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I have recently gone through the review queue, and came across a lot of low-quality and/or first/late answers which were answers to very weak questions. Many of these questions were basically of the form: "I tried to find the answer to this question and got multiple answers; one group says this, one group says that, and one group says this whole other thing entirely. Which one is right?" For example,

These questions are basically examples of what C.SE calls "Truth Questions"; questions not about studying the topic of the religion, rather they're trying to find out and/or prove which interpretation/denomination is "more correct."

In pretty much every case, these questions have attracted answers that are really nothing but apologetic, and a lot of argumentative comments that are really nothing but polemic: We are very clearly not a site for debate and apologetics, so when questions pretty much attract nothing but debate and apologetics, there's a good chance that these questions are fundamentally off-topic and/or unworkable under the Stack Exchange model.

So the question lies: Is there any value whatsoever to these questions under the Stack Exchange model? Are they in any way making the Internet a better place? Is there any way we can make these things work?

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    I like your tag capital-t-truth. I don't think the C.SE has it. I once suggested to have uppercase/lowercase letters, but the moderator Caleb on the C.SE said it was a bad idea, and others downvoted me, so it was a really bad idea. – Double U Jan 29 '15 at 1:32
  • "We are very clearly not a site for debate and apologetics" - what is your proof? why do you refer to opinion of Jon Ericson♦ ? – qdinar Jun 19 '17 at 7:56
  • @qdinar Jon Ericson is one of the community managers of Stack Exchange, the company that's hosting this entire site. If Stack Exchange says "no debate and apologetics" that means "no debate and apologetics" unless you want the site to just get shut down. – goldPseudo Jun 19 '17 at 8:01
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As of now, they are not making the Internet a better place, they're mostly just rehashing the exact same arguments that you can find all over the polemic sites and Islamic forums and chat rooms, and bringing them here does not seem to have improved the chance of them ever actually being resolved.

The vast majority of answers to this class of question are pretty much the definition of opinion-based; they present exactly one side of the debate, and in most cases get heavily voted based on agreement/disagreement rather than because of any objective usefulness.

Between the five threads mentioned in OP alone, there have been dozens of flags and deleted comments, and even 9 answers outright deleted (mostly for copy-paste/plagiarism or using answers for commentary). Not only are they attracting pretty much exactly the wrong sorts of users to post exactly the wrong sorts of answers and write exactly the wrong sorts of comments, I see no indication that they are in any way attracting actual experts.

I consider these questions nothing but a waste of time, not only for the readers who are stuck reading exactly the same fallacious arguments which can be found all over the Internet, not only for the questioners who pretty much get no closer to finally finding "the right answer" to this (up to fourteen century old) debate, but also for the community (and especially the moderators) who end up having to actually clean up behind people who insist on arguing about every little detail.

From what I see, these questions aren't being used to promote any actual academic study of Islam; they're mostly just being used as vehicles to promote particular points of view and garner easy reputation from others who just happen to agree with them.

  • Give it time. This Islam.SE needs some time. Hopefully, it will get out of beta mode and carve out a niche for itself. – Double U Jan 29 '15 at 1:35
  • Oh, wow. I never knew that Islam mirrors Christianity in sectarianism! – Double U Jan 29 '15 at 1:39
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    I have never been on the C.SE in its earliest beta stage, since I arrived at the late part of the beta stage, but I have heard that the C.SE used to be pretty sectarian too. People used the site as a missionary tool instead of as an academic tool, leading some people to say, "Brothers, we are not Christians! I am a Christian. You may be, but we are not." In that case, I think the C.SE now provides a safe place for non-Christian questioners to ask genuine academic questions regarding Christianity, without having to worry about being a target for conversion. – Double U Jan 29 '15 at 1:42
  • You know what, as and always, it was very difficult for me to understand the fine line between "primarily opinion based" & "non-primarily opinion based", similarly it would take some time for me to grasp the fine thin line between "truth claim" & "non truth claim" questions according to your definition. Also in the above question, you just pointed out to some examples which you felt are truth claims according to you, how can one decide if they're truth claims if he doesn't know they already are "hashing in polemic sites and Islamic forums and chat rooms"... How? – servant-of-Wiser Apr 10 '15 at 7:16
  • @servantofWiser C.SE has a pretty good writeup on the topic of Capital-T Truth here: meta.christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/3527/… – goldPseudo Apr 10 '15 at 7:20
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I'd disagree slightly with you.

I believe they do make the Internet a better place. There is no good medium to compare conflicting opinions.

As the person who asked that first question (which was deleted), I thought that they can work. Someone only needs to post evidence for both opinions from a neutral perspective.

However, after being on this site for a few years, it doesn't work so well in practice. Except in the case of Sunni-Shia', I have not seen a case where someone posts two different views on the same topic. Even the experts rarely bring up different opinions; they will admit that there is a difference of opinion and yet not bring to light supporting evidence for it.

People have evaluated the evidence on their own and dismiss one group of evidence. And some even close their eyes to the existence of an opposing opinion as if conflicting opinions on a topic invalidate their faith. And so these Truth questions generate a lot of heat.

It does not work on Stack Exchange, because they do not get resolved. As someone who often asks these questions, it's often not fair to 'accept' an answer either, as it means dismissing the other opinion.

While there is a demand for these, Stack Exchange is not the medium for it. I would agree to closing all such Truth questions.

  • I've been hoping a way to make these sorts of questions constructive would reveal itself here pretty much since the beginning; I agree that they could make the Internet a much better place but so far, with this site and this community, that's just not what's happening. Perhaps with a more stable community it could still work (or at least would be worth revisiting). – goldPseudo Feb 5 '15 at 2:46
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Truth questions.... Here is a small list of popular truth questions which I compiled(I felt are truth questions). If you have address about these in the comments just do so by #.

  1. Is directly invoking anyone other than Allah swt justifiable, or is it shirk?

  2. Kissing Thumbs On Hearing Name Of Prophet Mohammad

  3. Is celebrating the "Mawlid day" Halal or Haram?

As far as I've covered, these are some of them, which I felt are truth questions, on which people will always be fighting that I'm right or You're wrong.

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    These should be closed. – user921 Apr 11 '15 at 7:06
  • Good, this is what I wanted, "consistency" in decisions. That's the right & expected way. @masfenix – servant-of-Wiser Apr 11 '15 at 10:50

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