My vote goes to no. Adding "According to X" only salvages certain types of questions.
The only situation where this phrase actually salvages a question is when the question already has to do with Christianity.
Example: Some new seeker comes and asks "According to Christianity, is premarital sex a sin?"
This is something addressed in most Christian doctrines, but different denominations may disagree. This could be salvaged by adding "according to X".
But the issue of PascalCasing variables in a C# program is just stupid. It's not a real question people have, and has nothing to do with Christianity. It's a completely off-topic question that some person attempted to phrase in a way that makes it fit within site guidelines, even though it is completely off-topic.
The same can be said for any number of questions. Is an ape sentient? Or an android? According to Catholics, should we fly to Jupiter? According to LDS doctrine, should we be attempting to use alchemy to solve the world's financial crisis? The list could go on forever.
In particular, with this question in mind: According to Catholicism, does intelligence or rationality belong to other animals by participation?
About whether apes have intelligence...
- That is an interesting question
- It is something I'd like to discuss because it would be a fun conversation
- I'd watch a Discovery Channel show where scientists explore the question
- I'd read articles describing how scientists are attempting to answer the questions. I'd like to know the methods they use, the results of their experiments, and how they interpret the results, and the conclusions they come to.
Two points so far:
What Catholicism, or Lutherans, or Baptists think is, at best, a side note. An opinion.
Asking "according to x" does change the question enough so that it, technically is answerable based on an established stance. But it still doesn't change the fact that the underlying question - do apes have intelligence is just not on topic at all. Just because some member of some group put out their opinion doesn't make a question in-bounds.
The ape and android questions do skirt around an issue that is on-topic and could be asked as:
Can/do beings other than man...
- go to heaven
- be a Christian
- be guilty of sin
- have a soul.
The difference is that ability to get into heaven, ability to be guilty of sin, etc. are all within scope. Christianity is very concerned with these things. They are central.
Whether something has intelligence might be relevant in answering those questions, but until some group (other than your occasional wierdos) tries converting apes and androids, or until apes and androids start asking to be saved or join a Church it's only speculative.
It doesn't solve an actual problem.
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Just adding "according to whom" cannot solve every problematic question. It can only solve those questions that are already within scope, but which different traditions have disagreeing views. Things like the necessity of Baptism, Transubstantiation, faith vs. works. Those are issues addressed by Christianity.
The problem with the other types of questions is the same problem inherent in all "not constructive" questions. Even if you can find some obscure representative of position X that has made a statement on a subject, that's not the same as a doctrinal statement. It doesn't carry the same weight. it's still just pure speculative, subjective opinion.
So, I'd say
NO! Adding "According to x" only salvages questions that are already within the scope of Christian teaching. Adding that phrase does not salvage questions that had nothing to do with Christianity in the first place.