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Mind and Morality - Discussion Questions

1. Which faculty of the mind is involuntarily affected and must be indirectly controlled?

2. Which faculty of the mind can be involuntarily affected but also voluntarily controlled?

3. Which faculty of the mind determines one’s moral character?  Why?

4. Which part of the mind allows us to observe our own thought processes?

5. Is a choice always an outward action?  Why or why not?

6. Give examples of an outwardly-expressed choice that could have opposite moral intentions.

7. Why does a person first develop the “idea” of good through the sensibilities and not first through one’s intellect?

8. Follow up to question 7, does a baby or small child have a developed intellect (memory/reason/conscience)?

9. Did you stop the video and get yourself some chocolate chip cookies when they were first suggested?  Whether you did or not, think through and describe your thought processes and course of action chosen at that instance.

10. Observe the gratuitously-noted “teaching point” at 7:56, and describe the faculties of the mind in use during the segment of Joel’s thought process and interaction with his wife off-screen.

11. Should your Will follow the impulses of your Sensibility, or should the Reason be referenced prior to willing a choice?

12. Consider that the Bible calls living for the Sensibility (desires) as “living according to the flesh”.  Instead, Christians are called to live according the truth of God and not to live for the sake of the desires of the flesh.  Romans 2:8, 6:15-19, 8:12-13

13. Can we change our feelings and desires if our Sensibility cannot be directly controlled?  How?  (Remember that our feelings are a result of what we choose to set our mind on.)

14. Do our emotions themselves determine our moral rightness or wrongness?  How about the content of our intellect?

15. Do we always have control over the motivations that affect us?  Do we always have control over which motivations to obey?

16. Which faculty of the mind do we always have direct control over?

17. Which faculty of the mind determines the moral character of the person?

18. Your thought processes occur without you being aware much of the time, but deliberately practice becoming aware of how messages, images, and experiences affect your mind.  Realize that you can choose to reason between right and wrong with reference to God’s truth and the judgments of your conscience, and that you don't have to only follow your emotions and desires.  You can intend that which is most loving towards God and your neighbor according to God, and not just obey your feelings or human opinion.

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