Philosophically inclined students between the ages of 15 and 18 still have two weeks (until July 31) to enter the John Locke Institute's philosophy essay contest. In under 2000 words, students can choose to address one of three topics:
1. Is it possible that the whole world came into existence only five minutes ago? How do we know that it didn't?
2. 'Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant...then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.’ - Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies Can a liberal society afford to tolerate the intolerant?
3. When I say, 'I want to become a better man' perhaps I believe I have some control over who I am, or who I shall become. This can be true in one sense: I (the subject) can act to make myself (the object) a better person. But in another sense, I am ultimately constrained by who I already am. I (the subject) cannot choose retrospectively to be other than the person I find myself to be, as an inevitable consequence of my genes and my experiences. And if so, the rewards and punishments promised in the Christian Bible are incoherent. Aren't they?
For more information, see www.johnlockeinstitute.com/philosophy-essay
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