Can a question be asked again, particularly if the answers were thought to be insufficient?

I ran across a case of this happening (although you can always debate whether it was the exact same question). Here are the two questions, the first from 2013 and the second from 2018:

  1. What is the difference between the Eastern and Western views of the one essence/substance of the Godhead?
  2. What is the Ontological Difference between the Catholic and the Orthodox View of God?

This case seems reasonable to me, which is why I am asking. The first question elicited only one answer which netted zero votes and seems to be poorly sourced (and yet this answer was accepted). Supposing the person who asked the second question was aware of the first, was he justified in asking again?

If you think my example is bad and that those are two different questions, then just imagine the case where they are the same question. Is repeating a question 5 years later allowed if the answers to the first question were not satisfactory?


1 Answer 1


No, this isn't okay. If you feel like an old question doesn't have good answers, the right way to go about getting better ones is to put a bounty on the older question, not reask it.

Even so, people regularly ask duplicates; normally without realizing it. Sometimes these "duplicates" aren't actually duplicates, but are new ways of asking a similar question – and the line between these two categories is blurry. If you feel a question is a duplicate of another, feel free to flag it or vote to close it (3k+ rep). This will get it into the Close Vote Queue and encourage other members of the community to evaluate it as well.

Normally we close the newer question as a duplicate of the older one, but not always – particularly if the new question and its answers are more comprehensive or helpful.

  • Can you put a bounty on a question which already has an accepted answer? I assume you can't, and thus the problem would persist. This issue seems like a subset of the SE model itself in which the acceptance of an answer is based on the subjectivity of the questioner. If a questioner accepted an objectively poor answer 8 years ago, what can you do? Does SE provide no way to incentivize a quality answer to their question? (This is basically exactly what happened in the example I gave in my question)
    – zippy2006
    Aug 4, 2018 at 20:29
  • 1
    Yes, you can place a bounty on a question with an accepted answer. But it's true that high-quality answers to old questions usually don't get much attention, especially old questions with accepted answers, so there isn't much incentive to write new answers. I brought this up a few years ago – How can we encourage high-quality new answers to old questions? – and since then the "New Answers to Old Questions" chatroom has existed to help combat this tendency. It doesn't get much traffic these days, though. Aug 4, 2018 at 20:52
  • 2
    There's also an interesting proposal on MSE that would allow sites to "unpin" accepted answers, which might also encourage new answers to be written: Allow sites to opt out of pinning accepted answers to the top Aug 4, 2018 at 20:54
  • Great, thanks. I will likely accept your answer in the next few days after the question has aged a little bit. I guess I wasn't even aware that accepted answers automatically 'trump' the answers with the most votes (in terms of spatial priority). Maybe the strong priority given to 'acceptance' just doesn't fit the Christianity SE and other similar sites.
    – zippy2006
    Aug 4, 2018 at 21:20

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