The Book of Questions – Gregory Stock
1: For a person you loved deeply, would you be willing to move to a distant country knowing there would
be little chance of seeing your friends or family again
2: Do you believe in ghosts or evil spirits? Would you be willing to spend a night alone in a remote house
that is supposedly haunted?
3: If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you
most regret not having told someone? Why haven't you told them yet? 4: If you could spend one year in prefect happiness but afterward would remember nothing of the
experience would you do so? If not, Why not
4b: Which is more important: actual experiences , or the memories that remain when the experiences are
5:If a new medicine were developed that would cure arthritis but cause a fatal reaction in one percent of
those who took it, would you want it to be released to the public? 6: You discover your wonderful one-year-old child is, because of a mix up at the hospital, not yours.
Would you want to exchange the child to try to correct the mistake? 7: Do you think the world will be a better or worse place one hundred years from now?
8: Would you rather be a member of a world championship sports team or be the champion of an
individual sport? Which sport would you choose?
9: Would you accept $1,000,000 to leave the country and never set foot in it again?
9b: If you were expelled from the country and had only limited financial
resources, where would you try
to rebuild your life?
10: Which sex do you think has it easier in our culture? Have you ever wished you were the opposite sex?
11: You are given the power to kill people simply by thinking of their deaths and twice repeating the word
“good-bye.” People would die a natural death and no one would suspect
you. Are there situations in
which you would use this power?
11b: If you can imagine yourself killing someone indirectly, could you still see yourself doing so if you
had to look into the person's eyes and stab the person to death? Have you ever genuinely wanted to kill
someone, or wished someone dead?
12: If you were able to live to the age of ninety and retain either the body or the mind of a thirty year old
for the last sixty years of your life, which would you choose? 13: What would constitute a “perfect” evening for you?
14: Would you rather be extremely successful professionally and have a tolerable yet unexciting private
life, or have an extremely happy private life and only a tolerable and uninspiring professional life?
14b: Since so many place great emphasis on a happy private life, why do people often wind up putting
more energy into their professional lives? If you feel your private life is more important to you, do your
priorities support this? Are you simply unwilling to admit that work is more important? Do you use work
as a substitute? Do you hope professional success will somehow magically lead to personal happiness?
15: Whom do you admire the most? In what way does that person inspire you?
16: If at birth you could select the profession your child would eventually pursue, would you do so?
17: Would you be willing to be extremely ugly physically if it meant you would live fir 1,000 years at any
physical age you choose?
17b: How much are you affected by a person's physical appearance? How would it change your life if
something happened to maker you less attractive than you are now? Do you find anything disturbing about immortality? What age seems ideal to you?
18: If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one ability or quality, what would it be?
19: You have the chance to meet someone with whom you can have the most satisfying love imaginable –
the stuff of dreams. Sadly, you know that in six months the person will die. Knowing the pain that will
follow, would you still want to meet the person and fall in love? What if you knew your lover would not
die, but instead would betray you?
19b: In love, is intensity or permanence more important to you? How much do you expect from
someone who loves you? What would make you feel betrayed by your mate – indifference? Dishonesty?
20: If you knew of a way to use your estate, following your death, to greatly benefit humanity, would
you do it and leave only a minimal amount to your family? 21: Do you prefer being around men or women? Do your closest friends
tend to be men or women?
22: If you could use a voodoo doll to hurt anyone you chose, would you do it?
23: While on a trip to another city, your spouse (or lover) meets and spends a night with an exciting
stranger. Given that they will never meet again, and that you would not otherwise learn of the incident,
would you want your partner to tell you? If roles were reversed, would you reveal what you had done?
23b: How serious would an affair need to be before you would want and expect to be told about it? What
makes hearing such a confession so threatening that most people would rather be deceived? Is this kind
of honesty more likely to be destructive or to lead to greater intimacy and trust? How much do you trust
your lover? How much can you be trusted?
24: Are their people you envy enough to want to trade lives with them? Who are they?
25: For an all-expense-paid, one week vacation anywhere in the world, would you be willing to kill a
beautiful butterfly by pulling off its wings? What about stepping on a cockroach?
25b: Why does a beautiful creature merit more compassion than an ugly one? Does it damage us
psychologically when we destroy something we find beautiful? How meaningful is the difference between pulling the wings off an insect and stepping on it? Is
the decision of how to kill something a minor decision when balanced against the decision of whether or
not to kill at all?
26: Would you be willing to murder an innocent person if it would end hunger in the world?
26b: Would it torment you more to have the blood of an innocent person on your hands or to know you
let millions of people die? What do think of people who achieve great things by compromising their
Many are willing to give their own lives but not to take the life of another; is anything so
important you would sacrifice your very soul for it?
27: If God appeared in a series of vivid and moving dreams and told you to leave everything behind,
travel alone to the Red Sea and become a fisherman, what would you do? What if you were told to
sacrifice your child?
28: What is your most treasured memory?
29: Have you ever hated anyone? If so, why, and for how long? 30: Would you be given $10,000 for your own use or $100,000 to give anonymously to strangers? What
if you could keep $1,000,000 or give away $20,000,000?
31: If you knew there would be a nuclear war in one week, what would you do?
32: Would you accept twenty years of extraordinary happiness and fulfillment if it meant you would die
at the end of the period?
33: What is the greatest accomplishment of your life? Is there anything you hope to do that is even better?
