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  • Why We Have Moral Rules, But Don't Follow Them

    From New Scientist WHY do we sometimes wrestle with moral dilemmas? A twist on a classic psychology experiment suggests that our minds have two parallel moral systems, and they don't always agree. In the trolley experiment, participants are told that a runaway tram trolley could kill five people...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Yuck Factor Explained

    By Tiffanny O'Callaghan, in The New Scientist Disgust can be a bewildering emotion. In her new book, That's Disgusting, research psychologist Rachel Herz points out that our tendency to react by pulling away is based on a combination of self-preservation and learned behaviour. When we are grossed...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Five Best: Novel Approaches to Kindness

    By Linda Grant, Wall Street Journal An excerpt: Life and Fate , by Vassily Grossman (1959) An old Russian woman, seeing a captured German soldier, raises a brick to throw at him, but at the last moment she instead hands him a piece of bread. The woman has no idea why she does this and in the years to...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Why Free Will May be an Illusion

    By MacGregor Campbell, New Scientist Does free will actually exist? Or are we all just biological robots? In this video, see why modern neuroscience claims free will is an illusion and why psychology experiments suggest we may be better off believing the lie. Controlling our own destiny is so ingrained...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Nice Guys Finish First

    By David Brooks, The New York Times The story of evolution, we have been told, is the story of the survival of the fittest. The strong eat the weak. The creatures that adapt to the environment pass on their selfish genes. Those that do not become extinct. In this telling, we humans are like all other...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Control Yourself!

    By Wilhelm Hofmann and Malte Friese, Scientific American Mind Most of us start out with the best of intentions. Then we walk right past the fruit bowl in search of the devil's food cake. Or drink one glass of wine too many. Or, after yet another glass, kiss that co-worker at the holiday party. Unfortunately...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Modesty Manifesto

    3/11/11 By David Brooks, The New York Times We’re an overconfident species. Ninety-four percent of college professors believe they have above-average teaching skills. A survey of high school students found that 70 percent of them have above-average leadership skills and only 2 percent are below average...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • What Will Future Generations Condemn Us For?

    By Kwame Anthony Appiah in The Washington Post. "Once, pretty much everywhere, beating your wife and children was regarded as a father's duty, homosexuality was a hanging offense, and waterboarding was approved -- in fact, invented -- by the Catholic Church. Through the middle of the 19th century...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Science of Good and Evil

    By Sam Harris from The Daily Beast. " As I argue in my new book, The Moral Landscape , questions about values—about meaning, morality, and life’s larger purpose—are really questions about the well-being of conscious creatures. Throughout the book I make reference to a hypothetical space that I call...
     Posted by: agomberg
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