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More Thought Provoking Questions

(A continuation of the page Thought Provoking Questions)

5. If a moral rule like, "don't steal," can lead to immoral action, as in not stealing to feed your child when that is the only option, is it possible that we need a new way to look at our defining of morality? Is morality something that can be permanently codified in words, or should we use words only to point at what is beyond the definitions, and alter our definitions as often as we come to understand new things about the world and our role in it?

6. If Stalin said "Love thy neighbor as thyself," or if the things said by Marx were written by Abraham Lincoln instead, how would this change the way you perceive the truth or falsity in the words or what they suggest? We clearly are influenced by the "authority" of the speaker or we wouldn't have a need to read quotes by famous people - the thought would be enough without the name attached. So what are we accepting as true on the basis of who said it, and could this be more of a problem than we realize?

7. When is it right to use subliminal persuasion? It has been shown that people use subliminal techniques more often that they realize, on an unconscious level. In fact, one study demonstrated that a bartenders who smile more sell more food and drink and get more tips. In other words the customers are being influenced at a level below their conscious awareness. Once you know this, is it right to keep smiling at customers even when you are not happy? Is it only right if you can safely assume that the product or service they are buying is good for them?

8. If a judge sends a young man to prison for possessing a particular plant because of its supposed danger, and then goes home afterwards to drink a substance that is more dangerous, who is the real criminal? Is law to be obeyed without regard to justice or any reasonableness? If sugar were to be outlawed, would it suddenly become a moral action to imprison a person for eating a cookie? And if we see the injustice of a law and yet still harm another by helping to enforce it, isn't that a crime in a deeper sense than legality or illegality?

9. When holy books tell us to kill people for working on the wrong day (Exodus 31:15), or saying the wrong words (Leviticus 24:17) or because they are homosexual (Leviticus 20:13), and millions of people believe these are the words of God, is it possible that religions inherently breed violence, or do they only do so if people really take their religions seriously? And if people would condemn a man or woman who preached these things, why do they worship gods who say them?

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Thought Provoking Questions