Besides the topics themselves (which is clearly controversial in at least this case) I don't think "How would you..." questions can be ever considered acceptable as:

  1. They are list questions (each person can give a different correct answer). List questions are bad.
  2. They are never fact-based, they clearly invite speculation by presenting a hypothetical situation.
  3. They may disguise any off-topic or not appropriate question. E.g. "How would you respond to <insert whatever rant here> as a Christian?"

As such they should be closed as non-constructive.


1 Answer 1


My opinion is that the couple examples we have seen of this are not good-subjective questions.

I would disagree that they can never be fact-based, but chances are if they do hold potential they could be re-worded better. For example it's possible some "how would you respond to" questions could be re-worded "what is [the protestant] response to" or some other variant where an official or defended position could be expected. If a question could not fit that format, it's likely not a good candidate for good-subjective.

I closed the original version of this question, I was a little bit surprised to see it pop back up here. The second OP definitely fixed the quality problem with the offensive wording, but I still don't think it's a good fit for SE. As you note it's basically a list question where everybody is going to have a different approach.

  • One alternative could be to change from "How would you" to "How did you". They would still be list questions, but at least based on personal experiences and facts, not opinion...
    – Sklivvz
    Oct 1, 2011 at 9:28
  • @Sklivvz I'm not sure that would help. It seems to me that makes them more squarely list questions. At least with "how would you" people have the option of giving a scriptural or other defended answers about what a best-approach would be.
    – Caleb
    Oct 1, 2011 at 9:39

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