For Thursday: Asimov, I, Robot: “Reason” and “Catch That Rabbit”

Answer TWO of the following:

Q1: In “Reason,” the robot, QT (“Cutie”), develops an elaborate religion based on “the Master,” allowing him to assume full control of the station. According to Donovan and Powell, how does this religion (which seems to contract the First and Second Laws) actually follow the Laws of Robotics? In a way, why did Cutie have to develop this religion in order to do his job properly?

Q2: Forced to argue with Cutie, Powell exclaims, “Who the heck wants to argue with a robot? It’’s...” and Donovan adds, “Mortifying!” (71). In general, how do the men treat and view their robotic counterparts? Why does Asimov emphasize this relationship throughout the stories?

Q3: In each story, we see robots exhibiting behavior which is more and more “human,” even though we’re told that robots can only follow a strict program. In “Catch That Rabbit,” what very human problem causes DV-5 (“Dave”) to malfunction and disobey the Second Order?

Q4: When presented with irrefutable facts about robots and space, Cutie responds: “You, being intelligent, but unreasoning, need an explanation of existence supplied to you, and this the Master did. That he supplied you with these laughable ideas of far-off words and people is, no doubt, for the best. Your minds are probably too coarsely grained for absolute Truth” (75). Though this is a robot talking, why might this be a metaphor for human behavior in our own world? What might this story be really suggesting about how humans think and behave? 


  1. Cameron Corbin
    Q2: In the story "Reason", Powell and Donavon are presented with a very unique scenario: a robot who openly disagrees with the main characters. In these stories, with the exception of a few characters, we see a very common trend when it comes to the treatment of robots by human characters: the robots are treated as modern day slaves in a sense. I believe Asiminov emphasizes this relationship throughout the stories as a metaphor for how ridicoulous slavery was. The group that is in control is literally forcing the minority group into a lower state, even though the minority group is on an equal scale inteluctually.

    Q4: To me, the quote Cutie made on page 75, as well as his behaviors throughout the entire story symbolize a direct metaphor for religious belief. As humans, we've reached a point in our scientific history where the vast majority of the beliefs we hold dear religiously have been proved false by science. We as a human species have not reached a point where we are capable of believing ideas based on reason alone.

  2. Grant Powell
    Q2. In the story Reason, a robot disagrees with the main characters. When it comes to the treatment of robots by humans, we see that they are treated unfairly. Almost like they aren't equal, like the humans. I think Asiminov emphasizes this relationship throughout the stories because he is connecting the treatment of the robots to slavery. The humans are in control and are putting the robots on a lower scale despite that they are equal to each other.

    Q4. I think what Cutie is saying here describes his behaviors throughout the story about religious beliefs. This is very important to us as humans and in our society. The different ways we look at religious beliefs sometimes puts us in a place where we are incapable of believing ideas from reason alone.

  3. Q2. In general the two men treat and view their robot counterparts as less than equal. These robots are viewed as machines that are only there to do their jobs, but that is not what the robots see. Asimov emphasizes this by showing many frustrating conversations between the robots and humans.

    Q4. I think Asimov is relating this scenario to those of us with religious beliefs. People with these beliefs are often foreseen as silly. Asimov could be hinting at humans using religion as a our own version of the Master.

  4. Q2: Humans think we're the superior race when in this book they're not. The robot thinks it is superior to humans. He thinks "The Master" is charge of everything and that's how he came to be not by the humans who built him. Cutie believes he was created for a bigger purpose then what the humans tell him. The two men in the book treat Cutie as what he really is,"A robot," he was designed to make the humans lives easier.

    Q4: Humans use their beliefs to help them deal with the things they don't understand. Many cultures around the world share some and have very different beliefs that others don't. Not one culture is the same. In I, Robot Asimov hints at the humans idea of beliefs in a way some might not catch, until they look at it from a different perspective.

    Bailey Copeland

  5. Q1: Cutie knows that the humans were there to run the station, and that he was brought there to do an even better job. He states that he's much better and more powerful than humans, and for the own safety of the ship he must run it himself. At the beginning of the story they told him inevitably he'd be running the ship himself. So at all costs he was going to run the ship his way.
    Q4: From a very young age we are taught "The Earth is Round" or "God exists" but we only use our faith and beliefs to accept what we're told. None of us have really seen the whole world, or talked face to face with a higher power. He's telling us we're too easily manipulated, and simple minded, and we accept stories from our predecessors as fact

  6. kristin Thomas
    Q2. Men in the story view robots as less than and they are treating them as if they are nothing but metal and a slave basically, but the robots are their to prove and show their place that they are better than any human and that they are greater than.

    Q4. as humans beliefs is what gets us by, by us believing in something it gives a reason a live, you should say, without believing in something than what are we really living for? and i think he was trying to point out that some of the things and beliefs that people are living for are dumb and silly and we aren't believing in the right things.


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