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Episode 54, Why Buddhism is True with Robert Wright (Part I)

By Jack Symes, Olly Marley, Andrew Horton and Gregory Miller.

Currently Visiting Professor of Science and Religion at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, Robert Wright’s work in journalism, psychology and philosophy has been deeply influential. Robert is the author of many best-selling books including ‘The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology’, ‘Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny’, ‘The Evolution of God’, and most recently, ‘Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment’. Our focus for this episode is Robert Wright’s latest book, Why Buddhism is True. In a word, Wright defends the Buddhist view that ‘the reason we suffer is because we don’t see the world clearly’. The reason we don’t see the world clearly, says Buddhism, is because our perception of our own minds and ‘the outside world’ is impaired by illusions. Viewing Buddhism through the lens of evolutionary psychology, Wright argues that we have good reason to think that this Buddhist claim (that suffering is caused by illusion) is true, and that Buddhism also holds the answer to how we can alleviate ourselves from illusion and suffering. Part I. Why Buddhism is True. Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion.

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