Schadenfreude – which literally means "harm-joy" in German – is the sense of pleasure derived from others' misfortune.

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The origins of Satanism: A humanist history?

From religious wars to French poison conspiracies to the counterculture, we look at the origins of Satanism.

Still from D.W. Griffith's 1926 film "The Sorrows of Satan."
  • Pop culture has painted our perceptions of Satanism more than historical facts.
  • For most of its history, the term Satanism was an epithet used against religious enemies, not a movement bound by a shared set of beliefs.
  • Today, the Satanists philosophy has more in common with empiricism or atheism than faith-based religions.
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Photo by Ben Sweet on Unsplash

It's a question that's reverberated through the ages – are we humans, though imperfect, essentially kind, sensible, good-natured creatures? Or deep down are we wired to be bad, blinkered, idle, vain, vengeful and selfish? There are no easy answers and there's clearly a lot of variation between individuals, but this feature post aims to shine some evidence-based light on the matter. Here in the first part of a two-part feature – and deliberately side-stepping the obviously relevant but controversial and already much-discussed Milgram, Zimbardo and Asch studies – we digest 10 dispiriting findings that reveal the darker and less impressive aspects of human nature:

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7 most important horror movies: Double-feature edition

Feeling the urge to scare yourself this Halloween? Here are seven important horror films you have to see.

  • This scareful season, make sure to check these seven important horror movies off your to-do list.
  • Already an aficionado of fear? The list offers a double-feature option to pair with each classic horror flick.
  • With apologies to Hereditary, but I haven't seen it yet.
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How to See Star Wars For What It Really Is

Science fiction author David Brin analyses the moral within the Star Wars films – and it might not be one that you like.

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