I answered a question. My answer may be right or wrong. That's not the issue. Someone calling themselves, comically, "David," wrote in his comment to my answer:

That's not what the question was. Answers are expected to address the actual question asked not something else. For now, I'm deleting this because it doesn't answer the actual question.

Really? One can do that and still call themselves a Christian? I've invested some of my time and energy in putting together my answer. Shouldn't hubris be penalized on this site?

David added:

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  • Downvoting is not merely hubris, but bad manners as well. Unfortunately, many people who call themselves Christians here are addicted to it.
    – Ricky
    Nov 18, 2015 at 0:53
  • 9
    @Ricky Are you sure you know what hubris means? Even if downvoting might be wrong for some reason, passing judgement on an answer does not constitute an act of pride or arrogance. Nor is it "bad manners" - it is an essential part of the Stack Exchange model.
    – ThaddeusB
    Nov 18, 2015 at 3:21
  • @ThaddeusB: I turn the other cheek. As for passing judgment, there's a bunch of pretty interesting thoughts on the subject in the Scriptures. Some people would do well to read those.
    – Ricky
    Nov 18, 2015 at 5:47
  • 2
    @Ricky Pretty ironic to claim you "turn the other cheek" when you started this post claiming a moderator and possibly others were demonstrating hubris don't you think? ... And by the way, this is not a Christian website.
    – ThaddeusB
    Nov 18, 2015 at 5:49
  • @ThaddeusB: Well, chief, pardon me for assuming that a site whose title is "Christianity" would be a Christian site. I was just beginning to suspect it wasn't, not really, when you so kindly confirmed it.
    – Ricky
    Nov 18, 2015 at 6:06
  • 2
    Someone calling themselves, comically, "David," Are you aware that David is actually a very common first name in the modern world? Do you think it might be possible that the user in question actually is named David? If so, is it comical to use one's name to identify oneself? Nov 18, 2015 at 23:31
  • @Mr.Bultitude: Really? A common name? I had no idea. Of course it would have been even more comical had his real name been Torquemada. You'll probably protest that it's even more common than David, but, hey, like I said earlier, I do have a warped sense of humor. Few people actually get my jokes. You'll recall Byron: "At first it grumbles, then it swears, and then, like David, flings smooth pebbles 'gainst a giant."
    – Ricky
    Nov 19, 2015 at 0:04
  • 3
    @Ricky My real name actually happens to be David. You've been quite abusive to pretty much everyone who interacts with you on this site. I highly recommend you follow the guidelines. You are not above them. I've been more than nice. I went to the trouble to ensure that your answer, which I deleted, was visible here so that the community could decide if I'd acted inappropriately. Yet you seem intent on simply being nasty to anyone who bothers to interact with you, particularly those that are attempting to help you. Nov 23, 2015 at 5:54

2 Answers 2


The site has guidelines, as do all StackExchange sites. Each has its own specific set of rules and guidelines as defined by the community. It's my role, as a moderator on the site, to ensure that they're followed. That typically means helping users understand the guidelines, but it also means deleting content that's not within those guidelines.

The question you're referring to asks whether or not the references to other gods implies that other gods, indeed, exist as real beings. Your answer doesn't even address that. Hence the comment explaining why it was deleted. It's nothing personal, and it doesn't mean you had false/bad information, it just didn't address the actual question.

Your answer to the question contained some really good information. It's just that it did not directly address the actual question asked. Whether or not we should allow answers that don't really answer the question is something that's been discussed on meta here.

With all that in mind, if you're interested in catching up on the guidelines, here's some recommended reading:

  • This comment of yours (it is hardly an answer, no matter how you scramble it) is YOUR OPINION of my answer; hardly a fact. Ergo, deleting my answer is hubris, pure and simple, and saying that you're going to delete something I spent a good quarter of an hour putting together is double hubris. Just saying.
    – Ricky
    Nov 18, 2015 at 0:52
  • 5
    @Ricky - The good news is that by posting it here, you've ensured that the other moderators will see it, and if they agree with your stance, the answer will likely be un-deleted. Questioning my action here was the appropriate thing to do. Nov 18, 2015 at 0:59
  • Hardly. Going to the authorities is not my cup of tea. It smacks of snitching. I would have much preferred to address it in a comment, but you made that impossible by deleting everything I wrote and disabling commenting. How very tolerant of you.
    – Ricky
    Nov 18, 2015 at 1:12
  • I do think that a quick cure for frivolous edits, deletions, etc, would be to penalize them. 5000 points stripped from a person's rep would make them think twice before being that disrespectful and/or Pharisaic again.
    – Ricky
    Nov 18, 2015 at 1:15
  • 9
    @Ricky You either need to adjust your attitude or find a site more appropriate for what you want to do. Answers DO need to be on-topic here and deleting off-topic answers is not "hubris" in any way. David didn't act unilaterally - got got 3 downvotes for the same reason before it was deleted. However, insisting you couldn't possibly be wrong about your answer being off-topic could fairly be called "hubris."
    – ThaddeusB
    Nov 18, 2015 at 3:17
  • 2
    @Ricky Considering your attitude here and what's looking like a repeat of what happened with your behavior on EL&U, why should we continue to take you seriously?
    – user3961
    Nov 18, 2015 at 11:30
  • @fredsbend: Passing judgment, aren't we? I never asked to be taken seriously. Pharisaic self-righteousness does annoy me, but I'm hardly alone in that. The Savior himself nearly lost His temper a few times, as the Scriptures tell us. As a Christian I must say that, since each and every person is in fact accountable, the thought of many people justifying their actions on Judgment Day by explaining to Our Lord about rules and formats and what was appropriate and what wasn't does appeal to my (oftentimes warped, I admit) sense of humor. No hard feelings (honestly).
    – Ricky
    Nov 18, 2015 at 11:47

