This topic on the main site, Studying and practicing Buddhism, which asks ...

What is the most important thing, truth, lesson, you have learned so far?
And what would be the thing you most desire to learn?

... is a "polling question" as described in the Moderation policies for Questions ...

  1. "Polling questions" which only ask "What's your experience?"

    For example, this question was closed by yuttadhammo and it's a type of question which he regularly closes. The question asked this, after describing an experience,

    Has anyone ever experienced anyone like this off or even on (!) the mat? It was most striking...

    I gave the following comment as an explanation for closing this question:

    I think a problem with a question that is phrased like, "Has anyone ever experienced anyone like this?" is that it could attract an unlimited number of people each answering "Yes, me!". Each new answer would be a bit new (different from previous answers) and as valid as any previous answer. There's no obvious way to select any best answer to that question, no way for any answer to finish answering or to provide a complete answer to the question. And it doesn't seem to describe any practical problem you have, so there's no way for anyone to help to answer/fix that problem.

    Crab bucket's question is modified (a sufficiently different, on-topic version of the same question): it's different/better because in particular it identifies a problem to be solved, and it asks for advice (on how to deal with this problem).

    The site's format and strategy is not designed for long discussions. Its strategy is to serve for Q+A (answering questions) now, and for previously answered questions to remain in a clean format which works well for reference (so that future readers who find the topic using a search engine can read simple Q+A).

    If people wanted long unfocused discussions, an option would be to use of a 'Chat' room.

Is it nevertheless a good question?

Is it likely to help readers? Likely to harm the site?

Should we close the question, keep it open, wait to see whether the question is up- or down-voted, allow it (exceptionally) once?

I'm not sure what the historical reason is for closing "polling" questions on Stack Exchange, beyond a general feeling that "this isn't the kind of personal question that we ask here." Maybe it comes from the Help's What types of questions should I avoid asking? which includes,

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

  1. every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”

3 Answers 3


I think the question should be closed due to the already cited SE-policy, "What types of questions should I avoid asking?"

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

  1. Every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”

Such questions/topics are better suited for the Chat-rooms.


Agreeing with Lanka here. It looked to me as overly broad, personal-opinion-based polling question that would lead to discussions in comments and in general would look more like a forum thread than a question with answers.

in general, we are already way more liberal than many other SE sites, we are very permissive about vague questions, reference-less answers, discussion in comments etc.

There is a reason why being liberal is appropriate in our case, but we can't stretch our policies indefinitely, and I think this case is where I'd draw the line.

  • Do you happen to know of any other sites (non-SE forums) where this kind of question would be allowed?
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 19:40

I'm inclined to permit it, if only because people tend not to use this site's main chat room -- and so, telling people to "use chat instead" isn't necessarily helpful or possible.

But now Lanka created a chat room for that question (which may or may not be deleted automatically after a while, depending on how many people use it) so I hope that's an adequate alternative.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .