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'If you only read one book this year, make it this one' CATHY RENTZENBRINK
'This book must be read by as many people as possible - only when people change their view of human nature will they begin to believe in the possibility of building a better world' GRACE BLAKELEY
'It'd be no surprise if it proved to be the Sapiens of 2020' GUARDIAN
It's a belief that unites the left and right, psychologists and philosophers, writers and historians. It drives the headlines that surround us and the laws that touch our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Dawkins, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we're taught, are by nature selfish and governed by self-interest.
Humankind makes a new argument: that it is realistic, as well as revolutionary, to assume that people are good. The instinct to cooperate rather than compete, trust rather than distrust, has an evolutionary basis going right back to the beginning of Homo sapiens. By thinking the worst of others, we bring out the worst in our politics and economics too.
In this major book, internationally bestselling author Rutger Bregman takes some of the world's most famous studies and events and reframes them, providing a new perspective on the last 200,000 years of human history. From the real-life Lord of the Flies to the Blitz, a Siberian fox farm to an infamous New York murder, Stanley Milgram's Yale shock machine to the Stanford prison experiment, Bregman shows how believing in human kindness and altruism can be a new way to think - and act as the foundation for achieving true change in our society.
It is time for a new view of human nature.
We are living through a period of cultural climate change. We have outsourced morality to the markets on the one hand, and the state on the other. The markets have brought wealth to many, and the state has done much to contain the worst excesses of inequality, but neither is capable of bearing the moral weight of showing us how to live.
This has had a profound impact on society and the way in which we interact with each other. Traditional values no longer hold, yet recent political swings show that modern ideals of tolerance have left many feeling rudderless and adrift. In this environment we see things fall apart in unexpected ways - toxic public discourse makes true societal progress almost unattainable, a more divisive society is fuelled by identity politics and extremism, and the rise of a victimhood mentality calls for 'safe spaces' but stifles debate. The influence of social media seems all-pervading and the breakdown of the family is only one result of the loss of social capital. Many fear what the future may hold.
Delivering a devastatingly insightful critique of our modern condition, and assessing its roots and causes from the ancient Greeks through the Reformation and Enlightenment to the present day, Sacks argues that there is no liberty without morality, and no freedom without responsibility.
If we care about the future of western civilisation, all of us must play our part in rebuilding our common moral foundation. Then we will discover afresh the life-transforming and counterintuitive truths that a nation is strong when it cares for the weak, and rich when it cares for the poor.
Here is an inspiring vision of a world in which we can all find our place, and face the future without fear.
Consisting of an assortment of landmark essays and the best in contemporary scholarship, this anthology delves deeply into the most pressing environmental issues of our times. Articles included in this anthology are distinguished for their relevance to real-life policy making and for their ability to promote rich and lively discussion about controversial matters. In addition, the editors' careful organization of the topics and illuminating section previews keep students focused on the most essential points of current environmental debates.
A hugely topical collection of essays from a cross-disciplinary group of leading academics focussing on the implications for an understanding of human identity in light of the current possibilities in medical science. The book brings together an international body of medical experts alongside philosophers, sociologists, theologians and ethicists in order to discuss these vital issues.
The ensuing discussion will allow public debate to be more informed about the actual possibilities inherent in medical science, alongside a sophisticated treatment of ethical and theological issues. The result is a focused collection of essays that raises new and challenging questions.
The second edition of Media ethics in the South African context explores the dynamic and potentially explosive field of media ethics from a South African perspective. Grounded in ethical theory, the public philosophies of communication and media performance norms, this text provides guidelines for the individual's ethical decision making; for both media practitioners and media groups. Cutting edge analysis of the South African normative context under the previous and present political dispensations makes this book essential reading for media policy formulators and students alike. Changes in the normative context are presenting the South African news media in particular, with new challenges.
In Oktober 2015 het die Algemene Sinode van die NG Kerk ’n merkwaardige besluit oor selfdegeslagverhoudings geneem. Die besluit het erkenning gegee aan sulke verhoudings en dit vir predikante moontlik gemaak om gay en lesbiese persone in die eg te verbind. Ook die selibaatsvereiste wat tot op daardie stadium vir gay predikante gegeld het, is opgehef. Met hierdie besluit het die NG Kerk die eerste hoofstroomkerk in Suid-Afrika en Afrika geword wat totale gelykwaardige menswaardige behandeling van alle mense, ongeag seksuele oriëntasie, erken – en is gedoen wat slegs in ’n handjievol kerke węreldwyd uitgevoer is. Die besluit het egter gelei tot groot konsternasie. Verskeie appčlle en beswaargeskrifte is ingedien, distriksinodes het hulle van die besluit distansieer, en in die media was daar volgehoue kritiek en debat.
