24 November 2017


Pondering free will before Thanksgiving’s excesses

Robert Wright and philosopher Shaun Nichols discuss why people intuitively believe in free will. Play entire video
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The rise of Buddhist nationalism?

Scholar of religion Michael Jerryson on what happens when Buddhism and politics mix. Plus: The Buddhists who hate.

Does art have to elevate humanity?

Daniel Kaufman questions Hegel on art’s inherent purpose. Plus: What art tells us.

More atheists, fewer foxholes

Historian of science Peter Harrison asserts that basic personal security, rather than science, is responsible for religious decline around the world. Plus: The elusive “rational” religion.

“As you wish!”

Ethan Nichtern, author of the new book The Dharma of The Princess Bride, explains how the movie’s “optimistic deconstruction” of conventional narratives sets it apart from other ironic films. Plus: “Making friends with desire

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Why Buddhism is True

In a talk at Google, Robert Wright discusses the thesis of his new book on the science and philosophy of meditation and enlightenment.

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Finding community in secular society

Sociologist Joseph Baker, author of the book American Secularism, explains why the Unitarian Universalist church is growing while church attendance remains in decline nationally. Plus: Is Richard Dawkins bad for secularism?

The origin of culture

Biologist Tyler Volk, author of the new book Quarks to Culture, explains his theory about early social networks. Plus: Does world peace start with inner peace?

The Wright Show

Time is money, or vice versa

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Mark O’Connell, author of To Be a Machine, discusses Silicon Valley’s inordinate interest in immortality. PlusSelf-made cyborgs.

The Wright Show

How Luther made Christianity personal

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Robert Wright and historian Craig Harline, author of A World Ablaze, discuss how Luther’s chronic remorse fostered the doctrine of salvation through faith. Plus: Protestantism celebrates its 500th anniversary.


Order from inequality

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Daniel Kaufman and Daniel Tippens argue that the concept of justice must arise under conditions of scarcity. PlusDo comedians have a moral responsibility?