I completely disagree with your philosophy.
To take a blanket approach like that, I'll be honest, is lazy of any educator.
Bottom line: They are getting PAID to do a job. I pay tuition in exchange for instruction and the school I choose claimed to have experts that could teach me how to be a nurse. They are not doing me a favor by showing up to class.
With very, very rare exception, all of the students, at least in my nursing program, are above average students. Like another poster said, if I ask a question in class, it's because I have read it, Googled it, researched it, and still don't have the answer.
If you have students in your class that are not at least trying to answer their own question, then by all means restrict your answering to THAT particular student, not to the entire class.
During my first semester, they threw a fit anytime anyone was 5 seconds late for class. The instructors only noticed on the very rare occasion that THEY showed up on time themselves. If I have to be on time, then I expect them to be on time.
Some instructors also have an excuse for every family emergency right down to a sick dog (yes, I had a clinical instructor call off 1/2 hour clinical day b/c she had to take her dog to the vet) as an excuse for not having an exam ready, handouts that were promised ready, etc.
Funny how when something happens in our lives, we get the "You need to get your priorities straight" speech.
I won't put every single instructor in that catagory. I just won't. There are people that bend over backwards to put together a quality class.
However, college instructors know full well that it's probably the only job in America that you can have...that no matter how badly you do at it, no matter how many complaints you get, the chances of you having to lift a finger to change it or lose your job is slim to none.
So yes, there are a few that take full advantage of that.
I have one that comes in frequently, walks to the front of the room, slams her books on the desk and says, "Everyone had better be quiet today b/c I'm just 'not in the mood' "
Well, I would like to throw back at her the same crap she throws back at her students: Leave your personal problems at home and pull on your big girl panties and deal with it.
Just b/c a student has a complaint DOES NOT mean it's automatically invalid or that "we don't understand".
We have expectations to...and should have every right to have those expectations met.
If teachers don't like answering questions...then it's the wrong profession for them.