What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Pinker: At heart, morality is treating other people the way one would want to be treated oneself; and some version of that, of interchangeability of perspectives.  It’s the fact that I’m not the only entity in the universe, and I have no grounds for privileging my interests over yours.  That’s really what most or all moral systems ultimately boil down to.  And again, as long as I’m talking to someone, as long as I am providing reasons, I can’t say that I am a unique, privileged person and hope for you to take me seriously.  Why should you?  You’re you, I’m me.  Anything that I come up with as a code of behavior . . . any reason that I give you for how you should behave has to apply to me in order for me not to be a hypocrite or to contradict myself.  And once you do that, then I think much or all of morality follows.  And I think that the alternative that many people appeal to, mainly faith, is . . . immediately refutes itself.  Faith means believing something with no good reason to do it.  Once you’re talking to someone about what they . . . what is good to do, what they ought to do, or what they have reasons to do, you cannot appeal to faith.  You’re committed to reason.

More from the Big Idea for Saturday, February 01 2014

The Genealogy of Morals

We’re born with tunable and extendable social-rule processors, just like our language-rule processors. As Jag Bhalla points out in today's lesson, saying “morality… doesn’t have much to do with... Read More…

 

Steven Pinker Defines Moral...

Newsletter: Share: