My question How to introduce Hinduism to Children? was closed as "primarily opinion-based."

The SE standard explanation is:

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.", the answers have been some expert experience opinions and some reference to text, how can this question be closed what is the logic

After explaining my question, I have asked:

"Even better, is there a prescribed way to do this in any of our literature?"

This question only has two answers (if you really know it), "Yes there is an evidence" (which was provided in some of the answers in that question) or if you are a REAL EXPERT who knows everything, say "No there is none, Hinduism it to be taught as you wish because it is what you think it is"

How can this question be closed as "opinion-based" and if that is the case and Hinduism is not definable by facts, anything asked on this site is opinion based unless you are talking of things like how many pages did the original book Ramayana contain, which add very little to the understanding of the sum and substance of Hinduism.


The title of the original question has been now been changed to:

What do Hindu scriptures or Gurus say on How to Introduce Hinduism to Children?

The language in the body of the question is also now slightly modified to prevent individuals from writing their personal views as answers.

After making the above changes, through voting, the question is now re-opened.

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    and yes we need more questions like "Where is Ashwatthama now and upto which age he will be alive" and "How many days did Ravana keep Sita confined?" if this is what this is going to be another community which would be immersed in such ideas, I and those seeking to really understand hinduism better leave – skv Nov 23 '14 at 19:57
  • I think there was nothing wrong with your question :). But apparently the high reputation users think that it does not fit this site :). so our opinions don't matter much as you can see :P! On a more serious note I think that the reason they believe this question is not a fit is because it is highly possible that each answerer posts his opinion about the subject, which is fine, UNTIL soon people start having differences between their opinions and then it sparks off a unnecessary debate! – Sai Jan 2 '15 at 17:21
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    While as a general rule this is wise decision, I think sometimes common sense should prevail, after all we are not machines. Not every rule is applicable to every question and sometimes such questions are good. This one has five upvotes and some good quality answers, so it must atleast be reconsidered here on Meta for reopening :) thanks Sir – Sai Jan 2 '15 at 17:22
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    Don't forget to vote for reopen if you like the question... – user11 Jan 4 '15 at 8:22
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    With the fear of rats, do not burn the house...(with fear of opinion based answers, don't kill the question :)) – user11 Jan 4 '15 at 8:26
  • @A_runningMind SE doesn't support that. They mean questions which ask for opinion directly like "What do you think of Animal Sacrifice?" – Notty Apr 11 '16 at 13:31

I have been a member of Philosophy.SE for over a year and Hinduism.SE for only a few months. Overall I find the 'rules' on Hinduism.SE being run by few individuals who have defined the rules most unfairly. There is too much power in the running of the exchange by a few individuals. Philosophy .SE is run much more fairly.

Answers can have opinions on Philosophy.SE. To close a question takes 5 votes of members with over 1,000 points. To reopen takes 5 votes by members with more than 4,000 points. A single moderator can, but should not close a question.

When a question is closed, the comments stay open on Philosophy.SE. In Hinduism.SE, the comments are closed so you cannot even direct a person to an answer. Too much power with too few individuals on Hindu Stack.

Example: I have asked that the question on a 'living wage' be reopened (comments are closed also). This question can be answered and should be answered.

I have seen some questions from non-Hindus and were immediately closed by a moderator. This leaves the non-Hindu with a very bad taste as to Hindus and Hinduism.

It is also OK for answers to have opinions or what appear as opinions to others. You do not need to quote chapter and verse to have a correct answer. I have met many holy men in my life who have answered questions and had no need to quote chapter and verse. Their very presence breathed God. No one asked them for the chapter and verse. Quoting chapter and verse ALL the time is for the learning, not for liberation.

