#33: Where is the pain

Danielle and José talk about perception and meditation. Danielle claims that meditation is the key to seeing, feeling, and perceiving the world in a radically new way. Can meditation change the brain so much that we can cease to feel pain? Where is sensation: in the nerves or in the mind’s response? And what happens if, indeed, we do have responsibility for how we interpret sense data?

Join Danielle’s Buddhism in Action Workshop September 8,15, 22, 1:00-3:30, in Portland, OR

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#32: Anger is a Hasty Servant

When is anger a justified or appropriate response to a situation? Guest Greg Sadler, founder of ReasonIO which puts philosophy into practice, is on the show to talk about when, how, and with whom we should be angry. We consider anger’s role in political movements, its relationship to clear and rational thinking, and how to cope with anger so that it doesn’t swallow us up.

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#30: Playing Chess with Yourself

José gives an extended response to a listener question about what it means to be yourself. Who are you, really, and how do you know if you’re being yourself? Is the self a fixed identity that is sustained through time, or is it fractured into lots of different selves? How do you become a certain kind of person?

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#29: The “I” in Us

Danielle suggests that identity politics—organizing and motivating political action through features of your identity such as race, gender, class, nationality, religion, etc.—is insufficient for the type of collective action needed to solve some important global problems. How do we, as a society, tackle issues like climate change or global poverty when we see ourselves as fractured groups, each with its own concerns? José believes that all political action must necessarily begin with the interests, needs, and perspectives of identity.

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#28: Our Patron Saint

We welcome guest Dr. Jack Russell Weinstein, Director of the Institute for Philosophy in Public Life at the University of North Dakota and host of the public radio show and podcast Why? Philosophical Discussions About Everyday Life, to talk about public philosophy. How is talking to a public audience about philosophy different than speaking to those in traditional academic settings? What do philosophers have to offer the public? What exactly are we doing here on Think Hard?

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#27: Of Friends and Flatulence

Why is it so hard to make friends in adulthood? José suggests that the very work it takes to make and maintain friendships is self-defeating because friendships are meant to be easy, spontaneous, and effortless. Danielle is not so sure.

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#26: My Baby, My Moral Mistake

Danielle wonders if the choice to have a child is morally unjustifiable. Given over-population, the current environmental crisis, and the potential for a future full of hardship and suffering, is it ethical to have kids? José defends parenthood as an expression of human development.

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#25: On Racist Jokes (Funny Ones)

Is it ok to laugh at racist jokes? Does it make you racist? Does it matter who is telling the joke? José tries to stake a position between calling out racist jokes as harmful, and not becoming so politically correct that we take ourselves too seriously. Also, Danielle and José each tell—and laugh at—some racist jokes.

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#24: The Real Thing

Suppose you were visiting your favorite work of art at a museum and came to discover that you had been admiring a replica. How would you feel? We tackle the question: Why do we want the real thing? What makes the original special and why do we feel the strong desire to be near it? We suggest that perhaps the answer is not really about the thing itself at all.

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#23: Hope in a Godless World

For those who don’t believe in a benevolent, higher power, where do we look for hope and guidance when things are looking grim? This episode, we bring you the audio from a public lecture that Danielle gave to Sunday Assembly Portland. Afterward, we do a Q and A, and José gets a chance to ask questions and challenge some ideas.

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