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Modern mythologies like Star Wars, Harry
Potter and Doctor Who have much
in common with ancient tales, not least the essential theme of good versus
evil. We all long for a saving hero, but are we looking in the right place?
Over the last century, scientific breakthroughs and technological innovations have radically changed the world, making us the greatest consumers in history. Yet we seem to be less happy and more anxious. Has our consumer culture become a curse rather than a cure?
American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald portrayed the 1920s as a time of self-indulgence and pleasure-seeking. That image is reminiscent not only of today’s world but of the life of wise King Solomon, who had much to say about the choices he’d made.
September 11, 2001, is 10 years behind us. But even before that fateful day, terrorism was a fact of life for much of the world. Must we accept that it will always be that way?
More people around the world can now indulge in a pattern of consumption where outward appearances are more important than utility.
Despite our best efforts toward peace, the story of humanity is in large part the story of animosity and violence. What is it about people that leads them to treat one another as adversaries?
Technology has made information ever more easily accessible. The question is, can we continue to process the endlessly increasing load?
In a world where we have many choices as to how we get our news, it’s worth pondering what the media we consume tell us about ourselves, and how they affect the things we come to believe and act on.
A timeline of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Psychologists and policymakers alike are trying to understand what makes a terrorist. And how does one stop the assembly line?
The most widely recognized and well-remembered sentence of John F. Kennedy's 1961 inaugural speech was his clarion call to his fellow countrymen to think beyond the borders of personal benefit and contribute to the cause of common good.
Deceptions, hoaxes and urban legends abound, mainly because so many people are so easily taken in by them. Here’s how you can avoid being one of them.
Although Halloween did not originate in the United States, Americans spend more than six billion dollars celebrating their fastest growing holiday each year.
The notion of the hero figure has been part of popular culture for a long time. The prevalence of this recurrent theme over the generations may indicate a deep-seated hope people have that all will turn out okay—someone will take action, come to their rescue and save them from the current peril or crisis.
Our “thought life” can be put on a better footing if we are able to resist self-deception. Knowing some of the pitfalls we are subject to can help us plan defenses against deception. Here are some ways that we human beings deceive ourselves and each other, along with a few suggested remedies.
Research suggests that a child who lacks a positive sense of identity is much more likely to turn violent. Gina Stepp explores five keys to help prevent youth violence.
In a 2007 poll, 58 percent of children said they would choose happiness over wealth. Unfortunately, some researchers assert that most of the obstacles children face today are linked to the fact that adults operate as though these priorities are one and the same. But are they? What does it take to make people happy?
Researchers in America and Britain have recently identified several key indicators signaling that child care now occupies less of the average adult’s lifetime than in past decades. What are the social implications for the future of the family in these two Western nations?
Rights have never been so extensively defined as today. But what happens when the perceived rights of two individuals or groups clash? Is there any basis for resolution?
Have you ever wondered who gives, who doesn’t and why the difference? If so, you’ll be interested to know that Professor Brooks, has, as they say, done the math!
A techno-biological Renaissance is taking immortality out of the realm of philosophy and putting it squarely in the context of scientific debate. Vision examines the predictions of futurologists such as Ray Kurzweil who believe that advances in technology will allow humans to transcend their biology. Will these achievements bring us immortality or destruction?
Microcredit has taken on a new prominence since Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank won this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
The biblical Year of Jubilee
In the conclusion of our series on the history of the world’s dominant economic system, we look at where capitalism is taking us and ask whether there is a better way.
At Vision, we believe a careful study shows that the concept of the rapture as popularly believed is not found in the Bible.
Having survived the Great Depression, capitalism gained strength and traveled the world. Vision continues to follow its progress into the 21st century.
In trying to make sense of the modern world, we could compare it to the most complex of tapestries. It is woven with the warp and weft of many varied fibers, each representing the impact of thought and invention—good and bad—over centuries of human history.
The declining character of today's society was foreseen long ago and recorded in a place where few think to look. What are society's shortcomings, and how can we cope with them?
The Kinsey Reports played a dramatic role in revolutionizing America's attitude toward sex and sexuality. Many now admit that Kinsey's research was flawed, but few consider that this has far-reaching implications.
The year 2000 has rolled over to 2001, and concerns about an impending end of the world seem to have evaporated. Is it the “end of the end”?
Stanley Kubrick's influential movie molded expectations about the year 2001. The reality, however, hasn't lived up to the promise.
You've probably heard that the Western world's biggest holiday is steeped in paganism. But have you asked yourself why it matters?
The premise of the popular sci-fi movie The Matrix surprisingly reflects a fundamental biblical theme.
What is capitalism, how did it develop, and why is it so widely admired and accepted?
The latest movie episode of The Lord of the Rings is getting rave reviews. Why has J.R.R. Tolkien's work had such lasting appeal?
An Italian food critic's joke has spawned a serious worldwide movement opposing fast food.
The Western world's obsession with work has a long history. But on what is it founded?
Can the life of a humble teacher of botany who lived at a much simpler time offer insight for a world caught up in the fast-paced information age?
Book Review: Blood, Sweat and Tears: The Evolution of Work by Richard Donkin; The Working Life: The Promise and Betrayal of Modern Work by Joanne B. Ciulla; Beyond the Bottom Line: The Search for Dignity at Work by Paula M. Rayman.
The century that is now ending has been one of stark contrasts. The average life span of humans has lengthened dramatically, thanks in large part to scientific advances. Technological achievement has increasesd exponentially, bringing vast improvements in the lives of most people. Yet the deadliest and most destructive wars and the most horrific crimes—even genocide—have taken place during the same period. How did such a dichotomy develop?
When the issue of racial desegregation came to a head in the United States in 1963, the nation found itself at a moral crossroads. Two men stepped forward and pointed people toward the high road and the historic March on Washington became a shining moment in the Civil Rights Movement. But will we ever see the final act in the drama of freedom from oppression?
Wisdom seems to be an increasingly rare commodity. Why, and what can we do to develop it?
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