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August 17, 2005

Asking Questions

In my Critical Thinking class, we are talking about asking questions. We've discussed how asking questions can be difficult and our facilitator directed us to this book:

"The Art of Questioning" (Daniel E. Flage, Pearson-Prentice Hall, 2004)

Our facilitator brings up the following:

If you want to know really how your friends think, probe them with the following questions. Like a child, keep asking why until you are satisfied that you got an answer.
Caution: The discussion may get heated and you may lose your friendship. But if it survives, then you have a friend whose opinion is worth seeking, in times of crisis. And we ALL need those kinds of friends.

1. As an American, should you always support your President?

2. Would you support abortion if your friend (or close relative) got raped, and as a result, got pregnant?

Would you support abortion simply as a woman's choice?

3. Do you think gay people have exactly the same rights as straight people? Why or why not?

Would you support same sex marriage?

4. To what extent would you trust the values of a person raised in a different religion than yours?

5. For a stable and happy marriage, what is really most important?

- that both partners have the same ethical values
- that both partners believe in the same religion
- that both partners have same likes and dislikes
- that both partners are capable of communicating their thoughts and feelings and willing to compromise
- the partners really LOVE each other and the basis of marriage is that love and nothing else (such as approval of parents, security, sex appeal, looks, money, etc)
- that both partners are about the same age, same level of education, same social background
- that both have grown out of teenage fantasies and understand the realities of life

6. Will money buy happiness for you?
If not, then why are you pursuing "Money"? ("Show me the money!")

7. What would you do if you find out that your spouse is cheating on you? (or that your boss is cheating the company or that your minister (priest, rabbi) is carrying out immoral acts etc)
In other words, what would you do if you catch a person doing an illegal or immoral or unethical act?

8. Do you expect, super talented people like - Basketball superstar player or Pop-Music superstar (King) to follow and obey the same laws as ordinary citizens?
(Do Presidents have to obey the law?)

9. Would you be able to love your next door Muslim neighbor?

10. Would you love your next door neighbor, if he was a KKK member?

11. Where do you think your soul will go when you die? Does that matter to you?

12. If you are in a car accident and go into long term coma (vegetable state), does your closest relative have a power of attorney from you to tell the doctor and the hospital to pull the plug and let your body be relieved of "life"? Why not?

13. A convicted killer on death roll begs everyone and says that he is a reborn Christian now, that he will never hurt another soul again, and to let him live - would you, as a governor, sign a stay of execution? - even after knowing that Paul, author of most of the New Testament, was such a killer?


When visiting with my boss and her husband a couple of weeks ago, someone had asked what made their relationship work. The husband had said that they had discussed hard core things (like the above) before marriage. Made sure that the other person could live with what views and opinions were important to eachother.

I'd love to go into more detail as I found what they said very intriguing and smart, but I will respect them and not post it for all to see (even though they don't know this blog exists). But to wrap it up what they said, this type of communication is really important in relationships; whether it be marriages, friendships, etc.

I don't find these questions as harsh has our facilitator put them to be, but I guess it all depends on the company you keep. I would discuss any of these things with my close friends without fear of argument or losing a friend.

Posted by Sissy at August 17, 2005 09:34 PM | TrackBack

I think we don't find the harsh because we discuss this stuff on blogs.....

Posted by: Tammi at August 17, 2005 09:57 PM

I don't find them harsh... as long as the person who is RECEIVING the answers can deal. I can answer all of these unequivocally. But.. can the person asking the questions deal with my answers. Otherwise, there should be no heated discussion. Mutual respect is big with me.

Posted by: Bou at August 17, 2005 10:31 PM

What Bou said. See what happens when I comment in the morning... everyone beats me to the good answers. ;-)

Posted by: vw bug at August 18, 2005 07:05 AM

I also agree with Bou - if you want to know my answers, by all means, I'll answer questions like those. But I expect the person who asked them to accept my answers and not insult me for them, and not bash me about the head and shoulders to try to change my mind about them.

Posted by: songstress7 at August 18, 2005 09:29 PM

I'm with Bou... VW... Songstress7... If you want my answers, by all means, I'll give them to you. But don't load me with negativity and crap when you her them.

Doug and I also discussed a lot of the "big" issues before we got married. And we haven't had a fight yet. A big discussion, yes, but a fight? Nope.

Posted by: Jody Halsted at August 18, 2005 09:59 PM