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I was reading the question How do I help my 3 year old daughter who is terrified of what I believe is a ghost? just now, and I noticed that one of the answers consists mostly of a promotion of Christianity. The answer is essentially saying, "Pray to the Lord, and He will help you with your problem."

I suppose that technically, it's a completely valid answer. Perhaps praying to the Lord really is the best solution to the problem. I don't think it is, but it's not like I have any proof that I'm right and the answer is wrong.

But nevertheless, I feel like the answer is not appropriate. After all, what if someone responded to the question How do I undo the most recent local commits in Git? by saying, "Pray to the Lord, and He will reveal to you a method for undoing the most recent commits"? I don't have any proof that that is wrong, and yet I feel confident in saying that we would not accept such an answer.

Should answers like this simply be downvoted? I know that answers that are not useful should be downvoted, and in my opinion, this answer is not useful because the religious beliefs that it is based on are not true. But I also think it seems utterly inappropriate to downvote an answer because I disagree with the author's religion.

Should the answer be flagged for deletion? Does it even violate any rules?

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    If the answer instead advised you to buy a therapeutic device 60% off from Walmart, what would happen to it? Perhaps a valid answer but includes an unnecessary reference to a store just like the answer in question references religion. When in doubt, flag it out. Jan 30, 2021 at 4:56
  • Sir, you said, "the religious beliefs that it is based on are not true" but when you say that, you are merely by expressing your religion, declaring mine invalid. It is by your system of beliefs that you make such a statement, which is your religion. You say it's not true, so prove it! Read the Josh McDowell book "More Than a Carpenter". Trilemma: is Yeshua Lord, Liar, or Lunatic? He can only be one. Final evidence: the existence of Israel, an indelible proof. In addition, the theory of evolution doesn't hold water. How could giraffe evolve? Bombardier beetle? Impossible. See creation museum. Jun 12, 2023 at 2:17

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If you don't think it's an answer, just downvote it.

Consult the rules of Parenting to see if it actually qualifies as something that a mod should look into, which is where the flags come in.

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TL;DR: pretty much like this other answer: downvote is the way. But I'll give my own reasoning as well.


There is a thin line between answers we don't like, personally, and answers that are really not good, or don't fit the site they're posted it.

It's sometimes hard to see this line.

Let's take your example Q&A and try to analyze it in a neutral way.

The question is simple: how to help a toddler to overcome fear of ghosts.

Answers can of course vary, and valid answers can be, in general:

  • Things you can say to the toddler to help them.
  • Things you can do in the house to help the toddler feel safe.
  • Things others are doing, which help them, so might also help you.

The answer you talk about fits the third bullet above. The author is clearly religious, and using religion as means to overcome fear, among other things. That's acceptable, in my opinion, so the answer is valid and there's no cause to delete it.

However, we as users have the right to express opinions in the form of voting. If you don't agree with opinion-based answer like this, you're welcome to downvote it to express it. Comments in such cases will usually only cause harm and degenerate to insults so better avoid any comment.

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    "Comments in such cases will usually only cause harm and degenerate to insults so better avoid any comment." this! And if you're unlucky, you'll find a troll and end up with a long and useless stream of insults even if you supply inoffensive argument. Better not care and downvote/flag away. +1 Jan 30, 2021 at 15:21

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