To be fair, older CD-R discs can often be burned at far higher speeds than what they were originally rated. It isn't uncommon to be able to burn (good quality) 16x and 24x CD-R media at 32x, 40x and even 48x. But CD-RW media is a horse of a different color. It is much more particular about the speeds at which it can be burned. It is even picky about being burned at low speeds. For example, you can't burn 4x-10x CD-RW media at 1x.
So it wasn't a stupid question, just an uninformed question. And informing is what we are here to do!