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I've noticed a trend where many questions are only getting one answer and one perspective. On the one hand, it's indicative of more factual questions being asked, and hence they tend to have a right or a wrong answer.

"How long did it take for the canon to be established?" really only has one answer, regardless of tradition. These tend to be rather academic, and may or not be scholarly, but easily devolve into reference, general or otherwise. I also note that area 51 looks for a ratio of 2.5 answers per question, and reference doesn't seem to lend itself to that.

In contrast a question like "Who was being paid with the blood of Jesus," is more interesting, and should have lots of answers, from different perspectives. And yet, it went nowhere. Indeed, I believe it was closed, partly because it lacked a tradition in which it should be answered.

The question I have, then is this: are questions with more than one potential answer to be encouraged or discouraged?

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It depends on WHY they have one answer.

  • If they have one answer because the question was very specific and it gathered a good quality factual answer that nobody has an idea to improve on, then that isn't necessary bad.

  • If they have one answer because we're lazy and just see somebody took a stab at it and let it go at that, then it's bad. Good questions are usually deserve the work of a couple people articulating the answer in their own way.

By the same token, the reasons for multiple answers are important.

  • Multiple answers because a question is too broad and needs a bunch of answers coming from every perspective is bad. These are survey questions, but if they are really survey questions than the individual answers should also be surveys ... overviews of the possible positions not defenses of each individual one.

  • Multiple answers because a question is interesting and "expert" enough that it warrants approaching from more than one angle is good. Even two people with the same doctrinal framework might approach answering the same specific question in different ways and their way of articulating will be useful to different people.

Neither "search for truth" or "what are all possible perspective" questions are particularly useful, however having multiple high quality answers each question is a good thing. More than one person taking a stab at a clear referenced answer is a GOOD thing and what we are aiming for with multiple answers.

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