Love or fear:  which motivates us more?

The 2014 Great American Think-OffTM releases its 22nd annual philosophy question:  “love or fear: which motivates us more?”  Submit a short essay making your best argument about this question and participate in this annual national philosophy debate.

The Great American Think-OffTM is an exhibition of civil disagreement between powerful ideas that connect to your life at the gut level.  The Cultural Center, located in the rural farm and manufacturing town of New York Mills, Minnesota, sponsors this annual philosophy contest and encourages people of all ages to submit a 750 word essay and a chance to win one of four $500 cash prizes.

Anyone can submit an essay by mail (Think-Off, PO Box 246, New York Mills, Minnesota 56567), on line (, or by email on this website.  Simply click on this link to submit your essay.  There is no fee, and deadline for submission is April1st (postmark or electronic date stamp).  Finalists are notified by May 1st and receive a travel and lodging stipend to participate in the annual debate in New York Mills.  This year the debate will be held on Saturday, June 14.

Last year’s contest featured essays by more than 500 writers.  Paul Terry, the CEO of StayWell Health Management, a national wellness company based in Eagan, Minnesota, won the debate and a gold medal with his argument that it is more ethical to compromise than to stick to one’s principles.

The 750-word (maximum) essay should be grounded in the writer’s personal experience, not in philosophical abstraction.  The four writers selected are invited to debate the question on Saturday, June 14th, 2014 in New York Mills, with travel costs, food, and lodging covered by the Think-Off sponsoring organization, the Cultural Center in New York Mills.