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generally I have no problem with a debate even when I have been in the position being discussed, (because it's always about me me me) the only time I get prickly about it is when it turns personal and those discussing/debating get attacked for their choices. But you do wield a mighty powerful stick and on sensitive topics you can always cut the comments that are trollish.

huh!! I got to be first for a change instead of the 15674873rd commenter that deserves a second comment to point it out for prosperity you understand.

Someone is always going to be the hypothetical aren't they, no matter what the subject under discussion is. I have no problem with that being me - it has been already on more than one topic I've seen discussed all over the internet. Some people are more sensitive than others and take things a little too personally, but that really isn't your problem. It's true what they say, you really CAN'T please all of the people all of the time.

Speak out - loud and proud. I tell my kids that they must ALWAYS have an opinion about everything, I don't do that "I dunno" crap. That in itself probably offends someone, somewhere.

Siobhan is right. Someone will always be the "reality" in the hypothetical debates that go on, especially in Blogtopia - just with minor tweaks here and there. But no matter what someone writes, whether it's judgemental or opinionated, it is up to me (or whoever is part of the hypothesis) on how I process that info. Even though we all - certainly myself - want to have acceptance, no one has that much influence over me.

Sometimes you MUST have a hypothetical debate. The question of reducing multiples is a perfect example. Triplets and higher births simply should not happen if at all possible, so if a couple is not willing to reduce, three embryos should not be transferred/IUI cycles with too many follicles should be cancelled. Obviously some people believe that they will be able to reduce but change their minds when faced with the actual situation, but having the discussion up front at least increases the chances that it won't happen.

I have found hypothetical discussions to be very helpful when I end up facing a situation myself -- for instance, I used to talk about how I hoped that if I had to undergo fertility treatment, I wouldn't let it dominate my every waking moment and every conversation. And this helped when I did go through it, because sometimes I was tempted.

Attacking other people's choices is of course to be avoided if possible, but some people feel attacked if someone simply disagrees with them, and you can't help that.

One of the wonderful things about blogs such as yours, Tertia, is it gives the opportunity to think, be challenged and have eyes opened to others thoughts and feelings. Its all rather enlightening for many of us. And you have the added "oomph" of engaging several continents in your discussions. Throw in your pervasive humor - well, I just hope you don't change your style at all. Please!

Here's the thing: If, hypothetically, I was the kind of person that couldn't 'listen' to a debate on a topic I was facing, I could just disappear from your blog for a few days. But I think that people should realize that everyone's situation is different - some marriages survive an affair, some dont. Some would reduce in higher-order multiples, some wouldn't. And everyone's decision is - hopefully - the right one for them, and not necessarily me.

Bring it on. I am too self-assured and confident in my deciisions and choices to realize that my opinions might not be right for everyone.
Also... I love a good debate.

(note I said debate, not fight... BIG difference)

I'm with Naomi - If I don't like something, I will just stop reading it. That's the beauty of the internet. If I don't like a conversation it's not like I'm trapped in an elevator and have to listen; I can leave. If I'm truly hurt, I don't ever have to return to that site. It makes me feel powerful.

I never say never. For instance, I say I probably would not have done IVF if I had been infertile, but I wasn`t, so who knows. I say I will definitely have an abortion if I ever get pregnant again, but I hope I never find out for sure. I say I`ll stick by my spouse even if he had an affair, but I know it would depend on the circumstances.
In fact, MOST things depend on the circumstances -- there are very few things to which any of us can give definitive answers. What we would do in one situation differs from what we`d do in another -- even a similar situation.

When people talk about a hypothetical situation that I`ve actually faced, all I can do is share my own experience with it, which at least lets people know my particular circumstances. It rarely changes their minds.

We are all a hypothetical in one situation or another.

I think all you can really do, is remind people at the start of a posting, that the content may be difficult for some to read, and to the commenters to remain respectful of the fact that some may have a differing perspective.

When you do that, then the people who may be hurt can stay away if they are fragile. And the people who are judgemental can at least try to be more civil.

And then use a heavy dose of moderation in the matter if you know it is a posting that has the potential to become heated. Not comment deletion, but jumping in and reminding people to keep on point, and to halt name-calling, bullying or jumping on band-wagons.

We all need to be more respectful of others' predicaments and the potential for hurt in our written and spoken words.

Walking a mile in another's shoes goes a long way to stopping the judgementalism that can crop up in life.

