I wrote a question about the A.C.D.C. lyrics 'who made who ' and many comments where made between other users. I commented on some challenges to my position then one user started debating points ,I responded trying to defend my positions. The user said he wondered why the debating wasn't being moved to the chat room. It seems after editors or moderators make suggestions for changing the original question ( whether the suggestions are constructive and encouraging or just negative) ; if the original author doesn't change or alter the question within some 'time limit' it gets deleted. Is this fair? If the editor (or editors) does not like the question any alterations probably won't work.(I know these comments won't get anywhere because the Stack Exchange policies are not democratic.) Some users have mentioned all the s.e. sites are a meritocracy. I suggest these sites are inefficient and wasteful. If a question and relevant responses are disliked by various editors they will respond in discouraging or non-constructive ways and as a result the questioner will probably respond defending him or herself. Then some editor will respond e.t.c. So it will probably set up a seemingly endless debate ,which waste time and energy even if moved to the chat rooms. This is also wasteful in that people just communicating to defend their OWN points of view is NOT a good learning environment.
Three thoughts on this:
- If you're getting into comment wars with people who try to answer your questions, then at least one of the parties is misunderstanding the StackExchange format. Your comment (with part I'm thinking of highlighted) in response to Keelan is revealing about a misunderstanding on this point:
If the question is off topic why did so many users comment on it and debate about it? Only two users set in motion the deletion process. One of them Cort Ammon didn't seem to like replying to my rebuttals. I guess he thought his opinions were correct and I was just some upstart who always wanted to rebut his challenges ...
That the question and its answers inspired so many comments and debate is not necessarily a good thing here. This is because this is not a discussion forum. It's a meritocratic Q&A site where you earn privileges by asking and answering questions.
The purpose of comments on questions or answers is to clarify what someone wrote in the question or answer. It's not meant for debate. If it gets to 30 or 40 comments with most just between two people, something has gone very wrong. If you don't like an answer after clarification, then click the down arrow (assuming you have enough rep). If you like the answer after clarification, click the up arrow or if you feel it explained what you had a question about, click the check to mark it as the answer.
- It's easy to misunderstand the purpose of the philosophy.SE. It's not intended to spark discussion. It's also not designed to be an opinion poll. Even though the word "philosophy" is in the title, the kind of thing it is is a SE.
Stack Exchanges are designed for answerable questions. In our case, the purpose is to answer questions related to the academic discipline of philosophy. We do are best to understand "philosophy" broadly, but to make it workable, there always needs to be a question of the sort that is answerable.
- My only action related to this question was closing it as off topic. I was not even aware that the Community "user" automatically deleted questions in this manner.
If you have complaints about the SE, then you have two internal options provided by the system: make a discussion on meta or "contact stack exchange" at the bottom of the page. A third Lockean possibility is to not participate here and form your own site devoted to whatever topic you please with whatever democtratic or non-democratic bases you want.
The A.C.D.C song 'Who made who?' ; a definite philosophical question in a hard rock song. A common proposition is 'If the 'creator exists who created the creator ?' I think this is problematic for one particular reason; if a person does not believe in any deities or the supernatural then how can the person 'set-up' such an argument ( while ignoring any possible relevant logical results of such an argument). If one defines partly a 'Creator' as a 'being' that made ALL things that exist or ever could exist or ever will exist then to say this 'creator' was made by something else (where this 'something else' existed without the 'creator' existing at the same time) as the 'something else' was 'about to 'make' the 'creator' seems illogical. The statement 'who created the creator' wouldn't work. If a Creator of all things exists it logically could not be created by some thing 'else'. Does this sound reasonable?
Was the original question. It was closed as off topic on August 5 by Cort Ammon and Virmaior, with the comment:
Questions that push a personal philosophy with no question beyond "am I right" or "what do you think" are off-topic here as this is not a blog. It's ok to express unique opinions, but you must have an actual, answerable question to go with them.
Since no effort was made after that to improve the question (no edit, for example), and the question nor its answers had a positive score, the question was automatically deleted by the system.
Now, the question itself has 35 comments, Cort Ammon's answer has 48. That's way too much. You should have gotten the request from the system to automatically move this discussion to chat and you should have done that (looking at both you and Cort Ammon here). Now, since you didn't do that you lost everything.
I would suggest the following course of operation:
- We undelete the question.
- You or a moderator moves the comments to chat.
- We redelete the question, because of the problem mentioned above.
- You continue your discussion in chat, which is more suitable for this kind of conversation.
Currently there are 2 votes (one of them mine) to undelete your question. When the counter reaches 5 (or when a moderator passes by) your question will be undeleted.
Again, if you would have taken care of this yourself there would've been there problem. Also,
- Virmaior did not delete your post, the system did.
- Closing a question does not prevent comments, only answers.
- SE policies are indeed not democratic.
A few hopefully useful comments from someone who was not particularly involved:
Questions of the format: "Here's some of my ideas, do they seem right?" are generally not well received. There is a reason for this: it has been observed that Internet posts of that format tend to lead to endless discussions, flamewars, etc. However, you can ask almost exactly the same question and it can be much less contentious, eg "How does group X respond/defend assertion Y?" Questions of that format are less contentious because one can provide a specific example or reference.
Lots of people have made observations similar to the one raised in the OP about how exactly a first creator would work. However, in ACDC songs, the Matrix, or whatever other popular culture work these ideas are generally not as well developed. It is often more useful to refer to a source that raises the same question that is more developed.
Generally, if someone leaves a comment (on Philosophy.SE or other StackExchange sites), the goal is to get the original author to edit the post, not start a long discussion.
I don't see a specific problem with using rock lyrics or material from any other art form - poetry or film - to help form a question; I tend to think of it as an element of style (though there are other angles).
But there needs to be a philosophical question and intent in the question; and not be a question that will prompt discussion, debate or comment-wars; and in these cases it's best to tie it in with some standard recognisable or canonical text.
One problem is that lyrics from songs that take philosophical questions as their subject take a broad and general view; its this that makes it difficult to answer.
Even when there is a specific philosophical question, it can still go wrong, if the entire question isn't clear and focused.
For example, in one question I asked about the nature of time I used an aphorism by Heraclitus to lead into it; but this confused the community into thinking the question was about Heraclitus.
On reflection I felt I could have written it better.
On this site you don't really need to provide references or an answer that is as clear as possibly can be:
- you have to convince the users not to downvote you by spoon feeding them anything unusual.
That way they can ignore you.
Once you both know and adapt to that, you will enjoy the site a lot more.