When you look at many questions, you will see a repeating pattern of "Would this be considered ethical ?" sentences.

My immediate mental response is always - "what system of ethics are you implying here?". Because, the wikipedia alone lists 11 types of normative ethics and 8 types of applied one.

Yet, not only such questions are answered, they are often answered either with voluntary chosen ethics system, and in extreme (and not rare cases) the system is not even named, thus posing as some kind of universal ethics.

This is misleading, and deprieves OP of both seeing the full ethics landscape.

But this can be avoided, if we would comment and guide people asking questions to specify to what system their question applies.


I completely understand and agree with what you are saying; 6 months ago these kind of questions would have been closed in a heartbeat due to being too broad to be reasonably answered. However, I've been getting the sense that the influx of new members recently has shifted how these questions are taken, and based on the upvotes many have they appear well-received. As such, I personally haven't been nearly as stringent as we were in the past.

We ran a tighter ship before, but that has changed. On the face of it, I preferred the old way, but it often seemed overly restrictive to newcomers in philosophy, who had difficulty sufficiently focusing their questions to meet our criteria. But your point raises an important topic of discussion: I think it's time we redefine what kinds of questions we are (and are not) looking for on this site. (The holidays are here, however, and starting tomorrow I'm on vacation til after Christmas, so I'll probably not raise the issue til after the new year.)

  • 1
    have nice holidays ! =) somehow, we should be more philosophical in our demands, and don't get upset when the world or people behaves differntly, that would like them to ) Lighter heart = happier life :) Thanks for the answer again.
    – c69
    Dec 19 '14 at 9:41
  • Thanks, you too!
    – stoicfury
    Dec 19 '14 at 17:50

When I was newer to this site, my instinct was to try to answer "Christians say this, utilitarians say that, Marxists say something else, Nihilists say it doesn't matter anyway..." I see this as the trade-off in answering like that:

  • If I were looking for answers to a philosophical question, this is a more useful entry, because different considerations are already summarized

  • As someone answering questions though, it takes longer, so I've mostly stopped trying to answer questions like that.

Not sure which we as a community prefer.

  • well, i meant, that often, OP needs just the answer in one system. Though, the problem is, he does not know how its called.
    – c69
    Dec 22 '14 at 20:55
  • While doing this is nice, it's a lot of information we'd have to put in an answer to make it a proper one. Often, the OP will be interested in only one response, and sometimes simply "it depends" would suffice. I think quality would increase by requiring questions to be less broad. They should be able to be answered in a few paragraphs or so.
    – user2953
    Jan 5 '15 at 5:46

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