I ask because I'm surprised, in fact disappointed, that this question was closed: How do I deal with idle chatter/people that talk a lot? (I've retitled it as "How can I talk to my mother (who idle-chatters) without getting angry?")

The question is about dukkha, not the kind in the books, but in real life. It's about defilements, specifically anger towards the mother. It's asking for a way out this dukkha, to be free from the anger. Is this not Dhamma?

If Buddhism.SE does not allow such real-life Dhamma questions, please specify it.

(I've added "bug" as one of the tags because it's the only one among those I have to include that seems most appropriate. That the question was closed at all is a 'bug'.)

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    bug would be for reporting an apparent bug in the software to SE -- not for discussing with the site's community a site-specific policy like "what's on-topic?" and "was this question rightly-decided?" etc.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 8:01
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    Agree, but I had to add either this or another irrelevant tag, or the system wouldn't let me submit the question. Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 8:11

2 Answers 2


Buddhism.SE is meant for real-life practical questions and not only for theoretical/scriptural questions.

Or as the Tour says ...

Buddhism Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people practicing or interested in Buddhist philosophy, teaching, and practice.

... though there are also a few questions about Buddhist art or iconography, and that kind of thing.

I think Andrei mentioned once he even personally prefers practical questions -- see this answer:

To me this site is supposed to be primarily about Buddhism (i.e. the teachings/narratives inside the Buddhist universe). I personally also encourage questions requesting to relate specific Buddhist narratives with personal practice.

I believe the question was closed for the reason given, i.e. not because the question was practical but perhaps because it didn't seem overtly Buddhist.

I posted this comment ...

It might be worth asking this question on the Interpersonal Skills site or even on the Parenting site?

... because I thought it might be on-topic on those sites -- and, because the question didn't mention Buddhism, the communities on those site might be able to answer the question skilfully or expertly (to help the OP).

I suppose Andrei took that a step further and closed it here.

If this question were reopened I'm not sure where you would draw a line, that a question must be "about Buddhism". Maybe it should be reopened. I realise that there is material in Buddhism (or "Buddhist narratives") about anger and speech and parents.

I think that normally in the past we've been permissive about questions but less permissive about answers -- if a question can be answered without the answer being based on Buddhism, even so it shouldn't be -- and if it is then that answer may be deleted (by a moderator). The argument is, "The question isn't explicitly Buddhist but by posting on this site it's implicitly asking for an answer based on Buddhism, so an answer that isn't based on Buddhism isn't on-topic".

(If the question were asked on other sites, any answers there wouldn't have that constraint.)

Moderators deleting answers can be kind of unwelcome too. Or an answer might be challenged -- "Explain how this answer is based on Buddhism, otherwise it will be deleted". An answer ought to be both, an answer to the question and based on Buddhism. If a question isn't explicitly about Buddhism then that may be more difficult.

Andrei's of the opinion that questions have an incline:

The fact that question can be answered well, does not mean it will be answered well. A good question has an incline, so its answers naturally turn out good.

I expect the question could be reopened if there were an extra hint of Buddhism in it -- if it were evident why the OP posted the question on this site.

Questions from new users are more difficult to answer, in that you have no clue about what they know already, "where they're coming from" (and this user is not only new but "unregistered" and didn't reply to comments etc.).

And it's difficult to edit someone else's question, you don't want to change the meaning of it, to make it ask something which they didn't intend to ask. But -- if you want to reopen this question, and without any further clarification from the OP, perhaps it would be a good edit to simply add your introduction as a new first paragraph to the question:

How can I talk to my mother (who idle-chatters) without getting angry?

The question is about dukkha, not the kind in the books, but in real life. It's about defilements, specifically anger towards the mother. It's asking for a way out this dukkha, to be free from the anger.

How do I deal with idle chatter/people that talk a lot? Specifically with my mother. I talk [etc.]

