An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals Quiz Questions and Answers

What comes to mind when you think about someone described as virtuous?

  • They sound like a genuinely good person with a kind heart.
  • They probably have strong morals and always try to do what’s right, even when it’s hard.
  • I wonder if they’re a little boring, you know, maybe too perfect? Nobody’s that good.
  • It depends on what they’re “virtuous” about. Everyone has their own thing.
  • I admire people who try to live ethically, but it’s easy to judge others and harder to look at yourself.

You have a choice of receiving a generous gift or giving a generous gift to someone in need, which do you choose?

  • Definitely giving the gift. It’s more rewarding to help someone else.
  • Receiving, of course. I’m practical.
  • It depends on who the recipient of the gift would be.
  • This is a tough one. Both bring a different kind of satisfaction.
  • I’d probably feel obligated to give the gift, but secretly wish I had kept it for myself.

What’s your favorite memory that comes to mind related to witnessing an act of true kindness?

  • Honestly, I can’t recall a specific memory, but those warm fuzzy feelings always come up when I see people helping each other.
  • Once, I saw a stranger help an elderly woman cross the street during a busy rush hour, that always stuck with me.
  • It’s more about the little, everyday acts of kindness that stand out to me rather than one big gesture.
  • I’m more impacted by acts of cruelty than kindness. The bad stuff just stays with you longer.
  • That time I helped my friend move and they bought me pizza? Just kidding (kind of).

What happened in the past when you had to choose between doing what you believed was morally right and something that benefitted you personally?

  • I’d like to think I always try to choose the moral path, even if it costs me something.
  • It’s human nature to be a little selfish sometimes, we can’t be perfect all the time.
  • There’s always a way to find a compromise, a win-win where you can do what’s right and still come out ahead.
  • Sometimes you have to look out for number one, that’s just reality.
  • It’s a constant internal struggle, to be honest, and it never gets any easier.

You see someone being treated unfairly, how do you react?

  • I would definitely step in and say something, even if it was uncomfortable.
  • It depends on the situation. If it was something serious, I would intervene, but if it was minor, I might let it slide.
  • I would feel for them, but I’m not one to get involved in other people’s business.
  • I might feel angry or upset, but I’m not sure I would actually do anything.
  • I’d probably pull out my phone and start recording, gotta love a little public accountability.

How do you feel about Hume’s assertion that morality is rooted in sentiment rather than pure reason?

  • Makes sense to me! Our emotions often drive our moral choices.
  • I see where he’s coming from, but I think reason plays a role too.
  • I think it’s more complicated than that. There are lots of factors that influence our morality.
  • I’m not sure I agree. I believe we can make rational moral decisions without relying on emotions.
  • Feelings are fleeting, but true morality has to be based on something more solid, right?

How often do you think about the greater good of society when making decisions?

  • I try to be mindful of how my choices impact others. It’s not all about me, you know.
  • Sometimes, but honestly, I’m more focused on my own little world most of the time.
  • Pretty often, actually. It’s important to be a responsible citizen.
  • I think about it more in terms of my community rather than society as a whole.
  • Rarely. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.

What’s your idea of a “perfect virtue”? Can you really combine being useful, agreeable, and fulfilling all at once?

  • I think it’s about finding a balance. You don’t have to be perfect in every way.
  • Maybe it’s more about striving for these qualities rather than actually achieving them.
  • Sounds exhausting to be honest! I’m happy just being me, flaws and all.
  • Sure, why not? Aim for the stars!
  • What even is “perfect”? It’s all subjective.

How comfortable are you with the idea that social conventions, not just pure reason, influence our moral judgments?

  • We’re social creatures, it’s natural that our environment shapes our morals to some extent.
  • True, but we should be able to think for ourselves and not just blindly follow the crowd.
  • It’s a bit unsettling to think that our morals might be influenced by things we don’t even consciously realize.
  • It’s more important to focus on being a good person than worrying about why we judge things the way we do.
  • I think it’s a cop-out to blame society. We’re responsible for our own beliefs.

Which of these Humean concepts – benevolence, justice, utility, or agreeableness – do you find yourself valuing most in your personal interactions?