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    "I have seen some questions from non-Hindus and were immediately closed by a moderator." What questions are you referring to? We certainly wouldn't want to close a question just because it's written from a non-Hindu perspective. The site is open to Hindus and non-Hindu alike. It may be a site about Hinduism, but it's not a Hindu site. – Keshav Srinivasan Dec 30 '14 at 21:07
  • "It is also ok for answers to have opinions or what appear as opinions to others. You do not need to quote chapter and verse to have a correct answer." But the thing is, how do you distinguish between a learned person who is giving an answer based on his knowledge, vs. an ignorant person who is just engaging in baseless speculation. We need some method of verifying whether the information in an answer is accurate, so providing reliable sources for your information is important to the functioning of the site. Otherwise it could degenerate into a speculation-based free for all. – Keshav Srinivasan Dec 30 '14 at 21:10
  • As far as the "Living Wage" question, why don't you post a new question on Meta about it? – Keshav Srinivasan Dec 30 '14 at 21:12
  • I will post on beta. Living wage IS based on scripture. – Swami Vishwananda Jan 4 '15 at 5:25
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    @KeshavSrinivasan that is fortunately the beauty of stackexchange votes bring good answers on top and bad answer is downvoted but alas this stack is badly managed by a few who believe they are owners of Hinduism and stackexchange – skv Jan 4 '15 at 14:35
  • @skv What we're doing is no different than what other Stackexchange sites do - you set some minimum standards of answer quality, and as long as an answer meets those standards you allow the community to upvote or downvote as they see fit. This isn't the only Stackexchange site that demands that people cite sources to back up their claims. In any case, I don't think I'm the owner of this site or anything. In fact, that's the whole point of Meta, to solicit community input in setting rules and guidelines for the site. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 4 '15 at 16:27
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    I guess I went too far in the path that you set, without the context of the issue, stack exchange, very much like wikipedia is free for all, speculation based posts gets downvoted, and eventually deleted if its too low in quality, but it still is free for all, we cannot and should not pretend to be know it alls by closing questions for arbitrary reasons because we are worried that its free for all – skv Jan 4 '15 at 18:33
  • @skv The thing is, if there's a question that can only be answered by speculation and opinion, then it's not a good question for the site. That is the basis of closing questions for being opinion-based. If there's a question that can be answered in a way other than baseless speculation, then that's a legitimate question on the site and we can downvote and delete bad answers. But if all the answers on a question would be baseless speculation, that's when it's a problem. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 4 '15 at 18:54
  • ok lets come to my specific question (just to use that as an example), I asked a question with an option saying is there anything to do X... as I mentioned in this meta question, there is an answer which says yes there is a way, if someone has learnt all of Hinduism and feel there is no answer they should say no there is none. Where is the room for speculation, and yes if there is a low quality speculating answer (if we find a rat) we will downvote it and delete it (kill the rat), why are we closing the question? (burning the house?) – skv Jan 4 '15 at 19:13
  • @skv Your main question was how to teach Hinduism to kids. The problem with that is that different people have different opinions about how best to teach Hinduism, so it would (and did) turn into a situation where people were just giving their opinion and advice on teaching Hinduism to kids. That's not the sort of thing that's within the scope of the site. Now if you asked a question that just focused on the other part of your question, concerning what Hindu scripture has to say about educating children about Hinduism, then you might be able to get well-sourced answers about gurukulas, etc. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 4 '15 at 19:54
  • I agree with all points , especially the one on opinion. – user1195 Feb 9 '15 at 6:46
  • To add to my previous comment, I quote a post where my answer was deleted whereas the others which were still opinions were not. hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/2477/… Do we need to paste a big block of text in order for the answer to qualify as a true answer? – user1195 Feb 10 '15 at 1:14
  • Nice answer and still relevant. @moonstar2001, in question Do we require to cite sources/scriptures in philosophical thinking? overall I see that you want the scriptures and not opinion based philosophy. Recently I pointed to MrAlien here that how he was earlier in opposition of citing sources, but now he wants sources. Similarly, would you like to delete few of your comments here which actually supports opinion based answers? – iammilind Feb 5 '16 at 7:43
  • @iammilind My answers are not usually merely opinion-based even though they may not have citations.I've striven to derive my answers, even to those questions that seek opinions, from Hindu literature (vangmaya)I am familiar with. Let me qualify my comments here as-"opinions as long as they are inferences from scripture should be ok". I believe, Swamiji's answer also supports opinions derived from knowledge and scripture. Just because a citation is not provided does not mean it is not scriptural. Mods must have sufficient knowledge to discern this. I think this is the essence of Swamiji's note – user1195 Feb 5 '16 at 8:22
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    @Wally You are resurrecting an old thread. If you see my original comment above, the question was closed by one person and I think Hinduism SE has since changed its policy on closing questions. I have no problems with how questions are closed now. My original comment was that I could provide scriptural references to support the concept of 'living wage' but the question was closed before I could do so. – Swami Vishwananda Apr 13 '16 at 8:21

