Thinking Questions
Old thinking questions

I found this in my portfolio thing-a-ma-bob and so, here are some thinking questions I asked, with my old answers, alex's old answers (since i happen to have them also) and anyone else can feel free to add an opinion or re-answer.

1 If you were rich (money wise) what would you do with it?
ALI: I would like to build a home with it. I have a mental floor plan of what I'd like to have in the house. I'd also like to invest a lot of it — but I would have to find someone I'd trust to help me with that, seeing as how I don't have a lot of experience in that area. ^^; I'd also like to say I'd be a philanthropist. And I probably would….but I would want to upgrade and have a lotta fun toys to play with, too. ^^

JEN: Some of it I would save for future investments and business ideas, but a lot of it would go towards helping humanity and fighting against child abuse.

2 When you think of earth, what do you see?
ALI: Like, the plant itself? Well, there are easily a dozen different ways to look at this question. I see the Earth as a beautiful place. It's full of mystery and wonderment, but it also contains the answers to the unknown if we are just willing to search for them (example: why do things stay on the ground instead of floating aimlessly in the air? We now know). The Earth is also filled with breathtakingly gorgeous things: nature, architecture, art, oceans, science, evolution, animals,…etc.

JEN: I see a lot of things. Moments that take your breathe away, life that is worth living, things that are worth fighting for, and things worth fighting against. I see love and hate and unrelenting beauty.

3 What do you think is the purpose of your life?
ALI: I'm-a gunna be a mad scientist like the one in the Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde parody sketch from The Carol Burnett Show1. ^-^ I'm also donating my body to science after I die, so I will forever be part of the scientific community *laughs maniacally*
But (more)seriously: I always wanted to change the world. And that would still be awesome; but my focus has turned more….shall we say…..intimate? I would rather just be happy to be with the people I love. I wanna bring joy, love and happiness to everyone I care about. I would love to be able to accomplish things career-wise, but the greatest achievement in any field of work couldn't compare with love (…….does that sound naive?)

JEN: I for one do not believe I have a set purpose, but if I was to give myself one, it would be to make a difference before I die. It would be my purpose to change the world for the better and to love the people I care about with all of my heart.

4 If you could have three wishes, what would they be?
ALI: Oh, I've thought about this type of thing a lot. I've also gotten into some interesting discussions with a few of my friends about this. This is what I've come to figure out: wishing is never just that. Just like in natural law, you can't gain something from nothing. Any instant gratification you get will be paid with with severe consequences (like in The 10th Kingdom when Tony wished for a million dollars. Well, he got it; but that money was stolen from a bank). If I would wish for anything, I'd ask for things that would help me accomplish what I would want.

JEN: 1. A pet dinosaur. Something about cow sized and not a predator. 2. an apple soda. Right now. 3. I'd wish that no one ever had to die alone.

5 If you could have one wish, what would it be?
ALI: (I hate to do this, but) same answer as above.

JEN: hmm..number 2 or number 3….uhhmm…3…yeah, 3.

6 What would you do if you found out you only had one more day to live?
ALI: All those thoughts and desires that pass through my brain constantly? Those ones I toss aside or say "I'll do that later…" All of those things would get done (anything from spending more time with my family, to kissing someone spontaneously, to jumping out of an airplane…)

JEN: I'd go raise havoc with my friends and family. drinking applesoda, staying up late watching the stars, holding hands, hugging, laughing, never letting go until you have to….

7 If you could do anything, what would you do?
ALI: At the moment, or our of anything? Hold hands with someone. Sleep next to someone. Stay awake in the dark, staring at the ceiling and just talking……

JEN: I would kidnap Sally (John and Alex too) and we'd all run away to China or Hawaii together. = )

8 If you could be anything, what would you be?
ALI: A superhero.
……no.
(unless it was Hancock =D)
I would be more spontaneous. Less inhibited.

JEN: a berserker. Nothing could stop me!!! Waaaaaaarrrg!!!

