I don't mind being called a telltale, for I've been committed to this site for quite a while now and don't mind some random person's caprices. What annoys me is that unless I flag the entire comments, his or her disrespect will be permanently visible, which is simply not okay on a platform like this. I'll make it short:

user132181 posted this question. I tried to improve it by commenting on it. He or she did. An answer came in that was (IMO, which is not entirely unqualified regarding Kant) wrong. I answered the question, also remarking that the other answer is misguiding. I got a downvote for it, coupled with several, as I see things, problematic comments.

I already flagged comments of the same user and find his behaviour unbearable. I would appreciate it if someone would look into it.

  • Well, get me banned, then, liar. It seems like on this site users with 1000+ rep can do whatever they want and moderators will deem it "totally appropriate".
    – user132181
    May 4, 2014 at 7:44
  • @user132181 See my answer below, I hope it helps.
    – Lucas
    May 4, 2014 at 8:47
  • 3
    I've enjoyed both parties contributions to this site. This conflict makes me sad :(
    – Lucas
    May 4, 2014 at 8:48
  • 1
    Why am I a liar? What is your problem? I never tried to get you banned, but you just go on and on! What did I do that wasn't appropriate to begin with? You never answered that question!
    – iphigenie
    May 4, 2014 at 9:11
  • 3
    @iphigenie I think you did say you'd get them banned on the comments to either the question or answer! They've been removed, so I can't check, but I'm fairly sure you did. I don't see how you've lied, but you have been on the confrontational end of the spectrum (as I often am too). There's nothing wrong with this per se, but it does tend to make people read you less charitably (hence accusations of deceit) and make people feel like they're being attacked personally (hence accusations of impropriety, especially when you are perceived as having power, i.e. the 1000+ rep thing).
    – Lucas
    May 4, 2014 at 9:46
  • @iphigenie you lie when you say you were trying to help. My question might have been broad (which is disputable to me, but OK). You suggested some edits to it, which I agreed to make. And you, saying that my question is broad and things, went on to answer it! And it would be fine if you would try to get to the answer I was looking for as much as possible (just as the author of the accepted answer did). Instead of it, you commented on the other person's answer via the answer section! The fact that people downvote my questions without leaving a comment lets me down, aswell.
    – user132181
    May 4, 2014 at 10:29
  • @Lucas Thank you, that is helpful. Though I don't think mentioning that I will try to get comments that insult me deleted is something I should feel sorry for, and also I don't have the power (and therefore neither the possibility of abusing it) to delete stuff myself. In that case I do not feel like I actually confronted anybody.
    – iphigenie
    May 4, 2014 at 12:49
  • @user132181 First of all: You know nothing about my motivations, so be careful with your accusations. Why wouldn't I answer your question trying to prevent you from accepting (which you did) an answer of which I am convinced that it is wrong? Also, I did not just comment on it (which would have been the first part: "This is wrong.") but went on to give you an answer to your question (which was, after the edit, asking for the perspective of the major "moralities", of which Kant is clearly one). The fact that you prefer a badly written and unpersuasive summary over my answer clearly shows, as I
    – iphigenie
    May 4, 2014 at 12:56
  • 1
    @user132181 see it, that your answer is too vague and broad and that you have no insight. Also, none of that gives you the reason to talk to me like you do, and none of it is a reason to call me a liar, unless you know of my motivations which is impossible. You're mad because people downvote your question for not being reasonably answerable and then you go ahead and downvote people who tried? You're wrong here, mate...
    – iphigenie
    May 4, 2014 at 12:58
  • @iphigenie, you were the first one to tell me "to go somewhere else", or you forgot that after the moderator deleted your comment? Also, I didn't downvote anyone - so stop accusing me of things you're not sure about.
    – user132181
    May 4, 2014 at 13:45
  • I told you to go somewhere else as you were reluctant to understand what I tell you, namely, that there are rules that you have to stick to if you want your questions answered, and that implies asking questions that can be answered and behaving in a manner acceptable to people who took their time to answer them... How is that still unclear to you? Also, I didn't say you downvoted it, read again.
    – iphigenie
    May 4, 2014 at 13:48
  • 4
    @user132181 No one is getting banned, this is a minor issue that avalanched a bit. Your contributions to this site seem useful and iphigenie has been a very helpful member for some time now. I doubt either of you are particularly mean people in real life, this is just an internet mix-up. Shake hands and carry on.
    – stoicfury
    May 4, 2014 at 19:43
  • 2
    @Lucas I can see all the deleted comments, it was user132181 who made the ban comment "I would love to see you get banned". Nothing iphigenie said at all was seriously confrontational in the question of focus here. The "go somewhere else" comment was the only one that could be said to be marginally so, but it was phrased with tact and appropriate given the degree of hostility coming from user132181.
    – stoicfury
    May 4, 2014 at 19:49
  • 1
    @stoicfury OK, my bad. I don't agree about the lack of being confrontational, though maybe I articulated myself badly. I wasn't trying to say that iphigenie was being unfair or tactless, it's just that telling people to change things or that they are wrong has high levels of inherent confrontationalness, it's simply par for the course. Anyway, should probably let it be.
    – Lucas
    May 4, 2014 at 21:20

2 Answers 2


Wow, lots of action in that one. Your conduct was totally appropriate, things just can sometimes get out of hand on the internet where you can't "hear" people's words so one often reads them in a more hostile manner than they were intended. I'll go ahead and clean things up.

Anyways, the good thing about downvotes is that they only cause a loss of 2 rep. I will counter those downvotes with an upvote which equals 5 downvotes, not only because it's the right thing to do when people use downvotes incorrectly, but because your answer is useful and it is also the most correct concerning Kant.

Thanks for the heads up. We've been getting a huge jump in participation over the last few months and many questions never even hit my radar until someone flags 'em or posts something to meta. We actually probably need to start looking into getting another moderator...


The answer involving the categorical imperative

People constantly misrepresent the categorical imperative, either by expressing it in utilitarian terms, or by talking about it as sociological phenomenon.

My own thoughts on the post which originally invoked it is that it was using it figuratively; and that their answer can be read more charitably than simply "getting Kant wrong". But it could have been worded more carefully in light of the common misconception.

I think iphigenie's answer was more true to Kant and there's nothing wrong posting a contradictory answer. In fact, it should be encouraged. The downside being that it can be discouraging if it is not done carefully (though I'm not claiming to have any particular skill in doing so myself).

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