The general idea has been touched on somewhat in here and here, but hasn't been dealt with directly.

Should we encourage the community to answer questions in the same "alignment" as the question or should we encourage all kinds of answers? For example, perhaps things might have been better off if we encouraged the community to answer this infamous Jehovah's Witness question with answers from a JW viewpoint. But the value of having other viewpoints is the sharing of information and thoughts in addition to providing a resource for the people who will read this site later.

So, should we encourage answers in the same general viewpoint as the question?

4 Answers 4


Should we encourage the community to answer questions in the same "alignment" as the question

Yes, yes, yes… YES!

If this site is going to succeed, it is absolutely essential that questions be answered specifically within the context of the belief system they are asked. This is not optional or reserved for the people you agree with; It is a basic tenet of the site.

There are a lot of competing ideologies on this site. It is not the purpose of this site to decide which belief system is right for every question asked. Further, no one here expects to be challenged on their beliefs for having asked a question on this site.

The voting system plays an essential role adding to the value of this site. We simply CANNOT allow the voting to succumb to a popularity contest of which ideology system has the most participants.

Trust me on this one: Users will leave this site in droves if every question becomes inundated with a lot of cross-cultural brow-beating. The community should reject and down-vote any challenging or mocking behavior towards any opposing ideas or people in the guise of a offering a more enlightened answer. The autonomy between groups has to be jealously guarded by the entire community, or this site will fail.

If the context of the question is not clear, it is up the members of this site (through comments) to ask for clarification.

Let's keep the questions (and answers) canonical and authoritative. If you can resist the urge to browbeat those who hold opposing ideas, this site will thrive.


If a user is seeking knowledge regarding a specific viewpoint or doctrine, they should be able to get that knowledge without being inundated with a bunch of "You're wrong" posts.

However, if they are seeking general consensus regarding a topic, then they should get all beliefs represented.

"What passages support that God was once a man?" shouldn't get a bunch of post saying how that the premise is wrong if the question is worded to ask specifically about Mormonism. If it's not worded towards Mormonism, then the question should be considered "open" and therefore available to all the enevitable "You're wrong!" posts.

Also, I think that this is the purpose of this topic: Please tag your questions with the denomination you're asking about.

Tagging has the potential to provide some clues that to whether an answer should be open to all viewpoints or not.


I think we should assume that those asking a question are seeking a full and complete answer to their question. If someone is wondering specifically why JW's believe Jesus is a separate God, that is a valid, but separate question from "Was Jesus a separate God?" There is some overlap, but the apparent intent of the question is different.

And the question "Was Jesus a separate God?" will likely solicit multiple, disagreeing answers, but in my view, that is healthy on a forum like this.


I don't think this should be a general rule; I for one would be interested to hear different perspectives (within Christianity) of the issues raised. However there's nothing wrong with answering a specific question about a specific denomination or group - but unless the OP makes that specification I think the question should be taken as within the context of Christianity generally.

So to address the example raised; as worded, "Was Jesus a separate god" in the Christianity SE means "Do Christians believe Jesus was a separate god"; if the question was intended to be "Do Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus was a separate god" then that should be made explicit in the question.

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