11

Closely related:

This is something I worried about way back when we started requiring questions to be scoped to a denomination. Don't get me wrong, I agree with the fact that questions need to be properly scoped if they're to be answerable with anything other than opinion. However, I saw the potential for a user to abuse the system and essentially flood the system with the same exact question over and over, from different perspectives.

  • From a Baptist perspective, is baptism necessary for salvation?
  • from a Catholic perspective, is baptism necessary for salvation?
  • etc...

Now it seems to be happening, and it's time to ask the community:

Is this pattern desirable, and if not, what course of action should be taken?

5

I prefer this sort of multiple questions over the alternative of overview questions. Defining an "overview question" is exceedingly difficult, as there is often not a defined border between "overview question" and "what is everyone's opinion on X?"

Having said that, every 'Explain X according to Y tradition?' question still needs to be held to high standards. Simply doing a search-and-replace to change "Catholics" to "Baptists" is not enough. A question like this ought to be closed for lack of research effort.

An honest seeker of truth on matters of Baptism will spend at least 5 minutes on Google before asking what Baptists believe about baptism. They should spend another 5 minutes before asking what Catholics believe, etc.

If askers will actually do this level of minimal research, it should be apparent in their question, and their questions won't be search-and-replace duplicates.

3

It really depends on what the issue is. For an issue like baptism it is well known that Catholics, Reformed Protestants and Baptists have very different beliefs. I don't know the Orthodox churches well enough to know if they are essentially the same as the Catholics or if they're different again, but they're probably different. And of course the non-Trinitarian churches will probably have very different answers on almost everything. For an issue like baptism it is appropriate to have many different questions, or alternatively, an overview question. But when you're getting to the stage of having to cover four or five different positions it might be too broad for a good overview question...

Other issues are more uniform. We don't need different distinct Catholic and Anglican and Baptist questions about the Trinity.

Finally it's okay to not know whether the question you're asking will have an ecumenical answer or not. It's okay to ask whether Trinitarian Christians teach that baptism is essential, it will just be quickly closed as too broad.

1

In my personal opinion, this is not at all constructive.

There's no good that can come from flooding the site with the same question multiple times. Good, unique, varied questions get buried in the noise of such activity. It doesn't attract experts. just the opposite, it's annoying and is more likely to drive visitors away than anything else. What new visitor is going to want to weed through that?

My vote is to close such questions immediately, vote them down, and delete them.

Opposing answers are welcome.

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