How one black man convinced 200 KKK members to quit the Klan... by listening

Dialogue and an open mind can go a lot further than angry rhetoric.

  • Sarah Ruger, Director of Free Speech Initiatives at the Charles Koch Institute, tells us about Daryl Davis, a jazz and blues musician who has convinced over 200 KKK members to turn in their robes.
  • He didn't do it by by heated debate. He managed to accomplish this feat by having dialogue and listening to the other side. This way, quite simply, he was able to understand where they were coming from. That made it far easier to show them the error of their ways.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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The horror and mystery behind 'the Black Paintings'

Towards the end of his life, Francisco Goya began painting terrifying scenes directly onto the walls of his house.

Wikimedia Commons
  • The Black Paintings stand out in art history for their dark composition and themes.
  • The biggest mystery, though, is that Goya painted them directly onto the walls of his home and never told anybody about them.
  • With such little information, all we can do is speculate about the 14 horrifying Black Paintings.
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Why spiritualizing the cosmos is a disservice to science and religion

Where is God? Michelle Thaller lays out a cosmic view of religion, science, and the human condition.

  • Ancient humans believed lightning, seasons, and other unexplainable natural phenomenon were the acts of gods, but what happens when scientific discovery unravels those mysteries?
  • NASA astronomer and science communicator Michelle Thaller explains how scientific discovery has changed the search for God, and that religion may be something that happens between people, if they choose, rather than out there in the cosmos.
  • It's not a miracle that Earth is the perfect incubator for human life—we were created by the laws of the universe, and in those laws we can find great beauty and belonging.
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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Dark tourism: Inside a new, morbid kind of travel

If your dream vacation involves a luau, dark tourism probably isn't for you.

(Paula Bronstein/ Getty Images)
  • A new form of tourism that focuses on visiting sites associated with death and tragedy is growing in popularity.
  • Some call it exploitative, and some call it respectful. Still others consider it to be far too dangerous for reasonable people.
  • In any case, dark tourism showcases humanity's irresistible fascination with death.
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