Let me explain you in detail of why your question was closed. Also, I will post this answer as a general user and not as a user who is finding points to defend because I was the last user to close your post.

  1. It was not closed by one person, its closed by five users so that means these five users agree that it is opinion based or lets think that these five users were confused already.

  2. According to you, its correct that you are asking for a literature answer but when it comes to any type of teaching, its always opinion based, be it a religion or programming or anything similar. As you said that you have two answers on your question but when I read your comment before closing, you had commented on the accepted answer...

I shall have this as accepted answer, at least till such time we dont find a better one

So you yourself are not sure that whether the posted answer is correct or not. This is where opinions arise.

For your last sentence which says :

Hinduism is not definable by facts

But according to me you were asking for one in your question right? On Hinduism, we try to support answers with scripture reference. No doubt you might get a scriptural based answer but you need to edit your question accordingly.

It's not about this particular question, we often get questions like,

  • My child is not believing in god, how do I make him believe
  • Am getting suicidal thoughts, which mantra should I chant
  • Am getting more angry these days, which mantra should I chant

And so on, technically these all are on topic but again, users have their personal opinion, choices. Some might worship a god, some might won't.

So instead of keeping such questions open to public and get loads of opinion based answers it is better to close the discussion before it turns into debate,

If ever you feel that the question was unfairly closed, it is better to flag your post and let a moderator intervene instead of posting it on a meta because this way, we will get 50% of the posts asking Why my question was closed or Why was my answer deleted. Moderators will reopen your post instantly if they feel that the post is valid.

You can also use Hinduism chatroom for quick replies and help.

This was my reason to close your question.

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    5 people voted for it to be closed but 4 people have also upvoted and I have asked, making it 5 the other side too. There are answers of highest quality and substance, do you mean "Shodasa Sanskara is the answer for your question" is invalid? I had mentioned that I accepting it for the moment because I am still open for higher level of knowledge, it does not mean it is opinion based. If SO existed 30 years back almost every "accepted" answer would have been changed by now because there are newer and better algorithms being introduced everyday, so inherently every "accept" is for the moment – skv Nov 22 '14 at 4:42
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    I am truly worried because such questions which are essential to get Hinduism thriving and growing are considered not fit for a forum primarily intended to share knowledge about Hinduism and we focus too much on the theology of things and get consumed into discussing things that can be proved 100% only, then we would end up being useless because these things can be had from anywhere, SE is supposed to attract experts who can answer these questions with their expertise and closing such questions sets a wrong precedence, and this question on Meta is primarily for that and not to rant – skv Nov 22 '14 at 6:25
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    Sorry to intervene but as the question represent other opinion based questions also, so I would like to put forward my thoughts. If the main issue of concern is that there will be more no. of replies, so that can even be true in case of a question which asks things about religious context. There can be people repeating the same answer in a bit different way so don't think it should be a valid reason. For the point stating that author himself is not sure whether the answer is correct or not, this can also be the same in case of a valid question as there are conflicting things in different books – Aby Dec 10 '14 at 13:04
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    I think Hinduism is not about what is written in texts it is about what they intend to say. For a given verse, what is being interpreted by a group of people might be different from what another group is interpreting. So, debate can be in that case as well. Its actually nothing but again our OPINION only that we agree on one meaning of a verse. So, I don't think opinions based questions should be discouraged. We should rather find alternate ways to handle the problems of more replies/debate/not surity of answer, etc – Aby Dec 10 '14 at 13:12

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