When we create a blog post on this site, we are sharing with the community. We may be sharing our personal lives, reviewing the latest (albeit, 80+years old) shaving gear we bought, entertaining our fellow members with the history of facial hair, or arguing our political views in an essay.

 

When we, the members of this site, create a blog post, we are injecting our own ideas, however small, petty, or provincial, into the marketplace of ideas--however small, petty, or provincial that marketplace may be. And it does not matter how small or great the subject is, because we choose to participate here and choose to be a part of this website community.

 

So if one is sharing and participating in an exchange, why would one close a blog post to comments from other members? If one is sharing and laying his ideas on the table, why would he put a fence around his post?

 

It smacks of cowardice, particularly if the person is making a strong or controversial argument. The act of blocking comments seems to say: I may express my views, but rebuttals are verboten! And is not cowardice an unmanly trait? If one wants to make an argument, one has to be prepared to face criticism. That is what an exchange of ideas is all about.

 

No argument can be considered legitimate if it is closed to commentary and criticism. Without the opportunity to discuss and rebut, an argument becomes a dictated command, as if it were a decree handed down from on high. But an argument derives its legitimacy from free and reasoned discussion. And when the writer or speaker--whoever is making the argument--closes off free discussion, neither he nor his argument is any longer deserving of respect.

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Comment by Carl Monster on April 2, 2012 at 2:40pm

I totally agree. Do remember there is setting where friends can comment, so if you are not a friend of the person you cannot comment.

I always keep mine open, while I may not like it, I am open to a good kick in the ass. That's why I'm here.

Otherwise I'd be in my room with my secret diary, writing....Dear Diary...today I......

Comment by Steve Dallas on April 2, 2012 at 2:20pm

Can someone please tell me why the hell you would have cake and not eat it?

Comment by Vytautas on April 2, 2012 at 11:52am

I can imagine those scenarios too, Chuck. But particularly when it comes to commentary on society, philosophical theses, and essays about politics or community, these discussions must be open. Otherwise, the author simply appears to want to have his cake and eat it too. One cannot publish an opinion of these kinds without allowing for it to be criticized. When that is the case, it is completely illegitimate and deserves not a speck of respect or consideration.

Comment by Chuck Knight on April 2, 2012 at 11:44am

It's also possible that the purpose of the blog was not to invite discussion, but merely to allow the poster to vent.

 

I can imagine several scenarios in which closing it to comments would be appropriate, even if it does seem confusing or counterproductive.

Comment by Vytautas on April 2, 2012 at 9:56am

Hi Carpe: First, I usually wouldn't comment on my own blog, even in reply to someone, because I think, at least, the format of a blog works best when the author presents his views, and then allows other interlocutors to discuss. When the author gets involved, it usually gets really messy.

 

But my topic isn't particularly controversial, and I don't think I will have a gaggle of respondents!

 

Anyway, thank you for your response. I agree with you that things can "devolve into flame warfare". But I think it is best, for an author of a blog at least, to allow that to happen because it usually just makes the repliers look foolish for their "flame war" responses. And the reasonable interlocutors will always stand out and it will be clear who is conducting the discussion in an appropriate manner.

 

Also, as someone who enjoys Latin poetry, I love your handle!

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