Category Archives: Questions by All Soul’s General Paper

In making decisions, what weight should we give to the interests of future generations?

I’m kind of tempted to say all of it, but I’m not sure to what extent that helps with a practical decision making process. When I’m deciding which jumper to wear, its hard to quantify the impact it will have … Continue reading

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What are the essential elements of a legal system?

The legal system is the shadowy underpinning of any large society. Even where the rule of law is absurd, reckless or disproportionate there are basic principles of civilisation that need something to stand on. If we could evolve to a … Continue reading

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Is world government a bad idea?

On one hand, a lot of our problems are global. On the other hand, our governments are already comically inefficient at doing the work they need to (mostly because they see their purpose differently, I believe). A democratic institution with … Continue reading

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What or who are your discipline’s false gods?

I wonder first if I have a discipline. In theory, my main thesis for life is an uncertainty. Instability is my watchword. A firm disbelief in any truth above another. We explore a world subjectively, and everything we see is … Continue reading

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Is dislike of politicians a sensible default position?

Erm. So, I’m supposed to be a kind and loving optimist hippy pacifist, right? I mean, if you take the subject out of that and just make the question ‘is dislike a sensible default position’ then I would rant and … Continue reading

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Should we worry about a language dying out?

Yes. Next question. Okay. I’ll can actually try, if you insist. But the answer is still yes, and it feels defiantly obvious to me. A language is a huge sweeping tapestry of words and grammar. A way of seeing and … Continue reading

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Does the moral character of an orgy change when the participants wear Nazi uniforms?

Presumably it changes the tone at least. I mean, for a start, everyone’s probably suddenly going to be wearing more clothes. ‘The moral character of an orgy’. It’s a hard thing to define. I mean, nothing wrong with an orgy … Continue reading

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Should we preserve living creatures harmful to human interests, such as the tick, the locust and the tapeworm?

Preservation. It’s trickier than you think. For me, the instinct is to keep things alive. But at the same time, I don’t know to what extent we should just let the world screw up and catapult back and forth until … Continue reading

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“There was a time when people simply wanted to sense the moon, but now they want to see it” [Goethe]. Discuss.

‘Remember, when you’re walking home tonight, and the moonlight is streaming into the eyes of the one you love, it’s all there is.’ I don’t know what people thought the moon was before they knew that big round rocks reflected … Continue reading

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Should we regret the loss of grand narratives in history?

To a kid looking up to Ice Cube, ‘Life ain’t nothing but bitches and money‘. It’s not actually that far off a combination of two of the early 20th century’s grandest narratives. Freud understand reality entirely through his obsession with … Continue reading

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