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NeroCorvo's avatar

What is the point of asking a question when you already know the answer?

Asked by NeroCorvo (1231points) May 8th, 2010

I am referring to when a question is posted as a legitimate query for information and as responses come in the asking party then argues each post made pushing their obviously firm opinion on the subject.

I saw this again today and have seen it in the past and am just curious. (I no longer respond to these because it is a waste of effort)

How is this helpful?
What is the point?
What are they getting out of it?
Why are they wasting other users time?

I am not in the least grumpy about this. I just want to know why some people use a legit Q & A site this way when there is so much to learn and be gained by asking real questions.

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16 Answers

DeanV's avatar

Status. Advance your own personal motives. Because people want someone to listen to them. The list goes on and on…

gailcalled's avatar

To show off; to garner points (much more difficult with new guidelines); to wile away some time without having to think..

poofandmook's avatar

@NeroCorvo: I sort of did this on a thread that I started recently. I know that in my case, I was simply trying to understand if the information that was being given could be untrue in some, rare cases. But the information being given was to explain a phenomenon that may or may not exist, except in some people’s minds. I was kind of playing devil’s advocate to see if it could possibly exist, despite scientific information that it doesn’t.

Confusing, maybe.. but that was my reasoning and I don’t feel like going and getting the thread link.

Ame_Evil's avatar

Socratic questioning: So we can further and strengthen our own knowledge on a subject.

Vunessuh's avatar

Out of boredom, to get attention, to gain points…among other things.
Some users don’t like to be proven wrong or they simply have a hard time hearing the truth. So when they post a question and most of the answers disagree with their viewpoint or give them advice/suggestions they don’t want to hear, they challenge everyone on it. It is in fact a waste of time when a user chooses to not be open to other perspectives. Sometimes people are just looking for others to agree with them and nothing more.

gemiwing's avatar

Because humans have an unending need to know they are not alone- even in what they think.

Sometimes I like those questions, it really depends on the tone of the discussion. I don’t mind a good debate- hate a pointless ‘nyah nyah’ argument though.

NeroCorvo's avatar

@poofandmook Interesting. I had not considered the devil’s advocate to learn how strong ones argument was. Thanks for the input it makes sense and helps me understand the reasons one * might * post that way. In any case I see that as a concept to learn which is of course what a Q & A site is all about.

@Ame_Evil Yes- that makes sense. Not sure why that did not occur to me.

I appreciate all the answers and think each holds some truth.

Berserker's avatar

Plenty of reasons, many illuminated here. In the times that I’ve done so for example, it was to seek some kinda confirmation. Sometimes you just have to know if you’re not crazy, by comparing your views with that of others. Being alone with your own thoughts and perceptions all the time is bound to cause the wiping my ass with tree bark syndrome.
I do argue too, but not very often, so I hope people don’t lump me in the dramaqueen category. I like to discuss opinions yes, whether I agree or not, but it’s funny how it takes so little on the Internet for something to be an argument, especially on a medium where activity length or who has the biggest thesaurus validates one’s significance and status.

I agree though, a lot of it is asinine, what bothers me the most is those kinds of questions that are actually statements. Like, isn’t Obama such an asshole?
You do good in evading this nonsense. I don’t mind discussing or exploring things that which I think I know, but even for my greatest hobby of all, wasting time, I can’t stand dramatics and those think it matters.

Really though, I can’t speak for anyone but myself. I really haven’t answered the question because I’m targeting thoughts and opinions fact is often treated as such so I think I’m valid anyways VS technical business, but it’s as you say…it may be sad, but when I need stone cold info, I look it up, I don’t ask it here.

DominicX's avatar

So, do you expect that when someone posts a question asking for opinions that they should not have an opinion on the subject?

Now, there are good ways and bad ways to go about it, but I happen to be someone who likes to argue, so if I post a question asking for people’s opinions, you’re guaranteed that I have an opinion on the subject as well and I will debate with people where appropriate.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Posting a question with the purpose of telling others why they are wrong not to believe as you do is usually motivated by a desire to promote their prior beliefs or to practice resisting alternative views.

When someone has an urgent need to have their believes be true despite lack of supporting evidence they argue for argument’s sake.

NeroCorvo's avatar

@Symbeline Well put. Great answer.

@DominicX Another great answer. I do not expect them to not have an opinion (and again I am only curious) It is interesting how at times their opinion is strong enough that the question appears to have been merely asked to bash anyone who disagrees.

I am finding these responses very enlightening and interesting. Personally I am not into verbal sparring but can see where it might be invigorating to others. The most interesting concept that has come up here is to strengthen ones viewpoint- perhaps to prepare for a coming challenge in real life.

@Dr_Lawrence Yes- Absolutely. There are some not preparing for anything but just enjoy the chaos. Thanks for the input.

Everyone: It is an interesting glimpse into human reasoning and I thank you.

Fred931's avatar

Is your answer similar to what others would offer? Is itIs it actually incorrect? Are there different answers for this same question, and what would those be?

Jeruba's avatar

In some cases because it isn’t a question at all but a statement of opinion masquerading as one.

YARNLADY's avatar

Very few situations have only one answer.

Cruiser's avatar

It’s no fun just answering questions so I will post a Q now and then just to find out what others think about something that interests me! Can be a lot of fun and quite informative!

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