Rules of the Road
see Lifeguard Analogy
We Must Agree to These 4 Principles (or we can't really have a discussion).
Hold an Open Mind. We both want to find the truth of the matter, i.e reality. Our goal is keep the main thing, the main thing and not get sidetracked. Taking sides of the facts is not truth seeking. To get "down to the facts" is the first step to any discussion.
Anecdotes don't count. One story does not prove a point. Nor does one story disprove a point. We need to challenge ourselves to find the facts of the case - i.e. do an investigation.
Need an authority. Since we are not the expert or authority in most cases, we must agree to use their data. If someone is given authority, via license, degree, or mandated by the government or scientific community, etc. then, unless proven otherwise, we accept that. [We must trust someone!]. Some sources are credible, some are not. For a source to be credible, they must be legit, authorized, expert, and recommended with multiple credible "votes" of confidence.
Find at least 3 Sources. We attempt to find three different credible sources that all cite the same facts in order to use them as starting points.
If we have our own like or dislike that is fine, but that does not count as fact. Your opinion is either a preference (what you want to think) or is a statement of fact. Saying I "know it is..." can be either be a preference or a statement of fact. Either trust me that I have done my homework or use an authority to challenge my facts. You cannot challenge me on every opinion I have; a challenge must come with its own set of facts to prove your point!
Library-ease. This is called Information Literacy. Ask about it!
Definition 1: "is the ability to locate, evaluate, and use information to become independent life-long learners" (SACS)
Definition 2: ""To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information. (ALA/ACRL)
Information Research Methods are the used to improve your answers!
This page: Basic guidelines for fact checking, overcoming misinformation, and good research practices.