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22:54 UK time, Thursday, 20 November 2008

To answer the four philosophical questions of the day:

1. No, Bill can not justifiably be killed as why should it be Bill and not, say, Ben. At least in the other examples there is a clear either/or decision to be made, I don't think there's a guilt free conscience choice in killing Bill over Ben.

2. I think I must be as I remember starting to read the article. If I were not the same person who started to read the article then the article could never be read by one person and fully appreciated thereby resulting in writing the article being a pointless task. For the sake of journalism/literature/anything else you care to think of I feel you can't validate the claim.

3. Yes.

4. Again untrue, although partly. I did freely choose to read the article although not responsibly, I think I should really be working... good article though, provides good procrastination potential!
Matt Hardcastle, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

I was going to cite David Bain's article on philosophy as a fine piece of nominative determinism but it turns out there's no R in his surname. But I will ask in which of David Lewis's alternate universes he's living in, where the driver of a tram can change its route.
David Richerby, Leeds, UK

Four philosophical questions to make your brain hurt reminds me of a scene in the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Vroomfondle and Majikthise threaten a "philosophers' strike" if Deep Thought is allowed to find the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life the Universe and Everything. Deep Thought points out, "And who will THAT inconvenience?"
Martin, Bristol, UK

I want to comment on the Laurie Taylor piece about growing up but there is no option to. But it bugs me that he doesn't actually say anything with it... but it is implied that "they seek to avoid rather than assume responsibility" is the defining nature of adults today. And this comes after telling us how in his day, undoubtedly a good old one, boys wanted to be adults for... well, no good reasons. Avoid chores? Avoid the minefield of relationships because you have caught a wife already? Avoid thinking and coming up with reasons for things because a boorish "I know best" is good enough? Laurie Taylor makes no judgement that I can see but he surely could use his column space more wisely.
Chris Clarke, Oxford

Re the caption in Laurie Taylor's piece: "Half of you can grow a moustache..." Left half or right half? Any suggestions?
Dave Godfrey, Swindon, UK

Why become a minister if your power doesn't even translate into the authority to order a coffee ("Minister's coffee demands 'froth'")? I remember an exchange in Yes Prime Minister: Hacker observed that he had the power to unleash nuclear warfare but not to ask for scrambled eggs, to which Sir Humphrey smoothly responded that he certainly had the power to ask for them.
Edward Green, London, UK

It may just be me, but I thought that airbrushing was used to remove unsightly features by smoothing everything over, and not to introduce details such as missing belly buttons ("Who doesn't have a belly button?"). Can anyone explain?
James O, Oxford

Woah Nelly! "Most procedures involve transforming an innie into an outie..." What madness is this? Who on earth would want to be a freaky outie, let alone pay for the privilege?
Luke, Edinburgh

Re the comment by the BBC One controller ("Top of the Pops has never been bigger"). Didn't she read this article? Surely regardless of whether you measure this by number of episodes, viewers or impact on record sales you will find that Top of the Pops was in fact bigger in every year from 1964 to 2006? Then again maybe it has moved to a bigger studio this year?
Frog, Aldershot

Did anyone else let out a cheer when BBC Breakfast said that the Sirius Star was the weight of 25 Routemaster buses? They also said it's the size of Canary Wharf, so in size terms Canary Wharf = Aircraft carrier = 3 football pitches.
Andy, Leeds, UK

Debate closed. Paper Monitor is quite clearly male.
Phil, Oxford

Poor Toby Young. With the fewest votes in today's Daily Mini-Quiz, maybe he does need to be in I'm a Celebrity.
Phil B-C, London

It's World Philosophy Day - or is it?
Dave W, ThatNorth

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