What Does The Second Amendment Mean To You?

With the recent shootings in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX, attention has been focused on the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. What do you think of it?

The text reads, in full:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What are you willing to sacrifice?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What do you believe?’


Does this amendment signify a deep-seated right for individuals to bear arms? Is it an antiquated holdover from years ago? Does the vague language help or hurt it?

You don’t need to be a constitutional scholar to hold an opinion. What is yours?

Related questions: How can we encourage debate? Personal Rights or Public Safety? When should you not follow the law? How can we be safe?

What Is The Nature Of Celebrity?

We all know the word celebrity means a person who is famous. But how famous does one need to be in order to become a celebrity? And what does fame even mean?

As an example, let us consider a simple measurement of fame: the number of Twitter followers someone has. 10 followers? Not famous. 10 million followers? Probably famous. But what about in between? Is there a specific number that changes a person from a regular person — even a popular one — to a celebrity?


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What gives a person value?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes you you?’


Of course, you may not think that social media followings are a true test of popularity. But there are many people who may become well-known: actors, politicians, musicians, sports figures, business leaders, etc.

But what, exactly, does that fame mean? If someone is known for being a star basketball player, he or she may be known to millions of people around the world. Does that notoriety come with any responsibility? Oftentimes you will hear someone say that an athlete should “stick to sports” when they offer an opinion outside their sphere of influence. Should they?

A celebrity has a wider reach than a non-celebrity. How much should that wider reach be encouraged and used? Does something said by a famous person mean more than the same thing being said by you or me? Should it?

Ultimately, many people dream of becoming famous some day. It does have some perks, no doubt about it. However, fame often comes with a loss of privacy, and insincere relationships. Would you be willing to trade a normal life for one of fame?

In many respects, our culture venerates celebrity. But what does it even mean?

Related questions: How important are important people? What do you revere? How important is the artist to art? What makes a person interesting? Celebrity or anonymity?

What Does The Word ‘Border’ Mean To You?

When you hear the word ‘border’ what do you think of? Is there a particular idea that comes to mind?

In some cases, a border is a sharp delineation between two things. For example, the drawings in a coloring book use borders to tell the green part from the blue part.

However, the idea quickly grows more unclear. Let’s use a border between two properties. That boundary is an imaginary line that serves as a legal distinction between, say, me and my neighbor. On this side of this imaginary line is my property; that side of the line belongs to my neighbor.

But that line is not real. A tree growing on one side may have limbs and/or roots that pass through this imaginary edge to the other side. Birds fly right through this line, and snow piles up the same on either side. Borders between countries, or even continents, are similarly porous.

For another example, how about a border between a forest and a prairie. That’s pretty straightforward: where the trees end and the grass begins is the boundary.

But seeds from the grass can blow underneath trees and grow there. And an acorn from a tree on this boundary can fall into the prairie. The border is not so fixed.

Or in a more abstract sense, what about two areas of study? What is the border then? This one thing is physics; that one thing is astronomy. But in that middle ground is astrophysics.

If you look more closely at the edges, any two areas can blend with each other. So does the boundary really exist? What does the word ‘border’ mean to you?

Related questions: Where does authority come from? When did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone? What do you measure? What is your bubble?

Who Has Power?

In our society, it is the people who have power who manage to get things done. The type of power — financial, political, or even brute force — might change, but the use of it to accomplish goals does not.

We see examples of influence all around us. A business leader may use connections they have to make deals. Or someone who holds political office may use their position to enact legislation. Yet another example is a popular person exercising their social connections.

That power might be used for personal gain, or it might be used for societal gain. How it is used may be determined by the character of the person with the advantage. Conversely, there might be social or legislative checks on that power.

There is also a certain influence that comes from collaboration. One person may not be able to do much in isolation, but if that person can recruit a hundred others to help them, their reach can expand drastically.

Do you see power being used around you? How? Who has it? Is one kind more effective than another?

Related questions: Where does authority come from? Individual or society? What makes a good leader? How much power does an individual have?