Friday, 9 May 2008

Would you - III

(Previously: Would you part I and part II)

After the introspection, I find myself inconsistent and irrational. For instance,
  • I would like to donate part of my fortune (II.5). However I am strongly against giving alms to any beggar (I.5).
  • Someone would not give way even when the vehicle behind honks (I.3), but he would connive with colleagues while not accepting bribe himself (II.3).
  • Someone would donate a part of lottery earnings (II.5.1), but she would not accept that extra earnings are also windfall (II.5.4).
  • Someone may hope to elect unpopular candidate (II.9), but may not choose solar energy (II.10) or may not switch foods (II.8). Yet each one of that set is a vote against a convenient choice.
  • I would not require another Rs 100 note (II.4), a beggar will be much better off with it, but I may not pick it up to pass it to him. If I am well off than average person on road, should I let others pick the note lying on road, or should I pick it up and donate it (II.5)?
  • I may want to donate a part of my fortune for social cause. How do I make sure it reaches its intended recipients (II.7)? How do I justify deliberate redistribution of wealth (I.5,6,7,8 II.1,4,5,6,7) in case it reaches wrong recipients?
Won't free markets work better than any deliberate redistribution of wealth? Why should I push my opinion strongly if I believe in free markets, and if I accept that the other person is free to believe otherwise (and both can be correct)?

I don't know. I wish I had answers that didn't prompt more questions. I would like to know whether you have thought on these lines, and if you too are short of answers.

Reasons for this apparent inconsistency, I feel are a combination of the following
  1. The questions described above are not standalone example of single phenomenon. Saving someone, saving a beautiful person, paying from your pocket and not hurting your arch-rival are a package in single question. It will be very difficult to frame such impartial questions and to answer them honestly.
  2. There is inherent limit we set to our deeds. For example - would you kill someone for Rs 100? Rs 1 lac? Rs 100 cr? for survival?
  3. We prioritize among money, sex, relations, ideas, recognition, self-actualization etc differently. Not only we see others' priorities as irrational, we ourselves are guided by different priorities at different situations.
All this effort is not to point inconsistencies in our thinking (there might even not be any and I am no one to do so). It is to make one think about self and his/her choices, to make him/her introspect.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Would you - II

Previously: Would you part I)
  1. Would you demand a bribe being a babu?
    • from a poor person who cant pay it?
    • from a rich person who can afford, but is known to be a philanthropist?
    • from a rich person who can afford, and is known to possess lot of black money?

  2. Would you accept bribe even if you don't want to, but because peers pressurize you?
  3. Would you connive with other corrupt people instead, but not accept bribe yourself?

  4. Would you pick up Rs 100 note lying on road
    • when no one is watching?
    • when someone is watching you, but you can act as if it fell from your pocket?
    • when no one is watching but you know that someone is looking for money lost?

  5. Would you donate a part of your fortune
    • if you picked up the above note?
    • if you won a gold coin in packet of chips as part of marketing scheme?
    • if you are earning more than you deserve (in your opinion)?
    • if you are earning more than you require?

  6. Would you live a simple life, reduce your consumption so that you can donate more?
  7. Would you stop donating if you find that your money is being pocketed by uninteded beneficiaries?

  8. Would you switch from non-veg to veg because more people can be fed from veg (or from some food to some less tasty food)?
  9. Would you vote against a popular (set to win) candidate known to be corrupt, just because your vote may matter?
  10. Would you switch to solar power even if it costs more than saving in electricity bill, but saves CO2 emissions?
Next: Part III

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Would you - I

This is a series of 3 posts. Basically series of questions, of which I myself don't have consistent and fixed answers. In the end what I have is only more questions.

Answer the following questions. All the questions are of the form "Would you ....... (do something)". Be honest to yourself. There are no right or wrong answers. This is not a test, so there are no results, only more questions.

  1. would you skip a signal
    • if the signal just turned red and the next vehicle goes ahead?
    • if the signal just turned red and the next vehicle stops?
    • if the signal just turned red and the next vehicle stops at 3 am?

  2. Would you wait for the red signal timer (at ten) to be zero if person behind you honks continuously?
    • Would you give way to that person?

  3. Would you pick someone else's shoes outside temple if you can't find yours

  4. Would you rush an injured beautiful person, lying on road, to hospital?
    • if s/he is poor and you may need to spend from pocket?
    • if s/he is the person you hate the most?

  5. Would you give a rupee to a beggar who doesnt want to work?
    • if he is handicapped?
    • if he is fully healthy?

  6. Would you stop giving a rupee to healthy beggars because they may start to earn by working?

  7. Would you resist paying to eunuch even facing harassment?
  8. Would you resist paying ransom to an extortionist?

  9. Would you you want to be a terrorist ending up killing someone who believes otherwise?
  10. Would you criticize other religions because their beliefs contradict yours?
  11. Would you you want to be a gangster knowing that you will kill someone just like you?
  12. Would you you want to be a soldier knowing that you will kill someone just like you?
Next: Part II and III.