A Balanced View

It is sometimes said that a balanced view takes the two sides of an argument and finds the middle ground. This is problematic because it seems to give equal weight to both sides when one side might be completely invalid and illegitimate.

In reality, a balanced view is one that accounts for all sides of an issue. This means it might perfectly agree with one side, or indeed take a completely different view from all the existing sides. What makes a view balanced is that it has some way to explain the various disagreements, i.e. where each view comes from. This may take the form of an alternative interpretation of the reasons one side gives, or it might be a sociological explanation of why those reasons, which are completely inadequate in and of themselves, still manage to be offered by people as justifications for their beliefs.

Now, just because a person offers an account does not make it a good account. To the extent that a person’s view is a reasonable and charitable explanation of why everyone holds the position they do, the resulting view will be balanced.