Most of us (especially religious people) have not been allowed to ask questions. To question things. History has subjected us to an awful lot of know-it-alls, men (almost always men) who know what is best for everyone, who can articulate exactly what we all must think, believe, do and avoid. I am increasingly suspicious of those who have all the answers and who will not tolerate questions.
I think there is a difference between good questions and the right questions. Asking good questions can free us from the lies of control. Asking the right questions can lead us to meaning. Could it be that it’s the questions, not the answers that give freedom and meaning? Good questions lead to freedom—the right questions lead to meaning. Here are some good—and perhaps a few right—questions from people (who some consider controversial and perhaps even heretical) that I greatly respect that have changed my life forever.
If any of these questions stir up a need for answers, I have included starting places for each. Warning: They are not for the faint of heart nor the timid reader.
1. Ayn Rand—Who Is John Galt?
Start with Atlas Shrugged
2. Jean-Paul Sartre—Why is Freedom Everything?
Start with At The Existentialist Cafe
3. Thomas Cahill—Why Are People Not Interested In The Truth of History?
Start with Heretics and Heroes
4. Wendell Berry—Why Don’t We Treat The People and Places In Our Lives More Kindly?
Start with Jayber Crow
5. Michel Montaigne—Why Do We Take Ourselves So Seriously?
Start with On Vanity
6. Dr. Louis Markos—What Is The Greatest Art Form?
Start with Lewis Agonistes
7. St. Thomas Aquinas—What Are The Most Important Aspects of Great Art?
Start with Summa Theologica
8. Carl Jung—Who Are You And What Are You Becoming?
Start with Modern Man In Search Of A Soul
9. Simone Beauvoir—Why Don’t We Treat Everyone Equal?
Start with The Second Sex
10. Charles Van Doren—Why Read Good Books When You Can Read Great Books?
Start with The Joy of Reading