I think that if you don't do a zinger - that is, if you don't start writing about something else, get people hooked, and then bring up the real subject of the post - you ought to feel comfortable writing about whatever you want.

Tertia, once again I am so sorry for the losses you have suffered. I respect your willingness to share your experiences, and your interest in opening up discussions that may be sensitive for some people. I think such discussions can be valuable, if people use them responsibly.

To me that means you are responsible for framing the questions in a thoughtful and sensitive manner (no surprises or statements made for shock value), making efforts to avoid treading on people's feelings, and warning people to be kind and respectful in their discussion.

Those who choose to read and respond must be responsible as well - for thinking carefully about their words, for expressing their opinions fairly, without name-calling or condemnations of other points of view.

If some people feel hurt by the topic or the comments, they should be responsible to protect themselves. That might mean to stop reading and go elsewhere. Or that might mean to respond in a way that shares their feelings, and educates others, without trying to punish those who have inadvertently caused the hurt.

I hope that sometimes these discussions of controversial or sensitive topics can be helpful. They might educate readers to be more aware of others' difficult situations, to be more sensitive, or to consider helping those less fortunate.

Yes I'm an idealist. If you challenge people and hold them to a high standard, some of the time they rise to meet that level.

Carry on with the thought-provoking questions.

This is a hard question, Tertia, because I can't think of a situation that I have been in where such deep and real emotions were involved and which is also an issue that comes up in discussions like this. So I have no personal experience (that I can recollect at this moment) to go from.

If I had to guess, I think I would fall into the category of trying to distance myself from the discussion, but some of it I would probably take personally. Things said may make me feel angry, sad, or guilty.

I don't know how I would respond in that case. I'm not sure if I would feel comfortable pointing out to folks in the discussion that 'hey - i've been there and it wasn't so black and white for me'. That seems to invite more hurt feelings, more judgement, in these types of sensitive discussions - more hurt feelings than I could deal with.

I think I'd just try to recognize that no one is talking specifically about me, my case, my individual decisions or choices or situations, and try my best to let the emotions settle themselves. Or talk with someone close to me about it instead (in person). Because one thing I have learned - the internet and email is not a great place to express emotions. It's just too hard to do it in words - you need expressions and tones and touch and tears.

Getting a bit off topic, now, so I'll be done. Thanks for stimulating the thought, once again.

I, too, HATE the word "never"... because really, you just NEVER know.

The only problem I have at all with debates are when people can't either a. back up what they are saying beyond their "feelings" on the matter, and b. are ignorant to the topic at hand, having never experienced it, and think they "know" what they would do. Life throws curveballs - maybe not to everyone (and those people are sure lucky) - but I think the majority of us have landed ourselves surrounded by circumstances we would've NEVER imagined we'd be in. Yes?

But, like the above, if I was reading something that offended me, I would simply stop reading.

If everyone is respectful of others, anything can be discussed. It's when people start judging others or taking comments made by others personally that problems start.

I agree, if something is too hot for someone, they can skip a day or two. But let's discuss some things, because there will always be someone for whom the subject is too painful, if it's a subject really worth discussing.

Okay, so, i WAS the hypothetical... I always knew i would have a child/children. There was never an ounce of doubt in my mind. I got divorced 15 years ago at age 30 and from then on knew that if i didn't re-marry i would do it alone somehow. But, i never, ever, ever, ever, ever thought i would do IVF. I always believed that i would try AI a few times, but, would NEVER to the extreme lengths involved with IVF and would choose to adopt instead... Well, after two unsuccessful AI cycles at age 43 my RE said IVF or nothing would work... i swear to you, he didn't even have to finish the sentence when i suddenly blurted out, "SIGN ME UP!". Every single person who ever knew me (b/c i always spoke freely about my desire to have children and determination to do it alone if necessary) was SHOCKED that i agreed to do IVF. When faced with a very tough decision i did a 180 degree turnaround and even shocked myself!
Then, lo and behold, i got PG with twins... another thing i always swore i would never do... I thought if i got PG with multiples there was absolutely no way i would carry two babies b/c i am a single mother with no family to help and limited resources, and, of course, there was my age to think about (just turning 44 when i would deliver). And, yet, there is was again... I said, "YES, YES, YES!" to carrying twins without batting an eyelash.
I have learned the very valuable experience of never saying "never". And i "NEVER" will again!!!!!
Finally, i have many, many times been in conversations since my pregnacy and the birth of my twins where people have said they would "Always" do something or "Never" do something else and have had to say on numerous occasions, "Until you have walked a mile in my shoes you have no right to comment on my choices, or, to know that would truly even be your opinion..."
Keep those hot topics coming. Please do not be afraid you will offend or upset. Everybody needs to be responsible for their own issues. You do not. I have said this before. We can have a good debate without slinging mud or judging people. Those who can't should be ignored and they will go away.
Keep on blogging, Mama!!

