Is it useful to distinguish between describing a point of view and endorsing a point of view in answers? If so, how do you do so?

In the following answer (the initial revision, not the current version), I might have been guilty of being lazy (I'm not American, and I'm not lying awake at night wondering if Kasich will be elected), but I can't see how I was endorsing a particular point of view:

I haven't heard about this incident, but he might be accused of promoting rape culture, by telling potential victims of rape what to do, which is interpreted as blaming the victim for being raped, rather than focusing on the actions of rapists.

Yet it is controversial, with 8 upvotes and 4 downvotes.

Is there any way of wording it that would have made it more describing a view rather than agreeing or disagreeing with it?

The only comment provided about the answer was by someone who had his own very strong views about the topic.


Honestly, I think your initial answer did an excellent job of being unbiased. You used the terms of accused of rather than guilty of, and that's all that's really needed for your answer to be unbiased.

I don't know why your answer was downvoted(I up-voted it), but there are a few reasons I can Imagine as to why it might be downvoted, and they come from all sides of the isle.

note: pro-kasich and anti-kasich are localized to this specific statement

  • A Pro-Kasich individual might not agree that he's promoting rape culture, and would therefore downvote you. I think this would be a wrong-headed reason to downvote, because there actually are people who consider things like what Kasich said to be an example of rape-culture, and what you said does not give a reasonable reader enough information to know whether or you not you agree with those people.
  • An anti-Kasich individual feel like you're you're reducing all of rape-culture to somewhat reasonable-sounding comments like the comment that Kasich made.
  • A neutral individual might feel like you're not going into enough depth as to why people feel that this specific statement is rape culture.

As for doing this in the general, I'd advise that you just keep your emotions in check, and use your common sense when writing your posts. If you feel passionate, and if you feel like you're fighting against an enemy, that's your bias you're feeling, so you should step back, cool down, make a good-faith effort to understand the issue the way your opponent does, and then try and write an objective answer.

Focus on being technically correct with your answer. If you're bringing your own analysis to your answer, think extra hard about how solid it is. Can you reduce it down to axioms that most people can agree with? if not, you're probably being biased. Changing your way of phrasing is mostly a cosmetic change, and if your answer was biased before you changed your phrasing, it will probably be biased after you change your phrasing too.


The most biased answer hasn't been downvoted at all. It ascribes to Kasich a position that there's no evidence that he holds and then rants against that fictional position.

And the top voted answer exhibits noticeable bias as well. Again, it describes that single statement as the whole of his position on the matter. Yet if you read the transcript (now quoted in the question), Kasich spends much more time on the things that he has done in Ohio. The problematic statement occurs after he starts talking about his daughters.

The sad part is that it seems that your mistake was your honesty in saying that you had no knowledge of that specific incident. Most people didn't bother to mention that, even though reading their answers makes it obvious that they don't.

Yours was one of the best answers to the question, both short and accurate. Most every longer answer was more biased and exhibited less knowledge of the context of the statement.

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