A new contributor asked a great question a few days ago here: How to develop fortitude?

The moderators closed the thread claiming it was not within the scope of this forum as defined by help center: https://buddhism.stackexchange.com/help

I vehemently disagree with that, but regardless, we need an updated and better referral source than what help-center suggests. Only the forums dhammawheel and DHARMAwheel were suggested.

We should include a more comprehensive list of Buddhist forums.

On reddit, there is: r/Meditation r/Buddhism r/Theravada

and even a couple of forums for exactly the types of question the new contributor got shut down for here. https://www.reddit.com/r/EarlyBuddhismMeditati/ https://www.reddit.com/r/BuddhismUnlimited/

  • In a comment there I linked to 3 other Stack Exchange Sites -- not Buddhism -- where aspects of the question might be answered.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Apr 8 at 17:19
  • I'm not sure what you're asking here. If it's for a list of other online discussion or question-and-answer sites related to Buddhism, I think that might have been asked and answered on the main site?
    – ChrisW Mod
    Apr 8 at 17:20
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    @ChrisW: I think this question wants to get at something else: if this stack is going to hold a narrow scope on allowable questions, then what do we do when a comparative newcomer asks an ill-conceived question that falls in an unanticipated gray area? It doesn''t seem right to just brush them off. Apr 8 at 18:18
  • @chrisw for one thing, exactly what I said in the OP, the help center should have a more comprehensive list of BUDDHIST forums where his question would be welcome. The suggestions you had as I recall were not buddhist stackexchange that were too general and unlikely to get Buddhists to answer.
    – frankk
    Apr 8 at 18:38
  • Another issue is just with moderators sometimes being too heavy handed and lacking imagination. The question that was shut down that I linked in the OP, with slight modification, would conform to BSE, IMO. I've also had some of my comments and answers deleted in the past supposedly for not conforming to BSE. I disagreed, but just didn't care enough to spend the time to argue my case or slightly edit the answer to meet.
    – frankk
    Apr 8 at 18:41
  • The discussion that got shut down in OP, was one of the juiciest questions I've seen in a long time, dealing with racism, pandemic fear, Asian Parenting, etc., and it deserves to be referred to a place that welcomes important practical questions a buddhist meditator is seeking. I sometimes wonder if half of the forums on the internet I visit are moderated by AI that follow the rules exactly but not quite advanced enough to grok the spirit of the rules.
    – frankk
    Apr 8 at 18:45
  • You, I, and Andrei all answered the original version of the question -- clearly we thought that was on-topic.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Apr 8 at 19:13
  • With the personal details added, Andrei closed it. Perhaps moderators worried that people would answer from personal experience or personal opinion, in a way that's not really related to Buddhism -- that's why I posted links to other sites, which might be better able to do that (if that might be the kind of answer that the OP wanted, it's hard to know).
    – ChrisW Mod
    Apr 8 at 19:17
  • I don't think BSE should refer people to any of those cesspits of a forum. Although DW and SC have a handful of knowledgeable people when it comes to pali i think those boards are a complete mess and there are shady things going on there. Ie notice how the number of logged in users on dw fluctuates from 10-20 whilst the number of guests spikes from 100-500 within an hour and drops off after some hours without any correlation to logged in users. Pointing this out got me a year ban instantly even tho i had charted and recorded several identical spikes and that is least of their problems. Apr 8 at 22:54
  • They banned saying i was badmouthing the forum lol... good riddance. As to SC you aren't allowed to diverge from their official stance on Bhikkhuni controversy, so there goes freedom of ideas and a honest discussion about the texts. They allow me to post but i don't push it. Apr 8 at 23:02
  • BSE is just lacking in Pali and is otherwise infinitely better than any alternative. I would rather see that we accomodate new people wanting to learn. Apr 8 at 23:11
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    When that Q got closed my first thought was something like 'must be Andrei's work..' Apr 8 at 23:28
  • Whoever has eyes, let them see :)
    – Andrei Volkov Mod
    Apr 9 at 0:44

The edited question was rather broad and detailed ("in the weeds") at the same time, as well as showing virtually zero connection with B. I was concerned the combination of these qualities would prompt opinion-based answers and, quite simply, rambling.

I understand an opinion that perhaps such questions could be acceptable if we moderate answers tightly but I remain unconvinced.

