Category Archives: Practicing Goodness

Trust and The Golden Rule

I did a fantastic job following the Golden Rule yesterday, largely because the only people I saw were my eightysomething mother and the twentysomething barista at the coffee bar. And, yes, I was able to be nice to both of … Continue reading

Posted in Practicing Goodness, psychology | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Day 1 of Being Good

Uh oh. What have I gotten myself into? How does a soul be good? The best I can think of right now is to start simple. Let’s start with The Golden Rule: I shall treat others as I want to … Continue reading

Posted in Practicing Goodness, The Quest | 6 Comments

Seeking Goodness In a New Way

I spent 365 days attempting to answer the question: What is goodness? Since I completed that quest on June 1, I’ve been bumbling around trying to figure out what to do next. My year-long journey was wonderful. Challenging, fun, intellectually … Continue reading

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Are We Good, or Just Lucky?

I’ve spent the past year seeking to understand the true heart of good human beings. I’ve asked everybody I could to answer the question: What is goodness? Imagine my surprise when I interviewed MacArthur Fellow Jonathan Shay last week and … Continue reading

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Falling Off the Empathy Cliff Into Evil

Simon Baron-Cohen argues that evil should be defined as the absence of empathy. In his new book, The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty, the University of Cambridge professor of developmental psychology proposes replacing the “unscientific … Continue reading

Posted in good vs. evil, Practicing Goodness, psychology | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Anti-Sam Harris Points Us To A Real Moral Operating System

Google Engineering Director Damon Horowitz tackles the idea of using numbers and science to make ethical decisions and comes up with a delightfully different answer than Sam Harris did in The Moral Landscape. Watching Horowitz’ TED talk, I’m energized and … Continue reading

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Should Goodness Ever Be Defined, or What Have I Done?

No more dodging the issue for me. Tomorrow is the 365th day of my quest, which means I have to finally give you my definition of goodness. Before I went to WisCon last week, I drafted that post, loaded it … Continue reading

Posted in Becoming Good, definitions, Practicing Goodness | Tagged | 3 Comments

Ruth Grant Asks “What Does a Good Life Look Like?”

The first of my two interviews with Duke political scientist and philosopher Ruth Grant occurred on Jan. 12, 2011. There was too much material from even that one interview to squeeze into my magazine article about her work, so here’s … Continue reading

Posted in good vs. evil, Interviews, Practicing Goodness | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Cramming Goodness into a Box

My story on Duke Professor Ruth Grant is now online at the University of Chicago Magazine. An excerpt: “There is no form of goodness that’s good in every situation,” Grant says. “Nobody is a perfectly good person.” Whether someone can … Continue reading

Posted in Articles and Essays, philosophy, Politics, Practicing Goodness, psychology, Publications from the Quest | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

19 Days Left and More on Bradshaw

I’m down to 19 days on this quest. Tick. Tick. Tick. There’s not enough time. I’m panicking, but I’m also relishing the deadline because I can’t avoid or ignore the Goodness Project now. I have to make this work. Today, … Continue reading

Posted in Becoming Good, Practicing Goodness, psychology | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Dancing on Osama’s Grave, ctd.

My good friend Susan Cooper sends these thoughts along: Wondering what, where, how this event will be part of your examination of “Good.” Another friend of mine on here likened the death of Bin Laden to the death of Hitler. … Continue reading

Posted in good vs. evil, Practicing Goodness, psychology | Tagged | 1 Comment

Wisconsin and Goodness

What the GOP just did in Wisconsin is a travesty, and it’s frightening. I suspect that Wisconsin’s Republican governor and legislative leaders think of themselves as being good. I’ve covered legislatures, and I doubt that few lawmakers would take such … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Practicing Goodness | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

The Return on Investment of Doing the Right Thing

When you take the big leap to go into business for yourself as I did four years ago, you hear a lot about ROI– return on investment. Wikipedia defines this most capitalist of terms as “the ratio of money gained … Continue reading

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Civil Conversations

I launched The Goodness Project because I wanted to understand how I could become good, but I also had a much broader goal in mind: Exploring whether/how goodness can  help us create a better world. It has taken me nine … Continue reading

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Responding to Bullets with a Civility Institute

The University of Arizona has responded to the Tucson shooting by launching a high-profile National Institute for Civil Discourse, with former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush as honorary chairs. At first the idea of responding to bullets with … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Practicing Goodness | Tagged , , | 1 Comment