What do you Believe?
Question: What do you believe?
Jonathan Haidt: I believe that while there is no God or external intelligence, I believe that we humans do better when we can orient ourselves around common goals, common purposes, common ideals.
I believe our brains evolved with our cultures, so that we have religious brains that are designed to be immersed in religious cultures. In other words, religion is not a trick or a disease, as Richard Dawkins and [Daniel] Dennett tell us.
Religion is an adaptation. It’s one that we have freed ourselves in some ways; and then we’re puzzled as to why most of our fellow citizens, at least in the United States, cling to it.
So I believe that in our community of liberal, secular scientists, we will not progress. We will not understand the true nature of society until we open our minds, especially to religious ideas, not that there is a God, but that religion is adaptive. Our brains are built for it, and if we’re going to find ways to live with both religious diversity and to make a space for atheists, like me, we need to understand what religion does and what are some workable alternatives to it.
Recorded on: May 9, 2008
Humanity needs common goals and ideals.
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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