9 If you could invite anyone, dead or alive, to a tea party, who would it be and why?
ALI: Penn & Teller. Do I really need a reason? (Although Jon Stewart would be pretty awesome, too. ^^) I would just love to debate/get into a conversation with them — further explore their ideas and opinions. Then again, I might really end up weeping out of sheer happiness/excitement. ^^;

JEN: Trent Reznor. He's the coolest!!!!

10 If you had/have a religion that you really believed in, would you die for it?
ALI: That's tough, because I really don't. Then again…..*has to think* If there was one thing I believed in without a single fault…it would have to be science. Would I die for science, though? I might…but I can't really think of a scenario where that would happen (where I would be given the choice, anyway). Not unless I was fighting in a rally of evolutionists vs. creationists. But if I die in such a battle, I'm taking a dozen or so ignorant bastards with me. *maniacal laugh*)

JEN: religion or no, any strong belief that I have I am most likely to die for. If I was told to lie when I believed in telling the truth, I'd tell the truth. And so on..

11 If science had come before religion, do you think people would still believe in a higher power?
ALI: Let's put it this way: I see religion as a way to explain things that otherwise haven't yet been explained (that's how ancient Egyptian, Greek, etc. mythology has been "written off" and, honestly, I don't see many variations between those beliefs and what we call modern theology). Science is a tool to explain reality (vs. divinity). If science had come before religion, then it's possible that religion might not have formed…
But, then again, it's a "chicken and the egg" question. We'll never really know. How do you explain now, for example, when we have so much knowledge of how things are the way they are and what makes up the universe and everything around us……and we still have people who believe in religion?

JEN: odds are extremly high..that yes, people will believe in religion. I'll even bet that if there are other high intelligent beings out there in space that they have religion to. It's an easy explaination for an uneasy question.

12 If you could be any animal or object of any kind, what would it be and why?
ALI: I'd like to be a hyena because they laugh. Or a llama because I could act like Kuzko. Ooh. Or a mouse. They're the smartest creatures, you know. But seriously? I'd like to be a platypus. They're weeeeiiiiiiird~. ^^

JEN: a bird of some sort..i want the open skies all to myself…

13 If you could tell/ask your future self something, what would it be?
ALI: What did you decide to do with your life? Where do you keep the missile silos? And where the hell is the Batmobile? I know you made one, you nerdy bitch (lol)

JEN: If the moon was made out of spare ribs, would you eat it? I know I would!

14 If you could ask/tell your past self something, what would it be?
ALI: (specifically the self from this past year or so) "I understand how much you're hurting now and I know how you feel abandoned and lost. But I promise you, if I can't promise you anything else: just try to get through each day unscathed. Things will definitely get better — and a lot faster than you think. I know it doesn't feel this way now, but this is going to be a major learning experience for you."

JEN: If you don't stop fighting with yourself RIGHT NOW so help me I'll turn this car around!!!

15 If you could re-live or change something, what would it be?
ALI: I've thought about this, and whenever this inquiry comes to mind, I always think back to some of the worst experiences I've been through (because what else do people usually want to change about their lives?). Honestly, even the most horrid things I've gone through I would keep the same (and I certainly wouldn't want to relive them! ^^;). If anything, it'd be the little things: a simple apology, a plea to a friend, a flirtatious action, a change of attitude…

JEN: forget reliving and changing things…let's just focus on the future and now.

16 If you could spend a day in anyone's shoes, who would it be?
ALI: The Doctor's! I'd go a hundred places, get into a whole slew of adventures and troubles, play ping-pong with a dalek…and be back in time for tea up on the Eiffel Tower!

Jen: can't really think of any one..besides, my own shoes fit fine.

17 if you could only save your life, or your friends life, who would it be?
ALI: Oh, I don't even have to think about this one: my friend's life. I'm scared of dying in that I don't want to (and the idea of the unknown kinda creeps me out), but if I could save myself for someone I love, I would do it in half a heartbeat.

JEN: seriously, lame question. Of course it will be the friend.

