Why is the most ignorant question in the English language. What’s that?
Why? Do you ask.
For two reasons.
One it is used not because the asker does not know something and truly wants to understand. That question which is rare is a fine and is at the heart of all scientific discovery. Most often why is asked in the form of “why should I believe you” or in the “you have to justify yourself to me” way. For example
Nancy: “Hey Jim, do you want to get chinese food for dinner?”
Jim: “ No, I’m good.”
In situations like this Nancy is not happy since she wants chinese food and now Jim won’t get it with her. So she may argue about bullshit, sell him on it like a commercial, and talk about nothing until he concedes. If Jim falls for the bait and justifies himself to Nancy then she wins.
The problem with the why questions is there could be hundreds of different reasons why he does not want chinese food. He might not be hungry, he had it last night, hell he might not even know why himself. Which leads to the correct response to people when they give you this kind of why?
Jim: I didn’t know I needed a reason. I’m a 35 year old man I just don’t want it.
Don’t fall for the bait and justify yourself to the other person. You just open up the conversation to more arguments for the thing you don’t want. You’ll get bombarded with reasons why you SHOULD want what the other person wants. Shut it down as soon as it pops up.
Second reason, it’s used in the form of “why should I listen to you?” It’s about hierarchy and command. It happens at work, with friends, everywhere. Often times this “why” is asked by a subordinate after being given a task; like sweeping a floor.
Drone Manager: “Employee 614, can you please sweep the shop floor first thing this morning?”
Employee 614: “Why?”
Now in this situation the manager could explain about safety, presentation to customer, and so on but then he gets into a string of arguments and justifications with the employee. A sort of role reversal occurs and the manager becomes subordinate to the employee and what he decides. The correct response is the same you would give a child.
Drone manager: “Because I said so.”
Why is a question of power. When it is asked the questions is “Who’s the leader?”