Communities

Writing
Writing
Codidact Meta
Codidact Meta
The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors
Photography & Video
Photography & Video
Scientific Speculation
Scientific Speculation
Cooking
Cooking
Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Judaism
Judaism
Languages & Linguistics
Languages & Linguistics
Software Development
Software Development
Mathematics
Mathematics
Christianity
Christianity
Code Golf
Code Golf
Music
Music
Physics
Physics
Linux Systems
Linux Systems
Power Users
Power Users

Dashboard
Notifications
Mark all as read
Meta

Are comments a platform for debate?

+5
−0

One of the concerns about allowing questions to ask for any perspective when asking theological questions is that it can turn voting into a popularity contest and spark debate that generates more heat than light.

This answer recently provided an example. In the question, the OP stated he is non-Calvinist but “interested in hearing answers across the breadth of Christian traditions.” This answer was posted from what appears to be a Calvinist perspective, and the OP expressed disagreement in the comments (as did another user).

Do we want this? Is Q&A distinct from a forum in how debate is handled? Are lower votes for this answer an indication of agreement rather than a measure of its quality/helpfulness?

This may be a good example why it’s a good idea to require that theological questions specify a tradition. For example, the OP does not appear interested in hearing from Calvinist positions and has opted to express disagreement with an answer from that perspective, which may dissuade the user from answering in the future since their intention was to answer, not to engage in debate.

I’m of course making a number of assumptions here, so what do you think?

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.
Why should this post be closed?

0 comment threads

2 answers

+2
−0

Yikes, I can see how I was misinterpreted there. I was interested in hearing more, including from the Calvinist perspective (or if that's the wrong term, from the perspective of those who don't see humanity as having as much "free will" (whatever that means) as I tend to think we have), and was just trying to explain how it made me feel in the hopes of getting more information on the viewpoint. (And for what it's worth, I have upvoted that answer, as well as all the others given so far, as I have found them to be helpful perspectives for understanding the question.)

Now definitely, I can see how what I said, even in the way I intended for it to be, could lead to this being more "discussion" and, sure, even "debate", rather than just "Here's how an answer could be improved" like Somewhere Else says they intend for comments to be. I think the line may sometimes (or often?) be a bit blurry, though, between "here's what I'd like to learn about more from your answer" and "here's why your answer has wrong doctrine", and it's definitely something to be wary of.

I guess when I saw this site being created I was hoping for a place of open discussion among a small group of interested people, similar to some sort of Small Group study of Christianity. And maybe that kind of style is just not doable on the Internet, as (hopefully) the community won't stay small.

But if the consensus around here is that comments shouldn't be for discussion at all, I'd abide by that. And I'll certainly try to be more mindful of how I phrase my comments in the future.

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

1 comment thread

General comments (5 comments)
+3
−1

I think that theological discussion is nuanced and needs to be extrapolated, extended and debated. Otherwise I see this as less of a discussion and more of a "here's my point, let's see how many people agree or disagree" which there's nothing wrong with...but I believe there's something that grows out minds and faith when healthy respectful discussion takes place.

I don't think the platform enables that currently. I'm probably one of the people to start that off but there's also a lot of nuance around how other topics and sites would want it to function. It almost certainly needs to be toggleable.

I don't think this is something that will take a week so we need to find a suitable and maintainable discourse path in the meantime if we even do want discussion/debate

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

0 comment threads

Sign up to answer this question »

This community is part of the Codidact network. We have other communities too — take a look!

You can also join us in chat!

Want to advertise this community? Use our templates!