# How to teach people hypothetical 'what if' scenarios and how to deal with them

Some people can't think of any hypothetical 'what if' situations. They always ask for real life examples. Real life example don't always match with hypothetical scenarios. Then the conversation gets ruined.

How to teach them about hypothetical situations?

Most importantly, how to deal with them?

• Can you be a bit more specific (real life example ;-P) -- I find it hard to believe anyone can't think of any hypotheticals. E.g. What if you found yourself in a tank full of sharks? Apr 5 at 20:48
• In general facing real people in real life, why are you trying to teach them based on hypothetical 'what if' situations? Lots of fraud schemes are based on nice fool proof sounding hypotheticals, perhaps except idealized mathematics and theories, contemporary people are naturally and rightfully skeptical of arbitrary non real life hypothetical examples... Apr 5 at 20:55
• It's usually a good idea to have real world examples of a hypothetical idea. People don't need to be taught about hypotheticals, mostly everyone knows what a fictional story is and is capable of understanding the idea of a hypothetical scenario. If you are making an argument based on a hypothetical, then it makes sense to ask for a example of such a hypothetical- because if you base a argument on an impossible hypothetical-you haven't really demonstrated anything of interest. If 1 = 0, then I am a Donkey. Apr 5 at 21:46
• @Michael Carey, instead of trying to prove 'I am a donkey' from that, you can prove other things that is more 'imply-able'. I am yet to find if 1=0 leads to anything useful, but this type of thinking gave birth to modulo operations in mathematics. By thinking about 2=0, you get binary number system. By thinking about 8=0, you get base-8 number system. Apr 6 at 6:58
• Which ppl? Which scenarios? This is too hypothetical a question on hypotheticals! Apr 6 at 7:27