Weekend Survey

The Weekend Survey has presented a broad spectrum of questions to Heavenly Heartburn readers. We have discussed food, travel, books, music, sports and weather preferences just to name a few topics. Occasionally, we branch into the realm of philosophy. Some may recall the spirited debate over the accurate description of a glass that is filled to exactly half its maximum capacity.

This week, I would like to present to you a moral dilemna for your discussion and entertainment.

I recently heard two individuals arguing over the following incident: one of them was behind a partially closed door, engaged in talking to himself. The other, unbeknownst to the “talker”, was on the other side of said door, quietly absorbing the “conversation”. At some point, the door was opened and the listener was discovered.

Here is the dilemna. The “talker” got upset with the “listener” and accused that person of “eavesdropping”. The “listener” rebutted with the argument that since there was only one person involved in the “conversation” that it did not truly qualify as “eavesdropping” but was only “listening”.

ย What say ye, noble jurors of the burning hearts?

11 responses to “Weekend Survey

  1. …the accurate description of a glass that is filled to exactly half its maximum capacity.

    I think you meant to say “…the accurate description of a glass half of whose maximum capacity remains unused.” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As for the actual question here, I have no clue yet. I have to ponder that one…

  2. did you get caught talking to yourself again ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. went back and read that post about the glass, that was a good one, it did get a little deep! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Morning Bro. Gordon,

    The” talker” must have been talking about secretive things and the” listener “was just in the right place at the right time ?

    I would come to the conclusion that the “talker’s ” glass was half empty and the “listener’s ” glass was full based on the 1/2 glass ful he just recieved from the “talker “?

    Then you could say that both was confessing their sins , one out loud – one quietly- and both were in the wrong place at the right time ?


  5. Steve, you said, I think you meant to say โ€œโ€ฆthe accurate description of a glass half of whose maximum capacity remains unused.โ€

    Is that the official continuationist point of view? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Janice, I hardly ever talk to myself and I never, ever answer. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    Bro. Ron, you have already jumped three or four levels of logic with that comment. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Eavesdropping is by its very nature “listening” so the listener has no argument.

    As for the talker, the whole argument depends on whether or not he was answering himself. If he wasn’t, then it can hardly be called a conversation. If he was, he’s self-admittedly crazy.

    All that being said, I have to side with the “talker.”

  7. Actually, it would be the cessationist who would talk about something “remain[ing] unused” ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Tim A. Blankenship

    Without having read the other comments it sounds similar to the tree with a breaking limb in the forest if no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
    My thought on the “dilemma” is that if you don’t want anyone hearing you when you talk to yourself, then do it silently. It is really a difficult question though. If you are talking to yourself you are still talking to someone, even if it is yourself, yet if you are the person who happens by hearing the conversation, some things are kind of difficult to just ignore.
    Sounds confusing I know.

  9. Gordon I consider the listener to have invaded the talkers privacy and so his justification invalid. This does not mean his action was necessarily immoral and I think to determine that would require some insight into his motive and intent. If upon finding his friend conversing with himself he was moved with genuine concern for his mental and emotional well being then his efforts were on behalf of his friend. If on the other hand he hoped to gain some advantage by being privy to some private information then I think we could agree this act was an immoral one.

    I would then conclude the listenerโ€™s justification completely empty, that he has half a chance that his act was a moral one and that regardless the talker is fully indignant. I just donโ€™t know how to relate any of that to the volume of liquid in a glass! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Barry Beauchamp

    While I agree with most everybody that listening behind a door is rude behavior, I’d also posit that in a world of 6 billion people any conversation, even those with yourself, are subject to being overheard. Any words spoken should thus be tempered accordingly. If you don’t want the wrong person to hear it, you’re better off not speaking it. There’s a reason it’s called an INTERNAL monologue.

    Then again, my great-grandfather used to say, “I talk to myself in order to hear what an intelligent man has to say.”


  11. Eavesdropping? No.

    Creepy? Oh yeah!

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