Friday, December 16, 2011

Discussion Questions for What Makes Us Human

Discussion Questions-Human, The Science Behind What Makes Us Human

1. Is narrative essential to the advancement of scientific thought? If scientific paradigm based on competing narratives? Is Human a good science narrative pertaining to how humans are unique from other animals and machines?

2. Can brains become minds without a body?

3. What is nature of the interpreter? Does the interpreter free our conscious mind to do what needs to get done?

4. How can singularity have potential to exist if its human creators cannot perceive but a fraction of the matter, energy, thoughts, desires, etc of the universe? How do human goals coincide with the goal of the machine? For extra credit, what did you dream? It's alright we told you what to dream".

5.What is intelligence? How does intelligence arise? What is art? What is literature? (Attached is short transcript of conversation between Mike Gazzaniga and Tom Wolfe)

6. Is love an illusion?

7. Should Barack be permitted to carry his Blackberry after inauguration?

8. Is the reason affluent social groups tend to have small family sizes compared to less affulent social groups based on status?

9. 36 year old Michael visits Brown Buns tanning salon and exposes himself to 16 year old Becky. Michael then heads to Blockbuster and exposes himself to 22 year old Anita while watching Minority Report. Michael then threatens Anita with physical harm if she refuses to provide oral sex. Anita complies. Michael is arrested, tried and convicted of sexual battery and served a five year sentence in state penitentiary. While incarcerated, the prison psychologist evaluate s Michael pursuant to a state program to evaluate the mental state of sex offenders prior to release. The psychologist files a report with Vincent Bugliosi, the state's attorney who prosecuted Michael. The report concludes the Michael suffers from "exhibitionism, " a "antisocial personality disorder" and is "impulsive". Based on the conclusions of the report, Vincent petitions the court to civilly commit Michael to the state's facility for violent sexual predictors indefinitely.

What does it mean to be impulsive? What does it mean to lack control?
What is an antisocial personality disorder? What standard determines disorder? What standard of what society is relevant?
Should the testimony of the psychologist be admissible in the civil commitment hearing as an expert? How about Dr. Phil or Dr. Laura?
Does this case involve punishment for a predicted crime?
Does it matter to analysis that the state knows of no therapy or treatment for Michael's disorders.
What if Michael dies in the facility and his autopsy reveals a tumor pinching his amygdala?
At his trial, Michael testifies that he did not intend to expose himself or threatened Anita, but he needed to expose himself and threatened Anita?
What might an evolutionary psychologist say about Michael's behaviors?

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