A brief history of human dignity

What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.

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  • Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
  • That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
  • We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
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Bruce Lee: How to live successfully in a world with no rules

Shannon Lee shares lessons from her father in her new book, "Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee."

Bruce Lee: How to live successfully in a world with no rules ...
  • Bruce Lee would have turned 80 years old on November 27, 2020. The legendary actor and martial artist's daughter, Shannon Lee, shares some of his wisdom and his philosophy on self help in a new book titled "Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee."
  • In this video, Shannon shares a story of the fight that led to her father beginning a deeper philosophical journey, and how that informed his unique expression of martial arts called Jeet Kune Do.
  • One lesson passed down from Bruce Lee was his use and placement of physical symbols as a way to help "cement for yourself this new way of being, or this new lesson you've learned." By working on ourselves (with the right tools), we can develop the skills necessary to rise and conquer new challenges.
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How psychedelics help you "die before you die"

The heart of the religious ritual is mysticism, argues Brian Muraresku in "The Immortality Key."

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  • The concept of "dying before you die" lies at the heart of religious tradition, argues Brian Muraresku.
  • This secret ritual connects the Eleusinian Mysteries with the origins of Christianity.
  • In "The Immortality Key," Muraresku speculates that psychedelic wine could have been the original Christian Eucharist.
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Are humans cruel by nature?

Historian Rutger Bregman argues that the persistent theory that most people are monsters is just wrong.

Videos
  • How have humans managed to accomplish significantly more than any other species on the planet? Historian Rutger Bregman believes the quality that makes us special is that we "evolved to work together and to cooperate on a scale that no other species in the whole animal kingdom has been able to do."
  • Pushing back against the millennia-old idea that humans are inherently evil beneath their civilized surface, which is known as 'veneer theory', Bregman says that it's humanity's cooperative spirit and sense of brotherhood that leads us to do cruel deeds. "Most atrocities are committed in the name of loyalty, and in the name of friendship, and in the name of helping your people," he tells Big Think. "That is what's so disturbing."
  • The false assumption that people are evil or inherently selfish has an effect on the way we design various elements of our societies and structures. If we designed on the assumption that we are collaborative instead, we could avoid the "self-fulfilling prophecy" of selfishness.
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Become fluent in another language with 50% off a lifetime Babbel subscription

The top-grossing language-learning app on the market just got a major discount.

Gear
  • After just one month of learning, many Babbel users became conversational in a new language.
  • A lifetime subscription to Babbel provides users with the ability to learn 14 different languages whenever they want.
  • Babbel is the top-grossing language-learning app on the market.
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Are brain teasers and apps a waste of time?

Recent research shows that brain teasers don't make you smarter and don't belong in job interviews because they don't reflect real-world problems.

Mind & Brain
  • There is little research to prove that brain games improve general cognition or slow cognitive decline. Rather they simply make you better at playing that specific brain game.
  • Brain teasers are a useless tool during job interviews as they can't predict how an interviewee will perform in real world tasks relevant to the job role.
  • Exercise, nutrition, socialization, and meditation are probably better brain boosters.
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