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So I sparked some heat with this question: How similar was the resurrected body of Jesus to his physical human body?

Note: My question here in Meta is about the TITLE, not the question itself. I will ask a question about the original question elsewhere.


Obviously I knew what kinda reaction the title would give. It's what I wanted. I was having fun. And I didn't feel like I was breaking any rules either. I thought the title was concise, fluff-free, comprehensive, and a right representation of the content of the question itself. Isn't that what we want?

So why kill the fun? Yeah, it's linkbait, it's funny, but that's not always a bad thing, especially when the title is correct (gasp) and something that someone would most like enter into google if they were looking for that kind of thing. I feel like sometimes Christianity.SE is at the terrible culture crossroads where it's moderated both by perfectionist software engineers and overly pious Christians. Maybe lighten up??

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    Well, the site is supposed to be welcoming to experts, and potty humor is a decidedly non-scholarly thing. – El'endia Starman Jul 3 '14 at 21:49
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    That is a point. On the other hand it's also supposed to attract new people with reasonable questions, and this is decidedly a reasonable question that someone might ask. I suppose the question is where do we draw the line? – Matt Gutting Jul 3 '14 at 22:30
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    @MattGutting Oh sure. There's always a line. We wouldn't accept "Did zombie Jesus take a $h!t?!" But I don't think my question title pushes it--at all... I wonder what the issue is with linkbait if it IS within the line. – LCIII Jul 3 '14 at 23:57
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  • My problem with the title is that the question is actually much deeper than that, and I would rather that be high lighted in the title. That is what the question was. – 3961 Jul 4 '14 at 6:30
  • On your last sentence, no I don't think so. Caleb is pretty tough (but almost always right), but the other guys are really laid back in their theology, so I don't think overly pious is even possible for them. The accusation that it was potty humor was not by a mod, btw. – 3961 Jul 4 '14 at 6:32
  • @fredsbend - Yes, you did. I think that this Meta post is intended as a clarification of yours, with a specific question in mind. If I read to the heart of this one, it really ought to be "What was wrong with the title on this post", not "what's wrong with linkbait titles"? I moved my original answer from this one over there, and added a more specific answer here. – David Stratton Jul 5 '14 at 16:23
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    LC, i think the question was legit from the beginning. and so was the title. – robert bristow-johnson Jul 7 '14 at 3:15
  • What's wrong with a linkbait title... -- One word: linkbait. :-P – Flimzy Jul 17 '14 at 23:14
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My original answer was more general, so I moved it to the question fredsbend asked a few days prior: Should we encourage/discourage bait titles? Should titles stand on their own?.

This question is more specific to the example you cited about Jesus' bodily functions.


The question of whether or not Jesus had normal bodily functions after resurrection is a valid question.

This particular example asks for doctrinal positions, or specific teachings, so it fits within the site's guidelines on that level. It can't be closed as primarily opinion-based" or "General philosophical or sociological questions are off-topic unless clearly asking for a doctrinal answer". It asks for the doctrinal answer.

I hate to say it, but this looks to me, personally, like a "gray area" one - one where the community is going to use their judgment.

It is perfectly valid to close and delete questions because they are rude or offensive, or for any number of other reasons not covered in the "standard close reasons". Troll questions, questions based on some bias, questions not about Christianity, and many, many others. That's why there's an open "Off topic because..." close reason.

So question that needs to be answered in order to get to the heart of this particular question is "What's offensive?", and that's subjective. This is one of those cases where the community should get to decide on a question-by-question basis.

We're not going to get a hard-and-fast rule on this.

Bear in mind that a large swath of our target audience holds that Jesus deserves awe, reverence, and respect. And further, that you simply don't go out in a public place and talk about the bathroom habits or abilities of someone you love, revere, and respect. That's going to offend them.

Another portion of our audience isn't bothered by it. They see it as no big deal. Different upbringing, different background, different cultural norms, and different generations all play a factor.

Bottom line...

I seriously doubt that you're going to be swayed into believing that the original title was necessarily bad, because if you were the type of person that "gets" how that offends some people, you' wouldn't have asked in that manner and wouldn't have asked this Meta question. It'd be obvious to you. To you it's not that big a deal, and I'm not saying you're wrong in your view.

On the same hand, you're not ever going to convince that group of people that this question wasn't a bad thing. It's simply too ingrained that "there are certain things you don't do, talk about, or say about/in front of someone who deserves respect".

In this particular case, I believe that what happened with the question was the right thing. The original title was one that would offend a large enough group that editing it was a good thing. that's a personal opinion, not an official site guideline.

The edits didn't change the meaning of the question, and it didn't alter the original purpose. All that happened was that, in the end, the title was edited in such a way that it wouldn't be as offensive to those with easily offended sensibilities, and as a result it's also more adult sounding than the original. It's also less likely to be a troll-attractor.

The only other way I could have seen it going down with the same result would have been if someone had edited the title for you.

Either way, the end result is the same. The valid question still sits open on the site, and the title is less likely to be an issue of contention.

While I can't make you see things the way the more easily-offended of us do, I would ask that you try to keep them in mind when posting questions and answers for the reasons covered here as well as the ones in this answer.

  • I think your hypothetical easy-to-offend users don't exist, at least not on this site. I still maintain there was nothing offensive about the original question. – curiousdannii Jul 5 '14 at 22:14
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    @curiousdannii - We exist. ;-) Otherwise the question wouldn't have caused an issue. Some of us are able to let it go, but we still get offended. I've seen some pretty heated comments over stuff like that. The fact that you haven't seen it is a testament to the effectiveness of the guidelines on limiting debate. – David Stratton Jul 5 '14 at 22:20
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    @curiousdanni I think Affable Geek might have taken offense. Though possibly offending people is not a valid reason to avoid doing or not doing something, unless the action happens to have no real merit. – 3961 Jul 6 '14 at 19:38
  • There are some old meta posts regarding potentially offensive posts... I'm just on a cell and it's harder to search and link than from my PC. Maybe when I get back to my computer I'll be able to see what was decided on that. – David Stratton Jul 6 '14 at 19:55
  • Somewhat related - accepted answer on the Meta post about allowable content says basically what I said - judge on a case-by-case basis, objections/flags will be raised if people are offended... The Meta post was, as with this one, raised because some found the original question offensive and others didn't... In the end, that questions was closed. this one was edited to be less offensive, and reopened. Either way, both situations played out similarly. – David Stratton Jul 6 '14 at 20:11
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I think the original question is perfectly fine. It is not mocking, there's no "potty humour", it's not juvenile, and it's a serious question which Christians have looked at before. This is a common indicator of the different beliefs of Islam about Jesus who believe that if he was God would never use a toilet (or so I've heard.)

The edits are fine, but not really necessary. I would've prefer a more targeted question rather than the very broad one it is now, and I'd even support restoring the original question. The only thing I would've changed from the original is rather than saying answers from church tradition and history are welcome, I'd say that they're required. No new theology please, let's ask for answers from published books.

  • +1 for the last sentence. – 3961 Jul 5 '14 at 2:04

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