There is fairly constant complaining on meta about the quality of questions and the overabundance of identity questions. There are also consistent concerns about attracting new users.

So a new user posts this question: Is the “fear of death” the most powerful impulse of the spirit for Batman? and we close it.

He has taken the time to transcribe a bit of dialogue from a Batman film and he is looking for the philosophical underpinnings for the statements made. This is an analysis question, which is allowed. It has been closed because members of the community think it will generate answers based on opinion instead of references. One member thinks the topic is too broad.

The user has asked for answers based in philosophy. Philosophy is a particular field of study which addresses questions of existence, knowledge, values and reason. Every analysis question involves some opinion, but we expect our members to substantiate their opinions with references - that's how analysis works. In this case, the user here has specifically asked that the answer be substantiated by philosophical reasoning.

How is understanding the basis for this bit of philosophical dialogue any different than understanding the meaning of the fly scene in Breaking Bad, whether Hitchcock was a feminist, whether Peter Venkman was a narcissist, why Mrs. Robinson didn’t want Benjamin to date Elaine, or whether Rear Window was making a statement about 1950s gender roles? Any of those questions could have generated unsubstantiated opinion or generated dissertation length answers, but we have rules for answers, so answers were concise and referenced.

It seems like we are closing a perfectly good question out of fear that we won’t be able to supply a good answer. Maybe instead of closing the question for fear answers might be bad, we should just downvote the bad answers and give people a chance to give good answers. As indicated in my comments, I have spent time researching this, I have an answer that I think might satisfy or at least interest the asker, it has linked sources, and it is not dissertation-length. This movie has many fans, so quite possibly there are others who could offer different research and perspectives. This is optimal functioning for a library, which is what SE aims to be building.

A library has absolutely no purpose when it turns customers and their questions away.

Please reconsider this question.

  • This question would not let me post unless I gave it the bug tag. I think there's a bug in the tagging!
    – MJ6
    Commented Jul 6, 2013 at 2:40
  • Just for the sake of security I'm gonna repeat my assurances here for everybody reading this. I think this question had very great potential and cannot support the opinion of it being primarily opinion-based or too broad. The only problem I had with it was, that it was poorly phrased and failed to make a sufficient relation of its topic to the movie itself. While MaryJoFinch's edits tried to somehow change this, they made the question much broader and it was not clear to me if they still represented the original author's intent...
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Jul 6, 2013 at 7:16
  • 1
    ...While quality and clarity have to be mainained it would indeed be bad to loose a good analysis question, so thank you for this excellent meta-question and I'm looking forward to a solution of this dilemma.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Jul 6, 2013 at 7:18
  • 1
    @MaryJoFinch Meta questions require one of 5 specific required tags. These help classify the type of question each meta question is aiming to be. The discussion tag that TylerShads put on this, is the appropriate one for this.
    – user209
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 14:08

2 Answers 2


I agree with @MaryJoFinch. This question needs to come back to life. But that's what the new 'put on hold' status is for!

The problem I think people have is that this is not a question with a single, definitive answer. But in cases like these, I think that is GOOD for this site. Why? Because it has the potential for a great answer. Truly great answers to questions like these will provide a survey of possible answers, arrive at a conclusion, and provide an argument to back it up. If others have a different point of view, they can express it-- hopefully in a comparably thorough way-- and the OP has the option to decide which is correct (it is their question, after all).

As an example (that is admittedly biased, as it includes myself as the OP and @MaryJoFinch as the provider of the accepted answer), examine the question I asked and MaryJoFinch mentions above asking whether Hitchcock was a feminist. Think about it. Before doing any research, one may surmise that he either was or he wasn't, and either could be right. It all depends on the presentation. In this case, MaryJoFinch does a good job of touching on relevant aspects of the debate while maintaining brevity. The relevant takeaway: someone could've posted another answer that says that he IS a feminist, and provide examples to prove it, and it could've been accepted.

We need questions like this on the site. People who write about film write about subjects like this. If we want truly challenging, in-depth, thought-provoking content, we have to recognize it and cultivate it; not shut it down.

As a concluding thought: I've made my own edit to the question in hopes that it maintains some semblance of the OP's original question while keeping it relevant and challenging. I hope it at least moves us in the direction of saving this question.

  • Thanks for your help!
    – MJ6
    Commented Jul 7, 2013 at 1:53
  • +1 Always agreed with that. And thanks for the edit on the question. As simple as it was, it improved the question by leagues, even if the part after the comma lets it glide a bit into the realm of general discussion again. But for now it might very well be enough to salvage it.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Jul 7, 2013 at 9:07

I dont know how "meta" works but let me explain my original question to everybody & Christian Rau as well. When i asked "How can fear of death give super-human ability to an individual" i was still including Batman because "Batman can be anybody" He doesnt have super-human powers. He is normal biologically unaltered human being.

We all know that "fear of death" ie dieing in the pit while his city, burned gave him ability to move faster than possible & climb out of the pit. Also, in the fight against Bane, it gave him the ability to be fight longer than possible. The "fight longer than possible" also includes him fighting longer than possible against the predicament & carrying over that bomb over the city & (attempted)sacrificing himself.

I want to know the philosophical connection b/w fear of death & perceived super-human ability with respect to Batman ofcourse which can apply to anybody.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .