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The question "Loss of “faith” in buddhism" was closed.

Is there just one reason why it was closed (i.e. the word "bullshit" being used), or are there other good reasons too?

Could it be re-opened after suitable editing, if so then what edits are necessary and sufficient?

  • Maybe guiding the user to elaborate a question? That was his first post here, we could have sent him a link to the welcome post first and foremost – Thiago Feb 11 '16 at 18:14
  • I thought it was a good question, so I don't know how to edit it. – ChrisW Feb 11 '16 at 18:16
  • Me too. I sympathize with him, but I'm not sure what to do – Thiago Feb 11 '16 at 18:18
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Question can be reopened when harsh language is removed and a clear question(s) is being asked.

At the moment the post has too much ranting going on. It looks like a brainstorm and not a question with a clear structure.

Also the question contains misinformation which is used as a basis for assumptions, e.g. "If buddhism was somehow influenced by other religions, then it cannot be original, and therefore it is not truthful - unless the hindu was partially true by itself, which just seems as another "let's belive this" religion, which is no different from believing in christianity or any other man-made religion for that matter." .

I'd like to see the author clean up the question, remove ranting and harsh language, add structure and add 1 or 2 clear cut questions.

Edit: Question edited and reopened on 11.2.16.

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Is it harsh?

I looked for synonyms of 'bullshit', but decided that using a synonym wouldn't make the question less harsh

I thought the question was,

  1. I discovered recently that Buddhist seems to me to be (too) similar to Hinduism.
  2. I think Hinduism is bullshit untrue, nonsense, lacking evidence.
  3. Therefore I now find it difficult to believe specific Buddhist doctrines.
  4. Therefore I now find it difficult to believe Buddhism in general.

This site is meant to welcome practical question ("I'm having trouble with my meditation practice..."). I thought it might welcome questions about belief or faith as well ("I'm having trouble with my faith...").

Is it reasonable?

To some extent it depends on the motive of the OP, which we must guess. A question like ...

LOL! Buddhism is bullshit! Try to prove me wrong!

... is a question I'd find a reason to close (e.g. as "unclear" or "opinion-based" or "rude or abusive"); but this question (and/or this questioner) seemed to me a sincere question, and a fairly specific one.

Too many assumptions, too much misinformation?

I also think it's good of the OP to state their (false) assumptions. To a doctor you'd list the symptoms of your illness, if you were complaining about meditation you'd say what your complaint is, and similarly if you complain about belief I think it's helpful to say what your (false) belief is: it's necessary and helpful because it's those (false) beliefs which people can try to clarify in their answers.

I listed a lot of prior assumptions of my own when I asked, Is rebirth a delusional belief? and Suminda commented "+1 for research effort".

In summary I wouldn't have voted to close this question.

Is it clear?

Apart from being 'harsh' it was put on hold for being 'just a rant'.

I though that was reasonable: that the OP could make it clearer what their actual question is. And in fact the question did change significantly when the OP edited it.

  • The original questions were literally (marked using question marks):

    I mean, how do they KNOW about other worlds and how are they like? How do they KNOW about karma, and how it works? How do they know about the gods? If I kill an insect is it the same as killing a human - and I get a super bad karma? What about super small insects? Single cell life forms?

  • The new question is:

    Why is buddhism any different? [instead of 'just another religion that it's followers think they are right and everyone else is wrong' and 'yet another trust-my-word religion']

So maybe it was correct to mark the original version as 'unclear what you're asking'.

Is it OK to close 'put on hold' a question?

Maybe the 'system' worked as it's meant to:

  • Lanka wasn't the only one who thought it worth closing
  • There were clear conditions for reopening it:

    I'd like to see the author clean up the question, remove ranting and harsh language, add structure and add 1 or 2 clear cut questions.

  • The OP presumably read those conditions, edited to meet those conditions, and the question is now reopen.

That's part of the way in which SE is supposed to work: a recently-closed question is labeled as "on hold" rather than "closed", because the expectation is that it might be edited and reopened.

Moderators and users keep needing to make judgement calls about what's acceptable. When I consider questions maybe my judgment goes something like this,

  • Even 'harsh' is OK if it's necessary for the message
  • 'Unecessarily harsh' is not so OK and could maybe be edited -- after editing it's OK
  • 'Hostile' is probably not OK and maybe can't be fixed by editing either

Even without any moderator intervention it takes only 5 votes to close a question (and then 5 votes to reopen it). So if a question displeases even only 5 trusted users in a large community, it's put on hold.

