Placing this post on hold seems inconsistent with guidance provided in Philosophy Meta (examples: here and here) as well as other posts relating to God and epistemology which are not getting closed (examples: here and here). It is true that one user got overly "sensitive" in the comments, but that is an unimportant issue.

Both the OP's question @Breakskater and my answer are developed strictly on epistemological considerations. A bare mention of "Christian view" in the question was intended as reference only and does not render the question off-topic. Likewise, my answer is nowhere premised on opinion or religious belief, but on (1) the plain meaning of concepts and notions that are attributed to God, and (2) man's epistemological reliance in light of his susceptibility to mislead or be misled. The approach being clearly philosophical, it does not call for religious indoctrination.

Can the post's status be restored so as to prevent it from improperly getting closed or migrated?


I agree that this question should not have been closed. I also feel that the current moderation approach is overzealous in closing both questions and answers, in a way that is not beneficial to this community.

With all that said, your linked meta questions are out of date. Please refer to this one instead: Friends, we are not philosophers

  • Thanks. The Meta "up-to-date" question excessively curtails this FAQ, which states that this site is also for "rational analysis of concepts" (just as I did in my answer). Other SE sites do not take the overzealous approach you rightly mention. For instance, in Economics SE there is no meta post in the line of "Friends, we are not economists". There, one can offer answers premised on a rational analysis of concepts/theories in Economics, and that does not hinder the StackExchange [business] profit that this meta post purports to second. Jan 4 '19 at 20:19
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    The actual practice of philosophy doesn't lend itself well to the SE format. However, there's no shortage of questions about the field of philosophy, and this site has proven valuable to many people for those. Perhaps we should rename it "Metaphilosophy SE". Jan 4 '19 at 20:39
  • I can't see why it was closed but perhaps it was to do with it being somewhat muddled. Your use of 'eternity' as a duration is not common in religion and if you adopt the usual meaning of 'timeless' or beyond time then the question rather evaporates. But then this would be an answer, which justifies the question, so I can't quite see quite why it ran into trouble, It may be because no system is perfect.
    – user20253
    Jan 10 '19 at 15:46

I have not closed the question myself, even if I probably would have done so if I had handled a flag.

The reason is not that it is about Christianity, certainly not.

The reasons, for me, would be that

  1. it is a very naive and uninformed question about concepts. For example, comments rightfully pointed out that neither is God limited to empirical knowledge, nor does eternal imply "infinite amount of time" (but outside of it) according to Abrahamic dogma and philosophy of religion. Minimal attempts to access philosophical sources on the matter would have prevented the question from being asked in the first place.

  2. it is clearly not a question about philosophy. If it would be about, say, Augustinus' supposed epistemological capacities of God, this question would be contextualised and clearly answerable. As it stands, it is only a more or less witty and presuming question that occurs "in the context of philosophy".

All in all, it just is not a good, objectively answerable question that (evidently!) solicits discussions rather than good, objective answers.

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    The 2nd link to Meta reflects that doing philosophy certainly is on topic. Now, shutting down a question on grounds of inaccuracies in OP's terminology or for OP's failure to premise it on subject-matter authorities (which here would have rendered his question less religion-agnostic) seems harsh and rather arbitrary (given the other related, non-closed questions which also are devoid of doctrinary citations). I myself answered the OP's question explaining why "We cannot ascertain [what the OP asks]", and yet I personally would not block his inquiry as "inappropriate" for Philosophy SE. Jan 2 '19 at 16:37
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    @IñakiViggers: The thing is: One question you linked is about the inconsistency of the triad of "omnis" commonly thought to apply to God, the other about beliefs about God, not by God. While both of them have a broad basis in literature on which you can base a good answer, the question here does not even occur in literature. Uncertain beliefs of God in general are rarely discussed, and discussing uncertain beliefs of God about His own nature...there are more than enough authors that would deny that this could even constitute philosophy proper.
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Jan 2 '19 at 16:58
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    I hear you on the distinction of by vs about God. That distinction serves to highlight that my answer oriented the question toward man's epistemology by explaining why "We cannot know" what the OP asked about God. It is unclear to me whether SE has a rule on how to handle questions where one or more [already published] answers shift the focus of an "otherwise off-topic" question to "on-topic waters". (I'm not trying to give you a hard time here, I'm just sharing my points for the mods to consider when deciding how to proceed on this and akin situations). Jan 2 '19 at 20:04

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