For reference I think (based on an earlier comment of Alex's) that it was this question ...

... or its answers, which was at least one example of the "unnecessary arguing" which @Alex refers to in this answer.

In context that question (about "unconditional love") had been subsequent to this answer -- and to these comments under an earlier version of that answer, which were later moved to chat.

As a moderator I "allowed" that question (about "killing" and "unconditional love") because it seemed to be within the norms of the site, and it was upvoted.

But if that's an example of unnecessary arguing which you'd like to stop somehow, then you could maybe explain here how you see that -- for example ...

  • Am I too permissive about allowing (or myself participating in) arguing?
  • Is there a specific pattern of posting -- answers, comments, follow-on question -- that I should watch more closely?
  • A specific type of content or use of language (I'm already wary of people using the word "you" for example)?
  • A specific nuisance user account (though I'm loathe to ask this question because personal dislike if any might be quite problematic especially as a basis for moderation, and is arguably against the Code of Conduct which says, "Focus on the content, not the person")?
  • Or is the status quo (i.e. "the way it is now") kind of good enough or "couldn't be better" even if it is imperfect?

... or whatever else you can say.

  • I don't know if this helps any, but I've always felt that the role of a moderator was to adjust how people say things, not what things they say. With EB, for instance, I might have suggested that he stop posting rhetorical questions and start answering questions or commenting on other people's answers. That's a more honest application of his intent. Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 16:38
  • A bit of arguing isn't bad, as long as the attachments don't get out of control. If you just keep an eye on the energy of the conversation and intercede when (and hopefully before) emotions and mind-stuff start to explode all over the page, that should be good enough. And keep in mind the parable of the Bengali Tea Person. 😀 Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 16:43
  • @TedWrigley In this case some Tea People might have perturbed EB. Thanks for your input -- I'll take that as a vote for the status quo.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 16:58
  • 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍 Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


"A quarrelsome bhikkhu shrouded by delusion, does not comprehend the Dhamma taught by the Awakened One when it is revealed. Annoying those practiced in meditation, being led by ignorance, he is not aware that his defiled path leads to Niraya-hell. Falling headlong, passing from womb to womb, from darkness to (greater) darkness, such a bhikkhu undergoes suffering hereafter for certain.

"As a cesspool filled over a number of years is difficult to clean, similarly, whoever is full of impurity is difficult to make pure. Whoever you know to be such, bhikkhus, bent on worldliness, having wrong desires, wrong thoughts, wrong behavior and resort, being completely united avoid him, sweep him out like dirt, remove him like rubbish. Winnow like chaff the non-recluses. Having ejected those of wrong desires, of wrong behavior and resort, be pure and mindful, dwelling with those who are pure. Being united and prudent you will make an end to suffering." Snp2.6

I think that if this arguing has a single person for a common denominator then it is kind of obvious what the problem is.

I think it's apparent that usually questions get a variety of answers that are contradictory. There is also not much of an opening to scrutinize an answer one doesn't like other than voting it down.

Afaik the community doesn't really vote down disagreeable answers. If posters voted down answers they do not agree with then my answers i expect would have a lot more downvotes . It seems to me that for the most part people don't really care if someone posts an answer they do not agree with and feel no need to get into an argument over the legitimacy of an answer.

There are clearly some who do instigate these arguments and imo that behavior is good for nothing because i can't remember it solving anything and usually ends up with patronizing insults 'you dont understand the dhamma, you aren't buddhist, you don't have jhana or ascetism bla bla'

  • I posted an answer -- my opinion is that it's possible and even good to comment, but specific and about the answer -- and if you don't "talk back" then maybe it's just a statement (or as shown in my examples, just a question), not an argument etc.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 0:46
  • I do agree that not all comments are bad and you make good points about constructive use of comment feature. I am however personally not really interested in commenting on people's answers because of how i use this service. I am here only to answer the questions which i find interesting and it is beneficial for me as well. I think my interactions here are primarily strictly of Q/A nature with the questioneer and whoever is preview to the public discourse is not entitled to participation or any engagement from me.
    – user8527
    Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 3:01
  • I think it's analogue to Fruits of the holy life Sutta, a person asks a question and gets a variety lf answers to choose from. I care very little about what other people write and i expect to be met with hostility if i were to start pointing out flaws. Furthermore i think it's better to look for flaws in my own answers.
    – user8527
    Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 3:01
  • What i dislike most is people being hostile, harassing and patronizing others.
    – user8527
    Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 3:07
  • Well, you are right, and I can't (wouldn't) argue with that. Posting a comment on an answer (or "on someone's answer") is certainly optional and is not a requirement, and many other users feel the way you do -- that they won't comment, and that comments may be met with hostility. I hope my answer which tries to suggest a "constructive use of comment" will help make the feature as "unargumentative" as possible, for users who do choose to comment.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 10:21
  • I'm sorry you "expect to be met with hostility". It does seem true that comments can incur hostility. If you find posts or comments which appear to be hostile, do consider "flagging" the post as described here (also here) so a moderator can review it. Only moderators can see flags -- flagging is confidential, your identity will not be published, so hopefully you (or anyone) can flag posts without bringing any further hostility directed towards you (or them).
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 10:33
  • Furthermore i think it's better to look for flaws in my own answers That's fair too. FYI I think I wouldn't dare post answers on this site if other people weren't able to comment. I don't want to mislead people. If I wrote something wrong then a comment gives me an opportunity to correct or improve or try to clarify that.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 10:37
  • (I reposted the answer as a new topic)
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 12:20

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