PDA

View Full Version : Accusing people of asking "stupid questions" is a terrible idea



Peter1986
04-09-2017, 12:31 PM
Am I the only one who thinks this?
Personally I consider it to be fairly insulting and respectless to call someone's question "stupid", since any honest search for knowledge should be encouraged.
It is to some degree exactly this "stupid question" nonsense that discourages students at school from asking questions in class - because a lot of them are worried that their questions will be called "stupid" or get ridiculed in some way.
Some videos on YouTube and similar sites have made some attempts where they pretend that there are "no stupid questions" and then have characters ask questions that are supposed to come off as "stupid", just to try and make a counterargument;
but those videos usually fail pretty hard on that, because there isn't even anything wrong with the questions themselves - the are just asked in the wrong situations, like for example I remember a video like this that took place in a classroom and for some reason one of the students thought that this was a great situation to ask the teacher how her pet salamander was doing or something - and this was supposed to be a "stupid" question.
That's not a "stupid" question, it's just a question that should have been asked outside of class.
Another video had some guy ask how a thermos knows the difference between heat and cold - there is nothing "stupid" about that question either, he was basically just asking how a thermos works.

The way I see it, the only so-called stupid questions are the questions that should never ever be asked at all, since they would cause great concern.
For example, it could certainly count as a stupid question if an airplane pilot suddenly asked the passengers "um, how do you fly again?", since this would obviously be a sign of an alarming incompetence, and that pilot should get fired as soon as possible.
But as long as someone isn't trying to be mean to anyone, and as long as there is no reason to worry about something, then I consider it normal manners to give a polite answer to someone if they actually want to learn about something.
If a question comes off as "stupid" then you have most likely just not realised why it is being asked.
Imagine for example if someone suddenly has to take the bus in a hurry, and then asks the driver where it is heading.
Some people might react like "lol read the sign", but those people don't realise that this person may actually suffer from dyslexia and thus have problems reading signs quickly and accurately, or maybe they just didn't notice the sign even though they were looking for it.
There are lots of possible explanations like this.
If you think a question sounds weird, then you should ask the person why (s)he is asking that question instead of acting condescending.

Also, what does anyone get out of someone calling a question stupid anyway?
"Stupid question" - okay, and...?
Now that you have clearly expressed that you totally don't dig the other person's question, where are you hoping to go from there?
Is this just some attempt to express dominance by being like "hah! gotcha! now I made you feel stupid for a while"?
No seriously, nobody earns anything at all from this, it just annoys the questioner and that's it.

Sephiroth
04-09-2017, 01:36 PM
Humans are slimy, pretentious little sacks of flesh who can't handle the simplest thing in life and always have to make up for it by projecting their own insecurity, even if it is an insecurity they are not aware of because it lurks within. You will notice that there is only about 5% of mankind that is decent and that is me being generous.

This is the answer to the question you have not asked.

Peter1986
04-09-2017, 04:00 PM
Humans are slimy, pretentious little sacks of flesh who can't handle the simplest thing in life and always have to make up for it by projecting their own insecurity, even if it is an insecurity they are not aware of because it lurks within. You will notice that there is only about 5% of mankind that is decent and that is me being generous.

This is the answer to the question you have not asked.
It's too bad that you feel that way about all of humanity, I would suggest that you learn to see the good in people as well.

That said though, it does seem fairly common among people to call questions "stupid" just because they personally think the answer is obvious.
I feel that it's just a waste of time to act that way, instead of just giving a response right away, and I hope that as many as possible who are reading this thread will think about that.

Sephiroth
04-09-2017, 04:04 PM
It's too bad that you feel that way about all of humanity, I would suggest that you learn to see the good in people as well.



I do see the good. However, I am a person that neurotically analyzes every situation and know that often the answer is simple and ultimately broken down most people have a corrupted inner layer of personality. I prefer people who have their bad side on a more on the outside-lying layer with their core being more dependable and friendly. Having actual knowledge about psychology also helps me with this but very often it is just basic logic you have to follow.

Jinx
04-09-2017, 05:04 PM
Clearly you've never worked in the service industry.

DMKA
04-09-2017, 05:11 PM
Why do hot dogs come in packages of ten but buns come in packages of eight?

Peter1986
04-09-2017, 05:13 PM
Clearly you've never worked in the service industry.
Actually I have - I sold packs of ice cream to people for a couple months a few summers ago (and it was very common to cover many square miles every day), and I frequently answered various questions without being a jerk, because service people are supposed to be polite to their customers.
I have also had a few job where I came in frequent contact with people who could have questions about things there, and I basically just answered their questions, like any good service person would do, that's best for everyone - they get answers to their honest questions, and nobody feels insulted in any way.

If someone feels the need to ask a question about something, then that question is important to them, and that's all that matters.
And if the answer seems "overly obvious" or whatever then that's no big deal, this can happen to anyone.
I highly doubt that you have never ever asked a question that turned out to have a simple answer.

