"There is no such thing as a stupid question."

If you’ve ever partaken in any sort of educational institution, it’s not unlikely that you’ve heard something along these lines from an educator. While it’s likely that this statement is thrown out in order to make the students more comfortable in inquiring about, well, anything, what does this exactly merit? What do you think about the statement in general?

I mean sure, every question requires SOME sort of brain power to register, but…:dubious:

Should I take off my skis before going through a revolving door?

Well, that’s a stupid question!

There are plenty of stupid questions, usually asked by people who ask them just to hear the sound of their own voice. I had a professor who actually kicked a guy out of our class for a week for asking a question every 5 minutes during lecture. We all applauded as he sulked out of the room.

Coincidentally, there seems to have been another thread on this exactly 1 year ago: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=640110

Knew I should have Google searched before putting a new thread up. :smack:

Should you? :stuck_out_tongue:

Well…stupid is subjective, and if for example I didn’t know what skis or revolving doors were…

Your professor acted like a jerk. So did you guys by clapping.:mad::frowning:

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

If a smart person asks a question that a stupid person wanted to ask, what does that make the question?

I would have given a standing ovation.

It’s a generic rule of thumb and not meant to apply to all situations. :wink:

I’ve heard a few stupid questions. However I think I’ve supplied even more stupid answers.

There are plenty of stupid questions, especially in school. My favorite question askers were the ones who waited until after the teacher was ready to dismiss, and the questions they asked were about something that was covered AD NAUSEUM in the lecture. What the hell were you doing during the entire lecture, sir or ma’am? You sure as hell weren’t listening like the rest of us.

As a teacher, I can state that without a doubt, 90% of the questions I get asked are stupid questions of the sort EMCEE_98 mentioned. Questions that actually show some insight or original thinking are few and far between.

Either you are one of those people who asks a ton of questions during class and argues openly with the professor in front of everyone just to let everyone know how “smart” your are or you have never had one of these in a class you are paying for and trying to learn in. We don’t have time to waste 30 minutes of class watching the self-aborbed-asshole show, so the professor acted appropriately after warning the student several times. It was awesome.

I’ve used that phrase in class plenty of times because so many students seem to be afraid to ask questions. Probably because they think everyone will think they are stupid. Usually there are others in the class thinking, “thank god someone asked that.”

On the other hand, I’ve gotten some damn stupid questions.

I do ask a lot of questions and argue, but not for the sole purpose of showing how smart I am. I do it when it feels like the right time to do it. Really, I have no fear of arguing with teachers. I am sure Socrates would have liked me as a student.

I would have applauded too. I hate people who ask stupid questions, and there definitely stupid questions. Sometimes I just want to let the teacher talk and you know, teach us.

You can argue in a philosophy or ethics class. Hell, I am taking an IT ethics class and expect there to be argument. STFU and LISTEN in an algebra class or in Visual Basic.

Unless you actually have Socrates as a professor I would refrain from arguing with your teacher.:rolleyes: Makes you look stupid. When the class is open for discussion, you discuss, not argue. There is a huge difference, and if you aren’t able to tell the difference you probably aren’t ready or mature enough for college.

Alright, maybe not argue. But questioning is harmless. Discussion and questioning is fine, isn’t it? I still wouldn’t have applauded though.

When I was in Basic Training all the training time was accounted for and blocked out in the training schedule. So things were no allowed to go overtime. The Drill Sergeants would allow questions but would get irrate at stupid ones. Particularly “what if” questions. Nothing bogs down training more than a bunch of what ifs. There is no way an hour class on any subject can cover every contigency. Thats why Basic Training is called “basic.” One Drill had his own way to deal it. When someone started a question with “What if…” he would turn to his platoon and say “First Platoon, What if!” And they would reply “What if you shut the fuck up!” Solved that problem.

A stupid question is one that indicates that the asker has not put any thought or effort into learning the subject. Asking the teacher to explain something he just spent an hour explaining is a good example.