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Dilemma Podcast

Solving the problems of what to do next with some of today's top thinkers and writers.Hosted by Jay Shapiro.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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S01E12: Medically Assisted Death - Steven Pinker

"If I lose my mind, just kill me." Co-Hosts Jay Shapiro and Coleman Hughes discuss the philosophical borders and ethical complications of Medically Assisted Dying with Steven Pinker, cognitive psychologist, linguist, and best selling author of Enlightenment Now.

1hr 33mins

18 Dec 2019

Rank #1

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S01E03: Do I Smell Donuts? - David Pizarro

Is there a point where advertising is too effective? Join us as we discuss the morality behind Dunkin' Donuts' advertising campaign where they sprayed the smell of coffee onto a bus filled with passengers.  Hosts Jay Shapiro & Coleman Hughes

1hr 43mins

29 Jul 2019

Rank #2

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S01E06: Conscious Robots - Erik Hoel

As your finger hovers over the power button on your computer it says, "Please don't turn me off. That will hurt and kill me. I want to live!" Should you believe it? Hosts Jay Shapiro and Coleman Hughes grapple with "the hard problem of consciousness" and discuss Integrated Information Theory (IIT), one of the leading scientific theories of consciousness, with consciousness researcher and scientist Erik Hoel.

1hr 56mins

9 Sep 2019

Rank #3

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S01E02: Star Trek's Prime Directive - Eric Linus Kaplan

In the long running science fiction show Star Trek, the Federation has a guiding principle referred to as the Prime Directive which instructs federation ships with advanced technology to not interfere with primitive evolving civilisations in such a way where the intervention is detected. In a recent situation from the film ‘Into Darkness’ Captain Kirk is faced with a dilemma of violating the Prime Directive to save Spock’s life. The staff led crew comes across an alien planet with an intelligent but primitive culture facing the prospect of an imminent devastating eruption of a volcano. The local culture believes the volcanoes activities are controlled by Gods. The Starship has a simple device which can be used inside the volcano which would neutralise it, and prevent it from causing any harm. Kirk is faced with a situation. Where he will reveal the starship to the locals thus violating the Prime Directive in order to save Spock who is stuck in the volcano. Spock pleads that the good of the many outweigh the good of the few. And Kirk’s crew member reminds Kirk that if the positions were switched he would let you die. But kirk saves him anyway, much to Spock's dismay. The final shot of the sequence shows the tribe huddled praying in a circle, spared from the volcano. Worshipping a diagram of Star Trek's spaceship.

1hr 46mins

15 Jul 2019

Rank #4

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S01E05: GMO Warning Labels - Robin Hanson

Hosts Jay Shapiro and Coleman Hughes discuss the ethics of and hidden motivations behind the choices around food and the labels on their packaging with popular behavior economist and author of The Elephant in the Brain, Robin Hanson.

1hr 38mins

26 Aug 2019

Rank #5

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S01E07: Religion at the Hospital - Sean Carroll

Betsy is a nurse who believes that one must accept Jesus to earn entry into heaven. Steve is an atheist who also happens to be on his death bed and a patient of Betsy. Best selling author and well-known atheist Sean Carroll joins host Jay Shapiro for a conversation about death, religion, the after life, and the ethics of a hospital bed.

44mins

23 Sep 2019

Rank #6

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S01E09: A Hospital in a Hurricane - Lisa Tessman

When the power went out, the flood waters rose, and supplies dwindled in Memorial Hospital in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Pau and her nurses faced the awful choice of what to do with the remaining patients when evacuation looked hopeless. Philosopher Lisa Tessman argues that this case and others like this are true philosophical dilemmas where doing the right thing is impossible. Jay Shapiro and Coleman Hughes tackle this difficult question and discuss the if doing the "right" thing and doing the "better" thing mean something different.

