Why some people think they hear the voices of the dead

A new study looks at why mysterious voices are sometimes taken as spirits and other times as symptoms of mental health issues.

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  • Both spiritualist mediums and schizophrenics hear voices.
  • For the former, this constitutes a gift; for the latter, mental illness.
  • A study explores what the two phenomena have in common.
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Can you step in the same river twice? Wittgenstein vs. Heraclitus

Imagine Heraclitus spending an afternoon down by the river...

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'I am not a religious man,' the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once said to a friend, 'but I cannot help seeing every problem from a religious point of view.'
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Survey shows Congress is more religious than America

A new survey shows who believes what and how it differs from what Americans believe as a whole.

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  • The newest survey of congressional religious beliefs shows our representatives aren't quite like us.
  • Members of Congress are much more religious and more Christian than the general population.
  • The effects of this disconnect are debatable.
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Is there life after death?

Is death the final frontier? We ask scientists, philosophers, and spiritual leaders about life after death.

  • Death is inevitable for all known living things. However on the question of what, if anything, comes after life, the most honest answer is that no one knows.
  • So far, there is no scientific evidence to prove or disprove what happens after we die. In this video, astronomer Michelle Thaller, neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris, science educator Bill Nye, and others consider what an afterlife would look like, what the biblical concepts of 'eternal life' and 'hell' really mean, why so many people around the world choose to believe that death is not the end, and whether or not that belief is ultimately detrimental or beneficial to one's life.
  • Life after death is also not relegated to discussions of religion. "Digital and genetic immortality are within reach," says theoretical physicist Michio Kaku. Kaku shares how, in the future, we may be able to physically talk to the dead thanks to hologram technology and the digitization of our online lives, memories, and connectome.
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13 books everyone should read and why—as voted by you

Add these great titles to your wish list or secure copies for yourself.

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  • We asked BigThink's readers and staff for their recommendations on books everyone should read.
  • A collection of fiction and non-fiction works from around the world spanning millennia, these books will expand your horizons.
  • Many of these books are long out of copyright, and can be read for free.
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