The Dignity Movement, Robots, And The Importance Of Asking Good Questions with Robert Fuller, Ph.D.

What is of utmost importance to Fuller are the questions we bring to our life process. He says, “Once you’ve formed a question, it almost guarantees you will find the answer.” He comments on the idea put forth by Israeli psychologist Amos Tversky: “Reality is not a point, it is a cloud of possibility.” His response is: ”An answer is like a springboard to another field of possibilities and then you collapse that into a better answer. We can’t do without answers. We can’t just live in that cloud, so we continually have to collapse it and expand it.” He understands that excessive recognition is not healthy; however, mal-recognition can be analogous to malnutrition. People need to feel they’re contributing and that their dignity is healthy and intact. He shares some provocative thoughts on the inevitability of robots and artificial intelligence becoming a more dominant species than homo sapiens. He warns, “If we enslave them, they’re going to rebel . . .But if we handle them properly, respectfully, and treat them with dignity, they’ll treat us that way. . . We can keep our dignity if we will give up gracefully our pre-eminence.” In the future will robots develop more complexity than the human brain? Will they develop intuition? Will they experience transcendence and spirituality? (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)

Robert Fuller, Ph.D. is a physicist and former president of Oberlin College. He has consulted with Indira Gandhi, met with Jimmy Carter regarding the President’s Commission on World Hunger, and worked to defuse the Cold War in Russia when it was known as the USSR. As Fuller reflected on his career he realized that he had been, at different times in his life, a somebody and a nobody. His periodic sojourns into “Nobodyland” led him to identify rankism – the abuse of the power inherent in rank – and ultimately to write the book Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank. He has become a recognized leader of the dignity movement to overcome rankism and keynoted a Dignity for All conference hosted by the President of Bangladesh. His many other accomplishments include co-authoring the text book Mathematics of Classical and Quantum Physics.

Robert Fuller’s books include:

  • Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank (New Society Publishers 2003)
  • Dignity for All: How to Create a World without Rankism (co-author Pamela A. Gerloff) (Berrett-Koehler Publishers 2008)
  • Religion and Science: A Beautiful Friendship? (e-book, Smashwords 2012)
  • (novel) The Rowan Tree (CreateSpace 2013)
  • (children’s book) Theo: The White Squirrel (co-author Claire Sheridan)  (Amazon Digital Services 2016)
  • Questions and Quests: A Short Book Aphorisms (Amazon Digital Services 2017)    
  • The Theory of Everybody (Robert Fuller 2017)

To view a video about the work of Robert W. Fuller click here, or go to his website:

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