Misfortune in New York
(Dave Sanders for The New York Times)
1) How can we evaluate truth claims of psychics? Is this a story of individual responsibility or a crimianl action? At what point does this type of activity become illegal? What is the difference between a psychic, medium, and a fortune teller?
2) In what ways might a hypnotist hired for parties feel differently about this than a psychologist? Why might an author sympathize with the psychic in this case? Why not?
3) In what ways is this connected to entertainment? To what degree is this connected to horocopes? Is this a religious issue?
4) What if the amount was less than $100? What if the victim wants to continue his relationship with the fortune teller? How can the headline of the story be written to seem more favorable to the fortune teller?
5) What are the consequences of this story? Whose responsibility is it to prevent this from happening in the future?
1) Students can research the ways that scams have evolved in the age of the internet and show how they are linked to scams of the past.
2) Students can research James Randi and the Randi institute's $1,000,000 contest to find legitimate evidence of the paranormal. Students evaluate the rules of the contest to see if they are reasonable.
AOK-Human Sciences, Ethics