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• Is the world eternal? YES
• Do humans have contra-causal free will (i.e., can humans do otherwise)? NO
• Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? YES
• Do humans have souls? YES
• Are there natural rights? YES
• Is it morally permissible to eat meat? NO
• Is the unexamined life worth living? NO
• Is truth subjectivity? YES
• Is virtue necessary for happiness? YES
• Can a computer have a mind? YES
• Can humans know reality as it is in itself? YES
• Is hell other people? YES
• Can art be created accidentally? NO
• Can we change the past? NO
• Are numbers real? NO
• Is it always better to know the truth? YES

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The Common Literature Experience this year for incoming freshman and the community at large read Frankenstein.  Our own Prof Huenemann, along with Prof McCuskey from English, were the convocation speakers.  It was smart and funny and thoughtfully interwoven with the themes of Connections (the importance of a broad, liberal education, etc).

If you missed it, watch the video by clicking the link below (skip to 8:10 or so to get to Huenemann/McCuskey).





  1. Kleiner says:

    Also, listen to McCuskey and Huenemann on UPR’s radio program “Access Utah”. Click here:


  2. Kleiner says:

    All this thinking about Frankenstein reminded me of a song called “Frankenstein”. Written by Edgar Winter and originally recorded on an Edgar Winter Group album in the early 1970s, it was called Frankenstein because the final album version was a cut up and pasted “monster” from large amounts of original material. It turned out to be the band’s biggest hit. Linked below.

    More recently, the song has been covered on occasion by noted jam band Phish. I saw it live a few times at Phish shows (back in a past life in the 1990s), including the one I link below from the Dec 30, 1997 at Madison Square Garden. Phish goes all out, including Jon Fishman (drummer) playing, as he sometimes does, a vacuum cleaner.

    The original:

    And now Phish:


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