18 With no beliefs (religion based that is) define good and evil. Can it be done?
ALI: …no. I don't really think there is. Whether we like it or not, our whole lives are formed around the beliefs taught in modern religion. The concepts of good and bad I have are the same as the ones most people I encounter would have (with a few variations, I'm sure)

JEN:Good is going out of your way to help, to give and share. Evil is going out of your way to hurt, destroy and cause pain to another person. Religion claims to be the origional teacher of morals, but I don't believe this. We learn our morals through experiance. We know right and wrong because of how we have felt when these things have happened to us. religion has nothing to do with it, it just has it's own set of morals that most of us learn and know all about without it.

19 Would world peace bring happiness, or disaster?
ALI: Define "disaster" in this context. I don't think world peace would ever be possible. It's a nice concept, but I don't see it happening. Human nature (or animal nature) is not built for peace. A lot of people don't like hearing it, but it's the truth regardless. I think any attempt at forcing world peace would cause imminent disaster.

JEN: well, we are in fact a violent species. World peace sounds like a wonderful idea, but all the restless souls who yearn for blood and carnage will find it in the innocent people around them. Instead of fighting for a cause, they may in fact turn and hurt others who have done nothing to warrent the action. I don't think that it would be disasterous overall though, it would have to be dealt with however, this need for blood and war.

20 Is it right to hate your species?
ALI: I would think it'd be hypocritical. And pretty pointless. There is no "right"/"wrong" to this question; just "silly" vs. "realistic". I can understand why some people have feelings of resentment toward their fellow species…but what they really resent is the actions of the people, not the people themselves. There's no point to resenting your own species. If you say that's what you're doing, then you're misguided.

JEN: It doesn't really matter. Why define what's right or wrong in this context?

21 How can ancient people make up such big "myths"?
ALI: They did it to explain things. Humans have a biological need for knowledge. Myths were ancient people's ways of explaining how the world works, why certain things exist or die, etc.

JEN: They didn't have tv. A lot of free time, a lot of good thinking, and then they suddenly.."see" the answers.

22 Can animals reason? Why do you think that?
ALI: This is an extremely vague question. Reason how? I think they can reason to get what they would need; eg. chimps and other apes who use tools in order to get food. But reason as in…..active thought? I don't think so. I think humans who view pets and other animals with humanistic qualities are just projecting their own feelings on the animals. Those who want the evidence to see animals reason will convince themselves they have all the evidence, and disregard the evidence against their pre-conceived thoughts.

JEN: Sure they can. Not always to the same complexity as us, but if a dog touches a stove and finds that it is hot, it's not going to forget and touch the stove again. I think this because Mr. Lindstedt is wrong! (he said otherwise to this.)

23 What is the difference between today's religion and ancient myth?
ALI: I don't see too many differences, myself. I think modern day religion and ancient myth are a basis for explaining things that we don't have knowledge of. Modern theology is more so preached as a "guide to live by", and myth was taught as more-or-less fact. They lived their lives by the teachings written and interpreted through their myths.

JEN They;re really both the same..all religions just build off of past one… Egyptian myth turned into Christianity..

24 What do you think will happen first? Earth dying naturally, or humans destroying it?
ALI: Earth dying naturally. It's more probable that we'd be wiped out as a species before we ever completely destroy the planet.

JEN: Psssh, we're not going to destroy the planet..not unless we've got these *pulls out weapons of mass destruction* and we start shooting each other with them….

25 If there is a god, then why did he make such an imperfect species?
ALI: Who you calling imperfect? I don't believe in gawd; I believe in evolution. How can I answer this question? I don't think humans are imperfect because I don't have a concept of what perfect could be.

JEN: for funzies

26 What do you think happens after death?
ALI: Nothing. It's empty space (and I realize this sounds emo. It's really not. It's what happens. You're not ascended to a "higher plane of consciousness" and you don't continue to exist in heaven or hell; nor are you reincarnated. Those are all ideas in order to calm the anxiety and worry about the unknown)

JEN: It's impossible to know and there are so many possibilites. Do souls disapear? Can we wander onwards, is it just blackness…nothing, as Alex says. The idea religion brings of places of rest are comforting…I know I would want such a place to be real for the people that matter..But from what I know, there just aren't any answers, no data to back any of the ideas up, nothing but questions.

