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Valued Bu-SE team and members,

Recently Atma again came accross this assuming:

I assume that people in the future (e.g. a year from now), who may read these Q+A pages, will not be interested in comments about each other (comments about users) and will only be interested in the question and the answers.

and thought maybe worthy to possible make more as just assuming out of it.

Where ever a smarter person seeks for an answer and hadto relay on trust, is not just a "most voted" and world currency flow follower, he/she would listen and get involved into discussion to know more about the "suggesters" wisdom.

So also the Buddha told especially lay people, in regard of knowing "who is one on he path" or even at destiny, that one can only find out ones wisdom getting into discussions to lrarn more about the ways of thinking and wisdom of a person.

"It's through discussion that a person's discernment may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning." ― Paṭisalla Sutta: Seclusion

Of course, discussion even listened or readed does not help those not very attentive and over a longer periode, but impossible even for a patiently and discerning person to find out if cut off from it.

So in not only providing good transpatrence but also to give most possible access, it would be even better and conuctive to encourage people to discuss. If two seems to fight, let them do so if they wish and all what might seems to be unskillful for you must not be unskilful at least. But that aside of the main issue.

Atma sees just one thing that is not so good, and that is generally the layout. Maybe its possible to make the discussion window smaller, not so high and give it a differnt layout so that it would not disturb that much in identifying of what is what.

Otherwise Atma would again encourage to discuss, question, give Sadhu and critic as long and often possible and he might not guess wrong that this chart-rooms are not really much in use and favored at lage.

But after all, just well meant suggestions.

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  • Sadhu for moving, @ChrisW – Samana Johann May 1 '17 at 13:46
  • It would be nice to get to know the level of people's answers here over a long time, but my experience is that very few people stay consistently active for long. For myself, many times I feel I made a good contribution which was mostly ignored (or in other SE sites, attacked) but often I just say puzzling things to try to get people to think in a different way (problematizing) and it is almost never understood, even as a joke. People with good verbal skills seem to be extremely concrete and expect purely logical statements, and life is just not like that. Good luck! – user2341 May 13 '17 at 2:15
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maybe worthy to possible make more as just assuming out of it

I'm sorry that I don't always completely understand your syntax, and my own German is much worse, and so I'm not able to always understand everything you write.

But here, I think you're saying you want to discuss this instead of making assumptions.

Where ever a smarter person seeks for an answer and hadto relay on trust, is not just a "most voted" and world currency flow follower, he/she would listen and get involved into discussion to know more about the "suggesters" wisdom.

So also the Buddha told especially lay people, in regard of knowing "who is one on he path" or even at destiny, that one can only find out ones wisdom getting into discussions to lrarn more about the ways of thinking and wisdom of a person.

It's through discussion that a person's discernment may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.

Let me try to answer this, speaking as one of the users of this site.

There are many "Stack Exchange" sites (all listed here) of which Buddhism.SE is one. They all have the same format (they all use the same software) and are question-and-answer sites. Different sites have different users, of course, though some users use more than one site. Other sites I've used in the past include Bicycles.SE and StackOverflow, where I can ask a question if I have a question about a bicycle or about software development.

The first thing to note is that when I post a question (for example, a question about a bicycle), I'm not trying to "know the discernment" of the people of who may answer. What I am trying to do is get an on-topic, helpful, usable answer to my question.

I often ask practical questions: questions about practical problems. For example one of the first question I asked was English (or other European) translations of Pali Canon. When that question is answered, I can "evaluate" the answer by trying to make use of the answer. And I evaluate the answer, not the discernment of the user who answers.

Also, I think you don't rely on "trust" to evaluate an answer (instead see e.g. The Four Great References as well as the Kalama sutta).


If instead I were looking for a marriage partner, looking for someone to live with, perhaps looking for a teacher who I could trust, then I suppose it would be important for me to try to judge or assess their discernment (perhaps by discussing things with them) ... but I'm not trying to do that here, on this site.


People who answer questions on this site are not the formal teachers of people who ask.

That fact might affect the way in which you choose to answer questions.

If you are a teacher and your student asks a question, it may be sufficient to say "Yes", or "No", or "Do this", or "Do that", and that's enough: because they trust you. On this site you should probably avoid giving such short answers; and instead, not just answer but explain or justify your answer.

For example many or most of my answers are little more than references to suttas, which I think might be relevant to the OP. Because my answer is mostly a quote from a sutta, I hope that bypasses (avoids) the question of my own discernment: instead the reader can assess the answer, assess the sutta, to see whether they find that helpful.

The policy of this site (as it was decided here) is that references are not required in an answer ... even so they're helpful. Another suggestion is that, generally, answers should be based on references or on personal experience.

By the way this (question-and-answer) policy means that there are some types of questions which cannot be answered on this site, including for example:

  • Questions which can only be answered by another question
  • Questions which can only be answered by a discussion
  • Questions which can only be answered by a fight
  • Questions which can only be answered by a teacher

Of course, discussion even listened or readed does not help those not very attentive and over a longer periode, but impossible even for a patiently and discerning person to find out if cut off from it.

I think that if you're really interested, read everything that's posted on the site, you may form your own private impressions of various people: you'll see how they answer questions, which questions they answer, what they say on Meta, what comments they post and how they reply to comments.


So in not only providing good transpatrence but also to give most possible access, it would be even better and conuctive to encourage people to discuss.

I think people would be welcome to discuss whatever they want to, in the Chat room.

However it seems that people don't use the Chat room and so there is nobody to chat with there.

