Conundrum Contest 2017

We're down to three finalists in our Conundrum Contest and now it's YOUR turn to pick the winner! Each finalist has discussed his/her philosophical puzzle with Josh and Ken, and the recordings of these conversations are now ready for your consideration. 

Which conundrum produced the most thought-provoking conversation? Listen to the short interviews below and then cast your vote at the bottom of the page!

Voting closes Monday, October 16 at 12 noon PDT.

(And, by the way, if you think you can do better than Josh and Ken, then register for free and comment below. Tell us how YOU would have solved each conundrum!)

Richard writes, "There’s a panhandler where I have coffee and hang out with some old men to chew the fat. The whole neighborhood knows him. He’s clean, not aggressive likes Jazz & sports but there’s something off there. A woman that works at a grocery store ran into his name and picture on one of those lists of sexual offenders. She was sure it was him but not clear on any details, and I assume it wasn’t a violent act or she would have said. My wife and I give this guy a buck to two whenever we see him and he mumbles a thanks. My conundrums are these: why do I give him spare change at all? But also, should I keep giving him the small amount I do? I do! If not why? I haven’t told the old men about this guy’s history."


Beth writes, "As a former Peace Corps volunteer in the Congo who has returned several times and plans to return one more time for a book I am writing, I have always worried that my presence did more harm than good, by raising expectations that might not be met. I have always told the people in the village where I served more than 30 years ago that writing about them (as I have over the years as a journalist) is my greatest means of sharing their humanity, their humor, their resilience and their plight. But is that ever enough? Not a day goes by that I don't wrestle with this."


Dan writes, "My older sister tells me that when I was about five, I punched her and broke her nose. I have no doubt she is telling the truth, but I don't remember the incident. At all. She does, and when she lightheartedly reminds me of my punch, I apologize, but frankly I don't feel all that guilty, presumably because I have utterly no recollection of it. Is lack of memory or some sort of strange moral defense? Or is there just a defect in my conscience?"



Which conundrum is the most thought provoking?

Should I continue giving money to a homeless sex offender?
How do I know when I've done enough good?
Should I regret my forgotten misdeeds?