Questions are the answers
by Parvez Sheik Fareed
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I remember a joke I heard when I was around 16 years old:
A guy asks a Jew: “Why do Jewish people always answer a question with another question?” The Jew replies: “Why shouldn’t they?”
I like that joke because it’s funny and smart. By shooting the question back he does two things at once: he classifies the assumption as true as long as the guy who made the assumption can provide a convincing rationale that backs it up. If he lacks to provide some sort of argument, his assumption will go down the drain in no time.
We all make assumptions. And it’s not about whether the assumptions are right or wrong, it’s about providing solid arguments that will back up your assumptions.
What I find particularly interesting about replying with a question is the fact that it provides an opportunity to understand how people tick.
Let’s assume you and I have a discussion. We both have different opinions. Now I want to know on what you base your rationale. By challenging your opinion I can determine whether your view is your personal view or just something you parrot without further thinking.
When you come up with a solid argument that supports your opinion I can understand your views better. It doesn’t mean I have to share them, but they will give me the chance to see things with your eyes. But I can only see things with your eyes when your argument contains your own thinking. A lot of people just blab what they hear. When you dig deeper they can’t come up with a compelling case. At some point they will either get upset that you keep asking questions or they react in a fashion such as “Well, that’s just how things are”. That’s the world of stupid people.
An opinion is only solid as long as the rationale that substantiates the opinion results in further clarity. That’s why questions are pretty powerful.
Question everything. Question this blog. Question yourself.