Right now the current description for the tag is:

For questions about beings with superhuman powers, closely tied to a specific property and worshipped by ancient people.

Let's ignore the obvious fact that gods aren't solely "worshiped by ancient people." Right now, the tag is extremely unspecific as to how it should be used. About 75% of questions related to mythology will include "beings with superhuman powers." Should all of these questions be tagged with the gods tag? If that's the case, then my sense is that the gods tag is worthless.

Looking through the questions tagged with the gods tag, my sense is that most of them don't need the tag. Examples:

  1. Are there any instances where the Egyptian gods are promiscuous? -- Just needs the Egyptian tag.
  2. Who is the father of the Tuatha Dé Danann? -- Just needs the Celtic tag.

There are some questions where the gods tag is used to indicate a polytheistic religion as opposed to a monotheistic religion. In those cases, my recommendation is that the monotheism and the polytheism tags be used instead.

Thoughts? Can we do something about this?

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  • I think the original intent of the tag was for questions specifically about the supreme deities of a mythology (in contrast with every other type of mythical being). We could simply change its description to reflect that, and be done with it. – yannis Sep 6 '16 at 15:16
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    @Yannis in that case, I think a tag like [supreme-deity] should be used. The tag name [gods] is too vague, and I don't think very many people read tag descriptions – user62 Sep 6 '16 at 15:34
  • @Yannis and I'm not even sure a [supreme-deity] tag is useful: are there experts in [supreme-deities] or people only interested in questions involving [supreme-deities]? – user62 Sep 6 '16 at 15:36
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    Perhaps we should just get rid of the tag, in favour of more specific ones. I added [pantheon] to a handful of questions, for example. – yannis Sep 6 '16 at 16:06
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    @yannis agree completely. My recommendation would be to blacklist the [gods] tag (and the [god] tag for good measure, as it has the same problems) – user62 Sep 6 '16 at 16:12

I'm just going to post an answer so that this question stops getting bumped to the home page.

The tag has been removed from all questions by Yannis and I. If it gets recreated, we will consider blacklisting it.

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I think Polytheism refers to the general idea of pantheons, where the "gods" tag would be used for questions about gods specifically. "(i.e. how are the Norse and Greek pantheons related?" vs. "What were Odin's powers?"). Note that "titans" has a specific tag, which I think is quite useful, even though it hasn't been used much.

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    Agree that the polytheism tag isn't the best replacement for every question tagged [gods]. But the reason for removing the [gods] tag is that it's too vague -- I would estimate that 75% of questions could reasonably have a [gods] tag applied to them. Think it should be handled on a case by case basis -- maybe use the [titans] tag for greek questions involving titans, etc. – user62 Sep 8 '16 at 19:38
  • @Hamlet that's a very good point. "greek-gods", "roman-gods" makes a lot more sense in that light. (Although that might require also having "graeco-roman-gods"... – DukeZhou Sep 8 '16 at 19:54
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    why not just use the [greek] tag? If you're an expert on [greek-gods], you probably are also an expert on [greek] mythology. – user62 Sep 8 '16 at 19:56
  • that is probably the most efficient and precise way, but then we should probably leave "gods" to distinguish from questions about heroes and other non-Olympian entities. – DukeZhou Sep 8 '16 at 20:13
  • the point I'm trying to make is that I doubt that there are people who want to answer questions only if they involve gods/deities. The point of tags is to help people find questions -- can't think of a reason for someone to only look for [gods] questions, particularly when you consider that the meaning of "deity" varies from culture to culture. – user62 Sep 8 '16 at 20:17

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