There have been two questions in recent days asked in an argumentative tone and being highly disrespectful to other Christians. Both by the same person, and both on the same topic. This question started off by calling those who disagreed with the questioner "of weak faith" and implied that they were "putting science before God's word". That question was edited to remove some of the disrespectful language.

The same person then asked this question, on the same subject, making essentially the same accusations and asking for very basic information on the dispute area.

I realize that questioners are going to come to the site and phrase questions badly, or show ignorance of the subject - that's why they ask questions. But these questions were from someone with a high reputation, who is supposed to be setting the tone of this site. Do we want to set a tone where it is OK to belittle those people you disagree with? If that's the kind of site we are creating, I'm going to be out of here. And so will everyone else who actually wants to give real answers instead of have an argument. Then the site is going to look like Yahoo Answers, but without the high quality :-).

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    That's why the entire concept behind StackExchange is that it's all editable. If you don't like the way something is phrased, please edit it to make it non-confrontational. If you can't find a way to do that, please flag and Vote to Close.
    – Richard
    Sep 16, 2011 at 16:14

2 Answers 2


I think everybody agrees the first question wasn't well put together, and it's closed. The OP seems to have spent some time in chat figuring out how to ask what he was trying to ask.

The second question lays out his premise that he has historically seen this from and asks how the priorities work on the other side of the fence. Frankly I think this is a very interesting question, not a disrespectful one. His stated premise comes to the conclusion that someone's faith is lacking, but he is asking what is wrong with his premise, not about the specific issue cited as an example.

I think you have mis-understood the question. The OP isn't looking for the evidence one way or the other on the issue. He seems to be asking why people put different priorities when using the evidence to come to a belief. Perhaps you can help answer that question...

The OP is quite frequently available in chat. Perhaps you could work on in there what he's after and how to make a better question out of it.

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    I'm aware of what the questioner is asking for. Yet if I look at how it is asked, I find he says his opponents are "trusting [science] vs trusting God's word". That's a huge and disrespectful assumption, basically a straw man. It would be the equivalent of calling Young Earth Creationists "those too stupid to understand science". I find it hard to believe that the questioner achieved such a high reputation without understanding the biblical arguments for OEC, so I'm seriously concerned that he is asking for the sake of asking. Sep 16, 2011 at 14:28
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    I'm with @DJClayworth - the second question itself is perfectly valid in my mind. It's the phrasing that people have issue with.
    – user202
    Sep 16, 2011 at 15:01

Respect is one of the most important things that we need to maintain in both our questions and in our answers. This is even more important when the subject matter is contentious and there are strong opinions on both sides.

If you feel disrespected by a user's question flag it. Let us know. If you are offended use your offensive flag, these flags have the benefit of deleting a post after a number of users have offered them. This gives you a voice in the moderation of this site.

The other thing you can do is edit a post to try to make the tone less offensive to you. Don't change the meaning, but certainly you can make it less argumentative or contentious.

One last thing. Lets not be thin skinned about this. If something offends you, ask yourself if it will offend 10 or 15 or 100 other people whose views differ from yours even slightly. Try to decide why you are offended and whether its really worth being offended over. Is the OP trying to be offensive or did they make an incidental statement that is offensive to you? Some people's beliefs here are repulsive or intolerant in the opinions of others. However, is it really fair to get upset by that when your beliefs may be equally repulsive to someone else?

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    If this were a question from a newcomer I would not be offended. I would assume that the questioner didn't understand appropriate tone, and/or didn't know enough about the subject to frame the question well. No problem with that. But this is from someone with several thousand in reputation! Either they have got that far without understanding appropriate tone (in which case we have problems) or he is trying to be argumentative. Sep 16, 2011 at 14:35
  • I am going to try editing the post. Sep 16, 2011 at 14:52
  • @DJC If you understand the question and think you can fix the tone so it wouldn't be offensive or misunderstood, I say go for it! I just ranted about edits not being the venue to change offensive views but getting the same Q out without the perceived issue would be great. Ping the OP with a comment when you're done.
    – Caleb
    Sep 16, 2011 at 15:08
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    @wax eagle - On the subject of thin skin, I think it's important to differentiate between a repulsive idea or belief and an offensive presentation. It's the difference between "What scripture supports <repulsive idea>?" vs. "Why do people of weak faith think <repulsive idea>?".
    – user202
    Sep 16, 2011 at 15:09
  • @Ian but that's a different question. How about "why do people think X, this premise makes that seem like weak faith to me, what's the matter with my premise?"
    – Caleb
    Sep 16, 2011 at 15:12
  • @Caleb, the issue is with the idea of "weak faith." Why introduce it at all? The implication is that if someone doesn't prescribe to a particular interpretation of something, they are of weaker faith than the poster. Why not just ask "why do people think X?" and not accuse a group of believers of not being as faithful (without having any evidence beyond a different interpretation of something)?
    – user202
    Sep 16, 2011 at 15:21
  • @Ian I agree with you, the introduction of the idea is unnecessary to the question (I edited out of his previous one), but at the same time its his belief...
    – wax eagle
    Sep 16, 2011 at 15:23
  • @wax eagle - okay, but how is there ever a possible answer to questions that involve "why do you have weak faith for thinking differently than me?"? I'm not saying he should believe anything different - it just doesn't make for an appropriate question (and with the removal of the idea, the questions seem entirely appropriate).
    – user202
    Sep 16, 2011 at 15:26
  • Yeah, I think that those kinds of statements have little value and do not belong here. They show a lack of respect for those with different opinions. You are free to believe it, but it does kind of go against what we are trying to accomplish here.
    – wax eagle
    Sep 16, 2011 at 15:35
  • My point exactly. People probably have all sorts of beliefs about other Christians, including that some of them are not really Christians. We ask them to put aside those beliefs, or at least not express them, on this site. It's also important that this is a high-rep user, who should be setting an example in this beta period. I'd have responded differently to a newbie. Sep 16, 2011 at 17:36

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