Race is real because we perceive it. Racism is real because we enact it. But the appeal to science to strengthen racist ideologies is on the rise - and increasingly part of the public discourse on politics, migration, education, sport and intelligence.
Stereotypes and myths about race are expressed not just by overt racists, but also by well-intentioned people whose experience and cultural baggage steers them towards views that are not supported by the modern study of human genetics. Even some scientists are uncomfortable expressing opinions deriving from their research where it relates to race. Yet, if understood correctly, science and history can be powerful allies against racism, granting the clearest view of how people actually are, rather than how we judge them to be.
HOW TO ARGUE WITH A RACIST is a vital manifesto for a twenty-first century understanding of human evolution and variation, and a timely weapon against the misuse of science to justify bigotry.
Ubuntu is a Xhosa word originating from a South African philosophy that encapsulates all our aspirations about how to live life well, together. It is the belief in a universal human bond: I am only because you are. And it means that if you are able to see everyone as fully human, connected to you by their humanity, you will never be able to treat others as disposable or without worth. By embracing the philosophy of Ubuntu and living it out in daily life it's possible to overcome division and be stronger together in a world where the wise build bridges, not walls.
These 14 lessons from the Rainbow Nation are an essential toolkit to helping us all to live better, together. In stories that recognise our common humanity, our connectedness and interdependence, Everyday Ubuntu helps to make sense of the world and our place in it. Exploring ideas of kindness and forgiveness, tolerance and the power of listening, it shows how we can all benefit from embracing others.
Including practical applications and mindful exercises, it is an inspirational guide to a more fulfilling life as part of the large family to which we all belong.
Questions of ethics - about how we should act, our responsibilities to one another, the difference between right and wrong - have long been debated by philosophers the world over and form the foundations of government, culture and religion. Here, in concise, easy-to-read chapters, Ben Dupre explains the fundamentals of this discipline and how it is relevant to our lives today. Covering essential ethical concepts, including relativism, the golden rule and utilitarianism, as well as high-profile issues such as terrorism, censorship and the death penalty, 50 Ethics Ideas You Really Need to Know will lead you through the moral maze - and rattle your conscience in the process.
In this book, renowned anthropologists Jean and John L. Comaroff make a startling but absolutely convincing claim about our modern era: it is not by our arts, our politics, or our science that we understand ourselves-it is by our crimes. Surveying an astonishing range of forms of crime and policing-from petty thefts to the multibilliondollar scams of toobigtofail financial institutions to the collateral damage of war-they take readers into the disorder of the late modern world. Looking at recent transformations in the triangulation of capital, the state, and governance that have led to an era where crime and policing are ever more complicit, they offer a powerful meditation on the new forms of sovereignty, citizenship, class, race, law, and political economy of representation that have arisen. To do so, the Comaroffs draw on their vast knowledge of South Africa, especially, and its struggle to build a democracy founded on the rule of law out of the wreckage of long years of violence and oppression. There they explore everything from the fascination with the supernatural in policing to the extreme measures people take to prevent home invasion, drawing illuminating comparisons to the United States and United Kingdom. Going beyond South Africa, they offer a global criminal anthropology that attests to criminality as the constitutive fact of contemporary life, the vernacular by which politics are conducted, moral panics voiced, and populations ruled. The result is a disturbing but necessary portrait of the modern era, one that asks critical new questions about how we see ourselves, how we think about morality, and how we are going to proceed as a global society.
A milestone in the history of popular theology, 'The Screwtape Letters' is an iconic classic on spiritual warfare and the power of the devil. This profound and striking narrative takes the form of a series of letters from Screwtape, a devil high in the Infernal Civil Service, to his nephew Wormwood, a junior colleague engaged in his first mission on earth trying to secure the damnation of a young man who has just become a Christian. Although the young man initially looks to be a willing victim, he changes his ways and is 'lost' to the young devil. Dedicated to Lewis's friend and colleague J.R.R. Tolkien, 'The Screwtape Letters' is a timeless classic on spiritual conflict and the invisible realities which are part of our religious experience.
Former Google advertising strategist, now Oxford-trained philosopher James Williams launches a plea to society and to the tech industry to help ensure that the technology we all carry with us every day does not distract us from pursuing our true goals in life. As information becomes ever more plentiful, the resource that is becoming more scarce is our attention. In this 'attention economy', we need to recognise the fundamental impacts of our new information environment on our lives in order to take back control. Drawing on insights ranging from Diogenes to contemporary tech leaders, Williams's thoughtful and impassioned analysis is sure to provoke discussion and debate. Williams is the inaugural winner of the Nine Dots Prize, a new Prize for creative thinking that tackles contemporary social issues. This title is also available as Open Access.
Rethinking the great literary prophets whose ministry ran from the eighth to the sixth centuries BCE-Amos, Hosea, First Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Second Isaiah, and Job-Thinking about the Prophets examines their often-shocking teachings in light of their times, their influence on later Western and Jewish thinkers, and their enduring lessons for all of us. As a noted scholar of Jewish philosophy, Kenneth Seeskin teases out philosophical, ethical, and theological questions in the writings, such as the nature of moral reasoning, the divine persona, divine providence, the suffering of the innocent, the power of repentance, and what it means to believe in a monotheistic conception of God. Seeskin demonstrates that great ideas are not limited by time or place, but rather once put forth, take on a life of their own. Thus he interweaves the medieval and modern philosophers Maimonides, Kant, Cohen, Buber, Levinas, Heschel, and Soloveitchik, all of whom read the prophets and had important things to say as a result. We come to see the prophets perhaps in equal measure as divinely authorized whistle-blowers and profound thinkers of the human condition. Readers of all levels will find this volume an accessible and provoking introduction to the enduring significance of biblical prophecy.
Justice, mercy, and the public good all find meaning in relationshipaa relationship dependent upon fidelity, but endlessly open to the betrayals of infidelity. This paradox defines the story of God and Israel in the Old Testament. Yet the arc of this story reaches ever forward, and its trajectory confers meaning upon human relationships and communities in the present. The Old Testament still speaks. Israel, in the Old Testament, bears witness to a God who initiates and then sustains covenantal relationships. God, in mercy, does so by making promises for a just well-being and prescribing stipulations for the covenant partner's obedience. The nature of the relationship itself decisively depends upon the conduct, practice, and policy of the covenant partner, yet is radically rooted in the character and agency of Godathe One who makes promises, initiates covenant, and sustains relationship. This reflexive, asymmetrical relationship, kept alive in the texts and tradition, now fires contemporary imagination. Justice becomes shaped by the practice of neighborliness, mercy reaches beyond a pervasive quid pro quo calculus, and law becomes a dynamic norming of the community. The well-being of the neighborhood, inspired by the biblical texts, makes possibleaand even insists uponaan alternative to the ideology of individualism that governs our society's practice and policy. This kind of community life returns us to the arc of God's giftsamercy, justice, and law. The covenant of God in the witness of biblical faith speaks now and demands that its interpreting community resist individualism, overcome commoditization, and thwart the rule of empire through a life of radical neighbor love.
Should we believe in God? In this new book, written for a new generation, the brilliant science writer and author of The God Delusion, explains why we shouldn’t.
Should we believe in God? Do we need God in order to explain the existence of the universe? Do we need God in order to be good? In twelve chapters that address some of the most profound questions human beings confront, Dawkins marshals science, philosophy and comparative religion to interrogate the hypocrisies of all the religious systems and explain to readers of all ages how life emerged without a Creator, how evolution works and how our world came into being.
For anyone hoping to grapple with the meaning of life and what to believe, Outgrowing God is a challenging, thrilling and revelatory read.
Selected as a Book of the Year in The Times Literary Supplement 'This lucid and riveting new biography at once rescuses Kierkegaard from the scholars and shows why he is such an intriguing and useful figure' Observer Soren Kierkegaard, one of the most passionate and challenging of modern philosophers, is now celebrated as the father of existentialism - yet his contemporaries described him as a philosopher of the heart. Over about a decade in the 1840s and 1850s, writings poured from his pen analysing love and suffering, courage and anxiety, religious longing and defiance, and forging a new philosophical style rooted in the inward drama of being human. As Christianity seemed to sleepwalk through a changing world, Kierkegaard dazzlingly revealed its spiritual power while exposing the poverty of official religion. His restless creativity was spurred on by his own failures: his relationship with the young woman whom he promised to marry, then left to devote himself to writing, haunted him throughout his life. Though tormented by the pressures of celebrity, he deliberately lived amidst the crowds in Copenhagen, known by everyone but, he felt, understood by no one. When he collapsed exhausted at the age of 42, he was still pursuing the question of existence: how to be a human being in this world? Clare Carlisle's innovative and moving biography writes Kierkegaard's remarkable life as far as possible from his own perspective, conveying what it was like to be this Socrates of Christendom - as he put it, living life forwards yet only understanding it backwards.
In Moral Conscience through the Ages, Richard Sorabji brings his erudition and philosophical acumen to bear on a fundamental question: what is conscience? Examining the ways we have conceived of that little voice in our heads - our self-directed judge - he teases out its most enduring elements, the aspects that have survived from the Greek playwrights in the fifth century BCE through St Paul, the Church Fathers, Catholics and Protestants, all the way to the 17th centurys political unrest and the critics and champions of the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. Sorabji traces a history of conscience over this long period and examines an impressive breadth of recurrent topics: the longing for different kinds of freedom of conscience, the proper limits of freedom itself, protests at consciences being terrorized, dilemmas of conscience, the value of conscience to human beings, its secularization, its reliability, and ways to improve it. These historical issues are alive today, with fresh concerns about topics such as conscientious objection, the force of conscience, or the balance between freedoms of conscience, religion, and speech. The result is a stunningly comprehensive look at a central component of our moral understanding.
Exam Board: SQA Level: Higher Subject: RMPS First Teaching: August 2018 First Exam: June 2019 The only resource for RMPS Religious and Philosophical Questions at Higher level, written by a bestselling author and expert in the field. Completely updated for the 2018 SQA specification. This book provides comprehensive coverage of the newly designed CFE Higher in Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies. It is also ideal for students across Scotland studying key topic areas in Religious and Philosophical Questions as part of the broad general education and the senior phase of RME. - Offers a lively, accessible and engaging style with appropriate humour that reflects real-life situations and moral issues - Highlights the importance of dealing with varieties of belief within religious traditions - Deals with up-to-date contemporary and topical issues in a highly sensitive and informative manner
Rather than telling students what to think about moral issues, this NEW text teaches students how to think for themselves. Using real-world examples and vivid illustrations drawn from other disciplines, it challenges preconceived notions about morality and demonstrates why ethics matters. A companion volume, Readings in Moral Philosophy, provides primary selections that amplify issues discussed in the text and extends them to problems in applied ethics.
Exam board: OCR Level: A-level Subject: Religious Studies First teaching: September 2016 First exams: Summer 2017 Target success in OCR A Level Religious Studies with this proven formula for effective, structured revision; key content coverage is combined with exam-style tasks and practical tips to create a revision guide you can rely on to review, strengthen and test their knowledge. With My Revision Notes you can: - Plan and manage a successful revision programme using the topic-by-topic planner - Consolidate subject knowledge by working through clear and focused content coverage - Test understanding and identify areas for improvement with regular 'Now Test Yourself' tasks and answers - Improve exam technique through practice questions, expert tips and examples of typical mistakes to avoid
Criticism and Compassion: The Ethics and Politics of Claudia Card offers a unique perspective on the range of issues explored by Card during her distinguished career in philosophy. Investigates her work as an early leader in the development of feminist philosophy, challenging many preconceptions about the society's norms regarding gender, marriage, and motherhood Crossing many disciplinary boundaries, her concept of social death has come to play a significant role in multidisciplinary field of genocide studies This volume combines many of Claudia Card's important essays with recently commissioned essays by leading philosophers whose work has been influenced by Card The full scope of Card's philosophy is presented here - both in her own words and those of her critics and interpreters
From outlawing bowling in colonial America to regulating violent video games and synthetic drugs today, Mark Stein's Vice Capades examines the nation's relationship with the actions, attitudes, and antics that have defined morality. This humorous and quirky history reveals that our views of vice are formed not merely by morals but by power. While laws against nude dancing have become less restrictive, laws restricting sexual harassment have been enacted. While marijuana is no longer illegal everywhere, restrictive laws have been enacted against cigarettes. Stein examines this nation's inconsistent moral compass and how the powers-that-be in each era determine what is or is not deemed a vice. From the Puritans who founded Massachusetts with unyielding, biblically based laws to those modern purveyors of morality who currently campaign against video game violence, Vice Capades looks at the American history we all know from a fresh and exciting perspective and shows how vice has shaped our nation, sometimes without us even knowing it.
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