If you chat with someone in a chat room then it's possible I won't read whatever is written there (unless somebody complains about what was written). To that extent the chat room is unmoderated, and can be used for any topic (or no topic), including personal conversations.

Another possibility is to chat using the comments under an answer. The comments are moderated, and when you post comments I hope you will abode by these guidelines, especially this:

When should I comment?

You should submit a comment if you want to:

  • Request clarification from the author;
  • Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post

If that kind of discussion-using-comments continues for more than about 10 comments (and doesn't need to be stopped because it has turned into a fight) then moderators or the users themselves will often create a chat room to continue that discussion.


If two seems to fight, let them do so if they wish

No I won't let people "fight".

If people agree to (choose to) "fight" together in a chat room then I won't stop them there, but I won't permit it on the main site:

  • Because I see it as my responsability (as moderator) to prevent "fights"
  • Because "fights" are a nuisance for other people to have to read
  • Because some users may be willing to participate (to read the site and to ask and answer questions) if the site is safe and polite (with no fighting), but not otherwise
  • Because people can leave the chat room when they think that the conversation there is finished, but I don't want people to have to leave the main site to get away from away from someone who is "fighting"

When I was young I met someone (a pacifist) who told me, "I'm willing to discuss anything with anyone, but as soon as it turns into an argument I walk away".

I don't want users to have to "walk away" if they want to end a fight, and so I try to end any fights on their behalf.

In my opinion a discussion is finished, it has become a fight instead of a conversation and needs to stop, if:

  • Either of the participants says anything like "stop"
  • Either of the participants says anything like "you are wrong"
  • The topic of conversation changes, so that it's discussing the people instead of discussing the OP's question or discuss the answer
  • Anyone "flags" a comment, to say that the comment is useless or offensive or anything like that
  • Someone says anything like, "I don't want you to post other comments on my answers in future".

I want to let people answer questions without being attacked. If you (or anyone) comment on someone else's answer you should be polite, as if you were a guest in someone else's home.

If someone posts an unwelcome comment on one of your answers you can simply flag that comment for a moderator to delete it; similarly you may post comments on other people's answers, but politely, and you should stop if they don't consent, and generally let them have the last word.

If in the end you don't like their answer then just down-vote it, and maybe post a better answer yourself.


Atma sees just one thing that is not so good, and that is generally the layout.

That's not something that we (users and moderators) have any control over. That's controlled by Stack Exchange, who let us use their software and their web space but who presumably are not able customize their software further for us.


Otherwise Atma would again encourage to discuss, question, give Sadhu and critic as long and often possible

The usual way to give Sadhu is to up-vote. The site Help includes,

When shouldn't I comment?

  • Compliments which do not add new information ("+1, great answer!"); instead, up-vote it and pay it forward;

I don't mind if you give Sadhu (like I do mind if people fight), but up-voting is the more idiomatic way to do that on this site.

I hope there are other places where you can have discussions if you want them. The purpose of this site is to be a place where you can ask questions and get answers, without too much discussion, without a lot of chat, and without being expected to tolerate fighting.

May you be well.

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    Those are no demands, ChrisW. My person is no custumer here or there, those are suggestions. An Atma does not search for justifications of why searching refuge in this or that. You are bound here and inside on get "Betriebsblind". Anyhow, customer care, gratitude and devotion to your parents, SE, is very praise worthy and really great. – Samana Johann May 2 '17 at 2:57
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This is a Q&A-site where we are looking for expert questions/answers.

That is how the Stack Exchange Network is build. Discussions are not a part of this and it is not encouraged unless it happens in the chat-rooms.

There are plenty of other formats on the internet that allows for discussions.

Stack Exchange is not one of them.

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  • Giving "criminaly" an feedback to your answer very straight forward: it's poor, preoccupied like a soldier, shows that nothing of the question has been considerated and also shows good amout of disrespect, at least in reagard of the Buddha you nourish here. Its an answer of a dictator, an unwise, not thinking about suggestions, Lanka. Its posdible to show being the back and put hands into the bags but not in reagard of results. A dictator or soldier of such is wise when considering such. – Samana Johann May 1 '17 at 16:33
  • @SamanaJohann. This is a core element in all SE's in the SE-Network. Straight Q&A and non-discussion is what characterizes this format. That is not going to change. – Lanka May 1 '17 at 18:31
  • There a people doing certain actions and the doer is in charge of it, neither a system nor anybody else. Its good to even hide them from viewing the answer page having just a link "click here to expand". To say that the system makes anybody here cutting of readrding ones own thoughts is a cheep excuse not to think about it and staighten ways, Lanka. Its better to think one single persons and possible benefit for them as to praise and follow systems. Its not right that SE is no-discussion, not at all, having even aditional charts and much more to handle with it, yet, with the effect that... – Samana Johann May 1 '17 at 18:59
  • ... discussions grow into the answers and answeres answer other answerse and sometimes not even the questions. It does not incrase the quality of answers in his way and given that there are long therm effects for one posting something not true, it has heavy impact, even will course many much troubles years later. There are many answers being simply like traps or landmines. Once one steps on it, even 50 years later, the transgression is fullfilled. – Samana Johann May 1 '17 at 19:04
  • Its not a proper way to put the hands into the bag and turn away face saying, "I just have to take care that the holes are good an nice covered. Neither do I dig not to I point out the way between them as much as possible. So maybe give you face and creative side a chance, Lanka. – Samana Johann May 1 '17 at 19:09
  • I am busy at the moment (and so cannot answer now) but when I answer I will try to explain how and why and to what extent people try to minimize discussion, and to shape any discussion into question-and-answer format. – ChrisW May 1 '17 at 20:35

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