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June 23, 2022

This interview is an episode from The Well, the new publication about ideas that inspire a life well-lived, created with the John Templeton Foundation.

Subscribe to The Well on YouTube ► bit.ly/thewell-youtube
Watch Paul Bloom's next interview ► Kids don’t always make you happier. Here’s why people have them anyway. youtu.be/Da9IQS0rVIE

A life without suffering is a life without meaning.

But this is a paradox. We spend most of the life trying to avoid things like pain, fear, and grief — yet, sometimes, we seek them out. We watch sad movies. We push the bodies to the limit with extreme exercise. Why?

There are two reasons: (1) There is a difference between chosen and unchosen suffering. (2) The good things in life only make sense if there are also bad things. Without the bad, the good loses meaning.

Read the video transcript ► bigthink.com/the-well/why-suffering-is-good/


About Paul Bloom:
Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. An internationally recognized expert on the psychology of child development, social reasoning, and morality, he has won numerous awards for his research, writing, and teaching. Bloom’s previous books include Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil and How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like, and he has written for Science, Nature, The New York Times, and The New Yorker.


Read more from The Well:
I put a camera on a monkey. Here’s how it shook the understanding of humanity
► bigthink.com/the-well/awe-ani...
Atheism is not as rare or as rational as you think
► bigthink.com/the-well/atheism...
System 1 vs. System 2 thinking: Why it isn’t strategic to always be rational
► bigthink.com/the-well/system-...


About The Well
Do we inhabit a multiverse? Do we have free will? What is love? Is evolution directional? There are no simple answers to life’s biggest questions, and that’s why they’re the questions occupying the world’s brightest minds.

So what do they think?

How is the power of science advancing understanding? How are philosophers and theologians tackling these fascinating questions?

Let’s dive into The Well.


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