Center for Inquiry–DC (CFI–DC) Message Board › Cafe Inquiry October Nominations Now Open
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You can now propose a topic for for October's Cafe Inquiry on this thread. Nominations will be open at least through our next meeting on September 21st, and voting will begin shortly thereafter.
Anyone can nominate a topic, but please keep it relevant to the Center's mission statement (“The mission of the Center for Inquiry is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.”). Also, nominations should consist of one single main question stated briefly in a sentence, with any supporting ideas in a brief paragraph of 2-4 additional sentences. Brevity is important so that topics can be advertised by the Center on Meetup, Facebook, and the main CFI website. Your organizers reserve the right to edit topics for length and content, although we will try to be as faithful to your original proposals as possible. Nominated topics that could be construed as discriminatory, or that are explicitly politically partisan, will be removed from consideration.
A word on voting: we'll use a multiple-vote, plurality-wins system. You can vote for as many of the nominated topics as you like (even for all of them!), but you can only vote for each topic once. The topic that gets the most votes wins (even if it doesn't have a majority).
Here are two nominations carried over from last month:
1) "What should a secular ethics look like? Secular humanists, agnostics, and atheists all reject theist claims that one cannot be moral without god. Yet beyond that, there is much debate and even division about morality among non-theists. Is there an objective morality out there waiting to be discovered? Indeed, is it even possible to come to a mere consensus on secular ethics? What would be the basis for such a morality - reason, sympathy, tradition, intuition, or something else? Would a common secular ethics be consequentialist, deontological, or a virtue theory of morality? Would there be a strict code, or just guidelines? Who would interpret and apply such a morality? If there is a common secular morality, should everyone be obligated - or even forced - to believe it? How could proponents of such an ethic best make sure that it was followed - through proselytization, by example, through social pressure, with the force of law, or in some other way? Is it even desirable to search for a unitary morality, or is moral debate itself valuable?"
2) "Is the approach of the so-called "New Atheists" a good one or a bad one? Is religion as dangerous as they believe, and can the mass of humanity actually get by without religious beliefs of one sort or another? Does ridicule, condescension, and disparagement work as a means to accomplish the ends that the NA seem to consider necessary? Is there any reason why atheists and the religious cannot live together with mutual respect? Are the NA dehumanizing the religious and feeding an antagonism that bodes no good for the future? Is it possible to be a NA and not appear to be a hypocrite in ones relationship with Christians? What should the goals of atheists be?"
I expect at least one more nomination to be posted by an interested member soon, and please do feel free to nominate a subject of your own!
Jeffery Zavadil, Cafe Inquiry Group Leader
"Because Inquiring Minds Want to Know"