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Quoting from the "question",

I had to force my faith with those. I mean, how do they KNOW about other worlds and how are they like? How do they KNOW about karma, and how it works?

This is going backwards a bit. This needs calm thought and more reading/guidance.

Anyway, so I became VERY skeptical when I learned that those things come from Hinduism. It seems to be the religion that existed before buddhism, and it has karma, it has the samsara, the liberation* (which is a little different), the worlds, the gods... And it's just too much bullshit.

This is again an opinion ^ .

Apart from the usage of the word "bullshit", those concepts are far from bullshit to the trained spiritual mind. In the states of our ever-vacillating minds and our exposure to the external world and media, these concepts hardly make any sense. But, to be honest, understanding the energies and the consciousness and how we are all connected with Creator and creation, are enduring concepts. These take a while to sink in with meditative practice. It is of course easy to bullshit them all and continue with our numb lives or try other methods of inquiry and gain wisdom.

If buddhism was somehow influenced by other religions, then it cannot be original, and therefore it is not truthful - unless Hinduism* was partially true by itself.

This statement is quite baseless, because I can't quite get at what's being concluded. Therefore it is not truthful. The logic is appalling.

I just wanted something I can trust, and now I don't see much sense in trusting buddha over jesus or the stupid caste system in india.

If said person doesn't feel right about the path he is currently taking, he is at liberty to try something else. Not quite clear what he is getting at here. Does he want guidance or does he just want to state his impatient conclusion? Don't really know.

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Some observations:

  • We should not always assume a question will have the right assumptions as the users may not know completely about Buddhism. This gives the opportunity correct such view on Buddhism which might otherwise go unanswered. Best way to ask a question that may founded on incorrect assumptions, Should we have a tag for sceptical questions?
  • The question was marked as opinion based but @Lanka says it is ranting and hash words later in addition to this. This again is like pull the trigger 1st and find the justification later like some past incidents. When some moderation action is done, it should be proper clarification on why and with justification. It should list the all (not partial) reason for moderation and clear and comprehensive enough description to take corrective action by the OP and avoid such issues in the future. If the OP is wondering why is this happening or not clear at the time of moderation why something was done then it is not good moderation.
  • Also consistency and equitability moderation is important. I have seen @andrei-volkov and @ BlackFlam3 use the words before. (https://buddhism.stackexchange.com/search?q=bullshit, https://buddhism.stackexchange.com/search?q=BS, https://buddhism.stackexchange.com/search?q=Shit) So why was this not moderated and why @Lanka and why only this instance. (There was a discussion on comments also on this but no solid outcome. I cannot locate the discussion though.) Better would have been to open a topic on Meta on this instance and the past use and set a new precedence as treatment was different in the past. This comes to the question:
  • What level ranting and use of harsh language is acceptable on the site and what needs to be done on past content. Also note the user is expressing a disappointment hence the tendency is to slant towards hash language. Also this question has an element of doubt or validity of Buddhism, these would be a valuable way to correct these option either for the user or the world at large.
  • In instances where personal opinion on the reason may play a large role (moderation decision itself is opinion based) then perhaps meta consultation may be wise before moderation.
  • +1 because I agree that 'wrong assumptions' aren't a good reason for closing a question. However I'm not sure I agree about not 'pulling the trigger first' though ... because at worst the gun is firing tranquilizer darts, so putting a question on hold is fairly harmless (and may be less harmful than leaving a 'bad' question open). Putting the question on hold makes the Meta discussion happen ... I'd agree with your last paragraph if "consultation may be wise before moderation" meant "may be wise before deleting the question" but not "may be wise before putting the question on hold". – ChrisW Feb 14 '16 at 13:19
  • I think the OP and observers should be fully made aware why it is put on hold when it is done at the time of the action. "This is off topic. See: [metalink]", "This is unacceptable due to x, y, z", "This has x, y, z and can be corrected by doing a, b, c", "I think this might have p, q, r and further discussion in on [metalink] for community feedback and final decision", "This might need further discussion and input from the community [metalink] hence put on hold until final decision" – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Feb 16 '16 at 4:28
  • Yes. The software actually automatically raises a moderator flag if a question is closed without comment. – ChrisW Feb 16 '16 at 9:45
  • I mean when a moderator closes there should be adequate information as per the reason and corrective action. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Feb 16 '16 at 15:57

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