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Deep Philosophical Questions, Part IV

  1. If we live in a civilized in a world why do we see so many distinctions between rich and poor?
  2. What is the difference between living and being alive?
  3. Is a “wrong” act okay if nobody ever knows about it?
  4. Who decides what morality is?
  5. If lying is wrong, are white lies okay?
  6. Is trust more important than love?
  7. Is it easier to love or be loved?
  8. What will happen at the end of the world?
  9. Is there a reason to life?

Deep Philosophical Questions, Part II

  1. Will a curb on buying guns and arms reduce the number of shooting sprees in the world?
  2. Do we change when we have power?
  3. Will technological advances wipe out humanity?
  4. Does understanding philosophy lead to progress?
  5. Is there a species more advanced than humans in the universe?

Philosophical Questions About Happiness

  1. What is the meaning of a good life?
  2. Is it more important to be respected or liked?
  3. Have we become less happy in this age of technology?
  4. Are humans obligated to better themselves and will that make them happier?
  5. Is having a big ego a negative or positive trait?

Single mothers

Questions for discussion:

  1. What are the factors contributing to the changes in society for single mothers?
  2. Where are the families and society social structures heading to in the modern world? How was the situation in the past?
  3. Why it’s mothers who raise children after divorce in Russia? How is it in other countries?
  4. What is it like to be a single mother?

Corporate Etiquette

Questions for discussions:

Appearance

Questions for discussion:

  1. What things do you first notice about someone's appearance?
  2. What do you think when you look at yourself in the mirror?
  3. What, in your opinion, is special in your appearance?
  4. What styles of dress do you like most of all?
  5. How much time do you spend on your appearance when you want to look really good? What is good looking for you?

Partnership & Teamwork

Questions for discussion, Partnership:

  1. What is a partnership for you?
  2. Do you think personal partnership should be treated same as work or business partnership?
  3. Have you ever been in a business partnership?
  4. What is necessary for successful business partnership?

Feminism

  1. What is feminism?
  2. Why isn’t there something called ‘masculinism’?
  3. Are people in your country totally fair and equal to women and men?
  4. What do you know about the history of feminism?
  5. What have feminist movements achieved in your country?
  6. Do you think feminism sometimes has an unfair image?
  7. Why do you think relatively few women belong to feminist movements? Can men be feminists?
  8. What important things should men know about feminism?

Responsibility

Part I, questions for discussion:

  1. What is responsibility?
  2. What should a responsible friend/spouse/parent/sibling/grandparent be like?
  3. What are the responsibilities of parents? Should parents support their children financially while they are studying at university?
  4. Do you agree that in Russia there are many adults living in dependence on their parents?
  5. How should kids be raised so that they become responsible and not live off their parents?

Cheating in School

Reading: 

There have always been kids that have chosen to cheat in school, but today’s tech gadgets have made it easier and more common than before. With the majority of teens and tweens carrying cell phones, answers to test questions can zing around a classroom in minutes. Here are some examples of the ways teens are cheating at school:

Morality, Empathy and Altruism

Morality

  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?

Respect and Tolerance

Respect

  1. Who do you respect most of all? Why?
  2. What qualities should person have to earn your respect?
  3. Have you been in a situation when you didn’t respect a person, but he/she did something that made you change your attitude to him/her? What did he/she do?
  4. Have you been in a situation when you weren’t respected by someone, but afterwards earned his/her respect? What had changed?

Are men and women treated equally in this country?

Questions for discussion:

  1. Do you believe that you are supposed to act in certain ways and do certain things depending on who you are, a man or a woman?
  2. How has the attitude to women's role in the society changed in the past century? Has it ever changed at all for that matter?
  3. What patterns of behavior are considered to be appropriate for men but inappropriate for women?
  4. Do parents have different expectations for their sons and daughters in their families?

Doctor, make me feel good!

​Questions for discussion:

  1. Are you interested in the way our body works?
  2. Have you ever wanted to become a doctor or a nurse?
  3. Why do some people choose the profession of a nurse, not a doctor?
  4. What do you think is the hardest thing in working as a doctor? As a nurse?
  5. What is a good and a bad doctor? How do you find out that a doctor is good?

Teenagers: Why do they rebel? (revised)

Teenagers say what REALLY annoys them about their mothers

Singing in the car, trying to be one of the gang and Facebook friend requests: Teenagers give their (toe-curling) views on what REALLY annoys them about their mothers

  • Joe Lawrence, 17, from London, is sick of his mother Julia singing in the car
  • Olivia Becci, 17, from London, wants her mother Anna-Maria to stop trying to be one of the girl gang when her friends come over to her house 
  • Seth Daker, 18, from Ripponden, West Yorkshire, wants his mother Nicky to stop sending him friend requests on social media including Facebook and Twitter

Is Empathy Overrated?

