Category Archives: Philosophy

Philosophy Conundrums

Philosophy Conundrums


 There are people on the streets without shelter; the government owns many vacant houses no one wants to buy. Should the government let these people live in these houses?


There is a book in the library that I think is a neat book. The publisher owns the copyright but will not print any more copies of the book to sell. Do I have the moral right to photocopy the book then?


Suppose that the earth was perfectly smooth all the way around, with no hills or valleys or bumps of any sort, and suppose you tie a ribbon around the equator after pulling it tight so that it fits snugly to the surface all the way around. Now imagine splicing in an extra piece of ribbon –exactly one meter (that is, 100 centimetres) long– and then smoothing out the entire ribbon all the way around the globe, pulling out all the slack so that the ribbon is now everywhere the same height above the earth’s surface, if it comes above the earth’s surface at all. Will you notice a difference?


If one twin gets in a rocket ship and takes a 50-year space trip at very near the speed of light, when he returns to earth, will he be much younger or older than the twin who stayed here on earth?


In order to figure out a math problem, do you need to know whether you are doing it in Greek math, French math, God’s math, or Canadian math?


Are Man’s hockey rules different from God’s hockey rules?


Are Man’s and God’s mathematical laws and principles different?


If you drop a raw egg from the roof of the Fr. Cordeau Centre onto the lawn below, will it break?


If the current 100-meter sprint world champion, Donovan Bailey is healthy and ran a fair 100-yard race tomorrow against Mr. Sader, will the Thirty-something-year-old, slightly scrawny, Mr. Sader win by at least 3 seconds?


For children to grow up to be happy, you should not raise them in ways that (1) make them insensitive to other people’s sorrows and problems so that they do not feel bad just because someone else is suffering, and so that they don’t have to be concerned with other people any more than is simply polite, and (2) make sure they have only limited goals and aspirations because those will be much easier to be successful at and therefore bring happiness.


 If God and people both have to figure out what is mathematically or morally correct, people cannot figure out any of the same principles or answers God can without looking at God’s answer sheet.


 Suppose that your spouse or your baby, like in an old movie, is tied to a railroad track with a train approaching that is carrying 100 people. You are at the switch, but if you switch the train away from your spouse or baby, it will run over a broken bridge off a high cliff with jagged rocks and a raging current hundreds of feet below. What should you do? Why?


What is the modern definition of death?


Do I have the moral right to secretly hook up to the cable TV company, even though it is illegal?


Is it reasonable to forgive somebody who is not sorry for the wrong thing that he did?


If a person is irresponsible and does something that hurts someone else, should he be punished?


If a person is irresponsible and does something that hurts only himself, should he be punished?


You can never leave any room you are in, because before you can get to the door, you first have to go halfway to the door. But before you get halfway to the door you must first get halfway to that place (that is, one-fourth of the way to the door). But there are an infinite number of such halfway places and you do not have time to go to an infinite number of places, so you can never get out of any room — or move anywhere. Right?


A turtle and a rabbit are about to run a race, and the rabbit wants to be fair so he gives the turtle a good head start. The race begins and pretty soon the rabbit gets up to the place where the turtle has started from. But, of course, the turtle has moved ahead a bit to a new place, further down the course. So pretty soon the rabbit gets to that place, but again, by then the turtle has moved ahead to the next new place. When the rabbit gets there, the turtle will again have moved ahead. Therefore the rabbit can never beat the turtle because the rabbit can in fact never even catch up with the turtle, since every time he gets to where the turtle was just an instant ago, the turtle will have already left that place. Right?


If your spouse wants to go out for the evening with you, say to a particular movie, but you do not want to go, what should you do?


Describe exactly what it is for someone to have a headache.


What is a brave act?


In the middle of a large field there is an old oak tree with a thick trunk. A squirrel is on the trunk of the tree, about five feet from the ground. A man is on the other side of the tree about 10 feet from it. He knows the squirrel is there and he circles around the tree in order to see the squirrel. But the squirrel does not want to be seen, so it circles the trunk too (in the same direction), keeping the trunk between himself and the man. Both are going around the tree, but is the man going around the squirrel or not? Why or why not?


Can you tell who wrote or is playing a piece of music (or who wrote a work of literature) even if you never heard (or read) the piece before? Do writers and performers have particular characteristics or styles? If a writer or performer does have particular characteristics that are in most of his/her work, does that make her/him better or worse than someone who does not have a particular style? Or does it make no difference? Why?


What makes a film or TV program or series a good one?


Would it be theoretically possible to make a robot or computer that could think?


When, if ever, is it right to break a promise or a date or appointment?


What makes a work of art (painting, music, film, sculpture, literature, or whatever) a good one?


What is a good person?


Is it more important to be a good person (and/or do the right thing) or to have good things happen to you?


If the mind is the place that all your sensations are perceived, how can you tell they don’t simply start there?













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