Simon Laham is an experimental social psychologist from the University of Melbourne in Australia, who focuses on the psychology of morality and social interaction. In his latest book The Joy of Sin, he uses modern psychological science to show that the Seven Deadly Sins are actually good for us. He argues the simplistic labelling of sinning is uniformly wrong and does nothing but stifle sophisticated discussion.The Joy Of Sin
Emrys Westacott is Professor of Philosophy at Alfred University in New York. In his most recent book, The Virtues of our Vices he reveals how there is a hidden value in much frowned-upon behaviour: for instance, gossip can foster intimacy between friends, and rudeness can help convey an important message.The Virtues of our Vices
Urvashi Butalia is an Indian historian, and the Director and Co-founder of Kali for Women, India’s first feminist publishing house. She says that according to Hindu belief vice and virtue are intermeshed, which gives a truer picture of real life.
Sixty Second Idea to Change the World
In our Sixty Second Idea to Improve the World Emrys Westacott suggests tackling political corruption by introducing austerity constraints. These include capping the income of politicians at the average wage in their society, making sure their home is no more lavish than the average property in the surrounding region, and having them all wear the same simple civil service uniform in public. The idea is this would keep politicians more humble and in touch with the way ordinary people live.
In Next Week’s Programme:
We join the annual gathering organised by the Skoll Foundation in Oxford and explore whether the interaction between a social entrepreneur and a local community can be a relationship of equals. With William Foote of Root Capital, UNICEF’s Geeta Rao-Gupta and Brizio Biondi-Morra from the Avina Foundation.