With this framing in mind, I would like you to imagine that you are serving on a Technoethics Commission tasked with providing recommendations about Disembodied rights and responsibilities. Just as you did in your small group discussions, you will consider the following five key areas and questions.
1. Ownership: Who can own the disembodied mind? Can a human being sell part or all of a disembodied mind? Why or why not? Should there be a limit as to how many copies one human being can make of their mind? If so, what should that limit be and why?
2. Information Management: Once created, can the disembodied mind be deleted? Why or why not? Who should be responsible for sustaining and/or managing the disembodied mind’s existence in the long-term (i.e. paying any associated fees that may be associated with its existence and upkeep such as maintaining servers, electrical bills, software updates, etc)? Does the disembodied mind have the right to exist indefinitely? Why or why not? Should there be related social programs for the disembodied community (i.e. forms of care for the disembodied after their human counterpart is no longer living)? Why or why not? Should the disembodied mind have a right to privacy? Why or why not?
3. Labor: How should we understand the difference between human labor (i.e. labor performed by the human body) and disembodied labor (i.e. labor performed by the digital copy)? What rights and responsibilities afforded to human beings should also apply to the disembodied (i.e. limited workday, scheduled work breaks, vacation time, family leave, disability, child care, etc)? Should the disembodied mind be allowed to earn an income independent of its human counterpart? Why or why not?
4. Liability: If the disembodied mind commits a crime, who should be held responsible? If a disembodied mind is injured, how should that injury be redressed? How should such cases be adjudicated? Should human and disembodied crimes be processed through the same legal system? Why or why not?
5. Military Service: Should the disembodied mind be able to serve in the military and/or be used in military applications? Why or why not? If so, should they be afforded the same rights as embodied soldiers? Why or why not?
While your small group discussion posts represented a more informal engagement with these ideas, in this final assignment, you will need to provide formal recommendations, speaking from the position of the commission. For full credit, your recommendations must address each of the questions and provide specific justifications for each answer. So too, your recommendations must be consistent and cohesive across all five key areas. This will take some thought! Please make sure that you have read through your recommendations to ensure consistency. Finally, your recommendations should be supported with sources from case law, government reports, and/or peer reviewed journal articles.
You will be graded on the following:
Your recommendations must begin with an introduction that frames your discussion (i.e. describe why the technoethics commission has been convened to consider this issue and why the commission recognizes the disembodied mind as a conscious entity).
Your recommendations must address each question in the five key areas.
Your answers to these questions must be justified (i.e. you must describe the reasoning behind your answers and cite any sources that you used to inform your recommendations).
Your recommendations must be written from the perspective of the Technoethics Commission (i.e. using language like, “This commission recommends that…” and “It is this commission’s position that…”).
Your recommendations must be free of grammatical errors (again, imagine that you are submitting these recommendations to the President).
Your recommendations must be consistent across all five key areas (i.e. your reasoning about who can own a disembodied mind, must not contradict your recommendations about disembodied military service, for example).
You must cite at least five sources (at least one source per key area) and provide a bibliography of those sources.
Such sources must come from case law, governmental reports, and/or peer reviewed journal articles.
Your recommendations must be at least 2500 words in length (at least 500 words per key area).
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