Saturday, October 17, 2009

Why Ask Why?

Of the interrogatives who, what, when, where, why, and how, one of them does not belong. One of these question words can never, in any situation, be conclusively answered: 'why.'

You might think that this is not the case, but follow this example:

"Why does ice float?"
-because ice is less dense than liquid water
"Why is ice less dense than liquid water?"
-because when ice freezes, the hydrogen and oxygen form a crystaline structure with more "empty"(molecular space) than liquid water
"Why does it form a crystaline structure with more "empty" space?
-because molecular structures are based on electrical properties or the constituent atoms
-uhm, because.

In every instance, 'why' questioning will get to a point where science fails us. This is the realm where philosophy and religion attempt to provide us with an answer. Because it is only after exhausting all empirical approaches that one would find themselves trusting what can only be conjecture, you have to wonder:

Why even bother asking a question that you can never get an answer to?