So, I've long been a fan of this question, which was closed but is still there: Is there an effective way to design a realistic religion for a world?

I find it on-topic, useful and interesting, but it was closed for (annoying IMO) Stack Exchange "fit" reasons.

Today we have this question: What effect would a known but lost precursor civilization have on religion and philosophy? which is not closed (yet?). I like the topic, but if it were my site, I'd edit it to be more like the first question, and I commented as much on the question:

"This question seems to me to be trawling for idea suggestions. Seems to me I could spend all day thinking of different possible answers to that. I like the topic, but I wonder if it might be more useful and appropriately answerable to ask how one might go about choosing & designing cultures in a situation like this, rather than an open-ended request for specific ideas."

But then I remembered that first old question, which is closed.

Am I wrong about thinking this new question is interesting but even more open-ended that the closed old question, and so probably should be edited to be more answerable specifically?

If it should be edited, how could it be edited so as not to be closed the way the first question was?

Mainly just curious... I still don't quite get how the first question can be thought something to close.


1 Answer 1


The difference between the two questions is that the older one was asking, "What is a religion?" and the newer asks, "Given these conditions, how might religion form?"

As mentioned in the comments to the older question, "What is a religion?" is far too complex a topic to be handled appropriately by the stack Exchange format of questions and answers. (Odd side thought: Is there a limit on question/answer length?)

"How might religion form?" is a perfectly valid topic for Worldbuilding, and the question has qualifiers to narrow the scope to specifically what the OP needs. It could be construed as idea generation, but I consider the development of religion to have only so many possible outcomes for a given set of starting conditions. Votes will (should?) identify the most likely course.

Should it be closed? IMHO, no.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yes there is a length limit on question and answer posts. Note that questions that are too broad can sometimes be split up into several questions that are, individually, not too broad. Each question needs to be answerable in a reasonably-sized post, but you're not limited to one question. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm. I get what you suggest, but I'm not sure I agree there are significantly fewer answers if the qualifiers still leave an infinite number of answers. It also seems like the same question title could be asked an infinite number of times, even though they all sound like they're asking for the same answer and that there should be one, but then the description could be entirely different, and each of those questions could have infinite good answers. But thanks. Personally, I think that's actually ok for my tastes, but seems to me a double standard when other infinite questions get closed. $\endgroup$
    – Dronz
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ If "what is religion?" is too big (true), then "how might religion develop given X?" is also too big unless everyone accepts some definition of "religion" first. But that hasn't been done because the issue is ruled "too big." The second question is therefore unanswerable because it is opinion-based: it requires an opinion formulation of what "religion" is. $\endgroup$
    – CAgrippa
    Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 22:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .