The Meaning of Everything
By Stefani Ruper
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The podcast for actually genius ideas. Each week Oxford PhD candidate Stefani Ruper chats with a revolutionary thinker in psychology, religion, philosophy, or science to cut through pop intellectualism's BS and get to the real bottom of everything that matters. Tune in to light up your brain, expand your world, and be (mildly) entertained. Interview episodes every Monday, Stefani's musings on Thursdays.
||Clean18x: The Problem with Political Correctness||Frustrated with the debate on political correctness, I discuss what I perceive to be common blind spots on both the right and the left. I take the common ‘left’ view that taking care of others and deconstructing discriminatory norms is important bu.||2/13/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean18: Free Speech and WINNING in the Age of Trump with Finbarr Curtis||Today’s topics: free speech, religious freedom, the decline of civility, and the culture of WINNING in the age of the Trump. What’s wrong with American political discourse today? How did we end up like this?||2/10/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean17x: Do you have a Purpose?||Do you have a purpose in life? Maybe! In today’s episode I take a look at the history of cultural factors that make Westerners feel like we need to find a “purpose” -- and why it might all be wrong.||2/6/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean17: Can Contemplative Practice Change the World?||Can anyone become less racist? Can we teach people how to treat each other better? I was amazed to learn about the uniquely effective way of tackling racism and various injustices my guests Christopher Carter and Seth Schoen have created.||2/3/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean16x: Narcissism and Social Media||They often call us “Generation Me.” We are the generation that is selfish, narcissistic, and obsessed with getting Facebook likes. But why? Why are we this way? In this brief episode, I talk about the history of the West and the deep underlying f..||1/30/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean16: The Toxic Whiteness of Western Religion with Christopher Driscoll||We usually think of religion as something that makes us good--but what happens when religion is something that enables us to be bad? In this eye-opening episode Professor Christopher Driscoll makes the unusual and important observation that the Western.||1/26/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean15x: Mystery in Christian History||We tend to radically over-simplify religions. This is especially the case with Christianity, which we often think of as being about irrational faith in a supernatural God. But it really isn’t--at least the majority of it isn’t--and it never has b.||1/23/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean15: Science as an Unending Quest with Marcelo Gleiser||We often talk about science like it’s going to deliver us final and certain answers--but is that really how it works? In this mind-blowing episode I chat with theoretical physicist and several times best-selling author Marcelo Gleiser about the ope..||1/20/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean14x: How Human Nature Changes over Time||In the last episode we established that “human nature” changes over time--in this episode Stefani shows you how. By briefly touring early hunter-gathering, the development of agriculture, early Christianity, the Enlightenment, Darwinism,||1/16/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean14: Will Technology Make us Less Human? with Joseph Fisher||Do our phones rob us of our humanity? What about genetic engineering, or other technologies? Stefani chats with Columbia PhD candidate Joe Fisher about the wild ride we're on in a rapidly changing world. They discuss how human nature changes over time,||1/13/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean13x: Is Atheism a Religion?||Nowadays there are atheist meetups, atheist book clubs, and even atheist churches. Is atheism becoming a religion?! Today Stefani talks about the similarities and differences between American atheism today and fundamentalist Christianity. Ultimately,||1/9/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean13: Toxic Atheism in America Today with Caroline Matas||Hateful, anti-feminist rhetoric is on the rise in the West. What does atheism have to do with it? This week Stefani chats with Princeton PhD student of American religions Caroline Matas about how today’s atheism is becoming politicized by the right,||1/6/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean12x: Stefani's Year of Celibacy||A testament to the potential for New Year’s Resolutions to do actual good, today Stefani tells the story of the year she resolved to be celibate. Tune in and learn about her history of traumatic relationships with men and how forswearing romance tran.||1/2/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean12: Trauma in Evangelical Communities with Tyler Tully||Is there a relationship between fundamentalist forms of religion and trauma? Stefani chats with fellow Oxford scholar Tyler Tully who grew up experiencing and witnessing severe trauma in an Evangelical community.||12/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean11: Christmas Through the Ages||Most of us know Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th--but what else is mythical about Christmas? In this episode, Stefani walks you through the history of Christmas from ancient European wine making practices,||12/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean10x: Lessons in Happiness from the East||All cultures have their problems, but we can still learn from one another. In this brief episode Stefani discusses research that has been conducted on the differences in mental health and happiness between East and West,||12/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean10: The Self: West vs East with Mari Ovsepyan||We all know that the “East” and “West” are different--but just how deep do these differences reach? This week Stefani chats with fellow Oxford PhD candidate Mari Ovsepan about her personal experiences growing up in an Eastern culture that has a.