  • Definitely benevolence. A little kindness goes a long way.
  • Justice, for sure. I believe in fairness and equality.
  • Utility is key! I appreciate people who are helpful and practical.
  • I’m drawn to agreeable people. Life is too short for negativity.
  • They’re all important in their own way. It depends on the context.

How do you feel about Hume’s distinction between the merit of an action and the merit of the person performing it?

  • I agree with Hume. You can do good things for bad reasons, and vice versa.
  • It’s a bit nuanced for me. I tend to judge people by their actions overall, not just isolated incidents.
  • It’s like the saying goes, “It’s the thought that counts.” I care more about intention.
  • Sometimes we do things that we regret, but that doesn’t mean we’re bad people.
  • It’s hard to separate the two completely. Our actions reflect our character.

What makes you nervous about the role of “social sympathy” in shaping our morals, as Hume suggests?

  • It worries me that we might be easily swayed by public opinion, even when it’s wrong.
  • We’re more likely to be compassionate towards those who are like us, which can lead to prejudice and discrimination.
  • It’s human nature to want to fit in, but we shouldn’t let that compromise our values.
  • I don’t know if I’m cut out to be a lone wolf, going against the grain all the time.
  • I’m more concerned with people who lack empathy and compassion.

What is your absolute favorite example from Hume’s text that illustrates his ideas about morality?

  • The story of Pericles and the lack of mourning is pretty powerful. Shows that true virtue isn’t about seeking praise.
  • That allegory of the golden age where justice is unnecessary really highlights the role of scarcity and self-interest.
  • I liked the example of the hump-backed fellow finding a way to make his perceived flaw useful.
  • It’s more about the overall arguments than specific examples for me.
  • I’m drawing a blank, to be honest. It’s been a while since I read the text!

If you could ask David Hume one question about his “Principles of Morals,” what would it be?

  • How did he reconcile his emphasis on sentiment with the need for a just and stable society?
  • Given the complexities of human nature, did he ever worry that his theories were overly simplistic?
  • How can we overcome our own biases and prejudices to make truly objective moral judgments?
  • I’d want to know more about his personal life and how his own experiences shaped his views on morality.
  • Honestly, I’m not sure I understood it well enough to ask a decent question.

How do you determine your personal code of ethics?

  • It’s a combination of my upbringing, personal experiences, and ongoing reflection.
  • I rely on my gut feeling. If something feels wrong, it probably is.
  • I look to role models and mentors for guidance.
  • I try to stay informed about ethical issues and make conscious choices.
  • I’m still figuring it out, to be honest.

How well do you stick to your convictions when faced with social pressure to conform?

  • I’m not afraid to stand up for what I believe in, even if it means going against the grain.
  • I try to find a balance between being true to myself and maintaining social harmony.
  • It depends on the situation and who I’m dealing with.
  • Honestly, I’m a bit of a people pleaser. I don’t like conflict.
  • Peer pressure is no joke!

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the concept of “moral luck”?

  • It’s a humbling thought that factors beyond our control can influence how our actions are judged.
  • Life is full of unfair advantages and disadvantages.
  • It makes me question whether we can truly be held accountable for our choices.
  • I think it’s an excuse to avoid taking responsibility.
  • It sounds like a philosophical cop-out.

How prepared do you think most people are to have open and honest conversations about challenging ethical dilemmas?

  • We need to create more spaces for these types of discussions.
  • People are often too afraid to express unpopular opinions.
  • It’s easier to stay in our echo chambers and avoid uncomfortable truths.
  • True change happens when we’re willing to challenge our own beliefs.
  • It’s a minefield!

What is your current biggest challenge when it comes to living in accordance with your own moral principles?

  • It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and lose sight of what’s truly important.
  • Staying true to myself in a world that often rewards conformity and self-interest.
  • Navigating the gray areas where there are no easy answers.
  • Overcoming my own hypocrisy and inconsistencies.
  • Honestly, sometimes it just feels easier to take the easy way out.

What’s your go-to book or podcast when you’re feeling lost and need a little moral guidance (even if it’s just a temporary escape)?

