Answering the First Questions Right

In Norms and Nobility, David Hicks talks about the difference between normative and analytical questions. Normative questions are questions that reveal the nature of things, especially human nature. These are questions that have to do with the meaning of existence, man’s absolute rights and duties, the best way to live, and what is good and what is evil. Analytical questions provide information, but they do not render value or wrestle with understanding the nature of things.

It is important, in Hick’s assessment, that the normative inquiry must precede and sustain analysis (Hicks, 64). In this way the answers to the normative questions, the answers to the questions of the meaning of existence, man’s absolute rights and duties, the best way to live, and the difference betwe