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Questioning the question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Vinayaka, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I recently recognised that for some reason I take a hard look at questions, before trying to answer the question. A lot of threads on here are put in the form of questions.

    Some of the questions I ask about questions are:
    1) Are there words within the question that may have differing understandings for different people. An example, for me, is the word 'meditation'. When I see that word, my immediate response is to ponder what the poster meant by that. Another example just recently was the word 'persecution'.
    2) Does the person who asked have an agenda or hidden purpose?
    Sometimes it's curiousity, sometimes it's to start a discussion, sometimes it's to confront, sometimes it's to proselytise. So what is the purpose of that question?
    3) Does the question really only involve a few people, and that has been assumed?
    For example, right now, referring to 'the election' refers to the American election, not the British election. This forum definitely has an American slant to it, as many, if not a majority of regular posters are American.
    4) Are there hidden assumptions of belief? For example, if the question is about why God did something, it just assumes that everyone reading is a believer in God, which isn't the case.

    What questions do you ask about questions? Or do you even ask questions about questions?
     
    #1 Vinayaka, Sep 30, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
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  2. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Sometimes I consider whether enough people have already answered.

    Sometimes I just let a question go unanswered.

    I wonder how much effort it would take to understand the question.

    Some questions are head bangers and the person has put zero effort into formulating the question and also isn't going to care what anyone says. That hurts my feelings.

    Sometimes I answer and lose sight of what was asked, and then I have to ask myself "What were they asking, again?"
     
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  3. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    Questions means Duality. Duality means Creation. Creation means Creativity. So, yes, questions have always multiple answers; all can be truth.
     
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  4. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    In addition, one other thought is assuming the OP is talking about herself when asking a multi-opinioned topic of discussion.

    I also noticed that sometimes asking or perfecting a question may be a waste of time because people rather argue Why you raised the question as if accusing people for their intent is the same as answering the question.

    Another with the meditation, percecution thing. I notice when an OP asks a question with a word/s that can be taken many ways, they're not asking you to search the dictionary nor are they asking to answer their own question for you (which is another way to attack intent and not the data), but Your opinion based on your definitions and your experiences.

    That annoys me "I can't answer unless you tell me what X means..." Which means the responders comment isn't his opinion but a means to berrade the OPs views.
     
  5. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I was in a Vietnamese restaurant yesterday, and there was a group of white middle-aged men, being so loud, obnoxious, and saying sarcastic things about certain politicians, that I couldn't help but think what the Vietnamese and other Asians that were there thought of all this loud-mouthed hub-bub? As a white man, it was embarrassing. But I had seen this many times before, including the times when I was in Europe and the Middle East. Certainly not all, or even most, are that way, but still...

    Yes, I ask myself a lot "Why am I here at RF?"! :shrug:

    To your question, my answer is yes on both. I meditate daily, although sitting meditation is not "my thing" because my monkey-mind chatters too much. So, I more use "walking meditation" and "early morning meditation" [the latter with a coffee cup in hand whereas my monkey-mind hasn't fully woken up yet]. Works for me. :)
     
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  6. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    Always.
    • My first question is always: "Who's asking?"
      • I've been in RF long enough to have developed stereotypes of a number of people. Occasionally, one of them surprises me.
      • Those on my "Ignore" list, I generally avoid like the plague.
      • I have to reflect a little longer for those who are not on my "Ignore" list before responding.
    • My next questions are "Does the subject matter in the question interest me? or does it invite me 'to play'?"
      • If the answers to those questions are "No" and "No", I move on.
      • If the answers to the questions are "Yes" and "Yes" and the questioner is not on my "Ignore" list, I'm in.
      • If the answers are "Yes" and "No", and the questioner is not on my "Ignore" list, I may be in or not.
    • Sometimes, I find out or realize that I've misunderstood the question, ... usually after posting a reply. Bummer! So I either delete my response or bail out of the thread.
    • I typically ignore questions by "Question Generators", i.e. folks who apparently don't own a dog but wish they did and would like to play "Fetch" with it.
     
    #6 Terry Sampson, Sep 30, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
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  7. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I usually try to examine the question to make sure I understand it and also whether the questioner might mean something different by it from what I immediately think. I also look at whether it betrays some assumption, agenda or bias that might make it hard to answer in the form in which it is put, and which might need to be challenged. And I take note of the questioner, as some questioners have particular interests, preoccupations or questioning styles and it can help to take that into account.

    So very much along the lines you indicate, really.
     
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  8. MNoBody

    MNoBody Well-Known Member

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    an observation to add is that people in general operate in one of 2 modes of mind with others....
    -competitive
    -collaborative
    which we all figured out as kids, [I'm assuming you all figured that out as kids anyway] as to who was "in league" with you and who was angling some other way, or against...even when talking with friends, one knew quickly if whomever you were talking with was into what you were talking about or was being obtuse.
    So why so puzzled about all this stuff we learned before grade school?
    did becoming adult make us into grade A-Dolts?
     
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  9. bobhikes

    bobhikes Nowoligist
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    1)My first question do I find their take on the question interesting.
    2) I do try and understand there wording for the question but I don't always get it right.
    3) Do I want to reply to the question
     
  10. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Gee, I do that a lot (ask them to clarify a term) . Now you have me wondering. I have difficulty answering a question if I don't understand the question, I guess.
     
  11. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I do not question the question and jump straight into answering. Any question about God, Soul, Salvation, Hinduism or Buddhism. I hardly have a question on my own. :)
     
  12. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    It's more of "what is god to you?"
    and someone says, "but what 'god' are you referring to?" or the definition

    If the question were answered appropriately, then those who do believe in god/s would answer according to their respective religions. However, if the commenter replies according to the OP's definition of god, it's no longer the commenter's opinion about the god they know but basing the answer on the god "they think" the OP knows because of the word not the context of it.

    It is like, for example, if you asked me what does reincarnation mean to me. I ask what do you mean by reincarnation. Then I answer based on what you meant rather than just admitting I don't know enough of it to form my own personal opinion.
     
  13. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Many people switch from competitive to collaborative depending on who they're with. Within their own tribe they're collaborative, but outside it, beware!
     
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