1. At the local grocer, you see an elderly woman shoplift bacon. Do you tell the grocer?
Yes: the grocer needs to know, as it's his livelihood. I probably would quietly pay for the bacon myself, then go after the woman to find out whether she was hungry, absent-minded or ill-intentioned.2. Your name sounds foreign and is difficult to pronounce. Your clients and superiors are always stumbling over it. Do you change it?
It depends on where I was in my career. I might consider taking on a pen name - hey, bneuensc
did it, so how can I go wrong? - so I'm not inherently opposed to the idea. I might ask people to use my middle name (if I had one, or adopt one), or some similar compromise.3. You need one number to win the jackpot at BINGO. The stranger beside you also needs one number and its been called. Do you tell her?
I probably would. I can get obsessively competitive about games, but BINGO hardly counts as one - it's basically pure chance - so that instinct wouldn't kick in. -g-4. You're cramming for a critical exam. Classmates are circulating a stolen advance copy of the test. Do you take one?
No way. I would also let them know that I would tell the professor that there was an advance copy of the exam circulating, though without mentioning names. It's not doing anyone any favors to let people get good grades without actually learning anything.5. Your spouse has become nervous wreck since he/she began day trading on the Internet. But he/she made $10K in a month. Do you make him/her stop?
"Make" is not an appropriate term. I'd talk to him and find out why he was doing it. If he were doing it for me for some reason, I'd tell him I'd rather have him sane than have the money, but if he were doing it for some other reason then I'd work on setting some appropriate limits with him, like how much we can afford to lose and creating an end condition (either how long he'd do it, or how much he'd earn). If this turned out to be a symptom of a gambling problem, though, I'd ask that he stop and seek counseling.6. The house of your dreams finally goes up for sale. You take a tour of the home with it's soon to be former occupant, an elderly woman who's moving into a retirement home. When she quotes you the asking price, it is far below what you know the house is really worth. Do you accept her asking price or offer her more?
I would tell her what the house is worth and let her make the call. If she's being generous - great, let her! If she's simply naive, I don't want to live the rest of my life in a house that there is ill feeling or any moral question about. Otherwise, every time I woke up in the morning or came home at night I would remember how I cheated someone for my own pleasure and gain.7. You are on a safari with your bestest friend in the whole world and your mom/dad. While walking through the jungle, you all take a tumble over a hole in the ground. Your companions fall in while you fall just past it. In the hole is a nest of vipers that bite your companions. You are carrying the anti-venom but after the fall discover that all but one vial has been smashed. After pulling them both to freedom, who do you give the anti-venom to?
I let them make the decision. I mean, seriously. It's their lives at stake.8. You dream that friends die in a plane crash. The next day they announce a trip to Greece. Do you mention your dream?
I might mention it in the context of "whoa, that's weird," but I don't believe that dreams can predict the future or anything like that. I certainly wouldn't be concerned.9. Some friends are visiting you. You notice that one of your very valuable collectibles is missing. Do you search the coats and purses?
I'd just ask them to help me look for it, because I don't invite people into my home that I don't trust. Even if one of them did take something, I can't think of anything they could take - besides the computer and the kitties - that I wouldn't just give them if they needed it. If they did take it, I'd assume they had a good reason, though I'd be a little hurt that they didn't feel they could ask me.10. You've just paid for groceries and the cashier is giving you your change. You notice that she's giving you far too much change. Do you ask her if she made a mistake?
Yup, absolutely.11. You work at a bank and one evening discover that due to a clerical error, you could safely steal 1 million dollars from the bank and never get caught. Would you do it? What if you would never get caught but another coworker would be blamed?
I don't think I would do it. As with the house question, I'm not sure I could ever enjoy the money given that I knew where it came from. The only condition under which I might take it is if it were a Robin Hood scenario - the bank were doing something illegal or immoral, and I had the opportunity to give the money to a better cause. 12. In order to win 1 million dollars, you are told to walk stark naked down a city sidewalk for one block. No one would harm you and you could hop into a waiting limousine at the other end. Would you do it?
Are you kidding? Absolutely. I am sometimes ashamed of my particular body because I feel overweight and unsexy, but I don't feel a million dollars
overweight and unsexy. As far as nudity itself goes, I don't really have a problem with it. As long as I was guaranteed my parents would never hear about it, I'd be there in a New York minute.13. You are told that if you leave the country, taking only one other person with you, you will both be well taken care of but you could never return. Would you do it?
