This question, which I posted today was put on hold within a couple of hours of its posting, seemingly based on my answer to another question on Meta and possibly, my interactions with a moderator on that answer.

What is wrong or offensive about this question? As far as I can tell, it wasn't even anti-piety. "Rationalist" is not a pejorative term. The opposite of rationalist, whatever that may be, is also not negative either. So, nobody should perceive insult in this question.

Please cite the rules that are violated by this question, resulting in its being put on hold. If it is considered a duplicate to any question, which question might that be?

My views as a questioner: Each question needs to be discussed or debated on its own merit. Perceptions about the questioner should not influence the moderators' treatment of a question. Let the participating community speak their own mind by upvoting or downvoting, answers or comments. If they cannot relate to a question, they will completely ignore it. Even negative answers and downvotes indicate that the question connects with the community of site users; why censor such a question or the reactions to it?

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    This is not a platform to debate. If that's the spirit in which you're posting questions, you ought to find a different forum for sharing your views :)
    – Ryan
    Sep 24, 2015 at 22:11

3 Answers 3


For what reason is this question on hold?

As I said at the time, I decided you were arguing rather than asking a question.

You also previously posted this comment:

@yuttadhammo -- Guilty as charged. I do of course hold many opinions, and I am of course trying to promote my own ideas, and looking for intelligent and well-reasoned arguments. Presumably, I am not alone in such an activity. and presumably, such an activity is at least as legitimate on this forum as posing questions to which there are definitive answers. Am I wrong in so presuming?

Let the participating community speak their own mind by upvoting or downvoting, answers or comments

People could vote to reopen the topic (question or argument) if they wanted to.

I voted to close because (I have read everything that's been posted on this site for the last year and) I don't think that "the participating community" want to use this site to have that kind of argument.

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    Or any argument :)
    – Ryan
    Sep 24, 2015 at 20:42
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    Ok Chris, fair enough. As you said, if the participating community can see this topic, and if they can vote to reopen this topic, I'm ok with that. Sep 25, 2015 at 6:01

I think Krishnaraj Rao should be temporarily banned off the site. Some of his questions may be alright, but their tone and his overall behavior in the comments create too much turbulence and harm the community. Having some time off should work well to help Krishnaraj contemplate his attitude, and for others to understand where the boundary lies between the respectful and the disrespectful inquire.

Before he comes back, I would insist that he 1) admits there was a problem, and 2) accepts that he can change his engagement style to prevent the similar issues in the future.

  • After some.reconsideration, and meditation, I feel perhaps we should consider other options :)
    – Ryan
    Sep 25, 2015 at 0:03
  • It is a slippery slope, I know, which is why I did not want to invoke it, but there is gotta be the line somewhere.
    – Andriy Volkov Mod
    Sep 25, 2015 at 0:21
  • Perhaps you are right. I was viewing the situation from the perspective of how my practice personally would relate to an disagreeable person; but this is an issue of an individual creating discord in a community, among people who might not even practice meditation, and repeatedly breaking the rules even after being corrected on them.
    – Ryan
    Sep 25, 2015 at 0:53
  • Exactly my point, yes
    – Andriy Volkov Mod
    Sep 25, 2015 at 1:12
  • I don't think he is quite there yet. Banning might be a bit much at this point.
    – hellyale
    Sep 29, 2015 at 22:41

I think the question was off-topic, because rationalism was implied to be correct, and was used as a yardstick to judge Buddhism and the Buddha.

Rationalism is just one philosophical theory, just as others under the umbrella of epistemology like empiricism, idealism and constructivism. They too are open to debate and discussion.

There should not be an assumption, implicit or otherwise, that rationalism must be correct, when phrasing the question. There should not be the insinuation that if the Buddha was not practising rationalism, then he must have been irrational or flawed.

Imagine a theist writing such a question:

1) Was Siddhartha Gautama a God-believer before he attained enlightenment?

2) Did Siddhartha Gautama ever look to God as his means or method for salvation? Or did he discard seeking God in favour of some other means or methods for salvation?

3) After enlightenment, when Gautama Buddha started preaching, did he speak in favour of seeking God's mercy? Or alternatively, was the message of his preaching against seeking God's mercy?

4) Did Gautam Buddha ever say or imply that God's Words guides one towards the truth? Alternatively, did he say or imply that the Words of God misguides one, and leads him astray?

Such a question would surely be off-topic, because it implies that the existence of God, seeking God, needing salvation and God's words all must be correct, and that turning away from God is implied as flawed behaviour. Similarly with rationalism.

So, the better way is to rephrase the question, for example:

Do Buddhist methods and practice include rationalism as a means to seek the truth? Comparatively, techniques such as vipassana, seem to lean more towards empiricism. Is rationalism compatible with Buddhist methods?

  • Ruben, please show me which line exactly leads you to feel that rationalism was implied to be correct. Also, please point out the exact line that insinuates that if Buddha was not practicing rationalism, he was irrational or flawed. Sep 24, 2015 at 20:09
  • Let me put it on record that I believe that rationalism is one of several complementary methods of seeking or finding whatever it is The Buddha was seeking. And also that rationalism alone could never take anybody to the pinnacle that The Buddha scaled. Sep 24, 2015 at 20:13
  • No question is perfectly "balanced" between different schools of thought. Each question may carry its own load of assumptions -- each favouring a different school of thought. I don't see how a perceived assumption is a decent ground for closing a question or putting it on hold. Sep 24, 2015 at 20:16
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    A more appropriate question would be whether Buddhist methods and practice include rationalism as a means to seek the truth apart from techniques such as vipassana, which seem to lean more towards empiricism? For what it's worth, I think Buddhism is more empirical than rationalist.
    – ruben2020 Mod
    Sep 24, 2015 at 20:34
  • Ruben, still waiting. Please show me which line exactly leads you to feel that rationalism was implied to be correct. Also, please point out the exact line that insinuates that if Buddha was not practicing rationalism, he was irrational or flawed. Sep 25, 2015 at 7:19
  • It's the overall tone of the question. Why does Buddhism have to be for, or against rationalism, when it can simply be different? Why does the Buddha have to "discard" rationalism, in order to seek other methods? The other methods may have something to do with rationalism or not, but it may not be for or against it. In other words, nobody else cares about rationalism, and your question seems to imply that somebody should. Instead, the question should approach Buddhism and ask is there rationalism in it? And whether rationalism is compatible or not, with Buddhist methods?
    – ruben2020 Mod
    Sep 25, 2015 at 9:03
  • Ruben, this is an eloquent answer, and possibly a good defense of the Buddhist perspective. You could just as well have given this answer in response to the question being raised. But I fail to see how this answer gives a good reason for the question itself not to be allowed on the forum. Sep 25, 2015 at 9:12
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    And that is why it was voted to be closed @krishnaraj, because you choose to disregard what others here have told you to be acceptable and unacceptable
    – Ryan
    Sep 25, 2015 at 9:23
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    What the senior members of this community are trying to tell you, is that you should ask questions, as though you are seeking information or clarification, in an open-minded way, from genuine experts in the field of Buddhism. The questions should not sound as though you want to argue or debate with them and try to prove them wrong. The questions also should not sound contemptuous. The questions should be for seeking info, not for trying to prove your point. This is not a debate forum. Buddhism SE is for exchange of expert information.
    – ruben2020 Mod
    Sep 25, 2015 at 9:26

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