Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 17 September |
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Quests for Knowledge are Overrated

Gwendal Uguen

Jace Yarbrough - Humane Pursuits - published on 11/29/13

Three reasons why questions are important for human life

I like questions. Don’t worry, this isn’t another worn out tribute to the “journey for understanding” vis-à-vis actually understanding something. Neither is it an endorsement of the statements posing as questions that suffocate contemporary debates about…well everything.

Look at these questions from our greatest Teacher. Read them slowly, one at a time–look at how much unpacking and practical knowledge is involved in even analyzing the implications of each one, let alone answering it:

Where are you?

Where is your brother?

Why is your heart inclined to evil?

Have you not read the scriptures?

But what about you? Who do you say that I am?

To be a little simpler and Internet-friendly, here are three reasons why we like questions:

1. They Tend Toward Spontaneity

Contrary to what you learned in law school, the best questions are the ones you don’t know the answers to. Ignorance lets conversation flow from an upcoming wedding to the ways gender might determine the influence of myth and story on decision-making. For further insights into why we’re bully for the unplanned, please see Mr. Brown’s recent article.

2. They’re Communal

Try as they might, automatic garage door openers can’t change the basic fact that we are not alone. Life is best when we’re forced to share it. We need others and otherness to even have a chance at contentment. The best questions acknowledge the distinctness of an other and attempt to sympathize with and share in it.

3. They’re Lasting

The world of today has never existed until now. True, but still there is nothing new under the sun, and human nature is what it has always been. Good questions are much better than statements at working within this paradox. Like any adept leader, they anticipate man’s selfish tendency and concentrate his noblest sentiments on the essence of the topic at hand. Peripheral issues of time and place don’t become irrelevant, but they almost answer themselves.

We like questions, or at least we like good ones, for the same reasons we like walking to work, and wine, and Facebook (well, most of us like Facebook), and generally anything with dust on it. They’re life giving.

Originally published by Humane Pursuits.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.