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Sep 03

Controversy is Good

Controversy is GoodControversy is good.

We’ve been talking with several people this past week about blog posts that have evoked strong reactions from one reader or another.

One of the things that we’ve said a number of times over the course of these various communication threads is that we like people to offer dissenting opinions on this site.

The easiest way to do this is by posting a comment.  [After I review these comments to make sure that they are relevant to the site (that they’re not hidden advertising) I approve them and they become part of the site.]  

On some of our blog posts we’ve had comments on comments, and that level of engagement is a sign of healthy dialogue.

We also host a forum for more interactive discussion. It is a closed forum, you have to ask to join, but the only criteria is that each person has a positive reason for wanting to participate in a dialogue with other members on the topic of “living creatively with moods” – we try to discourage folks who just want to read other people’s posts. 

But back to the point of this post, we’ve been surprised by the hesitation some people feel about posting alternative opinions.  Almost as though they would be offending us by offering another perspective. 

We side with the founders of this country on the topic of free speech.  A free and unfettered dialogue is one of the best ways of coming to the truth.  Or, perhaps more accurately, the truths, because one of the things that comes out of such a dialogue is the awareness that people’s different perspectives have value even when they seem contradictory (AA is good, AA is bad… it depends on for what, with whom, at what point in the struggle with drinking).

An aspect of our Internet age that we find disturbing is the way that search engines have been shaping our reality so that we are exposed only to people who have ideas that are similar to our own.  A country, a website, a society, is only as strong as its capacity to encourage civil dialogue among people with different perspectives.

And one of the things about posting things on a blog like this is that every post is valid for only a portion of the people reading that post.  For every one of the things that we’ve written, there are exceptions.  Writing something that would apply to everyone, would result in a blog that is too bland to stimulate interest.  So, having more than one voice and more than one set of opinions represented on this site is essential.

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