decision. If you cannot make a judgement on proper grounds, postpone it – that’s what being a skeptic is all about. Follow the arguments wherever they may lead, and realizing that scientific criticism is not a negative thing but a truth seeking protocol that ensures that better ideas come out on top. This critical mindset not only applies on other people´s ideas but also your own; sometimes you have to debunk yourself and this handbook can provide the tools.

There may come a time when opinions, statements or arguments need to be debunked, whether they be your own or someone else’s.  Some opinions are of such nature that they are simply dangerous, e.g. those regarding vaccinations. In such cases, when people’s health literally depend on people making an informed decision the “Hrakningahandbók” may indeed save lives. When confronted with such cases, in order to succeed you need all the tools at your disposal, which makes the handbook valuable.

It is our hope that the “Hrakningahandbók” translation's epistemic value will contribute to cognitive understanding and critical thinking via its practical and handy format. Who knows, it might even save lives.

The Debunking Handbook has already been translated into DutchFrenchGerman, HungarianItalianPolishSpanish and Swedish.

If you'd like to translate the Debunking Handbook into another language, please download the two-column Word document which has the English text in one column and a blank column where you can add the translated text. Email the complete document back to us, and we'll insert it into the existing design. To ensure that no one else is already working on your language, please contact us first by selecting "Enquiry about translations" from the contact form's dropdown menu.

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Comments 1 to 1:

  1. hrakinga...I love Icelandic! It also puts me in mind of variation on the motto from Game of Thrones that robertscribbler just coined:

    Winter is Dying!

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