Jinx
04-09-2017, 05:19 PM
Clearly you've never worked in the service industry.
Actually I have - I sold packs of ice cream to people for a couple months a few summers ago (and it was very common to cover many square miles every day), and I frequently answered various questions without being a jerk, because service people are supposed to be polite to their customers.
I have also had a few job where I came in frequent contact with people who could have questions about things there, and I basically just answered their questions, like any good service person would do, that's best for everyone - they get answers to their honest questions, and nobody feels insulted in any way.

Oh, believe me, I know how to give excellent customer service.

That doesn't change the fact that there ARE actually stupid questions in the world. And "why is there so much green in my salad?" definitely takes the smurfing cake.

I don't disagree with you that people can answer questions in a way that's kind and without being condescending. But that doesn't mean that some questions are just stupid, not merely ignorant of a subject matter.

EDIT: You're right, I have asked questions with simple answers before. And they were really stupid questions, and I don't mind admitting that. Everyone asks stupid questions and it doesn't mean we should make people feel bad for that, but not wanting to hut others doesn't mean that stupid questions don't exist.

Sephiroth
04-09-2017, 05:22 PM
How can it be an "actually stupid question" when there is no natural law about what is stupid and no universally right scale of stupid questions. Other people can still be fine with what what you would people beat for just because they were asking it. We have to set a certain standard but that standard is not the only existing one and definitely nothing everyone lives with.

Jinx
04-09-2017, 05:24 PM
In what way in my entire post of "yes, you can still answer people with respect and kindness" did you get the idea that I would "people beat" someone over a question?

Sephiroth
04-09-2017, 05:25 PM
In what way in my entire post of "yes, you can still answer people with respect and kindness" did you get the idea that I would "people beat" someone over a question?

That was more of an exaggeration to talk about you being annoyed by such people.

Jinx
04-09-2017, 05:28 PM
In what way in my entire post of "yes, you can still answer people with respect and kindness" did you get the idea that I would "people beat" someone over a question?

That was more of an exaggeration to talk about you being annoyed by such people.

There's nothing wrong with feeling annoyed, it's how you respond to the person that annoys you that matters.

Sephiroth
04-09-2017, 05:34 PM
In what way in my entire post of "yes, you can still answer people with respect and kindness" did you get the idea that I would "people beat" someone over a question?

That was more of an exaggeration to talk about you being annoyed by such people.

There's nothing wrong with feeling annoyed, it's how you respond to the person that annoys you that matters.

The point of my post was not to say that you should not be annoyed or respond with behaviour xyz. It was to question why you think there are truly stupid questions when we have no universal scale to measure them with as nothing in nature says "okay, this level is the stupid one". You feel questions are stupid because you have a certain standard.

Jinx
04-09-2017, 05:41 PM
In what way in my entire post of "yes, you can still answer people with respect and kindness" did you get the idea that I would "people beat" someone over a question?

That was more of an exaggeration to talk about you being annoyed by such people.

There's nothing wrong with feeling annoyed, it's how you respond to the person that annoys you that matters.

The point of my post was not to say that you should not be annoyed or respond with behaviour xyz. It was to question why you think there are truly stupid questions when we have no universal scale to measure them with as nothing in nature says "okay, this level is the stupid one". You feel questions are stupid because you have a certain standard.

I suppose that's not untrue, and I do have certain expectations of some people. A person who goes out of their way to order a salad--a food item they know will be made of leafy, green vegetables, who then asks "Why is my salad so green?" is asking a stupid question. Even if they only eat iceberg lettuce, they are affluent enough to afford to eat out, they are still alive, therefore I can assume they grocery shop on a somewhat consistent basis, and even if they never buy anything other than iceberg lettuce, they have seen other forms of lettuce. Hence, they should know why their salad is green when they receive it. This is a stupid question.

And it's just one example, but a legitimate one based on something that actually happened to me. xD

Karifean
04-09-2017, 06:32 PM
Better to ask a stupid question than not to.

Citizen Bleys
04-09-2017, 08:00 PM
What was Hitler's last name?

Peter1986
04-09-2017, 08:27 PM
What was Hitler's last name?
That is his last name.

I am not sure why you are asking that question in this thread though, since considering the fact that you have become a member on this forum you should be familiar with how the Internet works and be able to google it - it seems a bit out of place to ask that question here of all places, just like that scenario when someone asked a teacher about her pet in the middle of a lesson.
But if you actually wished to find out about this for one reason or another (maybe for some history homework or something, just to make sure that you get the etails right) then that's cool.

Also, I have never said anything about having personal opinions about whether a question is "stupid" or not, all I have said is that I find it quite rude to accuse someone of asking "stupid" questions;
this comes off to me as some form of attempt to belittle someone else, which is never okay.

Mirage
04-09-2017, 08:32 PM
Would you say he asked a stupid question, peter?

Sephiroth
04-09-2017, 09:00 PM
Bleys' question flew right over Peter's head, hitting the next-best wall.

Citizen Bleys
04-09-2017, 09:44 PM
I can never remember: Was it Orville Reddenbacher who made mankind's first powered flight, or was it the Marx Brothers?

Pumpkin
04-09-2017, 11:22 PM
I can never remember: Was it Orville Reddenbacher who made mankind's first powered flight, or was it the Marx Brothers?

I think it was Aunt Jemima honestly