I know. You read the title, and you are already disagreeing. Maybe you are thinking about a question a person asked in one of your classes that the teacher already addressed, or a weird question you had a kid ask you once. We have all had one of those experiences, trust me. The questions, although they may have been tedious or random, still had value. Every question has a reason and a basis. Dumb questions simply do not exist.
First of all, your idea of calling a question “dumb” is not original. Many of us were told by teachers and parents to stop asking “dumb” questions when we were kids, but they never really told us what a dumb question is.
What is a dumb question?
Making an inquiry into something, especially as a child, is a sign of intelligence. A child inquiring about anything whether it be simple or complex is a sign that they are interested in the world around them, and are willing to understand it. By telling them that their question is dumb, you limit any possible mental growth. Kids who are told that their questions are dumb, grow up to be teenagers who still think their questions are useless. These are the kids who sit in classrooms, and have no idea what is going on, but because of their fear of sounding unintelligent choose to sit in silence. These are the kids that are stuck with a copious amount of questions, but have no outlet for said questions. This leads to being academically left behind as well as being socially awkward. If only they had been told that their questions deserved to be heard.
These socially awkward, and possibly academically stifled teens turn into ignorant adults. When a person is not able to receive answers to their questions, they create their own answers. Sometimes, these answers are ridiculous, and are entirely generated by biases. Maybe you know an adult who is ridiculously ignorant to many social, political, and economic aspects of life. You should ask them if they were ever told that their questions were “dumb”. The answer is, probably.
Questions are the basis of human existence. It is the questions of “who are we” and “what are we” that fuels the sciences, english, history and even mathematics. Without proper inquiries, where would we be ? How mundane would our existence be ?
To put it simply, there is no such thing as a dumb question. The question can be rude, tedious, random, complex or simple, but the question still deserves to be asked. The only “dumb” questions there are, are the ones that go unasked.