||12/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean9x: Solving Nature vs Nurture||Which is more important, nature, or nurture? In this short episode Stefani explains the debate, weighs the pros and cons of each, and explains why each is ultimately wrong. What are we left with, then? Finally good science--and a revolution in how we u.||12/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean9: The Mystery of the Brain with Nat Barrett||We often talk about the brain like a computer, but is that really how it works? This week Stefani chats with philosopher Nat Barrett who argues that most cognitive scientists completely misconceptualize the brain.||12/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean8x: How Racist Are You?||Did you know there are more than 190 biases that plague every one of us? Try as you might to be objective, it is impossible. To even THINK you are unbiased is itself a bias. In this episode Stefani explores the concept of bias trough racism,||12/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean8: Putting Bias in its Place with Steph Sasse||Bias is arguably the biggest problem facing the modern West. As the world globalizes and political divisions intensify, it becomes easier and easier for us to become entrenched in our biases. In this episode,||12/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean7x: The Dark Side of Science||Admittedly, there are a lot of dark sides of science. But today, Stefani discusses one way we completely misunderstand science that has given rise to problematic cultural phenomena such as fundamentalist Christianity and many cultural issues such as in.||11/28/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean7: Can Ignorance be Good? with Stuart Firestein||Usually we think of ignorance as a bad thing--but what if appreciating and cultivating ignorance is the key to our success? Stefani chats with Columbia neurobiologist and best-selling author Stuart Firestein about our cultural obsession with facts an..||11/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean6x: Losing Faith with Grace||How do you cope when you lose religious faith? How do you live in times of ambiguity or despair? In this podcast Stefani shares what she’s learned working with religious people and groups over time and discusses real strategies for reinventing your..||11/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean6: Spirituality without Religion with Eric Steinhart||Can you have religious ideas and feelings without God? Stefani chats with philosopher Eric Steinhart who believes you can have wonder, morality, spirituality, and even immortality without God. He does it by thinking about the universe like one giant ..||11/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean5x: Sources of Wonder||Popular culture today focuses on science as a source of wonder--but is that enough? What else is wonderful in our world, and how can you experience it? In this episode Stefani briefly adds context to the earlier discussion of science and wonder and sug.||11/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean5: Wonder in a Scientific World with Lisa Sideris||What happens when you treat science like a religion? Stefani chats with Professor Lisa Sideris about our cultural infatuation with science and what happens when we become overly invested in it: religion. One significant by-product is science becomes a .||11/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean4x: How Religion was Created||Did you know the idea of religion has been used to oppress people for centuries? Stefani tells you all about the history of how the idea of religion came to be in the first place, from the Protestant Reformation to Western colonialism and more.||11/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean4: Does Religion Exist? with Brent Nongbri||Stefani chats with specialist in ancient religious texts Brent Nongbri about the great mistake we all make about religion: thinking it’s real. Crazy as it sounds, it’s true: in some ways, religion doesn’t really exist.||10/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean3: What's in it for you?||In this third introductory episode, Stefani tells you exactly what you can find in this podcast, including things such as little-known but brilliant guests, high quality interdisciplinary thinking, the reinvigoration of philosophy,||10/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean2: Why We Need this Podcast||In this second introductory episode, Stefani explains many of the reasons we are so stuck the way we are: anxious, nihilistic, relativistic, defensive, polarized. Learn about ancient humanity, the importance of the invention of writing,||10/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean1: Stefani's Story||The first three episodes introduce the show (skip if you like!). In this episode, Stefani talks about what she does with her life and why she does it - starting with the panic attacks about dying she had when she was four years old.||10/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
Beautiful integration of thought, theory, and theology - lives up to its name!
Great addition to my podcasts - Stef's honesty, curiosity, and clarity are the perfect compliment to these big, oftentimes unweidly questions. If you're up for an insightful, impassioned, and intelligent journey, I'd highly recommend checking this out!
Relatable, Understandable and Fascinating
This podcast is my new favorite. Stefani’s expertise in the field allows REAL professionals to share philosophical, thoughtful insights on existential questions that can keep me awake at night. The way she is able to effortless bridge the barrier between science, religion and arts and humanities makes this podcast relatable and understandable to anyone. If you are looking for some comfort in a world full of uncertainty, look no further than the graceful, articulate and wisdom of Stefani Ruper.
A fascinating, modern approach to the understanding the meaning of everything
If we all stopped and thought to ourselves, “Why am I here? What is really the point of my existence?”, would this change our lives or mindsets? Stefani’s charming and eloquent podcast helps guide us through these challenging questions allowing a sense of comfort to stem from uncertainty - a difficult feat. In this tumultuous climate, “the Meaning of Everything” is my new favorite warm cup of tea.