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Minds and Morality with Dr. Kurt Gray

by Scott Barry Kaufman, September 9, 2016

Why are humanoid robots creepy? Why do ghosts always have unfinished business? Do all animals have a mind? Does our consciousness persist beyond our physical bodies? Might cryonics help us live forever?! These are some of the great mysteries of the human condition we address with Dr. Kurt Gray. It’s a fun and interesting philosophical episode, where we consider a range of topics related to having a mind and moral responsibility. Fair warning – this episode contains some adult content as we engage in some quirky and interesting moral considerations.

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“Kurt Gray’s investigates the mysterious inner lives of animals, machines, and human beings. His research finds that minds are a matter of perception—how else can we make sense of people treating their cats like humans, and treating homeless people like objects? Such “mind perception” is immensely important because entities seen to have minds are afforded moral standing while those without minds are merely “things.” Mind perception can help explain why people believe in God, debates about gay marriage, and how good deeds make us stronger. Mind perception also forms the essence of morality, as judgments about right and wrong seem to hinge upon whether people see harm to other minds.” Blurb taken from kurtjgray.com


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