Great BeckyLand Think Off

The Great American Think-Off is America’s premier amateur philosophy contest. Possibly America’s only premier amateur philosophy contest. It’s an essay contest in its 17th year started as a way for ordinary citizens to express their opinions on weighty matters.

These are some topics they’ve had in the past:

2007: Which should you trust more — your head or your heart?
2006: Which is more valuable to society: safety or freedom?
2005: Competition or cooperation: which benefits society more?
2003: Do we reap what we sow?
2000: Is democracy fair?
1999: Which is more dangerous — science or religion?
1998:  Is honesty always the best policy?
1996:  Does God exist?
1994:  Does life have meaning?
1993:  The nature of humankind:  inherently good or inherently evil?

The 2009 essay and debate question is “Is it ever wrong to do the right thing?”

If you want to enter THEIR contest, just submit an essay of 750 words or less by April 1, 2009. Their website states, “The key to writing a successful essay is to ground your argument in personal experience. The judges are looking for essays that address this central problem of moral philosophy by speaking about personal experience rather than abstract philosophical reasoning. Tell a good story that shows a firm standing on one side or the other of this philosophical divide.”

Not to be outdone, here at BeckyLand my crack team of extraordinary thinker-types have put together a BeckyLand Essay Topic ….

“Marching band is the only worthwhile extra-curricular activity.”

Here are the rules:

• Answer yes or no, then support your position. You can use scratch paper and a calculator, but show your work.

• Prizes are as follows:
First place: Nothing
Second place: Nada
Third place: Zip

Good luck and let the bickering begin!

0 thoughts on “Great BeckyLand Think Off

  1. Rebecca Benston

    To answer your question about marching bands, I’d have to say that I disagree. School newspaper is the only worthwhile extra-curricular activity. Of course, I’m biased as a former editor-in-chief of a high school paper. I won’t go into more detail since I’ve already taken up so much space with my other rant. Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to sound off.


    1. beckycc

      Hmmm … school newspaper gets one early vote. I’m torn, obviously, as a fellow wordsmith. Plus, I actually pay to subscribe to the high school newspaper. Hmmm…….

  2. Lana

    Ahhh, I’m beginning to get it … you’re jealous that you weren’t in marching band aren’t you?! You didn’t get to go to Band Camp did you?!? Ok, have your fun, keep trying to get a consensus … it’s one of those cute things I like about you!

    1. beckycc

      Jealous? Moi? First, band camp is HARD! Lots of sweat involved. Icky. Second, I’d be the kid way in the corner of the parking lot after everyone is done with rehearsal trying to figure out how to march. Third, it seems to be a requirement that marching band kids play an instrument, and the radio doesn’t count. There is the Color Guard, however, but they have requirements too … rhythm, memorization skills, looking good in spandex … none of which I possessed in high school or now.

      So, yeah. I guess I’m jealous.

  3. alejna

    I would like to say “no,” and propose to support my position using some comfy cushions. (My calculator isn’t big enough for me to lean on, and scratch paper is so very scratchy.)


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