The Natural Origins of Morality, at Zanzibar (limit 85)

  • May 23, 2007 · 6:00 PM
  • Zanzibar

For secularists, one of the biggest philosophical challenges is the origin of morality. If there is no God, absolute Good and Evil, nor divine code of ethics, then are secularists/humanists/atheists free to live without any moral code? This event will be quite intense. We will discuss the natural and evolutionary origins of morality. This event has a secular viewpoint, although certainly the religious origins of morality is also an appropriate topic for another evening. == TOPICS == Topics include: - prisoner's dilemma - game theory - altruism - the natural commandments of nature - cooperation - niceness As an attendee, please review the topic questions and references ahead of the event. Natural Origins of Morality Debate Guide == AGENDA == The event begins at 6PM with a happy hour. Discussions begin at 7 and will run until 10 or later. The event fee is $5, which will cover expenses and bar charges, with the proceeds toward the benefit below. == BENEFIT == Proceeds from each ticket will be donated to the Mickey Mantle school on West End Avenue. This school is "a special education school serving severely disabled students, ages 4 - 14. The school includes a Pre-K class for students with disabilities, as well as inclusion programs at P.S.75 and P.S.163. P811M students are categorized as having multiple disabilities, autism, severe emotional/behavioral needs and/or severe language/communication disorders." == RSVP POLICY == To give everyone who wants to come to an event the best opportunity to attend, we have a strict RSVP policy, as posted on our About Us page. Simply, we require that you update your RSVP by noon on the day of the event if you determine that you cannot attend. Failure to do so is grounds for removal from the group.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    I wasn't able to stay for the entire event. It was my first, though, and I definitely would go back. I stayed for the prisoner's dilemma excercise. I thought it a bit absurd to isolate the excercise the way it was done, as if operating in a vacuum, when life isn't like that (regardless of whether that's how the excercise is meant to be done). Though, it was interesting to see how different people approached the whole dilemma. Still I enjoyed the opportunity to socialize with not only like-minded individuals but mostly ones who are seeking out more in the world and in their heads than the usual bar meet up. Thanks!

    May 30, 2007

  • John

    a very intense evening - it was fascinating to see how each of the groups approached this topic.

    May 29, 2007

  • A former member
    A former member

    john is a great guy and a very good leader. I love zanzibar but its too noisy for such an event...i'd go loft or a more manageable room in a restaurant and ask for more money. $5 might be too easy. I'd also not have left it to the one game only but would have tried to have a few exercises creating more interactivity and debate. All in all good job!

    May 27, 2007

  • A former member
    A former member

    The organizer, (John) has a very gracious and cultured personality...What I like about him that he has a great common sense, and is very comfortable with himself...with a sense of humour and a smile.He makes every participant feel relaxed and involved. Of course he has intellect, knowledge and sophistication to choose great topics, which he is well prepared for discussion. I, actually THINK (more)after I come home and and a lot of doors of thinking phlosophically open up for me. I wish more people converse on these topics rather than who is adopting whom. Just awesome to make people think!

    May 25, 2007

  • Andreas

    Really good. I did about half the reading and that put me in the "expert seat" in our group. People got good discussions going, but they would have been 3x more interesting if they had even skimmed 1/4 of the readings. Readings were good, concise summaries on wikipedia.org.

    May 24, 2007

  • A former member
    A former member

    It got kind of chaotic with so many people and having to shout to be heard. I really only talked to 3 or 4 people before leaving. We weren't asked to switch groups, so I was in the same one the whole time. Although I read up on the topics, I still didn't get what the "moral choice" was, whether it was apart from survival or a part of it. Was ratting the bad thing and keeping silent the good thing, or just the desire to have the least number of years? If so, the least number of years would require cooperation with your partner...but there were too many hypotheticals (you don't know if your guilty or innocent or the character of your partner) to make it work for me. The conversation then drifted into other topics like arguments against intelligent design and mysticism. I didn't get to have the kind of engaging conversation I wanted about the fact that morality/ethics existed before the advent of religion and continues today. Religion/God if anything, is immoral historically.

    May 24, 2007

  • Simon Kreymerman

    I thought the agenda was ambitious but not out of reach. Maybe moderators experienced in leading discussion would have helped.
    As an after thought, I found it interesting that while it was mentioned that morality should not enter the individual decisions made during the prisoner's dilemma exercise it was not expressly stated that there was a guiding value in seeking the shortest overall prison sentences. Maybe that was one of the concepts meant to be discovered.

    May 24, 2007

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great people, great conversations.

    May 24, 2007

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very hot topic! some really good discussions...

    May 24, 2007

  • David Greene

    Wow! John, you organized another absolutely perfect event!! Great venue, fascinating topic, wonderful people, flawlessly planned and run. It was fantastically fun!! You are a brilliant organizer and a great guy.

    May 24, 2007

  • Rich Casella

    Many great minds in one place. Thinking and Drinking. Which is what I do pretty much all the time

    May 23, 2007

  • A former member
    A former member

    Lot of fun. Glad we weren't punished for being off topic

    May 23, 2007

  • Raffy

    It was my first time to attend this meetup group and I really enjoyed every single moment of the event. Meeting like-minded people who are in the journey of "looking beyond" is just a really awesome experience.

    May 23, 2007

  • A former member
    A former member

    Well organized, as usual:)

    May 23, 2007

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