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2:49 AM
A: Current situation for hermeneutics.SE (Nov 2013)

Gone QuietI was surprised by Jon's answer to this question. According to his answer, the question before the community team was "should BH graduate?". I would have thought the question would be "should BH be shut down?". I personally don't think traffic is a very useful measure of site viability, but ob...

2 hours later…
5:11 AM
Curious what people think of this question:
Q: What are some non-allegorical Song of Solomon commentaries?

Walrus the CatI'm looking for some very old, allegory-minimal commentaries on Song of Solomon. What are some top titles in this area? Thanks

I can't really figure out where we came down on this:
Q: Are questions about commentaries on-topic?

Also Gone QuietIn the process of doing exegesis, many potential resources can be helpful. Is it on-topic for me to make a specific question like: What are your top (n) commentaries for studying such-and-such a book? What do you like about each? Or: What are the merits/problems with Karl Barth's commen...

It sounds like Jon's answer thinks they are on topic but maybe not well-suited to the format.
Not sure if that means a VtC is warranted?
8 hours later…
1:28 PM
@Jack, re "I'm generally just dismissing flags on closed questions", closed questions (and their answers) are still indexed by Google. On the case in question I've also voted to delete the question, but that is unlikely to be effective.
3 hours later…
4:50 PM
@MonicaCellio I wonder if it will take an extreme example to help Protestants realize how much bias is allowed here
perhaps a user who disparages the text as historically inaccurate, containing a ridiculous amount of contradictions, and cites someone like Ehrman for each assertion and moves on
but offers quality answers with some of this vitriol sprinkled in
I guarantee the user would be downvoted
@Dan yup. It would be a valuable proof, but the person providing it will be hated.
But if someone says things like, "the Scripture says...", "...according to God's Word...", numerous assumptions of canonicity/authenticity/reliability, etc. no downvotes
This site has no vested interested in demonstrating the text to be accurate / reliable / etc.
But almost all users do....\
I have considered responding to some of the "the Tanakh is about Jesus, duh!" posts with a thorough discourse on the validity of gospels written by people who knew what prophetic outcome they needed to write into their texts, but I find I just can't muster the necessary amount of caring to do it. It probably wouldn't help, and in the meantime I'd offend people I consider reasonable (who I don't want to offend).
Shoot, people got up in arms at my proposal that John intentionally changed the timeline of the Passion to make a symbolic point to his readers - and that's not even challenging the authenticity of the text
@Dan Didn't see that. Sounds interesting.
4:56 PM
the problem is that I am not willing to feign positions I don't necessarily agree with just to make a point - although I wouldn't put it past myself
@Dan wow, either missed or forgot that. There's a contradiction between John and the other three; why couldn't it be deliberate and symbolic? The symbolism is quite compelling that way -- and seems to line up with the whole "paschal lamb" (sic :-) ) motif.
@Dan and I wouldn't be feigning the position I outlined, but I just don't care enough about making the point to a deaf audience any more.
@Dan If I was educated enough to take that role, I would.
@TRiG the problem is that there aren't enough balanced scholars in the field - Biblical Studies tends to have scholars in the extremes
The closest I've seen would be someone like N.T. Wright - he is fairly balanced in that he takes excellent scholarship into account yet isn't too extreme (he's hated by conservative Christian scholars and so-called liberal non-Christian scholars)
heck, he's even hated by liberal Christian scholars
But he is decidedly Christian
He needs a non-Christian counterpart scholar
But then again, I'm now asking for diversity for the sake of diversity, and that's never good :P
@Soldarnal I think it's asking for a product recommendation, which is always off topic on the SE network
@Dan I disagree. Diversity is valuable in and of itself.
A: Why does the Septuagint contain non-Tanakh books?

hannesThe Tenakh was not a book but a collection of scrolls from which Jewish scribes translated into Greek. What most likely began with the Torah (original LXX: 5 Books of Moses) continued over 200 years. During this period of time additional scrolls were written in Hebrew (e.g. Books of Maccabees, Je...

@TRiG I agree with you - I'm referring to the mantra
5:02 PM
^^ What the flip is Paul doing here?
@TRiG I'm the only DV on that question, apparently - I cast it long ago
@Dan Not sure why I never got around to adding one myself. Have done just now.
@Dan I voted to delete (NAA), long ago.
@MonicaCellio I'm hesitant to delete because the first part is OK, albeit VLQ. I went ahead and edited out the last paragraph.
Also @MonicaCellio do you have time to resume discussion on our limits on Qs and As discussion?
i.e. my stance = if(!Q) {return close/edit/delete;} elif(!A) {return downvote;}
vs your stance == if(!Q && !A) {return close/edit/delete;}
5:24 PM
@Dan and anyone else interested, I think I've been fighting the system over edits in the past and I apologise for that. Please always feel free to edit a post as you see fit: that's how the system works and it should be allowed to work like that. Of course if the OP objects there is no point getting into an edit war but that's another matter entirely…
@JackDouglas I've been getting better about editing questions right away and liberally if they are poor yet still salveageable
answers I generally only edit to remove unnecessary/offensive content - I generally just DV if the answer is wrong or makes unsupported assumptions/assertions
That's really helpful thanks, the more folk we can get doing that the better. I meant answers too though, but I'm not saying how/whether you should edit only that you should feel free if you want to :)
@JackDouglas my philosophy above: if(!Q) {return close/edit/delete;} elif(!A) {return downvote;}
yes I saw that :)
do you mean close|edit|delete?
@JackDouglas would I love to see the pseudo-neutrality enforced everywhere (Qs and As): yes. Do I think it's attainable: no. You'd need to pay mods to keep that in check :P
5:30 PM
just kidding :)
@JackDouglas yes I do actually thanksd
5:40 PM
@JackDouglas thank you for this. That's very helpful.
@Dan yup. (Will step out for a 15-minute meeting at 1, but otherwise yes I'm here.)
@MonicaCellio no prob, my office is vacant today so effectively I'm just occupying space (federal holiday)
is it wrong that I'm writing a superfluous meta post because I enjoy doing so?
@Dan ok, so let me explain my thinking a little more. We have a glut of bad answers, many from people who will not fix them, and a dearth of people willing to cast DVs. At this stage in our development quality counts more than quantity. Authors can always improve deleted posts (they retain a handle to them if there's a comment, which there generally is) and request undeletion, so nothing is lost forever. But if we leave them up, people use them as models.
All that said, editing is clearly preferable; deletion is only for when an edit won't help (or isn't possible).
@MonicaCellio my fear is that as traffic grows, the workload will become too much
I think it's too much to have an obligation from site policy to edit practically every answer we get
questions yes, but this is burdensome enough
so from an idealistic perspective - yes I'd love to see everything fit policy
But I don't see it being feasible to edit answers all the time
If we edit/close/delete bad questions, we will dissuade many bad answers
@Dan well, we don't have to get all of them to improve things. If a bad post gets no attention and continues so sit there, it's no worse than now. But if we do see one, we should act. I'm saying allow (but do not require) the community to act -- with mod backing, unlike now where we have to wait for 3 votes from a set of 6 people to amble in.
but then if we DV bad answers and comment why - people will learn quickly (or quickly become discouraged and leave - either way, mission accomplished)
5:56 PM
@Dan well, we have several people who didn't -- didn't leave and didn't learn. Assuming we had a way to get them, do you think more DVs would make the difference? I'd like to see more DVs but we can't compel them -- voting is core and personal. OTOH, we can enact a policy that allows us to request mod-deletion if all else has failed.
@MonicaCellio if they never get past 1 reputation, keeping them at bay isn't too difficult ;)
@Dan I'm not just talking about newbies, and anyway even a newbie who produces bad answers can produce good questions (and thus get rep).
Look, let's be blunt -- some of our biggest quality problems come from people with rep. It's not just the newcomers.
@MonicaCellio true
@Dan and they, more than the 1-rep nonsense-posters, are a problem. Someone coming to the site sees their rep and their bad answers and concludes "ok, that's what to do here". Bzzt!
@MonicaCellio yeah, perhaps this is not fixable :\
6:14 PM
@Dan we don't have to fix all of it to fix any of it. I'm not proposing a sweep and purge; I'm saying that "if not edibable, delete pending fix" should be a legitimate response. Not for all bad answers, only the ones that are functionally NAA, lacking in work-showing, opinions/sermonizing, rude... we've had plenty of those that are hanging around with one delete vote and few DVs, and that just isn't serving us well. :-(
let's list the conditions of pseudo-neutrality in simple language (not with details of what constitutes each - just high level)
1) no offensive content
2) no needless assertions of doctrine/dogma
what about unsupported assertions? Is this a violation or just a poor answer?
or does #2 sum it up?
I gotta run for a bit, bbl
Q: Pseudo-neutrality & its enforcement

DanFrom the perspective of a postmodern/pluralist worldview, there is no such thing as 'pure' objectivity / true neutrality (nor objective truth, for that matter). In effect, all assertions of neutrality are biases/assumptions in and of themselves. I get this. But I also believe that allowing biases...

@Dan I think #2 sums it up. We're not requiring that every single assertion be supported, but any assertion that could reasonably be considered objectionable must be both necessary and supported. If somebody makes a claim about, say, historical practice or linguistics, and that information is incorrect, then that's what comments and downvotes are for.

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