  • I usually turn to philosophical texts or lectures when I’m grappling with moral questions.
  • I find solace in stories about people who overcame adversity and made a positive impact on the world.
  • Give me a good novel with complex characters and moral dilemmas.
  • I’m more of a self-help junkie. I’m always looking for practical tips for living a better life.
  • Honestly, a good distraction is sometimes the best medicine.

What aspect of Hume’s philosophy makes you the most happy?

  • His emphasis on the importance of empathy and compassion resonates with me.
  • I appreciate his pragmatic approach to morality.
  • His skepticism of rigid moral codes is refreshing.
  • His insights into human nature are both insightful and entertaining.
  • Honestly, I’m just glad I don’t have to write a philosophy paper on this stuff anymore!

Someone asks, “How are your morals doing these days?”, what’s the actual answer, not just “I’m good?”

  • “I’m trying my best to be a decent human being, but it’s a constant work in progress.”
  • “I think my moral compass is generally pointing in the right direction, but I still get lost sometimes.”
  • “I’m trying to be more mindful of my impact on others and the world around me.”
  • “I have my moments of both virtue and vice, just like anyone else.”
  • “Honestly, I’m too busy surviving to worry about being a saint.”

What keeps you up at night about the state of ethics and morality in the world today?

  • The rise of extremism and the erosion of empathy are concerning trends.
  • It’s hard to know what’s true anymore with so much misinformation and manipulation.
  • People seem to be more divided than ever before.
  • I worry that we’re becoming increasingly self-centered and materialistic.
  • Climate change, social injustice, political corruption… take your pick! There’s plenty to worry about.

In a perfect world, what would society’s approach to moral education look like?

  • We need to start teaching empathy and critical thinking skills from a young age.
  • Open discussions about ethics should be encouraged in schools and communities.
  • We need to move beyond rigid rules and focus on developing moral reasoning skills.
  • It’s not just about teaching right from wrong, but also about inspiring people to live meaningful and ethical lives.
  • Can someone just give me a curriculum and I’ll get to work?

What is the trickiest part about reconciling personal desires with the demands of ethical behavior?

  • Sometimes it feels like doing the “right thing” comes at a personal cost.
  • It’s easy to justify our actions when they benefit us, even if they might be morally questionable.
  • Staying true to your values takes constant effort and vigilance.
  • It can be lonely swimming against the tide of social norms.
  • I’m still working on finding that sweet spot where I can live a fulfilling life without compromising my integrity.

How confident are you in your ability to make sound moral judgments when faced with complex ethical dilemmas?

  • I believe I have a strong moral compass and the ability to reason through tough situations.
  • I’m always learning and growing, so I know I won’t always get it right.
  • I rely on my intuition and the guidance of others when faced with difficult choices.
  • It’s important to acknowledge the limitations of our own perspectives and be open to other viewpoints.
  • I don’t envy the people who have to make life-or-death decisions on a daily basis.

Do you believe that true altruism exists, or are all actions ultimately motivated by some form of self-interest, as some philosophers argue?

  • I’m an optimist at heart, so I’d like to believe that people are capable of genuine selfless acts.
  • It’s probably a spectrum. Even if we derive some satisfaction from helping others, it doesn’t negate the positive impact.
  • Human motivation is complex. It’s hard to say definitively what drives our actions, even our own.
  • I think true altruism is rare, but we should still strive for it.
  • It’s a nice thought, but I’m a bit of a cynic when it comes to human nature.

If you could wave a magic wand, what would the perfect outcome be for humanity in terms of moral progress?

  • A world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their differences.
  • A society where compassion and empathy guide our actions and policies.
  • A future where we’ve solved global challenges like poverty, inequality, and climate change through collective ethical action.
  • A world where we’ve moved beyond the need for rigid moral codes and trust each other to do what’s right.
  • World peace! Is that too much to ask?

What do you think you need to bridge the gap between your current moral compass and the kind of ethical person you aspire to be?

  • More self-reflection and a willingness to confront my own biases.
  • The courage to live in alignment with my values, even when it’s difficult.
  • A stronger support system of like-minded individuals who challenge and inspire me.
  • Honestly, probably a good therapist!
  • It’s a lifelong journey, not a destination.

