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- How to Identify a Rhetorical Question? 3 answers
When I ask a person a question such as, "When did you last go to church?" I am not asking them to give me an answer ("Last August"); but I am expecting them to answer the question within themselves, to stimulate their thinking about whether they are doing something we both agree they should be doing. Is this a rhetorical question, or is there a better definition for this type of question?
A better example would be posting this type of question on social media, such as Facebook.
UPDATE: It has been suggested that the answer is a rhetorical question. But my understanding of a rhetorical question is that it has no answer. There is an emotional context to the question: "What, are you stupid?" The person you are addressing is made to understand they are DOING something stupid, an actual answer is not necessary or even wanted. I THINK that my type of question is different, but I am not sure. My question is intended to make the person ask themselves. If the answer is "last week", it isn't necessary to tell me "next week". My purpose of reminding them that they should be attending church regularly is achieved, and an actual answer is not required. If that is still a rhetorical question, so be it, but the definitions I found didn't suggest that it was. I would prefer to be precise, so if there is a better term for that type of question, that is what I want to know.