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Bar Tender/ Night Porter/ Aspiring Writer/ Part time philosopher,

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Are there questions that we're too afraid to ask?

For what-ever reason be it that it confronts us with something we don't want to face, puts us out of our comfort zone or has a danger of bringing up contraversial topics.
If there is such case is that an example of where we chose igonrance over turth or comfort over curiosity?
And what wider implication has that got for the pursuit of truth if we are unwilling to ask all questions?
By the way if you can think of such a question feel free not to ask it if you really don't think it should be asked.

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    Jul 20 2012: I agree with Ed and Deb ..... It is not the question we are afraid of it is the answer. Some questions are embarresing such as doing DNA testing to find out who the father is. Some are more critical as in health or crime. To find out you have been taken advantage of or used by a spouse or sibling would be heartbreaking.

    The problem is that deep within we already know the answers to some of the most dreaded questions and either do not want to or cannot face the facts.

    All the best. Bob.
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      Jul 20 2012: I thought the same, Bob. I have known people who specifically do not want to know whether they have inherited the gene for diseases that run in their families.
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      Jul 20 2012: I agree Robert and Fritzie,
      I also believe that deep within we already know the answers to some of the most dreaded questions (instinct/intuition), and either do not want to know, or cannot face the facts. Perhaps sometimes we don't want to accept responsibility/accountability for some choices we have made?

      I've spent a lot of time with sick and dying people, who invite me to be with them because I know a little bit about how the body/mind works, am comfortable with the process, and can sometimes help them manage a physical/emotional challenge.

      Often, with the very best intentions on their part, they simply do not want to have information that may help make the process easier. A couple very simple practices I often suggest are deep breathing, meditation, yoga and things like that. People often do not want to know how they themselves can manage pain and discomfort. They often simply want it "fixed" with external intervention. So, they ask for help/guidence, then are unwilling to take the steps needed to provide that help for themselves.

      Personally, I cannot think of any question I'm afraid to ask. Knowledge is power. The more information we have, the better able we are to deal with any situation....in my humble perception. That being said, we also have the ability to choose why, when, where and with whom we want to ask a question, and whether or not we listen to and assimilate the answer!
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    Jul 19 2012: Yes.
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      Jul 20 2012: I do not think so, but I do think there are a few that I would be afraid, or reluctant to answer and so would not bother to answer.
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        Jul 20 2012: So you would not be afraid to ask the question so long as you never had to hear the answer? I'm with you there young lady!
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          Jul 20 2012: I can imagine a few inappropriate questions that my spurious curiosity could come up with so I have to assume others might frame those questions if their self monitoring was off line and if so, I would have no real interest in hearing the answers.and no one who was healthy would need to hear my answers to them either.
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        Jul 20 2012: There I go again making assumptions. I was looking at Mr. Gorniak's question as dealing with appropriate public forum questions. I see your point and share your aversion to such conversations. I do think there are questions which would not be considered inappropriate but we do not ask for any number of reasons. Be well Debra.
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          Jul 20 2012: I am afraid that assumptions might be my own error, Edward, not so much yours. Could you illuminate the sorts of reasons we do not ask those questions, please. You please be well too, Edward.
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        Jul 20 2012: Debra-
        I really can't add meaningfully to what the other contributors have said. I think the behavior is often a form of cowardice, a way to escape reality. Sometimes we don't ask, or want to be told, because we feel there is nothing we can do about it if it is true, so we'd rather not know. Perhaps it should be called the Colonoscopy Syndrome. I think it may be tied to the adage, "No news is good news."
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    Jul 19 2012: I think people are more afraid of honesty than they are of asking questions.
    Sometimes answers or solutions are not as easy as people are ready to accept.

    And lies, ignorance, laziness and convinience seems the easy way out.
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      Jul 19 2012: Feyisayo,
      I do agree with you.people may not be so reluctant in putting forward there questions,they may be indeed in getting back the answers.
      answers may not be as we wish it to be but i don't think if we wish the answers to be the way we want it to be then there is no point in asking questions.the last four attributes as stated by you do may play a role in it.
    • Jul 19 2012: But do some questions not require a degree of honesty? An honesty to admit that there are things we don't know or don't want to know?
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        Jul 20 2012: If there are things that we dont want to know, then why ask questions about them? Or better put, in asking questions i assume that one is on a search for truth. If not, then why the question?
        If it is a search for truth, then certain truths may not be as simple as one has thought them to be.
        Sometimes in providing honest answers you have to come in contact which those things which you may not want to know.