What do you think is missing in your quest to be a more ethical person, as Hume might define it?

  • I need to work on being more mindful of how my actions affect others.
  • I could stand to be more compassionate and understanding towards those who are different from me.
  • I need to be more honest with myself about my own shortcomings and areas for growth.
  • I’m still figuring out what it means to live a life that aligns with my values.
  • A raise? More vacation time? Just kidding… sort of.

How would your friends and family describe your approach to moral decision-making?

  • They’d probably say I’m the “moral compass” of the group.
  • They know I try to do the right thing, even if I don’t always get it right.
  • They appreciate my willingness to listen and see things from multiple perspectives.
  • They’d probably say I overthink things!
  • Hopefully, they’d have nice things to say!

How do you handle the internal conflict that arises when your personal beliefs clash with societal norms?

  • I’m not afraid to challenge the status quo and stand up for what I believe in.
  • I try to find a balance between staying true to myself and respecting the beliefs of others.
  • It’s a constant negotiation between my own moral code and the expectations of society.
  • Honestly, it’s exhausting. Sometimes I just wish there were easier answers.
  • I pick my battles.

Which of these topics within Hume’s exploration of morality would you enjoy the most discussing at length?

  • The role of emotions versus reason in shaping our moral judgments.
  • The origins and evolution of our concepts of justice and fairness.
  • The influence of social conventions on our ethical beliefs.
  • The relationship between self-love and our capacity for benevolence and compassion.
  • Honestly, could we just talk about something lighter, like reality TV?

Which member of Hume’s philosophical squad are you: the skeptical but compassionate Hume, the strictly rational Locke, the stoic Epictetus, or the witty and observant Montaigne?

  • I relate to Hume’s blend of skepticism and compassion.
  • I admire Locke’s emphasis on reason and individual liberty.
  • Epictetus’s stoicism appeals to my desire for inner peace.
  • Montaigne’s wit and self-awareness resonate with me.

A new ethical dilemma arises that challenges your preconceived notions of right and wrong, what is your first response?

  • Time to consult the experts! I’d read everything I could find on the topic to understand different perspectives.
  • I’d seek out the counsel of trusted friends, family members, or mentors for guidance.
  • I’d sit with the discomfort and really try to understand the complexities of the issue before forming an opinion.
  • I’d probably avoid it if I could. Life is complicated enough!
  • I’d Google it! Someone must have already figured this out.

How prepared are you to navigate the moral complexities of artificial intelligence and its impact on society?

  • This is a huge issue! We need to be having serious ethical conversations about AI development and regulation.
  • I’m trying to stay informed, but it’s moving so fast.
  • I’m a bit terrified, to be honest. It feels like we’re opening Pandora’s Box.
  • We can’t let fear paralyze us. We need to find ways to harness AI for good.
  • Someone call Elon Musk!

What do you think is the biggest threat to moral progress in the 21st century?

  • The spread of misinformation and the erosion of trust.
  • The rise of inequality and the concentration of power.
  • The climate crisis and the lack of collective action to address it.
  • The increasing polarization of society and the decline of civil discourse.
  • Ourselves! We’re our own worst enemies.

How do you think technology has impacted our capacity for moral reasoning and behavior?

  • It’s a double-edged sword. Technology can connect us and amplify empathy, but it can also create echo chambers and desensitize us.
  • We’re constantly bombarded with information, which can make it hard to discern truth from falsehood.
  • It’s easier than ever to live in our own little bubbles and avoid engaging with different perspectives.
  • I’m hopeful that we can find ways to use technology to promote ethical behavior and understanding.
  • Honestly, I miss the good old days when life was simpler!

I’m afraid of a future where…

  • …technology outpaces our ability to manage its ethical implications.
  • …we lose sight of our shared humanity and become further divided.
  • …we fail to address the pressing global challenges that threaten our collective future.
  • …moral relativism leads to a decline in ethical standards and behavior.
  • …we run out of coffee! That’s a future I don’t want to live in.

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