I participate in multiple stack exchanges including Buddhism and Physics, and have found the moderation here to be quite severe in comparison to other sites. I believe my personal score that would allow me to be more of a participant has been damaged as a result, and I am concerned that I may get banned simply for not citing scripture or name dropping a guru, even if what I say is true and Vedic knowledge. This is not the spirit in the other stack exchanges. If someone can speak from their own expertise and demonstrate their knowledge sensibly using common rules of logic or common principles of the religion, then one does not object to their sharing. It should only be if someone contradicts shastra that they should be modded down or criticized. Ultimately this boils down to the question of motivation, are we here as a place of scholarship, or as a place of spiritual guidance? We should encourage both, but not discourage either in my opinion. This is a religious place, in the name of Veda.

Just because you cite shastra, does not make your statement correct. It is not a badge of honor. Gurus and scholars may be knowledgeable in the shastra, and can direct one if necessary, but often they speak in common terms in order to illustrate points. Conveying the knowledge from the heart is the most important. It is the heart to heart communication that is most powerful in imparting understanding. Shastra stands like a pillar so we do not deviate from the truth, but simply quoting shastra like parrots does not illustrate knowledge.

I found myself most recently, here - Alternative for flowers in daily pooja - scrambling to find any verse of scripture to support what I had to say, and inserting the name of the Swami I learned it from simply from the intention that I don't want my answer to be harassed for lack of citation so that it may reach the person, who needs the answer. There isn't an abundance of answers here. Perhaps if that were the case, then answers with reference to scripture might be preferred if they better illustrate the truth. We are truth seekers above scholars. That question about puja went an entire day without answer, and it is a very simple question.

I think that is the real point here, that I believe Hinduism Stack Exchange should be in the spirit of Dharma and seeking truth, not in the spirit of Western Academic scholars who insist on footnotes and exact references. As long as you are in line with the dharma and Vedic shastra in your thoughts and words, I believe they should be encouraged, not reprimanded.

This is the stack exchange of a religion, and as such I believe personal experiences should be encouraged. Not opinions, but experiences. Experiences are a great source of knowledge, and religion is a highly personal experience. With that said, I appreciate the idea that we should not turn this into a place where people are sharing crazy ideas and their mental imbalances and false perceptions of religion. That is not what I am saying. The moderation should be there to keep the discussion dharmic, under shastric principles, but should not dissuade others from sharing their personal experiences that are dharmic. Remember that this is religion, about experiencing the divine, it is not simply mechanical logic.

I think encouraging citations is a great thing, and is most useful. Asking for citations or references is not a bad thing, but I think downvoting people for not doing so, regardless of whether they are correct or incorrect is excessive. By doing this sort of downvoting we are discouraging others from sharing truth. Not everyone always has a reference to scripture, but I think the majority of us here have enough sense to determine the truth of something like the answer I provided in the puja question, even if I did not quote the Gita. These are basic principles of Bhakti yoga.

Definitely it is the spirit of Stack Exchange to insist on references IF necessary. In the physics place, we provide references for example if we present some very difficult concept that cannot be inferred from obvious principles. We should keep in mind here that there is some sense of obvious dharma here, obvious principles we know. So we should be able to use this common sense of dharma in our answers. Just because we tell someone they should not lie, or they should strive to love one another, does not mean we should provide a reference for that! This is what I mean about severe moderation. And I do not think I am out of line for making such an example.

  • A similar question was already asked here, please read both the answers. Dec 28, 2015 at 20:15
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    Will answer you in a day or two :) and explain you the harshness you feel here.
    – Mr. Alien
    Dec 29, 2015 at 4:43
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    I admit, the "question" was so long I didn't read it all. Anyway, it seems like the problem has been fixed here because I find Hinduism to be the most tolerant SE. Biblical Hermeneutics' sectarianism is far worse than here (most of their users have the mainstream view & do not accept alternative interpretations—even though interpretation is the entire point of hermeneutics 🙄). Also, stay out of Area 51. So much condescension in there. I think they might be harsher than the Wikipedia experts. May 3, 2018 at 19:19


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