Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunday Intellectual Question: The Da Vinci Code Questions

The Da Vinci Code seems to be a hot topic these days. A number of the people who love the book and it’s ideas have said that “the questions opened their minds”, “made them think”. Thinking is good. One shouldn’t just stumble around hoping the person talking the loudest also happens to be right. One should definitely ask questions, but questions themselves are tricky things. I don’t think they are benign entities giving any number of  answers out of the ether. Questions can provoke thought, spark lively debate, and bring to light truth. However, questions can also point straight to the answer giving little room for thought at all.

Should questions themselves be examined? Should they be made to prove their worth before being answered? Can even leading questions be useful for learning? Ah ha! Now, let’s see if anyone finds this question worth answering!  


Joel said...

Questions... there is an old saying that there is no dumb question. Of course there is: The unasked question!

Questions, by themselves are just sentences that usually request a response. Usually, because there is such a thing as a rhetorical question that only seeks an internal answer on the part of the reader, suggested as matter of fact by the very question.

Therein lies the problems with questions: the questioner can posit a question that demands only one answer according to their design! Most often we do this harmlessly, but when you get into a discussion with a skilled orator you can suddenly find yourself admitting that you are no better than a stuffed chicken!

Plato was fabulous at this in his recorded conversations of his teacher, Socrates. The Socratic method of teaching is fantastic, but can be abused, just as anything, to fit a person's mold. I like to use this when I teach, though I pray that I never abuse it (though it can be handy to shut some people up when you place them in a corner... much fun! - Mea Culpa).

Just some musings on questions. Did I answer your question? ;-)

Cara said...

No. Or was that rhetorical. Oh dear.