Derek Beres's Contributions
  • Where Christianity, Celebrity, and Capitalism Meet

    Like L. Ron Hubbard knew, the veneer of celebrity casts such a bright light that the details are obscured. Perhaps that’s why we call them "stars." The closer you get, the harder to observe the shadows being cast.

  • Homeopathy Doesn't Work. Why Are We Still Buying It?

    Dishonesty in one domain doesn’t excuse hucksterism in another. Yet as long as healing remains a lucrative business, it’s going to remain a challenge weeding through the pretty designs and catchy slogans to find...

  • Why Are Some Lives Worth More Than Others?

    Everyone you pass on the street, each person you drive by every day, has a story as well. To claim their death is not worth noticing is to say that their life was not worth living. And that's too bad, because...

  • Where Does Religion Come From?

    "Much of what we now call ‘religion’ was originally rooted in an acknowledgement of the tragic fact that life depended on the destruction of other creatures," writes Karen Armstrong.

  • Will Privacy Ever Be A Right Again?

    To what degree are you allowed the privacy to grieve the loss of a family member? Christos Catsouras found out in October 2006. His 18-year-old daughter, Nikki, died after slamming her father’s car into a concrete...

  • Sam Harris Wakes Up

    One day while walking through Rutgers' Quad Two on the way to the gym, I noticed my friend Shelton across the lawn. As he bounced along the sidewalk—he was in constant point guard mode—it appeared that he was...

  • The Case Against Empathy

    It’s hard to imagine empathy being anything but beneficial. It has become one of the most championed mental states in the neuroscience age: the ability to feel what someone else is feeling and, if all goes well,...

  • Is Mindfulness Dangerous?

    In his 1961 book, Psychotherapy East & West, the philosopher Alan Watts wrote, If there is to be a battle, there must be a field of battle; when the contestants really notice this they will have a war...

  • Imagination Is The Doorway To Mental Breakthroughs

    Most of us recognize soma as the ‘ideal pleasure drug’ in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. In this context the pleasure was pacifying—it kept people in line without questioning their political situation. As Huxley...

  • Where Does Marriage Go From Here?

    It has been amusing listening to the religious right’s argument that marriage must be between a man and woman for one simple reason: the institution itself has been crumbling for decades. This is not to...