Bruce Manners

Bruce Manners
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Religion is good for you—really?

Religion has often been maligned in both the press and popular culture. But could believing give you an edge in life?

The trouble with alcohol

Elspeth Muir’s brother, Alexander, died from drowning. It was 2009, and he had just turned 21. He died from drowning, but his death “was not foreshadowed by his love of water except that it explains why he was near a river, alone, with a blood-alcohol content of almost 0.25. My brother died because he was drunk, and because the drink made him stupid.”

The search for meaning

In The Simpsons episode entitled “Homer the Heretic,” Homer Simpson has a conversation with God.

Imagine…a world without Christianity

“Imagine there’s no heaven ...” sang John Lennon. “… and no religion too.” The implication is that the world would be a better place without religion. Wrong. Christianity has changed the world in dramatic and positive ways.

Colour you happy

Happiness is . . . ? How would you finish the sentence? What do you think happiness is? Positive psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, in The How of Happiness, says it is is “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive wellbeing, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.”

How to build a better brain

The first time he saw a living human brain, neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta says it became “a powerful and life-changing experience."

Why is everyone so angry all the time?

"Why is everyone so angry about everything all of the time?" That was the title of a Sydney Morning Herald article by journalist and academic Waleed Aly. The question was originally tweeted by Sally, a viewer of the BBC’s Question Time.

Putting money in its place

Money can do strange things to people. A few years back, a survey in England asked people to imagine first that the average income was £100,000, but they earned £125,000. Second, they were to imagine that the average income was £200,000, but their income was £175,000. They were then asked which they would prefer. The majority chose £125,000—they would rather have the possibility...

Why we don’t follow through when we know we should

But why do our ambitions of self-improvement rarely stick the way we hope they will?

People get ready

The song, “People Get Ready” was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr’s march on Washington and his “I have a dream” speech. In writing it the following year (1964), Curtis Mayfield not only captured the spirit of the march but created a song that caught the mood of the times and injected hope: “There’s a train a-comin’… . You don’t need no ticket,...

How disposable are you?

How do we value a human’s life? Should we rate lives on their value to their community? That would mean a life-saving surgeon would have more value than someone living on the street. Or is it potential—which would make a baby more valuable than a 50-year-old? What about the value we place on those later in life versus those at the end?

Living with fewer regrets

No one can live life without gathering regrets. An opportunity missed. A situation handled poorly. A conversation you wished you’d had before things got out of control. All of us have done more than enough to cringe in the dark about. But there are ways to have fewer regrets. Here are seven. 

Forgiving a Nazi

May 1944. The train stopped at the station and twins Eva and Miriam, with their father and mother and sisters Edit and Aliz, stepped out into the sunlight. There was war in Europe and the Nazis had gathered them and thousands of other Jews in Romania, crammed them into cattle cars and taken them to Poland.

Thank God for atheists?

Richard Dawkins is arguably the world’s best-known atheist. His 2006 book The God Delusion was a runaway success and widely influential. That’s why theologian Alister McGrath was surprised when a young man told him he became a Christian after reading The God Delusion.

Be the master of your money

Money is essential in our Western world. It allows us to purchase the necessities of life—food and shelter, for instance. It pays the bills for heating and cooling. There may even be enough for some luxuries.