It's a well-formed, well-written, and thought out post. But it does not answer the question. It's a pretty simple rule to avoid being deleted. Along with not spamming and a polite tone, answering the actual question is about the minimum one could request to avoid post deletion.

You are correct that it does not matter if the post is right or wrong, and there's plenty of wrong answers still published on the site today. But they do attempt to answer the question as given, so they remain undeleted.

Unfortunately, we cannot refund you your time (if you know a guy I'd like an introduction). Even spammers and offensive trolls spend time on their wanton advertising and hateful speech, yet those posts are deleted without consideration for their efforts spent. So I'm afraid we cannot afford you that consideration either.

What we can do is spend our time helping you understand the site rules, dynamics, and when the community takes certain actions. If you are willing to learn from your mistakes then you should be able to post without resistance in the future.

As for this specific answer, if you truly believe that it is a suitable answer to the question, then I suggest another meta post that makes that case. Keep it simple. Probably a short numbered list of what you think the question is about, then a respective numbered list of how your answer answers it. If the community agrees, they can vote to undelete it. It takes votes from three users with over 10K rep or only one moderator vote to undelete a post.

  • Whoa, hold on a second. It DOES NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION? You really believe that?
    – Ricky
    Nov 18, 2015 at 12:59
  • 1
    @Ricky What is the question?
    – user3961
    Nov 18, 2015 at 13:00
  • There's a link up there, thoughtfully provided by King David himself. But - if you don't know what the question is, why would you say that my post doesn't answer it? I'm kind of puzzled here.
    – Ricky
    Nov 18, 2015 at 13:02
  • 1
    @Ricky I've read it. You tell me what it is?
    – user3961
    Nov 18, 2015 at 13:03
  • Goodness gracious. Okay, let's do some cutting and pasting: "What are we to make of this, then? Are there lesser/other gods? Do the words used for god, perhaps, have other implied contextual meanings in some passages?"
    – Ricky
    Nov 18, 2015 at 13:04
  • 1
    @Ricky And what from your answer (copy and paste again) answers that?
    – user3961
    Nov 18, 2015 at 13:06
  • I'd have to cut and paste the entire answer. I make it a point to write succinctly and avoid padding, especially where it concerns such important matters as Christianity.
    – Ricky
    Nov 18, 2015 at 13:13
  • 4
    @Ricky So what you are saying is that nowhere in your answer do you succinctly answer those two questions? Nowhere does it say "yes" or "no"? The question is not about idolatry, but your answer is. I believe at this point you are intentionally refusing to see this.
    – user3961
    Nov 18, 2015 at 13:29
  • You may believe what you like: that's your prerogative, and I wouldn't dream of questioning it. On my part, I believe that my answer was correct. When some innocent soul comes up to you with "Someone told me there's this TV program all Canadians watch while drinking beer, including those who resent television and loathe beer. What is it? Any idea?" - you know that even though the question may not be about hockey, your answer will have to be.
    – Ricky
    Nov 18, 2015 at 13:45
  • 8
    @Ricky You're going to need to be more careful about how you address folks around here. Disrespectful comments (esp. from the main site) are going to be deleted. As for your answer, this isn't a discussion forum and folks don't get to use the answer to go onto whatever topics they think are related. Either directly answer the question and make it clear that you are doing so, or don't post answer. It takes more than a link in your head to keep people from (rightfully) flagging answers that don't seem to answer the question that was asked.
    – Caleb
    Nov 18, 2015 at 14:20
  • @Caleb: I turn the other cheek.
    – Ricky
    Nov 18, 2015 at 14:38
  • 9
    @Ricky You keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Nov 18, 2015 at 15:04
  • @curiousdannii: Well, I hope you think it means what you think it means. That way at least one of us should feel gratified. Both of us would be gratified if you thought it meant what you thought it meant what I thought it meant, but you can't have everything at once: gratification should be carefully dosed lest we fall into the sin of pride and start throwing garbage at people in the street.
    – Ricky
    Nov 18, 2015 at 15:46

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