Please don't be beige.

You can't imagine how much I have learned from reading your blog and participating in the 'debates'. Living in my own little world here in suburbia, I wouldn't normally engage in these types of conversations. I truly believe that I have become more compassionate in regards to various subjects due to participating and even sometimes just reading.

Yes, I'm sure you've hit a nerve with me on occasion but it couldn't have been anything too hurtful. I'm still here! :) I also know what that little red box with the "X" in it does. It allows me to leave the 'room'. Just as if I were at a party or a family function and I found the conversation uncomfortable or stinging... I can say my piece or leave. Or maybe both if I was feeling particularly bitchy. I've never quite understood the people that hang around and read a forum that they don't enjoy. And then have the nerve to leave nasty comments. ::eye roll::

I've said it before, it's YOUR blog. Have you read some of the political blogs out there? Jeez. Those people don't give a crap what anyone thinks or how it may hurt someone with what they write. Write what you want to write. That's why you started blogging in the first place.

Don't worry about us. We'll be fine.


My opinion is this, if we do not discuss these things, how do we learn? I discuss race issues with the black people I know, I discuss gay issues with the gay people I know, etc.. and I feel there is no reason we should constantly hide from everything. People get hurt all the time, everyone says something that offends someone else, and now, with everything so PC you can't even speak without saying something wrong.
It's healthy to have these debates, including the people that have experienced whatever it is being discussed. It's the only way we see the other points of view, and help the "I would never" people understand why we could, would, or did whatever it is. It also helps those who lived through these things, share, and possibly feel more comfortable knowing they aren't the only one.

I have pretty thick skin, Tertia. You could say I was the ugliest asshole on earth and I don't think I'd be offended.

Don't be beige. I like the colorful you!

Like others have said, having a discussion about hypotheticals helps in being aware of things, opening one's mind, etc. I doubt I would be hurt if one of the hypothetical questions touch on something that happened in my own life. I'm fairly robust.

I think how I would feel about being the hypothetical would depend on how comfortable I was in the decision I made as well as how much time has elapsed since I had to make it.

the thing is, i DO hope that we talk about hard things - and that people feel comfortable enough to share their real experiences with us. Because I can hypothesise till the cows come home but it's not till talking with people who have been there that I begin to get a real feeling for how it might be, some empathy for how delicate, how complicated these things are. It's very humbling, very important. A real education.

Thanks for opening that door, Tertia

Of course you should discuss hard issues. Sometimes some of your posts or the comments hit close to home, and I'm stung, but that's part and parcel of having important conversations. The only thing I could accurately predict I'd never do (given my current circumstances) is infertility treatment - it isn't covered by insurance and we simply don't have the financial resources to pay for it. (I wonder if you could post on being "privileged" enough to undergo treatmeant - I know that's an ironic choice of words given everything you've been through, but there are tons of families who don't have the choice to go through it.)

But that's a practical "never" not an "opinion" one, along the same lines of "I'll never buy a yacht". Not because I won't want to, but because I can't. People are terrible predictors at how they'll feel or what they'll do. Just awful.

I think you have to really give a detailed hypothetical situation. You can't just ask "Would you do selective reduction?" because it is just not that easy. Some will say well just don't transfer more than two. Well, duh, that's easy. What if it is your fourth IVF, at 10k a shot your money is gone, you refinanced your house and this is it. You want it to work and your RE suggests that you transfer 3 or even 4 for a better chance. Damn right I am going to go with that. Hey maybe you should start with would you do IVF because I want to see those who were never told that is their only way of having a child that they would NEVER do IVF. I want to here it, yeah so I can laugh at it. Then I want to hear the ones who did do IVF give their testament to how they could not wait to do it. Gee for me it was way too easy to have sex at home in my bed. I couldn't wait to have dr's and nurses and a parade in a room with me and my legs up. It was much more fun and exciting that way.
I can't say I won't get emotional and/or a bit ticked. But I am always interested in the opinions of others. I don't want you to go soft on us.

