I think several of the ethics questions we get suffer from a similar set of problems (I'm not going to specifically address the above questions as I see them more as a prompt than a highly localized expression.
Problem 1: Invite Opinions
We often get ethics questions that are not well-suited to the SE format. Such as
Is X wrong?
The problem with these sorts of over-generalized questions is two-fold.
First, sometimes there is no such consensus in the philosophical literature. In such cases, it's not really helpful to give answers, because it's more complicated than the person assumes. Generally, people who ask questions in this way aren't really open to hearing what different philosophers have said on this.
Second, this invites a large number of answers rather than producing a single "correct" answer. As far as I know these types tend to attract non-philosophical answers (here by "philosophy" I mean grounded in philosophical ethics and aware of the literature). Instead, they attract a certain sort of off-the-cuff folksy answer or certain users who have a dial-a-view (Ayn rand fans, adamant religious believers and non-believers, adamant ethics = evolutionary biology [we have all of the above plus some more level headed people]).
The second problem tends to drown out the first. The first would require rather lengthy answers that address what many major views say about an ethical problem. The second creates an impossible situation for SE-style voting. Questions are in principle supposed to be answerable much like a tech question, and it just doesn't work to have SE questions fundamentally be polls.
Problem 2: Confused Questions
For instance, Are drugs and addiction in general bad, a priori?, contains multiple non-identical questions using terms in different ways:
- "Are drugs and addiction in general bad, a priori?"
- "But how do we justify banning a drug, ethically?"
- "And on the individual scale, how could I justify telling a friend to stop using a drug or engaging in some (harmful, in my eyes) addictive behavior, without encroaching on his liberties?"
Based on the length spent on each theme, I assume the OP is most interested in third version, but these are far from identical questions. The third also has the best chance of being something that one could answer in an SE-votable format (viz., this is a common problem considered in the autonomy literature about when "freedom" and "autonomy" clash and whether we can violate someone's freedom to encourage them to autonomy and if so under what circumstances and when it delves into paternalism).
Problem 3: Hidden Assumption Variation of Invite Opinions
Sometimes there's also a hidden assumption variation on the invitation of opinion questions. I can recall off the top of my head, people assuming:
- An ill-defined utilitarian or consequentialist principle behind their question
- Assumptions that ethics is evolutionary biology
- Religious assumptions about right/wrong.
In all these cases, I don't think it's wrong to ask about ethics in these frameworks. It's just wrong to do so in a way that obscures the framing assumption. In fact, with the framing assumption in place, the question can often be quite good.
Problem 4: Law-Morality Confusions
Many of these questions don't draw a distinction between legality and morality. While there are forms of legal positivism or ethical positivism that see the two as identical, most philosophical accounts distinguish between what we should have as law and prosecute vs. what is right/wrong.
When a question confuses these deeply in its manner of asking, it's nearly impossible to get enough focus to answer the ethical question without confusing it with (usually) the US legal framework.
I think there's often other problems as well, but I can't think of them off the top of my head right now.