27 Other then animals and mammals, what do you think humans classify under?
ALI: Australopithecines.
^-^

JEN: I asked really dumb questions in 2003. ><

28 Where would you rather die of thirst? In the ocean, or the desert?
ALI: ….that's a pretty painful way to die. :( I would like the ocean better, though. Just because it's prettier.

JEN: The ocean at least might feel cooler. It would be scarier though..even though I know I would die either way, being trapped out in the ocean would be immensly terrifying. So..in all honesty..I'd pick the ocean…because if the fear, I might at least be distracted from the pain of dying. (of thirst)

29 What would you do if you knew your best friend only had one day to live?
ALI: Spend as much time with them as possible and be sure to tell (and retell) them how much I love them.

JEN: Lock them in a closet. (hahahaha) Just kidding. Whatever the hell they wanted. (Well, maybe almost whatever the hell…depends how good of a friend this person is….)

30 Do you think aliens are of higher or lower intelligence?
ALI: I think, if we ever met one, there would be a variation. Some would be less intelligent, some would be more….it all depends on how they evolved.

JEN: such dumb questions, past self jen. xp. like anything, there may be ones of higher intelligence, or those of lower.

31 Is there a difference between life and death?
ALI: But, of course. I suppose in the "basic" aspect, it could be the same: they are both filled with the future of the unknown. But when you are alive, you can do so much. You're able to live your life freely and experience beauty, pain, wonder, excitement, laughter, love, worry, fear, etc. In death you're just……nothing.

JEN: We can't know that because we don't know what death is. That's like asking what's life like on the planet Beltageuse and I couldn't tell you, so how can I compare?

32 How do you know that you're not dreaming right now?
ALI: I suppose you can never really tell. We could all be in the Matrix and have been fooled our entire lives to believing this is reality. I just trust that I know what's real and what's not. That's the only way I can ever truly be sure. And whether I'm right or wrong….I suppose I'll never know until I'm shown an alternate truth.

JEN: because there's nothing dead here..my dreams have dead things…

33 Are you from earth and gazing up at the stars, or from the stars and choosing to walk on earth?
ALI: Is that a question like in Stardust: "I'm not a shop boy; I'm just a boy who happens to work in a shop"?2I'd say I'm from earth choosing to look up at the stars. But I can't explain my answer on that.

JEN: If I told you that……

34 Do aliens exist?
ALI: I would think so. Will we ever meet one? Highly doubtful.

JEN: odds are, yeah.

35 What would happen if everyone's wish came true?
ALI: The world would implode. It's not possible. Magic can not and does not exist on this plane of reality (even though it's a cool idea, I know). And, if everyone's wishes came true, it's very possible that there would be mass mayhem around the world, igniting conflict and hysteria.

JEN: I would expect a forecast of disaster and lots of people winning the lottery.

36 According to human nature, do you think world peace is even possible?
ALI: No. And I get annoyed with my friends who keep trying to convince me it is. Like I said before, it's a wonderful idea. If it could happen, I definitely would not stop it. But I know too much about human nature to believe it to be the truth. Humans are full of conflict. It's how we survive; it's how anything on this planet survives. Peace is a thing for story books and Disney fairy tales and hippie dreams…..it's not reality

JEN: For..a little while, perhaps. Problem is, people like to fight in packs, and fighting in packs against other people fighting in packs defines war. We might last a day with world peace..maybe two…then the packs will form…

37 What do you think death is?
ALI: (…I think this is the same question asked about ten times already, Jen. ^^;;3) I think it's the end of the life cycle. And it can be scary to deal with, but it's natural. Society makes it scary and emphasizes the anxiety around it. Death is not sad; it's just another form of being.

JEN: Death could either be just an ending to life, or a begining to something else. It depends on what death actually is and what happens next.

38 Why do you think we dream?
ALI: So our subconscious can work out issues and thoughts our conscious otherwise does not deal with.

JEN: sometimes our brains need speratic fits of insanity to keep us together in waking life.

39 Is it possible that time does not exist?
ALI: Time exists. It has to. I'm a time slut. I love time. I believe time is relative. It doesn't necessarily have to exist (not the concept we have in our heads, anyway). But it's good.

JEN: Time is just a measurement of change. Yes, it exists. It's not really possible that it doesn't unless everything everywhere stops changing and moving.

