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Proposal: Christianity

I spend some time on the Programmers stackoverflow site. In this community many questions do not have answers and have not been marked as "Accepted". There are several reasons for this:

  • Many if not most questions will have multiple answers all of which may be considered correct.
  • There is no consensus.
  • There are many different options and some options are given more weight than others.

I would think that the same rules should apply to Christianity. You might have a question like, "Why did Jesus die on the cross?". And there may be 100's of answers that could be considered correct, that you could back up with evidence. There could certainly wrong answers for this. Also, there might be a hand full that are considered 'the most correct', but there would still be multiple answers even then.

What do you think?

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Accepting an answer is entirely up to the poster of the question, on every site. Programmers does not have rules preventing users from accepting answers.

Accepting answers is completely optional.

The question owner is not required to accept an answer to their question. We view accepting an answer as a simple social convention, a little informal “thank you” between the asker and answerer, a virtual tip o’ the hat to that person whose response, as the question owner, you personally found the most helpful.

That doesn’t mean the community will agree with your choice. But as the question owner, it is your choice to make.

The default sort order is “votes” for a reason. Normally, the best answer will automatically float to the top through community voting. This is important because we expect a lot of our question askers to be drive-bys, programmers who ask a single question, get the answer they need (or don’t), and are never seen again. This is intentional and by design.

You're right, though, that some topics just don't have one right answer (or the one right answer may not be posted). It's still up to the questioner to determine that. Any engaged user will hopefully understand the issues involved and not accept prematurely, but in the end it's up to them. Accepting an answer is a mark of gratitude for the answerer who most helped the questioner; it's not about the community. Votes on answers are how the community gets involved in "selecting" answers.

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    Right, I know it is not required in any of the communities. However, I am active on stackoverflow, and programmers. On stackoverflow you'll see people in comments criticize other users for having low acceptance rate, whereas on programmers, it is generally encouraged not to accept an answer (in fact there were discussions on removing this feature, in meta, in the early days). And it makes sense in both contexts. What I meant by this post is that, I am hoping that the culture of Christianity will be one leaving most questions as unanswered. – aceinthehole Aug 10 '11 at 15:52
  • @aceinthehole Ah, that's fair. I suggest a Meta post early on, encouraging users to not worry about accepting answers. Cutting off worry about low accept rates is more important than actually accepting fewer answers, I think. Those searching for discussion -- or even answers -- in that area aren't likely to just assimilate a post into their beliefs just because it has a checkmark next to it. – Matthew Read Aug 10 '11 at 15:58
  • and weirdly, people complaint when the questioner has low accept rate. – Sufendy Aug 11 '11 at 9:19
  • I think it's because accepting answer is one of indicators that you follow up to the question you asked, that you are not one of those ask-and-run type of people. – Lukman Aug 12 '11 at 5:13

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