Or, what if you lived in the Ukraine in the 1930s, and were told that you had to choose between Hitler and Stalin to rule you, each of whom desired to exterminate all Ukrainians? If – as many Ukrainians did – you favored Hitler over Stalin because of some mistaken belief that he might be a less immediate threat to your life, might a moment’s reflection suggest to you a better question to be asked?
Or, imagine your son discussing with you his thinking about a career to pursue. Suppose he was trying to decide between becoming a pimp for street-walkers, or a dealer in illegal drugs: what questions might you ask him to consider, and what advice might you give him?
Or, reduce the inquiry to the most personal health considerations. Would you rather have emphysema or lung cancer as "the lesser of two evils?" I asked this question of my physician, and her response was that lung cancer would be the better choice because you had an outside chance of being able to overcome it.
The outcome of every problem we encounter in life can be greatly improved by refining the quality of the questions we ask ourselves. As I tell my students, don’t let the opposition frame the legal issues for you: examine what they have to say, but then refine the inquiry to make certain that your interests are best served by the form of the question. Should you apply this strategy to the forthcoming election, you may discover that getting to choose between Obama and Romney will have no more life-sustaining meaning for you and your family than being "free to choose" between the guillotine and a hanging for the means of your execution. You may decide to follow the advice of George Carlin and just stay home on election day pursuing other expressions of self-interest!
Domingo, Setembro 23, 2012
Prioridades e abstenção
What Are Our Priorities? por Butler Shaffer: