loaded questions

Discussion in 'Language Notes' started by abu Hasan, Jul 12, 2006.

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  1. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    quite interesting. a mischief maker asked a question posted elsewhere on this forum. look at the way his question is formed:
    now, if one answers this question without being careful the accuser can twist it to his purpose. i don't know if it is incidental cleverness or purposeful deceit, but a classic case all the same. like once a bbc interviewer asked the nigerian religious minister: 'Do you think Islamic punishments are cruel'

    for example someone answers: 'no'
    the accuser gets back saying: 'so you cannot answer' probably, adding his bit 'because you are guilty'

    suppose someone answers: 'yes, it is a lie'
    the accuser can get back saying: 'barelwis agree that ahmed raza khan insulted the mother..'

    the reason is because these are two questions rolled into one.
    1. can you answer?
    2. did imam ahmed raza insult.....

    which deserve two separate answers.
    1. yes, i can answer.
    2. no, he did not insult; and hence the accusation is a manifest lie.

    socrates resorted to it sometimes - even though his reasoning was brilliant otherwise - and you will find examples in plato's republic.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2006

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