I view this question as an obvious troll of the board. Even withstanding that, the question itself is overly broad. Text books, curriculims, even entire colleges (e.g. military service colleges) are written or established to review the value and measures of War. This isn't a question that can be handled well in the SE format, as evidenced by the answers it gathered before being put on hold.

Given its troll nature and an existing vote to re-open the question, without any effort to narrow the scope, the question should be deleted out right.

  • 4
    Why do you think this person is a troll? Sounds more like a young person trying to make sense of the world to me. Either way, the question is closed and there is only a singular re-open vote, so I don't really see the issue?
    – user11249
    Sep 5, 2018 at 10:48
  • @MartinTournoij I looked through his other posts throughout SE, and there was a high level of reasoning demonstrated, much beyond the question here. Sep 5, 2018 at 16:43
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    Also, -1 for assuming bad faith.
    – user4012
    Sep 5, 2018 at 23:25
  • @defaultlocale I think you missed "not" on your comment? "I could not find any evidence [...]"
    – Andrew T.
    Sep 6, 2018 at 6:24
  • @AndrewT. You're right! Unfortunately, it's too late to edit it. I'm going to remove it now, to avoid confusion. Thanks! Sep 6, 2018 at 6:27
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    @user4012 I had the same thought, but it turns out that it really was in bad faith. See FanofComet's comment here. Sep 6, 2018 at 14:55
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    @indigochild That does make it pretty incontrovertible this was a bad faith question on the part of the asker. The question could in principle still be salvaged to either be a good one, or a good one to close (and then use for marking duplicates etc. should it come up again), though. I see you've gone ahead and already made an effort at that. Sep 6, 2018 at 21:33
  • @indigochild - good point. I changed my vote though I am really really ticked off by people declaring "troll" without evidence. Also, I know where the poster likely god an idea (there was a recent book which was named after that song and the author went on a publicity tour recently as far as i figured out. The book was actually serious)
    – user4012
    Sep 9, 2018 at 1:46
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    @user4012 your hesitance and irritation is understandable. I proceeded with a fair measure of caution before posting this, to include a review of the writers style across the multiple SEs. It didn't compute. The writers comment on September 3, referencing heart breakers and undertakers, clinched my determination. Sep 10, 2018 at 21:29

2 Answers 2


It's Too Broad

I agree that as it currently stands, it's not a great question. Questions like this are typically closed because they sound like a solicitation for users' opinions, rather than something that can be answered definitely.

I Edited It

However, I think the question can be made answerable by restricting its domain to some specific notion of "benefit".

Our guidance here recommends narrowing the scope of the question by specifying the question's terms and a body of literature. I reframed it as being about economic benefits which make war a rational choice. IMO that's narrow enough to be answerable, but whether or not that is what OP meant is anyone's guess.

It's in the Community's Hands Now

If OP doesn't like the changes, or if the community disagrees about re-opening it, then the question will likely die. A more experienced user could probably post a narrower version of it and be more successful.

  • Persnoally I'd prefer political benefits, possibly worded less subjectively as political systemic changes (see my Meta answer for where my thinking goes). perhaps worth a separate question?
    – user4012
    Sep 6, 2018 at 12:48

This is actually a reasonable question. It isn't high quality as worded, but with some clarification it has a core of a good question. Fully fits "good subjective" SE criteria, fully ontopic, can produce good answers.

Additionally, there are purely political benefits that would produce good answers - for example, a very good concise answer would cover the changes in governmental structures in England and France as a result of 100-year (err 113-year) war; and/or Westphalian nation state emergence as a result of 30-year war. (if the question is reopened, I call dibs on those topics in the answer :P )


  • As per @indigo's comment, the question's poster admitted that they intended it as a troll

  • This changes nothing about my opinion or this answer, as the question's worth is absolutely unrelated to intentions of the poster.

  • I suspect that (directly or indirectly) the question was influenced by a serious book on the topic ("The Worth of War"), which the author - a professor of political science at John Hopkins University - named after the song that the OP claimed inspired their question.

  • No complete answers can be given to this question, due to the massive scope in the subject of war. Sep 5, 2018 at 23:25
  • @DrunkCynic - reasonably complete summaries can be synthesized. I suspect someone like Indigo would even be able to do it based on decent reference material, to boot.
    – user4012
    Sep 5, 2018 at 23:26
  • On background: I spent a years worth of courses at the Naval Postgraduate School examining the value of war. Even as edited too only look at benefits, any question that fails to examine and explain the costs runs the risk of validating pyrrhic Wars with the same value of other conflicts. Sep 5, 2018 at 23:46
  • @DrunkCynic the validity of a question as SE question has little to do with whether there's a risk that an accurate answer to it will leave wrong impression in the big scheme of things.
    – user4012
    Sep 6, 2018 at 2:28

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