What Are Your Vices?

Knowing the challenges and obstacles you face is necessary for preparing yourself to face them. With that in mind, what are your vices?

While the classic seven deadly sins — greed, envy, sloth, pride, gluttony, lust, and wrath — are a good place to start in considering potential vices, it is far from an exhaustive list.

And it is not even clear that they are all vices. Why shouldn’t I be proud, say, of a hard-won accomplishment? And just what is sloth, anyway?

This is not, however, to discount from legitimate vices. There are certain behaviors and habits that can be quite destructive in any number of ways. If you find you can’t resist some habitual behavior — playing video games at the expense of everything else, for example, or drinking to excess, or gambling money you can’t afford to lose — that could be the sign of a problem.

With some amount of introspection, you can probably think of some parts of your life that you wish you could change. It might be as simple as being habitually late, or as complex as addictive behavior.

One thing to avoid, however, is letting others define your vices for you. What someone else thinks of as a vice might turn out to be a virtue for you, in the end. If you feel strongly that something is right for you even though others disagree, it may not, indeed, be a real vice.

In the end, it is important to understand and be realistic about yourself, including both your good and bad points. Knowing certain activities lead you to bad decisions can help you avoid those activities. It might be uncomfortable, at times, but probing and defining your own weaknesses can ultimately make you stronger.

Related questions: What is your weakness? When is it useful to fail? What do you do that you shouldn’t? What is uncomfortable but rewarding?

 

 

 

Do You Follow The Golden Rule?

The Golden Rule — treat others as you wish to be treated — is a sentiment common in cultures and religions across the world. Do you follow it?

The idea is a simple one, easily stated, and easily understood. And yet, it can be very difficult to practice.

There are many reasons why you might not follow the Golden Rule. They might vary from self-interest, fear, or even kindness.

For instance, you might well think that you want someone to come to your aid if you are in trouble. However, fear might prevent you from helping someone else in a dangerous situation.

In another situation, you might tell a small lie to spare the feelings of someone you love, even if you think you would want the truth in return.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’ We also discuss another question as well, ‘Are we too busy?’


In our state and national politics, we see the Golden Rule violated frequently. One elected official, for example, may vote against offering aid to another state in a disaster, and yet accepts the helping hand when the disaster befalls them. No doubt you can think of numerous other examples.

There are endless opportunities to treat others the way you wish to be treated. In fact, just about every interaction with someone else is such a chance. It might be face-to-face, online, or from hundreds or thousands of miles away. It might include actions, speech, or even thoughts about someone else.

Can you think of notable examples where you followed the Golden Rule? Are there times when you didn’t?

Related questions: How do you serve others? What expectations do you have of others? How do other people motivate you? Why does social media often bring out the worst in us? Why do we hate?

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 Is Your Definition Of Evil?

Someone might be misguided, bad, or even horrible. But what must they do to be called evil?

Do you have a definition of “evil”, whether that includes an action, a person, or a group?

Related questions: Why are bad words bad? How important is the artist to art? What does it mean to be a good person? Why do we hate?