0

There are many answers on main site which don't have sources but the story or incident is believed widely by many Hinduism followers. This is resulting to upvotes to an answer with no correct source as reference in it.

In my opinion, the correct source reference should be links from scriptures but not from some blogs, wiki or news papers.

So, please don't encourage (upvote) answers which are not from scriptures but from other sources like wiki, blogs or some newspaper. (don't downvote, as they might be correct)

If we encourage scripture less answers then our site would be similar to other 1000 sites who claims a story which was heard somewhere but not the exact story as present in the scriptures. (we just pass the rumors)

And also please downvote posts which have no source at all and purely based on a user's knowledge (with no mention of scripture's chapter or verse atleast)

PS: To contribute to valid scripture links bank please visit this post.

4

As Mr.Alien says, there are of course questions where quoting scripture isn't necessary, like questions about the color of temple walls or about the relative popularity of Shiva and Kartikeyya.

But for questions that have to do with the tenets of Hinduism, especially questions concerning Hindu mythology, we should absolutely encourage quoting from scripture, and vote accordingly. We should be skeptical of the veracity of a story if it's only attested in some blog or in an unsourced claim in Wikipedia.

Now if you find a story in Wikipedia article, and the article backs up its claim with a reliable scripture reference, then go to the scripture and cite that.

But scripture should definitely be the default source of information, and we should encourage scriptural citations with both our votes and our comments.

  • And what about questions which can't be answered from scriptures? We need to have speculations too, right? – user3459110 Jul 27 '14 at 15:36
  • @AwalGarg "As Mr.Alien says" check aliens answer. – Mr_Green Jul 27 '14 at 15:37
  • Do you agree that we should not upvote the answers if they are not from reliable scripture. like wiki (whose content can edit always in future)? – Mr_Green Jul 27 '14 at 15:48
  • @AwalGarg If the question is about the sort of subject scripture doesn't even deal with, like the walls of South Indian temples or the current popularity of Shiva relative to Kartikeyya, then it's fine to not use scripture. But if it's s subject that scripture has a direct bearing on, like the birth of Kartikeyya or how Vishnu got the Sudarshana chakra, or what's the holiest river in India, then I think scripture should be the default standard for determining whether a claim is true or not. – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 28 '14 at 3:42
  • @Mr_Green I agree, we generally shouldn't upvote an answer if the only source for their claims are Wikipedia articles or random blog posts. And the biggest problem with Wikipedia articles isn't that they're subject to change (that can be fixed by linking to a particular revision), the problem is that a lot of their articles, especially when it comes to Hinduism, have unsourced claims that some user just put there. Now if Wikipedia cites reliable (like scriptural) sources for a particular claim, then we can just cite the reliable source directly rather than relying on Wikipedia. – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 28 '14 at 3:47
  • @KeshavSrinivasan yep... I was talking about the former cases. So in that case, say we have some reference which are not scriptures ofcourse, and its not from Wikipedia, but its an xyz blog post. So, how do we deal with them? – user3459110 Jul 28 '14 at 6:28
4

I agree with Mr_Green's statement with just one modification:

When you know for sure that what a person has stated is correct, but doesn't have cited a source, then also you should up vote the answer.

And how can you be sure whether he has written the correct thing? It can be because, you may have read or heard it somewhere before from a reliable source or you know it from you personal experience. When you know something is correct and valid, then do up vote. For example, I up voted the following answer:

https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/2380/38

There the user doesn't mention any sources, but I know he has written the correct things relevant to the question. There is another answer (Sid's) to that same question which also mentions the correct thing, but I have not up voted that answer. It is because, I have forgotten how to determine the Ishta deva from birth chart. I know his answer points to the right direction, but I am not completely sure whether the user provided this answer having some prior experience or just copied from the source. Because I am myself not sure of the solution I have not up voted it yet, but I'll do so when I come to know the method again from the source I had learned. So I stayed neutral there. But the information was useful and new for the OP and other users so they casted their vote.

So the point is, If for any reason you know something is correct and valid, then do up vote even if it doesn't have any sources. But if you are not sure, then just stay neutral. If however, you were not sure and the answer provided some information that was useful to you, then also do up vote.

NOT EVERYTHING IS PRESENT IN THE SCRIPTURES

Due to freedom of people's thinking they can have lots of doubts and can ask different sorts of questions. But all the answers can not be found in the scriptures. For example, in the Bhagavatam it says, while Kamsa was driving the chariot of Vasudeva and Devaki, a voice from an unembodied source addressed Kamsa and told about his future death by the 8th son of Devaki. Now a person may ask,

"We see many times in TV, and epics that someone from the sky foretells and warns about things. So who is this guy? Is he the god? And why he chooses to show up at certain times and not always?"

Now what answer one would give to that? Scripture just says aśarīravāk - a voice from an unembodied being. It doesn't say any name, place, reason, etc. So how can one answer such a question as per the scripture?

So there are at least these three kinds of Questions:

  1. Whose answers are publicly available in the scriptures.
  2. Whose answers are not available in the scriptures, but are present in the mind of a teacher.
  3. Third are useless ones, whose answers can not be given by Brahma himself! But some people would certainly cast their opinion to show off their knowledge. So the third ones are opinion based questions.