I'm impressed with all the people that are thick-skinned, are 100% confident in their decisions, and can walk away when the talk gets hurtful. Unfortunately for me, I am thin-skinned, worry often that I've made the wrong decision, and can't walk away - if I say here that "I enjoy self-flagellation", there may be some that recognize me - it's a bit of a catchphrase of mine.

Of course we can't "never talk about sensitive things". Of course that is ridiculous. But in every online discussion I've seen on sensitive issues, someone along the thread gets ugly and personal, and people get hurt. It just happens. For every 8 responsible debaters, there's 1 or 2 that are viscious. And somewhere along the line 8 out of 10 of us have been that viscious debater, because the topic was that one thing that we feel *so* strongly about.

I hate debating, don't do it well, and even my most logical arguments are easily thrown down by someone more efficient than me. But I read online debates, especially those about something very close to me, like a moth drawn to a bug-zapper. Can't help myself. I read 'em and I get hurt. And I know I'm not the only one like that.

Not sure what my point was other than, sure, bring things up you want discussed (it's your blog fer cryin out loud, discuss potatoes if you want to, but know that someone in the thread will write a comment that will hurt someone.

For the record:
1. I said I'd never do IVF and I stopped with IUI. IVF scared me for many reasons.
2. I said I'd never adopt a child from another race but that's exactly what I'm fixin' to do. And I can't wait!
3. I've dealt with the infidelity issue before, in a previous marriage, and I stayed with him. He left me later.
4. My sweet hubby and I have gained and lost and gained weight together, and can laugh at ourselves for it.
5. I said I'd never do reduction. For all my many I got pregnant once, for about 4 days, so it was never an issue.

Oops, that last sentence above in my comment should say, "For all my many IUIs, I got pregnant once....". Damn insert button.

A lot of people who comment during a discussion are facing the reality. It's not just people who state "I WOULD do this" or "I WOULD do that". Many people write of their own experiences. Then there can be a discussion between the hypotheticals and the hypotheticees. And greater understanding and tolerance is usually (but not always) the result. So bring it on, Tertia. You are promoting world peace!!!

I am of the same opinion as Suzie-Q "Until you have walked a mile in my shoes you have no right to comment on my choices, or, to know that would truly even be your opinion..." but it also works in reverse "I haven't walked a mile in your shoes, so I don't know what choice I would make in the same situation"

Until the sutuation happens to us, none of us really know what decision we will make. It is very easy for people to stand back and say "I would never have done that", but when push comes to shove life has a way of slamming you in the heart and you realize that YOUR DECISION IS WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU

I like it that you have controversial topics on your blog, I really do. I even like it when people post really stupid comments, because ignorant and bigoted comments, when they're made in a public forum like this one, help illuminate the various types of prejudice and ignorance that need to be addressed. If the debate never got out in the open, then prejudice (especially less familiar types of prejudice) would never be exposed.

But the reason that you're able to do this so successfully is that you never become shrill or vituperative. You've always maintained a very reasonable tone on your blgo, even when you deal with hot button issues. In my view, Tertia, you're the Oprah of the blogoshpere.

I was the subject of many a hypothetical disussion a few years ago. When we got pregnant with our first baby after 2 years of trying, we were thrilled. At our 16w u/s we found out our baby had a severe brain condition called holoprosencephaly alobar and would die, most likely inutero if not at delivery. We were given the option of termination or continuing the pregnancy knowing that most likely I would have to labor and deliver and baby who wasn't living. I am a chatter at babycenter.com and have been for years. Many women there I believe to be my friends. That didn't protect me from the "I would NEVER"s or that "I could NEVER"s...I had a hard time...not so much with the fact that I thought they were judging me, cause I knew I made the right choice, WE made the right choice for our family. I knew that if I l&d'd that I most likely would never have children. I know there's no way for me to know that for sure, but our baby didn't look like a baby (I asked later, after surgery) and the picture in my mind of him, our precious boy, was much more beautiful. So, it wasn't the judging thing that had me ready to explode, it was the nonchalant attitude of KNOWING what they would or wouldn't do. Like others have said, never say never. People have NO IDEA what they would do unless they have been in that situation themselves. That's what I have a hard time with. It wasn't an easy decision for us,and I think people sometimes try to make the decision an easy one when we're talking hypothetical. And I think when we're talking hypothetical, we need to be detailed hypothetical and really consider that not everything is black and white. So, discuss away :) I would hope that people are confident in their choices that they don't feel attacked during a discussion/debate and I hope the commenters would behave themselves in how they word their responses. :-)

