I was recently given the following response on an assignment:
“I appreciate your writing style and willingness to challenge the validity of the discussion question posed. I can understand that you find the use of GMOs to be a foregone conclusion, however that should not prevent you from forming an informed opinion about whether or not that GMOs are beneficial. Next time take a stance, if nothing else so you can practice crafting an argument about a controversial topic. “
If presented with the option of “For or against, yes or no, beneficial or not” and I don’t have a strong feeling one way or the other on the topic, I will take the stance of “wait.” Unlike computers, I don’t feel impelled to operate on Boolean logic. If pressed, I will clarify my stance one or more of the following: “This line of inquiry is not beneficial at this time,” as well as “You are foolish to be in such a hurry to take a stance based on the knowledge we have at the time,” and “This line of reasoning does not yield fruit or serve to better understand the issues at hand.”
Taking a strong neutral stance needs to be practiced just like taking a strong positive or negative stance is. It is often the wise, and underrepresented decision. As a rhetorical tactic, if used poorly, it can succumbs to muddying of the waters, however, if used well, it offers enough rope to those muddying the waters to hang themselves. It also makes any non-neutral stance one takes more significant.
Wait. Take a neutral stance. It is an eastern thing. Use it. Practice it. Practice it as much as you practice saying “this is beneficial” or “this is not beneficial,” giving various reasons.