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Liv Boeree
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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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What Defines Your Identity? Not Your Memories But Your Moral Decisions.

Who we are in our essence has a great deal to do with how people identify us in our everyday lives.

Who are you and what are you doing here?


It is no mistake that the philosopher and the amnesiac ask this very question. Who we are in our essence has a great deal to do with how people identify us in our everyday lives. Yes, our physical appearance is a general cue, but if our personality were to radically change overnight, we would become, functionally, a different person. 

Scientists and artists alike have often pointed to our memories as the stuff of who we "really" are. Lose your memories and you lose all the experiences that form you. But there is a more foundational component to identity, argues Nina Strohminger, a psychologist at Duke University in North Carolina:

"Moral features are the chief dimension by which we judge, sort and choose social partners. For men and women alike, the single most sought-after trait in a long-term romantic partner is kindness – beating out beauty, wealth, health, shared interests, even intelligence."

In her final analysis, Strohminger goes even further. She argues that a moral sense is so fundamental that our very concept of identify is a construct existing to give our moral sense a vehicle. Thus to know yourself and to know the others around you means to understand their moral choices. 

In his Big Think interview, philosopher Pete Singer argues that ethical standards are about forming community, i.e. acting morally is in one's self interest because it helps create a community that can be called on in times of need:

Read more at Aeon

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Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?

Sexual arousal and orgasm increase the number of white blood cells in the body, making it easier to fight infection and illness.

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Sex & Relationships
  • Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
  • The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
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The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.

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  • Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
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Why is everyone so selfish? Science explains

The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.

Credit: Adobe Stock, Olivier Le Moal.
Personal Growth
  • Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
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  • Crisis times tend to increase self-centered acts.
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Culture & Religion

How Hemingway felt about fatherhood

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