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Thread: 'Why?'

  1. #1
    Rainy Day Member Ingrid in grids's Avatar
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    Question 'Why?'

    On their end of final year exam, Philosophy students at Cambridge were given the question: 'Why?'

    How would you answer this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    What a great question!! This would have to be the fundamental difference between modern man and what we believe we know, at this time, of the rest of the animal kingdom. Our need to understand why is what is fundamental to the evolution of man's skills and mind. It is this cognitive process that leads us to investigate that which we do not understand.

    We once thought that the animal world did not ask "why?", but now, through our own quest for "why?", we have been able to determine the capacity of many animals to solve problems to gain access to food, freedom and other rewards.

    We now know that they are capable of solving complex problems over time and in many instances passing that knowledge on via what we suppose is genetic memory. In order to do this their brains must be capable of asking the question "why not?" and working around that to find their solutions.

    Is this the precursor to the higher problem solving questions and the more abstract question of "why?"
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
    — Richard P. Feynman

    "Never tell a person a thing is impossible. G*d/the Universe may have been waiting all this time for someone ignorant enough of the impossibility to do just that thing."
    author unknown

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    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    now, I know that according to the urban legend the correct answer is "why not?" (coincidentally, that's also my blog title )

    being disagreeable though, I'd probably be tempted to say something like "because, like, I totally said so! "
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  4. #4
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maddy View Post
    On their end of final year exam, Philosophy students at Cambridge were given the question: 'Why?'

    How would you answer this?
    I got it now.

    Edit: I didn't know what else to do so I thought I would waste four years of college figuring it out.

  5. #5
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    "I hate to be a party pooper, but this question needs to be more specific."

    ..Might put an ascii Picard facepalm underneath or something.

  6. #6

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    Why not?

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  7. #7
    Phantonym
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    now, I know that according to the urban legend the correct answer is "why not?" (coincidentally, that's also my blog title )

    being disagreeable though, I'd probably be tempted to say something like "because, like, I totally said so! "
    Totally!

  8. #8
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    "Give me my money back."
    Johari Nohari

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. "--Niccolo Machiavelli

  9. #9
    Member Cephalonimbus's Avatar
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    Because it's an unanswerable question, therefore enabling us to perpetually ask it. Not because we have to, but because we can. It keeps us occupied while we live our lives and although it may seem like a sincere attempt to make life meaningful, deep down we know these efforts are futile and it's ultimately nothing more than an evolution of the monkey peeing in its own mouth (some of us still prefer that to philosophy). If you disagree, at least consider that philosophy professors wouldn't exist in a world where nobody questioned why, so i'm actually doing you a huge favor just by answering.
    ik sprokkel wat dagen, drop baggage,
    soms heb ik geen zin om die koffers te dragen,
    ik laat los, los het op, word onzichtbaar
    en geef de buitenlucht wat ruimte terug
    dus.. nu zit ik op m'n fiets alsof het niets is,
    maar niets kan toch niet uit zichzelf pedalen laten draaien?

    ~ Typhoon

  10. #10
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cephalonimbus View Post
    Because it's an unanswerable question, therefore enabling us to perpetually ask it. Not because we have to, but because we can. It keeps us occupied while we live our lives and although it may seem like a sincere attempt to make life meaningful, deep down we know these efforts are futile and it's ultimately nothing more than an evolution of the monkey peeing in its own mouth (some of us still prefer that to philosophy). If you disagree, at least consider that philosophy professors wouldn't exist in a world where nobody questioned why, so i'm actually doing you a huge favor just by answering.
    PARTY POOPER!!!
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

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