It's good to debate, it's healthy to discuss hypothetical issues, but is it always necessary to draw a conclusion? Since we know that things change for those who "are" the hypothetical person, maybe it's ok to just ask the questions and explore the issues without having the goal of drawing a firm conclusion (you do this sometimes, and it's part of why I like your blog so much). I thought about this recently when someone I knew was ragging on people who get stomach-stapling surgeries. I thought, "well, I COULD have an opinion about this. I could lament our over-indulging food culture, I could say these people should just get their acts together and lose the weight". I could probably sound pretty clever and well reasoned spouting such an opinion. But it would be cheap - it would cost me exactly nothing, and have the benefit of making me feel smug and superior. And people could just as cheaply say that "I " should have been happy not being "meant" to be a parent, they could say that "I" shouldn't mess with nature, etc. etc. And it would cost them nothing. Though if I'd had that opinion myself, it would've cost me the chance to have the IVF twins I cherish more than anything I have ever known. I guess I'm just trying to say, what are the stakes to the person who has the opinion?

I totally agree with everyone who has said that there is always going to be someone who is the reality in the hypothetical. (Especially on a blog read by this many people!)
You can't always protect everyone. Especially those who read too much into everything.
For my part I think that it is interesting to see other people's reactions to situations that I have faced. Everyone knows that there are many ways to look at one situation, having others explain their points of view is often enlightening. It sometimes gives you a perspective that you didn't have before.
Case in point: When I was 10 weeks or so pregnant we did a neuchal translucency test. The results came back iffy. In my mind there was no real reason to do Amnio since I had always sworn I wouldn't terminate a pregnancy for any reason. Long discussions with my husband made me change my mind. He had a perspective that I'd never seen before and his arguments swayed me. In the end the Amnio results were good and I carried the baby to term, but I'm glad we had to discuss it.
To this day I'm still interested in hearing a "hypothetical" discussion on the subject.
(Same goes for discussions on cheating, lying, bad parents, good parents, etc, etc, etc.)

I think the problem is that these are very personal issues that are being discussed and there will always be people who will be perhaps a bit more forceful than they need to be with their opinion, which will no doubt cause people to be upset. But you know, I think that's a good thing. If people are upset it means they're being confronted by something they don't feel comfortable with, and I think that a lot of the time that can be a good thing. I'm not talking about personal attacks, I'm talking about hearing out the otherside of the argument, which we would probably not choose to listen to if it wasn't being discussed in a blog. No one likes to hear criticism of their decisions, but I don't think that should stop us talking about it.

In the end, it doesn't matter if you're talking about infertility, obesity, adoption, smoking, or even foster care as I've recently discovered, if someone hasn't been hurt by the end of the day, it's unlikely anything was actually said. And if nothing was said, nothing was learned.

I wanted to add one more thing to my already lengthy comment above.
If it weren't for some of the discussions that I have read on the Internet, I don't think I would be as good a friend to some people.
I've read lots about international and national adoption and it kept me from making an ass of myself when talking to friends who were adopting.
I've read lots about infertility and it kept me from making an ass of myself when my sister had three miscariages in a row.
I've read lots about people with multiples and again, it's kept me from being the asshole with stupid comments.

I would be interested in what others thought about the topic. Completely keeping aware of what made ME choose what I chose.

Just rereading WHY you posted this topic. So sorry you had to go through the decision of SR. But looking at your healthy two and thinking you made the best decision.
Conversely, a friend of mine decided to go ahead on a natural pregnancy of 5 babies. All miscarried at 12 weeks.

I think I too am in the minority here. It's not that I think blogs (or people) ought not to discuss difficult realities. It's that, in my experience at least, people are so often encouraged to Have Opinions, but not to find out anything about the topic at hand BEFORE forming the opinion. (We Americans are particularly good at this I find.) The idea that everyone can and should proclaim, with certainty, what they would do in a hypothetical situation is just weird to me. The older I get the more I am inclined to respond to hypotheticals with "I don't know -- what did you do in that situation?" Or "I think I might do this, but I guess I'd have to see what my internal resources were like at the time." (No wonder people have trouble talking to me!)

So I guess, to answer the question -- if the people discussing the hypothetical are respectful, show that they have some self-knowledge, and have either first-hand experience or real information about the topic at hand -- then I don't mind much. If it's just people spouting for the sake of saying SOMETHING --I guess I don't take that too well. But I wouldn't blame the conversation-starter.