        Because if you ask a question, and you've already set the bounds for the answer, then a rational mind should question your motive for ever asking the question.
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    Jul 19 2012: Howdy David
    Yea there are mostly for.personal reasons. Like the truth they can't or won't face. There's the old ostrich sindrom bury that head I didn't see it didn't hear it must not have happened.
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      Jul 20 2012: Good point, Mr. Cawford. The Ostrich Syndrome is a manifestation of the old adage, "What you don't know can't hurt you."
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        Jul 20 2012: Howdy Mr. Long
        Yes sir and then they pull there head out and whine about something just don't know how it happened. Thank you and mornin to y'all.
  • Jul 20 2012: Thank you Mr. Gorniak, you really started me thinking with this question.

    I think there are a great number of questions that individuals do not ask because they are afraid of the answers.

    I think many people do not ask, What must I do to fulfill my dream? Receiving an accurate answer would force them to decide whether their dream was worth it.

    But there are other reasons to be afraid when asking a question: Fear of being laughed at; of being thought stupid; of being thought conceited or superior (for an especially erudite or philosophical question); of just not being answered, which could be embarrassing. Some people might be afraid to learn that there is no answer to a question; the answer is unknown or even unattainable. Sometimes the only good answer to a question is to point out that the question is in error in some way. When did you stop beating your wife? Who wants that thrown back in their face?

    I believe that I have little or no fear of asking questions, but recently I thought of a question about the word certainty. I drafted an explanation of the answer I was pursuing, and it became so long I found it embarrassing just to read it myself. I am thinking of asking for help to edit it down to an acceptable size. I am not sure myself whether I was actually afraid to ask this question.

    I wonder if there are people who read our discussions and become afraid to ask questions because of what we write here. Could we be unintentionally causing people to fear asking a question?
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    Jul 20 2012: Hi, I think I might not have tis particular issue because I am so eager to learn and I am a serious question asker.
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    Jul 19 2012: i wanna ask this-'y we need to work hard in order to succeed?'
    • Jul 19 2012: I like to work hard in order to succeed but when i think of success, i try to seperate it from the capitalist imgae of success. So for me the success of my hard work is a reward that i have set i.e. i work hard for my own image of success and not for the image of success of others.
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      Jul 20 2012: Hi Chetan and David,
      For me, there is success in the journey, so the "working hard" part is a valuable part of the end result, and it's all connected. As you insightfully say David..."I work hard for my own image of success and not for the image of success of others".

      For me, success is a way of travel, not simply a destination.
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        Jul 21 2012: Hello Colleen,
        Impresive.
        Learned:'Work hard without thinking of the end result.'
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          Jul 22 2012: Hello Chetan,
          Yes...I agree...and for me there is a little more:>)

          I LOVE dreaming, pondering, contemplating, and imagining the possibilities of an end result, and I do not get attached or dependant on a certain result. I think/feel that is why the whole process seems like "success" to me. When we are enthusiastic and excited with the process, the creative juices are flowing, the logical mind and intuitive heart are working, and there is synchronicity. Actually, I call life work/play:>)
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    Jul 19 2012: I recall reading somewhere that we are statistically way overdue for a significant meteor impact. Could anyone substantiate that? If so, are there any soothing considerations to go along with it? If it's on the way, and couldn't be deflected by any means, would you want to know? I would.
    • Jul 20 2012: First, congratulations on an excellent set of questions.

      Overdue? Don't know. Not sure it matters because the source of the statistics is very questionable and because the date of the next collision is set, whatever the statistics might be.

      Soothing considerations? There are some very smart people working on deflecting it. While I hope they do, and wish them luck, if the next collision comes in the next two or three decades, I doubt that they will be successful.

      Would I want to know? Definitely. I would want to get the best possible view. If its going to kill me in any case, I at least want to watch a last great spectacle.