19 January 2020
Science of Spirituality
The Wright Show
Emotions and the Brain
The Meaning of Future Life
The Weirdness of Physics
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Feb 28, 2016 — Nikita Petrov & Daniele Bolelli
Daniele’s new book
and the practice of cage fighting
In martial arts, you want to play it safe—but not too safe
Raising a baby girl: the greater battle
Other practices: meditation, psychedelics, and life in general
The changing face and functions of online media
Daniele’s mix-and-match approach to philosophy and religion
Feb 26, 2016 — Philip Menchaca & Jackson Stephenson
When a musical subculture adopts religious ideas
Meet Kali, a Hindu goddess and extreme-metal music icon
“Left-hand” vs. “right-hand” Tantric practice
Gateways to forbidden power
Spiritual elitism in the extreme-metal music scene
Questioning the value of the transgressive mindset
Feb 25, 2016 — Robert Wright & George Johnson
The limits of human knowledge
Confronting the weirdness of quantum physics
Einstein, relativity, photons—and time travel!
What good is a legacy if you’re dead?
George’s ideal afterlife
The human compulsion to find order in the world
Feb 22, 2016 — Miguel Farias & Russell Razzaque
How mental breakdown could prime one for spiritual awakening
Russell: Cracks in our sense of self are helpful
Why mental health prognoses are worse in the West
Has meditation become commodified?
How practicing mindfulness can make you a better therapist
Can mindfulness replace traditional therapy?
Feb 20, 2016 — Robert Wright & William MacAskill
Will’s new book
Doing Good Better
and its topic, effective altruism
A shockingly cheap and easy way to help schools in Africa
The perils of pursuing only the quantifiably good
The case against buying fair trade products and donating to disaster relief
Long-term do-good planning
Why it makes sense to invest in apocalypse prevention even though we’ll probably be fine
Feb 19, 2016 — Philip Menchaca & Pablo Sender
What is Theosophy?
A Theosophical explanation of psychic phenomena
Do all religions contain the same truth?
Synthesizing religion, philosophy, and science
Is there an ordering force in the universe?
Theosophy’s most important teaching
Feb 18, 2016 — Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Jesse Singal
Jesse’s article on the closure of a gender identity clinic
The rise of #firejessesingal
The real-world consequences of abusive online discourse
The social dynamics driving internet vitriol
Why engage at all?
Life lessons from being shamed on Twitter
Feb 16, 2016 — Robert Wright & Melanie Brewster
Melanie Brewster and other
Atheists in America
Can atheism be a source of community?
What about hope, consolation and wonder?
Melanie’s book and why it was originally titled
The Other Closet
Why do New Atheists tend to be white, male and angry?
Are atheists understudied?
Feb 13, 2016 — Daniel Kaufman & Massimo Pigliucci
What constitutes an explanation in the natural sciences?
Looking for a categorical difference between natural and social sciences
Biological and social explanations of human behavior
The difference between the narratives of social and physical sciences
Does social science explain events or their interpretations?
Must a science have “laws”? Are there social scientific laws?
Feb 12, 2016 — Daniel Kaufman & Robert Wright
A quick look at the life of Wittgenstein
The misunderstood philosopher
How does language represent reality (if at all)?
Wittgenstein the Mystic
Why your private thoughts are public
Cognitive science’s big Wittgensteinian problem
Feb 11, 2016 — Robert Wright & Sarah Posner
The fractured evangelical vote
State of the evangelical mind (with a cameo by Sarah’s dog Karma)
The trajectory of Sarah’s relationship with Judaism
Journalistic work as a source of pleasure and meaning
Mourning without the consolation of an afterlife
Hillary’s brand of liberal Christianity
Feb 9, 2016 — Robert Wright & Daniel Kaufman
A “higher purpose” that doesn’t involve spooky forces
What does it matter whether a higher purpose exists?
What does the “meaning” in “meaning of life” mean?
Pondering the trajectory of human development
The importance of understanding other perspectives
Debating whether we’ve made moral progress
Feb 7, 2016 — Robert Wright & Paul Froese
What do we mean by a meaningful life?
Finding purpose in being a part of something bigger
How social context determines our understanding of meaning
Fantasies about uniting humanity: one cause, one God, one reality
Are we making moral progress?
Is it empowering or terrifying to think we create our own meaning?
Feb 4, 2016 — Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt
Finding meaning in Washington D.C.
Heather’s spiritual life
Ways Episcopalians think about God
Tempting things public servants should avoid
The importance of being hokey
“There is no having it all”
Feb 3, 2016 — Glen Whitney & John Allen Paulos
A mathematically informed skepticism of the biographical genre
The significance of unpredictability
Using math to understand the trajectory of our lives
Over time, do our perceptions converge on the truth?
The delusion of attributing significance to coincidences
When John learned that math = power
Feb 2, 2016 — Massimo Pigliucci & Daniel Fincke (moderated by Daniel Kaufman)
Stoicism: a philosophical alternative to religion
Adapting an ancient philosophy of life to modern times
Accepting harsh truths
Confronting regret, fear, and death
Applying Stoicism to the social sphere
Interpreting the concept of radical self-sufficiency