I have found a somewhat similar discussion here;

'Comparative religion' questions

Can we ban "comparative-religion" questions?

However i want to direct attention to a broader range of questions such as these; Buddhist Brahmachariya, Brahmin Brahmachariya, celibacy, chastity (compares early buddhist ideas to pre buddhist vedic stuff) Buddhist origin of tobacco and its relation to Native American use (assumes people know about native american stuff) How is the Cognitive Process described according to Buddhism? How does it relate to modern Cognitive Psychology? (assumes we have psych degrees)

The general theme being a request for comparative analysis of two separate fields of study.

Other examples would be;

  • How does Buddhism's something relate to Black Holes?
  • How does Buddhism relate to Neuroscience?
  • Does Kundalini Yoga lead to Nirvana?

I personally think that a person interested in studying ie physics and buddhist studies should ask about buddhisms here and physics on the physics site.

I do think that there are exceptional circumstances;

  • the non-site specific field of knowledge is something that is expected to be common knowledge
  • the questioneer can consisely & accurately explain what he wants to compare Buddhism to and does not risk misreprepresenting the truth about either field. IE "If i recall correctly a person said X, this is how i understood it, would this be in line with any of the Buddhisms?"
  • "How does Theravadin Buddhism relate to Mahayana Buddhism?" Even tho the two are considered to be different religions by many, i think this should be allowed because this is basically a controversy that arose in regards to Buddhism and people here can be expected to have this knowledge.

I don't think these questions are fit for this site as they are generally prone to misrepresenting the truth when asked and getting unreliable answers due to a lack of peer-review (Ie i think one could post about physics here what would've been snapdeleted at SEPhysics).

2 Answers 2


I sympathize -- I don't like seeing Physics being misrepresented (see "Quantum woo" for example).

But one of the reasons for bewaring comparative religion questions isn't only that the answer might be ignorant or wrong, but that it (i.e. misrepresenting a religion) might be taken as "offensive" or "hostile". Implying that Christianity (for example) is in some way not as good as Buddhism might be taken as a "subtle put-downs or unfriendly language", which the Code of Conduct cautions us against (and it should IMO go without saying).

That's also true in questions which ask for comparisons between schools: perhaps they're OK in theory and shouldn't be banned categorically, but ought to be asked and answered carefully (so as not to invite hostility, nor to be hostile).

Apparently the proper remedy for an answer that's merely wrong or ignorant (rather than outright hostile) is a down-vote, not a deletion.

Also "expected to be common knowledge" is too strict. Expert-level questions, and questions that can only be answered from personal experience, are OK -- and not everyone has the same level of expertise and same personal experience.

And you third example ("How does Theravadin Buddhism relate to Mahayana Buddhism?") contradicts your second rule ("concisely and accurately explain what he wants to compare"). The Moderation policies for Questions doesn't forbid comparisons: it forbids, "Broad comparisons".

  • Appreciate your input. As to "How does Theravadin Buddhism relate to Mahayana Buddhism" being contradictory, it was an altogether exception among the exceptions and therefore i listed it classed as "exceptional circumstances".
    – user8527
    Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 13:35
  • I think this question is fit to be allowed here because these are exact questions a newbie might ask and here i would actually much rather see a broad comparison than a deep comparative analysis which might misrepresent & offend either. I would prefer fact based answers in that case as commonly agreed upon statements.
    – user8527
    Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 13:40

What is the difference between Buddhism, Hinduism and Solipsism?

Another example of a question that belongs just as much or just as little on a SEHinduism or SEPhilosophy ...

Close them when you see them.

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