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I'm having trouble understanding why this question was closed:

https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/41307/what-might-be-traditional-monotheisms-responses-to-set-theoretic-polytheism

To me, the question as originally written was perfectly clear. I might understand a close reason of too broad, though I would personally disagree, but I don't understand the current close reason.

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Another criterion to consider, is "what would the accepted answer look like"? Ideally, Stack Exhanges can provide the asker with an answer that solves his/her problem (that's what the accepted answer button is for). I do not see this question as aligning well with with concept/aspect of the site, which is an additional facet of why it is closed beyond what virmaior has indicated.

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    An accepted answer might look like a comparison of historical philosophy of [mono]theism against the set theoretic construction. For example, the Amesha Spenta that I pointed out in the comments. It shows that the construct is not only something traditional [mono]theism can address but something that it has. – called2voyage Mar 10 '17 at 20:11
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    @called2voyage the OP did not call out for such a comparison, I can't tell if he/she would find that useful. Thus it is unclear to me what the accepted answer should look like. Note that you too included the idea that an accepted answer might... Philosophy isn't Computer science so you don't want to push it too far, but I wanted to get the idea that questions where you can have a specific sense of what a good answer would be are better SE questions than ones where it is less clear. A point I didn't see in virmaior's answer. – Dave Mar 10 '17 at 20:19
  • The "might" is used in the sense of an unfulfilled possibility, not an uncertainty. – called2voyage Mar 10 '17 at 20:23
  • In my mind, the OP's final question "What are traditional monotheism's responses to set-theoretic polytheism?" directly calls for such a comparison. – called2voyage Mar 10 '17 at 20:25
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    The question is asking for an answer that would obviously use a monotheistic framework to address set-theoretic polytheism. – Mr. Kennedy Mar 11 '17 at 0:10
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I think it made and makes sense to close your question. The particular reason is always a hard one when closing certain types of questions, but as I commented there:

As written,your question is really long and seems primarily to mention what you're not asking. Can you whittle this down to just the question and make clear what the question is about philosophy specifically?

In its present incarnation, your question's title begins What would theism's response be, and I think we're already not in a great place there. There's a few problems here. First, this is asking us to speculate on the SE (in the broadest sense of speculate). Second, what we're being asked to speculate about is not the view of a particular philosopher or even necessarily a school of philosophy but "theism."

Moving to the body, you state:

And would the responses be naive or nominal, or would theism rise from getting beaten at its own game?

This seems to veer quite strongly into the personal philosophy close reason. Without even defining theism, we're being told we're about to read an impressive argument against it.

What follows is interesting but continuously reflects a few problems:

  1. There's a lot about "theology" but it's not clear that this is philosophy.
  2. There's a bit of sophistry about what theists claims in sentences like: "Theism's highest expectations for God (or Allah) are based on its characterizations of God. " (The sophistry is that theists are not operating under "expectations for God" but rather they believe "claims about God").

All of that to say, my sense was

  • You have an argument you think is successful against theism.
  • You posted it here to get feedback and/or to argue with people who disagree.

Maybe to reword that more positively,

Where is the question about philosophy that you want our help understanding? (i.e., where are you having trouble grasping philosophy and want assistance?)


The SE format conversely is designed for questions of a different sort. The most successful model and the basis for the other ones is the tech question. "What's wrong with this MySQL query?" how do I use iterators? Is there a way to detect when a user navigates away using DOM?

Philosophy.SE tries to mirror that to some extent While there's some leeway, it is

  1. primarily for people who are facing difficulty in understanding something within philosophy. For instance, "what is the point of the wax argument?"
  2. limited to questions for which there is a correct answer, e.g. "is this argument valid or invalid? deductive or inductive in form?"

A major motivation behind this is that without these two guard rails, this becomes "interesting opinions.SE" which is a system with no guidelines for voting, contributing, or participating.

