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Morality, Empathy and Altruism


  1. What qualities does a high-minded person have?
  2. Do we need religion to be people of good morals? Are we obliged to religion for the existence of morality?
  3. The vision of morality is different in various cultures. Why?
  4. Is it necessary to create universal moral values? If so, what should they be like?
  5. Should people all over the world reach common ground in answers to the most important questions of human life?
  6. How do we understand what is good and what is bad? Are our moral values based on facts about human and animal well-being (for example that we shouldn’t beat children because it will influence their physical and psychological health badly?
  7. There’s a widespread opinion that science can help us to get what we value, but not answer the question what we ought to value. Can science (neurology, psychology) answer moral questions like:
  • What is good and evil?
  • What is right and wrong?
  • What is worth living for?
  • What is worth dying for?
  • What constitutes good life?
  1. What do you think of principled people? Should we always follow our principles?
  2. How have your principles been changing over your lifetime?
  3. Do you think we play by the rules of society only because of fear of breaking law and punishment?

Empathy and altruism

  1. What is an altruistic person like?
  2. Is it easy to be an altruist?
  3. Do you agree that in developed countries people care about themselves foremost, and afterwards think of others. Do you agree that healthy egoism is necessary?
  4. What do you think of people who donate their kidney to a complete stranger? Why do they do that?
  5. Do you know people who regularly donate blood? Do they do it for money, or because of the altruistic motives?
  6. Have you ever worked for charitable causes? Tell us about your experience.
  7. What qualities should a volunteer at repairs for children or in care homes have?
  8. What do you think of people who adopt children with serious disorders?
  9. Do you know that there are people who are absolutely deprive of empathy (people with antisocial personality disorder)? Do you think that society can change them?


high-minded person, person of good morals – высоконравственный человек
vision of morality – представление о морали
well-being – хорошее самочувствие
What constitutes a good life? – Что считать за правильный образ жизни?
kidney - почка 
to work for charitable causes – заниматься благотворительностью
repairs for children – приюты для детей
care homes – дома престарелых
disabled people – люди с ограниченными возможностями
homeless people – бездомные люди
deprive of empathy – лишённый эмпатии
antisocial personality disorder – антисоциальное расстройство личности, социопатия

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