Today's discussion deals with a story in the New York Times of Saturday, October 11th by Michael S. A. Graziano entitled "Are we really Conscious?" Dr. Graziano is a distinguised scientist working in Princeton University, one of America's most elite systems of higher education. Therefore, we are forced to consider that he is correct in stating that our consciousness, beliefs in self and the reality of the selves of others are illusions and ultimately "caricatures" of reality. I will describe the argument used by Dr Graziano and so many others in the fields of medicine and science that deny our basic and powerful experiences that we exist as psychological and social beings and are nought but complex machines and very smart computers. I will then discuss the deadly consequences of science's attempts to reduce human beings to nothing but sophisiticated machines and tell an different story, just as scientific and as logical, that Dr. Graziano is wrong in his assumptions. I will argue that while we would not exist psychologically without the workings of our brain and bodies we cannot and must not give into the beliefs that our selves are not as real and our bodies. What is at stake here is the story that defines our humanity and our claims that each human being is prescious and must be treated as if the soul is real.
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