Was looking at Different theistic religions contradict each other

and it's evolving into a potentially interesting on-topic question, but it's not at all clear that this has anything to do with what the OP is asking (look through the edit-history).


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    I've gone back and forth on the idea of whether or not editing to this extent is acceptable and whether or not I should bring it up in meta. There are a lot of questions that I've seen where the OP was asking a question that I felt really did ask an important or interesting question but they didn't have the terminology or background to articulate it correctly. Ultimately, I felt like editing it to ask the real question was too presumptuous of me to assume that what I thought they wanted to ask was truly the question they wanted to ask, even if what I wanted to edit it to be was a good question – Not_Here Nov 12 '17 at 1:45
  • I think the draw back of “hey this question might be pointing towards something interesting but currently isn’t there, let’s change the original meaning behind the question to fully get there” ultimately is that it can devolve into a policing of questions. Of course, I think there could be a good outcome, making questions better on average or just increasing the amount of good questions, but I think it opens the door for maybe some amount of regular/semiregular users to police questions into being what they view as acceptable and then the site would become even more insular. – Not_Here Nov 12 '17 at 1:47
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    With the example you gave, I think that it’s clear that the OP just wanted to be transgressive towards religion (given the context of their other questions) so even if we did agree that over reaching edits to change the bulk of the question was okay, I think this is a very bad question to do it on given the context of the question. I could always be incorrect about the OP’s nature, however. – Not_Here Nov 12 '17 at 1:48
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    Sometimes edits seem really helpful and clarify what an OPs unclear question is asking. In this case, there's edits upon edits by different people that have changed the question beyond recognition. – virmaior Nov 12 '17 at 4:33

Just to make it abundantly clear: Under normal circumstances, I would think that this is absolutely not acceptable and this would be a reason for rollback and possibly locking the question, given further attempts of completely changing the meaning of the question.

Nevertheless, I think there are two aspects at work that make this a special case:

  1. The edits are working in a similar direction in both carving out non-subjective and merely historical aspects and omitting things making it too broad. Basically, it is not a back and forth between different approaches on what the question should actually ask (so-called edit-wars). And it kind of preserves one aspect of the original question that has originally been present.

  2. The author of the question has uttered his approval regarding the content of the question after the major edits by Chris as preserving the gist of what he actually wanted to ask. This happened in now-deleted comments, which makes it impossible to be understood by other users. This is quite unfortunate and I guess this question would not have been asked if they would still be there. They also seem to be honestly thankful.

I have to admit that before looking at the timeline in detail, I felt the same way. I even shared the skepticism regarding the honesty of the questions, as opposed to mere trolling. One could uphold this skepticism reading the comments, but this would have to be based on quite hard sarcasm/cynism, which cannot be easily identified in written text sometimes. Therefore, I will have to conclude in dubio pro reo for now.

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