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Eric Holder

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"It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’" Holder wrote. "The answer to that question is no."
Five questions: Targeting Americans on U.S. soil, CNN, March 8, 2013.

Eric Holder

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It means "Ask the next question." Ask the next question, and the one that follows that, and the one that follows that. It's the symbol of everything humanity has ever created, and is the reason it has been created. This guy is sitting in a cave and he says, "Why can't man fly?" Well, that's the question. The answer may not help him, but the question now has been asked.
The next question is what? How? And so all through the ages, people have been trying to find out the answer to that question. We've found the answer, and we do fly. This is true of every accomplishment, whether it's technology or literature, poetry, political systems or anything else. That is it. Ask the next question. And the one after that.

Theodore Sturgeon

They will ask: "Who gave you the Teaching?"
Answer: "The Mahatma of the East."
They will ask: "Where does He live?"
Answer: "The abode of the Teacher not only cannot be made known but cannot even be uttered. Your question shows how far you are from the understanding of the Teaching. Even humanly you must realize how wrong your question is."
They will ask: "When can I be useful?"
Answer: "From this hour unto eternity."
"When should I prepare myself for labor?"
"Lose not an hour!"
"And when will the call come?"
"Even sleep vigilantly."
"How shall I work until this hour?"
"Enhancing the quality of labor."

Nicholas Roerich

Congressman Nixon had asked me why, as the son of immigrants who had been treated so well by Americans, as a man who had been treated like a son and been sent to Harvard by an American capitalist, I had been so ungrateful to the American economic system.
The answer I gave him was not original. Nothing about me has ever been original. I repeated what my one-time hero, Kenneth Whistler, had said in reply to the same general sort of question long, long ago. Whistler had been a witness at a trial of strikers accused of violence. The judge had become curious about him, had asked him why such a well-educated man from such a good family would so immerse himself in the working class.
My stolen answer to Nixon was this: "Why? The Sermon on the Mount, sir."

Kurt Vonnegut

People ask me, "Do you have optimism about the world, about how terrible it is?" And I say, "Yes, it's great the way it is" ... I had the wonderful privilege of sitting face to face with [a Hindu guru] and the first thing he said to me was "Do you have a question?", cause the teacher always answers questions... I said, "Yes, I have a question." I said, " Since in Hindu thinking all the universe is divine, a manifestation of divinity itself, how can we say no to anything in the world? How can we say no to brutality to stupidity to vulgarity to thoughtlessness?" And he said, "For you and me, you must say yes." Well, I learned from my friends who were students of his that that happened to be the first question he asked his guru, and we had a wonderful conversation for an hour there.

Joseph Campbell

If we assume that the person asking the question is serious, there is an underlying background of purposes and understanding (the 'horizon' as Gadamer calls it) into which the question fits. If a questioner were to ask "Can pigs have wings?" a respondent within the analytic tradition might have difficulty answering, because although the idea is outrageously farfetched, current work in genetic engineering does leave open the logical possibility of creating a beast with the desired characteristics. Admittedly, there might be some refuge in challenging the asker as to whether such a monstrosity would still properly be called a pig,11 thereby invalidating the question. But if the question were asked seriously, neither the logical possibility nor the precise meaning of "pig" would be the issue at hand. The questioner would be asking for some reason in some background of understanding and purpose, and the appropriate answer (just like the appropriate answer to "Is there water in the refrigerator?") would have to be relevant to that background.

Terry Winograd
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