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Posted inThe Future

The longtermism that works—and the kind that doesn’t

Reading Time: 10 minutes In 2004, a tsunami and earthquake killed almost 230,000 people in 14 Indian Ocean countries. Many forms of relief then mouldered on the beaches—used clothes, high heel shoes, expired medicines—because “in-kind” donations are well known not to be effective forms of aid on a global scale. The wrong hair products to survivors of Hurricane Katrina. […]

Posted inEthics and Morality

We need to talk about the dark side of the Golden Rule

Reading Time: 6 minutes The Golden Rule, that much-loved staple of low-calorie morality, does more harm than good. Humanists UK posted this on their Facebook page as part of their #HumanistVoices campaign: “A naturally occurring moral philosophy based on reason and empathy,” says Humanists UK about the Golden Rule.  “It’s really not complicated,” says Dan Snow.  Is that true? […]

Posted inFilm/TV

Can any civilization ‘Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach’?

Reading Time: 9 minutes There are many useful narrative structures for humanist stories, and all tend to get airtime in classic Star Trek series. Some involve a juxtaposition of multiple storylines, to hold different crises and outlooks in tension. Others present the full problem early on, allowing different perspectives and conflicts to emerge as characters struggle to find a […]

Posted inPsychology

Sports are for losers: On unavoidable suffering and learning to flourish

Reading Time: 5 minutes The recent Olympic Games, the ensuing NCAA March Madness Tournaments, and all other competitions produce an exorbitant amount of one category of athlete: losers. All told, the 2022 Winter Olympic Games alone sent home more than 2,000 losers. Sports and competition itself is a uniquely unforgiving institution. It’s designed so a large majority of participants lose […]

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