I was just reading an interesting blog by Paul Chiusano about defensive writing online. I think there is a lot of truth to it, but I don’t think he goes far enough.
These days a lot of writing is attacked in a pedantic “ah but there is this small unbacked assertion” sense. A lot of writing is attacked along motives, assuming the worst in an author.
Also, these days authors who are trying to conjecture (see: this blog) may not say things because they could be construed as being non politically correct, or offensive. This is in line with the (in my mind) either legally requisite or fully stupids “RT!=endorsement” on Twitter! No duh? Just because a person refers to something doesn’t mean they endorse it. Just because somebod ythinks something doesn’t mean they advocate it. Just because a person raises something with messy implications doesn’t mean that they’re endorsing those messy implications or saying it should happen. They are probably saying “there is a line of logical reasoning which leads me to this point.”
In this day and age there needs to be serious discussion on serious issues. Exploring morality in a modern society that endorses numerous values which sometimes come into conflict is a good thing. The fact it’s messy doesn’t make it any less important. And sometimes serious discussion is never perfect.