After receiving two upvotes and one interesting answer, my question, Are states fundamentally violent?, has been closed. I would like to know how I can improve it to make it acceptable. Here is my initial list of action that I though of:

  • Include a formal definition for violence.
  • Include examples of things that are fundamentally violent.
  • Include the history of people who used a similar definition for a state.
  • Include various other definitions of a state.
  • Remove the term "fundamentally".

Is there any point on which I should be more specific? Is there any other things that I could do to make it acceptable?


  • I also voted to close for the same reason as Borror0. To me it seemed like the answer both was "No" because it's entirely possible for a state not to do violence and the word fundamentally suggests they have to - no matter what. Also a state is a great many things and your question seemed to cherry pick some subset which in itself doesn't make up a state. I don't care if the question is loaded, but I also don't see how you could answer any variation of that question in a way that's not philosophical and this isn't philosophy.SE.
    – Kit Sunde
    Apr 19, 2011 at 13:05

2 Answers 2


I'm just not sure of what's the question you're trying to ask. To me, it sounds like a loaded question to validate an unstated belief of yours (anarchism, distaste for governments, etc.). "States are evil, am I right guys?" If so, that type of question is not welcomed here.

I could be wrong, of course.

The statement you quoted is meant to be read as "states will use force, if necessary, to maintain order and keep away foreign forces attempting to take over the region (or part of the region) it owns."

  • Would you consider reopening the question if I were to improve it by adding your definition of state powers? I can assure you that I am not asking this question to confirm or infirm my beliefs. Even if it was the case, it seems like the site already have many questions which could be considered loaded and perceived as belief confirming including one on birther, many on religions, one on the existence of Jesus, one on moon landing and one on intelligent design.
    – Rémy Roy
    Apr 18, 2011 at 21:59
  • @RémyRoy: The main problem is that I don't understand what is being asked. If you can address that, then w will see whether the question can be reopened.
    – Borror0
    Apr 18, 2011 at 23:22

From the FAQ:

Skeptics is about applying skepticism — it's for researching the evidence behind the claims you hear or read

Your question needs to be in the form of this is some held belief, thought or idea... can its claim be proven to be true.

In some cases a question is subjective. That means it can't be answered without someone giving their personal views.

Your question "Are states fundamentally violent" falls into the subjective category. Why? Because all states participate in activities that could be seen as violent:

  • Police force
  • Army
  • Border patrol
  • Illegal immigration

See that big could be up there. That's your problem. Your question will result in an argument over the definition of what is violent, including whether or not it is necessary. Furthermore another group will start an argument over what does it mean to be fundamentally violent and not just necessarily or occasionally violent.

I also suggest you read the system wide guidelines on good subjective, bad subjective.

Your question also falls into this category:

What kind of questions should I not ask here?

Avoid asking questions that are subjective, argumentative, or require extended discussion. This is not a discussion board, this is a place for questions that can be answered!

You need to provide questions that can be answered, and your question reads like a discussion topic.

I hope this helps and please don't be discouraged to ask more questions.

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