I think it would depend on what "well taken care of" meant, but I can't say this sounds entirely unappealing. I would love to move to Europe and spend my life traveling the world. If "well taken care of" means that I'm wealthy enough to help some of the people I love the most emigrate or come to visit, I'd certainly think very hard about the chance.14. If by cutting off your pinky you could stop all wars, now and future, would you? What about your thumb?
I'm with chaiya
. This is a dumb question. If it were possible, of course I'd do it - but it's so implausible that it's just a dumb question.15. Would you rather have a simple and predictable life, dying among friends and family, or a dramatic life with major ups and downs, dying alone in an empty apartment?
I'd rather die when I'm really, really old, but I don't care so much how and where it happens, as long as I've had a good life up until then. For me, I'd probably rather have the ups and downs because I'm not sure that "simple and predictable" fits with the great things I want to achieve.16. If you could use a voodoo doll to hurt anyone you chose, would you?
I wouldn't hurt anyone permanently, but I'd certainly attempt some remote-controlled Pavlovian conditioning on some of our more stupid and corrupt world leaders. A good case of hemhorroids every time someone tried to pass bigoted laws, initiate violence or steal from their own people would be a fine start.17. Would you accept twenty years of extraordinary happiness and fulfillment if it meant you would die at the end of the period?
I don't think I could, because of how much it would hurt the people who love me. I might be happy for twenty years, but they'd all be counting down until my dying day. Better not to know - even though it does sound like kind of a good deal to me.18. You have the chance to meet someone with whom you can have the most satisfying love imaginable, the stuff of dreams. Sadly, you know that in six months the person will die. Knowing the pain that would follow, would you still want to meet the person and fall in love?
Wow - what an abusively sentimental question. I don't believe that love is the stuff of dreams - I think it's the stuff of real life. In six months, we could probably have a whole lot of infatuation but we'd barely scratch the surface of a real relationship. That's not really worth it for me.19. Would you rather be extremely successful professionally and have a tolerable yet unexciting private life, or have an extremely happy private life and only a tolerable and uninspiring professional life?
I'd prefer the former, both because my career is important to me and because a "tolerable yet unexciting" private life sounds like a wonderful, unattainable ideal to me. I don't want my personal life to be exciting! I want it to be calm, fulfilling and pleasant. Right now I'm in such an intolerable situation that tolerable is a beautiful, beautiful word.20. If a new medicine were developed that would cure cancer but cause a fatal reaction in 1 percent of those who took it, would you want it to be released to the public?
Um, yes. Absolutely. It gives people a better shot than they've already got, and it's their own choice whether or not to take the risk. Of course, I'd insist that they also keep working on making a version that doesn't have the fatal reaction . . . .21. You're invited to a cocktail party that turns into an in-the-buff pool party. Friends and strangers are present. Do you skinny-dip, too?
It kind of depends on the tenor of the strangers. Hipsters? No way. Big geeks? Probably. You get the picture.22. If you knew that by killing one person, all world hunger would instantly end, would you? What if the person was a horrible murderer? What if the person was an innocent child?
Haha. This is the "so, do you believe in utilitarianism" question. The answer is that I probably would, because by not killing the person I'd effectively be passively killing millions. If I have to choose between one life and millions, I take the one. Either way, I'm a killer, and it's silly to imagine that you exonerate yourself from moral responsibility simply because one is a passive choice and one is an active choice.23. If, for the next year, you could have the free services of a maid, a chauffeur, a gardner, a masseuse, or a chef, who would you pick and why?
Ooooh. Well, I'd have to say a maid because a chauffeur in NYC is silly, as is a gardener when I don't have a garden. maastrictian
would be offended if I hired a chef, and I'm not sure I have the time to take advantage of a masseuse as often as I'd like. Plus, I like having a clean apartment.24. If you could pick the sex of your child, would you?
Absolutely. I do not ever, ever, ever want to have sons, while I might consider having a daughter.25. To win 1 million dollars, you and your partner could not have sex with each other for a month, would you? What about 10 million for 3 months? 100 million for 6 months?
Sure, absolutely. I've been on medication that screwed with my sex drive before, so I know we can do it, and that's damn good money. Six months might be a little long, though, and it's not like we really need 100 million dollars anyhow. 10 million would be more than enough to live on, plus pass out plenty to make our friends' dreams come true.