40 Do you think it's possible to stop war once and for all?
ALI: Again: no. For every peace-loving naive hippie there is in the world, there is another Hitler/Stalin type of archetype. Humans feed on power and war is just one way to achieve that.

JEN: maybe only on a large scale. It's possible that world wars could be forever prevented, but gang wars and country's trying to take over other countries..nah..that'll never end.

41 Do you think that for every good thing that happens, there is a bad thing?
ALI: No. But if you believe that, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy

JEN: It would make the phrase "A good deed never goes unpunished" make sense, but ah…I don't believe there are any rules to how things happen and if these things are good or bad.

42 Do you think it is possible to be happy if nothing bad ever happened?
ALI: No; because then you'd have no basis of comparison. How would you know what is good if you don't know what's bad? Everything would be mediocre and mundane and life wouldn't be as enjoyable.

JEN:Nope. You just can't know happiness without knowing pain. You can't know love without loss. Peace without anger. Etc

43 Do you think that no one sees the same color even though they're looking at the same thing?
ALI: Well….I suppose not. There are billions upon billions of color variations that people see….and even the slightest change in light can determine whether you see one shade of color over another.

JEN: eh, maybe, maybe not. It's a neat idea to imagine that we all perceieve everything differently

44 Do you believe that life is a dream?
ALI: At times. *starts singing "Sh-Boom"*4
I think life is real. And having it be real would, in effect, negate the dream, wouldn't it?

JEN: Nah, this seems pretty real to me.

45 What is life?
ALI: A mess of insecurities, curiosities, adventures, excitement, wonder, worry, fear, joy, love, grief, sadness, happiness, anger, etc. Life is all about learning from past mistakes. It's all about accepting your faults along with your achievements; about being optimistic and welcoming; about loving every moment; about trying to be the best person you possibly can… It's not always about living every day as if it were your last…it's about taking the time to appreciate things, but to appreciate things, you also have to take things for granted now and then.
Life is a cliche.

JEN: Life?….don't talk to me about life. lol. It's emotions, experiances, learning, understanding, and growing.

46 To what would you compare life to? (I.E. like a rose, the sun, etc)
ALI: You ask very existential questions, Jennifer. I would compare life to an enigma. And since you can't compare something to something that is incomparable……I have just folded the universe upon itself. I win.

JEN: Life is like a story, write your own ending- (Kermit the frog ^^)

47 To what would you compare death to?
ALI: How can you compare nothing to anything?

JEN: Death is like a lone sailboat on an empty open ocean. Who know's where you're going, where the wind might take you, what might happen next, if there's anything that happens next at all…either way, I believe you are alone…

48 Why do people fall in love?
ALI: This is a question that has a scientific and romantic explanation. Scientifically, the emotion we call "love" is nothing more than fireworks of synapses in your brain that gives off a feeling of euphoria. Romantically, we fall in love because it's a beautiful emotion. We want to express it and capitalize on it.

JEN: We fall in love because of how it makes us feel. The greatest pain, the greatest happiness, to love and be loved. To be open with someone and for someone to be open with you. Love is like life, it doesn't always go the way we;d hoped, but it's still worth the experiance.


New Thinking Questions

These are the good ones, lol.

1. We live in a time where robots and technology are becoming more and more advanced. We may even arrive at a time in which robots can simulate human emotions. If this was to be true, can robots, with this spark of humanity in them, fear death? Even though they were not programmed to avoid death and destruction, is it still possible that they would not want to die, but live?
ALI: You saw this episode of Outer Limits. too, did you?5
This is a very philosophical question. Descartes said that anything is alive, as long as it fears it's own death. Are you asking if the robot could of fear it's own demise…or are you asking if it would? I suppose if it was capable of understanding the difference between life and death and it could appreciate what death would mean…then of course it would want to live (unless of course it was Marvin. Then he would still live…he would just complain about it).

JEN: I have trouble imagining that anything would not avoid death. As animals, we all fear death. Even insects fear their own demise, and to imagine something that appears life like to us to not fear death, to be completly indifferent to it..that is just astounding to me. I think that it may be at some point possible for us to make robots that will fear their own demise..as of right now we're a long way off. (I think, at least..) I like the idea of them wanting life though…

2. There have been a lot of people throughout time who have believed that they have either seen or been abducted by beings from another planet. Some will have P.T.S.D. because of it, but keep in mind that a person can still have P.T.S.D. even if the event never happened, they just think that it did. Is it all apart of some deep wish not to be alone in the universe that people believe they see these visitors, or is it possible that at one point or another we really have been visited by aliens?
ALI: I'm with Penn & Teller on this one: they make it up. Whether they are consciously aware of the fact that it's all an illusion after a period of time is questionable….but I still believe they made it up. There are so very many people that are alone in the world and don't know how to seek solace from this loneliness. And if anyone has ever felt true loneliness, they would understand why people would make up wild stories like they do. Humans are innately social creatures and we need that attention; whether we want to admit it or not. And something like alien abduction could (shockingly) become something very easy to convince yourself of. If you want so very much to have something happen, you will eventually convince yourself it happened. It's like wearing a mask for years on end: the mask was first created as a crutch and a temporary way to hide from the world. If the mask is never removed and it's just added upon, then you will be convinced that the mask is real. If these people have convinced themselves so thoroughly that they have been visited by aliens, they will believe it no matter what. And there are some people out there who will capitalize on those unfortunate souls and make them worse by doing so.

JEN: I'd hate to denounce all of these people who believe something has happened to them. I believe that we as a human race want the feeling of being important, and that some of us might like the idea, therefore, of being taken away, that they, specifically had been taken aboard a spaceship. However, I can't really explain the scientific expiriment part and how despite the fact that they may have a want to be taken away, why they would imagine something happening to them that is so traumatizing that they actually get P.T.S.D. over it. I think there is a possibility that these things have happened, but most of the people that claim it has are a little…off their rocker…

3. Imagine that we were to find out (ignoring the physical impossibilities of this idea) that the universe was actually a lot smaller then originally thought, and that we really are the only living planet (aside from a few planets with microscopic plant life and such). How does this make you feel and do you think it is beneficial for humans or bad for us?
ALI: I really don't know if it would be good or bad; although I can't think of any reason it would be good for humanity. I think it would help reinforce the ignorant notion that some people have that the universe was created around humans.

JEN: First off, I think it would feel lonely, and dissapointing to find this out. Like Alex was said when our Anthropology teacher said that we're the only ones left of our species. (ei homo sapiens) It's bad for us in the fact that we won't ever get the expiriance of meeting a whole new world and the cultures that would come with it. We wouldn't learn from what they learned or be able to compare notes on science and yes, even religion would be interesting to talk about. It would be good too though. If you think about it, any time that one advanced race has met a lesser advanced race, it has destroyed it. The Europeans destroyed the Native Americans (for the most part) the ancient Homo Sapiens killed off the Neandertals, etc, etc..so, it's a good thing in that way that we don't meet up with an advanced civilization. Just, that's really the only good thing, and over all I think it would be more bad then good..and sad, too.

4. Do you think love is beautiful, no matter how it's felt/expressed? My main curiosity deals with unrequited love— do you think that unrequited love is a beautiful thing, even though it can cause pain to the person feeling it?
ALI: Personally, I believe it is. And, if you really want my honest opinion, I think that unrequited love is even more beautiful because it's a bit tragic.
HEATHER: I believe it is. love is a wonderful emotion, no matter how it's felt or expressed (unless, of course, it's obsessive type of love)
LIZZ: I couldn't agree more. It's the tragedy that makes it so beautiful. I suppose you just have to be in the right frame of mind to see it that way. Otherwise… it's just really depressing.
The only kind of love I don't tend to find beautiful is the creepy-stalker-man-loves-you-and-wants-to-eat-your-heart kind of love. That's just frightening. But I digress…
There really is beauty in EVERYTHING, as long as you look from the right perspective. The days that I am the most content with life are the days where I am in awe of the world and its innate beauty. Those days, I can see beauty in everything (and I mean EVERYTHING). It moves and inspires me to love more deeply than ever.

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