Point of Inquiry

Center for Inquiry

Religion & Spirituality, Science & Medicine, Social Sciences, Society & Culture, Philosophy

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Social Sciences 16
Science & Medicine 79

Point of Inquiry is the Center for Inquiry's flagship podcast, where the brightest minds of our time sound off on all the things you're not supposed to talk about at the dinner table: science, religion, and politics. Guests have included Brian Greene, Susan Jacoby, Richard Dawkins, Ann Druyan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Eugenie Scott, Adam Savage, Bill Nye, and Francis Collins. Point of Inquiry is produced at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, N.Y.


Jennifer Michael Hecht - The Happiness Myth

May 25th, 2007

Episode 79 of 570 episodes

Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of award-winning books of philosophy, history, and poetry. Her Doubt: A History (HarperCollins, 2003) demonstrates a long, strong history of religious doubt from the origins of written history to the present day, all over the world. Hecht's The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism and Anthropology (Columbia University, 2003), won the Phi Beta Kappa Society's 2004 prestigious Ralph Waldo Emerson Award for scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity. Hecht's first poetry book, The Next Ancient World won the Poetry Society of America's 2002 Norma Farber First Book Award. Her most recent poetry book, Funny, won the University of Wisconsin's 2005 Felix Pollak Poetry Prize, and Publisher's Weekly called it one of the most original and entertaining books of the year. Her book reviews appear in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Her newest book, The Happiness Myth, has achieved wide critical praise. In this conversation with D.J. Grothe, Hecht discusses the history of the idea of happiness, and various ways that people throughout history have sought happiness. She also explores how people in today's society may sometimes undermine their happiness by the ways they seek it, such as through recreational drug use, consumerism, health and fitness and religion or spirituality. She concludes by talking about how focusing on one's death may be a vital part of living happily in a universe without God.

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