First, I think this is a good question. However, as it currently stands I can see that the author is baiting the question reading and answering audience. He/she is asking a question that he/she believes is one with a foregone conclusion, but one which will receive "wrong" answers to their conclusion. If the pattern holds true they will debate those "wrong" answers in the comment section.

To be clear, what I am asking is for opinion on "should askers with an obvious agenda in such questions be encouraged always to include their agenda?"

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  • @Nathaniel thank you. I tried to do homework on this question but didn't come up with the right word combo. I went with agenda, bias I think, and baiting but now I have some reading to do. Depending, I guess I should remove this question?
    – user31124
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 20:57
  • It's still a different question, so I wouldn't automatically delete it. If you decide you don't have any more doubts after reading those pages, you could delete if you want. Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 21:01
  • @Nathaniel thank you for the encouragement on it being a different question. Yes, after reading both questions and most of the answers and comments, I think it is slightly different. I guess I am wondering about more of a clearing of the air, hoping those who are asking will come clean about what they expect in an answer, and correct any misstep. I think missteps could be had, as those questions point out, that make the environment hostile instead of educational. I was wondering whether it might be advantageous to strongly suggest they come clean for honesty and better cooperation.
    – user31124
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 21:13
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    Please leave this question up. This is a good point in terms of community harmony and integrity. Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 14:31
  • Nathaniel, you need to clarify on what you mean by baiting. The que clearly asks justification for a specific doctrine;(its not asking to convince me into ur doctrine) If this site doesn't allow justification for doctrines then its defeating its purpose of the site. There are numerous questions asks justification for catholic doctrines; where the questioner obviously disagree with the doctrine. May be no answer will satisfy the questioner that doesnt mean there is no best or good ans which. Unless you wanna make this as wiki to only describe what x denom believes and not WHY.
    – Michael16
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 8:01
  • Fact: every single topic is a matter of debate. People interact in comments and it doesnt make this site like forums. This site should allow more than just ques "what x denom believes". It should automatically be addressed to anyone who believes that doctrine and even those who dont believe but may explain its basis. See a similar on herm hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/25472/… asking basis for reconciliation between this doctrine with the perfect holy nature of God.
    – Michael16
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 8:32
  • People cant have no beliefs or absolute neutral beliefs; all have agendas. The language of these ques is not pejorative and insulting to God or those who believe the particular doctrine. The ques are suitable and beneficial for learning and exchange despite that you see the questioner to be disagreeing with the doctrine or as you call it have an "agenda" or even consider the doctrine heresy or cult. People are to simply ans the ques. Almost all ques demands justification for particular views. And there is no hidden indirect question in them; they are direct sincere ques.
    – Michael16
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 8:40
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    @Michael16 I'm not the one who called this "baiting," but consider the difference between, "Doesn't this mean Catholics believe God is deceptive and insincere?" and "How do Catholics deal with this apparent discrepancy?" It should be clear that the first is more provocative and less indicative of respect toward Catholics. Wording matters. Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 13:10
  • @Nathaniel, the second example does not express the question but only gives a hint about the question. The title must contain the question clearly.
    – Michael16
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 16:03
  • @Michael16 Those aren't example titles; neither one is sufficient as a title. They are examples of tone used in a question. Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 16:23
  • @Nathaniel, ok but still I dont think the tone of my ques was offensive; Its a matter of perspective; someone would find anything offensive if any question challenges their doctrine. I dont think in what other way you can put that question to suit the expectations of some people.
    – Michael16
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 16:32

3 Answers 3


Yes, honesty and integrity should be encouraged.

As this community has evolved since its beginning, and based on the interactions I've seen and had regarding badly or incompletely written questions, playing "gotcha" with questions is, to me, both dishonest and at times insulting. It's the kind of games people play on a discussion forum.

This Is Not A Discussion Forum

As we all try to sincerely explain or inquire about various Christian beliefs and teachings, as well as Christian understanding, dishonesty and playing "gotcha" games is completely at odds with the norms of this site as currently curated by the mods.

Be Nice (An SO/SE imperative)

Beyond rudeness, isn't being dishonest by default not nice?

"In summary, be good to each other."

Being dishonest is not being good to each other, and from a Christian point of view, is not loving your neighbor as yourself.

Encourage Openness, Sincerity, and Integrity

If we don't, then we are worse off for it.

Why this site is most excellent

The open, sincere, and thorough efforts in both asking and answer questions, and in many cases getting clarification through non snarky, sincere comments when a question or answer doesn't register, or is on a topic where someone (like me) has serious weaknesses or no background.


This site doesn't facilitate debating in the comments section, it only does Q&A. People who try to ask indirect questions have to face the likely chance that their questions will be closed as unclear, or they'll have to be content with answers which address what is actually asked rather than what they were hoping would be addressed. Pretty much all our established users understand how the Stack Exchange format works, so it's just an occasional issue with new users. They'll either learn and stick around, or quit in frustration.

