Cafe Inquiry is our monthly casual get-together to meet people and discuss topics of science and humanism.
This month's discussion topic:
What is more important in human experience, reason or emotion?
While reason and emotion have been traditionally framed as opposites in both science and philosophy, recent research in both fields is finding that emotions are a key factor in creating rational thought. If emotions play a bigger role in our lives than previously thought, what does that mean for us as atheists/secular humanists who tend to prize reason over emotion?
In addition, much public policy is based on the idea that people are rational actors. If we are driven more by emotions than rationality, where does that leave social and economic policies that treat people as rational actors?
Are reason and emotions at odds with each other? How should we, as secular humanists/atheists, conceptualize the relationship between reason and emotion?
Here is a video of neuroscientist Antonio Demasio talking about the newly discovered importance of emotion in shaping human reasoning capabilities: http://fora.tv/2009/07/04/Antonio_Damasio_This_Time_With_Feeling .
No outside food or drink allowed. Free and open to the public.
Interested in leading a discussion or have someone to recommend? Please contact us at mhensley[at]centerforinquiry.net or call [masked].