23 August 2016


In the beginning . . .

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What’s religion good for?

Philip Menchaca and Jessica Sherry consider what “cargo cults” show about the function of religion. Plus: The unique beliefs of the John Frum movement.

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Will AI lead to greater inequality?

Robin Hanson and James Hughes consider the economic effects of future tech. Plus: Robot “zombies” vs. conscious AI.

The metaphysical drama behind a human one

Religious scholar Vadim Putzu gives examples of Kabbalist interpretations of the Torah. Plus: The universe as a speech act.

The psychology of victim blaming

Professor Liane Young describes the cognitive biases behind unfortunate thinking patterns. Plus: “They just hate us.”

When does a robot become a slave?

Robert Wright and philosopher Susan Schneider consider the moral implications of conscious AI. Plus: Uploading consciousness.

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Many flavors of Quakers

Benigno Sánchez-Eppler on the diversity of practices and beliefs in the Religious Society of Friends. Plus: How war brought different Quakers together.

Space flight as therapy

Psychologist Annahita Nezami proposes using a cosmic virtual reality app for end-of-life care. Plus: Spiritual effects of space flight.

The Wright Show

What is Psychedelic Buddhism?

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Douglas Osto, author of Altered States, describes a new kind of American spirituality that has emerged since the 1960s. Plus: Gateway drugs to Buddhism.


The importance of philosophy

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Daniel Kaufman and Massimo Pigliucci on why the discipline is more than a series of intellectual exercises. Plus: Making progress in ethics.

Sending messages into the void?

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Ben Perry and Emily Brewer consider the practice of prayer and what works for them. Plus: Is “religious violence” really religious?