Reading: While it may result in tremendous good, empathy can also be narrow, biased and surprisingly insensitive, argues psychology professor Paul Bloom.

Does empathy make the world a better place? It certainly looks like it. After all, empathy drives people to treat others’ suffering as if it were their own, which then motivates action to make the suffering go away. I see the bullied teenager and might be tempted initially to join in with his tormentors, out of sadism or boredom or a desire to dominate or be popular, but then I empathize — I feel his pain, I feel what it’s like to be bullied — so I don’t add to his suffering. Maybe I even rise to his defense. Empathy is like a spotlight directing attention and aid to where it’s needed.

Pets

Dog's dinner: DNA clue to how dogs became our friends

Dogs have been dining on human food scraps since the early days of their domestication, it appears.

Our canine companions developed the ability to digest starchy foods during the farming revolution thousands of years ago, according to DNA evidence. Scientists think dogs may have been domesticated from wolves when they came into settlements, scrounging for food. Modern dogs can tolerate starch-rich diets, unlike their wolf cousins, which are carnivores.

Copyright and Internet Piracy

2317 New Editions from Amazon by Decades

Our Lost Culture: What We Lose From Having Killed The Public Domain

Yesterday, for Copyright Week, we wrote about transparency (and the lack of it in making copyright law). Today's issue is the public domain. While we just wrote about the lack of new works going into the public domain this year (as happens every year in the US), I've seen some copyright maximalists asking why this is a big deal, since all the works listed are readily available to purchase. This is uninformed in the extreme. In the past I've suggested that everyone interested in these issues owes it to themselves to read James Boyle's excellent book, The Public Domain, and I'll reiterate that recommendation now. Not surprisingly, the book is available online for free, though you can also purchase a copy, which is a worthwhile investment. 

Junk Food Ban

Talking Points

Privacy

Questions for discussion:

  1. What is privacy?
  2. How do you maintain your privacy at home? At school?On the Internet? When using Facebook? When you travel? When talking on the phone?
  3. What are the reasons why privacy is important for you?
  4. To what extent do public officials have a right to privacy?

Euthanasia

Questions for discussion:

  1. What is the difference between euthanasia and suicide?
  2. Is there a difference between euthanasia and murder?
  3. Does a family member or a doctor have the right to turn off a life support machine?
  4. How long should doctors keep someone alive who is brain dead?

Is envy eating us alive?

Reading:

Is Envy Eating Us alive?

Have you ever been in the situation of seeing someone you perceive as an equal succeed beyond their – and your – wildest dreams? Have you ever struggled to understand how they did it, given that they are, according to you, no more talented or skilled than you? If the answer to these questions is yes, you have likely struggled with the painful feeling of envy.

The Problem of Choice

Reading:

Should Governments Nudge Us to Make Good Choices?

Our decisions are constantly shaped by subtle changes in our environment. Even choices that feel deliberate and conscious can be swayed by cues that we may not even notice, such as social norms or the setting of a default option. Behavioral scientists use the phrase “choice architecture” to describe the ways in which the environment influences how we decide.

Should gay marriages be legalized?

Reading:

Gay marriage declared legal across the US in historic supreme court ruling

Same-sex marriages are now legal across the entirety of the United States after a historic supreme court ruling that declared attempts by conservative states to ban them unconstitutional.

In what may prove the most important civil rights case in a generation, five of the nine court justices determined that the right to marriage equality was enshrined under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.

Should cannabis be legalised?

Reading: 

The National Cancer Institute Says Cannabis Kills Cancer

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) updated its website to include various studies revealing how cannabis may inhibit tumor growth by killing cells, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow. The institute also said that cannabis does this while protecting healthy cells.

NCI released the following statement after updating its website:

Cheating

Questions for discussion:

  1. What is your definition of cheating?
  2. Have you ever cheated?
  3. Why do you think that people cheat?
  4. Have you ever cheated in an exam?

Cloning

Questions for discussion:

  1. What is cloning?
  2. What are the advantages of cloning?
  3. What are the disadvantages of cloning?
  4. Do you think animals should be cloned?
  5. Do you think vegetables should be modified?

Pride

Questions for discussion:

  1. What is pride?
  2. Are you proud of your country?
  3. Do you feel more pride in yourself or in others?
  4. Are you proud of your heritage?
  5. Do you think you were always a source of great pride for your parents?

Genetic Engineering

Reading: 

"Genetic moderation"

WITH food security firmly on the international agenda, there's a growing appetite to look again at the opportunities promised by agricultural biotechnology.

Scientists working in this area are excited by new techniques that enable them to edit plant DNA with unprecedented accuracy. Even epigenetic markers, which modulate the activity of genes, can now be altered. The promise is to modify crops to make them more nutritious or resistant to disease.

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