Consider each of the following questions:
- If the President of the United States reserves the sole right to authorize torture, and if all legitimate governmental powers derive from the governed, then doesn’t it follow that I must have the right to torture? If so, what are the exact conditions under which I may torture my room-mate (please, wait one moment while I grab an extra sheet of paper, since I have to imagine that the list is quite long).
- If you cheat in class or in sports and you don’t get caught, aren’t you way ahead of people who don’t cheat or people who do cheat and do get caught? Isn’t it better to be a clever cheater than an honest loser?
- If God exists depending on whether I believe in him or not, then doesn’t that sort of make me a god, since my wishes bring divine beings into and out of existence? And if this is true, is there any way that I can avoid the horrible implication that my brother is also a god?
- What is love anyway?
- If happiness is different for every person, then why isn’t everyone happy? Shouldn’t we just all make happiness really easy to achieve?
- Are angels real?
- Since winners write history books, how can we ever trust what they say? Doesn’t power trump truth? And if so, then how could I ever know the truth about that question?
- Do I exist?
- If Socrates really said know thyself, why didn’t he consider looking into a mirror?
- Why did a democratic society kill Socrates?
- Is a baby born without a brain still a person? If my roommate has no brain . . .
- If we can shoot our wounded soldiers behind enemy lines to avoid their capture, why can’t we shoot old people to avoid their frailty?
- Is it possible to think about this crazy world in such a way that I can remain at peace?
- Is it really true that there is no truth?
- You’ll probably think me odd for asking this but . . . are we (just maybe) in the Matrix?
If you worry about at least two of these issues, then you should think about taking a philosophy course, because you will really enjoy it!
If you wonder about at least four of the questions, then you should think about becoming a minor in philosophy, because you’ll not only love it, but it takes only five courses to complete (and yes, some of those can be core courses).
If you've thought about at least six of the questions above, then I think we both know what that means . . . yep, a philosophy major is in your future. Add three more classes to a philosophy minor, and you’re a major!
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