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There has been a lot of controversy in Meta and chat about what is and what is not on topic as far as fictional sources, religions, and whatnot.

I think things like this are going to keep cropping up, and we need to have a clear, simple, easily referenced cutoff criteria in order to be fair to all current and future users.

What should this criteria be?

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No, Age shouldn't be the deciding factor. Age isn't a very good criteria, it sure has something to say, but shouldn't be the be all end all.

For a (purely hypothetical) example: Assume that some Amazonian tribe has a creation myth, but according to it, the world is ~500 years old (so the myth is about ~1500 or something), that would be completely off topic due to age, even though it is an actual mythology.

A better way would be to split by fictional and real mythology. this would result in a debate about what is a fictional mythology and what is not, and for that we could use what LessPop_MoreFizz said here

the thing that's fictional isn't the content of the myth. It's the myth itself that's fictional.

Greek mythology is fiction, but it isn't fictional - it represents actual stories told by actual people about their actual beliefs at an actual time and place in history.

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  • This doesn't do anything to settle the debates about Cthulhu, Scientology and so forth – durron597 May 5 '15 at 14:04
  • Cthulhu is a fictional myth as far as I know, it's a myth in the Lovecraft books that did end up being true in that fictional universe. I don't know enough about any mythology surrounding scientology to answer your point on that. – Arperum May 5 '15 at 14:12
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    I'd +1 in agreement, but I don't want to upvote an answer that answers "What should we use?" with "Not age.". I realize that this was in response to durron597's first answer that advocated a hard cutoff based on age, but that answer is no longer around. – El'endia Starman May 5 '15 at 19:51
  • @El'endiaStarman The second part of my answer provides something we could use, namely a clear definition of fictional myth vs real myth (or it seems clear to me anyway) – Arperum May 6 '15 at 7:19
  • @Arperum: Ah, you're right. I overlooked that. I still don't agree with your recommended cutoff though. – El'endia Starman May 6 '15 at 21:10
  • @Arperum - the criteria is pretty clear without needing to know Scientology. Travolta is a real person and he believes it. Case closed. – DVK May 7 '15 at 22:05

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