Atlantic: Why can’t we all just get along?

An extended extract from the end of article. By ‘salvation’, the author is writing about everyone overcoming their difference and getting along:

So maybe the first step toward salvation is to become more self-aware. … Greene certainly thinks more self-awareness would help. … [H]e encourages the cultivation of “a kind of meta-cognitive skill.” This would depend on “understanding how our minds work” and could help us “decide more wisely” …

Which leads to a question: Um, how exactly do you do metacognition? Well, you could start by pondering all the evidence that your brain is an embarrassingly misleading device. Self-doubt can be the first step to moral improvement. But our biases are so subtle, alluring, and persistent that converting a wave of doubt into enduring wisdom takes work. The most-impressive cases of bias neutralization I’m aware of involve people who have spent ungodly amounts of time—several hours a day for many years—in meditative practices that make them more aware of the workings of their minds. These people seem much less emotion-driven, much less wrapped up in themselves, and much less judgmental than, say, I am. …

Happily for those of us who can’t spare several hours a day, more-modest progress can be made by pursuing this “mindfulness meditation” in smaller doses. … Loosening the grip of your emotions can make you happier, and for many meditators that’s the big draw. The fact that emotionally driven and subtly self-centered moral judgments loosen their hold on you as well seems almost like a side effect. …


NYTimes: Donald Trump: The Gateway Degenerate

Devastating opinion piece. One to file away and return to in 100 years time. Show your grand children. Analyse in history class.

“Republicans, blinded by fear and rage, thirsty for power, desperate for a reclamation and reassertion of racial power, have cast their lot with the great deceiver and all their previous deal-breakers are now negotiable.”

Read the full article here.


Religion as Leash

When religious people dispute how people can be ‘good’ without religion, what they are saying is that they need it to be good. Religion is the leash that holds them from the precipice, that keeps them from doing terrible things (and, more often than not, fails). The rest of us, we get by just fine.