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    Why does it even have to "seem overtly Buddhist"? I consider myself relatively an expert in Buddhism, and I'm happy to help people out with the Dhamma that I've established myself in—online or offline. Imagine someone, knowing what I'm capable of, coming to me for help, but have not phrased her problem in a way that "seem overtly Buddhist". Do I then tell her I don't help in that sort of thing and ask her go to someone else? Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 9:23
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    Andrei has reopened the question, I look forward to being able to read your answer.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 12:16

I think an expert in Buddhist doctrine can easily solve the real life issues and provide concrete references as demonstrable basis for the suggested strategies.

There is this dumb policy of compartmentalization of knowledge here on this site. Ie you can't use expression which overlaps with mathematics to explain Buddhism and apparently you can't ask for solutions to certain real-life problems.

It is as if Buddhism is seen as a mythical set of ideas to be entertained with next to no applicability in real life and reality beyond sitting with one's eyes closed and trying to achieve some peace of mind.

As to the answer in particular we are a small community with few active posters who can vote to reopen questions, if this was a big site and proportional percentage of users voted to reopen a Q it would be easy to override a mod.

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    This isn't the right site for trying to teach people mathematics (nor car repair etc.), there is some compartmentalisation. The scope of what's permitted/on-topic is already unusually broad in permitting both theoretical questions about doctrine and practical, and there are many questions about practical/personal/social life, so I think this answer is exaggerating.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 10:20
  • @Ruslan How do you conclude what is applicable or not?
    – user11699
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 10:22
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    As i said, clear compartmentalization of knowledge. I never studied much advanced mathematics, i got high school level of education. How do i end up teaching math to people... What is logic and arrived at by common sense can not be compartmentalized. Buddhism is logical, it's philosophical and epistemological basis is very clear. Buddhist infinity, incalculables and immeasurables are concepts not only found in Buddhism...
    – user8527
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 10:27
  • These concepts are explained by people as they are understood, if one wants different understanding of these one should consider moving to a different universe where the rules are different, easier to understand and more agreeable
    – user8527
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 10:34
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    What is Buddhist interpretation of quantum experiments, of Zeno's paradoxes and is Buddhism compatible with special relativity are 100% valid questions. Let alone how to deal with an overly chatty person.
    – user8527
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 10:37
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    If we wanted to know how to interpret special relativity then IMO then we should question a physicist or mathematician IMO, similarly if you wanted to know about Christianity one should ask a Christian. But speech and anger and so on are more clearly within the scope of traditional Buddhist doctrine.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 10:48
  • You are clearly wrong. If you want to know answer to whether special relativity and Buddhism are compatible you; a) understanding SR go to someone who is understands Buddhism; b) understanding Buddhism go to someone who understands SR; c) not knowing neither you go to learn both from one who understands SR and another who understands Buddhism; or knowing neither you go ask someone who understands both.
    – user8527
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 11:18
  • I did study (was taught) maths and physics for what that was worth. I guess I think that "special relativity and Buddhism are compatible", in the sense that they're "not incompatible" -- because they're different (different bodies of knowledge with different aims) and so because they are (almost completely) unrelated therefore they don't conflict (except perhaps "Buddhist cosmology"). A slightly different question might be what Buddhism thinks of Physics and the pursuit of Physics: i.e. whether Physics is a suitable interest or lay profession
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 11:40
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    The point is that if someone wants to know whether the general principles if the two are systems of knowledge & expression are conflicting, compatible or can complement one another is a valid inquiry and fit for BSE.
    – user8527
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 11:50
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    Buddhism solves for the very meaning of life and therefore behavioral strategies can be derived from it's values. This in regards to the questions like how to deal with this or that situation.
    – user8527
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 11:54
  • if ...it would be easy to override a mod" "Overriding" a mod might be something on a larger site, although often what people complain about there is the opposite -- i.e. groups of any 5 users who close questions, the complaint being that it's too easy to close a question. On this site in the rare case that a question is closed you might want to persuade (not override) a mod. Sometimes that can mean "fixing" (editing) the question slightly. For myself I don't like to override another mod if their decision is made in good faith, justifiable, not abusive -- but I'll try to discuss the decision.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 4:42

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