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Sample Questions

Sample questions

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MASTERPIECE2020

Techno-Pessimism vs Techno-Optimism and Enhancement

Choose and respond to one of the following questions:

Question A

Contrast Joy and Kurzweil’s techno-pessimism and techno-optimism. How would Kurzweil respond to the Kaczynski dilemma (this will require you to articulate and evaluate the dilemma)?

Question B

Concerning enhancement, is there a value to “natural human engagement” with the world? Why or why not? If you answer in the affirmative, is that position compatible with the views of the society and technology articulated in earlier readings? If you answer in the negative, how would articulate the problem with things like steroid use, which are widely regarded as wrong?

 

Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us

To complete your fifth essay,  please write a three- to five-page (600-900 word) response to the  following question:

In “Final Jeopardy” (pp. 234-242), Stephen Baker expresses an interesting look at the way technology, especially in terms of machines, could dramatically change the relationship between mankind and technology—not just helping us to locate information, but also to show us how to think about it. What are Baker’s concerns about this evolution in technology, and what are his reasons (stated or implied) for optimism? As you consider the relative strengths and weaknesses of those reasons, explain whether and why you find yourself more pessimistic or more optimistic about our changing technologies as presented by Baker.

Please ensure that your essay addresses each component of the question assigned question and that your answer is well- organized,  uses excellent, college-level prose, and  makes judicious use of textual evidence.

Next assignment

  • Preventing a Brave New World

To complete your sixth essay,  please write a three- to five-page (900-1,500 word) response to the  following question:

In “Preventing a Brave New World” (pp. 331-343), Leon Kass concludes that reproductive and therapeutic cloning of human embryos is unethical. What are the exact steps in Kass’s argument for this conclusion? What is your assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of this argument?

Please ensure that your essay addresses each component of the question assigned question and that your answer is well- organized,  uses excellent, college-level prose, and  makes judicious use of textual evidence.