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I see a lot of questions that I find frivolous, or that bring up familiar yarns from 2000 years ago or more, and I often wonder if this is the place to entertain such rehashing. There really should be a Philosophy 911 phone line.

But anyway, what about questions that seem to be pure, unproductive speculation about things that we can probably never know or come to any conclusions about? I'm thinking of questions about whether other intelligent beings exist, or if they have embroiled us in a universe-wide simulation or other such things that can have no bearing on life or practical matters.

Personally, I would dismiss those instantly, but if there is some good reason for sponsoring these, please let me know. And, if there is a Close Reason related to this type of thing, I'm going to use it.

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    i guess - sometimes at least - seemingly outlandish questions or thought experiments are interesting not to try to come to conclusions about themselves specifically, but rather as exercises in argumentation (or even to probe some other, more down-to-earth, related matters)
    – ac15
    Commented May 6 at 13:37
  • If we were to exclude questions that haven't been considered extensively elsewhere, there wouldn't be much left... Internal and external duplication is a general problem with public Q&As, and either you try to minimise duplication, which probably leaves most contributors with little to do, or you sort of ignore duplication, which makes it less useful as a resource. As for speculative questions, ones that engage in worldbuilding/fantasy-world-level speculation, I tend to vote-to-close as not-about-philosophy, but the idea of living in a simulation is generally well within philosophy.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented May 7 at 0:14
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    @NotThatGuy thank you. I guess I don't consider SE as a resource, except for programming issues, where I use it at work to save hours of research and testing to get an immediate problem solved. So the contrast to what I use SE for in my off time - considering interesting questions and tossing ideas around - is risible in terms of anything being urgent. The frankness of some questions that read as though they truly believe no one has ever before had the thoughts they propose is hard to take seriously. But then, I'm not using the site for it's intended purpose, as this is my only social media.
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented May 7 at 0:48
  • See footnote 2.
    – Rushi
    Commented May 7 at 16:43

3 Answers 3

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Every question in philosophy is speculative. If it isn’t, can you point me to a resource that tells me the correct answer to any question that you can think of?

You won’t find one.

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    Definitely not, for the question about two types of Play-Doh. New research frontier.
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented May 7 at 10:35
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what about questions that seem to be pure, unproductive speculation about things that we can probably never know or come to any conclusions about?

Personally, I would dismiss those instantly, but if there is some good reason for sponsoring these, please let me know.

I'd agree with you, and there are lots: where the problem IMO is not so much the specific topic, or whether the question is in fact speculative or simply not even wrong, but that the question is not even an excuse/occasion to any problematic notion or concept (which is a short way I'd say what is generally acceptable in a philosophical context: maybe for a relaxed notion of "concept", surely for a strict notion of "problematic").

And, if there is a Close Reason related to this type of thing, I'm going to use it.

I am using the "looks like philosophy but it isn't" when the question is not patently off-topic.

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Soon after I got the privilege to VTC, I found this: That for most questions that I would very eagerly apply the VTC I did not have the reason I would have liked to mark which very often would be something along the lines: Kindly Cut the Crap!

Since SE's policies put Victorian prim-n-propahness over basic honesty I quickly came to the conclusion that the VTC was not a tool I would use.

I dont particularly like using a baton on someone but its worse to wrap the baton in a veneer of velvet and then say O we used the velvet implement

Vide George Carlin

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