01/04/2023 An Examined Life #5   Leave a comment

Today is as good a day as any to continue this series with installment #5. It should make for interesting discussions to start the new year. I hope you enjoy these topics because they seem to be more interesting than those that came before. Just remember:

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Socrates

  • Can you urinate in front of another person?
  • If you walk out of your house one morning and saw a bird with a broken wing huddled in some nearby bushes, what would you do?
  • Assume there were a technological breakthrough that would allow people to travel as easily and cheaply between continents as between nearby cities. Unfortunately, there would also be 100,000 deaths a year from the device. Would you try to prevent its use?
  • You and a person you love deeply are placed in separate rooms with a button next to each of you. You know you will both be killed unless one of you presses your button before 60 minutes pass; furthermore, the first to press the button will save the other person but will immediately be killed. What do you think you would do?
  • When you tell a story, do you often exaggerate or embellish it? If so, why?

*****

  • Do you feel that advice from older people carries a special weight because of their greater experience?
  • Without your kidney as a transplant, someone close to you will die within one month. The odds that you will survive the operation are only 50%, but should you survive, you would be certain of a normal life expectancy. Would you consent to the operation?
  • When has your life dramatically changed as the result of some seemingly random external influence? How much do you feel in control of the course of your life?
  • If a friend were almost always late, would you resent it or simply allow for it? Can you be counted on to be on time?
  • When did you last yell at someone? Why? Did you later regret it?

*****

  • Would you be willing to have horrible nightmares every night for a year if you would be rewarded with extraordinary wealth?
  • If you could have free, unlimited service for five years from an extremely good cook, chauffeur, housekeeper, masseuse, or personal secretary, which would you choose?
  • Would you be willing to go to a slaughterhouse? Do you eat meat?
  • Would you enjoy spending a month of solitude in a beautiful natural setting? Food and shelter would be provided but you would not see another person.
  • After a medical examination, your doctor calls and gravely says you have a rare lymphatic cancer with only a few months to live. Five days later, she informs you that the lab test was mislabeled, and you are perfectly healthy. Forced for a moment to look death in the face, you have been allowed to turn and go on. During those difficult days you would certainly have gained some insights about yourself. Do you think they would be worth the pain?

*****

THESE ONES WILL GET YOU THINKING

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