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We have two rather popular tags, and , that I'm having trouble distinguishing. The tag wikis don't provide much guidance, except perhaps to say that can be used to ask about the nature of good and/or evil, though this seems like something that is relevant to as well (this question, for example, has , not ).

Could someone enlighten me as to the practical difference between these tags, perhaps with some examples of how to distinguish between them when tagging? Or, alternatively, perhaps suggest a rename or merge?

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Current Data Points

morality

  1. 63 questions
  2. 29 closed, 1 on hold, 1 duplicate
  3. 32 assumed on-topic questions, 50% successful
  4. Dates
    • 2016 - 8 questions, 2 closed
    • 2015 - 7 questions, 1 closed
    • 2014 - 11 questions, 6 closed
    • 2013 - 9 questions, 4 closed
    • 2012 - 9 questions, 3 closed
    • 2011 - 19 questions, 15 closed
  5. Questions tagged morality and x
    • catholicism - 9 questions, 1 closed
    • ethics - 9 questions, 4 closed
    • biblical-basis - 7 questions, 2 closed
    • christian-living - 7 questions, 3 closed
    • sin - 5 questions, 2 closed
    • sexuality - 5 questions, 4 closed
    • civil-government - 4 questions, 2 closed
    • exegesis - 3 questions, 1 closed
    • bible - 3 questions, 1 closed
    • nature-of-god - 3 questions, 1 closed

good-and-evil

  1. 53 questions
  2. 18 closed, 11 duplicate
  3. 24 assumed on-topic questions, 45% successful
  4. Dates
    • 2016 - 9 questions, 4 closed
    • 2015 - 15 questions, 8 closed
    • 2014 - 16 questions, 8 closed
    • 2013 - 9 questions, 5 closed
    • 2012 - 0 questions
    • 2011 - 4 questions, 4 closed
  5. Questions tagged good-and-evil and x
    • sin - 9 questions, 4 closed
    • nature-of-god - 8 questions, 6 closed
    • satan - 6 questions, 3 closed
    • theodicy - 6 questions, 4 closed
    • exegesis - 5 questions, 3 closed
    • biblical-basis - 5 questions
    • catholicism - 4 questions
    • jesus - 2 questions, 1 closed
    • genesis - 2 questions, 1 closed
    • gospel-of-matthew - 2 questions, 2 closed

Analysis

Well, after all that, I can't seem to draw any strong conclusions based on current usage. Both tags share usage with the tags sin, catholicism, nature-of-god, and exegesis. I think it is easy to see why these tags would also attract use of the morality and nature-of-god tags.

Generally, these topics inspire two types of questions:

  1. What is God like?
  2. Is this a sin?

What really stands out as odd is the number of duplicates for the good-and-evil tag. Of all those duplicates, only two of them were not regarding theodicy, and all of the questions they point to are closed except one, which is locked. In my opinion, I think it's safe to say that at this point the good-and-evil tag is very similar to the theodicy tag. Perhaps, even it should be a duplicate. And the evil part of it is often synonymously used with the word sin too, though the good-and-evil tag is certainly not a synonym of the sin tag. I believe we blacklisted both the good and the evil tags. Perhaps the good-and-evil tag is really only an extension of those other tags.

The overlap between the two tags consists of only two questions, and only one of them actually seems to be about both topics. But after looking over the questions tagged good-and-evil, I believe that many of them should be tagged morality, instead, and not tagged good-and-evil. In fact, only a handful seem to be about the nature of good and evil and not about theodicy.

My suggestion

I think we have a lot of retagging to do. The good-and-evil tag is used mostly for questions about sin, theodicy, and the nature of god (and those tags already exist), while only a small few are actually about the nature of good and evil.

The morality tag suffers somewhat similarly, but to a smaller degree.

The good-and-evil and morality tags do not seem to conflate at all in types of questions, so what is the real difference? Well, if we redo the tagging to my liking, most of the good-and-evil questions will no longer have the tag, leaving really only those that are about the nature of good and evil. The morality tag seems appropriate on any question that asks whether something is right or wrong, and most of the questions seem to be about that. A different issue that may deserve a different meta post is the difference between the morality and ethics tags.

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    Thanks, this is helpful. Incidentally, making morality and ethics synonyms was suggested as a synonym in 2011, and it didn't go over well. – Nathaniel is protesting Sep 14 '16 at 2:11
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    @Nathaniel Technically, they are different things, but most people don't know that. When writing tag definitions and usage guidelines, I favor pragmatic use over definitional accuracy. – 3961 Sep 14 '16 at 3:30

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