What Would Gandhi Do About Trump? High-Time for a Science of Wisdom

Caption: Mahatma Gandhi, close-up portrait (image credit) Written by Charles Cassidy MPhys, Director of Evidence-based Wisdom   ______________________________________   It was 3:30 AM, and my wife and I were crumpled in stunned silence in the back of a taxi, racing through the deserted streets of South London. Our all-night US election party on November 8, 2016 had taken an unexpected turn from a celebration to a tragedy. Black comedy was fast becoming a dark reality. In defiance of all expectations,… Read more

Rumors About Me in the Secular Community

  Caption: Meme saying “I don’t always engage with rumors about me, but when I do, I pull out all the stops” (From imgflip.com)   ____________________________________________________________________________   As I wrote earlier, rumors abound in the secular community, ranging from true to half-true to mostly false to completely false, and I have been the target of some myself.   The situation is so problematic that in 2013, the Secular Coalition for America published an Open Letter signed by a host of major… Read more

Advice That Works for Anyone

Guest post by Max Harms   ______________________________________________________-   When was the last time you got bad advice from someone? How did it feel to be the target of advice that you knew just won’t work for you, even if you might not have been able to say why? Or maybe you didn’t realize the advice was bad until you tried it, and had it backfire! Of course, the person had good intentions, but does it really matter when you suffer… Read more

Is Spirituality Irrational?

Guest post by Ron Garret   ____________________________________________     Spirituality and rationality seem completely opposed. But are they really? To get at this question, let’s start with a little thought experiment. Consider the following two questions: 1. If you were given a choice between reading a physical book (or an e-book) or listening to an audiobook, which would you prefer? 2. If you were given a choice between listening to music, or looking at the grooves of a phonograph record… Read more

How To Avoid Giving Regret

I want to share my story to help you avoid the kind of regret I experienced as a deep churning in my stomach when I found out what bad decisions I made by giving to my favorite charity for many years. Make-A-Wish Foundation helps kids with terminal diseases achieve a grand wish. For example, it could take the child and her family to Disneyland. It then shares the stories of these kids through their marketing materials. These stories are truly heartwarming…. Read more

How To Advance Rational Thinking In Your Community

Why don’t they teach this in high school?!? Or even college, for that matter. That’s the reaction that my wife and I had after attending Columbus Rationality meetings. This subgroup of the Humanist Community of Central Ohio, an affiliate of the American Humanist Association, hosts a wide variety of events devoted to advancing rational thinking strategies. My wife and I aren’t alone in our reactions – many attendees report having similar experiences. After an event focused on effective decision-making, one… Read more

Political Precommitment without Evidence: How Worldview Undermines Reason

Guest blog by Joel Lehman   _____________________   “And so castles made of sand, fall in the sea, eventually.” -Jimi Hendrix   Can you recall a romantic relationship gone wrong, and notice in hindsight the clear signs of the impending breakup, even when during the actual unraveling itself you didn’t notice these signs? Maybe there’s a political belief you once embraced that you’ve now let go. Perhaps you thought Ayn Rand was the most important thinker ever, or that Communism… Read more

Are Friends the Enemies of Wise Choices? The Hidden Factors Influencing Our Most Important Decisions

By Charles Cassidy MPhys, Director of Evidence-based Wisdom   I recently decided to buy a petrol-guzzling car. But was it really me who decided? I don’t like cars. They’re costly on the wallet and toxic to the planet. I also live in London, a city of narrow, victorian streets, where graceful parallel parking is a daily necessity. The only time I have ever gracefully parallel parked was in my driving test 23 years ago.   How did I end up… Read more

Being A Weird American on Independence Day

  In celebration of Independence Day, I want to share why I think of myself as a weird American.   I’m very proud to be a citizen of the United States. It’s one of the greatest countries in the world. America is a beacon of hope for democracy and freedom for millions of people across the globe. Our universities consistently produce ground-breaking research; our companies drive innovation for the global economy; our military helps keep peace in many global conflicts…. Read more

A Science-Based Solution to Lies in Politics

Deception proved a very successful strategy for political causes and individual candidates in the UK and US elections in 2016, leading Oxford Dictionary to choose post-truth politics as its 2016 word of the year. At this low point, it might seem ludicrous to many that we can solve the problem of lies in politics. However, research in behavioral science suggests that we can address political deception through a number of effective strategies, which are brought together in the Pro-Truth Pledge…. Read more