I'm at a bit of a loss of what to do with this question - A thought-experiment about the importance of Buddhist traditions

It has received as many downvotes as upvotes, it is attracting multiple moderator flags (i don't think that's confidential that it has been flagged) but it is answered and answered well. I don't really understand why it is so unpopular but it is. I don't think it can be voted to close (by non-moderators) because it has an open bounty (i could be wrong).

Should it be closed down - is it really terrible? Why is it so bad? I can't in all conscience close it if I don't think it's bad so I just need someone to help me understand why it should be closed.


Many thanks for the responses. I have left it open and I think that is the right decision. If it gets 5 close votes then it will close anyway or it will gradually drift out of view. I think that is the general consensus but obviously there is a range of opinions here.

4 Answers 4


To me, the first part of the question, a request to forecast entire society's(!) reaction to hypothetical (and controversial) situation is an invitation to engage in wrong speech and should be deleted.

The second part, "are Buddhist cultural habits and traditional ways of dress, behavior, speech etc. important for making spiritual progress?" looks totally fine to me and can be answered for the benefit of the OP.

In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.


I was ditto (at a loss of what to do with this question), i.e. it seems to me too that it's not exactly in breach of any of the defined/specific moderation policy for questions, so I'm not sure I ought to close it.

It wasn't a question which I very much want to read an answer to, so I didn't upvote the question, but my "not upvoting" isn't the same as "wanting to close" it.

Jayarava suspects that it may be an ad hominem reaction, i.e. that people are targeting this question because it's from Krishnaraj:

My other comment is that it seems like @Krishnaraj is being targeted unfairly. I think he asks interesting questions, if not always in an elegant way.

I think that's not the whole truth but I think there's some truth to that. Krishnaraj has asked 9 questions in the last 2 days.

  • The first three questions implied some 'secular' or 'skeptical' view, controversial or irreverent.
  • The next five questions were all closed

If we assume that the five closed questions were all "too bad" in one way or another, it may be that the few unclosed questions (like the one you're asking about) are "not quite bad enough" yet still the community wants to stop that stream of (unusual and/or naive) questions from the user.

Robin suggested that the community actually have a right to do this, and I can't disagree with that.

Experienced moderators advise not to become too entirely rule-bound: if you draw "a line in the sand", some people may walk right up to that line too often, so it's useful to have left yourself some leeway.

My personal opinion about that question is that it's not too bad and that closing it could be more trouble (cause more fuss) than leaving it open. If you simply leave it alone it will drop off the front page and into history. To me it looks tidy at the moment, none of the answers are bad, so no problem. If the "proof is in the pudding" (i.e. a question is good or bad to the extent that it gets good or bad answers), the answers are all OK therefore it's not too bad a question (and "well done" to the people who were able to answer it).

As for Krishnaraj here was his latest question. Matthew explained what was wrong with it (i.e. that as asked it didn't fit our site for a couple of reasons), there's a revised version of that question open now.

  • Just wanted to clarify, in my suggestion yesterday to close more questions, the "close" is of course really a "hold" that gives everyone involved a chance to cool down and reasonably consider a question and what may be needed to make it a good fit when possible. I do think there's been a backlash against a particular user. We get plenty of vague questions and they barely get a single down vote so this recent down voting stands out. Hopefully we can all move forward respectful of one another. :)
    – Robin111
    Sep 12, 2015 at 13:51

Any answer to it would be founded completely in conjecture. Any conceivable situation given the pretenses in the question would yield different results dependent upon the infinite amount of varying circumstances that could arise.

In this way, at best, any answer would be the opinion of the person giving it, because the question is tantamount to asking for a prediction of something that has yet to happen.

The question ITSELF asks "What's your opinion?"

On this basis alone I do not understand why the moderators haven't closed it.

  • 1
    I didn't close it, for example because a question like this (as well as many others) also seems a bit "opinion-based" to me ... but that's a "practice" question which we welcome. So I can't just say to myself, "all 'opinion-based' questions must be deleted". I don't yet have a clear way to tell the difference between welcome and unwelcome..I didn't like the question partly because it seemed so hypothetical (i.e. useless). Maybe there's a purposeful intent behind the question but if so that question seems to be asking in an indirect way.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Sep 12, 2015 at 4:58

I think it's fine. Not the question, but the score. I like the fact that we are starting to have blurred scores. Unfortunately, the downvoters did not explain why the downvote, and we just have an "opinion-based" flag -- I guess the question could have swing to either side. Maybe a question starting with "Suppose..." immediately calls this reaction. I find the answer to be good given our current standards.

  • 1
    I didn't bother explaining my downvote given the amount of argument that has occurred on the site as of lately. Some people don't seem to be able to handle criticism or a difference of opinion, and take it as an opportunity to insult and berate others. As such, I feel it's best to just avoid bringing about any such circumstance.
    – Ryan
    Sep 12, 2015 at 2:20

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