What kind of answers do we want to see here? Is this a site for propagation of dogma with judgement for 'non-believers' (of ideology / religion / what-be-it) or is this for scholarly discussion of tenets and beliefs of a vast system of beliefs (not all of which are even compatible)?

Is it acceptable to paint one style of belief as bad/faulty/wrong?

I don't see a problem in saying 'X school of belief thinks Y school of belief is bad/wrong/faulty as seen in ABC scripture'. But I don't see how we can grow a healthy community if answers like 'Y school of belief is bad because ABC scripture says so' are acceptable.


First off, this cannot be a tool for proselytizing; it just isn't set up for that. This is something we've had to confront on a number of different sites in the past, and I'm sure it'll come up here too, so...

The purpose of this site is to share information on Hinduism, not convert people to Hinduism.

Because that's what Stack Exchange is: a tool for sharing knowledge. I expect that there'll be quite a few folks here who are practicing Hindus, but this isn't strictly required in order for someone to ask - or answer - a question here; all that's necessary is that you are honest and back up any assertions.

What do Hindus do?

Now, I've already seen a number of questions of the form, "What do Hindus believe about ...?" or "How should Hindus behave when ...?" - some of this is unavoidable, but these tend to make poor questions as there can be no limit on which answers are correct (nor any certain way to verify whether any given answer is correct).

Do your best to discourage such questions, but in cases where this is not possible please be extra-diligent to avoid opinionated answers; if you can't back up your answer with hard facts, don't post it - and encourage others to do the same.

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    100% agree. What about the variations in the mythology and folk stories? I can guarantee, we in Hinduism would have at least 5 versions of each mythological story, let alone the famous ones like Mahabharata and Ramayana... Jun 21 '14 at 8:40
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    We have to differentiate between disagreements amongst hindus and disagreements with other religions and academics. there are two versions of ramayana - the valmiki and the tulsidas, and there are plenty of people who do public discourse on these texts. They may have differing views, and that is fine. What is not acceptable/relevant is any quote from jains or buddhists or leftists who basically reframe the entire text with the agenda of furthering their philosophy. Jun 26 '14 at 7:19

Stack Exchange has several religion sites and they all have faced this problem to one degree or another. In particular, I'd like to direct your attention to What Christianity.StackExchange is (and more importantly, what it isn't):

I've come to understand what is and isn't acceptable in a way that can be expressed in two images.

In one, I picture a seeker, maybe coming to their Pastor or Priest, or maybe climbing a mountain to ask a guru the secret of life, or hoping the heavens will open up and divinely reveal absolute truth.

In the second picture, I see a giant person peering into a box with a magnifying glass, viewing all the little Christians running around with their various beliefs, saying "Oh, hey, look at this. That bunch over there believes in predestination while these ones over here don't. I wonder why that is. Hey, little guy: Why doesn't your group believe in predestination?" The little guy answers, and maybe triggers another little guy to ask a question of another, and sooner or later, all understand each other just a little bit better.

This site is more like that second picture.

One thing that has worked well on the Christianity site is a series of tags for specific denominations/sects. These are (more or less) required on questions where the accepted answer varies from one Christian group to another. In this manner, questions are about facts and not absolute truth. The Judaism site tends to be a little more narrow, which means diversity of opinion is handled on the answer, rather than question, level. Islam has developed wide-ranging policies and questions can be either general or directed to specific sects.

I don't know enough about Hinduism to know which approach will work best, but be aware that users are expected to adopt a respectful attitude toward beliefs they disagree with. There's no room for pronouncing absolute truths.

See also: Why Sectarianism is Ruining Your Site.


I propose, that moderators should not let proponents of one belief system in Hinduism to bully or overshadow other beliefs.

Sometimes, this itself may cause severe verbal fights in chats or comments.

Every answer which has to provide the context for setting up of those beliefs and rituals. For eg. it could be that Krsna is the supreme Godhead in ISCKONic interpretation but Shaivites may believe that Shiva is the supreme God.

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    Seems like simply prefacing your answer with "According to belief system in this scripture, the answer is..." and then back it up. Don't make blanket statements.
    – cheenbabes
    Jun 19 '14 at 15:08
  • ?, Didn't get you. Jun 19 '14 at 15:29
  • cheenbabe makes sense. @VineetMenon, he's just saying we should encourage statements like 'According to this belief system or this scripture the answer / the right thing / the wrong thing is...' instead of saying things like 'The answer is... / the right thing is... / this is the wrong thing...'. etc.
    – Shisa
    Jun 19 '14 at 16:35
  • @Shisa, yes and that what I have written in the answer above. Jun 19 '14 at 16:54

I agree with and applaud all responses that champion restraint and respect. However, it is important to acknowledge that all Hindu ideologies/sub-religions have their origins in the vEdas. So, in case of a disagreement, vEda should be held paramount. This approach does require measured responses and informed debate from a scholar, which I am not.

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