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After having read the opinions in the answers to questions about purported proofs for the veracity of Islam 1, 2, 3 I feel inclined to point out the flaws in those arguments. I have a few concerns regarding doing that:

  • is that sort of answer allowed in principle? I'm not sure it wouldn't qualify as a discussion, which this site isn't for, as far as I can tell.
  • is it allowed to present a non-muslim point of view on questions that are not exclusively Islamic?
  • are questions that arise for every person even reasonable content of islam.SE?

Clearly questions that only arise in an Islamic context or for which Islam gives answers that are binding for muslims, a non-muslim point of view is irrelevant in the context of this site; of course a non-muslim versed in Islam can give islamically acceptable answers to such questions.

But while muslims are convinced of the truth of islam, I don't think this site is intended as a platform for apologetics, and as such while questions that arise for every person (is there a god/are there gods, which one(s), how do we know) have answers palatable from an islamic point of view, those answers may have flaws which i think should be pointed out. I can imagine that the muslim userbase of islam.SE might instinctively object to that since to their mind, of course islam is true so they may not be inclined to be skeptical of those arguments, which is where my concern arises.

I tried to come up with other questions that would fall in the category I have in mind, but the only ones I could identify are about establishing that islam per se is true, not that a certain opinion within islam is acceptable based on the methods and sources of islam. I suppose the core issue is that I can't see how any rules of the site prohibit elucidating flaws in other answers, yet I expect that answers to questions whether islam is true that argue against islam being true might not be welcome to the largely-muslim userbase.

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I think you're missing the point of answers: Someone asks a question, someone else answers that question.

If an answer is wrong or just not useful for whatever reason, be that a fundamental flaw in logic, technical incorrectness or even just weakness in presentation, that answer should be downvoted so that the questioner doesn't get the mistaken impression that it's a good answer.

If you can provide critical feedback to improve the answer, that's what comments are for. If the flaws in the post are so numerous that you need multiple comments (maximum comment-length is short for a reason) to point them out, the problem is in that answer and it should probably just be downvoted into oblivion, and possibly vote-to-deleted.

This more-so when the flaws are so numerous that you need to bypass comments entirely and post an entire "answer" to point them out. Posting such an answer doesn't really help anyone for multiple reasons, some of which I'll point out here:

  • Even if you @ping someone, this will never show up in their inbox. There is no guarantee that this will ever even come to their attention, which defeats most of the point of writing it.
  • There is no guarantee of order; new users coming into the thread may see your post before the problematic post, after the problematic post, or possibly even not at all if they only look at the top posts for their answer.
  • The person who wrote the question will be notified of a new post. But now instead of one post that doesn't give a satisfactory answer their question, all you've done is given them two posts that don't give a satisfactory answer to their question.

Please note that comments bypass all the above issues; they're always attached to the post itself, they always notify the poster, and they never notify anyone else unless they're explicitly @pinged (and even then, only if they've been directly involved).

Answers have a very particular purpose, and they work more-or-less perfectly for that purpose: If you actually have a better answer, one that actually answers the question, then post that as an answer. And if it doesn't answer the question, don't post it as an answer at all.

  • "Voting down bad answers" only works if there is no bias towards missing/ignoring the faults of answers; in the general population, the answers to the questions I linked to might well be heavily criticized and down-voted into oblivion, but in an almost exclusively muslim environment like islam.se, they get heaps of praise. The same goes for questions about the truth of christianity on christianity.se, etc. But I suppose I could post a summary answer collecting what the others present and adding what they missed, and outlining the criticism leveled at those answers in non-muslim discourse. – G. Bach Nov 23 '16 at 16:20
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You just commented on my most recent post telling me the site is only about the doctrine of Islam and not about its correctness, but this question demonstrates that you are asking others what they think about your concern and your opinion that it should be that way. I think my question seems to be just as valid as any of the other ones you link in this post ( and they received answers). Furthermore you seem to be the only one in opposition to questions like these. So I'm going to repost my question.

  • No, I don't think the correctness of Islam should be a topic or background assumption on islam.se; I just think that if it is made a topic, dissent should be welcome. – G. Bach Sep 11 '18 at 18:18
  • Okay so you say that you don't think it should be a topic, but I disagree. I think it's an important question that deserves an answer but you're free to think otherwise. I just don't see a rule on the site says we can't ask questions like that. It is titled "Islam" which is quite broad. – John Doe Sep 11 '18 at 18:22
  • related – G. Bach Sep 11 '18 at 18:24

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