  • understood, but to me honest, as a popular book series and movie series' quote could be adapted "but the odds are ever with them". There are far more potential new users than there are "regulars" or established users. So I was wondering as a matter of informal policy rather than a longevity issue. It's clear that those questions are acceptable, and as I stated, I thought it was a good one much as Jon Ericson did in his question. Only a matter of clearing the air.
    – user31124
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 22:28

The question or questioner's integrity cannot be judged on your assumption as to whether or not any answer will satisfy him. Integrity and sincerity is judged on basis of language and level of the question. Whether or not the language is insulting, and the level of question is silly or poor as too layman.

The right or expected answers would be like :

"No, it doesn't make God's law or commands insincere because of such and such"


"No [it doesn't] there are reasons to think God can safely give incapable law as to appear misleading and deceptive under certain cases without compromising his holy nature"


It does appear from the commands that God suppose the law to be capable of giving life however some believe that God did not actually mean it to be capable for such and such reasons; and such explanations are given by such experts.

An example of inappropriate answer or language would be :

"Yes, I also think Protestants are fool and heretic as they turn the whole law into a deception of God, which essentially makes God into Satan. The doctrine is blasphemous and preposterous.

Which answer is the acceptable or best is the personal decision of the questioner.

This exchange of QA does not entails a chit chat discussion or debate. You need not worry as to whether your answer will qualify as the accepted best answer. The point system is not supposed to act as a game; where you only want to answer where you think you have good chances of winning; the point system is a mere motivation to participate. May be your answer will be voted down by the questioner but might serve as productive and informative to others. However the voting to answers will be inevitably be motivated by personal agenda and theological bias; we can't help it.

There is even an option where you can Answer your own question – share your knowledge, Q&A-style This does not mean that question does not qualify the rules and purpose of this site.

  • I know you had your back and forth with Nathaniel but I'll answer your questions here, being the OP. You wanted clarification on what baiting meant here, this is the example: "Do Protestants make God's law as deceptive?" It's obvious at that edit that the question was baiting Protestants. Furthermore you wrote, "Integrity and sincerity is judged on basis of language" As you further edited your question it become more clear that the parts of your question that may have been offensive or biased were edited away. For site standards they were probably good edits, but I found it earlier on.
    – user31124
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 3:25
  • Michael16, I'm sorry, I do not understand your logic. Too broad to be an accusation is nonsensical. I could make a very broad statement like "All humans are killers" and its broadness would in no way invalidate its libelous nature. Again, for the record, I did like your question. I don't at all mean this to be a trial of your question. The question was a means to ask my question. It was used as a type and little more. But I believe my point was made.
    – user31124
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 7:47
  • @user31124 sorry my comment was unclear. I meant to say it is actually a broad accusation ; it does not specify a question but simply hints about it; there is no question in its title (do they make the law deceptive?). It should specify on what basis does it make the law deceptive. Mine is not broad but a clear question.
    – Michael16
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 8:09
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    Honestly, I would have been happy to answer your question. But clearly it was showing a bias against Protestants. I've read that the site has moved from a history where such wars over denominational ideas was commonplace to -- now each denomination can share from their strengths without fear of judgement. Protestants can't judge Catholics on their interpretation of certain passages, nor can the reverse happen. Both are their unique history and in that history they are factually accurate to cite it. The problem with the question from where I sit, is that it pitted one against the other.
    – user31124
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 9:05
  • It is not a challenge to whole denomination but to an interpretation. There is no other valid way to put that question clearly. The charge of judgment and forced agenda is only your biased perspective. If any question of challenge or justification on interpretation or doctrine is seen as forced agenda and insult then you wont allow most of the questions.
    – Michael16
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 9:11
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    It's not about what I will allow. I likely have less say than you on that matter. Badges equate to more features. The point is if you are questioning the belief of a whole denomination then you are questioning the legitimacy of the denomination. You could instead ask in paraphrase, Your teachings seems to say such-and-such, but that contradicts these Biblical passages. Could someone from such-and-such denomination please clarify? Instead you wrote, "Do Protestants make God's law as deceptive?" Again, you stated "Integrity and sincerity is judged on basis of language".
    – user31124
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 9:23
  • Michael, gamification is a systemic issue on SE/SO due to the nature of its rewarding rep, privileges and badges. Some users are more attracted to the game/score feature than others. Quoting you: The point system is not supposed to act as a game; where you only want to answer where you think you have good chances of winning; the point system is a mere motivation to participate. Sorry, that is an inaccurate assessment, particularly when "points" open up user options like chat, review, editing, etcetera... Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 12:57

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