• Peter Barus

    May 3, 2023 at 1:17 pm

    I want to ask, in which hemisphere does a question about weakness/strength arise?

    Here is a bit from a book I’m working on now, approaching this from another direction:

    “We live in a world of answers. We hardly notice that they are really questions, and almost never return to the questions they are supposed to have settled. For example, nobody ever asked the absurd question implicit in the statement: “A Woman’s Place Is In The Home.” The real question that got that answer was about why women were not allowed to vote. In several countries that question still elicits that silly answer.

    “This trick of switching questions by answering a different one used to be called “begging the question,” a cheap debating-club ploy to deflect attention from an argument that won’t withstand a second glance. A bit of rhetorical jujutsu that has taken on enormous power since the advent of global electronic information networks, when critical new social infrastructure was built on groundless arguments propped up by absurdities taken for answers.

    “When questions marked “answered” may be safely forgotten, we live in a closed world where every question comes with its answer, the answer, just waiting to be found, to convert the question into a fact of everyday reality. Often we settle for answers without the questions, and call a person “educated” when they have memorized enough of them.

    “Why don’t we ask better questions? That question has a good, solid answer: because we see questions as stepping-stones across uncertainty, not as doorways to possibility.”