AQ&A11 Wednesday 27 December 2017 Lazy & Stupid Saves Us All
[This meetup has been shifted to Wednesday 27 December 2017 to aviod clashing with Christmas]
Focus questions -
(feel free to add more focus questions) . Focus questions are not intended to push one viewpoint! You can adopt any position you wish. We actually like friendly disagreement - it can lead to deeper understanding. Note: clearly not all of these questions can be properly covered in a meetup, but they give us a conscious choice about what to talk about while making the background context clearer. It is up to the people who come on the day to choose what aspects they would like to deal with.
1. Think about traditional Christianity's "seven deadly sins" (or add your own flavour from any religion or ideology): 1. gluttony; 2. lust, fornication; 3. greed, avarice; 4. pride, hubris; 5. despair, sorrow, despondency; 6. anger, wrath; 7. boastful vanity, vainglory; 8. laziness, sloth. Would you prefer to live in a world which lacks any of these? Why / why not?
2. Imagine for a moment that we are all clones. Not only do we have the same height, complexion and skin colouring. Our intelligence (whatever that is) is precisely matched and our aptitudes are identical. Further, imagine that we have exactly the same tastes, ideals and ambitions. We also have the same incomes. Why would this world of seamless equality be an economic and social catastrophe?
3. Make a list or businesses and industries. Now match each of them for dependency on one or more of the seven deadly sins (or similar). What is the outcome?
4. To what extent is your own life governed by self-indulgence in one of the 7 deadly sins or something similar? Would you change the ratio, even if you could? How?
5. Why have depictions and descriptions of Heaven made it seem such a numbingly boring destination, while Hell has a kind of colourful exuberance in spite of the pain?
6. Barack Obama has had his faults and failures, but he seems to be an almost excessively decent man. To what extent do you think this basic decency has been the reason that he is viscerally disliked by a large chunk of the American electorate and many world leaders (who tend, as a species, towards the mafia end of the moral scale)?
7. The idea of media news (at least in Western cultures) is mostly built around people behaving badly. Why do you think this is so?
8. The basic idea behind sins is that they have bad consequences for somebody sooner or later - for the individual, for his social circle, or even for the species. For example, as a species we seem to be rapidly eating ourselves to obesity, illness and unpleasant death. Also, our habits and ambitions tend to maximum laziness ('time saving', 'effort saving'...). Why are we so resistant to virtuous habits which are supposed to yield a better life?
9. In medieval times preachers claimed that the lust for money was the root of all evil. Has this changed? Can it also be claimed that the lust for money is the root of human cooperation?
10. Less intelligent people have no monopoly on stupid behaviour or bad judgement, or just plain wickedness. Nevertheless, to what extent is mass dumb + 'sinful' a consumer engine supporting myriad profitable enterprises?
Stupidity actually turns out to be an interesting and important topic. I wrote an essay (with links) about it for another meetup: "The Unexpected Power of Stupidity" at http://thormay.net/unwiseideas/stupidity.htm
1. All past topic questions are now listed at http://thormay.net/unwiseideas/DiscussionTopics/DiscussionIndex.htm
2. From another meetup I run for English learners, twenty-four sets of 10x questions (from Thor) designed for students of English as a Second Language are online at
Lazy and Stupid Saves Us All Discussion Questions ©Thor May 2018
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