At its best, blogging is a great way for people to exchange ideas on all sorts of subjects. It's GREAT that people from all over the world can get together & discuss important issues.

What happens too often (like the whole False Advertising kerfuffle) is that people interpret a blogger's opinion as a personal slight (like the blogger even knows you exist!) and respond angrily rather than considering what is being said.

And when you have strongly held opinions on emotive subjects... well it's a bit of a powderkeg, but if we can't discuss things for fear of offending people, that's basically censorship. And if there's no discussion, we can never learn from each other.

People need to be polite on the web... don't say something on a blog that you wouldn't say to someone's face is probably a good way to go. I don't think anyone would upset me by criticizing my ideas on a subject, but there are a probably a few things that I wouldn't like to have said about ME.

To bring this ramble to a close, I think it's great for you to bring up the difficult questions, so we can all politely & considerately give our opinions.

If we're honest, we all don't come to your blog just to see pics of your kids (as gorgeous as they are!). Your huge readership is, in part, because you shake things up. You post about rude stuff, you swear, you talk about anything contraversial. PC is so boring. Even those who knock you LOVE coming to read and see if they can catch you out on something and comment with utmost indignation. It's a drug. Take a look at other popular blogs. They aren't about knitting.

The reason you have comments is not just for adoration - it's to get discussion and debate going. And people love giving their 2 cents about hypothetical situations. If you are someone who is in such a situation, you either read on with a thick skin, or tune out until the topic changes. Everyone has a right to their opinion, as long as it's respectful to others. As someone said above though, the nasties will always come out. And should you make your blog boring to keep them away? Nah. I love the shit fights anyway, they are very entertaining.

So my vote is, hypothetical is OK, even if it's a subject close to my heart.

I think when you bring up hypothetical situations you just have to be prepared for the hurt feelings you may or may not encounter.

General statements are fine but the world is full of specific people. One would hope things would not devolve into a series of name calling and childishness, unfortunately that's how many people deal with their emotions.

When you bring up generalities and make sweeping conclusions about those generalities, it's likely to bring people out of the woodwork who feel you've unfairly judged/dismissed/put down them or the things they've chosen to do.

But if you can accept feelings will probably be hurt, then I say anything goes.

For me, it depends on the topic. A discussion about overweight would not effect me at all, but a discussion about infertility options, especially before I had my twins, would (and on one occasion did) set me off.

I have been married for 10 years and haven't fallen pregnant. I am 33, my husband is 42. WE can't consider fertility treatment because we can't really afford it. I am a nurse and my husband is a mechanic. We do not earn a lot of money. How can we bring a baby - or in the case of fertility treatment, twins/triplets - into this world broke, because we spent all our money trying to get pregnant in the first place? It's easy to say money is nothing, especially if you are trying to bring a life into this world, but if I do fall pregnant, I want a financially secure future for my child - or as financially secure as possible. Yes, I would be only too happy if I fell pregnant, but fertiltiy treatment is not an option for me - personally, it's natural conception or nothing. Otherwise, getting pregnant or not, I have a life to live and I make the most of it and I am happy, either way.

PS - Your twins look lovely, well done and all the best!

Oops. Just for the record, I got the poll wrong, I thought you were asking about the "nasty comments about you" issue, not the "would I be offended if you blogged about sensitive subjects" question. I mention it because I wonder if others got confused too since it seems to be heavy on the "sensitive" side.

I can see the value in hypothetical debate, but it can only go so far, because it is limited by the imaginations of the debaters involved.

It's very easy to say what you "would" do given X, Y, or Z circumstance, but the truth is, most people *don't* know what they would do, and their minds could change from day to day about what is "right" even if the same parameters are pesented.

Funny, because I discovered a board recently that was doing just that, pontificating the what-ifs. People were saying what they "would" do or what a person "should" do given a certain situation. I was actually *IN* that situation, and I did the very thing everyone was saying I shouldn't have done. Did I ever dream I would? NO. But that's where the hypothetical conversation breaks down. When it becomes real, suddenly, it's not so easy to see things in black and white anymore.

There was a discussion in blogland a while back that hit close to home. I didn't blog about it myself, but read with interest what others wrote. Some wrote things that offended me but it wasn't malicious. I found myself thinking, "if they only knew..." I think its important to have the discussions, but to do so with respect for each other. Mostly it happens, sometimes it doesn't.

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