My question was closed as opinion-based. Yet, one of the comments (provided by a person who has read the book and hence understood what I was talking about) suggested the answer and, after thinking it through, I agree with it. Now I have a dilemma:

  • On one hand, I have my answer and can as well drop this case.
  • On the other hand, someone else may be interested in knowing it, now or in the future.

So, what should I do from the community ethics standpoint? Reopen my question? Reopen and answer it myself? Drop the whole thing? Something else?

  • 1
    I'm still not entirely sure what sort of answer would satisfy the question, however, if you believe you have a satisfactory answer you should vote to reopen it. You can then ping the commenter to answer on the question being reopened or self answer it. If you do vote to reopen it I would also leave a comment saying you have an answer to it now.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Apr 23, 2021 at 15:46
  • Note also that I feel like it really should have been closed with "needs details or clarity" rather than "opinion based". There's a trend at the minute (and something I'm sometimes guilty of in the past) of just using "opinion based" as a catch all close reason.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Apr 23, 2021 at 15:48
  • @TheLethalCarrot The "Lemian recursion" mentioned in the comment was my key: the whole message of the scene was not to prove Kelvin's sanity to the reader but to describe his psychological state at the moment - the unreliable narrator pattern. Kelvin was so locked within the false dichotomy that he missed both the theoretical insolubility and the obvious methodological flaw in his plan. It saves the plot of the book and proves me wrong about the hole in it.
    – sigil
    Apr 23, 2021 at 16:11
  • I really fail to see how that answers the question you're asking, nor whether it can be answered in any reasonable way that doesn't look like opinion.
    – Valorum
    Apr 23, 2021 at 17:13
  • "...suggested the answer and, after thinking it through, I agree with it" — you can meaningfully agree with opinions. Answers, not so much. Apr 27, 2021 at 12:02

1 Answer 1


I don't know Solaris, so I'm going to answer this in general.

If you have an answer which is not opinion-based, that's grounds for reopening.

Questions are closed as opinion-based because:

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.

and the way to get them reopened is:

Update the question so it can be answered with facts and citations.

(quoting some notices, old and new, that have appeared on such questions across SE).

So, if you or anyone else find an answer which is based on facts and references, rather than just speculation, then that probably means the question is not opinion-based and shouldn't be closed as such.

If you found an answer which is subjectively correct but satisfies you, that's not enough.

It's not clear from your meta post whether the answer proposed in comments is something you've realised is the correct answer, and can be solidly argued as such, or if it's an opinion which has successfully convinced you to share the same view. In the latter case, it would not be enough for reopening the question.

Note that some subjectivity is allowed. This is mentioned in the help centre, distilled down from the old blog post on Good Subjective:

Some subjective questions are allowed, but “subjective” does not mean “anything goes”. All subjective questions are expected to be constructive. What does that mean? Constructive subjective questions:

  • inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”
  • tend to have long, not short, answers
  • have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone
  • invite sharing experiences over opinions
  • insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references
  • are more than just mindless social fun

So, if you have a good answer that justifies itself properly with facts and quotes and solid arguments, then the question should be reopened. But if it's just an idea in a comment which was enough to convince you personally, then probably not.

  • There's a curious page on SE called Tour, which contains the following statement: "Accepting doesn't mean it's the best answer, it just means that it worked for the person who asked." However, I think I did all that could be reasonably expected from me as a responsible user. Will delete everything tomorrow or the next time I remember it - unless the thing fixes itself, which is unlikely. Thanks for elucidating the current state of affairs.
    – sigil
    Apr 23, 2021 at 18:10
  • 4
    @sigil Yes, the process of accepting an answer is completely the OP's decision, but the process of closing/reopening a question isn't. A question which is answerable to the OP's satisfaction isn't necessarily one that's appropriate for the site. Anyway, in this answer I've tried to be balanced, not saying that your question does or doesn't deserve reopening, just showing different points of view, and leaving it to you or others to figure out which option applies here.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Apr 23, 2021 at 18:14
  • In this instance, the "answer" seems to be more akin to the next point in a discussion thread, rather than a definitive answer to the question asked.
    – Valorum
    Apr 23, 2021 at 18:15

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