As most readers may recall, I LOVE questions. Jesus was constantly raising important questions. I think we should emulate Him, and I think we should practice by asking all sorts of questions. So, when I ran across a Blog Post at the Colson Center that dealt with questions, I wanted to share a bit of it.
The first question raised in the essay was, “What do you mean by that?” It’s a good question to ask, because communication is difficult and people don’t always mean what they say. Likewise, I have heard it said that he who gets to define the terms always wins the argument.
The second question is a crucial one, “How do you know that is true? As a scientist, I deal with issues of what we know, and what evidence is there. Some strongly held beliefs have very little evidence supporting them. Sometimes our opinions are only that, strongly held, but not based on truth.
A related question is, “Where did you get this information?” We are naturally biased, and we are always looking for information that supports our beliefs, whilst simultaneously ignoring info that contradicts our beliefs. This is true for scientists, just like everyone else, so we go to some lengths to design our experiments to minimize our biases. Recently many scientific journals began requiring us to report any potential conflicts of interest, just because our biases are so strong.
The follow-on question then is, “How did you come to this conclusion?” And, of course this is crucial because sometimes conclusions come from bases other than facts. Sometimes our conclusions are first, and the data supporting these are ought afterwards.
The last l two questions are, “What if you’re wrong? And What if you’re right?” Ideas have consequences. Pascal’s wager is an excellent illustration of the importance of consideration of consequences.
I like questions, and think questions are a valuable way to learn.
What do you think?