34: What was your most enjoyable dream? Your worst nightmare? 35: Would you give up half of what you now own for a pill that would permanently change you so that
one hour of sleep each day would fully refresh you?
35b: Do you feel you have enough time? If not, what would give you that feeling? How much has your
attitude about time changed as you've aged?
36: If you knew you could devote yourself to a single occupation –
music, writing, acting, business,
politics, medicine, etc. - and be among the best and most successful in the world at it, what would you
choose? If you knew you only had a ten percent chance of being so successful, would you still put in the
37: What was your best experience with drugs or alcohol? Your worst experience?
38: If you went to a dinner party and were offered a dish you had never tried, would you want to taste it
even if it sounded strange and not very appealing?
39: Do your close friends tend to be older or younger than you? 39b: What kind of people do you like to spend time with? What do such people bring out in you that
other do not? What can people learn about you by looking at your friends?
40: If the person you were engaged to marry had an accident and became paraplegic, would you go
through with the marriage or back out of it?
41: Your house , containing everything you own , catches fire; after saving your loved ones and pets, you
have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be?
42: How would you react if you were to learn that your mate had had a lover of the same sex before you
knew each other?
42b: Have you ever bee sexually attracted to someone of the same sex? To someone in your family? If so,
how did you deal with it?
43: When were you last in a fight? What caused it and who won? 44:You are offered $1,000,000 for the following act: Before you are ten pistols- only one of which is
loaded. You must pick up one of the pistols, point it at your forehead, and pull the trigger. If you can walk
away, you do so a millionaire. Would you accept the risk? 45: Someone very close to you is in pain, paralyzed, and will die withing a month. He begs you to give
him poison so that he can die. Would you? What if it were your father? 45b: Should it be illegal to help a terminally-ill person to die? If someone is not dying but has chronic
pain, should the person be allowed to commit suicide? What if the person is in emotional rather than
46:When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
47: You have the power to go any distance into the future and, after one year, return to the present with
any knowledge you have gained from your experience but with no physical objects. Would you make the
journey if it carried a fifty percent risk of death?
48: Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as your dinner guest? As your close
friend? As your lover?
48b: What do you seek in a friend yet neither expect nor want in a lover? Are you attracted to people who
are healthy for you to be around?
49: While parking late at night, you slightly scrape the side of a Porsche. You are certain no on else is
aware of what happened. The damage is minor and would not be covered by insurance. Would you leave
50: If you could choose the manner of your death, what would it be? 50b: Would you prefer to die a hero's death, die a martyr to some great cause, die in a catastrophe,or die
peacefully? Why is it so tempting to have death catch us in our sleep? 51: Do you have any specific long-term goals? What is one and how do you plan on reaching it?
51b: How often do you step back and reflect upon the way you are living and where you are headed? In
what way will reaching your goals make your life more satisfying? 52: For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
53: How do you react when people sing “Happy Birthday” to you in a restaurant?
54: What is the worst psychological torture you can imagine suffering? Anything causing even minor
physical injury should not be considered.
55: Would you like your spouse to be both smarter and more attractive than you?
56: If you found that a good friend had AIDS, would you avoid him? What if your brother or sister had
57: Would you be willing to give up sex for one year if you knew it would give you a much deeper sense
of peace than you have now?
58: A good friend pulls of a well-conceived practical joke that plays on one of your foibles and makes
you look ridiculous. How would you react?
58b: How forgiving are you when your friends let you down? 59: By controlling medical research funds, you are in a position to guarantee that a cure will be found in
fifteen years for any disease you choose. Unfortunately, no progress on any others would be made during
that period. Would you target one disease?
60: Would you add one year to your life if it meant taking one year from the life of someone in the world
selected at random? Would it matter if you were told whose life you had shortened?
61: Can you urinate in front of another person?
62: If you walked out of your house one morning and saw a bird with a broken wing huddled in some
nearby bushes, what would you do?
63: Assume there were a technological breakthrough that would allow people to travel as easily and
cheaply between continents as between nearby cities. Unfortunately, there would also be 100,000 deaths a
year from the device. Would you try to prevent its use?
63b: In the mid 1800s , had you been able to look into the future and see that the automobile would cause
5 million fatalities in the next century, how would you have felt about this new device? Is there scientific
knowledge that is best left undiscovered? If so, what areas of research do you feel should be restricted?
64: You and a person you love deeply are placed in separate rooms with a button next to each of you. You
know that you will both be killed unless one of you presses the button before sixty minutes pass;
furthermore, the first to press the button will save the other person, but will immediately be killed. What
do you think you would do?
65: When you tell a story, do you often exaggerate or embellish it? If so, why?
66: Do you feel that advice from older people carries a special weight because of their greater
66b: Do your comments and suggestions influence other people much? How could you present your ideas
so that they would have more impact?
67: Without your kidney as a transplant, someone close to you will die within one month. The odds that
you will survive the operation are only fifty percent, but should you survive you would be certain of a
normal life expectancy. Would you consent to the operation? 67b: Would you risk your life for someone close to you out of feelings of obligation or out of feelings of
love? Would it matter if you could refuse without anyone ever knowing? What if the person asked you
not to risk your life?
68: When has your life dramatically changed as a result of some seemingly random external influence?
How much do you feel in control of the course of your life? 68b: Does living as though you control your own destiny lead to a more powerful life?
69: If a friend were almost always late, would you resent it or simply allow for it? Can you be counted on
to be on time?
70: When did you last yell at someone? Why? Did you later regret it?