Summary: 19th Gentle Thinkers Debate (Awareness of social, moral and political issues)

“How far should we go in raising an indifferent public’s awareness of important social, moral or political issues?

Some believe “ignorance is bliss”, and the more they know the more they get worried. But we can’t be indifferent about everything. Is it morally permissible to encourage other people to worry about certain issues, say global warming, human rights, animal rights, etc. to precipitate effective action? Should we consider people selfish if they are innately not concerned about such issues, or merely show token agreement?”

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Summary: 18th Gentle Thinkers Debate (Creating meaning in life)

“Humans have a short physical existence on a planet that will eventually cease to support life at all. In this context, what strategies should humans use to impart meaning to their own lives? Some possibilities are listed. Which of these have you used, and how effective have they been? Are different approaches appropriate to different stages of life?

A. Compete with other humans (e.g. for status)
B. Care for other humans (e.g. as a humanitarian)
C. Maximize close connections with other humans (e.g. with a love partner)
D. Maximize positive subjective experiences (e.g. “be happy”)
E. Align yourself with what you believe to be a higher purpose (e.g. politics)
F. Adhere to a set of rules/standards (e.g. moral precepts)
G. Attempt to create something that will outlive you (e.g. art)
H. Invest in the next generation of humans (e.g. your biological offspring)
I. Mastery / Growth / Self-Improvement
J. Other approaches?”

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