Before I begin, I want to emphasize that the question I picked is a good one. In fact, I picked it because it troubled me and I didn't understand why until the reason clicked into place. It's a subtle problem, which is why I'm raising it here. I don't think anyone involved in the question was acting maliciously. With that in mind:
It's asking about a particular interpretation of Genesis 3:22 that happens to be held by Jehovah's Witnesses, as the question points out. It's been answered a few times in various ways, but not to the satisfaction of the asker who started a bounty:
I would like to see if the Protestants (or Catholics) have an answer to this Jehovah's witness' claim which seems to be a pretty strong argument for a mortal soul.
So the form of question is: group
Y. Please tell my why
Y is wrong so that I can answer
X. In other words: "refute this". This is a pattern I've seen in Christianity.SE questions that I think are hurting the site.
The trouble is:
We don't have any contributors who regularly and expertly take the Jehovah's Witnesses position, and
it calls for answers to knock over a strawman rather than answers of fact.
What it comes down to is we all get to beat up on an idea that none of us hold1. Even if some of us did hold the position, asking refute-this questions puts us on a path of sectarianism that might ruin our site. Instead taking a positive attitude ("I want to learn about
X"), it takes a negative attitude ("I want to learn how to defeat
X in a debate"). Even if we don't want to, it's easy to appear like we are trying to score points against each other, which is not what the site is for.2
Here's a similar question:
Again, it's asking about an interpretation of John 19 that seems to only be held by Jehovah's Witnesses. Since I asked the second question, I don't think it has the "refute this" problem. (Maybe I'm wrong.3) It may take a while to get a constructive answer, but it should be easy to tell if an answer, well, answers the question. There's no room for speculative or un-referenced answers.
What do y'all think? Am I off-base here? Are "refute this" questions a good idea?
Actually, I think the idea of the immortal soul was imported in very early Christianity from Greek philosophy and the correct interpretation of this passage is that God does not want humanity to claim immortality. But that's neither here nor there.
That's what Eschewmenical is for.
I've asked refute-this questions on Philosophy.SE with mixed success. Maybe the difference is that I actually hold those positions and hope that nobody can refute me. Maybe the dynamic of that site is different. Maybe I should cut that out. I'm not sure.