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27 August 2016

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In the beginning . . .

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How to talk about religious beliefs

Professor Daniel Ogilvie shares his experience getting students to reflect on their ideas about the soul. Plus: When the afterlife became a reward.

What is Psychedelic Buddhism?

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

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

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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Sending messages into the void?

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

What’s religion good for?

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

Will AI lead to greater inequality?

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

Many flavors of Quakers

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