Robert Wright is an American journalist. He writes about science, history, and religion. His works include The Evolution of God, Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, The Moral Animal, Why Buddhism is True, and Three Scientists and Their Gods: Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information.
Robert Wright (@robertwrighter), author of Nonzero, The Moral Animal, Why Buddhism Is True, and others, joins Erik on this episode.They discuss:- The common theme of exploring the meaning of life that Robert says runs through all of his books.- Whether global governance could be feasible and how positive-sum thinking can play a part in reducing hostilities between nations.- Why consciousness gives life meaning.- How to deal with the quest for status.- The emotional manipulation that political leaders employ.- Why we shouldn’t rush to bring in new technologies before we know the consequences.- Why evolution has not programmed us to be happy.- How to deal with tribalism.- Why people say that “to explain something is to excuse it” and why not thinking that way can bring about a more compassionate world.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Please Support The Show with a DonationRobert Wright is an author and a scholar. His most recent book, Why Buddhism is True, is an analytical look comparing the ancient concepts of Buddhism and the more recent findings of modern science. The title of his book may be a bit provocative, but we challenge you to hear him out before assuming what he writes about in his book on the topic. We think you'll find this interview thought provoking and interesting as well as instructive and helpful. Whatever your reaction to the episode, we'd love to hear about it. $30 off your first week of Hello Fresh Enter Promo Code Feed30 UltraMax 3 Ultra Pure Omega 3s box of Omax 3 UltraPure for freeIn This Interview, Robert Wright and I Discuss...The Wolf ParableHis book, Why Buddhism is TrueEvolutionary PsychologyThat according to Evolutionary Psychology we're wired to do what's best to propagate our genes into the next generationAnd how sometimes doing that might not be what's best for ourselves or the worldThat we're wired for a recurring dissatisfaction or discontented so we'd keep doing the things that would move us toward our goal of passing our genes on to the next generationCraving and AversionNot following craving and aversion as guides are central to BuddhismAccording to Buddhism if we don't run from unpleasant feelings like sadness, anxiety etc, they will actually become less painful over timeThat the Buddha intuited a lot of things that we now know to be true according to modern science and evolutionary psychologyHow our thoughts can sometimes subtlely influence us - ex Cognitive BiasCognitive Bias being driven by emotion rather than being rational & Buddhism teaches thatThe Buddhist conception of the mind/brain and modern psychology's conception of the mind/brain are very alignedIn the cognitive battle for attention, the thought that "wins" is the one that has the most feeling attached to itHow meditation can help give you clarity on thoughts and feelings and the difference between the twoCBT & questioning your thoughts and feelings in BuddhismMindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral TherapyAllowing and observing rather than acting on our strong feelingsThe anguish we add to physical pain by the anticipation of it or the lamenting of itEssences that we impute into thingsThe idea of not self and what it meansThe benefit of parceling out the things that we identify - like anxious feelings - as not being ourselvesThinking you're not cut out for meditationPlease Support The Show with a Donation
Science journalist and author Robert Wright says that Buddhist meditation might help counteract our natural tendency towards unhappiness and dissatisfaction. His new book is 'Why Buddhism is True.' Also John Powers reviews the new Criterion release of Albert Brooks' 1985 film 'Lost in America.'
Robert Wright is the best-selling author of books such as Nonzero and The Evolution of God. He down with Isaac Chotiner to discuss his new book, Why Buddhism Is True, what meditation can teach us about how to oppose Trump, and what Buddhist teachings have in common with evolutionary psychology. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Creator Details

Jan 15th, 1957
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3 hours, 48 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 007965