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    First of all, it is not my question, but I can understand why you phrased your answer that way. Yes, "what would [mono]theism's response be" is perhaps not the best wording, but I understand that he is looking for an answer from the [mono]theistic tradition. Speculation is not necessary here. Monotheistic philosophy is abundant enough to make arguments without speculation. – called2voyage Mar 10 '17 at 18:51
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    I'm having trouble understanding what exactly it is about the relation of set theory to the ontological argument that makes you think it is not philosophy or even not a question. I understand that we are not here to evaluate people's pet theories, but that was not the impression I got from this post. – called2voyage Mar 10 '17 at 18:53
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    As long as philosophy is used as misnomer for weltanschauung and subjects such as theology and metaphysics are considered within the purview of philosophy (read: respect for obtaining knowledge) then philosophySE will ALWAYS be an open sore of interesting_opinions.SE. As the guidelines stand, Bridger Hennion's question is completely within the guidelines and leeway of the site. – Mr. Kennedy Mar 10 '17 at 21:38
  • @Mr.Kennedy I think that's a thoroughly confused argument. Just because there's always a tendency for philosophy.SE to be misunderstood as "interesting_opinions.SE" doesn't mean that philosophy.SE needs to accept this as its definition. – virmaior Mar 11 '17 at 0:32
  • @virmaior in the same way you mis-read called2voyages question as Bridger Hennion's, you have mis-read (it would be a mistake to say misunderstood) my comment. – Mr. Kennedy Mar 11 '17 at 0:38
  • @Mr.Kennedy I don't see how I've misread you. You propose that (1) philosophySE will ALWAYS be an open sore of interesting_opinions.SE and (2) Bridger Hennion's question is completely within the guidelines and leeway of the site. (2) is false. Or at least that's what we're debating here. (1) is the proposal that philosophy.SE is necessitated to be full of interesting opinions.SE behavior. Neither is true. – virmaior Mar 11 '17 at 0:42
  • @called2voyage I do realize it's not your question, but I just assumed it was best to word a response to a "why was this closed" objection with respect to the op rather than with respect to the objector. – virmaior Mar 11 '17 at 0:44
  • @called2voyage with respect to the question, I do think it requires a bit of speculation. There's no reason to imagine theists would accept the crucial premise that they are looking for an object that fulfills an expectation. In traditional theology, they have a definition which they believe God fulfills. Without that modality, the set theory thing doesn't start. But this would be obvious to anyone who really thought through the theists positions... So it doesn't seem like a genuine question in phil. religion. / But maybe that's just me? – virmaior Mar 11 '17 at 0:52
  • @virmaior of course answering Bridger's question "requires a bit of speculation" the whole of theology is speculation. That said, the question clearly establishes answerable conditions as originally posted, "What are traditional monotheism's responses to set-theoretic polytheism?" – Mr. Kennedy Mar 11 '17 at 1:00
  • @virmaior re-read my comment as your presentation of it is an example of the straw-person argument fallact – Mr. Kennedy Mar 11 '17 at 8:53
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Why was the question about set-theoretic polytheism closed?

Because one moderator deemed it unclear. Only they can tell you "why?" in the sense of justifying their decision that it was unclear what Bridger was asking. Note that in the explanation below the question, only the one person made this decision:

"put on hold as unclear what you're asking by Joseph Weissman♦︎︎︎ yesterday"

We can speculate and other moderators may have some insight given their history of applying their privilege however they see fit, but aside from Keelan's comments below, no other moderators have weighed in. Only Joseph can adequately address your question as it was his decision. Even if he did, tho - I doubt it would be terribly satisfying in any sense of stated policy here. Such is the whim of personal opinion.

To me, the question as originally written was perfectly clear. I might understand a close reason of too broad, though I would personally disagree, but I don't understand the current close reason.

Agreed. "Not clear what you are asking" is simply not the case as the question clearly establishes conditions by which it may be answered and is clearly a "constructive subjective question"

Per https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask

Constructive subjective questions:

  • inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”
  • tend to have long, not short, answers
  • have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone
  • invite sharing experiences over opinions
  • insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references
  • are more than just mindless social fun

I guess we'll just need to get different moderators for this site.

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    Yes, that would be why I asked here. Meta is the best way to openly discuss these issues with moderators. – called2voyage Mar 8 '17 at 21:13
  • @called2voyage I won't speculate about their justification, but I agree that it is a clear question within SE guidelines and have voted to reopen it. – Mr. Kennedy Mar 8 '17 at 21:15
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    Given that OP writes "To me, the question as originally written was perfectly clear", it seems likely to me that they have read the close reason but don't understand / disagree how it is applicable. – Keelan Mar 8 '17 at 23:15
  • @Keelan as originally written the question was perfectly clear and well within the bounds of what is stated as acceptable on philosophySE. – Mr. Kennedy Mar 11 '17 at 8:33
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    You may think so, but this post still does not answer the meta question. Also, avoid not-nice language. – Keelan Mar 11 '17 at 8:38
  • @Keelan please avoid presuming that statements of the obvious are pejorative. Describing your initial comment as jejune is nice even if you disagree - you are reading "not nice" into a comment that was not intended as "not nice". Your attitude here and Weismann's attitude in closing the question are the problem, not my vocabulary, nor Bridgers question. You two are doing a very poor job as moderators. – Mr. Kennedy Mar 11 '17 at 8:42
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    You are entitled to your opinion. If you feel strongly about it, open a discussion question on meta or contact the community team. However, with us as much as with any other moderator: when you are not nice, actions will be taken. – Keelan Mar 11 '17 at 8:47
  • @Keelan you should read that link as your edit clearly demonstrates that in your reading of jejune you have not presumed that i have good intentions. – Mr. Kennedy Mar 11 '17 at 8:50
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    After months of verbal violence, you have lost the benefit of the doubt. – Keelan Mar 11 '17 at 8:59
  • @Keelan "verbal violence"? Sorry, no. I am not responsible for your feelings. Again, you demonstrate your own prejudice and lack of qualification for the role of moderator. – Mr. Kennedy Mar 11 '17 at 9:04
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    My feelings are irrelevant here. You have repeatedly violated our policies, and because of this you have lost the benefit of the doubt. Again, if you disagree, open a meta question or contact the community team. – Keelan Mar 11 '17 at 9:06

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