This question about whether or not it was a good choice to have Harry Potter stay with the Dursleys (ergo suffering abuse) over staying with a 'normal' wizarding family was closed due to it being 'primarily opinion-based'.

I VTRO and want to campaign that it gets re-opened, because there is a clear answer to it given by Dumbledore himself. And given that it was Dumbledore who made the choice, I think that it is a fair reason to re-open the question.

Should this question be re-opened in light of this new evidence?

4 Answers 4


@Mooz - I'm thrilled to learn there is a canon answer to my question and, in light of that, I would love to see it be reopened. Thanks for heading up the charge. I am continually astonished when questions are quickly closed as "opinion based" when I know for a fact there is a canon answer from the books, from J.K. Rowling, or from Pottermore (I'm using Harry Potter here because it's obviously my main fandom). I do wish people would kind of sit back for a moment and see what kind of answers trickle in. They might find themselves surprised AND learn something new as well. I don't know if I can VTRO my own question, but I will try.


I voted to reopen it.

In its original form it wasn't a bad question (as is usual for Slytherincess it's written with a mix of charm, research and wit) but I do still have concerns that it's quite opinion-y

That said, the last edit improved it markedly and given that there may be a canon answer, it certainly deserves its moment in the sun.


I'd like to give a different take.

This question is definitely opinion-based, but should remain open

Regardless of what Dumbledore may have said concerning his choice, regardless of what any character may have said regarding this choice, regardless of what J.K. Rowling may have said regarding Dumbledore's choice, it is an opinion-based question.

Mind you it is a very very Good opinion-based question, and almost by definition a good-subjective question, but it is opinion nontheless.

There is no canon that exists where Harry Potter was not brought up by the Dursleys. There is no way we can possibly know who he would've been raised by if not them, and for all the awful things they did to him, we have no other life to compare him by than the one he had.

An upbringing is something a character only gets one shot at, barring time travel or explicit parallel universes. We can argue that his upbringing was for the greater good, or we can argue (as Dumbledore later did himself) that the damage done by this upbringing was not worth the protection it offered. We'd be no more or less right to argue either case.

I'm not voting to close this question, because it is a genuinely good subjective question that lies at the core of the work in question. But I'm convinced that it is subjective.

  • How is it "dissenting" if the question you're answering asks "Should this question be re-opened in light of this new evidence?" and you answer "Yes" and so does the main upvoted existing answer? :) I have a feeling that a different word would be more in order Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 2:55
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    @DVK Dissenting, in this case, because I still think it's opinion-based, unlike the top-voted answer. Just because I agree it's a good question doesn't mean I agree with the reason. ;) Maybe a better word IS called for though...
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 3:45
  • What makes it a so called good-subjective question? Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 8:19
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    @curiousdannii I would quote this answer at you meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/a/5149/20533 but I can see you already dissent on that, so all I can say is that it asks a question that goes for a "why" or "how" - it investigates a possibility, and invites high-quality answers.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 13:11
  • Can you prove it invites high quality answers? I don't think so. This is just layers and layers of opinions. Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 22:07
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    @curiousdannii - Sure the question invites opinions, but you seem to be suggesting that if there is an opinionated component of an answer it is somehow inherently negative. There are many opinions -- especially if they are grounded in canon, well thought out, and presented well -- that are excellent positions for consideration. There's a huge difference between wanting to protect the mission of the site by keeping an eye out for poor quality subjectivity and completely closing out the possibility that some really bright and intelligent answers, albeit subjective, might rise to the top. :) Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 0:13
  • @Slytherincess That is sort of half of the point I was trying to make. Yes it is an opinion-based question and there is a specific close-reason for it, but it is a good question and grounded in canon-knowledge, so there's no need to keep it closed.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 13:14
  • "We have no other life to compare him by than the one he had" - Exactly! When people ask me, "so, what's it like to be a twin?", I have to answer "I dunno, what's it like not to be a twin?"
    – Martha
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 22:52

The existence of a canon reason for Dumbledore's choice, and even a canon evaluation of his choice, is irrelevant. The question is not asking why Dumbledore chose, or how he judged his choice in later years, but whether that choice was "correct". Ultimately that can't be answered other than with opinions. The question should be closed.

Perhaps the problem is a mismatch between the title and the body. Even so, both the question and body would need to be edited considerably to make it clearly non opinion based.

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    So you're claiming that if J.K. Rowling said "yes, Dumbledore's decision to isolate Harry helped Harry" or "no, Dumbledore underestimated Harry's ability to handle fame", and then provided an explanation as to why, it would be "opinion based"?
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 14:11
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    That would be a good answer to the question of whether the canon or author thought his decision was correct, but not the current question. Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 23:31

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