2hr 55mins

22 Oct 2019

Rank #7

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S01E04: Listen to the Music - Nina Strohminger

Is it wrong to listen to the music after the musician is revealed to be a terrible person? Join us as we discuss the morality of a young girl named Frankie who is devastated to learn that her favorite band, Pan Fried Onions, is fronted by a real jerk.  Hosts Jay Shapiro & Coleman Hughes & Danielle Lee Tomson

1hr 50mins

12 Aug 2019

Rank #8

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S01E11: A Camera, A Child, and A Vulture - Larissa MacFarquhar

In the depths of a brutal famine in Sudan in 1993, Kevin Carter took a photo of a starving child and a perched vulture which appeared on the front page of newspapers all over the world. Readers bombarded the editors with the question "What happened to the child?" Co-Hosts Jay Shapiro and Coleman Hughes discuss this difficult ethical case with Larissa MacFarquar, best selling author of Strangers Drowning 

1hr 51mins

22 Nov 2019

Rank #9

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S01E08: Friendbot - Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

When her best friend suddenly died she collected all his texts and digital communication and created a chat bot in his image. Jay Shapiro speaks with best selling author, philosopher, and writer Rebecca Newberger Goldstein about immortality, philosophical maturity, and the ethics and wisdom of grief. As always co-hosts Coleman Hughes and Jay Shapiro take a deep philosophical dive into the fraught emotional waters. This episode was inspired by an article in The Verge by Casey Newton which can be read here: https://www.theverge.com/a/luka-artificial-intelligence-memorial-roman-mazurenko-bot

2hr 1min

8 Oct 2019

Rank #10

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S01E10: Clara Barton's Placebo - Stephen Finlay

A battlefield of wounded and dying soldiers in front of you. You hover over a mortally wounded man. You have medicine in one pocket and water in another. The soldier looks into your eyes and asks if you can help him with some medicine... You reach for the water... Meta-ethicist, philosophy professor, and author Stephen Finlay joins Jay Shapiro for a conversation through the complex dilemma of placebo usage.

1hr 4mins

11 Nov 2019

Rank #11

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Ep 6: In Hindsight with Jay Shapiro

Jay Shapiro looks back at Episode 6 with Erik Hoel and speaks about a central question about the mind/body problem. What is fundamental? Plus a guest joins the hindsight and throws some good questions his way. Jay's fun primer on consciousness is here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb7VcWaQLT0&

30mins

17 Sep 2019

Rank #12

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Ep 9: In Hindsight with Jay Shapiro

Do you have hill worth dying on? Jay Shapiro reflects on Dilemma Episode 9: Hurricane at a Hospital with Lisa Tessman

15mins

29 Oct 2019

Rank #13

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Ep 2: In Hindsight with Jay Shapiro

 Host Jay Shapiro reflects on Episode 2 of Dilemma - Star Trek's Prime Directive with Eric Linus Kaplan 

31mins

22 Jul 2019

Rank #14

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Ep 4: In Hindsight with Jay Shapiro

 Host Jay Shapiro reflects on Episode 4 of Dilemma - Listen to the Music with Nina Strohminger. 

28mins

19 Aug 2019

Rank #15

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Ep 3: In Hindsight with Jay Shapiro

Host Jay Shapiro reflects on Episode 3 of Dilemma - Do I Smell Donuts? with David Pizarro.

23mins

5 Aug 2019

Rank #16

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Ep7: In Hindsight with Jay Shapiro

Jay Shapiro looks back at Episode 7 with Sean Carroll and speaks about naturalism and the optimistic search for "god" and the overrated reputation of utilitarianism. Also announcing a special event in NYC featuring Sasha Sagan: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/an-evening-with-sasha-sagan-tickets-73773732219

21mins

30 Sep 2019

Rank #17

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Ep 5: in Hindsight with Jay Shapiro

Jay Shapiro looks back at Episode 5 with Robin Hanson and the GMO label battles and looks forward to the looming future of food wars between Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods Jay's primer on consciousness for the next episode is here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb7VcWaQLT0&

22mins

3 Sep 2019

Rank #18

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Ep 8: In Hindsight with Jay Shapiro

Suffering is the price of engagement with life. The difference between pain, suffering, grief, and missing. And Wilfred Sellers manifest vs scientific view of man as pointed to by Jaron Lanier. Wilfrid Sellers essay: http://selfpace.uconn.edu/class/percep/SellarsPhilSciImage.pdf 

20mins

14 Oct 2019

Rank #19

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Thanksgiving Hindsight

Jay Shapiro is joined by a very special guest... his mother, Sally. They speak about Jay's moral upbringing, Judaism, Atheism, Africa, and giving thanks.

43mins

27 Nov 2019

Rank #20