  • "most of the best answers come from the users who either faced the same exact problem as the questioner faces now and for various reasons were compelled to invest some serious effort into doing their homework, OR from the users who had direct and extensive experience (e.g. with traveling, raising children) -- in the area that OP has none." - Andrei Volkov Apr 8 at 23:51
  • I guess you figured that nobody here has any relevant experience dealing with those issues nor have faced that exact problem & done their work. Apr 9 at 0:03
  • "If, bhikkhus, others speak in dispraise of me, or in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, you should unravel what is false and point it out as false, saying: 'For such and such a reason this is false, this is untrue, there is no such thing in us, this is not found among us.' Dn1 Apr 9 at 0:20
  • Off the top, this is a textual reference dealing with criticism of the Dhamma that is relevant to the closed question. There are many more textual references one could cite as relevant. Alternatively i can outline the practice of equanimity development based on eg Maha Rahulavada Sutta which would develop fortitude & forbearance. It would be good if you stepped down as moderator non-elect. Apr 9 at 0:27
  • First, you are being needlessly aggressive to me personally. We are not discussing my answers here. Second, our policies are already very liberal and I don't think making them more permissive will be for a long term benefit of this site. Third, in the absence of community moderation (when did you last see five votes to close a question?) moderators including myself have to make calls using their judgment. I did what I thought was right, subject to discussion and revision. Please don't get worked up just yet :)
    – Andrei Volkov Mod
    Apr 9 at 0:31
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    Please stay on topic. That being said i really have nothing against you personally, i just think your moderation is worthy of criticism at times and you just happen to be the one who moderates most liberally and this comes off as very authoritative. Apr 9 at 0:32
  • I beg you pardon? I thought the topic was, should that and similar questions be allowed. What do you think is the topic?
    – Andrei Volkov Mod
    Apr 9 at 0:35
  • What i mean is that we are discussing your judgement. I think i proved that your reasoning for closing the question is bunk and instead of adressing the points i raised you are saying that i am aggro and are giving me a vague speech about policy. You have a duty to make judgement calls but when you are being unreasonable it hurts the community and that is worthy of criticism. Apr 9 at 0:39
  • I think that question was entirely within the scope of current policy and can be answered based on direct Sutta excerpts & experience. I don't think we need to update policy, if anything we can question whether it does or doesn't fit the current policy, which i think it clearly does. Apr 9 at 0:46
  • As i see it, you are making the assertion that rules need to change for the Q to stand and i am saying that i won't give you that and will rather refute the proposition and question your decision. Apr 9 at 0:48
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    Anyway thank you for moderating and i am sorry for getting worked up and asking you to step down. I don't think many people want that job and you aren't that bad. Apr 9 at 1:03
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    Also i tend to err on the side of permisiveness and accomodating new users & growing the community. Apr 9 at 1:08
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    My point being that rather than looking for an exact scope of what is related to this undefined Buddhism we make the best of what we got, erring on the side of permisiveness. Another suggestion is to perhaps wait and see what kind of answers a question gets and if the answers seem low quality then one could edit the question to be further answered only with heavily referenced content, not sure how that would work but i think it wouldn't be blameworthy. Apr 9 at 9:29
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    After reading Andrei's comments on this thread I can understand where he's coming from for a moderation point of view. I don't have a problem with that, but I think if moderators are going to be on the non permissive side, we should have a better referral (or at least more comprehensive) referral than what's currently available. Also, there's no private messaging on stack exchange, I don't even know how to contact that new user to let him know there are other forums he can ask that on, with more permissive moderation.
    – frankk
    Apr 9 at 16:50
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    @frankk I added your message to the OP as a comment to the original question. The OP should be able to see it. Please don't vandalize the question. Please write in the comments to the question. Even without a user tag, the OP should be triggered if he used a registered account.
    – ruben2020 Mod
    Apr 11 at 16:43

The question has 3 upvotes and 5 answers of which the authors seem to address the question title pretty well. Several of the answers have upvotes indicating that the community accepts both the question and answers.

I think this question should be reopened immediately.

  • The upvotes and answers came before the question was edited to its present form, please look at its original version.
    – Andrei Volkov Mod
    Apr 9 at 12:17
  • I see that but I still think the question should be reopened - especially after the edits. Mental fortitude/toughness/resilience is a central part of Buddhism and Buddhist mindfulness meditation. Closing the question is not helping anyone.
    – user19910
    Apr 9 at 14:41

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