So it would be incorrect to expect that everything can be answered as per the scriptures. But for stories and epics, the scriptures are the authority. Because it is from puranas and epics that most of the stories emerge.

Blog or Scripture, Which should be given more value?

Of course scriptures. But blogs are also accepted when the blog posts are based upon scriptures and provide proper reference. But posting blog based answers show little or mostly zero research attempt. The answerer should open the referenced scripture and verify if what's in the blog is also present in the scripture. Because most times, that's not the case. People just mention scripture names to sound authentic. So when multiple answers are present in which one is based upon scripture and one is beased upon blog post, the former should be given weightage by up voting and the later should be left neutral.

VOTING IS SUBJECTIVE

People can have different criteria for what they consider as a good answer. As I have previously stated, unlike a coding answer, not all the answers can be checked and verified for their correctness when it comes to religion; especially indirect questions, straight answers of which are not present in the scriptures. Even if you provide a straight answer, people may not accept it because they have different criteria in their minds. For example, consider the following answer:

https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/2397/38

Krishna(the user) accepted the answer not because I provided a scriptural reference, but only because of a line that was told to me by a saint. So even if I had answered that line only, without quoting the straight answer from the scripture, he would probably have accepted that too.

So because these things are subjective we can't expect everyone will behave the same. But, if quality is what we want here and not just quantity, then more weightage has to be given to answers that are based upon scriptures and reliable sources. Otherwise any tom,dick and harry would shower their opinion and make it just another site on the Internet. So let that be the uniqueness of this site.

However, because all might not have read and studied scriptures and because all answers might not be possible through scriptures, we should not discourage them from participating by down voting their answers. Backing up answers is good, but it can not be expected from all and always. So we should stay neutral to such answers unless his intention is something different and his answer contains wrong information. But if answers that are based on scriptures and provide reliable references get drowned by wrong and unreliable answers, then we can certainly down vote such questions to give weight age to the correct one.

The best thing to do is yo decide which questions are opinion based, and close them down to minimize opinion based answers and encourage scripture based correct answers by up voting them and staying neutral to seemingly correct but un-backed up answers.

0

I don't think this is a good idea to do so, I've seen many answers without scripture references and are valid. Say for example, few days back I asked a question like :

Why is Kartikeya not worshiped much compared to lord Shiva, lord Ganesha and goddess Parvati?

Over here, scriptures won't provide you any details of WHY people in the north and mid India doesn't worship Kartikeya but a user who is South Indian explained the reason behind this beautifully without any scripture reference.

We always insist users to share references, and be it any, scripture or Wikipedia to support his answer. Am not saying that users shouldn't provide scripture references, they should but in some questions you actually cannot find and are actually not mentioned in the scriptures.

For example, if I ask a question like,

Why are many South Indian temple's walls painted in white and red stripes?

Now some temples may be built later or they must be having a common practice to paint the walls in such a way.

So I would say that it depends whether a questions answer are written in scriptures or not. We also ask Tradition questions on the site, tradition varies among different sub religions in Hinduism so here, you will probably fail to provide a scripture reference.


Hence, users should provide RELIABLE reference and not only scripture references.

Reliable in the sense that the website should be quiet popular and dependable like Wikipedia, Veda Base etc

  • Veda Base are the scriptures, FYI. – user3459110 Jul 27 '14 at 14:23
  • @AwalGarg Yea so? – Mr. Alien Jul 27 '14 at 14:33
  • So nothing. was stating that for people who don't already know... "fyi". – user3459110 Jul 27 '14 at 14:35
  • So, if the user didn't provide reliable reference then should we encourage (upvote) him? I mean if the user is providing a source to some blog instead where it was possible to include scripture reference. – Mr_Green Jul 27 '14 at 15:05
  • No, I never mentioned to up vote non reliable references, but why we shouldn't upvote answers when a user provides authentic references such as wikipedia or vedabase etc? – Mr. Alien Jul 27 '14 at 15:11
0

If we encourage scripture less answers then our site would be similar to other 1000 sites who claims a story which was heard somewhere but not the exact story as present in the scriptures. (we just pass the rumors)

This is where we get defeated if we follow what you say. We can never ever be sure if we are passing the "rumors" or the truth.

How would you know if something written in a book by some super famous writer is correct or not? And for that matter, we don't even have the original copies of any of our scriptures, so actually, we are just passing rumors, though they are acceptable ones.

In fact, they are a lot of places where some scriptures collide within them, the most prominent example being the variation in who of the Trimurti came first.

And unless time travel is an option, lets face it, we can't, we just can't confirm any of the claims.

COUNTER PROPOSAL

Cross verify facts from any of the non-standard sites. What I mean is, try to find something related to Hinduism which you already know about on that same site. If it seems to be valid in much of the areas, we can consider it a valid reference.

If any site as such passes this verification, also consider adding it to the List of acceptable sources and citations.

.

.

.

no need to clap...

  • Cross verify facts from any of the non-standard sites. What I mean is, try to find something related to Hinduism which you already know about on that same site. If it seems to be valid in much of the areas, we can consider it a valid reference. this is what most of the users doing now.. hence confusion.. – Mr_Green Jul 27 '14 at 15:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .