Note- This question is an extension from a discussion in the comments of this answer. Thanks to @denesp for the recommendation for this meta question, and @AlecosPapadopoulos for the cited answer above and a thoughtful reply!
Ultimately, I guess my question for the broader community is: what is the proper place for, and usage of, normative claims in an answer and/or question? I agree that normative statements should be minimized and positive statements should take overwhelming priority wherever possible, but does that mean there is no place for normative judgments/statements on Economics SE?
The main field where I see this issue coming to a head is in Social Choice. I'm concerned that a blanket ban on any normative evaluation severely undermines our ability to engage in some of the most well-published and historically interesting areas of social choice theory. Several of the most cited and well-regarded papers in that field incorporate ethics and value judgments, and therefore would themselves be considered "off topic" if they were discussed on the forum (assuming these judgments are banned, that is).
As a point of emphasis, some examples of this reality are:
Utilitarianism and Its Critiques
Harsanyi's 1955 work that is one of the early economic outlines of Utilitarianism proposes "to examine the precise ethical meaning of Fleming's crucial postulate" and examines it's "acceptab[ility] according to common ethical standards."
Diamond's 1967 critique of Utilitarianism also motivates itself largely on normative and ethical grounds, as he states "I wish to argue that one [of Harsanyi's axioms] is not consistent with notions of justice held by some individuals. Since this is an ethical discussion, the argument will take the form of an example which suggests the problem inherent in the axiom..."
Classical Texts in Bargaining Theory:
John Nash's 1950 paper on bargaining which justifies his solution primarily on normative grounds, suggesting "It is the purpose of this paper to give a theoretical discussion of this problem and to obtain a definite 'solution'- making, of course, certain idealizations in order to do so. A 'solution' here means a determination of the amount of satisfaction each individual should expect to get from the situation, or, rather, a determination of how much it should be worth to each of these individuals to have this opportunity to bargain."
Kalai Smorodinsky's 1975 alternative Itself is also motivated, in part, on ethical grounds. Monotonicity, as an axiom, is rooted in the perceived "unfairness" of comparing different solutions of bargaining games.
It seems difficult, in light of these crucial works in economic thought, to completely dismiss normative assessment on this site. However, that said, it clearly should only be applied when "necessary" (for lack of a better term). Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter?