Oct 21, 2014 0
Motivated by Love or Hate?
Asked why some of their fellow citizens supported bombing in Gaza, Israelis reported they were 35 percent more motivated by love for fellow Israelis than hate, while they thought just about the reverse for Palestinians’ motivations for firing rockets into Israel. Palestinians, meanwhile, ascribed more hate than love to Israelis, though they thought fellow Palestinians were about equally motivated by love and hate. An additional survey of 498 Israelis found that the more they perceived differences in the two parties’ motivations, the less likely they were to support negotiations, vote for a peace deal, or believe that Palestinians would support such a deal. (Nathan Collins, Pacific Standard)
Are Factual and Religious Belief The Same?
Tania Lombrozo: Consider the following two statements of “belief”:
Devon believes that humans evolved from earlier primates over 100,000 years ago.
Devon believes that humans were created less than 10,000 years ago.
These claims are clearly at odds. Since they can’t both be true, Devon holds contradictory beliefs. Right? Maybe not. A new paper by philosopher Neil Van Leeuwen offers a third possibility: That factual belief isn’t the same as religious belief. Even though we use the same word, our attitudes towards their respective propositions—that humans evolved thousands and thousands of years ago, that humans were created quite recently—could differ considerably. (13.7: Cosmos and Culture, NPR)
Seeking Stars, Finding Creationism
George Johnson: Congeries of stars have given way to congeries of galaxies, but astronomy—one of the grandest achievements of the human race—is still fending off charges of blasphemy. These days the opposition comes not from the Vatican, which operates its own observatory, but from a people with very different religious beliefs. (The New York Times)
The Language Myth: Why Language Is Not an Instinct
Alun Anderson: I came away excited. I found that words aren’t so much things that can be limited by a dictionary definition but are encyclopedic, pointing to sets of concepts. There is the intriguing notion that language will always be less rich than our ideas and there will always be things we cannot quite express. And there is the growing evidence that words are rooted in concepts built out of our bodily experience of living in the world. (New Scientist)
The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self—Not Just Your “Good” Self—Drives Success and Fulfillment
Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener: The good news is that a whole range of negativity—of beneficial negativity, mind you—has nothing to do with being a jerk. Negative emotions can also help you focus on the situation at hand. When you are about to drill a hole in the wall, chances are that you pay close attention to the measurements involved as well as to the position of your hand. The anxiety associated with the downside risk encourages you to drill in exactly the right spot. (Science of Us, New York Magazine)