I asked a question, looking for references to Christian nihilists. So far, I have received one excellent answer that lists several such individuals and ideas. I am perfectly willing to accept this as "The Answer" because it's very helpful and thorough, but there is probably more info that could be included in additional answers. I note that once a question is marked as answered, the likelihood of new answers is much lower (correct me if I'm wrong on that). Should I close the question now that I have one good answer, or how long should I leave the question open to allow/encourage others to contribute?

(This is an issue I have wondered about in using the other SE sites as well, such as when a question could have multiple explanations or multiple correct answers.)

Update: Questions with many possible answers is a common occurrence Christianity.SE.

  • 1
    I want to see how long it takes you to pick one of these :) Sep 27, 2013 at 16:43
  • @AffableGeek, is there a right answer? How do I know the right answer when I see it? Are there any answers at all? What is an answer? Who's asking? Do I exist? Sep 27, 2013 at 17:27
  • Cogito Stack Overflow ergo sum... (I think about Stack Overflow, therefore I am) Sep 27, 2013 at 17:28
  • @JamesT's recommendation of Søren Kierkegaard proves timely: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Sep 27, 2013 at 17:36

3 Answers 3


Personally, for this site, I wait at least a week even if the answer I really like is completely awesome. If there are some decent answers I have waited longer than a month before. And, of course, I still have some questions that I have still not accepted for various reasons.

On more than one occasion I have gotten a good answer first, then a week later I have gotten an awesome answer. I think this happens because good answers on this site take a good deal of time to prepare (I have personally spent more than five hours on a single answer). This is not like SO at all, where you can get five to ten answers in only half a day. Instead, what is typical, is that you will get 0 to 2 answers per day to a maximum of 5.

Of course, though, there is no standard way of making your selection. It is 100% subjective, so you need to determine what makes an answer worthy of your stamp of approval.


The answer is there isn't a magic right answer to this. If you are satisfied and feel like you've gotten what you need, I'd go ahead and check it off. You can always change your accepted answer later if something remarkable comes along. It's perfectly acceptable etiquette to change it up.

Yes the likelihood of getting new answers goes down if you accept something, but it goes down with time pretty substantially anyway. My experience is it isn't statistically very significant. Good answers still can and do turn up if the right expert comes along later.

If you aren't satisfied at all, the thing to do is promote your question a bit. Make sure it has the relevant tags and put a bounty on it.

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    That's a good answer, but... how long should I wait for multiple answers to the question, "How long should I wait for multiple answers?" Is there a meta.meta.christianity.stackexchange.com? I spy infinite regress. Sep 26, 2013 at 19:38

If a question has a potential for multiple different answers, it may be a sign that the question isn't really a good fit for a StackExchange site.

See Real Questions Have Answers

I'd also point out that not one of those questions listed in the question above would stand by today's site guidelines. All Are either opinion-based, and/or poorly scoped, and would need to be edited or closed.

Now, to get technical, your question about Christian Nihilists is definitively answerable, since it is "Are there any..." not "Can you give me a list of..." The answer, based on a single matching example is "yes." I can't tell you how to accept answers, but I'd gently remind that "list questions" are pretty much universally frowned upon on the StackExchange network, and that your question avoids that category by asking for a yes/no answer.

In my opinion (which may not be the prevalent one among all members) it'd be best to keep that guideline in mind and also keep in mind that James T did answer your question (Yes, there are examples) and give him the "Accept" rather than encouraging a bunch of list/"me too" answers, where no one answer is "the right one".

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    Such yes/no questions can attract "me too" answers, i.e., "Yes, example A.", "Yes, example B.", "Yes, example C.", all of which are correct. The best answer would include--along with other good answer features--either a short-ish exhaustive list or a list of prominent/interesting examples (with indications that others exist--but selection can be rather subjective); so if the answer is yes with more than a few examples, the question is effectively a list question. Such questions seem acceptable to me for the reason you give, and the asker does not know if there are 0, 1, 3, or 1000 examples.
    – user3331
    Sep 30, 2013 at 16:05

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