Appearing in Leviticus, the concept of a scapegoat is that of two goats — while one is sacrificed, the other is released into the wilderness to carry the sins of the community. Family dynamics and the process of development can lead to the scapegoating of a family member, as someone unfairly blamed for the errors of the group. How does a process such as this taint an individual’s worldview, faith, or trust in others?
How important are reflective, contemplative, and calming experiences for individual growth? Is the modern world priming us to need more of these moments or less? Is self-doubt required for personal development?
Depression seems like an obvious flaw in the human condition. The symptoms of depression (everything from apathy, social isolation, and anhedonia to emptiness, sleeplessness, and ruminations) can make engaging in daily life absolutely impossible. As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote: “Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not.” Despite what seems like an obvious evolutionary handicap, research has shown depression has a variety of hidden benefits, such as encouraging attention to detail, creativity, empathy, and resiliency. By acknowledging depression’s hidden benefits, we can alter the way it impacts us individually and societally.
Are we benefiting from mental health diagnoses, medications, and treatments? Or, is the current mental health industry causing more harm than healing? How do we accurately deal with psychological distress?
How are we drawn to our romantic partners? What factors influence our connection and bond with those we love?
Is depression something we have or something we are?
Regarding the nature vs. nurture debate, does modern research support Pinker’s emphasis on nature, or has the field taken it in a different trajectory?