I was watching a video recently where the person being interviewed made a rather interesting statement. He claimed that statements limit and/or close off probabilities, while questions expand probabilities. I thought about it and found myself agreeing that if you look at how language is used from a probability angle, then yes language can be used to either limit or expand probabilities. Let’s consider that angle in further detail.
A statement is typically used to declare an opinion or a fact. From a probability perspective, a statement would seem to typically limit the probabilities available because a statement is describing and defining what is being stated. What we need to understand about statements is that in doing all of that, what’s really happening is a defining on the basis of the agenda of the person making the statement. A statement is really an attempt to describe what something ought to be. And that is pretty accurate in terms of limiting the probabilities through language, because if we’re describing and defining what something ought to be, we’re also trying to rule out what it shouldn’t be.