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Welcome to Being Human

The Science & Mystery of the Human Experience 

The experience of being human can be exciting or stressful, fun or depressing, but most often it’s simply confusing. How can we make sense of our world with all its pain and suffering, its delights and disappointments?


For most of human history we’ve been trying to understand our lives based on metaphysical, religious, and supernatural concepts. Then the Age of Enlightenment ushered in science and Darwin’s remarkable theory of evolution—a powerful new way to look at ourselves and the world. Now disciplines such as cognitive neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, genetics, anthropology, and philosophy are delivering fascinating new findings which have the potential to radically remake the way we see ourselves. Based on these scientific insights, a more comprehensive view of human nature is now emerging.

Our mission at Being Human is to expand and deepen this understanding by bringing together the brightest minds and the latest insights to address questions such as:

  •     What are emotions for?
  •     Why can’t we find lasting happiness?
  •     How do we make choices?
  •     Is there a right or wrong?
  •     What motivates/drives us?

Why Engage in Being Human? >>

Why Engage in Being Human?

We humans are a remarkably successful species. We’ve mastered technologies for ample food supply, conquered many of the most devastating diseases and achieved a high level of comfort compared to our ancestors. Yet despite the success we’ve had in managing such exterior conditions, our inner experience of life remains a black hole. It’s becoming clear that it is probably not possible to achieve fulfillment by focusing on exterior conditions alone. Instead, we also need to look at our interior experience and understand it more deeply.

The ultimate nature of reality remains beyond our capacity to discover. However we can safely say that we’re intelligent primates and that our behavior evolved over thousands of years in a natural environment. We no longer live in that environment, and as a species we are rapidly entering a new phase in our development that requires a better understanding of what drives us. The old notion that we’re independent agents in conscious control of our thoughts and behaviors is giving way to a vision of humans as intelligent primates who are fundamentally shaped by our evolutionary history and cultural environment. Our brains evolved to operate with a myriad of biases and beliefs, many of which are demonstrably distorted or untrue. And our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are always being affected by the people around us.

Understanding these ideas and more may allow us to cope more effectively with the stresses and complexities of modern society, as well as help us to live our lives with more ease. And a more enlightened view of human nature is essential to move beyond political and social dysfunction.

Our Approach >>

Our Approach

Minds: In this section you’ll find the most groundbreaking insights from the leading thinkers on the frontiers of science and philosophy.

Themes: In this section you’ll find the basics of Being Human. How we perceive and evaluate our world based on predispositions and conditioning and how that drives our behavior.

Featured: In this section you’ll find articles on how this view of being human plays itself out in daily life. 

Events: Conferences and Being Human lounges provide an environment to meet like minded individuals and hear from the brightest minds about their latest research.


If we look back from where we came from I believe we can safely say that we’ve made progress—longer lives, less violence, more equality, and more civil and gender rights. And although a lot of ignorance and conflicts remain, I trust that the human endeavour will lead us towards becoming a more mature species. 

 

Welcome to Being Human