In Brief—The author raises the question of whether this blog’s subtitle is an invitation or a hindrance to debate.
Daughter Kathy, thinker and writer—the person who built this blog for me—has suggested that the DeBaytable blog subtitle, “Are there at least two sides to every issue? Maybe.” implies that I think there is often only one viable conclusion and that my view is the right one. On the other hand, I maintain that the subtitle suggests that there are one or several valid arguments that can be made in support of or in opposition to the subject. Though a stretch, it’s sort of like Erwin Schrödinger, the Austrian physicist’s quantum mechanics hypothesis that a cat is either dead or alive depending the viewer’s point-of-view.
Put in practical terms, Kathy has expressed the belief that the subtitle keeps some readers who hold contrary views from challenging my position on a subject. Her view is that the subtitle discourages discussion and, in fact, may drive some readers away. I argue that readers are at any time free to challenge opinions I express and that the subtitle is in keeping with the blog’s premise that a subject may or may not be debatable. It depends, like Schrödinger’s cat, on the reader’s point-of-view.
A current example of a subject that I think supports only one valid argument is human-caused climate change. The evidence is overwhelming that such is the case with virtually all climate scientists supporting the evidence. On the other hand, a subject that has at least two sides is whether the American drone war policy dominating the Middle East is beneficial or harmful to the United States. One side states that drones kill enemies without putting American lives at risk while another side argues that for every purported “enemy” killed, five new enemies are created. Still another position maintains that war is counterproductive. Though these issues have not yet been raised on this blog, they nevertheless illustrate debatable subjects.
Within the subjects discussed on this blog, that of free will aroused some heated opposition while that dealing with intelligent animals raised not a single objection. Similarly, the punishment of Chelsea (Bradley) Manning was one that was open to debate while my experiences in the early world of TV did not call for positions pro or con. That the Manning piece did not result in comment opposing my position that s/he was unjustly punished reflects my guess that readers were letting me be me rather than that the subject was not debatable or that they were put off by the subtitle.
Fact of the matter is that you readers can choose the position that the subtitle is either limiting, neutral or an invitation to debate. I invite you to let me know what you think on the issue. Don’t just let Bay be Bay. Let me know what you really think.