Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why ask ‘Why?’?” you ask? Good question. (It sure beats answering the question: “Why do my boyfriend and I make these farting sounds when we ****?”)
No, this isn’t about a beer commercial. (Mind you, the consumption of alcoholic beverages often accompanies the creation of these responses but Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc has not sent your rockin’ writer a check or even cases of free samples, mmmkay?)
To answer this question we may have to consider both philosophical and scientific sources. The question “Why ask ‘Why?’?” certainly expresses a deep philosophical perplexity considered by many educated individuals to be significant in its own right.
In case this column is ever read by aliens from another planet, it is important to note that humans can be curious creatures. We seek explanations. Steve Ayan once commented in Scientific American that while asking “why?” is especially significant in terms of the scientific community it is by no means limited to that one group.
We seek justification. (“Why does that guy get paid more than I do?”) We seek consolation. (“Why is my life always so complicated?”) Sometimes we seek scientific explanation. (“Why is the sky blue?”)
Ayan said: “Even preschoolers ask why, and indeed may do so to the exasperation of adults. Yet adults seek to understand things, too.” He believes that we ask “why” because “explanations give us some control over our lives.”
In fact, he interviewed psychologist Tania Lombrozo at the University of California at Berkeley. She stated that we ask “why” because “explanations give us a sense of control.”
She added: “Explaining the present can help us prepare for the future. We try to explain the world around us.”
Why ask ‘Why?’? Now you know.
You ask the questions. We provide the answers.
American Live Wire . . . Listen and be heard.