Hypothetical Questions and Why They Are Agitating

I’m sure everyone has been asked a good few of these in their day.

“If you had to to pick…”

The whole idea behind a hypothetical question is kind of ridiculous to me. Basically, you set someone up in a mental frame of reference where they would never actually be (or at least it is very unlikely). Most of the time you are offering them two choices, neither of which they really like. The whole idea behind making someone pick between to equally implausible choices to find out which they consider the lesser of two evils just seems a little sick to me.

Why waste the time thinking about such unnecessary negative things? On top of that, I would also like to address the fact that they can’t make a solid, sound or reliable judgement for that given situation. The way people expect themselves to react in a given situation and the way they actually would are two entirely different things. I would be willing to bet that the two aren’t even all that connected.

The majority of the problem solving ability that a person uses when they are answering a hypothetical question is based off of who they want people to see them as and partially the flaws they see in themselves. This is a very skewed and biased assumption of actions.

When someone is actually placed in a situation where they have to make a decision between two less than amiable options, their reaction is based partially off of instinct and partially off of potential self-benefit/ potential harm.

The inaccuracies of the questions aside, that only begins to touch why I think hypothetical questions are really annoying. A lot of the time people use them to not-so-cleverly fold in their biased and xenophobic world views into a statement that they think will impress people with their comedic wit.

Congratulations, jerk, you just managed to make a racist/sexist/gender-biased/homophobic/religiously intolerant joke. How original!

So no, when you ask me “Would you rather be black or have to suck a guys penis?” I’m not impressed or amused. In my personal opinion, if the two worst things you have to worry about in your life are being gay or being dark skinned, your life must be truly blessed. Screw hunger, bills and well-being; all you have to worry about is the color of your skin and whether you find that guy whose eyes grazed past you on the subway attractive.

Don’t bother asking people what they think about situation they won’t be in. Don’t ask people to choose between things they wouldn’t ever have to. It doesn’t really accomplish anything (other than making you look ignorant 90% of the time.)

The moral: Keep it classy and intelligent.

-Benjamin

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Posted on February 18, 2014, in Daily Rantings and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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