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Difficult Questions

I have to thank my subscribers to the Brainpower Newsletter for some of the following questions. You'll notice that there are no answers here. This is purely to get you thinking. Consider it a workout for your brain and a chance to use your mind. The questions range from scientific to personal.

Difficult Questions - The List

What if the speed of light was slower than the speed at which you can walk? (Consider some scenarios that might be possible if this were the case.)

What is a shadow?

Why are there no brown lights? (Maybe there are, but a subscriber with more knowledge of physics than I suggested that there are not, and I haven't seen any.)

If you buy a life insurance policy that is not needed, how is that different from placing a bet on the death of the insured person?

Is the set of self-referent sets self referent?

If the very process of selecting what to report on constitutes bias, how could there be such a thing as objective news reporting?

If you could travel back in time and talk to anyone in history who would it be, and why?

If a language had just ten words, could it define morality in such a way that we could live by those words alone, and if not how many words make a moral system infallible?

How do you know who you are?

If you could travel back in time to any point in history and bring one thing, what time would you go to and what would you bring?

Why is it called welfare when money is given to the poor, but a "grant" or "subsidy" when it is given to wealthier people and corporations?

What is the nature of gravity?

If you blame yourself for past sins, who is the guilty one, who is doing the blaming, and what is the motivation of the latter?

If we know a tree, a bush and a vine by the definitions we apply to them, could we have had eighteen things instead of these three merely by making more distinctions and creating more words?

If we owe allegiance or even respect to any authority, how do we know which one without granting ourselves the higher authority of choosing among them?

Does time "flow," do we move through time, or is time just an invented way of separating events?

Can a consciousness be transmitted from one to another like possession?

If there are good and bad effects from global warming (better crops yields in many areas, flooding in others), how do we measure whether it is better or worse overall for the planet to warm?

Is there a sense of morality hard-wired into the brain?

What does a computer need to learn or say or do before we will consider it conscious?

Why aren't we immune to all diseases?

What is the evolutionary purpose of music and art?

Can two mirrors facing each other create an infinite number of images?

Recent Contributions

Here are four more difficult questions from a Brainpower Newsletter subscriber (thanks Gil):

Why is the face in front?

Why do we have two hands?

Why didn’t we have the choice to exist or not to exist?

For what use are the limitless heavens?

Please feel free to email me other difficult and interesting questions. I may put up another of these pages if I get enough of them. You can just reply to any Brainpower Newsletter mailing (sign up on the home page if you aren't already subscribed).

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