So, this question:

Is it moral or immoral for Satan to punish souls for immoral acts?

is predicated on completely false premise. The assumption is that Satan is in charge of Hell - an assumption often made by non-Christians - but one often made nonetheless.

The answers (correctly IMHO) point out the fatal flaw in the premise, and are being correctly rewarded. Somehow, the question itself also garnered 2 upvotes, one of which I countered with a downvote.

The question is, what should be done with such questions? As I see it, there are three alternatives:

  1. Vote to Close

  2. Downvote

  3. Upvote, since it is reflective of common perception, but use answers to expose the faulty premise.

I've done all three, and I'm now realizing the contradiction. What guidelines are best for solving this dilemma? (And, for the record, I'm hoping not to go with "Personal whim / What do I feel / Is it just bad mustard?" but maybe something more concrete along the lines of relevancy or perceived motivation.)

  • What's wrong with the way it was handled: just explain the false premise in the answer? As for voting, I wouldn't vote either way on this one, but I would vote up if it was interesting or down if it was blatant trolling (as recent readers of meta can testify). Sep 4, 2013 at 18:39
  • 1
    I would just vote it down for lack of research.
    – Double U
    Sep 5, 2013 at 2:26
  • 1
    Edit it. You once turned an okay question of mine into one of the best evah.
    – pterandon
    Sep 6, 2013 at 19:14

1 Answer 1


I'm sure we have discussed this elsewhere before. Example. I am thinking of a different one though.

I think the answer in this case is clear: It is a form of "is x a sin" combined with "why does God ...", therefore, we should close it as off-topic. I have opted for the "general philosophical" option.

It is a common misconception, though, so perhaps it can be salvaged. Then it would be the answerer's responsibility to take down the misconception.

I'm pretty slow to downvote. I usually only reserve it for really bad questions, and if I happen to be first to see a really bad answer. That being said, I see potential for this question and I think the asker is earnest. So I will not downvote, but I will not upvote either.

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