Questions Or Answers?

Are you the type that prefers asking the question, or getting the answer? Questions can frame the issue; answers can be very enlightening.

Share why if you wish.

Questions Or Answers?

What Questions Should We Be Asking?

Due to a global pandemic, flaws in our society have been magnified. Economic inequality, racial injustice, and divisive politics are all huge problems. In order to address these issues, what questions should we be asking, as a society?

The Intellectual Roundtable blog is all about questions. Since starting in the spring of 2017, we have presented 373 questions (and counting!), some thought-provoking, some divisive, some silly.

But sometimes, even we don’t know what questions need to be asked. To make a better community for everyone, what questions should we be asking?

If we want to ease tensions between people with different opinions, what questions should we be asking?

For our blog to appeal to more people, or generate more comments and more interaction between readers, what questions should we be asking?

As we hope to build a more just society, particularly for those being treated unjustly, what questions should we be asking?

To leave behind a healthy, stable world for our children and their children’s children, what questions should we be asking?

Do you have an opinion? In short, what should we be asking?

Related questions: What is your favorite Intellectual Roundtable question? How are we doing? Curiosity or certainty? What makes you curious?

Curiosity Or Certainty?

If you know something for certain, there is no reason to be curious. If you show some curiosity, that means there must be something more to learn.

Do you think you are more certain, or more curious? What about the rest of society?

Share why if you wish.

How Can We Encourage Meaningful Conversation?

Sometimes it seems like conversation is a dying art.

We don’t talk much anymore. In-depth discussions have been replaced with small talk. Long, rambling phone calls are now five second Vine videos. A ten page, hand-written letter is now a text message.

Why is this?

Generally, there are many reasons for this change. Technology, in the form of smart phones and social media, encourages brevity. We are warned to avoid controversial topics as a way of keeping the peace. In addition, an entire generation of young adults have grown up online, where tone of voice and body language are non-existent.

As a result, we grow ever more isolated from those around us. People are not confronted with differing opinions. We don’t often talk to people with opposing views, and when we do it devolves to a shouting match. Violence is increasingly more common. Consequently, entire communities are dismissed and ignored.

Is it all bad?

And yet, we still crave conversation. We want to be intellectually stimulated. Ted Talks, for example, are wildly popular, and can be thought of as the first half of a conversation. The vlogbrothers, Hank and John Green, are YouTube celebrities based on their ongoing weekly video chats. So the desire exists in each of us for communication of ideas, and the act of sharing them with our friends and acquaintances.

So how can we revive the art of conversation? How do we overcome our dependency on the endless Facebook newsfeed scroll, and engage each other in an actual dialogue? Can we recapture the give and take, the challenge of ideas, the talk for sake of the talk? In short, to be exposed to new ideas and new points of view?

How can we encourage meaningful conversation?

Related questions: What do we have in common? How can we encourage debate? Are we too busy? How can we become better listeners? What do you get out of social media?