In the following answer there were multiple downvotes. One of the explanations given was it was from another school. I do not think voting should be school based. It should be understood there will be variation in how this is understood by different schools. Also one will consider one's school acurate but I do not think voting should reflect this if it is from another school.

Also another answer more or less expresses the same which support what I wrote.

How should such instances, where downvoting is based on school of thought, be dealt with? How are they dealt with in other SE sites?

I feel these can be dealt with in few ways:

  • sweeping it under the carpet - ignoring it
  • solve it leaving all parties unhappy - imposing self opinionated solution could be one example
  • solving it leaving one side unhappy - one sided solution
  • solving it leaving both side happy - this would be hardest to conceive the cause of action but the best way to handle it. Also after such solution repeating of this type of issues popping up less. This actually solves the problem or uses problem solving.

Another recent answer is this. In this case it seems to be also influenced by the translation being quoted.

1 Answer 1


I do not think voting should be school based.

If someone asked, for example, "what is the role of koans in Buddhism?", and someone answered, "Buddhism doesn't use koans", then I think that I myself would probably downvote (or delete) that answer, and suspect that the answer was untrue.

If the answer said, more specifically, "Theravada Buddhism doesn't use koans", then the answer would be truer.

I sympathise with your view that there's only one "Buddhism", nevertheless if you want to answer from a Theravada-only perspective I think it may be more helpful to the OP to say so explicitly.

Otherwise it may be confusing for the OP to read different, mutually contradictory, answers.

More than one of the downvotes was reversed when you added "Theravada" to your answer (which you since removed again).

Also another answer more or less expresses the same which support what I wrote.

Dhammadhatu's answer starts with the words, "Pali Buddhism", as well as references to suttas which justify or explain the claim (so that readers can see the reason for that answer).

  • The downvotes were not reversed. There are 3 down votes. Jan 27, 2017 at 13:41
  • I wrote "were reversed" when you added "Theravada". After that you removed "Theravada", so...
    – ChrisW Mod
    Jan 27, 2017 at 13:52
  • It was -2 before and was so after. So there was not reversal after adding Theravada. Jan 27, 2017 at 13:55
  • 1
    Anyway, the Wikipedia article, for example, starts with a section titled "Development of the concept" and then has many sections for many "philosophical schools or tenet-systems". So it wouldn't surprise me if a single answer were thought to be misleading (or uninformative, confusing) unless it was specific about which school or tenet-system it was explaining.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Jan 27, 2017 at 14:02
  • So you are endorsing that a content which is uninformative, confusing because you do not understand the tenet system and does not have the tenant system specified is a good candidate for downvotes and this is acceptable behavior for a use of the site? Jan 27, 2017 at 14:09
  • I think that if a statement is true according to (or within) one system and less true according to another, and you make that statement, IMO the statement is less likely to confuse people or be considered "wrong" if you identify which system you're writing about. I guess that people aren't downvoting because you're writing about a Theravada view: it's because you're not (or weren't) saying that you're writing about a Theravada view. Anyway, that's my impression. If it's true that sunyata has no distinct meaning in Theravada, perhaps it became more important and more distinct in later schools.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Jan 27, 2017 at 14:17
  • I sympathise with your view that there's only one "Buddhism". This is generally the view in my country. It is not specifically my view. Also where will this end. 1st you have to label yourself Theravada perhaps getting called Hinayana later on. This is like making a Jew to were the Star of David for being a Jew in WII. It will save a lot of through if the labellings are not used. Jan 27, 2017 at 14:32
  • Also if you take another user, in this case, kept asking what the linage as from other uses but was reluctant to label his posts according to linage when asked. Jan 27, 2017 at 14:54
  • It is not specifically my view. Yes English-language "your" is ambiguous, it's singular or plural. Also where will this end. I was suggesting that if you've no evidence that the OP knows about different schools, if the question isn't tagged for a specific school, and if the answer to the topic may vary from one school to another, then it might help the OP not if you label yourself but if you label your answer (specify which school the answer is explaining), instead of posting an answer which might appear to be making its claim about any and all (unspecified) schools of Buddhism.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Jan 28, 2017 at 10:27
  • When you label it also becomes sectarian where as Dhamma is universal. Any sectarian school may make that claim as it is according to this sect. This should be up to the poster. But now I am mentioning the Pali Canon and also quoting. This should be adequate information for anybody to know the basis and reverse the votes if it was based on misunderstanding. Jan 28, 2017 at 16:24

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