TED Talk: Charter for Compassion, by Karen Armstrong

From the TED site:

People want to be religious, says scholar Karen Armstrong; we should help make religion a force for harmony. She asks the TED community to help build a Charter for Compassion — to restore the Golden Rule as the central global religious doctrine.

If you haven’t yet run into a conversation about TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks, consider this your much abbreviated crash course. The concept of TED developed in 1984, as American architect and graphic designer Richard Saul Wurman conceived of an annual conference to explore the convergence of technological, entertainment and design fields (sense a theme here?). The conference has expanded over the years to a twice-annual, weeklong event featuring presenters with emphasis not only in these fields but also in culture, scientific, and academic topics. Videos of these talks are now available online for free at the TED Conference website, which is fortunate – the price tag for a 2017 pass to the Vancouver event is $17,000 per person.

I adore listening to TED Talks while I work, but the smorgasbord of topic choices makes it tough to pick a starting point. For this reason, I typically use NPR’s TED Radio Hour as my jumping-off point. They curate multiple talks into one themed show, with tantalizing bits of the original talk plus interviews with the presenter to give context and history behind the original presentation. It was through TED Radio Hour that I discovered the TED Talk below, given by religious historian Karen Armstrong in February 2008 on the nature of human compassion. It’s an interesting listen on its own, but I do recommend the TED Radio Hour presentation “Just a Little Nicer” as well for other features in the same vein.

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