What are the standards of evidence for an answer here? I know this isn't Skeptics, but I've seen several answers justified using intuitive "logic", without any citations. Should that be considered acceptable? What standards of evidence should we require for answers here?

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    Citations, however, don't necessarily validate 'intuitive logic'. It's politics, so this is always going to be an issue/question. – user1530 Jul 16 '13 at 21:34
  • Doesn't that just mean we shouldn't use intuitive logic? I'm having trouble understanding your point. – Publius Jul 18 '13 at 2:09
  • I'm saying that citations alone aren't necessarily 'evidence'. Namely due to the fact that a lot of political analysis is opinion based to begin with. Point being that an answer with citations isn't going to necessarily be any better or worse than an answer that only uses intuitive "logic" without citations. – user1530 Jul 18 '13 at 3:43
  • Well clearly the citations would have to be relevant, reputable, and substantiate the point the person is trying to make. – Publius Jul 18 '13 at 17:04
  • And therein lies the problem with politics. Is citing Rush Limbaugh relevant? Maybe. Reputable? debatable. It's always debatable. :) – user1530 Jul 18 '13 at 17:36
  • Okay, but the reputability of sources is the same debate had on Skeptics, and that place still works. – Publius Jul 18 '13 at 22:49
  • I think intuitive logic makes a fine answer, specially if anyone reading that answer can intuitively and clearly see the correctness of that logic. Good answers take some more, but sometimes they may be harder, they may imply writing an academic paper, that would be a really good answer, but the standards can be a bit lower here, IMHO. – Trylks Jul 24 '13 at 12:19
  • They can be a bit lower, but a standard of intuitive logic isn't a standard at all. It allows anybody to use any justification for his argument. – Publius Jul 24 '13 at 21:45

I think we're better served by simply down-voting a question if you believe it to be wrong, otherwise this site is little more than a mechanical Turk for research.

You really only need an authoritative search in you answer if the question calls for one(maybe they're in a political discussion elsewhere, and need to bring sources with them)

But if someone's simply asking for a broader understanding on an issue, than a source isn't quite necessary. It is very possible to describe an issue without proving it.

You can always down-vote an answer if it is wrong.

  • Then it's not clear to me what functions this site serves. I can find people's opinions out easily enough, what if I'm trying to determine a matter of fact? – Publius Jul 17 '13 at 10:32
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    @Avi I think that's a good question and one the site is trying to figure out. Personally, I am seeing the site drifting into opinion-heavy territory so it may not survive the long haul. – user1530 Jul 18 '13 at 3:45
  • That's exactly what I'm trying to avoid. I want to be able to ask a question about some quantifiable and observable political phenomenon and get answers linking to the evidence, not a rant about why that phenomenon is going to screw us all or something. – Publius Jul 18 '13 at 17:05
  • @Avi I'd like that too. But when I see a question trying to lead into a rant, I find that questioning that just turns into a giant debate. So I guess my hopes aren't too high. – user1530 Jul 18 '13 at 17:38
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    Then that question should be removed if it cannot be answered constructively. – Publius Jul 18 '13 at 22:49
  • @avi I agree. Or, at least, the offending part of the question should be removed. I think we're in the minority on that opinion at this time, however. – user1530 Jul 21 '13 at 17:07

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